Micro brewery receives 180k in regeneration scheme challenge

A Micro brewery has been awarded over £180k by The Caerphilly Regeneration Team. As part of efforts by Caerphilly Borough Council to regenerate the old Plumbsave building along with two others. It is hoped that Caerphilly will become a ‘go to’ within the craft brew and tourist road map. Brew Monster will be re locating from Cwmbran where it has been for three years. The Plumbsave unit at Lon Y Twyn will be transformed in to a high spec brewhouse/Tap room and micro brewery. Plans lodged by the brewery will see half the building as a tap room and serve food and craft beer.

Customers will also be able to view the brewhouse in panoramic 270 degree. It is hoped that with ever increasing numbers preferring Staycations will increase tourism. Along with beer tasting, brewery tours will also be available. As well as the perceived benefits it is hoped the site will also be a community hub. The initiative, as we break free from Covid, is a commitment to reviving the town and others across the borough. The Caerphilly Miners Centre has also received £250k to redevelop 175 Square metres for 10 small businesses as a co-working hub. It is anticipated that the micro brewery will attract those with a more discerning palette as opposed to volume drinkers.

Micro brewery support in Scotland should be applied to all UK small brewers

Brew Monster began life in 2017 and have bars in Barry, Llantwit Major and Cardiff. Plaid Cymru MP’s have also been vocal in calling on the chancellor to support traditional Welsh pubs and micro-breweries. While the MP’s are banging the drum for Gwynedd pubs the benefits will be welcomed nationwide. The Long Live The Local campaign has generated half a million support signatures since it’s formation in July 2018. Further weight has been added to the campaign by 285,000 email flooding the inboxes of local MPs. Almost 1300 signatures have come from Arfon and Dwyfor Meirionnydd. Beer duty has now been frozen for the third year running.

The message is clear and unequivocal and further supported by posters and beer mats. In 2020 the loss and drastic fall in UK beer sales due to covid amounted to a staggering £7.8bn. The micro brewery and associated outlets/tap rooms support hundreds of jobs in Gwynedd. While the devastating effect of Covid is well documented other prevalent issues need to be addressed. Micro breweries are also being squeezed by what is seen as an unfair advantage supermarkets and retail outlets have. The respite from tax rises should also be complemented by increased taxes on supermarket lager/beers. This would subsidise and encourage increased growth of micro breweries.

Supermarkets should also play an active role in encouraging and engaging with local micro breweries and small enterprises. A small section in any aisle could be given over to local craft breweries. While the continuing freeze on beer duty is welcome it’s worth remembering UK beer duty remains very high. The duty is far higher than in any European country with every £3 spent £1 goes to the taxman. In the last 17 years beer duty has risen by 60%. The duty freeze is an incentive to kick starting a beleaguered sector that helps underpin the economy.

In late March brewers across the UK disposed of spoiled beer to demonstrate the depth of feeling in the industry. In comparison to 2019 the craft brewery sector has brewed 200 million pints less. The closure of pubs has also seen 6 million pints poured down the drain. While micro breweries have been resourceful throughout they rely on hospitality for around 80% of their production. This loss equates to ten years of growth and development. The protest also called on the chancellor to consider a brewery support fund.  In Scotland small brewers have had grants of up to £30,000 made available.

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