Brewer announces price freeze for 250 pubs

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Taking the strain: Thwaites will absorb additional costs rather than pass them on to pubs and their customers
Taking the strain: Thwaites will absorb additional costs rather than pass them on to pubs and their customers

Related tags Molson coors Beer Cost Thwaites

Lancashire-based brewer and operator Thwaites is freezing the price of its beer sold to its tenants across its 250 leased and tenanted estate, for the second year in a row.

The company’s Blackburn brewery currently brews a large range of seasonal ales and the freeze on prices will include these, as well as other brands it owns, such as Thwaites Original and 13 Guns.

Pubs and brewing director Andrew Buchanan said the business took the decision after feedback from tenants about costs pressures they are facing including labour costs, food and utilities.

Facing challenges

He added: “We know anyone running a pub is continuing to face challenges – from the impact of the national living wage to rates revaluations and there is no need for us to add to that worry.

“When we froze our prices last year it was very much welcomed by our tenants, so it seemed common sense to us to hold our prices once again.

“As a brewery, we too are facing increases in the cost of running our business, but we will absorb that rather than pass it on.”

This announcement comes after big brewers AB InBev and Molson Coors announced price hikes​ for this year.

The increases means some beers and ciders will cost up to 3.9% more than in 2017. Inflation currently sites at 3%, according to the Office for National Statistics, but the Bank of England believes it will fall back to 2% this year.

Ongoing investment

While inflation dipped from 3.1% (a six-year high) in November to 3% in December, Molson Coors and AB InBev will raise prices by as much as 3.2% and 3.9% respectively.

Meanwhile in addition to the price freeze, Thwaites has also confirmed it is also continuing with its ongoing investment work, with £2.5m earmarked for its pubs in 2018.

This is alongside to the investment in its new purpose-built brewery in the Ribble Valley, which is set to open later this year.

Buchanan said: “It is going to be a fantastic year for Thwaites, not least because of the opening of our new brewery, stables and head office, which is coming together on the same site for the first time in its history.

“We also have more exciting plans to improve our pub estates and will be working alongside our tenants to help improve their pubs further through our investment programme.”

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