With a new alcohol duty system set to commence in August, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is reducing the abv of its flagship Danish Pilsner from 3.8% to 3.4%.

As of August 1, duty will be based on alcoholic strength. In the new system, which is divided into stages depending on abv, 3.5% represents a step up in duty from £9.27 per litre of pure alcohol, to £21.01.

In line with the new system, a CMBC spokesperson has confirmed that the Carlsberg Danish Pilsner will see a reduction in strength so as to fall into the lower duty bracket. This will apply across both the on- and off-trade. 

The spokesperson said: “In line with the government’s alcohol duty reforms, and as policy makers intended, reducing the abv of Carlsberg Danish Pilsner enables us to invest in innovation and in our portfolio.” 

They also said the change will align operations with the public health concerns “by removing c.56 million units of alcohol from the UK market annually”.

Karen Tyrell, chief executive officer at Drinkaware, affirmed that widespread reductions in alcohol strength is a “positive outcome of the government’s recent reforms of alcohol duty”, in terms of public health.

“Lowering the amount of alcohol in this way helps contribute to our shared goal of reducing alcohol harm. We would encourage other producers to follow CMBC’s lead.”  

The new versions of Carlsberg Danish Pilsner will roll out later this year in hospitality venues and retailers.