Thieving bar stewards?

sparklers2.jpgAfter last week’s announcement of the increase in beer duty, the price of beer in pubs has already gone up, judging from our sizeable sample of pubs this week.

Perhaps I’ve got something wrong here, but shouldn’t there be a time-lag in between the new duty rates becoming effective and the price going up?  As far as I can tell from the HMRC regulations, duty is payable (in most cases) when beer leaves the brewer’s premises, not when it’s served in the pub, so the beer that’s in cellars now was brewed (and paid for) pre-budget.

Same applies to supermarkets – I noticed one supermarket was proudly boasting about having held onto “pre-budget prices” this Easter weeked.   So they’re marketing the fact they haven’t pulled the same fast one as everyone else?

Who’s cashing in here, albeit for only a couple of weeks?  Is it the pubs, the distributors, or the breweries?