On 24 January, The pub, which declined to be named, received a letter from Serviced Dispense Equipment (SDE), a joint venture between by Heineken UK and Carlsberg UK, informing them that BrewDog’s use of the beer dispense equipment in its venue had not been paid for or authorised by SDE.
In the letter, seen by The Morning Advertiser (MA), the pub was told that because BrewDog has refused to purchase the lease payments incurred by the use of SDE equipment to serve its beers, the company has “no other option” but to disconnect all BrewDog products being served in the venue.
'No other option'
The letter read: “There are charges which are payable to SDE for the use of our beer dispense equipment, python and cooler which has been explained to BrewDog in full detail.
“We have written to BrewDog on numerous occasions and have had refusal to purchase the lease payments which are incurred where their products are being dispensed through our python lines”
“After careful consideration, SDE has decided that there is no other option but to disconnect the BrewDog products in your outlet. We understand that the disconnection of the BrewDog brand may be inconvenient to yourself and that you have had no previous involvement in this matter. I would, therefore, encourage you to contact BrewDog in order for them to resolve the outstanding payments required to keep their brand in your outlet.”
The letter also informed the pub that it would arrange for "an alternative product" to be installed in BrewDog's place. In November 2017, HUK took a minority stake in Brixton Brewery, whilst in July 2017 Carlsberg UK bought London Fields Brewery, although the latter is yet to release a beer under its new ownership.
BrewDog 'refusing to pay'
Speaking anonymously to MA, The pub’s licensee confirmed they had spoken to SDE and that someone from the company would be visiting the venue this week to disconnect its BrewDog products and install a replacement product in its place.
The licensee said: “I have spoken to the lady who sent the letter from SDE and she explained that as Heineken is our major brewer, ie, they supply most of our keg product, they own and maintain the cellar cooling python, lines and dispense kit.
“Anyone who puts a non-Heineken product through the kit is asked to pay a fee for the privilege and BrewDog is refusing to do so. They don't want BrewDog product going through their kit and intend to disconnect it.
BrewDog confirmed that its legal team was investigating the matter, but declined to comment further. SDE did not respond to requests for comment.