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1 24th March 00:42
chris palmer
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Posts: 1
Default The moral maze


A friend of a fictional friend [I have no real friends] related the
story of a fictional landlord in a fictional pub who was selling
fictional but excellent beer from a nearby fictional small brewer in
contravention of the terms of the fictional pubco to which the pub
belonged, which tied the landlord to a list of real and predictable
quasi-regional beers and national "treasures".
In the event of the pubco finding out about the unauthorised guest, a
solids/air conditioning interface scenario would be sure to follow.
So the fantasy goes, when challenged, the landlord broke down and said
he was only trying to keep his supplier and customers happy and so
restrictive were his terms that without this little sideline he'd not
be making enough money to justify all his hard work.

1] If this fictional scenario were to become reality (I'm just asking
you to imagine), and you were in the place of the customer who realised
that this was going on would you:

a) promote the establishment as a paragon of excellence and choice
b) keep schtum and hope that the practice did not become too widely
known in case the pubco found out
c) ring up the pubco and ask whether they were aware this was going on

2] If you were the landlord, and found that your pub was mentioned in a
fictional branch magazine of a fictional beer campaign as a result of
response (a) above, then what would your reaction be?

I only ask as I had this weird dream sleeping off a few pints of
excellent ale the other day.
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2 24th March 00:42
nissedasapewt
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Default The moral maze


To question 1, I would keep it quiet but enjoy drinking the beer until
the situation changed (as it invariably would).

Q2: If I were the unfortunate landlord I would point out to the pubco
that while selling a good local beer the pub stays in business -
sticking to the usual rubbish drives away customers. I would also ask
if the pubco was signed up to the SIBA scheme so that decent beers
<i>can</i> be bought by landlords in this situation.

Finally I would look for an exit route into a genuine free house - I
personally could not work under the restrictions that pubcos force on
their tenants.

Charles.
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3 24th March 00:42
brett...
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Default The moral maze


Come on we all know this is the reality for a lot of licensees who have
their hands tied by restrictive owners be it pub co's or breweries.

My choice would be neither of the above, so I'll add
d) Promote the pub but speak to the licensee asking if they'd like their
choice of beers promoted or not.

If the beer is good, the beer is good the vast choice of beer is just a
bonus.
The quality is the most important factor for me.


--

Brett
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4 24th March 00:42
steve pickthall
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Default The moral maze


Yes let's not forget this twatty practice is not only undertaken by 'evil'
pubcos but also by several breweries beloved of the real ale fraternity. See:
http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?storycode=52664

Is it time CAMRA cut the regionals loose; given their propensity to act like
any other twatty pubco; stood up to them, stopped the special pleading on
their behalf and called for the abolition of the tie?
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5 24th March 00:42
petere
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Default The moral maze


I know we've been through this before, but how can you abolish the tie
unless you abolish the multiple ownership of licensed outlets?

--
http://www.stockportpubs.org.uk
"If a river bridge were not guarded by a pa****t, the slackness of the
defaulting authority deserves the blame, not the people who fall in" -
Lieut. Col. Mervyn O'Gorman.
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6 24th March 00:42
chris palmer
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Posts: 1
Default The moral maze


The fictional publican in the first post pays a lot more for the
"approved" beer than the guest ale sold by the local brewer. The tie
inflates the price of beer because the tied brewers take a bigger cut
per barrel than the small guys, and the pubcos just sit in the middle,
raking in the money as the barrels go by. Are we suggesting that a
publican in a tied house would be able to reject the in-house beers
altogether and source all of his own? That would make it impossible for
the pubcos. Investors wouldn't be interested in a business which had
lost its licence to print money. Surprising they never nationalised the
brewing industry in a big way, really. There's probably as much in the
profit as there is in the duty, so why not have both?

If only there were enough free houses, we could vote with our feet.
Until then, the fictional publican buys his under-the-counter beer in
an attempt to level up the playing field, and as I sup my fictional
pint in my dream, I wonder when the bubble will burst for him and what
the consequences will be.
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7 24th March 00:42
steve pickthall
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Default The moral maze


You outlaw mega pub companies as being anti-competitive. It's what the
Competition Commission is there for.
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8 24th March 00:42
petere
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Default The moral maze


But there is no market in which companies with a market share of under 20%
(which is what the biggest pub companies have) have been broken up as
anti-competitive.

And if I own 100 pubs, then surely it's up to me to decide what beers get
sold in them.

--
http://www.stockportpubs.org.uk
"If a river bridge were not guarded by a pa****t, the slackness of the
defaulting authority deserves the blame, not the people who fall in" -
Lieut. Col. Mervyn O'Gorman.
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9 24th March 00:42
steven pampling
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Posts: 1
Default The moral maze


The problem is that the latest wheeze the pubcos have involves getting all
(or as many as possible) of the local small brewers to sign up to supply
into the blanket scheme (the name of which escapes me but it has had mixed
press).
Said scheme means the licensee chooses a beer, the brewery deliver direct
and payment is routed via the pubco.

The issue? The price to the pubco is so low the brewery is likely to make a
loss if the delivery distance is much beyond a few miles, but needless to
say the price to the licensee is stupidly high so he has to charge the
punters more to make any money.

Meanwhile the pubco sit back do nothing and collect lots of money.
Steve is right, while the pubcos exist there will be no fair market.

--

Steve Pampling
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