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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Cask conditioned beer: Undrinkable sediment in practice

Brewers should have a regular programme for monitoring undrinkable sediment levels in cask conditioned beers to ensure that actual sediment volumes are consistent with those he has notified to his customers on invoices, delivery notes or price lists etc. Brewers are required to make clear the dutiable volume in each container to their customers. Further information can be found in paragraphs 11.3.5 to 11.3.7 of Notice 226 

It is not acceptable to base undrinkable sediment allowances on the volumes of beer returned to brewers in casks from the trade. The containers have left the brewers’ control and the integrity of the beer returned is uncertain.

If the brewer is using the most common method for establishing undrinkable sediment volumes do not agree a percentage figure across the various qualities and container sizes. The agreed undrinkable sediment figures should be in pints or litres for each container size and type of beer produced. If the brewer chooses to use a laboratory method to measure undrinkable sediment, there may be a common percentage figure across container sizes.

Sediment levels should be regularly monitored by brewers, reviewed and amended at least annually. HMRC must be notified of sediment levels.