PRICE ROW

Operators threaten to de-list Charles Wells beers following price hike

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

The company has said it is rising the price of its own brewed beers by 2%
The company has said it is rising the price of its own brewed beers by 2%

Related tags: Charles wells, Beer, Brewers

Operators have threatened to de-list Charles Wells beers after the brewer and pub company announced yesterday it was raising prices of its own-brewed beers by 2%. 

All Our Bars chief executive Paul Wigham told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​ (PMA​) he would "immediately" de-list Charles Wells brands and replace them with local brewers or beers from brewers that have held their prices. 

'Battered by prices rises'

Wigham said: "We have now been battered with price rises. We have to make a start and this is my start – voting with my money. I can understand to some extent why some foreign owner brewers do not care about the UK pub industry, but in the case of Charles Wells whose main interests lie here, it is unforgivable."

Pleisure Limited managing director Nick Griffin said he was following suit and Cheshire Cat Pub Company owner Tim Bird said in a letter to Charles Wells that if big brewers continued to up prices, he would switch all his lagers and stouts to microbrewers.

A spokesperson from Charles Wells said: "Our relationships with customers are built on being open and honest through constructive two way conversations. We will always do what we can to find the right support package for them and are confident that customers are happy to discuss any issues with their account manager so that we can work together to find the best solution for our respective businesses."

Falling costs

It comes as part of ongoing row about prices​, which saw eight operators, including Wigham, Griffin and Bird, pen an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne last week slamming brewers for rising prices despite falling input costs and low inflation.

The letter read: "Grain prices in 2014 and 2015 are approximately half of what they were in 2012 and remain so today. We can see no justification for these price rises."

Publicans also criticised the British Beer and Pub Association's (BBPA) campaign for a cut in beer duty, arguing savings were not being passed on to licensees and did little to help pubs. 

Less than a third of the public want the Government to cut beer duty, a poll conducted for the BBPA has shown.

The survey, carried out by YouGov, found 41% favoured freezing beer tax and 18% wanted a cut to generate more money for the Government. When asked if they wanted to "make going out to the pub more affordable by cutting beer tax" 31% said yes.

The survey shows that 37% believe the amount of beer tax we pay in Britain is unfair, compared with 20% who think it is fair. The remainder did not know or felt it was neither fair nor unfair.

Beneficial

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chief executive Tim Page said that everyone involved in the production of beer has a responsibility to ensure prices are affordable.

"With regard to taxation, independent research from CEBR (Centre for Economic & Business Research) continues to show that a beer duty cut is beneficial to the entire pub and brewing industry – as well as the wider economy. Any such cut must, however, be passed on to retailers and ultimately consumers to realise these benefits.

"CAMRA has consistently campaigned for cuts in beer duty, which still remains at more than 52p a pint, but has also repeatedly called for brewers to pass this cut on to retailers and, in turn, for pubs to ensure it is passed on to drinkers."

Related topics: Beer

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