Brian Mannion, of the Black Lion in Kilburn, north-west London, says a “principled stand” would pressurise pubcos into bringing prices down.
The tenant, who held a ‘draught wake’ at the weekend to mark the end of his pub selling draught beer, said a “national day where pubs make a stand” would encourage pubcos to rethink prices. He has called for Monday 1 July to be the first 'draught boycott day'.
Mannion now sells only bottled beer, wine, spirits and food after he calculated he was paying 66% more for beer than a free-of-tie licensee. He signalled the end of his pub selling draught beer with an event that saw a keg carried out of the pub in a coffin.
In this video Brian explains his decision.
Greg Mulholland MP, co-ordinator for Fair Deal For Your Local said: “I commend Brian for his courage in taking a stand. What he is doing is a bold move and is virtually unprecedented. The Fair Deal for Your Local campaign is calling for a statutory code for large pub owning companies that will include a market rent only option. This would stop the pubco overcharging and would allow licensees like Brian to receive a fair share of pub profits.”
Luke McFarlane, a regular at the Black Lion, added: “When I heard the Black Lion was going to stop serving pints I was a bit shocked and think it’s a real shame but knowing their circumstances I totally understand why they’re doing it and fully support their decision not to buy draught beer when it’s so expensive. It’s good of Brian to put his customers first and not want to rip them off.”
Simon Townsend, chief operating officer at Enterprise Inns, said: “When he purchased the lease from a previous publican, Mr Mannion was aware of the contractual terms he agreed to. Enterprise works with thousands of successful publicans and it is unfortunate Mr Mannion is seeking to undermine the business relationship in this way.”