The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) welcomed the move by new Prime Minister Liz Truss.
CAMRA chairman Nik Antona said: “[Thursday’s] announcement of help for businesses for six months is certainly welcome and will help beloved pubs and breweries keep the wolves from the door this winter as they grapple with the crisis of rising costs.”
Antona continued: “Without any help, licensees were facing bill increases up to 400% or 500% – that’s the equivalent of the price of a pint rising to £15 or £20 pint, which would obviously be unviable for businesses and totally unaffordable for consumers.
“CAMRA is encouraged to hear the new Prime Minister mention pubs as one of the businesses that may need extra help beyond this initial six-month period. This will certainly be the case and now that the principle of a cap on energy costs for businesses has been established, we want to see the scheme apply to the hospitality sector for the same duration as the domestic bill support scheme – two years.
“We look forward to working constructively with the Government to make sure we also see a comprehensive support package announced for the UK’s world-renowned pubs, social clubs and brewers. This should include introducing the promised new, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider served in pubs and clubs as quickly as possible – as well as cutting VAT and help with business rates to make sure the beer and pubs sector can survive this winter and thrive in the years to come.”
Meanwhile, chairman of SIBA, Roy Allkin, added: “Small independent breweries have faced some of the most challenging circumstances in the past few months with energy prices skyrocketing, CO2 costs rising and shortages of supplies along with a cost-of-living crisis hitting consumer confidence.
“[Thursday’s] bold and welcome intervention by the Government will provide some certainty for the next six months on energy bills but there will inevitably be concerns about what happens next year when this ends and whether small independent brewers, as a key part of the hospitality sector, will be eligible for further help.
“While this is an important short-term measure, small breweries also need help to move to Net Zero and we’ll be making the case with the Government for small business grants to introduce green technology as part of the fiscal statement later this month and as part of the Government’s review announced [on Thursday].”