Government relaxes laws on beer, wine and bread sales

04 January 2011 by
Government relaxes laws on beer, wine and bread sales

The Government is to scrap regulations banning the sale of small measures of beer and wine as well as different unwrapped bread sizes, it has confirmed.

Existing laws limit licensed premises to selling alcoholic drinks in certain measures, while bakers may produce loaves of unpackaged bread in set sizes only.

But Science Minister David Willetts confirmed today that he would update the rules, which were aimed at protecting consumers but have not taken account of changes to consumer demand and trade practice in recent years.

The current regulations mean wine cannot be sold in measures of less than 125ml, while beer must be sold in thirds, halves or multiples of half pints. Fortified wine must be sold in the same quantities as normal wine.

Under the changes, premises will be able to sell wine in measures under 75ml and beers may be sold in ‘schooners' which are two thirds of a pint. It will also be possible to sell fortified wine in smaller sizes of 50ml and 70ml.

Fixed sizes for unwrapped bread will be scrapped so that bakers are free to innovate. Under current regulations, unwrapped bread weighing more than 300g must be made up in quantities of 400g or multiples of it.

Willetts said: "This is exactly the sort of unnecessary red tape the Government wants to remove.

"No pub or restaurant should break the law by selling a customer a sample of wine."

The changes, which apply to the whole of the UK, come into force in the current session of Parliament.

Pressure grows for change in law on wine measures >>

Government gives go-ahead for more flexible drinks measures >>

Dan Lepard's bread roll masterclass >>

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking