The Brewers’ Association of Scotland has today (11 January) launched a free helpline for brewers offering advice on licensing and HMRC from TLT LLP and Johnston Carmichael.

Scotland’s brewing industry is flourishing, there are more than 125 operating breweries throughout the country stretching from Shetland to Stranraer, with even more planned, and the public appetite for Scottish beer shows no sign of slowing down.

The Brewers’ Association of Scotland (TBAS) was set up by brewers for brewers to help to capitalise on this phenomenal growth. TBAS works to create opportunities which help to grow the sector, its reputation and individual businesses.

The new helpline service, launched at Stewart Brewing in Edinburgh, is available exclusively to members of TBAS and will provide help and support for Scottish brewers on a wide range of licensing and HMRC issues including licence applications and training, Small Brewers’ Relief scheme, VAT, import and export producers and excise licensing, as well as broader legal and accountancy services.

The licensing helpline will be operated by the TLT LLP who are recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a top-tier law firm for licensing in Scotland. Stephen McGowan, Partner – Head of Licensing (Scotland) at TLT LLP said:

“I have always been a strong supporter of TBAS and of independent brewing in Scotland. I am proud to lead one of the largest and most experienced licensing teams in Scotland and, having worked in this industry for a number of years, I am aware of the many issues that licensing can present for a fast-growing brewer. The team at TLT LLP are looking forward to continuing our work with TBAS and its members through this comprehensive service.”

Johnston Carmichael, Scotland’s food and drink accountancy experts, will operate the HMRC helpline which will support brewers with beer duty and VAT queries. Adam Hardie, Partner and Head of Food & Drink at Johnston Carmichael said:

“I am passionate about craft beer and our firm have been involved with TBAS from the start.  We have a wealth of brewing accounting and tax expertise which we use to help brewery owners make better business decisions. Our specialists regularly get issues resolved with HMRC, raise funding to help breweries grow and manage day to day accounting and tax needs.”

Caroline Wengel, Business Development Manager at TBAS and Scotland Food & Drink said:

“Since its inception, TBAS has worked hard to raise awareness of the sector in Scotland and to grow its value. Our members are ambitious and have built a brewing sector Scotland can be proud of. Initiatives like this from TLT LLP and Johnston Carmichael are vital in safeguarding the future of our growing industry and it will ensure members can access the information and support they need to run and grow their businesses.”

Steve Stewart, TBAS Board member and Co-founder of Stewart Brewing said:

“This service I am sure will be of great benefit to all the TBAS membership. Running a brewery is busy and challenging so to have experts at the end of a phone line to advise on licensing and HMRC issue will be of huge value and convenience.”

Brewers who are interested in accessing the helpline should contact Caroline Wengel by emailing

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