Licensees have spoken out against the new increase in beer prices from brewer Scottish Courage.
The company, which brews Kronenbourg and John Smith's, has increased prices by nearly 13 per cent on the beers, say disgruntled licensees. The rise means licensees who are already facing bankruptcy and financial hardship will have to increase the cost of a pint to cover their overheads.
Licensee Alan Hopkins of the Seahorse in Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, says that he will be forced to increase his prices. He said: "It is one of the highest increases ever, I will have to up the price of a pint by 10p to cover the costs."
Richard Barraclough, licensee of the Hop n Grapes in Torquay, Devon, says most smaller pub operators will have to increase the cost of a pint by 8p to 15p. He said: "This is clearly an unacceptable rise for the majority of smaller pub operators who would stand to lose considerable custom to the freetrade competition."
Scottish Courage confirmed that is has increased its pricing on both Kronenbourg and John Smith's Extra Smooth but in a statement it defended its position. "We review our prices in the light of our costs, investment, relative positioning of individual brands, competitive behaviour and other market forces" the company said.
"The wholesale selling price for Kronenbourg 1664 draught and John Smith's Extra Smooth will increase by an average £10 per brewers barrel and John Smith's will increase by £15."