Sir, The Budget is a kick in the teeth for the British brewing and pub industries, made worse by the misleading manner in which it was announced ('Anger as the escalator for beer stays,' The Grocer, 26 March).

The initial statement by George Osborne stated that there "will be no additional increase to the alcohol duty rate". That's disingenuous at best considering the "no additional" meant he would not be cancelling the beer duty escalator he inherited from Labour. As a result, the price of a pint of beer has been hit by a 7.2% increase in beer duty plus VAT.

Hobsons and Wye Valley trade in a rural community, supplying a network of responsible well-run pubs often at the heart of the community.

Both breweries are baffled at why the government is squeezing our British pubs don't they form part of the so-called Big Society? We endeavour at all times to run an ethical and responsible brewery, crafting wholesome beers using local ingredients and employing staff from the local area.

This was supposed to be a Budget for growth that backed British manufacturing. It does none of this and creates frustration and breeds bitterness. To quote former MP Hillaire Belloc: "When you have lost your inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England."

Nick Davis, owner of Hobsons Brewery and Vernon Amor, MD, Wye Valley Brewery

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