More than 300 small independent breweries have signed a letter to the prime minister calling on him to commit to proper support for the sector in 2021. 

SIBA beer

Small breweries have faced harsh restrictions on their businesses over the last year and saw sales plummet by an average of 80% during lockdown. But have not received much of the support given to the wider hospitality sector. 
 
To make matters worse for struggling businesses, the government is planning a tax increase for brewers with changes to small breweries’ Relief (SBR) — the scheme that revolutionised brewing in the UK and made it viable for small businesses to compete against global beer companies.

The letter was co-ordinated by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), whose chief executive, James Calder, said: “Over 300 small breweries coming together to write to the prime minister will, we hope, convey the depth of feeling from the independent brewing sector that it has constantly been overlooked, but more so that it is imperative this government acts now or risks setting the British brewing industry back a decade with widespread business closures.

“The hugely important Christmas period has been a joyless one for brewers, as the vast majority of their market is closed, yet there has been no compensation and little support forthcoming.
 
“The prime minister needs to make it his New Year’s resolution to help small breweries, secure the future of one of Britain’s most successful manufacturing industries, and deliver an urgent package of direct support for small independent breweries.”

The commitments sought

  • Extend the hospitality support to cover small breweries, including the business rates holiday
  • Compensate small brewers for the millions of pints that have to be thrown away when pubs are forced to close
  • Scrap the proposed changes to small brewers’ relief to create a sustainable future for the industry

Scotland sets the example

The letter has been delivered to the prime minister today and asks: “Please make it your New Year resolution to assist those who have missed out on Covid support this year: our small independent breweries.”

It also highlights the symbiotic relationship between small breweries and pubs, and points out that breweries did not receive the business rates holiday, £25,000 hospitality grant, or direct support in the VAT cut or Eat Out to Help Out schemes, both of which excluded alcohol, including beer.
 
The letter comes following the Scottish government pledging £1.8m for small breweries in that country, and in Northern Ireland business rates holidays have been extended to manufacturers — policies which SIBA argues could and should be mirrored by the UK government.

The letter

Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Westminster
London, SW1A 2AA

31 December 2020

Dear Prime Minister

Please make it your New Year resolution to assist those who have missed out on Covid support this year: Our small independent breweries.

Small independent breweries are community focused, local businesses that continue to be seriously impacted by the tough restrictions and the closure of pubs. We have been left out of the Government’s support of hospitality and now face a tax rise at the exact moment of economic crisis.

Covid without support

Small breweries have a symbiotic relationship with pubs and during the lockdowns, when pubs are forced to close,  we lost more than 80% of our trade. At the same time we have been one step behind the rest of hospitality when it comes to Government support.  We did not receive:

  • the business rates holiday
  • £25,000 grant 
  • direct support in the VAT cut and Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

During lockdown, 5 million pints of spoilt beer had to be poured away with small brewers footing the bill. The tier restrictions have decimated our trade. Even though we have no one to sell to, we are not seen as closed businesses for Government support. Many small breweries have also not qualified for discretionary local authority grants. We are now running on empty and we have already seen two small breweries a week closing for good this summer, during winter those numbers are likely to rise.

To make matters worse, your Government has recently announced a tax hike on small brewers. Hundreds of small independent breweries will be expected to pay more to the Treasury through planned changes to Small Breweries’ Relief. The change to a ‘cash basis’ rather than relief being calculated on a percentage basis will also mean every small brewery will pay more automatically when reforms come in. Now is simply not the time for a tax hike on small businesses. 

Solution to #BACKLOCALBEER and secure growth

We need an urgent package of support to get us through this crisis before it is too late, and what we are asking for is very simple. Scotland has recently announced direct grants for small breweries and Northern Ireland has extended Business Rates holidays to include our sector.  The Government should:

  • Extend the hospitality support to cover small breweries, including the Business Rates holiday
  • Compensate small brewers for the millions of pints that have to be thrown away when pubs are forced to close
  • Scrap the proposed changes to Small Brewers Relief so we can have a sustainable future as an industry.

You have an unenviable job and we are not wanting to write a letter of grievances to you as Prime Minister, but we as an industry are peering over the edge, into the abyss. It’s time to act and support small businesses and small breweries, so that we can continue to grow and create skilled jobs in the future. Please #backlocalbeer.

