The announcement, revealed exclusively to The Morning Advertiser last year, followed Heineken’s charging restructure, where a one-off payment of £145 was scrapped in favour of ‘pay-as-you-go’.
The brewing group launched the new system as part of its Raising the Bar initiative – which it claims is fairer – meaning that smaller drinks companies will not pay connection fees to dispense drinks on draught and will remain eligible to use the brewer’s cooling and pouring systems.
Under Raising the Bar, both smaller companies and pubs are saved from these additional costs and administration, in a move that Budweiser believes will be "fairer for the industry" and "encourage innovation" in the drinks sector.
Budweiser Brewing Group on-trade sales director Rory McLellan told of his delight behind the initiative.
“We believe Raising the Bar is the best option for brewers, publicans and beer lovers and it’s clear our fellow brewers agree with us,” he exclaimed.
“At Budweiser Brewing Group, we strive to provide the best service and innovation as a beer partner to our lead brewer customers and we’re confident Raising the Bar demonstrates both of these things.”
The scheme to streamline and simplify draught connection fees, launched in February this year, came into effect on 1 April.
Since then, 10 of the UK’s major brewers in Coors, Asahi, Diageo, C&C, Thatchers, Westons, Heineken, Carlsberg, Marston’s and Greene King have all agreed to the programme.
Larger brewers will continue to pay a one-off connection fee of £145 to the lead brewer for each brand with a tap at the bar on point of install as is agreed under the current system.
Budwesier say the programme gives pubs the most freedom, providing consumers with choice and variety, encourages innovation and growth within the craft category and ensures publicans aren’t burdened with any additional costs or unnecessary admin.
McLellan concluded: “Having 10 of the largest drinks companies agree to our scheme sends a message that they industry is aligned behind our proposals, and agree it’s the fairest, simplest option available.”