Breweries and DistilleriesCoronavirus

Brewers need further support and certainty on when and how pubs can open, says SIBA

Some 80% of small breweries believe the government is “not doing enough” to support them amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a new survey conducted by Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) revealed 84% of small breweries expect the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent social distancing measures to have a lasting negative impact on their business.

The survey found that 90% of the UK’s independent brewers think the large multinational brewers stand to increase their market share as a result Covid-19, directly to the detriment of small independents. 

Some 97% of brewers said they can be ready to supply pubs by the proposed 4 July opening, but only if the prime minister offers a roadmap and guidance on social distancing imminently, brewers need at least three weeks notice to open and the “clock is ticking”.

The survey said half of the brewers surveyed think most pubs aren’t economically viable with social distancing at all but a further 47% said they’re only viable at one meter of social distance.

James Calder, SIBA chief executive said: “Getting pubs reopened quickly and safely is simply the first step on the road to recovery for small brewers – for others irreparable damage has already been done. 

“Breweries have not received the same levels of financial support from the government as the rest of the sector, the global brewers are looking to eat our lunch and we face a hugely different, unpredictable and chaotic marketplace when things do re-open.”

Earlier this week SIBA and a cross party group of MPs wrote to the chancellor calling on him to do more to give our sector a fighting chance.

Calder added: “We and a cross party group of MPs who love independent beer need the Government to commit to a clear timetable and guidance of pubs reopening, slash beer duty and extend business rates grants and support to breweries otherwise the investment government has made through furlough will go to waste. 

“Opening pubs on the 4 July is a national priority, but without quality beer from local, independent breweries on the bar, what is the point?” 

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