Society of Independent Brewers Chief Executive James Calder responds to PM’s plans for permanant ‘alfresco’ pavement licenses for pubs, bars and taprooms:

“One of the few positives for hospitality businesses over the last year and a half has been the relaxation of pavement licensing which has allowed more alfresco dining and drinking spaces to be created in our towns and cities.

Making ‘alfresco’ pavement licenses permanent is a win for our community pubs and brewery taprooms that want to provide the outdoor drinking experience in our high streets and outside brewery taprooms. Over the past year takeaway pints have been a lifeline for small pubs and brewers left to survive on direct sales to the public but it’s a missed opportunity not to allow these to become permanent as well.

The lifting of restrictions on ordering at the bar, social distancing, and mask wearing, combined with the extension of these previously temporary measures could not have come sooner for a struggling sector – but we also need Government to confirm they won’t make harmful changes to small breweries’ relief, and introduce a lower rate of beer duty for beer sold in pubs in order to give the sector a real chance of recovery.” James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive

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