Yours sincerely,

James Calder
Chief Executive
Society of Independent Brewers

Laura Rangeley
Communications Manager
Abbeydale Brewery Ltd

Dave Hughes
Managing Director 
Acorn Brewery 

Andy Herrington
Owner & MD
Ainsty Ales Brewery

Thomas Hick
Founder/ Managing Director
Allendale Brew Co Ltd

Jair Sian
Managing Director
Alphabet Brewing Company

Andrew Hipwell
Director
Ampersand Brew Co Ltd

David Gibbons
Chairman
Amwell Springs Brewery Company Ltd

Richard Martin
Managing Director 
Andwell Brewing Company Ltd

John Hobday
Director
Anspach & Hobday

Gerald Michaluk
Managing Director
Arran Brewery

Brian Taylor
Managing Director
Artisan Craft Brewery Ltd

Stuart Walker
Owner
Arundel Brewery

Chris Davies
Director 
Ascot Brewing Company

Michael Richards
Head Brewer
Axholme Brewing Co

Dean Baker
Director / Head Brewer
Baker’s Dozen Brewing Co.

David Sweeney
Owner
Bank Top Brewery Limited

David Snaith
Director
Barnard Castle Brewing Co

Roland Elliott-Berry
Director
Battledown Brewing Co.

Ian Mcgrath
Brewer
Beath Brewing

Mark Riches
Managing Director
Beeston Brewery Ltd 

James Atherton
Director
The Beerblefish Brewing Company

Dave Carr
Director/co-owner
Bewdley Brewery Ltd

Cliff Murphy
Owner
Bexley Brewery

Paul Jefferies
Director
Big Bog Brewing Company Limited

Rob Fink
CEO
Big Drop Brewing

Adrian Porteous
Owner
Big Stone Beer Ltd

Trevor Jeffery 
Director 
Billericay Brewing

Darren Marks
Brewer/Director
Bingley Brewery

Alex Wilson
Director
Black Iris Brewery

Jonathon Crump
Managing Director
Black Tor Brewery

Wayne Roper
Owner/Director
Blackedge Brewing Company Ltd

Lloyd Chamberlain
Company Director
Blindmans Brewery Limited

Amanda Robson
Managing Director
Blue Monkey Brewery

Emily Hutchinson
Director
Bluestone Brewing Company

Alex Dudley 
Partner
Blythe Brewery 

Petr Skocek
Director 
Bohem Brewery

Lee Wainwright
Manging Director
Bollington Brewing Co. ltd

Roy Allkin
Director
Boss Brewing Co Ltd

Richard Marsden
Director
Bosun’s Brewing Co.

