Fair Pint could back beer tie for family brewers

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Family brewers, Public house, Brewers

Fair Pint: policy U-turn on family brewers?
Fair Pint: policy U-turn on family brewers?
Fair Pint could support family brewers' right to tie tenants if they distance themselves from the major pubcos and resign from the BBPA.

Staunch anti-tie group Fair Pint could support family brewers' right to tie tenants if they distance themselves from the major pubcos by resigning from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB) is "deeply concerned" about the "enormous impact" of proposals from Pubs Minister John Healey to force them to offer a free of tie option and a guest beer right for tied tenants by June 2011.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has already said it will lobby for an exemption for brewers who have less than 1% of market share in terms of the number of pubs they own — a policy written into the manifesto of the Independent Pubs Confederation but one at odds with high profile member Fair Pint.

However, the group has hinted it could enact a policy u-turn and back the exemption for small brewers if it is satisfied IFBB members are acting in accordance with the recommendations of the Business Skills and Innovation Committee.

"The only way in which the family brewers are going to be able to make the argument that their relationship with their tenants is different to the pubco model is by resigning their membership of the BBPA and to make their case direct to Government unencumbered by the interests of the big pubcos," said Fair Pint founding member Steve Corbett.

However, Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: "I think people are very quick t ignore the excellent work the BBPA does.

"I think John Healey's statement is confusing, unclear and unhelpful because of the uncertainty it causes."

The IFBB said it did not wish to comment until more details of Healey's proposals came to light.

Related topics: Legislation, Beer

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