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Micro-breweries and independent distillers “stretched by low-cost" supermarket products

Micro-breweries and independent distillers “stretched by low-cost

Wednesday 01 November 2023

Micro-breweries and independent distillers “stretched by low-cost" supermarket products

Wednesday 01 November 2023

A proposed lower rate of excise duty for small micro-breweries has been welcomed by a representative from the industry.

Deputies Rob Prow and Simon Vermeulen have submitted an amendment to Policy and Resources budget policy letter.

They’ve asked for the Committees for Economic Development and Home Affairs to be directed to investigate the introduction of: 

a) further separate independent Small Brewery lower rate of Excise Duty for very small micro-breweries, and 

b) a rate of Excise Duty chargeable on spirits for small independent distillers together with a clear definition of such a distillery and the producers liable to such a rate. 

They’ve asked that the relevant committees then report back to the States with recommendations by the end of June 2024. 

“This amendment proposes an investigation into the introduction of a lower rate of excise duty for small micro-breweries alongside the existing small breweries rate, and a new rate of excise duty for small independent distillers chargeable on spirits,” they said. 

The investigation would seek to identify the impact of such changes on revenue collection and the economy in general, and the likely scale of benefit to business. The amendment mandates the named Committees to report back to the States by the end of June 2024 with appropriate recommendations.    

This matter has been brought to the attention of the Committee for Home Affairs and the Committee for Economic Development by several small businesses starting out in the drink manufacturing trade. These businesses believe they could grow and develop if there were lower excise rates in place in respect of the production of low volumes of their products. 


Pictured: The amendment has been submitted by Deputies Prow and Vermeulen (L-R). 

The amendment has been welcomed by the Development Director for Little Big Brew. 

The local producer and hospitality market is being stretched by low-cost supermarket products. We do not have the economies of scale, and never will, if we are to be classed in the same bracket as breweries that produce 20,000,000 litres of beer a year.  

For context that’s 563 pints for every man, woman and child on Guernsey every year. By paying the same rate of duty our offerings are less price competitive and it makes investment into the island less attractive.  

Overall, we would like to see duty seen through the prism of, ‘what is good for the economy without compromising health. 

Distribution through hospitality venues with supervision and well governed controls should be encouraged over cheap alcohol consumed at home. Guernsey has a rich history with the liquor industry and we welcome the initiative from Home Affairs and Economic Development to encourage this sector to grow and ultimately provide an exciting offering for islanders and tourists. 

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