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29th September 2020

SIBA comment on the impact of the latest Covid-19 restrictions on the UK’s independent breweries

Commenting on the impact of  the latest Covid-19 restrictions on the UK’s independent breweries James Calder, Chief Executive of SIBA said: 

“Monday should be a busy day for brewery orders, but publicans today are in a state of despair. They are not ordering beer because they are anticipating an imminent ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown that will close their pubs not just for another fortnight, but potentially for good.

The message Government are sending to the brewing sector is that despite everything we have done to make our sector safe, despite that the Government’s own evidence points toward a tiny minority of transmission is coming from hospitality that we are the still the big problem. We as a sector are being scapegoated because the Government need to be seen to be doing something – without being shown the evidence and rationale used to explain the decision.

We know from the first lockdown that you cannot simply switch on or switch off a pub or a brewery. A ‘social lockdown’ will deal a huge financial blow to hundreds, if not thousands of businesses. If Government go down this route they need to provide the evidence, in advance, that a shutdown of pubs and breweries will help tackle the virus. If they can, then Government also need to provide a full furlough extension, business rate support, rent support, cuts to VAT on beer and reverse the planned tax changes for small breweries. Parliament should be allowed to debate any new restrictions, not simply enacted through emergency powers.”


The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) are the voice of British independent brewing.

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