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Tennent’s hits back at Punch Taverns

Scottish brewer Tennent’s has struck back at suggestions by Punch Taverns that publicans replace the lager with alternative brands in the face of price increases.

Punch Taverns has encouraged landlords to seek alternative lagers rather than accept the 30 to 40 pence increase in price being pushed through by the brewery’s owner, C&C Group.

A letter from the pub group advised landlords: “To protect your profitability we strongly recommend that you act now and take the opportunity to revise and extend your draught lager portfolio before the Punch wholesale price review takes effect.”

Commenting on the letter, Tennent Caledonian’s commercial managing director, Steve Annand, said: “We are extremely disappointed that Punch Taverns has chosen to communicate with its publicans in this way.

“Tennent’s does not control the price that our customers charge their customers, nor over the bar.

“Our renegotiated deal with Punch Taverns should not result in a price increase of the magnitude being alleged and, in fact, it does not follow that there should be any price rise for publicans or consumers.”

Annand continued that only a very small percentage of Scotland’s pubs would be affected by the increase.

He said: “The renegotiations referred to involve less than 5% of Scotland’s 11,500 licensed premises and the vast majority of Scotland’s licensed premises are unaffected.

“We would like to reassure our customers and our drinkers that Scotland’s favourite pint will continue to be available in pubs across Scotland – and at significantly less than £3.50 a pint.”

Tennent’s also took a strong stance against landlords using bar taps that were not authorised by the brewery.

Annand stated: “On the issue of the separate letter that was sent to less than twenty outlets regarding the use of Tennent’s dispense equipment, we reserve the right to take whatever steps necessary to preserve the quality of Tennent’s being served across the bar.”

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