Micro-breweries cheered by rising demand for their products are in danger of losing out financially, it is claimed.
Martin Bown, who heads Huddersfield-based My Management Accountant, said small-scale breweries – including ones in West Yorkshire – were increasingly popular with drinkers, but due to their size were not always able to take full advantage.
At the same time, they may be missing out on valuable research and development tax credits, which they could be claiming in connection with their testing processes.
Mr Bown said issues confronting micro-breweries had been highlighted to him at the recent Beerex trade show in Sheffield. My Management Accountant has now become an associate member of the Society of Independent Brewers, which organised the event.
“It is a sector that it taking off,” said Mr Bown. “Demand is increasing and the breweries cannot make enough beer to keep up. Brewers have to focus on producing the best beers they can, but they also have a business to run, stock to account for, employee issues, duty returns and all that.
“Micro-breweries can also be eligible for R&D tax credits. They need to make a first batch to see if the beer tastes right. They may have to make 10 batches before they get it right – and the costs of materials, ingredients, energy and time involved in that process is all related to R&D.”
Mr Bown said many micro-brewers came into the business through a love of home-brewing and had other careers before embarking on making beer as a business. “They are best at making beer and delivering it,” he said. “They are very hands-on. But they also provide the classic case of a business that is expanding, but struggling to keep the back-office up to speed.”
My Management Accountant, based at the Media Centre, provides a range of financial management tools to ensure individual business affairs are conducted and managed in effectively.