The average British pub pays £66,500 a year in taxes on beer.
That's the claim from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), both of which are campaigning against further rises in beer duty.
New figures released jointly by the BBPA and CAMRA showed that the average annual beer tax bill (duty plus VAT) had risen by £18,000 (up 38%) since the Government's beer duty escalator was introduced in March 2008.
An e-petition calling for a halt to the duty escalator already has the support of over 66,000 people, with hopes that the campaign will secure the 100,000 signatures needed to secure a key debate in Parliament before the next Budget.
The campaign has moved into pubs this week, with publicans and pubgoers being urged to collect signatures for the online e-petition in pubs across the country.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds (pictured) said: "The whole industry is united on this vital issue. These new figures show the unsustainable burden of this tax on pubs. Only public pressure will force the Government to think again, as further increases above inflation are planned, every year - even though the Government doesn't expect to make any additional revenue from the policy."
CAMRA chief executive Mike Benner added: "When it comes to the beer and pub industry, there is no greater common ground than the fight to end the beer duty escalator, a punitive measure that has been of huge detriment to publicans and consumers since its introduction.
"We urge licensees and consumers across the country to get behind this campaign."
By Neil Gerrard
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