Tax row over Cornish nettle ‘beer’

Foodswild owner Miles Lavers

A Helston brewer has been stung with a £10k tax bill from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in a row over its ‘beer’.

HMRC insists that Foodswild’s Cornish Stingers should be categorised as a wine, which attracts double the duty of beer.

HMRC says under EU rules, for a beer to be classified as such, it must contain malt, which Cornish Stingers does not.

Foodswild insists that Stingers is a beer, however, and has called upon European officials to review the matter

Founder Miles Lavers said: “It’s a natural product made from nettles. We want to make more products like dandelion beer so this is very important to us.

“There’s a chance now because they are trying to find a new duty bracket for us.”

Results of the review should be through in the next two weeks.