Andrew Warburton
Director
Bowland Brewery

Dave Gowler
Director
Bowler’s Brewery

Ray Page
Director
Bowman Ales Ltd

Lisa Moat 
Director
Bradfield Brewery Ltd

David Evans
Director
Braemar Brewing Co. Ltd

Robat Jones
Director
Bragdy Lleu Cyf

Jon Leeming
Director
Brampton Brewery

Paul Dimond
Company Chairman
Branscombe Vale Brewery

Phil Saltonstall
Director
Brass Castle Brewery

Roland Kannor
Managing Director
Brentwood Brewery

Wayne Smith
Managing Director
Brew York Ltd

Sven Kerstens
Manager Brewpubs Brewdog
Brewdog Tower Hill

Sara Barton
Co-owner and Director 
Brewster’s Brewing Co Ltd

Ian Stewart
Owner, Founder
Brick Brewery

James Kelly
Brewery Manager
Bridgehouse Brewery

Giles Hawkins
Proprietor
Bridgetown Brewery

Neil Friedrich
Director
Brightside Brewing Company Ltd

Mark Baxter
Sales & Operations Manager
Brimstage Brewery

Lee Renforth
Founder & Owner
Brinkburn St Brewery

Martin Smith
Owner / Director
Broxbourne Brewery Ltd

Peter Alldis
Director/Owner
Brumaison Ltd

James Salmon
Director
Brunswick Brewing Company Ltd 

William Mayne
Managing Director
Bullhouse Brewing Company Ltd

Duncan Castling
Brewing Partner
Bun Dubh, Crafty Enviropunk Brewing, Tiree

Mark Tranter
Director 
Burning Sky

Geoff Mumford
Co-Director
Burton Bridge Brewery Ltd

Lee Byatt
Owner
Byatt’s Brewery

Samantha Faircliff
Managing Director
Cairngorm Brewery

Sam Calverley
Owner
Calverley’s Brewery

Alison Davis
Partner
Carlisle Brewing Co

Theo Corfield
Proprietor
Castle Brewery

Colin Wilde
Managing Director
Castle Rock Brewery

Duncan Vessey
Owner
Castor Ales

Mick Warburton
Director
Chantry Brewery Ltd

Jem Ham
Managing Director
Cheddar Ales Ltd

Nicholas Gillard
Proprietor
CHI Brewery

Sam Brown
Director 
Church Farm Brewery 

Kay Edwards
Director
City Of Cambridge

Brett Stephens
Director
Clearwater Brewery Limited

Robert Hinde
Owner 
Coastal Brewery

Thomas Knox 
Joint MD
Colchester Brewery

Buster Grant
Head Brewer
Cold Black Label / Brecon Brewing / Lithic Brewing

Stephen O’Connor
Director / Founder / Brewer
Common Rioters Beer Limited 

Gordon Wilkinson 
Head Brewer
Copper Dragon 

Norman Pearce
Owner/brewer
Corvedale Brewery

Steve Williams
Brewer
Cotswold Lion

Colin Bocking
Director
Crouch Vale Brewery Limited

David Snaith
Director
Crystalbrew Ltd

Anna Scantlebury
Director
Cullercoats Brewery Limited

Adam Cox
General Manager
Daleside Brewery

Richard Eyton-Jones
Owner
Dark Horse Brewery

Ian Cobham
Managing Director
Dartmoor Brewery Ltd

Gavin Sutherland
Brewing & Development Manager
Darwin Brewery Ltd

Glen Dawkins
Proprietor
Dawkins Ales

George Stewart
Director
Deeply Vale Brewery LTD

Ben Taub
Director
Deviant & Dandy 

William Douglas
Director
Docks Beers

Neel Singh
Managing Director
Dorking Brewery

Giles Smeath
Managing Director
Dorset Brewing Company

Ian Burns
Brewer
Dove Street Brewery    

Simon Carruthers
Director/Brewer
Dowr Kammel Brewing Company Ltd

Craig Lee
Brewer
Drone Valley Brewery  

Alex Lewis
Founder / Brewer
Earth Ale

Tony Pygott
Proprietor
8 Sail Brewery

Belinda Sutton    
Managing Director
Elgood & Sons Ltd        

Andy Parker
Director
Elusive Brewing

Nick Law
Director     
Emmanuales

Barrie Roberts
Director
The Ennerdale Brewery 

Vanesa Blas Montoya
Head brewer
Essex Street Brewery             

Libby Stroud-Kroon
Managing Director/ Owner
Exe Valley Brewery Limited            

Alan Collyer
Managing director
Exeter Brewery

Mark Moran        
Director
The Ferry Brewery 

Bill King      
Director/Brewer
Firebird Brewing Company

Sam Kellie
Director
First & Last Brewery     

Richard Garner
Managing Director
First Chop Brewing Arm Ltd

Edward Mason    
Co-Founder
The Five Points Brewing Company

Edward Blockley
Owner
Flash Brewery     

Martin Wood
Head brewer
Fool Hardy Ales

Steve Ryan
CEO / Co-Founder
40FT Brewery 

Jordan Millington 
Director 
4Ts Brewhouse 

Thomas Fownes
Director / Brewer
Fownes Brewing Co.    

Toby Ejsmond-Frey
Director
Friendship Adventure  

Richard Lyall        
Director
Frome Brewing Company Ltd         

Ben Cleary
Owner        
Full Circle Brew Co

Ben Croston        
Managing Director
Fuzzy Duck Brewery              

Mark Mawson
Director
George’s Brewery

Sam McMeekin   
Managing Director
The Gipsy Hill Brewing Company

Calum McCormick
Director
Glen Affric Brewery

Stephen Taylor
Director
The Godstone Brewers Ltd 

Libby Elswood
Sales & Operations Manager
Goffs Brewery     

Zack Ahmed        
Director
The Goodness Brewing Company 

David Atkinson    
Director
Goose Eye Brewery Ltd.        

