The background to this is that the changes in brewing caused by WW I - in particular the reduction in beer gravity - greatly depressed the demand for hops. Meaning that for the first time in 60 or 70 years Britain could grow almost enough hops for its own needs.
Another drop in gravity caused by WW II left Britain effectively self-sufficient in hops. Quite a turnaround from the situation before WW I.
"Home brewer" doesn't mean someone brewing in his kitchen in this context. It refers to commercial breweries in Britain, as opposed to foreign ones.
"A duty of £4 per cwt. on imported Hops, with a preference of one-third to Dominion hops, was imposed as from 16th August, 1925, for four years, in order to tide the hop industry over a difficult period at the end of Hop Control, and in 1929, 1933, 1937, 1941, 1945, 1949 and 1953 the duty was reimposed for further like periods. In 1929, the duty on hop oil, which was previously charged on the quantity of hops used in its manufacture, was altered to a fixed rate of £ per oz.
In order not to handicap the home brewer, a countervailing duty was placed on imported beer. Since 1933 this has been at the rate of 10d. per bulk barrel, and is included in the rate of duty on imported beer. There is also a Customs drawback at the rate of 10d. per bulk barrel on beer exported.
During the war of 1939-45 the production of hops was restricted to the 1939 acreage until in 1943 a permissive increase was made to 20,000 acres and in 1945 to 22,500 acres. It will be seen that in fact this total was reached in 1948. Consumption of hops by brewers was cut in June, 1941, under instructions of the Ministry of Food, by 20%. of the rate used per standard barrel. This cut ceased to operate in 1947, and given a good crop the English production is sufficient to cover 12 months' requirements without imported hops, under present circumstances. The quantity of foreign hops entered for home consumption and the total net receipts from this duty, as shown by the Customs and Excise Report, have been as follows, for years ending 31st March :"
1955 Brewers' Almanack, page 64.
Here's the table that followed the text:
|Hop and hop product imports 1926 - 1954|
|Year ended 31st March||Hops||Hop Oil||Hop Extracts. Essences, and similar Preparations||Net Receipts from Duty|
|t Included under Hop Extracts in these years|
|§ Excess of Drawbacks.|
|1955 Brewers' Almanack, page 64.|
It's revealing to have hop extract included, as there was a sudden surge in imports of it around the end of WW II. Not sure why that was. But I guess hop oil extract took up far less room on ships.