mudcat.org: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty

Dave Bryant 30 Apr 03 - 07:13 AM
Micca 30 Apr 03 - 07:46 AM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Apr 03 - 10:54 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 30 Apr 03 - 01:11 PM
Hillheader 30 Apr 03 - 01:37 PM
Dead Horse 30 Apr 03 - 02:38 PM
Gareth 30 Apr 03 - 03:10 PM
Micca 30 Apr 03 - 05:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 03 - 05:08 PM
Hillheader 30 Apr 03 - 05:22 PM
Gareth 30 Apr 03 - 07:04 PM
Hillheader 01 May 03 - 02:09 AM
mouldy 01 May 03 - 03:02 AM
Gareth 01 May 03 - 04:10 AM
Dave Bryant 01 May 03 - 05:02 AM
Pied Piper 01 May 03 - 05:27 AM
Hillheader 02 May 03 - 02:05 AM
Hrothgar 02 May 03 - 03:28 AM
Dave Bryant 02 May 03 - 05:19 AM
Pied Piper 02 May 03 - 06:26 AM
Micca 02 May 03 - 07:00 AM
Hillheader 02 May 03 - 12:45 PM
Noreen 16 Mar 04 - 06:41 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Mar 04 - 06:57 AM
Dave Bryant 16 Mar 04 - 07:46 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Mar 04 - 10:38 AM
Bill D 16 Mar 04 - 11:59 AM
Noreen 16 Mar 04 - 03:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Mar 04 - 03:20 PM
Gareth 16 Mar 04 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Billy 17 Mar 04 - 01:12 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 17 Mar 04 - 04:57 AM
Noreen 17 Mar 04 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Tom from Greenford 20 Nov 15 - 04:12 PM
JHW 20 Nov 15 - 04:43 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 15 - 10:02 PM
Kampervan 21 Nov 15 - 01:19 AM
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 07:13 AM

This might seem a strange question, but does anyone know what minimum strength (ABV) beer has to be before duty has to be paid on it. There used to be a classification of "Near Beer" which applied to cans of Shandy etc where no duty was payable.

There are times (driving etc) when I want to drink low alcohol beer and many of those that are available cost more than full strength. If the breweries are also not having to pay duty then it seems like a bit of a rip-off. Tesco's do produce a budget bitter (2.1%) which costs 87p for a four-pack - while it's not fantastic, it's as good as many many other low strength canned bitters. Do they achieve this low price because it is below taxable strength.

It's a pity that some of the low alcohol bitters which were produced about 12 years ago have now dissapeared. LA Bass was very drinkable at about 1% and there was that AFB (Alcohol Free Bitter) which was brewed by Guiness I think - I can't remember it's name.

I was once driving around on a Christmas lunchtime delivering some last-minute presents, and had a six pack of AFB in the car as I didn't want to start drinking the real stuff until later (I wasn't drinking while actually driving though). I took one present in to a publican friend, and as I drove away from the pub, a police car started to follow me. I was driving carefully, but within a mile or so he pulled me up. He told me that he could smell that I had been drinking and I pointed to the remaining two cans of AFB. He straight away aked me to give a breath test which I did. He looked very puzzled at the result and asked me for a further test - same result. He then said that as his breathalyser must be on the blink, I would have to come down to the police station to use the one there. I had been trying to explain that the beer was non-alcoholic, but it was only when I made him read the bottle that he at last understood - I don't think that he was very pleased !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Micca
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 07:46 AM

Dave,Long ago there was a piece in the press about a Watneys beer that, if they had reduced the alcohol content by 1/8 of a percent it would not have paid duty and therfore not been classifiable as Beer. I seem to remember the stuff available in clubs that didnt have a licence (ie Les Cousins)was 1 1/2 to 2% MAX and was not licenceable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:54 AM

I see it as reasonable that the non- or very low acoholic "beer" might cost more despite no tariff.