John Allcroft        
Sales Manager
Grafton Fine Ales

Phil Halls    
Director
Grain Brewery     

Ben Duck
Director     
Gravity Well Brewing Company     

Matthew Hodgson
Director
Great Newsome Brewery

Paul Minnikjn
Managing Director
The Great North Eastern Brewing Co Ltd

Leanne Stone      
Director
Great Western Brewery

Alan Preece
Director     
Green Duck Beer Co. Ltd

Sue Staunton
Sales, Marketing & Finance Manager
Green Jack Brewing Company Ltd  

James Robson
Managing Director
Grounding Angels Brew Co

Mark Berry
Director
Gun Brewery       

Nigel Smith
Proprietor brewer
Gwaun Valley Brewery 

Jonathan Hosking
Director / Brewer         
GYLE 59

Peter Hills  
Director
Hackney Brewery         

William Compton
Head Brewery/Director
Hadham Brewery

Shona Burrows
Director               
Hadrian Border   

Jackie Rogers
Owner
Half Moon Brewery Ltd         

Ben Harrison
Managing Director
Hanbleton Brewery

Stuart Cail
Master Brewer/Director
Harviestoun Brewery   

Kevin Hunt
Owner
Hattie Browns Brewery Ltd

Marc Sage
Owner
Hedgedog Brewing Ltd

Kyle Boote
Owner
Helmsley Brewing Co.  

