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Freedom Brewery, the award-winning, pioneering lager brewer, has announced the appointment of James Coyle as Executive Chairman.

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, a proud part of AB InBev, is bolstering its wholesale leadership team, with two new appointments.

London’s Meantime Brewing has become the official drinks partner of Record Store Day, the annual marketing event to promote independent record shops.

Adnams has teamed up with Cornwall’s Harbour Brewing for the second beer in its 2021 collaboration brew series.

London’s Beavertown brewery has launched a fruit-laden version of its Gamma Ray American pale ale for the summer market.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has unveiled a new look for its Originals range of bottled beers.

The redesign covers The Original, Irish Whiskey Cask and Caribbean Rum Cask, a new name for the Blood Red Sky beer.

The move includes the introduction of clear glass to allow each beer’s colour to be seen by purchasers, and the addition of a four-pack of 33cl bottles.

The new bottles will start to appear on-shelf this month.

Founder and master brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp said: “Our new look Originals range, led by our flagship beer The Original, is another step forward for Innis & Gunn.

Grimbergen, part of the Carlsberg Group. has unveiled its new brewery inside the famous Grimbergen Abbey near Brussels, Belgium.

Marks & Spencer is relaunching its craft beer own-label range with supplier partner, Real Drinks, formerly known as Real Ale.

Heineken UK has announced the appointment of Jonathan Ford as off-trade director.

Heineken, the official partner of the UEFA Euro 2020, has launched its latest limited-edition range of bottles.

The Co-op has joined forces with Brewdog to launch an exclusive brew called United Planet.

Risk Capital Partners (RCP) has marked the completion of its purchase of the award-winning Curious Brewery by appointing a new management team to lead the business into the next phase in its development.

A group of independent UK beer shops have forged a path together to highlight their sector and host an annual celebration.

Northern Monk brewery and snack specialist Seabrook have joined forces to brew “the world’s first crisp-flavoured beers”.

Hush Heath Estate & Winery has launched two new beers under the Jake’s Drinks range.

Corona has launched a new, circular form of packaging for six-packs whereby it is harnessing surplus barley straw to create “a truly sustainable” paper packaging solution.

A new beer app built by and for the beer-drinking community has announced it is offering premium listings for free for six months to support the hospitality industry in getting back on its feet following a difficult year.

Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat has given a UK release to Duvel 6.66% – a variation on its classic 8.5% abv brand – brewed to commemorate the company’s 150th anniversary.

West Sussex brewer Hepworth has launched a bottled organic pale ale made with American hop varieties.

Beer continues to lead with way with off-trade growth, according to the latest Nielsen data.

Morgenrot Lands Wingtip

08 February, 2021

Manchester-based beer, wine and spirit importer Morgenrot has completed the acquisition of Sussex-based brewer and distributor Wingtip Brewing Company for an undisclosed fee. 

Southampton-based Unity Brewing has updated the pack designs for its range of craft beers.

The Suffolk brewer St Peter’s has been sold by John Murphy who founded it 23 years ago.

Alcohol-free brewer, Big Drop, has teamed up with four leading Nordic breweries to launch a limited-edition range of 0.5% abv collaboration brews.

West Berkshire Brewery has partnered with Seattle based Reuben's Brews, to brew and distribute its range of beers for the UK market.

Somerset brewer Yonder is launching two limited edition seasonal beers, made from locally-foraged ingredients.

Beer producers have slammed the Government’s latest lockdown rules, which ban takeaway alcohol sales from pubs.

More than three hundred small independent breweries have signed a letter by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) to the Prime Minister, calling on him to commit to “proper support” for the sector which has been decimated by the Covid lockdowns in 2020. 
 
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. 
 
Added to this, the Government is planning a tax increase for brewers via its planned changes to Small Breweries’ Relief (SBR) – the scheme that revolutionised brewing in the UK and made it viable for small businesses to compete against the Global beer companies.
 
James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive, said: “Over three hundred 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.

A cross party group of MPs, including former Pubs Minister Andrew Percy, are today calling on the Chancellor to reconsider changes to a scheme which many believe has transformed the small brewing sector in the UK. 
 
In a letter signed by 103 MPs, they argue that altering Small Breweries’ Relief (SBR) will put "a great British success story" under threat at a time when many businesses are struggling to survive.
 
SBR has provided the basis for growth and innovation in the brewing sector and means there is a small brewery in nearly every constituency, employing 6,000 full time jobs and contributing £270 million to GDP each year. 

The letter has been signed by Members of Parliament from across the political divide – including a significant number of Conservative MPs who see local brewers as key parts of their local communities and crucial to the levelling-up agenda. 15 MPs went to the House of Commons in November to speak in a debate on the subject, while more than 50,000 people from across the UK have signed a petition calling for the Government to reverse the decision.
 
Former Pubs Minister Andrew Percy MP, who organised the letter, said: “Small breweries have been at the heart of the craft beer revolution and exist in every part of the UK. They’re often led by entrepreneurial young people, whose innovations in brewing are helping expand choice for the increasingly discerning British drinker.

“Small Breweries’ Relief is key to the success of our small breweries that are leading innovation, creating jobs in our communities and helping to bring people together. The brewing sector has been hurt badly by Covid and needs Treasury support to thrive. Now is not the time for the Government to turn its back on our small breweries by introducing potentially damaging changes to SBR”.

Under the current system, small breweries pay a proportionate amount of tax on the small amount of beer they produce compared to the global companies that dominate the industry. Up to 5,000 hectolitres – which is about 900,000 pints – they pay 50% of beer duty to the Treasury. 

Plans announced by the Treasury in July will see the 50% threshold reduced from 5,000 hl to 2,100hl – meaning that over 150 small breweries will have to pay more tax. At the same time, those larger in size will pay the same amount of tax or less. The Treasury also proposes converting the relief to a ‘cash basis’ which could see support for all brewers receiving SBR being eroded away.

Chief Executive of the Society of Independent Brewers, James Calder said: “SBR has been a great success, revolutionising brewing in the UK and allowing more brewers to start up and compete against the global companies that dominate beer in our country. The Chancellor is forcing destructive changes on small breweries, which we have not asked for and do not support. The Treasury needs to urgently reverse course, not reduce the 50% threshold below 5,000hl and give the industry something to cheer about.”
 
This letter comes as the Treasury announces plans to plough ahead with the changes and has launched a technical consultation to consider how to implement them. 
 
Small breweries have been amongst the hardest hit during the Covid crisis, losing 80% of their sales during the lockdowns when the pubs have closed without the same Government support package as the hospitality sector.