It's bound to be a much lower volume line of trade than regular beer, and thus handling, storage, advertising, and administrative costs make up a MUCH larger cost per unit.   The flip side of the economies of scale.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 01:11 PM

Brewing non-alcoholic beer is a more costly process than making regular beer. It's made in one of two ways. Some brands are made my distilling the alcohol out of regular beer. The extra step adds to the cost. Others are made using "stupid yeast" that doesn't produce alcohol by fermentation. It is much more expensive than regular brewer's yeast. And, yes, the market for low-acolhol and non-alcoholic beers is much lower so the overhead per unit sold is much higher.

And it's good to hear that I'm not the only person in the world who has been stopped by the cops while drinking a non-alcoholic beer. That Kentucky Highway Patrolman certainly thought he had nailed a drunk driver until he went back and read the beer can.

Bruce


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Hillheader
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 01:37 PM

Micca

Was that perhaps Watney's Red Barrel? It may be legend but apparently it was so low in alcohol it could have been sold in the US during prohibition!

I used to drink the Low Alcohol stuff, but I woke up with a headache -something I never do with the real thing. A medical friend said it was the extra chemicals added to kill the alcohol that caused the problem.

Davebhoy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Dead Horse
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 02:38 PM

Watneys Red Barrel - the stuff of leg-ends.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:10 PM

As much as I consider "Watney's Red Barrell" the ultimate product of a horses kidneys, the real low strength Watney beer was "Starlight".

Yuuuuuuuk !

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Micca
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 05:00 PM

No , I believe it was called Special Bitter or some such.. Red barrel was fizzzy muck, but about 3.5%!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 05:08 PM

Dandelion and Burdock, or even Lemonade, is (are?) are a better idea. I've never come across an Alcohol Free Beer I'd prefer to tap water.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Hillheader
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 05:22 PM

Gareth

Your Right! It was Starlight Bitter. Red Barrel was the up-market brew and still absolute piss. The bitter equivalent of Skol Lager!!!

I remember being in a pub in Southampton when someone asked for a pint of Red Barrel. "We're a Whitbread pub" said the barman, "We don't sell Red Barrel". "Just give me something similar" was the response at which point a pint of warm soapy water appeared on the bar.

I don't think the customer noticed the difference...

Davebhoy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 07:04 PM

" Oh, whats the beer that makes you spew,
Watneys Keg Red Barrel,
It always is an awfull brew.
Not fit to drink by me and you,
Boycott Keg Red Barrel"


Ye Gods, that was dredged out of the memory !

Gareth

PS Any 'Catter remember the appalling Watneys "Straight 8"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Hillheader
Date: 01 May 03 - 02:09 AM

Gareth

What a recall..

Was Straight 8 the "party can" of 8 pints in the one can? And more vile even than Red Barrel?

Davebhoy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: mouldy
Date: 01 May 03 - 03:02 AM

No, I think that was the Party 7. (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong). We had one that did the rounds of the parties in our gang. Whoever had it brought it as the "gift" drink to the next one! (Well we were all young and broke, but not stupid enough to drink it). I think they did a Party 4 as well.

On the subject of low alcohol/alcohol free beers - I have an alcohol intolerance: even drinking one half risks a blinding headache (I do partake, but ain't life a bitch?) and I wish there was a drinkable alternative. It got scary over Christmas that I was beginning to tolerate the taste of Kaliber! There is only so much coke/lime and soda/overpriced fruit drink that you can take, and after a while you just get waterlogged, especially when you're out for the whole evening in a pub. Then you start to wonder why you are paying to drink when you are not even thirsty. (This usually happens when my other half is back in the country and merrily necking the pints while I look after the car keys!)
We once went into a pub in Monmouth with my slightly underage son, and my husband ordered a shandy for him. The landlord refused, although my other half tried to persuade him that the less than 4% beer he was using would be diluted to less than 2%, which was the point at which it became "alcohol"! (Nice try, lad!)

Andrea


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Gareth
Date: 01 May 03 - 04:10 AM

Dave - No it was the "Party Seven" - The straight 8 was a bottled pale ale, with an added "head" enhancer. The only time I saw anything else with as much foam on it, it was at the end of the runway at RAF Manston, and burning !

