SIBA questions 14-unit guidelines

The Society for Independent Brewers has questioned new UK alcohol consumption guidelines, as inconsistent with those of other countries. 

The new Department of Health guidelines state that men and women should drink no more than 14 alcoholic units a week and as of today replace previous government advice, set 21 years ago, that it is safe to drink up to 21 units. 

Mike Benner, managing director of SIBA, said: "I think many men who regularly consume between 14 and 21 units of alcohol a week will be surprised to suddenly find themselves in an 'at risk' category and this may affect the guidelines' credibility with many responsible drinkers, not least because they are significantly lower than guidelines in various other countries.

“It's also the case that the wider benefits on wellbeing and happiness which stem from the responsible enjoyment of alcohol in a sociable environment such as a pub have been ignored and the industry and others need to work together to bring evidence to support this view to the fore. Enjoying a couple of beers in a pub with friends and colleagues at the end of a hard day can bring positive benefits to peoples' lives.

"Britain's independent craft breweries take pride in brewing fine high quality beers to be enjoyed by people who appreciate flavour and distinctiveness, responsibly and in moderation. I believe that, if people do respond to these guidelines by drinking less then they will inevitably turn to higher quality products for every occasion."