And here we thought that UK pub closings, at the rate of 52-per-week, had something to do with the recession, or perhaps a desire to drink out in the alleyway.
But maybe there’s a more sinister explanation: price manipulation!
Are small pubs getting screwed to the tune of 50p per pint?
Camra [The Campaign for Real Ale] blames the dire state of the trade on high rents and “tied” arrangements, under which licensees must buy beer from pub companies even though they may be able to get it cheaper elsewhere. About half of UK pubs are operated under tied arrangements, which Camra reckons inflate beer prices by about 50p a pint.
“Exploitation of ‘beer tie’ agreements and the unfair method of setting pub rents are harming consumers and society as a whole,” said Mike Benner, Camra chief executive. “We hope that the OFT will act to deliver a fair share for Britain’s 14 million regular pub goers. Reform of the ‘beer tie’ along with a framework of support from government is urgently required to save the pub from extinction.”
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