Mouldy, the Landlord was correct actually, in the eye of the law a drink of shandy (Made up) is technically a sale of a measure of Lemonade, and sale of beer. which would not have been legal for the under 18, unless it was accompanied by a substantial meal.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 01 May 03 - 05:02 AM

It was in the mid sixties that the first national beer strength tables were published in one of the newspapers. There were two of Watney's beers which were only just over the line from "near beer" they were the aformentioned "Starlight Bitter" and also "Special Mild". The tables also dispelled the myth that southern beers were weaker than their northern counterparts as the survey reveal the reverse on average. It also started a bit of a competition between Fullers (ESB), Youngs (Special), and Courage (Directors) to have the strongest Best Bitter - Fullers are still the winners.

However, does anyone know the answer to my original question about minimum beer strength for excise duty. I'm curious about how TESCO manage to sell their Budget Bitter so cheaply. I'm also interested because they refused to sell me some the other night as it was after 11pm - if it's too low for tax, it's probably legal to sell it outside licensing hours.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Pied Piper
Date: 01 May 03 - 05:27 AM

The Party 7, scary.
Somebody once brought a "Party Seven" of the even more despicable Watneys Mild to a party here in Eccles in the late seventies. Needless to say it remained un-drunk, despite the only alternative in the wee hours, being Ted Edwards's Rowan wine. The can kept turning up, and eventually took on the role of a sort of party mascot.
By 1984 the can was a must at all our parties and had the date, and the holder of the party's name, inscribed upon it. It is now almost completely covered in inscriptions, and it would be sacrilege (not to mention extremely dangerous) to open it. The can resides with the holder of the last party until the next.

"Life's a rum doo, and there's nowt so queer as folk"

All the best PP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Hillheader
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:05 AM

Dave

Beer duty was reduced for brewers of less than three million litres a year. Perhaps Tesco have been astute enough to source the product from these brewers and take advantage.

I have contacts in Customs and Excise though and will ask over the weekend.

Davebhoy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Hrothgar
Date: 02 May 03 - 03:28 AM

The only good use for "Party 7' was to stack the empty cans on end at rugby games s people could throw seat cushions at them. Probably not allowed now ... the cushion throwing, I mean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:19 AM

At one time most breweries produced their versions of "Party 7s" in either 4 or 7 pint sizes - I think Courages' one was called "Jackpot".
When I lived in Hampstead during the 60s, dozen's of people would be wandering around after pub throwing-out time on a Friday or Saturday, clutching one. They were all looking for parties to gate-crash - you'd follow any others similarly equipped, often to find that they were only following someone else - and of course there was probably someone following you. I've even found that we were all walking in a circle round a block !

After that some breweries produced 4-pint take-away plastic containers that looked like pottery jugs - and later 2pint waxed paper things with a plastic clip (they were a pig to carry and burst if you dropped them).

We then had the large plastic bottles up to the three litre size, but these seem to be disappearing now, leaving only individual cans.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Pied Piper
Date: 02 May 03 - 06:26 AM

And then there was Brew 9,10,11.
Yuk.
PP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Micca
Date: 02 May 03 - 07:00 AM

Remeber "Long Life" Ind Coopes " the Beer brewed for the can" ( I think it was in the American sense of the word "can")


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Hillheader
Date: 02 May 03 - 12:45 PM

Guys
UK Duty on Beer - Current Rates

It would appear the lower the strength the less duty per pint/can. Coupled with a discount from a small brewery, this could make the difference. Of course, they could just be selling it a a loss-leader...

Davebhoy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Noreen
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 06:41 AM

From the UK Customs and Excise site linked to by Davebhoy, I find that from midnight on 13 April 2003 the tax rate per hectolitre per cent of alcohol is £12.22.

A hectolitre is 100 litres which is approximately 22 gallons = 176 pints. So duty per pint per cent alcohol is 6.94p.

So the Tesco Value bitter accrues only 14.6p tax per pint, and most draught bitters would accrue between 20.8p (3%) and 34.7p (5%).

So I would think that the price to the customer is more to do with profit margins made by the breweries and pubs, compared with those made by Tescos.

