A long-running test case over whether an Inntrepreneur beer tie breaches European law is being heard in the High Court. Staines landlord Bernard Crehan, who leased the Phoenix from July 1991 until November 1992, and the Cock from July 1991 until March 1993, claims that a beer tie in the leases operated by Inntrepreneur distorted competition in breach of European Community laws. He claims that as a result of the tie he was contractually bound to buy beer from Courage at prices which exceeded prices paid by other publicans in the locality, and that as a consequence his businesses in each of the two pubs failed. He argues that had he not been tied he could have obtained substantial discounts in respect of his beer purchases in 1991 when brewers were offering free houses £60 discount per barrel. He claims that if his two pubs traded at a conservative 350 barrels each, he would have received an extra £42,000 in cash per year and they would have survived. Inntrepreneur claim Mr Crehan failed to carry out repairs to the Cock under the agreement contained in the lease, and that when he left in March 1992 work valued at £21,655 remained to be done. Inntrepreneur are fielding a number of senior witnesses, including current chairman of Carlsberg Tetley, Ebbe Dineson, former chairman and managing director of Grand Met, Robert William, and former head of Courage Mike Foster. The witnesses on behalf of Bernie Crehan include licensees, drinkers and former members of the Inntrepreneur rent panel.