DRINKS industry representatives have raised a pint to Stroud MP Neil Carmichael for his work in helping to secure last year’s historic cut in beer duty.

The Tory politician, who is himself known to enjoy a tipple, has been presented with a ‘Beer Champion’ award and also got the opportunity to taste a new beer brewed especially for the occasion.

Dreamt up by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the special award is a joint initiative which recognises Mr Carmichael’s role in promoting the British drinks industry in 2013 and his support for scrapping the beer duty escalator in particular.

Speaking during a debate in the House of Commons, Mr Carmichael recently raised the success of the Red Lion at Arlingham, a community owned pub which would otherwise have been closed by a PubCo.

Commenting on the award, he said: “I am proud to support the beer industry in Stroud and across the country by campaigning for a freeze in beer duty.

“Breweries and pubs are an essential part of the local economy here in Stroud, as well as being the heart of our villages and communities.”

Mike Benner, chief executive of CAMRA, said: “This award recognises Neil Carmichael for his invaluable support in the campaign to scrap the beer duty escalator.”

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, added: “I wanted to thank Neil for making a huge difference in achieving the historic duty cut in 2013.

“We are delighted to honour this achievement in the best way possible – with a great new beer.”

This week, Stroud Labour Party also voiced its support for a national campaign to support small pub landlords.