Beer producers have slammed the Government’s latest lockdown rules, which ban takeaway alcohol sales from pubs.

James Calder, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) said: “This is a simply the next blow after months of struggle for England’s community pubs and small breweries. For the first time in lockdown the Government intends to ban takeaway alcohol sales which have been a lifeline to these small businesses. 
“Sales through takeaway, click and collect and drive through have enabled many to just about survive up to now. This reversal in policy directly discriminates against small businesses while allowing supermarkets to continue to sell beer from global breweries. 
“Small breweries lose 80% of their sales when the pubs close and throughout the crisis have not had access to the same level of support as the wider hospitality sector, including Business Rates holidays. Yet again there is no guarantee they will have access to the latest round of funding and will have to rely on the mercy of discretionary funding which have not always been forthcoming for these struggling businesses. This is increasingly at odds with the support provided by the devolved administrations – Scotland is introducing a direct package of support for brewers and Northern Ireland has extended business rates holidays. 
“Small breweries and community pubs need an urgent guarantee they can continue to offer takeaway, click and collect and drive through sales and that there is a proper package of support to help small breweries below it is too late.”