As the post-Brexit alcohol duty regulations take effect in the UK, enthusiasts of full-bodied red wines and boutique gins should brace for higher prices starting next week.
The new system, originally proposed by Rishi Sunak in 2021, aims to encourage consumers to cut back on alcohol consumption by taxing beverages based on their alcohol content, rather than categorizing them into wine and made-wine, beer, spirits, and ciders.
Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented this alcohol duty overhaul as “the most radical simplification of alcohol duties for over 140 years,” made possible by Britain’s departure from the EU.
Additionally, in March, the government announced a Brexit pubs guarantee, introducing higher draught relief on beer purchased in pubs.
While some publicans, like Carl Hanley of the historic Hand and Shears in the City of London, expect the duty to have little impact on customers’ habits, producers and suppliers have expressed concerns. They believe the new rules could lead to reduced sales volumes for specific wines and spirits and could also put pressure on craft distillers.