Budget

More rally against beer price hikes

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

James Penlington from Distinct Pub Co: Ensuring pubs aren't priced out of competing with supermarkets/bottle shops
James Penlington from Distinct Pub Co: Ensuring pubs aren't priced out of competing with supermarkets/bottle shops

Related tags: Beer price rises, Beer, Public house, Salisbury pubs

Six more leading operators have called on the trade to take a stand against rising prices from brewers and lent their support to an open letter criticising the hikes which has been sent to Chancellor George Osborne. 

Last month the heads of eight influential multi-site operators wrote to Osborne describing recent price rises as “unjustifiable” and damaging to the industry, as well as criticising the British Beer & Pub Association’s campaign to cut beer duty. 

Now Becky Salisbury from Salisbury Pubs, New Pub Company managing director Peter Linacre, James Penlington from the Distinct Pub Company, Mclean Inns managing director Mark Stockhausen, GC Mallen’s Garry Mallen and Vince Healy of Ascot Inns have all joined the fight.

Penlington said: “After what has been a very tough period for pubs everywhere, our industry should be working to ensure that those remaining pubs, especially wet-led, aren’t completely priced out of competing with supermarkets and brewery shops.

"Pubs are an amazing route to market for small brewers and other products, they also provide a safe environment and sensible price point for these products to be enjoyed responsibly, something the Government is right to promote.”

Salisbury added: “We can see no evidence to justify recent beer price rises when most of their commodity prices (grain, utilities, fuel) are going down. The breweries and pubcos seem to want to shoot their own on-trade in the foot and potentially cause unintentional and irredeemable damage.”

Mallen and Stockhausen said they had both highlighted “excessive” price rises to brewery representatives but had not received a satisfactory response.

Last week Charles Wells said it would up prices on its own-brewed beers by 2%, a move that led some operators to claim they would de-list its beers and replace them with local brews or products from breweries that had held prices.

All Our Bars chief executive Paul 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.”

Related topics: Beer

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