Brewers deliver message in a barrel to Osborne

Staffordshire brewery Director Keith Bott delivered a “message in a barrel” to Chancellor George Osborne at an event in Westminster. 

Keith, the Managing Director of Titanic Brewery, was in Parliament in his role as Chairman of SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) to campaign for an end to the controversial beer tax escalator. 

He was joined by representatives of the British Beer and Pub Association and CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). 

The oak barrel, crafted by hand at the Theakston brewery, contained messages from 60 MPs calling for an end to the beer duty escalator. 

Among the MPs supporting the campaign is Titanic Brewery’s local MP, Joan Walley.

 In a message of support for Burslem based Titanic Brewery, Ms Walley said: “Local pubs are places to value. The Chancellor must be told exactly how much they matter. Instead of calling ‘Time Please’ he should be listening and using his Budget to help pubs through difficult times.”  

Posting the SIBA message, Keith Bott said: “The 652 Brewing members of SIBA are crying out for a fair duty system.

“Beer tax will have risen by 50 per cent in the last five years, assuming the duty escalator stays in place after next month’s Budget.  This is hugely damaging to pubs and the local economies they support, which include the independent brewers who supply them with quality craft beers.

“SIBA has just published its Local Beer Report, which once again shows our sector to be in better health than the rest of the industry: local beer sales are up, employment has grown and most brewers are investing for future expansion.”

Titanic Brewery has undergone an expansion programme and has developed its own fleet of Staffordshire pubs from one in 2007 to seven today.


For further information contact Sam Warrilow at Titanic Brewery on 01782 823477 

Notes to Editors:  

Titanic Brewery is named as an affectionate tribute to the fact that Captain Edward Smith, Master of the Titanic, was born in Stoke-on-Trent and all the beers it produces have names with links to the sea or RMS Titanic. 

For further information visit the brewery’s website at 

Titanic Brewery was founded in Burslem in 1985 and has grown to produce 2.3 million pints of fine ale every year. It is owned by Stafford born brothers Keith and Dave Bott. Keith is Chairman of SIBA, the society of independent brewers.