Alcohol shake-up winners and losers - bad news for wine drinkers as duty rises

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Duty on wine is going up by around 44p (Image: Getty Images)
Duty on wine is going up by around 44p (Image: Getty Images)

The price of some of the nation’s favourite drinks has gone up today with most wines and spirits being hardest hit.

Alcohol duties have risen by 10.1%, in line with the September rate of inflation. In addition to this, alcohol products are now being taxed based on the strength of the drink, rather than the previous categories of wine, beer, spirits, and ciders.

Drinks with alcohol by volume (ABV) below 3.5% will be taxed at a lower rate, but tax on drinks with ABV over 8.5% will stay the same, whether it is wine, spirit or beer.

These changes could impact prices if they are passed on to consumers. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has described the overhaul as "the most radical simplification of alcohol duties for over 140 years".

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: "Amongst all this pressure the Government has chosen to impose more inflationary misery on consumers with the biggest single alcohol duty increase in almost 50 years.

'I stopped drinking booze on dates and it made life much more exciting' erideuiqtqiqdrinv'I stopped drinking booze on dates and it made life much more exciting'

"Ultimately, the Government’s new duty regime discriminates against premium spirits and wine more than other products."

However, the duty charged on draught pints in pubs across the UK has been cut - meaning drinks on tap in pubs will be up to 11p lower than at the supermarket.

This measure was announced in the Budget earlier this year. The Treasury has said that more than 38,000 UK pubs will benefit from tax relief that effectively freezes or cuts alcohol duty on beer poured from tap.

However, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said brewers will pay 10.1% more tax on bottles and cans of beer from Tuesday. It means duty will make up about 30% of the cost of a 500ml bottle.

So which drinks exactly will be going up in price, and which ones will go down? We round up the winners and losers.


The below figures were complied by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association with the difference relating to the change in duty.

  • Pint cider 4.5% ABV on-trade (draught) - Difference: 0p
  • Pint beer 4.5% ABV on trade (draught) - Difference: 0p
  • Spirit-based Cream Liqueur 17% ABV 70cl - Difference: -3p
  • Pre-Mixed G&T 5% ABV 250 ml - Difference: -5p
  • Sparkling Wine 12% ABV 75cl - Difference: -19p
  • Losers

  • Port 20% ABV 75 cl - Difference: +£1.30
  • Sherry 15% ABV 75cl - Difference: +97p
  • Vodka 37.5% ABV 70cl - Difference: +76p
  • Still wine 12.5% ABV 75cl - Difference: +44p
  • 440ml can beer 4.5% ABV off trade - Difference: +4p
  • 440 ml can cider 4.5% ABV off trade - Difference: +1p
  • Levi Winchester

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