Richard Marshall
Proprietor/Head Brewer
Hermitage Brewery               

Heather Scott
Partner
High House Farm Brewery    

Sarah Saleh
Director
The Hop Shed               

Robert Hayes         
Owner
Hop & Stagger Brewery 

Steve Hullah
Owner / Brewer
The Hop Studio

Antonius Prins
Director
Hopdaemon Brewery Co. Ltd

Stuart Swann 
Director/Head Brewer
Howard Town Brewery Ltd   

Peter Holt
Director
Howling Hops

John Ridealgh 
Owner
Humber Doucy Brewing Company

Lesley George 
Partner & Business Manager
Humpty Dumpty Brewery     

Peter McNaught
Director
Hurly Burly Brewery Ltd

Fleur Lane
Owner/Operations Manager          
Hurst Brewery Ltd        

Rab Lee
Director / head brewer
Hybrid Brewing

Richard Shelton
Managing Director
Ilkley Brewery Co. Ltd

Simon Cockerill 
Managing Director
Isaac Poad Brewing

Dirk Kelly
Director / Owner
Itchen Valley Brewery  

Charles Abbott
Director
IVO Brewery Ltd  

Beckie Thackeray
Credit Control Manager        
Joules Brewery

Karen Moore
Director               
Kelburn Brewery          

Edward Wickett 
Managing Director
Kelham Island Brewery

Evin O’Riordain
Director
The Kernel Brewery 

Sue Jefferson
Director
Keswick Brewing Co     

Antony Field
Director
Kettlesmith Brewing Co

Jez O’Neill  
Proprietor and Brewer
King’s Cliffe Brewery    

Charlotte Kerr
Administrator
Konigsberg Seven Bridges Breweries       

Sean Gregory
Finance & Operations Director
Lacons Brewery Limited        

Robert Dockerty
Managing Director       
Larkins Brewery

Ant Stevens
Co-Owner / Brewer               
Ledbury Real Ales

Alex Brandon-Davies
Head Brewer       
Legitimate Industries             

Ian Rydings
Director
Leigh on Sea Brewery  

Jack Winter         
Brewery Manager
Lenton Lane Brewery   

Anthony Hughes 
Director
Lincoln Green Brewing Company Limited

Rhys Brokenshire
Head Brewer
Lincolnshire Craft Beers Ltd  

Alan Waite 
Director
Lister’s Brewery

Mark Steer          
Director
Little Critters Brewing Company

Aaron Baldwin    
Director
Little Ox Brew Co

Wim van der Spek
Director     
Little Valley Brewery             

Tom Shea
Director
Liverpool Brewing Company

Christie Slater
Director
Loch Leven Brewery     

Dan Hearn
Marketing Manager
Loddon Brewery

James Leaver      
Marketing Manager
London Beer Factory    

Senan Sexton
Director
London Brewing Co Ltd

Jamie Simm         
Director
Long Man Brewery

Jeff Rosenmeier
Director
Lovibonds Brewery Ltd

Ian Sizer
Director
Luddite Brewing Co Ltd         

Vivienne Bradford 
Director
Lymestone Brewery

Sarah Blesson     
Operations Manager
Mad Squirrel                

Larissa Graeber
Director
The Mad Yank Brewery

Richard Lever 
Director
Magic Dragon Brewing

Gavin Morrison
Director
Magpie Brewery

Rob Atkin
Director
Matlock Brewing Company Limited         

William Dunn
Manager
Mauldons Ltd      

Daniel McColl 
Director / Brewer
McColl’s Brewery 

Olga Zubrzycka
Director / Head Brewster
Mechanic Brewery       

Richard Matthews 
Director
Mile Tree Brewery Ltd

Kenneth Munro  
Managing Director       
Milestone Brewery      

Richard Naisby
Managing Director
Milton Brewery

James Brown 
Operations Manager
Moncada Brewery                 

Todd Matteson 
Co-founder & Managing Director
Mondo Brewing Company    

Rachel & David Holliday
Directors
Moon Gazer Ale at Norfolk Brewhouse   

Dominic Hughes 
Director
MoR Beers

Gary Morton
Owner
Morton Brewery

Tom Ray     
Head Brewer
Mourne Mountains Brewery

Peter Turner       
Director
Mumbles Brewery        

Tony Williams
Founder/Owner
Musket Brewery

Les O’Grady
Director
Neptune Brewery Limited     

John Bourdeaux
Managing Director
New River Brewery

Robert W March
Proprietor
Newby Wyke Brewery

Katie Marriott
Director
Nomadic Beers

Joel Graham
Office Manager   
The Nook Brewhouse   

John Gyngell
Director     
North Brewing Co

Stuart Neilson
Joint owner
North Riding Brewery            

Razvan Oltianu
Director
North Yorkshire Brewing Co LTD

Katie Spanjar 
Co-owner
NorthDown Brewery    

Brian Dickson 
Technical Director
Northern Monk Brew Co       

Geoff Hill   
Proprietor
Noss Beer Works          

Graham Kerry     
General Manager
The Nottingham Brewery Ltd         

David Sanders     
Head Brewer
Old Mill Brewery

Andrew Stone 
Director / head Brewer
Old Sawley Brewing Company

Daniele Costa      
Director
Ora Brewing

Robert Middleton
Founder
Orbit Brewing Limited 

Sean Griffiths
Sales Director
Ossett Brewery

Des Archer
Owner        
Padstow Brewing Co    

Richard Harrison 
Director
Papworth Brewery       

Frankie Kearns
Co-Founder
The Park Brewery

David Edwards
Managing Director and Brewer
