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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

Small brewery beer: Introduction and Law

Also known as small brewers’ relief, small brewery beer is an EU wide scheme, provided for by Article 4 of Council Directive 92/83/EEC which allows Member States to apply reduced rates of duty to beer produced by smaller brewers, enabling them to compete more easily with larger brewers.

When it was originally introduced in the UK on 1st June 2002, reduced rates were available to brewers producing 30,000 hectolitres or less in a calendar year, but this was raised to the current level of 60,000 hectolitres or less on 1st June 2004.

Sections 36A to 36H of ALDA deal with small brewery beer.