Case study ­ unhappy tenant

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Related tags: Beer, Public house, Blackburn

Thwaites Brewery sent fitters to the Fox & Hounds four years ago to install a monitoring system. It was supposed to be a six-month trial, but...

Thwaites Brewery sent fitters to the Fox & Hounds four years ago to install a monitoring system. It was supposed to be a six-month trial, but today the monitors are still there and licensee, Derek Howarth, is not a happy man. Every pint that passes through the Blackburn pub's 14 pumps is recorded ­ yet since 1999, Howarth has only been able to glimpse one set of barrelage statistics. "I've asked to see the figures but they never give them to me. If these contraptions are really supposed to help licensees, then I should get a regular flow of information," he argues. Howarth remains sceptical: "I do not need a machine to tell me which beers are selling best and which perform well or badly at a particular time of the day. I can see this perfectly well with my own eyes. We are smallish pub and the till can tell me everything I really want to know. Everyone knows the real reason why the brewers and the pub companies put them in pubs ­ it's simply to catch licensees buying out." Howarth stresses he has no argument with Thwaites and relations between the two remain cordial. Thwaites is committed to monitors and even threatened a number of licensees with eviction a few years back when they refused to allow them to be installed.

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