WSTA celebrates successful Fringe events

The WSTA have wrapped up two successful Fringe events, at the Labour and Conservative party conferences.

In Brighton for Labour’s Conference, the WSTA’s ‘Gin on the Fringe’ event took place at the British Airways i360, and was hosted by Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove. Guests were treated to locally produced gin from Brighton Gin, and wines from both Nyetimber and Fourth & Church, a local wine merchant.

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Peter Kyle MP then took part in a Q&A with Matt Forde, from shows such as Unspun on Dave and Have I Got News for You on the BBC, and discussed his increased majority in the General Election.

In Manchester, the WSTA’s ‘Gin and Tories’ event was hosted by Graham Brady MP at the Epernay Bar, where it was announced that backbench Tory MPs will visit the City of London Distillery to create their own gin, in advance of the 1922 Committee’s 100 year anniversary. City of London Distillery and Berry Bros & Rudd provided drinks to guests on the evening.

Both events were designed to champion Britain’s gin industry, and coincided with the delivery to the Treasury of the WSTA’s Budget submission. During the events, Miles Beale, the WSTA’s CEO, called on MPs to support both the British gin industry and the wider wine and spirit sector in November’s Budget.


The WSTA’s submission details the enormous amount of duty payable on wine and spirits - £8.05 is paid on duty alone on an average-priced bottle of 40% abv gin, and when combined with VAT this means that 76% of the price is tax. Duty and VAT on an average-priced bottle of wine (75cl) makes up 55% of the cost, with the costs even higher for sparkling wine.

British gin in particular has become a huge success story, and needs the support of Government, in the form of a duty freeze in November, to continue to grow.

MPs also heard across both events how the Government can further support the industry, by encouraging Embassies to routinely serve British gin and English sparkling wines at events. Prioritising Free Trade Agreements with the EU, The Far-East and the USA, all major export destinations for British wine and spirits, would also help producers, the vast majority of which are small and medium-sized companies, to take advantage of the thirst for brilliantly made British drinks overseas.

Latest statistics from the WSTA show that some 36.3 million bottles of gin have sold in the last 12 months in supermarkets and shops, breaking the £500 million barrier for the first time and an increase of £200 million since 2012.

In pubs bars and restaurants, the WSTA figures show a similar upwards trend, with 8.3 million bottles of gin sold worth £687m in the same 12 months.


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