Johnston: “craft brewers need more support”

A MID-FORMARTINE councillor has called on the government to do more to assist artisan breweries in the north-east.

Cllr Paul Johnston said that a poor barley crop had meant rising prices for brewers, and a shortage of quality grain.

Speaking to the Times, Cllr Johnston said that the sector was rapidly developing in Scotland, and that government assistance to the industry would be beneficial, from both Holyrood and Westminster.

He said: “The distilling industry and the - developing - craft brewing industry are season dependent and their problems should be recognised as strategic for Scotland. The supply and pricing difficulty for brewing is more acute than distilling and while not making light of distilling issues, I think there is a good, strong argument for immediate Government assistance for the craft brewing Industry.

“With 57 breweries in Scotland, many world class, such as Brewdog in Ellon, there is a need to review if the beer duty escalator should be applied in the current circumstances. That would be a strong signal of support.”

“Scotland is brewing fantastic beers and is creating jobs, many here in the North East of Scotland. This is an industry that needs focus and development at this point in its progress especially with the raw material supply issues it has.”