Good Beer Guide slams pubcos and global brewers

By Matt Eley Matt

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Good beer guide Public house Mike benner

Top ale houses have been celebrated in the new edition of the Good Beer Guide, which CAMRA has also used to launch stinging attacks on pubcos and...

Top ale houses have been celebrated in the new edition of the Good Beer Guide, which CAMRA has also used to launch stinging attacks on pubcos and global brewers.

The Good Beer Guide 2011 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the consumer group and although it notes the continuing rise of brewing - with 88 new sites opening in the last 12 months - it issues a warning on the future of pubs.

While defending the operation of the beer tie for family brewers, chief executive Mike Benner hits out at "giant pubcos that dominate the supply of beer".

And despite noting that both Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns have made "some movement" to modernise lease agreements he believes much is still to be done.

"The business model isn't working," Benner writes in the guide. "The partnership between pubcos and their tenants and leaseholders needs to be rebalanced.

"They (tenants) can't invest in their pubs while beer prices and pub rents continue to rise."

Global brewers are also attacked for decisions over the last year that have impacted on the beer market.

AB-InBev is criticised for putting brands such as Bass, Boddingtons and Flower's up for sale and Carlsberg is accused of "cack-handed decision-making" for moving the cask brewing of Tetley's to Wolverhampton.

Similarly Heineken UK receives short-shrift for moving production of Newcastle Brown Ale to Yorkshire

And Benner also calls for government action against the supermarkets.

"The price differential between supermarkets and pubs is now seven to one," he writes.

"The supermarkets tell their suppliers to absorb increases in beer duty and publicans are unable to do the same, which puts them at an enormous disadvantage."

• For more information on the Good Beer Guide, which includes details of 4,500 top real ale pubs, visit www.camra.org.

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