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CAMRA Calls On Government For Support Following Spate Of Bad News For Breweries

Suffolk brewer Adnams has begun the process of calling in advisers to explore options to raise capital to secure its financial future, in a statement they said: “As a business of more than 150 years, and ever mindful of the challenges faced by the hospitality and brewing industries in recent times, the company is continually proactive in seeking ways to ensure that the business is even more resilient for the years to come.”

In September 2023, the company reported operating losses in the first half of the year to £2.4 million, compared to a £811,000 loss in the same period 2022.

As the sector wheels from high energy costs, and falling footfall Elland Brewery, based in Yorkshire, which saw its 1872 Porter awarded the Champion Beer of Britain five times, is facing liquidation. According to a recent filing, a virtual meeting of the creditors of Elland Brewery is being proposed by the directors of the company.

The virtual meeting will be held via Zoom, on 16 February at 11.15am and a meeting of shareholders has been called and will be held prior to the virtual meeting of creditors, to consider passing a resolution for voluntary winding up of the company.

CAMRA Chairman Nik Antona commented:

“To hear that Elland Brewery is facing liquidation just six months after their 1872 Porter was crowned CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain 2023 is a major cause for concern. This, coupled with the reports that Adnams has been working with a management consultancy to explore options to shore up its finances – including the possibility of an injection of private capital – is a one-two punch at the heart of the UK brewing industry.

“The news raises the issue of fair competition, access to market and consumer choice. CAMRA does not want any brewery or cider producer to close their doors for good, be it a contemporary small independent brewer or larger family-owned establishments with decades of history.

“The worrying news that two prestigious, award-winning breweries are both facing pressure to remain trading and survive is indicative of the wider problems the brewing and pub trade are experiencing. CAMRA, along with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB), is calling on the Government to increase Draught Relief to 20% from its current figure of 9.2% in the Chancellor’s upcoming Budget. Cutting tax specifically on draught beer and cider in pubs would encourage people to support their community local, and help secure jobs and businesses in the pub and beer sector – particularly small and independent breweries that sell more of their products into pubs and taprooms.

“CAMRA is encouraging everyone to email their MPs, asking them to support the ‘Make it 20%’ campaign and call on the Government to show their support for pubs, social clubs, breweries and cider producers.