Damian visited Hogs Back Brewery in Surrey today in his ministerial role as Exchequer Secretary, to highlight the government’s commitment to supporting the beer industry, as latest figures reveal growing numbers of breweries opening across the UK. Latest published figures show that there are now an estimated 1,700 breweries across the UK, double the number than in 2010. The BBPA (Beer and Pub Association) also estimate that the beer and pubs sector is now responsible for nearly 900,000 jobs across the country.

News of the success of the industry follows the announcement of further government support at Budget 2016 when the tax on beer was frozen, knocking 10p off the tax paid on a typical pint of beer in comparison to what it would have been if the beer duty escalator was still in place. In addition, an estimated 75% of pubs stand to save hundreds of pounds per year as a result of the changes made at Budget to business rates.

On the visit to Hogs Back Brewery ahead of St George’s Day, Damian toured the award-winning brewery and met the owners and staff, together with representatives of the BBPA to discuss the impact of government support to the industry.

According to CAMRA, the industry now produces an estimated 11,000 beer choices in the UK, including one-off specials and seasonal beers (including a seasonal ale called England’s Glory available at Hogs Back Brewery).

Damian said: "Our beer is the best in the world so it’s especially fitting that on St George’s day we raise a glass of expertly brewed beer to celebrate our booming beer industry. At Budget 16 we were pleased to support pubs and brewers by freezing beer duty and cutting business rates. But we will continue to listen to industry stakeholders like the BBPA and I am determined to help where we can to ensure that breweries like the superb Hogs Back continue to thrive."