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27th March 2023

CAMRA: tax reforms brilliant news for small brewers and cider makers, but changes needed to avoid a stealth ban on takeaway pints

Beer and pub consumer group responds to details on alcohol tax reforms

Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman, has responded to the publication of details on reforms to the Alcohol Duty System, coming into force on 1 August 2023.

On the new draught duty rate for beer and cider:

“CAMRA has campaigned for many years to secure a draught duty rate, and we are pleased that this has come to fruition. We particularly welcome the confirmation that traditional gravity dispense will be captured within the new, lower, duty rate.

“With the Chancellor extending the differential between the general and draught duty rates to 9.2% in the Budget, we look forward to campaigning to further increase that differential to the benefit of pubs, social clubs, and consumers.”

On the new Small Producer Relief Scheme:

“Small brewers and cider makers will be pleased to see the details of the new Small Producer Relief Scheme, so that they can start planning for the future.

“With stubbornly high inflation and the impending cliff-edge drop-off in energy bill support, small producers need more help than ever to compete with the purchasing power and economies of scale enjoyed by the global producers that dominate the UK beer and cider market.

“Small cider makers will also benefit from a progressive duty system for the first time ever, supporting them to grow and increase choice of artisanal ciders for consumers.”

On the announcement that decanting from draught-duty paid containers for consumption off the premises will be prohibited:

“Despite our formal representations and extensive engagement with the Treasury, a workable solution to allow pubs and social clubs to make incidental takeaway draught sales has not been found. It’s good that specialist bottle shops will be able to buy casks and kegs with the general duty rate paid on them to make takeaway sales, but most publicans – who the draught duty rate is designed to benefit – won’t be able to afford or accommodate extra draught containers just to make takeaway sales.

“This, if implemented, will equate to a stealth ban on takeaway pints and is extremely disappointing for licensees and consumers, and especially designated drivers that like to take away a pint or two to enjoy responsibly at home. We will continue to campaign for a workable solution.”

On the confirmation that the reforms will apply in Northern Ireland:

“We are pleased to see confirmation that the reforms will apply to Northern Ireland, including the Small Producer Relief Scheme. Northern Ireland has a growing independent small beer and cider scene, and those producers need to be supported in their quest to increase choice for consumers.”

Notes to editors:

Details published today include the new duty rates from 1 August, details from HMRC and the full Government response to the last round of consultation on the reforms.

Government response containing new duty rates: M5209_M5348_Alcohol_Duty_Review_consultation_response_FINAL.pdf (

HMRC information: Reform of Alcohol Duty Rates and Reliefs – GOV.UK (

About CAMRA:

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 160,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.

Press release from CAMRA.

Media Contact:

CAMRA Press Office:
01727 337863