Andy Braithwaite, Managing Director at Ellers Farm Distillery.
“The duty rate hike, especially for products falling under higher ABV brackets, has put immense pressure on distillers, but also on consumer’s pockets. For example, our Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka with its ABV of 40%, is facing the brunt of the duty increase, along with our Y-Gin and a selection of our Small Batch Spirits range, will also now incur significantly higher duty payments.
“Unlike other drinks categories like beer and cider, reducing the alcohol content in spirits is a much more complex decision. As a result, distilleries like ours, which solely focus on premium spirits with specific ABVs, are among the worst affected by these reforms. These unique spirits require precise ABV percentages to maintain their distinct characteristics, which makes any alterations impractical without compromising on quality and consumer experience.
“The UK remains one of the highest taxed countries for alcohol, and we sit a long way off the likes of our counterparts in Germany for example. Whilst these duty reforms pose a considerable challenge to our business, it is consumers who are ultimately paying the price – it’s reflected on bar menus and on supermarkets shelves.
“We sincerely hope that policymakers and industry leaders will take these concerns into consideration and provide a more balanced and pragmatic approach to the alcohol duty reforms. This will not only support the growth of distilleries like ours but also uphold the diversity and richness of the UK's spirits industry.”