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For Immediate Release - 27th March 2015

Winchester Real Ale & Cider Festival celebrates beer and cider duty cut

The fifth Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival saw 3000 people enjoying 84 different Real Ales and dozens of ciders over two days. Thirsty drinkers consumed 11,000 pints of beer and over 1,300 pints of cider along with dozens of bottles of beer from around the world. The festival's nominated charity, Hampshire Search and Rescue (HantSAR) collected over £2200 in donations from generous customers. HantSAR are not the only charity to benefit from the generosity of beer festival customers. Age UK Winchester have, for a second year, run a cloakroom service at the festival. This year they received over £700 in donations.

To celebrate the cut in duty for both beer and cider the festival will be donating an additional 1p per pint of beer sold and 1/2p per pint of cider sold to bring the charities donation total to over £3000.

"It really shows how much the general public care when they can donate over £3000 to our festival charities. It's only £1 per customer, but it makes a huge difference to the charities we support at the festival. All of Age UK Winchester's donations are spent in the local area providing help and support for the elderly. The donation to HantSAR goes toward funding the equipment required when they are called out to search for vulnerable people all over Hampshire. We are delighted to be able to top up the donations with the beer and cider duty cut.

"Our festival aims to showcase the best of local breweries and cider makers as well as introducing beers and ciders from further afield. The beer and cider duty cut is a small help toward continued success for these small businesses"

Graeme Hilton, Festival Committee Member

CAMRA applauds beer duty hat-trick as tax on a pint falls for a third time

"CAMRA is delighted with today's hat-trick of an unprecedented third consecutive cut in beer tax, with another penny off a pint, which will be welcomed by millions of beer-drinkers across the country. The last two cuts have already had a huge impact, saving over 1,000 pubs from closure and keeping the price of a pub pint down. Independent research by CEBR forecasts that the price of a pub pint will now be more than 20p cheaper than it would have been had the beer duty escalator remained in place.

"A third cut in beer tax is a huge vote of confidence in the importance of pubs and brewing. It will help ensure the sector returns to long term growth after many years of pub closures and falling beer sales, caused in part by a 42% beer tax increase between 2008 and 2012, and throw a lifeline to struggling community pubs across the country.

"Britain is known around the world for great pubs and real ale, and we should all be incredibly proud that this industry has just reported growth for the first time in a decade. We hope Britain's millions of pub goers will head to their local this evening to give three cheers to a historic third cut in beer tax!"

Tim Page, CAMRA Chief Executive

Press Contact:

For further information on Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival call Beer Festival Organiser David Mackie on 07905 315 614 or

For further information on CAMRA and campaigning call the CAMRA Press Office on 01727 798 443 or email Press Manager Neil Walker on

CAMRA have full ISDN facilities in-house so for radio enquiries please call the number above to book an interview.

Notes to editors

  • Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) is a voluntary organisation who work alongside police in searches for vulnerable missing persons in Hampshire. (Registered Charity 1098332)
  • PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Presentation of a cheque to HantSAR will take place on 1st April at The Albion, Stockbridge Rd, Winchester around 8pm
  • Age UK Winchester provide support and help for elderly people in the Winchester area. (Registered Charity 1150578)
  • Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival will return in 2016 on the 18-19th March.
  • The Beer Duty Escalator added 2% above inflation to the duty on beer from 2008-2012 when it was eventually scrapped. During that period the duty on beer increased by 42%, having a devastating effect on the beer and pub industry.
  • Further information on CAMRA's Beer Tax campaign:
  • The '1000 pubs saved' statistic is taken from the February 2015 CAMRA/CEBR on the impact of scrapping the beer duty escalator. The full report can be accessed here: