If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably realise that I’m pretty keen on beer (albeit that I sadly can’t drink it at the moment!). However, am I proud of beer? It’s not something that I’ve really considered before.
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) think that we should be proud of British beer and they have released a short, very rousing video to convince us of just that. Of course they are right! Beer is a uniquely British creation and has a long heritage – it is part of our culture.
Not only is beer a great drink, but the beer industry is also very important to the UK economy: 1500 people are employed in the UK in brewing the beer, it contributes £28bn to the economy in taxes and jobs and 400,000 people depend on British beer for their work, from the farmers who grow the raw materials, through to those who sell it in pubs and off-licences.
So, SIBA ask through the video, if British beer is so important to our heritage and our economy, why does the Government seem so intent on killing it off? Taxes have gone up 26% in the last 2 years and are set to go up another 20% over the next 4 years. If they haven’t noticed there’s a recession going on out there and people just can’t afford it!
This is important to us in Gloucestershire as we have a lot of fine craft brewers in the area: Uley, Freeminer, Goffs, Battledown, Donnington, to name just a few – it would be terrible to see any of them disappear.
This video should be compulsory viewing for all MPs – can you imagine what would happen in France if their government took the same attitude to taxing French wine? Maybe it’s time we started making our voices heard.
Does anyone have a lorry that I can borrow? I promise I’ll drive it VERY slowly…