British beer drinkers will pay more beer duty than the entire annual bill for 19 European countries

The UK will be expected to pay over £300m on beer duty this December, which is more than the entire annual beer duty bill for 19 other European countries, despite 85% of UK pubs being unable to open this Christmas.

Pub campaign group, Long Live The Local have revealed that the UK Government will collect £337 million in duty on beer this December.

Andy Slee, Chairman of Black Sheep Brewery in Masham said: “40% of our brewery turnover is paid to the Government in beer duty alone.

“Brewing is a British manufacturing success story but Covid-19 has hit beer sales hard. We need Government support to help us bounce back and lead the much-needed economic recovery next year.

“A beer duty cut would help Black Sheep make investments to respond to the post Covid world and in doing so help create and protect vital British jobs.”

Last year British beer drinkers paid £401 Million beer duty in December alone.

Projections from the British Beer & Pub Association estimate that the impact of Covid-19 will reduce beer sales by 16% this December, however the UK government will still collect the £337 million in beer duty.

This is more than 19 other EU countries will pay all year, including Spain who brew a similar amount of beer as the UK.

According to Brewers of Europe Data, Spain brewed 6.7 billion pints in 2018 whilst Britain brewed 7.4 billion pints.

Despite this, Spain collected just £313 million pounds in beer duty compared to £3.6 billion in the UK.

Emma McClarkin, CEO British Beer and Pub Association, said: “We need the UK Government to help our great domestic brewing and pub sector just as governments in Europe support their precious brewing and hospitality sectors.

“The budget in spring next year provides an excellent opportunity for our Government to show their support for the 2,000 breweries and 47,000 pubs in the UK.

“A significant cut in beer duty will go some way in helping them recover from a disastrous 2020.”

Long Live The Local is now calling on the Government to cut beer duty in the spring budget to help pubs and brewers recover.

So far, almost 500,000 have signed a petition asking for a cut in beer duty and over 250,000 people have written to their MP.

David Cunningham, Long Live The Local Programme Director, said: “Beer duty in the UK is unfairly high compared to most other European countries.

“Since the Long Live The Local campaign began, we have gathered almost 500,000 signatures on our petition and 250,000 people have written to their MPs asking for a cut in beer duty-showing just how much people care about pubs and brewers.

“Now more than ever, they need our support, so I urge everyone who wants to protect our nation’s great brewing and pub heritage to visit our website and sign the petition and write to your MP.”

For more information visit:






Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.