BTW I was told by the brewer on a brewery visit when I was on Long Island, New York last year that tax there is not related to percentage alcohol, but levied at a flat rate for all beers- so they could make the beer any strength they liked. There were all a lot stronger than our (UK) normal session beers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 06:57 AM

Or as they used to say, ' if the bottom has fallen out of your world, drink a few pints of Red Barrell, and watch the world fall out of your bottom '
eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 07:46 AM

Are you sure there's not still a point where the "near-beer" rating applies and you can sell it without a license - like the cans of shandy. I notice that cider and perry is only liable for duty if it's over 1.2% - I wonder if that does apply to beer as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 10:38 AM

What is the point of ' near beers ' or low alcohol beers, because all the ones I've ever tried taste like shite.
Surely they don't fool anyone ?
eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 11:59 AM

the point for some I have spoken to is the desire to appear to be 'drinking with the crowd' when you can't or shouldn't have the real thing. Not a good reason, to me, but *shrug*.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Noreen
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 03:16 PM

Eric, the point is that this Tesco Value Bitter, 2.1%, is a very drinkable beer- I know what you mean about the artificially produced, low/no alcohol beers though. They have to put in a lot of sulphur dioxide as a preservative, as there's no alcohol, and that can give a nasty headache. I had the worst hangover in my life after drinking Eisberg alcohol-free wine when I was pregnant!

We've found it (Tesco Value bitter) good to carry when out walking, and it's also good for young teenagers who want to be drinking real beer like their parents.



Hi Bill
:0)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 03:20 PM

I reckon you'd do better with shandy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 05:16 PM

Sorry Kevin - To much suger in Lemonade. These days I am afraid more than a couple of pints of Bass puts my Blood Suger level overhigh. Thats why I stopped measuring it at night

Gareth **BG** and pass the injector.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:12 AM

The only NA beer I can recommend for taste is "St Pauli Girl NA" - not that I drink it at all.
I accidently downed four of them at a company "do" before I realised I wasn't getting a buzz, and my mates asked me if I'd gone on the wagon.
I considered myself quite a beer connoisseur and it made me feel quite foolish that I hadn't noticed it with the first one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 04:57 AM

i'm going to Tesco's.john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 06:21 AM

Get some in for me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: GUEST,Tom from Greenford
Date: 20 Nov 15 - 04:12 PM

I remember the Crown in Northolt Village being a Watney's pub. It was my local so I became quite used to the Watney range of bitter beers.
Most advertised was their keg biter, Red Barrel. We thought it was all right but a bit gassy and expensive. It was dispensed from an aluminium keg, the beer being pressurised. Much more traditional and acceptable (and less expensive) was Watney's Special, hand pumped from traditional wooden barrels. Not as good as Young's Special but quite acceptable. Years later, for some unaccountable reason Watney's introduced their "beer of the future", Starlight. Out of loyalty to my future brother-in-law (Gerry Nelson appeared on the advertising hoardings throughout Watney's territory), I tried a few pints. I soon realised there was no point in drinking this innocuous brew which, if consumed in quantity, could fill the belly, generally have little effect on ones mental state or powers of concentration but could induce physical discomfort and withrawal symptons. We found out later that Starlight was drawn from the Thames at Mortlake and hosed into containers for distribution without further treatment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: JHW
Date: 20 Nov 15 - 04:43 PM

Alcohol Duty rates from March 2015. Beer (taken from gov.uk )

Alcohol type         Rate per hectolitre per cent of alcohol in the beer

Beer - General Beer Duty         £18.37

Beer - high strength:
Exceeding 7.5% abv - in addition to the General Beer Duty         £5.48

Beer - lower strength:
Exceeding 1.2% - not exceeding 2.8% abv         £8.10

This lowest band has resulted in a few low alcohol brews


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 15 - 10:02 PM

I'd like to lift a glass to Dave Bryant, who started this thread. He was one of the nicest people I met on my visit to England over ten years ago. May he rest in peace - with a pint of ale at his head and feet.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Minimum Beer Strength for Duty
From: Kampervan
Date: 21 Nov 15 - 01:19 AM

And I'll second that. He was one of the finest.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 15 July 3:22 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.