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Press Release


CAMRA comments on research showing that Treasury tax changes could damage small brewers and restrict consumer choice 

New academic research released by the Society of Independent Brewers shows that Government’s plans for Small Brewers’ Relief could further hamper access to market for small brewers 

One year on from the Treasury announcement on changes to the Small Brewers’ Relief Scheme, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has released academic research from Professors Geoff Pugh and David Tyrrall showing the damaging effect that the plans could have on the small brewing sector, and consequently consumer choice.  

CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona said: 

“This research confirms a concern that CAMRA has had for some time – that in considering the reforms to Small Brewers’ Relief, the Treasury has not considered the acute access to market issues facing small brewers, and only relied on data about production costs. This could have a devastating impact for consumers choice if small brewers go bust or can’t grow in future. 

“Small Brewers’ Relief was introduced to help small brewers compete against much larger brewers in two ways – by addressing economies of scale in productions costs and to help compensate smaller brewers for the difficulties they had accessing a market largely foreclosed to them due to the dominance of global brewers and restrictive purchasing agreements that prevented tenants from buying beer from anyone except their brewery or pub company. 

“The situation for small brewers has not changed, and the pandemic has been devastating for them – with pubs shut, their man sales channel shut too. Global brewers now dominate the UK beer and pub market, and pub companies continue to prevent their tenants from buying beer from local and independent breweries. In light of this new research, CAMRA is calling on the Treasury to once again re-think these tax changes, before small brewers close and consumers lose out on choice.” 

Notes to editors: 

CAMRA’s submission to the Treasury’s technical consultation on changes to Small Brewers’ Relief is here:  

Professors Geoff Pugh and David Tyrrall’s academic research is available from SIBA on request: