Thursday, 28 February 2013

The 'Message in Barrel' campaign - Help for Britain's Pubs

The 'Message in Barrel' campaign has called for help with beer duty in the March Budget by sending a special ‘message in a barrel’ to the Chancellor at an event in Parliament this.

The hand-crafted oak barrel, an iconic symbol of Britain’s world-renowned brewing and pub industry,  is a reminder of how important brewing and pubs are to the Haslingden and Hyndburn constituency.

The barrel, containing messages of support to Britain's ailing pubs, was later delivered to the Treasury by MPs and representatives of the British Beer & Pub Association, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers).

Beer duty has risen by 42 per cent since March 2008. This has contributed to falling beer sales in pubs and pub closures in recent years.

I hope the Chancellor takes note. Further tax hikes will close more pubs and cost more jobs.

Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, which organised today’s event, had this to say:

“I want to thank Graham Jones for championing beer and pubs in Haslingden and Hyndburn.  Beer tax hikes are not raising more revenues for the Government, and with a duty freeze we can create many more local jobs.”

The BBPA’s barrel was specially made for the beer tax campaign by Theakston’s, the legendary North Yorkshire brewer based in the Dales, in the market town of Masham. The company brews many fine ales, such as Old Peculier, one of the country’s most well-known and loved.

The barrel was made from finest oak by Theakston’s cooper, Jonathan Manby. Jonathan is the last apprenticed craft cooper in England and has been cooper at Theakston’s for 19 years, after an apprenticeship lasting four years. This nine gallon barrel is known as a ‘firkin’.

To contact the British Beer & Pub Association:
Neil Williams - Head of Media
020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

Notes to editors
For statistics on the beer and pub industry in this constituency, including job numbers, and importance to the local economy, please visit

For further information on beer duty, visit

View or embed the BBPA’s new Budget 2013 film on Youtube The Beer Story – Calling Time on Duty which makes the case for growth and investment in the pub sector through ending the beer duty escalator.