Tied Pub Landlords Should Be Given ‘Guest Beer Right’

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has today called on Government to introduce a new “Guest Beer right” which would allow every pub to serve at least one beer from a small local brewery.

Currently thousands of landlords across the UK are tied into contracts which force them to purchase all of their beer and many other drinks from a single big brewery or pub company. Not only would a right to buy a Guest Beer help pubs attract more business, but it would improve consumer choice and help local brewers who have been hit hard over recent years.

“Pub goers want to see more beer from small breweries sold in pubs and the review of the Pubs Code provides the opportunity for the Government to give tied pub tenants in England and Wales the same right to offer a guest beer as is being introduced in Scotland.

“Pub tenants should have the freedom to purchase a beer from a local small brewery which would expand consumer choice and allow tenants to meet their customers’ expectations and compete more effectively with nearby free houses.” Said Roy Allkin, SIBA Chairman.

The Government is currently carrying out its second statutory review on the operation of the Pubs Code and the performance of the Pubs Code Adjudicator with the consultation closing today. The Code came into force in 2016 with the aim of regulating the relationship between pub companies and their tied pub tenants.

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) represents more than 700 small and independent brewers across the UK, and their call on Government to give pub tenants a right to stock a local beer of their choice mirrors what is already set to be introduced in Scotland under its own Pubs Code expected in 2023.

A SIBA/YouGov poll earlier in the year found that three quarters of drinkers believe it is important that local pubs offer a range of craft beer from small breweries.