Brewery director hits out at duty rise

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Sharp’s Brewery director Joe Keohane has slammed the rise in alcohol duty, announced in yesterday’s Pre-Budget Report.

Keohane said: “With an 8% increase on alcohol duty the Government has once again bowed to a campaign by anti drinking groups to punish the entire alcoholic drinks industry for the failings and recklessness of a few.

“This increase will do little to discourage the supermarkets from selling discounted alcohol as many hard pressed producers will no doubt seek to protect their supermarket shelf share by not passing on the increase to the major retailers.

“The Cask beer industry is the most vibrant part of the Beer Industry and it is the mainstay of the pub trade. This second duty rise in just eight months will weaken an industry employing directly 60,000 people in over 800 breweries across the UK.”