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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Registration: Classes of beer

Brewers and registered holders may hold only those classes of beer that are specified on their registration certificate. The four main classes of beer are:

  1. Bulk beer held at the same or adjacent premises at which it was produced
  2. Packaged beer held at the same or adjacent premises at which it was produced or packaged
  3. Bulk beer, which was produced elsewhere
  4. Packaged beer, which was produced elsewhere

Brewers and their brewery premises will normally be registered to produce, hold and move the beer they produce in duty suspension - classes A and B. Additionally, they may be registered to receive and hold in duty suspension - classes C and D.

Packagers may be registered to hold the beer they have packaged in duty suspension - class B and to receive and hold bulk beer in duty suspension for packaging - class C.

Note: Brewers who hold class D are allowed to receive, hold and move third party packaged beer in duty suspension either purchased by them or owned by other parties. However, this practice is restricted in that it must be incidental to the main activity in the registered premises which is the brewing of beer. Where this is not the case, the brewer may have to apply for approval as an excise warehouse.