A Staffordshire brewer is calling on the county’s MPs to back a British tradition during a debate in beer prices in Parliament this week.
Keith Bott, Managing Director of Titanic Brewery, has written to five MPs in North and Mid Staffordshire urging them to speak and vote in the Beer Tax Escalator debate to be held in the House of Commons on Thursday.
Mr Bott is warning that the Beer Tax Escalator is bad for business and has health and social consequences as more people choose to drink at home or on the streets.
The escalator means beer prices increase by two per cent above the rate of inflation each year.
Titanic Brewery, based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent has six pubs in the Potteries, Stone, Stafford and Leek, and supplies many more pubs across the country.
It has bucked the trend of pub closures in recent years and Mr Bott says further expansion is possible if the politicians give him a level paying field.
Mr Bott has written to the five MPs with Titanic brewery pubs within their constituencies. These are Joan Walley (Stoke North), Tristram Hunt (Stoke Central). Karen Bradley (Staffordshire Moorlands), Bill Cash (Stone) and Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford).
His letter states: “I know that you are fully aware of how important pubs are to a community.
“Next Thursday’s debate on the Beer Duty Escalator is a fantastic opportunity to show commitment to the future of our pubs, and to consider the additional revenue and employment opportunities, along with the social responsibility benefits that pubs provide.
“At Titanic Brewery we are exceptionally proud of our achievements during our 27 year history, we have grown from employing two people to employing in excess of 130.”
Mr Bott goes on to tell the MPs: “Since the introduction of the beer duty escalator, excise duty has increased by 42 per cent, or nearly 20 pence per pint.
“Beer sales in pubs and clubs have fallen by 23 per cent and over 6,000 pubs have closed. Beer taxation now costs the average pub around £66,000 per year.”
Mr Bott said today: “I am a passionate believer in the role that pubs have to play in society. A good pub can help to bond communities together and allows people to get together in a pleasant, safe environment.
“I’m proud of the role that Titanic Brewery has played in North Staffordshire where we have saved and reopened five pubs since 2007.
“Unfair tax increases inevitably lead to higher prices. Meanwhile, there is evidence that more people are drinking large amounts of alcohol at home, in an unregulated, unsupervised, and unmeasured way.”
For further information contact Keith Bott on 01782 823447
Notes to editors:
Titanic’s full range of beer can be seen on the company’s award winning website at www.titanicbrewery.co.uk 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. The brewery name is in recognition of Stoke-on-Trent as the birthplace of Captain Edward Smith, Master of the ill fated Titanic ocean liner.