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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Cases of beer taken on Europe mission

A TRANSPORT hiccup which threatened to stop an award-winning micro-brewery’s beer reaching a European ale summit sparked drastic action from the brewers.

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HAVE BEER WILL TRAVEL: Becky Stringer and Jon Kyme

Refusing to miss the chance to showcase their produce, Jon Kyme and Becky Stringer of Stringers crammed around 40 bottles into two suitcases and took the ales themselves.

The Ulverston brewery was due to have a selection of its bottled beers transported to Belgium for a reception celebrating England’s North West beer.

But when a bottle broke and wet the pallet, the delivery firm refused to accept the bottles for health and safety reasons and the consignment of six cases missed the deadline.

Fortunately, the brewers were making the trip to Brussels themselves via the Eurostar.

Mrs Stringer said: “We’d planned to attend the event, as it’s a great opportunity to spread the word about how great our local industry is and how heavily we’re hit by taxation, but we’d been planning to travel light.”

“The hardest part of the trip was running from Euston to St Pancras, dragging our beer-filled cases.

“We made it on to Eurostar with seconds to spare.”

Mrs Stringer said seven Cumbrian breweries were represented at the event.

They saw the summit as an ideal opportunity to highlight the issues surrounding the rising tax on beer, which the Campaign for Real Ale is blaming for contributing to the number of pubs closing across the UK.

CAMRA has lobbied parliament for the alcohol duty escalator, which increases the tax by two per cent above the inflation rate each year, to be scrapped.

Mrs Stringer said they spoke in person with the Green Party MEP for London, Jean Lambert, who was intrigued by Stringers’ 100 per cent renewably-powered brewery in Low Mill Business Park.

She said: “We wanted to highlight the duty issue we are having with the beer. Compared to the rest of Europe, they’re having to pay considerably less duty than we do. We thought it was an opportunity to make our case.”

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