Call for urgent support on energy bills for independent brewers
Organisations representing the UK’s independent brewers and beer consumers have called for urgent action on energy and support for the sector.
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have jointly signed a letter to the Chancellor highlighting the challenges which are putting the future of the UK beer industry at risk.
With brewers facing skyrocketing energy bills, frequent ingredient shortages and price hikes, and consumers unable to afford to support local pubs, the organisations are calling on Government to step in and tackle the issues. This includes an urgent cap on energy prices for small businesses as well as greater support to go green and reduce their energy needs through grants for renewable technology.
There are also concerns that the far reaching reforms to alcohol duty will be delayed from next year including to the game-changing Draught Duty Rate which gives a 5% reduction in duty for beer sold in pubs. The organisations have asked the Government to press ahead and prioritise these changes to help consumers, pubs and the brewing sector, but also expand the scheme to include the containers used by smaller breweries such as 20 and 30 litre casks and kegs.
Roy Allkin, Chairman of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) said:
“With energy bills soaring we are calling on Government to back British beer and help independent brewers with an energy price cap for small businesses, and to offer grants and incentives for the many businesses looking to brew with more green energy.
It is also vital that the Governments plan to tempt people back to the pub with a new discounted draught duty rate is extended to the smaller twenty and thirty litre containers used by small brewers, or risk Global lager brands being the only ones who benefit.”
Nik Antona, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said:
“Pubs goers and beer drinkers want to see urgent action from government to make sure that the UK’s best beers, brands and breweries can survive these unprecedented times of rocketing energy and ingredient costs and a dip in consumer confidence.
“With businesses having pulled out all the stops to make it through the pandemic, it would be a travesty if more of our local, small and independent breweries were forced to close for good now due to the crisis with the cost of energy, goods, and doing business.”
The organisations have also asked the Government to pause and reflect on new regulations such as the Deposit Return Schemes which will separate the UK’s internal market for beer.
The full letter can be read here.