The two-tier tax system is seen as a way for the on-trade to become more price competitive with the take-home sector.
Forty-one per cent of beer volumes now go through the off-trade, according to Nielsen, and with the on-trade beer market declining at 9% a year it seems certain that supermarkets and off-licences will soon sell the lion's share of beer in Britain.
The British Beer & Pub Association has called on Treasury officials to consider reduced excise duty on draught, according to OLN's sister title the Morning Advertiser.
Twenty-one MPs have already signed an Early Day Motion for lower duty on draught beer and cider.
The BBPA has suggested reduced VAT for on-sales operators, but there is nervousness in the trade about the principle of minimum pricing - an idea floated this week by chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson but quickly dismissed by Gordon Brown.