Brewers in Wiltshire have raised their glasses in support of the Chancellor’s announcement today to cut the duty on beer by 1p.

In his budget statement Mr Osborne abolished the alcohol duty escalator, which adds inflation plus two per cent of the price of a pint. He also reduced the tax paid on a pint by a penny.

James Timoney of Warminster’s Plain Ales, said the move offers a lifeline to pubs and the communities around them in Wiltshire.

He said: “A pint of beer in the pub should be an affordable pleasure rather than an occasional treat, and by cutting duty, the Government is ensuring that draught beer – a relatively low-alcohol drink – remains Britain’s favourite tipple, as it has been for centuries.”

Kevin Newbould, of Holt-based Box Stream Brewery, also welcomed the news. He said: “We have been campaigning for a year to get the duty escalator withheld, and we are very pleased to know it has been scrapped.

“I think it’s a good move to indentify that beer is not the evil part of the industry it has sometimes been made out to be.”

North Wiltshire MP James Gray added: “Two weeks ago, I called on the Chancellor to freeze beer duty and help protect our struggling rural brewing and pub industry.

"Today, I am delighted that has listened to my concerns and even went one step further. Beer will now be 1p per pint cheaper after Sunday night.

"Today’s announcement will be great news for beer-drinkers, breweries, and the 5,398 excellent pubs which proudly call the south west home.”