There are new suggestions that weaker beers will help revitalise the pub market, whilst helping the health of the nation.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has also called on ministers to extend tax breaks on lower-strength 2.8% beers to include ciders and wines.

Revitalise pubs

Tony Page, the licensing spokesman for the LGA, said: “Increasing the availability of zero alcohol and weaker strength drinks will help people live healthier lives by helping to control drinking levels and tackle the harm caused by excessive drinking.

“With a new generation of non-drinkers on the rise, there is a growing demand for greater choice in alcohol-free and weaker drinks, with several ‘dry bars’ opening up across the country.

“Tax breaks for beer have helped fuel a rise in low-strength products. This should now be extended to cider, wine and spirits.”

He also said that drinking habits were changing and “brewers needed to capitalise on this by producing a range of different options” for people.

Low Alcohol Beers

Beer, Wine & Spirits Duties

  • Duty is not charged on beer or cider below 1.2% alcohol by volume (ABV).
  • In October 2011, a tax break for beers between 1.2% and 2.8% was introduced to “incentivise” the production and consumption of lower strength beer
  • General beer duty applies to beer between 2.8% and 7.5%, with extra duty on beer stronger than 7.5%
  • The basic rate of duty on cider is charged at strengths between 1.2% and 5.5% (sparkling) and between 1.2% and 7.5% (still) with higher rates above that.
  • Duty on spirits is already directly proportional to its alcohol content, so a bottle of 40%-strength spirit would pay more duty than a bottle at 37.5%.

You can read more of this excellent article on the BBC Health website