Small Breweries Relief

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 9th November 2020.

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Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary 9:30 pm, 9th November 2020

I congratulate Liz Saville Roberts on securing the debate, and thank right hon. and hon. Members for their contributions to it.

In recent years, the UK has been home to something of a craft beer renaissance. Time-honoured brewing methods that were slowly starting to disappear have gained a new lease of life. Customers have benefited from an exciting and far wider choice of beers and ales, while the number of small brewers has increased tenfold over the past three decades. The craft brewing trend is an international phenomenon that predates small brewers relief, but the relief has undoubtedly helped to encourage new breweries to enter the market and compete against larger and more established businesses.

The layperson may therefore wonder: if the relief is seemingly so effective, why are the Government reviewing it? The answer is simple: because the industry asked us to. As hon. Members may be aware, small breweries relief is not uniformly popular in the brewing sector. In fact, the beer writer Martyn Cornell once suggested that a surefire way to start a fight was to mention the subject at a brewers convention.