I recently met with the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Helen Whately MP, to raise concerns about the impact of these proposals on small brewers. Please click the pdf link below for a government briefing on the issue, which may be of interest. 

The Government’s proposed reforms to Small Brewers Relief will be introduced in next Finance Bill and be packaged as Small Producer Relief. It will remove the duty relief ‘cliff-edge’ at 5,000 hectolitres and will see relief gradually reduced. The Minister highlighted that the Treasury would forgo approximately £15 million revenue but that the Government was keen to prevent a cliff edge for all breweries. It is expected to come into effect from February 2023.

The proposed new draught duty cut of 5 per cent only applies to products sold in containers of 40 litres and above. I’m aware that most small producers use 20 litre or 30 litre containers when supplying to pubs or other drinking establishments. I pressed the Minister on whether there is scope to reduce the lower threshold to products sold in containers of 20 litres or above.

The key takeaway from the meeting was the importance of the consultation on the new alcohol duty system (see here). It is vital small brewers’ concerns are reflected in the responses to it. The consultation will close at 11:45pm on 30 January 2022. I urge you to feed in your views.