Wetherspoon's New Beer Prices Are A 'Significant Concern' For UK Brewers
Tim Martin, the chairman of JD Wetherspoon, has been warned that his recent cut of beer prices has caused "significant concern amongst the UK's independent craft brewers".
SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, which represents the UK's independent craft brewers, said that regardless of their individual views on Brexit, "many in the brewing community feel that selling a pint of beer for as low as £1.39 and creating the impression beer will remain that cheap is dangerous".
James Calder, CEO of the group, said that "beer sold this cheaply has to be made cheaply".
Credit Where It's Due
Calder explained, "The beer my members make is a quality premium product and should be treated as one. It is brewed with the finest quality ingredients by artisanal people with real skills.
"It has genuine provenance from a brewer embedded in its community. It comes from a brewing business that reinvests its profit back into its local community."
He said that the new price point may appeal to consumers, but it doesn't support independent craft brewers who already fear further downward pressure on price.
Calder said that SIBA has been helping its members prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
"But moves like this signal a race to the bottom to the brewers that supply your pubs," he said.
He suggested a meeting between both parties to discuss ethical, flexible pricing to brewers "which will allow customers, brewers and JD Wetherspoon all to prosper in a post-Brexit economy".
He said, "Whilst ensuring value to the consumer, I would strongly urge you to commit to pay brewers a fair price for the beer they make."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.