Chancellor raises a glass to brewers and beer drinkers
GEORGE Osborne has raised a glass to Notts brewers – and those who love their beer – in his Budget speech.
The Chancellor revealed that the beer duty escalator has been scrapped and that the cost of a pint will be reduced by a penny.
With 33 breweries in Notts, and a fair few who enjoy a pint, the news has been welcomed in the county.
Colin Wilde, managing director of Castle Rock Brewery, in Queen's Bridge Road, Nottingham, said: "Our view is that the beer duty escalator should never have been put in place. It has not achieved anything apart from closing pubs.
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"The decision to scrap it is encouraging because it shows that the people in power are listening. All the other costs of running breweries and pubs are still going up so this is also a welcome break.
"We now have some stability for the future."
Since 2008, beer duty had risen by 50 per cent with the extra cost being passed on to the customer.
Across the country 10,000 pubs have closed in the last decade.
Nottingham has a strong brewing history because the city's water is perfect for making beer and the sandstone cellars help regulate a constant temperature.
Director John Hickling, from the Blue Monkey Brewery, based in Pentrich Road, Giltbrook, added: "We still have very high beer tax compared to some countries in Europe.
"This is a step in the right direction but it is the people that have spent all week working and have to pay a lot for a pint of beer on a Friday evening that suffer.
"The micro industry is booming at the minute but any more rises would have resulted in a decline."
Assistant manager Daniel Glass from The Approach, Friar Lane, said: "After-work trade has suffered the most in recent years.
"People have not been coming in for a pint but hopefully that will change now.
"When people do come in they make their drinks last as long as possible.
"Hopefully we can get more customers through the door."
Ale drinker Wilson Alvarez, 32, from The Park, Nottingham, said: "A further rise in beer tax would have gone too far.
"You do not want to be paying more than £3 a pint and hopefully the announcement will mean that pubs will keep the prices down.
"Over time it will make all the difference.
"It is nice to see something that has not gone up."