News

Brewing / Pubs / 03 February 2021

Industry platform re-launched to manage destruction of beer and reclaim duty for out of date beer as a result of the third, national lockdown  

Pubs, bars, hotels and other businesses can re-register to use platform at returnyourbeer.co.uk from today

The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade body representing Britain’s brewers and pubs has today announced the re-opening of cross-industry platform returnyourbeer.co.uk. Used extensively following the first lockdown, the re-opening of the site will enable participating brewers to manage the safe destruction of their brands in pubs in order to reclaim excise duty for beer that has become unsalable as a result of the latest National lockdown.

Under the latest restrictions, whilst some pubs outside of England may operate for takeaway and delivery purposes. For many pubs it will not be possible to operate under the latest measures and until the restrictions are lifted or eased. It is therefore necessary once again to consider how to handle beer that will be out of date and unsaleable once pubs are able to re-open and so that the appropriate and agreed recompense from reclaimed duty can be passed back to licensees.

Many of the brand owners who used the platform in 2020 will once again be available, although not all of these will be on the site at launch. As more brands are re-introduced to the platform this information will be updated via the website.

Licensees wishing to use the platform will need to re-register for a new round of claims which will be separate from those made in relation to the first National lockdown. Once permission has been obtained from the brand owner to destroy beer, the platform is also used to verify the extent of stock and to provide the necessary evidence of destruction.

As before, it will also be necessary to consider any environmental risks associated with beer destruction. Licensees should always consider whether it is possible to divert unsaleable beer for alternative uses, such as for agricultural/commercial animal feed.

Licensees should discuss this and any available options for retrieval or alternative use with suppliers before destroying beer. After permission is obtained from the brand owner to destroy waste beer it is then necessary to apply for permission to dispose the waste beer through your wholesaler or sewerage provider. Disposal of wastewater liquids derived from normal operational activities i.e. those generated through routine food and drink service, including cleaning processes, do not require permission from your wholesaler.

Licensees should note that whilst some wholesalers have agreed to reinstate the fee-free, simplified approach for applications to destroy beer, as was used following the first lockdown, this is not the case for all wholesalers. Further details on this can be found on the website as well as how to find more information on the claims policy for the brand owners.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“We’re encouraging businesses with spoilt beer they need to destroy to visit www.ReturnYourBeer.co.uk and pre-register. The platform provides guidance and instructions necessary to destroy beer, as well as crucially recording that destruction to enable duty to be claimed back on it.

“This cross-industry platform is free to use and should help businesses of all shapes and sizes who serve draught beer as they re-stock and re-fresh ahead of re-opening. Crucial at this hugely challenging time.”

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