Independent and rural brewers will be raising their pint glasses to the chancellor after the government said it was considering a reduced duty on beer for small breweries, based on the volume of beer produced.
The scope of the scheme, first proposed by Society of Independent Brewers as far back as 1980 to protect small brewers against the power of big pub companies, will be considered during the coming year and is likely to be introduced in 2002.
Alcohol drinkers were also left better off after Gordon Brown announced a freeze in excise duties on all beer, spirits and wine. Duty on spirits is 36% lower in real terms than 20 years ago, says the government.
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