George Osborne raises a glass to Nottingham brewers in his budget speech promising cheap beer
GEORGE Osborne has raised a glass to Notts brewers - and those who love their beer - in his budget speech.
Today 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.
Managing director Colin Wilde from Castle Rock Brewery, Queen's Bridge Road, Nottingham, which brews the former Champion Beer of Britain,Harvest Pale, 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 money 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, 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 anymore rises would have resulted in a decline which isn’t good for anyone.”
Daniel Glass, assistant manager at the Approach pub in the city centre, part of the local pub chain, Great Northern Inns, hopes the end of the beer duty escalator might help change a trend he’s noticed.
“We’ve lost a lot of after-work drinkers,” said Mr Glass, 21. “They’re just heading straight out of town.”