Brewer's ale range mocks Government policy

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Red tape, Beer

Protest: head brewer Matthew Walley doesn't want 'community assets' to be lost
Protest: head brewer Matthew Walley doesn't want 'community assets' to be lost
A Cheshire brewery has launched a new line of ales to express its dissatisfaction with the beer-duty escalator and red tape that it claims are...

A Cheshire brewery has launched a new line of ales to express its dissatisfaction with the beer-duty escalator and red tape that it claims are damaging the British pub industry.

Spitting Feathers, in Waverton, near Chester, developed the Ministry of Beer range to highlight the key issues that are leading to the demise of the pub.

Head brewer Matthew Walley said: "It is about pubs more than beer really because, while we will always have beer, the pubs are struggling and perhaps if we can help them more, not as many will close.

"We take them (pubs) for granted but we cannot afford to lose these community assets. It is not a hardship to go to the pub at the end of the day."

The first beer being launched by the brewery, Fool's Gold, has been produced "in recognition of beer-duty policy".

Walley said: "The Government is planning to continue with the beer-duty escalator and raise duty above the rate of inflation — and it cannot be justified.

"I don't think it (the Government) recognises the importance of beer and brewers to this country."

Another beer in the range, entitled Dark Arts, is designed, according to Walley, "to dispel the myth that beer is bad for you".

"It (beer) is not responsible for the problem-drinking it has often been blamed for. It is low in alcohol and nutritional. It is rushed, unregulated drinking of high-strength beverages that leads to public disorder and health problems."

The other two beers in the range are False Economy, "brewed with so much

hop that it probably costs the ministry more than it recovers in revenue", and Red Tape, which is described as "a ruby ale brewed using a bit of common sense".

Walley said: "Many people wouldn't be aware of the amount of red tape landlords deal with.

"Our local council is attempting to introduce a new licensing fee for us to put a blackboard outside our pub, and its things like this that continue to hurt the pub industry."

The Ministry of Beer was launched across North Wales and the north-west of England last weekend.

Related topics: Legislation

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