Richard Kershaw, CEO of Joseph Holt, one of Manchester’s oldest independent family brewers, has endorsed calls for a cut in beer duty.

He said the region had been hit hard in the past decade with a 42% increase in beer duty. While three recent cuts and a freeze last year have helped, he warned that the industry is “not out of the woods yet.”

The UK has one of the highest rates of beer duty in Europe at 52p a pint – ten times the rate in Germany and Spain.

He was speaking at a Parliamentary reception at Westminster hosted by Joseph Holt to support the British Beer and Pub Association’s campaign for a cut in beer duty at next month’s Budget.

The reception was attended by 30 MP’s from the north west including Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer.

Richard was joined by his daughter Jane, who recently joined Joseph Holt as the sixth generation of the family, and one of his sons, Andrew.

“Hopefully, we influenced a few MP’s at the reception to look more favourably towards beer duty rates and we certainly did our best in showcasing our own beers, and those of the north west, in a great light.”

BBPA’s chief executive Brigid Simmonds said she was pleased to see such a good turnout from north west MPs, and encouraged by the support and enthusiasm shown for beer and pubs in the region.

“The industry is vital to both the north west and national economy, and I hope this importance is recognised with a cut in beer duty on 8th March 2017.”

Joseph Holt was founded in 1849 and has remained in the family for six generations. Based at the Empire Street brewery, Cheetham Hill, the company owns 128 pubs and restaurants in the North West and supplies Holt’s beers to over 190 venues nationally.

Two Hoots, the brewer’s gold winner at the Brussels Beer Challenge, is to go on sale in the House of Commons Strangers Bar next month.

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