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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian visit local brewery Ainsty Ales

March 9, 2021

As part of his ongoing discussions throughout the pandemic with York’s important hospitality and leisure sectors, Julian visited Ainsty Ales in Acaster Malbis on Friday to meet with their owner and Managing Director, Andy Herrington. Founded in 2014, Ainsty Ales has won an array of accolades for their high-quality beers quickly joining the ranks of the great breweries which put North Yorkshire on the real ale map.

Julian was interested to learn how Ainsty Ales had adapted to the pandemic and their thoughts on what the Budget as well as the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown means for their business. While the sight of closed pubs, cafes and restaurants throughout lockdown are a constant reminder of the impact of the pandemic, it is often overlooked that their suppliers have also had an incredibly difficult year. 
In the past twelve months, Julian has tabled a number of written questions as well as lobbied Ministers, either directly or by joining with like-minded colleagues, to ensure that businesses within the hospitality supply chain are not overlooked. In December, Julian asked Treasury Ministers for a long overdue overhaul of the way we tax beer, pubs and breweries and in the past has expressed support for introducing a lower level of duty for real ale to protect it as an important national product. 

Following his visit to Ainsty Ales, Julian commented:

“While this year has undoubtedly been difficult for Ainsty Ales, it was fantastic to see strong entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity in a local enterprise to adapt to the challenges they have faced with a renewed focus on sales through their e-shop with collection available from their drive-thru. It was also encouraging to also see strong levels of support from customers who are buying direct from the brewery to get their real ale fix while pubs are closed.

As we emerge from lockdown, I will continue to work with parliamentary colleagues to promote good pubs and great beer, listening to local businesses and York’s branch of CAMRA for insight of what support the industry needs. Having discussed the issue with Andy, I will be renewing my representations to Treasury Ministers to ensure that the ongoing review of Small Brewers Relief is fit for purpose offering support to microbreweries while not disincentivising growth for the largest small breweries.

When the pandemic is over and normality has returned, I would like to take the opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic produce made in York Outer by having Ainsty Ales provide a guest beer for one of the parliamentary bars. I know that many constituents will be looking forward to the coming months when they can once again enjoy one of Andy’s beers in the company of friends, either at their local pub or by making a trip to the brewery tap room.”

Andy Herrington added: 

“It was great to have a catch-up at the Brewery with our local MP Julian Sturdy recently.  We spoke for over an hour about how Ainsty Ales Brewery has pivoted / adapted during the Pandemic, what’s been particularly difficult for the brewery and what may help as we move forward into Spring.  It was also nice to run our short-medium term plans past Julian … pledging his support and gaining his opinions was great”