All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group

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Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the Spinwatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.

The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, formed as the Parliamentary Beer Club in 1993, promotes understanding amongst Parliamentarians of the United Kingdom beer and pubs industries. Over 300 MPS and Peers of all parties are in membership. Around 60 UK MEPs are honorary members of the Group, which is supported by 50 individual brewing and licensed retailing companies, as affiliated corporate members. An officially registered all-party parliamentary group, the Group is the largest industry group at Westminster.[1] The aim of this group is said to be: "to promote the wholesomeness and enjoyment of beer and the unique role of the pub in UK society; to increase understanding of the social, cultural and historic role of brewing and pubs in the UK, and their value to tourism; to broaden recognition of the contribution of brewing and pubs to employment and to the UK economy; to promote understanding of the social responsibility exercised by the brewing and pub industries; to support the UK's brewing industry worldwide, and to promote a positive future for beer and the pub" [2]

The leader of the group, MP John Grogan, joined S&N and CAMRA in condemning supermarkets for using beer as a loss leader in order to lure customers into their stores. Supermarkets are criticised for selling alcohol so cheaply that other shops simply can't compete. Campaigners, including the drinks industry and MPs, have branded the pricing structure irresponsible. CAMRA are concerned that the supermarkets are contributing to the waning popularity of British beer in a letter to the Competition Commission. They are also urging individuals to lobby their MP to sign Early Day Motion 495 tabled by John Grogan.[3]

Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.

Early Day Motion 495 (tabled on January 2, 2007) was drafted by The Publican newspaper and states: “That this House believes that the substantial price differential between alcohol sold in pubs and that sold in the off-trade is exacerbating the problem of binge drinking; continues to support the pub trade's efforts to curb irresponsible drinking and promotions; and urges supermarkets and off-licences to follow the example of pubs and act to end irresponsible drinks promotions and agree not to use alcohol as a loss leader on their premises.” A total of 194 MPs signed.[4]

A survey by CAMRA revealed that in some supermarkets Fosters and Carling was available for the equivalent of just 54p a pint - or 16p before tax. CAMRA, members of parliament, trade press and pub industry chiefs are calling for urgent action to prevent promotions that serve to exacerbate the problem of binge drinking.[5] [6]

In a memorandum from the Beer Group to the Treasury select committee the following positions were taken by the group (October 2000):

  • The group is not convinced that the legal drinking age needs to be as high as 18 years old in the UK, the government should research lowering the legal drinking age. Although they do conclude (as did the Home Office) that the main obstacle to lowering the age limit is that it may be "politically difficult".
  • Smuggling could be eliminated by cutting the tax duty paid on alcohol. A clamp down on smuggling would also free up police and customs officers to focus on more important tasks and end the social problems associated with smuggling for example sales to children.
  • Increasing beer duty would reduce consumption which would mean less tax would be generated, unemployment would rise and benefit payments would increase.[7]

MP Officers



  • Chair: John Grogan, Labour
  • Vice-Chairs: Nigel Evans, Conservatives | Nick Harvey, Liberal Democrats | Ann Keen, Labour Party | Janet Dean, Labour Party | Dan Rogerson, Liberal Democrats.
  • Joint Treasurers: Bill Olner, Labour Party and Laurence Robertson, Conservatives


Compiled in 2007 from the Register of All-Party Groups, UK Parliament:

Compiled in 2010 from the Register of All-Party Groups, UK Parliament[8]


  1. House of Commons Publications Memorandum from the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to the Select Committee on Treasury Last accessed December 3rd 2007
  2. The Stationary Office House of Commons Register of All-party Groups Accessed April 2007
  3. Action Needed as Supermarkets Sell Lager for Just Pennies More than Water, CAMRA, 8 Jan 07, accessed 23 Mar 2010
  4. EDM 495 PRICE OF ALCOHOL IN SUPERMARKETS AND OFF-LICENCES 13.12.2006, Early Day Motions, UK Parliament website, accessed 23 March 2010
  5. CAMRA Web Site 8/01/07 Action Needed as Supermarkets Sell Lager for Just Pennies More than Water Accessed April 2007
  6. Beer Today 07/01/01 Supermarket lager 'cheaper than water' Last accessed April 2007
  7. House of Commons Publications Memorandum from the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to the Select Committee on Treasury Last accessed December 3rd 2007
  8. All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, "House of Commons Register for the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group", May 2009, accessed on 13 April 2010: