The government has concluded its review of the Small Brewer's Relief and announced that it intends to remove the 'cliff-edge' of production levels and taper relief.

Budget 2020 announced a review as to how the Small Brewer’s Relief (SBR) is structured. Currently:

  • The SBR permits small brewers to tax relief on the General Beer Duty Rate based on output.
  • Brewers producing under 5,000 hectolitres (hl) or 880,000 pints receive a 50% duty discount.
  • The discount is tapered for production above 5,000hl so that the full standard duty rate is applied for production over 60,000 hl.

The tapering allowance above 5,000hl was widely regarded as a ‘cliff-edge’. The government has announced that the scheme’s taper will be smoothed. It will take effect more gradually over a wider range of production, starting at 2,100 hectolitres per year and be converted to a cash basis.

A technical consultation will be brought forward in the Autumn. The Government will also consult on the potential for a grace period for small breweries that decide to merge.

It has also promised a post-EU exit alcohol review, saying recognises the need to reform the current duty system to support the alcoholic drinks and pubs sector in the longer term and will publish a call for evidence before end September 2020.


Small Brewer's Relief
Small Brewer’s Relief (SBR) allows reduced rates of duty, of no more than 50% below the standard rate for small producers that are registered.

External links

Registration of beer producers

Register as a brewer, packager and holder of beer Form (BPH1)

How to make a reasonable estimate of the current calendar year’s production