News story

Damian Hinds visits brewer to mark the resurgence of British beer

Toasts are raised to Budget’s beer duty freeze and the growth of UK breweries ahead of St George’s day.

Exchequer Secretary Damian Hinds today (22 April 2016) visited Hogs Back Brewery in Surrey to highlight the government’s commitment to supporting the beer industry, as latest figures reveal growing numbers of breweries opening across the UK.

Latest published figures show that there are now an estimated 1,700 breweries across the UK, double the number than in 2010. The BBPA (Beer and Pub Association) also estimate that the beer and pubs sector is now responsible for nearly 900,000 jobs across the country.

News of the success of the industry follows the announcement of further government support at Budget 2016 when the tax on beer was frozen, knocking 10p off the tax paid on a typical pint of beer in comparison to what it would have been if the beer duty escalator was still in place. In addition, an estimated 75% of pubs stand to save hundreds of pounds per year as a result of the changes made at Budget to business rates.

On the visit to Hogs Back Brewery ahead of St George’s Day, the Exchequer Secretary toured the award-winning brewery and met the owners and staff, together with representatives of the BBPA to discuss the impact of government support to the industry.

According to CAMRA, the industry now produces an estimated 11,000 beer choices in the UK, including one-off specials and seasonal beers (including a seasonal ale called England’s Glory available at Hogs Back Brewery).

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Damian Hinds said:

Our beer is the best in the world so it’s especially fitting that on St George’s day we raise a glass of expertly brewed beer to celebrate our booming beer industry.

At Budget 16 we were pleased to support pubs and brewers by freezing beer duty and cutting business rates. But we will continue to listen to industry stakeholders like the BBPA and I am determined to help where we can to ensure that breweries like the superb Hogs Back continue to thrive.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds said:

Hogs Back are a fine example of the strength of brewing in the UK and I’m delighted that the Exchequer Secretary was able to see that first hand. The freeze announced at the Budget means that beer duty is now 17 per cent lower than it would have been had the Chancellor stuck with the escalator policy, giving the industry the confidence to invest for the future.

Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson said:

We were delighted to show Mr Hinds round our brewery and adjoining hop garden, which are thriving in part due to the government’s recent freeze on beer duty, and cuts of previous years.

Hogs Back has followed the government’s lead by holding wholesale prices of its beers to customers for the rest of 2016.

We are happy to discuss the impact of government support on our business, including our views on making changes to Small Breweries’ Relief so that small businesses like ours are encouraged to grow.

Further information

CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) estimate that the UK also has more breweries per head of the population than any other country in the world.

Hogs Back Brewery hosted the Minister’s visit and is an award-winning brewery. The company, who have their own traditional hop garden, won the BBPA industry ‘Grain to Glass’ award in 2015. The BBPA awarded this as Hogs Back ‘showed real innovation and a community focused approach, involving local people, highlighting the integrity of the product, and generating considerable interest in beer and how it is made. The brewery also won the SIBA Business Innovation Award Winner for 2016 as recognition of its investment in its hop garden

The British Beer & Pub Association is a leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. For more information please visit here