Gloria writes a weekly column for the Ashfield Chad. Here is her entry from November 8 2017.
For too long people have been complaining of boarded-up shops on our high streets, a lack of life in our town centres and the demise of the traditional English pub.
Though there is still some way to go to rectifying these issues, there are clear signs of hope thanks to the rise of micro-breweries and micro pubs.
The craft beer revolution have changed the face of the high street across Ashfield and beyond, with over 300 new breweries set up in the UK in 2016.
The number of new breweries rose by 18 per cent in 2016 to 1,994, taking growth over the past five years to 64 per cent.
Across Kirkby, Sutton and Eastwood we now have an array of independent brewers and micro pubs.
You can visit The Fat Rabbit, The Dog House, The Dandy Cock, or The Barrel and Bean in Kirkby.
In Sutton there is the Wrinkly Dog, and in Eastwood, the Tap and Growler, The Gamekeepers, Mellor’s Mews and the Dog and Parrot.
The increase in these establishments is amazing to see.
Instead of carbon copy pubs owned by big brewers, our towns are home to their own individual micro pubs, which offer a selection of often locally-brewed or specialist craft ales, beers and lagers.
These drinks may not otherwise be available to consumers so it is great to see that there is now such a wide choice on offer.
Much of the credit for the craft beer boom has been given to the last Labour government’s reform of the beer duty system.
It introduced a tax break for brewers, encouraging entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses, which have in turn provided a much-needed boost to the local economy and high street.
It is fantastic to see so many people across the constituency embracing this opportunity, and I was proud to praise them during a debate in Westminster on microbreweries last week.
I have visited several of Ashfield’s new micro pubs: each has its own welcoming environment and character and many allow man’s best friend to enter too, offering an array of treats and even ‘doggy beer’.
They are doing a grand job and we have to ensure that the Government keeps the tax breaks in place so they can carry on doing what they are doing and bring people out into their community to enjoy a lovely craft ale or two!