New rules bring cheer to the local pub

First published in Business news York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Business editor

REFORMED regulation of pub companies – or pubcos – could help to stem the decline and closure of local pubs and boost local breweries, according to industry insiders.

The Government said a code and the appointment of an independent adjudicator to govern companies owning more than 500 pubs would ensure fair practices on rents and the prices publicans pay for beer.

In particular, it aimed to prevent abuses of the beer tie, which oblige publicans to sell particular types of beer.

York landlord Paul Crossman said he hoped every tied pub would be offered the option to buy its own beer on the free market.

Mr Crossman is a lessee of a pubco at The Swan in Clementhorpe, and also co-owns freehold pubs, The Slip Inn and the Volunteer Arms, as well as soon reopening The Woolpack in Fishergate after buying it freehold from a pubco.

He said pubs under the beer tie must buy beer from the pubco’s list of breweries, at a premium of about 50 per cent more than they could buy on the free market.

He said this prevented tied pubs from serving beer from local breweries, saying it could cost The Swan up to 70 per cent more than his freehold pubs to serve local beer.

“The Swan is such a busy pub we do okay. But we often get accused of being an expensive pub although we are charging as little as we possibly can.”

It is hoped the new code will allow tenant pubs crippled by high rents and restricted buying policies the flexibility to survive.

He added: “The real-ale sector has been the only growth area for the past couple of years, which is great, except half the pubs in this country have a really hard time getting hold of that real ale.

“The effect of beer duty and VAT pales into insignificance compared to the impact of the beer tie.”

He said the announcement would also be good for consumers, because tied pubs’ prices pushed up prices across the industry.

“Time and time again, governments have backed down from intervening and 60 to 70 MPs voted a year ago to take measures, but then they didn’t do anything,” he said.

“The sad thing is that in the meantime, people have gone out of business, lost their pub and lost their home.”

The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) said the announcement would safeguard the future of many thousands of community pubs; 3,500 tied pubs have closed since 2009.

The Government will start formal consultation on the proposals in the spring.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:34pm Thu 10 Jan 13

anti-rant says...

Tied pubs will still have to buy from 'the brewery'. This legislation is about ensuring fair prices for the booze they HAVE to buy.
Tied pubs will still have to buy from 'the brewery'. This legislation is about ensuring fair prices for the booze they HAVE to buy. anti-rant
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Thu 10 Jan 13

glyn says...

Poor landlords??????
He runs one, co- owns two more AND has bought a fourth.
Can`t be all that bad.
I was in a pub on Tuesday night, £4-20 for a pint of lager, £3-50 for Guinness and £6-80 for a white wine and soda. Certainly wont become my local lol
Poor landlords?????? He runs one, co- owns two more AND has bought a fourth. Can`t be all that bad. I was in a pub on Tuesday night, £4-20 for a pint of lager, £3-50 for Guinness and £6-80 for a white wine and soda. Certainly wont become my local lol glyn
  • Score: 0

12:02am Fri 11 Jan 13

Drago says...

He harks on about the fact that if he wasn't tied at the Swan he could get beer much cheaper...What a hippocrit. He owns another 2 freehold pubs where he can source his own beer, but guess what? The prices are the same as in the Swan, so if he's doing ok there...he must be making a killing at his other 2 ( soon to be 3 ) Yes the locals do go on about his prices, that's because his are probably the dearest pubs in york on a like for like basis. For a while now I have been trying to justify paying those prices...this article proves to myself that I was right to wonder about his pricing..Go look in the mirror Mr Crossman, look at the future greedy pubco owner staring back.
He harks on about the fact that if he wasn't tied at the Swan he could get beer much cheaper...What a hippocrit. He owns another 2 freehold pubs where he can source his own beer, but guess what? The prices are the same as in the Swan, so if he's doing ok there...he must be making a killing at his other 2 ( soon to be 3 ) Yes the locals do go on about his prices, that's because his are probably the dearest pubs in york on a like for like basis. For a while now I have been trying to justify paying those prices...this article proves to myself that I was right to wonder about his pricing..Go look in the mirror Mr Crossman, look at the future greedy pubco owner staring back. Drago
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Fri 11 Jan 13

JaseH says...

As always it becomes a slagging off session about landlords and what they charge! They have businesses to run.
Rent,rates,insurance
,utilities,wage bills to pay (and so many more things I wont bother to list them all) but of course as a customer you think that landlords should run pubs for no reward. How I chuckle that the people moaning about it generally have never run a business and accepted the risks that go with the rewards! Pubs close because they cant make a profit from selling the extortionately priced beer they have to purchase as tied leases at as low a price as they can whilst struggling to pay the rent. Good luck to Mr Crossman its nice to see someone doing well in a harsh economic climate!
As always it becomes a slagging off session about landlords and what they charge! They have businesses to run. Rent,rates,insurance ,utilities,wage bills to pay (and so many more things I wont bother to list them all) but of course as a customer you think that landlords should run pubs for no reward. How I chuckle that the people moaning about it generally have never run a business and accepted the risks that go with the rewards! Pubs close because they cant make a profit from selling the extortionately priced beer they have to purchase as tied leases at as low a price as they can whilst struggling to pay the rent. Good luck to Mr Crossman its nice to see someone doing well in a harsh economic climate! JaseH
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Giveitachance says...

Drago wrote:
He harks on about the fact that if he wasn't tied at the Swan he could get beer much cheaper...What a hippocrit. He owns another 2 freehold pubs where he can source his own beer, but guess what? The prices are the same as in the Swan, so if he's doing ok there...he must be making a killing at his other 2 ( soon to be 3 ) Yes the locals do go on about his prices, that's because his are probably the dearest pubs in york on a like for like basis. For a while now I have been trying to justify paying those prices...this article proves to myself that I was right to wonder about his pricing..Go look in the mirror Mr Crossman, look at the future greedy pubco owner staring back.
Would love to visit your pub..... Where is it again?! Until you know the real cost of running pubs maybe you should drink in somewhere like Sams Smith's houses... I know the types of pubs I'd prefer to spend my money in.
[quote][p][bold]Drago[/bold] wrote: He harks on about the fact that if he wasn't tied at the Swan he could get beer much cheaper...What a hippocrit. He owns another 2 freehold pubs where he can source his own beer, but guess what? The prices are the same as in the Swan, so if he's doing ok there...he must be making a killing at his other 2 ( soon to be 3 ) Yes the locals do go on about his prices, that's because his are probably the dearest pubs in york on a like for like basis. For a while now I have been trying to justify paying those prices...this article proves to myself that I was right to wonder about his pricing..Go look in the mirror Mr Crossman, look at the future greedy pubco owner staring back.[/p][/quote]Would love to visit your pub..... Where is it again?! Until you know the real cost of running pubs maybe you should drink in somewhere like Sams Smith's houses... I know the types of pubs I'd prefer to spend my money in. Giveitachance
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree