Find a blog post

Refine your search here


The Brits are back. Now let’s back beer from the Brits!

On 26/04/13 by David Wilson (Director of Public Affairs)

The world’s top brewers gathered in the august setting of the 15th century Guildhall in the City of London this week to toast our success at the International Brewing Awards. The awards, dating back to 1886, showcase the growing global market for beer and cider. The 2013 Awards saw 953 samples entered from 50 countries across the World. To become one of the 10 Championship winners is, to put it mildly, no mean feat.

The Brits are back. Four of the ten International Trophy winners announced this week were from the UK reflecting the growing quality and range of beer styles coming onto the market.

It was fitting that the BBPA’s Andy Tighe dashed to the Awards lunch organised by the BFBi from an exports roundtable with the UKTI – discussing ways in which the UKTI GREAT Campaign and our consulates and trade missions overseas can bang the drum bolder and better for Britain’s brewers.

With the economy this week showing early signs of modest growth returning, we now have a timely opportunity to ride the crest of the wave of interest in all things British stimulated by London 2012. Let’s turn our gold medal winning beers into golden export opportunities for British brewing.

David Wilson
Director of Public Affairs


Please login to comment.


The need for sustainable business rates

On 25/04/13

Business rates are a major cost burden to pubs in the UK and although the Government has recognised this pressure, there is more that could be done. The problem, to put it simply, the country’s 50,000 pubs pay nearly £1 billion in rates and with increased cost pressures and a stubbornly sluggish economy this cost can have a major impact on the profitability of a pub. Unlike other taxes, business rates are not flexible - they don’t take the changing fortune of premises into account (except at revaluation time).

The Government has to an extent recognised the pressures that business rates put on small businesses and has taken action to alleviate these. This year Small Business Rate Relief was extended for another year to reduce the cost to publicans. Rural rate relief was also introduced to help pubs in small communities, often where they are the last remaining community asset, to survive.

These moves are welcome as part of the Government’s commitment to be ‘pub-friendly’. However there is more that should be done. Pubs’ business rates are based on their turnover, and re-assessed every five years. The current business rates are set using the performance from 2008, which was, frankly, a different world from the one we are currently living in.

The Government’s decision to delay the revaluation of Britain’s businesses has exacerbated this problem. Pubs that have struggled in this period are therefore paying rates above what is affordable (whilst conversely, and perversely, pubs that have thrived are benefitting).

The BBPA is keen that pubs are allowed to have their rateable value reassessed more frequently, so that their tax rate reflects their turnover. This was previously possible through a regulation known as Section 20 (2) (c) but was later abolished. The reinstatement of this little-known line of legislation would be a huge boost to helping pubs that have hit hard times.

In addition BBPA will be asking for a further extension of Small Business Rate Relief. This has been a lifeline for thousands of small pubs across the country. Keeping it in place up to the General Election of 2015 would reduce costs and provide greater certainty to thousands of licensees providing a fantastic service to Britain’s pub goers in difficult circumstances.

Rural rate relief has also proved useful but the level of take-up is not measured, and is thought to be fairly low. Local authorities and the industry itself have an obligation to promote this benefit, and make sure that local pubs are able to reduce the burden of taxation they face. This will help preserve the tradition we have in the UK of having pubs at the heart of communities.

There are many pressures facing pubs in the UK, and a reduction of the business rate burden on pubs would be a welcome step for the Government to take. Let’s hope, as The Chancellor suggested, the Budget measures were just the beginning of industry support from the Treasury.


Please login to comment.


BBPA - Bringing British beer to the world’s best chefs

On 23/04/13 by Sophie McIntyre

Members of the BBPA team spent their Monday with Raymond Blanc and friends - tutoring some of the world’s best chefs about the diversity and quality of British beer.

As part of the annual Dîner des Grands Chefs, held in Paris and New York in previous years, Raymond Blanc hosted Grands Chefs from around the world at his mind-blowing Michelin starred restaurant, Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, in Oxfordshire. Raymond invited his culinary contemporaries to his Great British Farmers' Market event to sample the wares of his favourite British producers. The Frenchman entertained his guests with morris dancing, Cornish singing and a fiery address to the haggis as he encouraged his overseas guests to celebrate British cuisine and culture. A perfect opportunity to spread the word about British beer...

Squeezed between towers of cheese and freshly shucked oysters, the team, lead by Beer Sommelier, Steve Livens, leapt on the opportunity to introduce members’ beers to some of the world’s finest culinary brains and palates. There was a great deal of interest in the spread on offer, in terms of both food matching and the innovation and changes in the British market. Many of the overseas visitors were in particular awe of the selection on offer, with many curious about beers such as porter – not common in Italy, or wheat beer – not often associated with Britain, for example.

Throughout the afternoon, Steve spoke at length about various brews, hops, malts and food combinations with, to name but a few: Claude Bosi, Michael Caines MBE, Lanshu Chen, Patrick Bertron and Patrick Henriroux – as well as Messieur Blanc himself.

All in all a fantastic showcase for British beer!

Sophie McIntyre


Please login to comment.