CAMRA has been one of the biggest and most influential consumer organisations in the UK. It has shaped the future of beer and has been vocal in consultations in the interest of real ale drinkers and pubs. However, its efforts to shape its own future and conduct its own consultations seem less impressive. This feeling is reinforced by the recent announcement on the progress of its revitalisation project.
A major influencer of the price of beer is taxation. Excise, the alcohol specific tax element, is levied within a framework defined at EU level. The current framework was set in 1992 and is now being evaluated for revision. Another potential overhaul of rules like this might not come for decades, however, this opportunity to say how the system could improve for small beer producers seems to have been missed.
Reading about the future of such a dynamic sector as ‘craft’ beer is exciting. Although, literature up until now has not been particularly exciting and was limited to reports on ‘this year’s beer trends’. This reluctance to look further ahead was the cause of my frustration that eventually led to the writing of Beer Means Business. But times change, and the latest edition of Original Gravity % magazine brings lots of excitement with its feature ‘The Future of Beer’. This collection of views from experts in the domains of products, brewing, materials or technology is really thoughtful and comprehensive, however, it deals with the the results of potential changes but not the actual cause of potential changes.
Brexit posts were deliberately shunned on the Beer Means Business blog before the EU referendum. The reason was the belief that it was a decision to be made considering something greater than specific and current interests of groups of businesses. Now, faced with the outcome, it is more appropriate to talk about what lies ahead of the brewing industry.
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