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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

Cask conditioned beer: Volume reductions for undrinkable sediment

Brewers may claim a reduction in volume for duty purposes in respect of yeast and hops sedimented in the cask. Because it is not fit for consumption, HMRC have allowed brewers to deduct the amount of undrinkable sediment from their dutiable volumes. The undrinkable sediment may vary between products and brewers. It will also vary according to the method(s) of calculation used by the brewer.

There is no prescribed method for establishing undrinkable sediment volumes but the most common method is for brewers to replicate in their sample stores what would normally happen to cask beer in pub cellars. This will involve treating the beer as it would be dispensed in the trade, following the brewer’s prescribed cellar practices. The brewer should measure the volume that is undrinkable due to being cloudy with the sedimented yeast and hops.