Peakstones Rock Brewery     

Rose Briscoe       
Director
Peerless Brewing Company Ltd      

Debbie Clayton
Director
Pennine Brewing 

Mark Easterbrook
Director     
Pheasantry Brewery     

Alaric Neville       
Managing Director
Phipps NBC

Andrew Will
Proprietor  
The Plockton Brewery  

Alex Lyster
Head of Sales
Pillars Brewery

John Magill
Managing Director
Powderkeg Brewery

Philip Scotney 
Managing Director
Priors Well Brewery Ltd

Gill Stephenson
Owner
Prospect Brewery

Ryan Nish
Managing Director
Pure Beer

Paul Halsey
CEO
Purity Brewing Co        

Lawrence Washington
Managing Director
Purple Moose Brewery Ltd   

Cheryl Ford
Managing Director/Founder
Quantock Brewery       

Eddie Gadd
Head Brewer
Ramsgate Brewery

Andy Mansell
Owner
Red Cat Brewing

Andrew Moffat
Director
Redemption Brewing Company Limited  

Toby McKenzie
Director
RedWillow Brewery     

Mark Seaman
Director
Revolutions Brewing Company Ltd

Dave Lannigan
Head Brewer
Ride Brew Co                

Ian Fozard  
Director
Rooster’s

Mark Higgs 
General Manager
Salcombe Brewery

Mark Hill    
Director
Salopian Brewery         

Duncan Sambrook
Managing Director
Sambrook’s Brewery Limited

Stuart Deeley      
Owner
Sandstone  

Kit McAvoy
Director
Seven Bro7hers Brewery       

Iain Crockett
Director
Severn Brewing

Moira Ross
Director
The Shotover Brewing Company    

Charlie Luckin     
Managing Director                
Signal Brewery

Phil Sisson 
Owner
Simple Things Fermentations         

Stephen Ridgway 
Director
Slaughterhouse Brewery

David Dooley
Director
SlyBeast Brewing

Keith Duddy
Managing Director
The Sociable Beer Company  

Paul Bardsley 
Director
Southport Brewery Ltd 

Peter Jackson
Managing Director
Southwark Brewing Company        

Richard Womersley
Director
Spotlight Brewing         

Nick Smith 
Director
Steam Machine Brewing Company LTD

Jo Stewart  
Co-Founder 
Stewart Brewing

Alison Parr
Director
Stonehouse Brewery Limited         

Michael Hill         
Director
Stratford International Brewery Ltd        

Ben Buchanan 
Sales Manager
Strathaven Ales   

David Lewis         
Proprietor
Summerskills Brewery

Ross Hunter        
Director
Surrey Hills Brewery Ltd

Rob Hill      
Owner
Swannay Brewery        

Matt Elliott
Managing Director
Tap Social Movement  

Terry Kinsella
Head Brewer
Tapeast 

Christopher Gooch       
Brewer       
Teme Valley Brewery   

David Dodd
Brewery Manager
Three Brothers Brewing Company Limited                

Ewan McCann
Director
Three Kings Brewery    

Wilson Digby 
Sales Director
Three Sods Brewery     

David Russell
Managing Director
Three Tuns Brewery

Tom Sell 
Managing Director
ThreeAM Brewery        

Matthew Stevenson
Director
Tinworks Brewing Co. 

Chris Tomlinson  
Director
Tirril Brewery               

Keith Bott MBE 
Director
Titanic Brewery   

Sean Ayling 
Owner
Tom’s Tap and Brewhouse

Rachel Mitchell
Director
Tractor Shed Brewing  

John Lewis 
Head Brewer
Treboom Brewery        

George Brook
Owner
Triple Point Brewing              

Frank Maguire 
Head of Marketing
Truman’s Beer              

James Carver
Manager
Tudor Brewery    

Cameron McQueen
Co-owner
Turning Point Brewing Company    

Andrew Murray  
Director
Twisted Brewing

Keith Hayles
Director     
Twisted Oak Brewery Ltd

Will Neaverson             
Managing Director
Tydd Steam Brewery    

Julia Austin
Managing Director
Tyne Bank Brewery      

Jimmy Hatherley
Managing Director
Unity Brewing Co         

Andy Ockleton
Director     
Uttoxeter Brewing Company                   

Phil Newbould
Managing Director
Vale of Glamorgan Brewery Ltd

Jonathan Thomas
Customer Service and Sales            
Wadworth 

Jerry Lewitt
Director
Warwickshire Beer Company Ltd

Bryan Spooner    
Owner
Weird Beard Brew Co  

Geoff Southgate
Director
Wensleydale Brewery  

Robert Wicks         
Managing Director
Westerham Brewery Co Ltd           

Jaega Wise 
Head Brewer
Wild Card Brewery       

Mike Tempest
Director     
Wild Weather Ales Ltd

Giles Meadows   
Director
Wincle Beer Company Ltd              

Paddy Johnson 
Production Director
Windsor and Eton Brewery   

David Mackinnon         
Director
Winton Brewery

Adrian Chapman
Director
Wishbone Brewery

John Edwards      
Director     
Wolf Brewery

Heather McDonald      
Director
WooHa Brewing Company

Michael Whittaker                
Director
Worsthorne Brewing Co Ltd 

Gareth Xifaras 
Director
XT Brewing Company   

Rob Sherwood 
Managing Director
Yeovil Ales Brewery     

Nick Desai 
Co-Founder
Zerodegrees        

Kathy Britton 
Owner
Zest Brewery

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