The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has set out its manifesto to turbocharge independent brewing in the UK.

Ahead of the general election on December 12, it is urging the next government to adopt 15 policies, covering five key areas, which will encourage growth and sustainability for the UK’s craft brewers.

The UK has been at the forefront of the global craft beer revolution, but there are huge challenges now facing the industry. These include the duty burden, the review of small breweries’ relief, an unfair business rate regime, unfair practices, and difficulties getting products to market.

The manifesto is therefore calling on the new government to introduce 15 policies.

Small breweries’ relief

  1. Positive reform of the curve above 5,000hl of annual production to encourage growth
  2. No withdrawal of any relief for any small brewer, so protecting jobs, businesses and investment
  3. Clarity on control, connected parties, and collaborations

Alcohol duty

  1. Commit to freeze beer duty for the duration of the next Parliament
  2. Bring cider duty into line with beer duty
  3. An alcohol duty review that protects the UK’s national drink, beer

Business rates

  1. A long-term solution to help pubs on disproportionate business rates
  2. More specific help in the short to medium term
  3. A Treasury review into the differential between business rates of small brewers and global brewers

Market fairness

  1. Commit to ensuring a real, free, and fair market rent only option for tied tenants in the Pubs Code
  2.  Remove the ‘significant price trigger’ for small brewery beer within the Pubs Code
  3.  Ensure HMRC enforcement teams are properly resourced to tackle duty fraud

Deposit return schemes for cans and bottles

  1.  One scheme for the whole of the UK
  2.  Start with plastic initially, and on-the-go products
  3.  De-minimis thresholds for small producers

SIBA chief executive, James Calder, said: “Independent brewing in the UK has been in the ascendency, with so much choice, quality and flavour in the UK beer.

“However, there are huge challenges facing the sector, and the next government is in a position to secure the sustainability and future of the UK’s craft brewers.”

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