Wednesday, 1 December 2010

They’re still at it

It’s usually Pete Brown’s gig to point this out: the BBC still persist in illustrating stories about unhealthy alcohol consumption with pictures of people drinking pints of lovely refreshing beer.

The beer in the first picture is certainly not one of the products intended to be taxed more heavily.

Dave has a detailed critique of the plans to put a super tax on super lager (and anything else in the same gravity range). It’s not going to do anything to help homeless alcoholics, but will punish the responsible drinkers of strong beers and endanger the viability of small brewers.

The alleged lower duty for 2.8% beer, which I imagine is intended to be the carrot in this package, is worse than useless. These notional beers don’t actually exist, and small brewers who are on reduced beer duty rate won’t gain anything from brewing them. The proportion of the price of a pint that’s made up of duty is so small at this gravity that they won’t be any cheaper in the pub either.


  1. Bloody do gooder politicians always looking for another wozer tax to make them selves look good. The high strenght beers from small brewers is always out of the price range of kids and homeless alcoholics so again this does nothing but win the vote of an old lady or 2 and take good beers away from lovers of good beer.


  2. These notional beers don’t actually exist

    They do, I've seen them in supermarkets. Sainsbury do a 'value' beer (the white labels with the cheery orange writing) which is below 3% - I think the legend says "Same flavour, but you won't get pissed!" Or words to that effect. Wonder who brews it.

  3. Phil's right, there's lots of it about - Tesco Value Bitter / Sainsbury's Basics Bitter
    2.1% . There used to be a 2.1% "Lager" in Somerfield. Is there still? I always thought that much of this stuff came from S&N, as was, so this would mean we're talking about a state subsidy for Heineken UK. Smashing

  4. Yup, the supermarket low ABV value brands will certainly win.

    And CAMRA supported this move - crackpots.

  5. Phil's right, I'd forgotten about value bitter. That stuff is dirt cheap anyway. It did occur to me that products like Carling C2 will also benefit.

  6. My wife works with the sort of people that the higher taxes are supposed to deter. They will always find the money for their Buckie or whatever and do without food/clothes/heat instead. The young have too much disposable income (how many pay dig money like I did?) and don't care what it costs to get what they want to drink. CAMRA should be ashamed of themselves for backing this plan and the government will find, to their cost, that it has a negative effect.

  7. Um, CAMRA don't support the super tax on strong beer, they oppose it. Just not as forcibly as some of us would like.

  8. Does anyone ever get the sense that we're all going to be buying individual cans from shifty-looking men on street corners before the end of the decade? Realistically, how long might it be before the public consumption of alcohol is banned? And how long after that before the criminalization of the dark and sinister 'home drinkers'? I never was a smoker, but I'm now beginning to feel their pain... Great site, by the way. You have a new follower.