Wetherspoon boss removes European wines and beers from pubs

The boss of UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, an outspoken supporter of Brexit, has removed all European wines and beers from its 900 pubs in favour of bottles from the UK, US, Australia and Chile.

Wines from France, Italy and Germany have been removed from its pubs, along with a third of draught beers from the European Union, including Denmark’s Tuborg, Germany’s Erdinger and the Czech Republic’s Staropramen.

An exception to the cull is Belgian lager Stella Artrois, which will remain on draught.

The move follows Martin’s pledge to swap products made in the European Union for those produced outside of the “protectionist” bloc.

Last year, Wetherspoons removed French Moet Champagne and Italian Prosecco and replaced them with sparkling wines from England and Australia.

“Wherever you stand on the Brexit debate, we hope both the Government and consumers will support local brewers, producers and pubs during this time of uncertainty,” said Martin.

“Many of our tax rates for pubs and brewers are actually set at a European level, so we hope the Government will use Britain’s departure from the EU as an opportunity to review that system.

“In particular, we’d like to see a lower rate of tax applied on beer sold on draught rather than in bottles or can, which would help keep prices down at the pub and encourage beer-drinkers to head back to their local.

“We’d also like to see consumers celebrate and support real ales, ciders and perries, which are inherently British products.

“By choosing British beer and looking out for the British hops logo on your pint – which indicates the hops were also sourced in Britain – beer drinkers can actively support businesses close to home.”

Martin has been a vocal supporter of a no-deal Brexit, insisting that the UK has nothing to fear from falling back on to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which he says would allow Britain to lower prices for consumers by eliminating tariffs on goods produced outside of the UK.

A Wetherspoon spokesman added: “Whether people agree or disagree with Tim’s views, this shows he is a man of his words. This is just the start and over the next two years there will be more drinks available from across the world.”

19 Responses to “Wetherspoon boss removes European wines and beers from pubs”

  1. Nick Oakley says:

    Being pro-British should not be defined by being ‘anti’ anything.

  2. mitul says:

    Can’t fault him with not putting his money where is mouth is, considering that he’s pulling PROSECCO from the list in the Prosecco-mad UK.

  3. Burgpoodle says:

    Tim Martin once again shows his ignorance :
    “Many of our tax rates for pubs and brewers are actually set at a European level” : Wrong, Tim. By far the most significant tax imposed is customs duty, which is set by the UK government, not by the EU. Stop peddling untruths.
    “We’d also like to see consumers celebrate and support real ales, ciders and perries, which are inherently British products.” A somewhat anglocentric view. The word “ale” is of Scandinavian origin, as in “Öl”. Cider is directly related to the French “Cidre, and Perry comes from an old French word “pere / poire”, of course meaning pear. These are products whose origins are shared with our European neighbours.
    Furthermore, is it not somewhat irresponsible of Mr Martin from an environmental point of view to be replacing an entire range of products sourced relatively close to home, with those shipped tens of thousands of miles and the added carbon footprint this entails ?
    And if he really is serious, why is he not replacing Belgian Stella Artois with a British lager ? Probably because the profit margin isn’t there for the latter.
    This is nothing more than a publicity stunt from Mr Martin to suit his narrative (but only up to the point that it risks hurting his pocket, of course).

  4. Luigi says:

    Mr Martin looks to me rather a stubborn than an intelligent businessman. Good like to him, but personally I will try to avoid his restaurants…

  5. Colin Johnston says:

    The man’s singing from my song sheet! The ‘Protectionist Bloc’ is exactly what it is.
    Mr. Martin, I salute you.

  6. Rupert Lovie says:

    But if we go to WTO through a no deal Brexit, we will not be able to negotiate free trade deals as our WTO schedules have been objected to by, amongst others, US, Aus and NZ. Is Martin going to stick to his principles and kick out booze from these countries too? Turns out to be a shrinking world, not one of milk and honey…

  7. Armin Palmer says:

    I certainly agree with his views on duty and taxation, the more that can be done to drive people back to the pub the better. Duty applied to Supermarket sales in particular should be higher, duty applied to draught, where there is a measure of service involved, should be lower.

  8. F D says:

    I think he is the one being protectionist and he is just preparing himself for the exit rather than supporting anyone else
    What have we become if the all 27 countries retaliate in the same way towards British goods? If taxes are cut (which they are set by the sovereign government not the EU) he will be tge only one laughing. If prices start to drop, so will wages and we will have deflation which means the publics welfare will further deteriorate and thus people will be heading for his pubs to drown their sorrows. He is well aware that he thrives during recessions and thats why he seems to be pushing for more of it and the poor public who frequent his establishments are cheering him on.
    Well Done Tim Martin for having no regard for anyone else bit yourself

  9. Torben S says:

    I didn’t see anything mentioned on the future of Guiness in Wetherspoons pubs. It must certainly be on the no go list, if TM is anything near …. honest!

  10. Xxx says:

    Mr Martin can shove his restaurants and wines up his backside, as far as I’m concerned!

  11. James tirone says:

    What do you expect from a low standard establishment I’ve never drunk in Wetherspoon and never will the man is mad and sick in the head ?

  12. Alison says:

    Beer, mr Martin, is a mans tipple. I’m a wine drinker, being female. And like my female companions, we like nice wine. You are going to exclude many of my friends from your pubs and since we can afford to drink elsewhere, we will.
    Raise a glass to our local wine shop, tesco. Thank goodness you’re not getting rid of your female customers.

  13. John savage says:

    None of the European draught beers that he has scrapped are made in europe. They are all brewed under licence in the uk by one of the 2 big British brewers. This proves it’s a political statement as aposed to a business decision made in case of a no deal. He’s also replaced loss making unpopular champagnes with cheap English and Australian sparkling. He’s failed to scrap Prosecco though because this is where all his sparkling sales come from. It’s up to him what he does but let’s not pretend this is anything other than a political statement.

  14. John purtill says:

    I was born in England and now live in Canada .
    That said I am amazed how many of you people support Brexit.
    Can you not see how much grief on so many levels will be coming your way.. You will still have to trade with them but without a voice.
    Think about it.

  15. Warren EDWARDES says:

    He is quite dishonest. I imagine his accounts are creative. Should have a tax inspection.

    “Many of our tax rates for pubs and brewers are actually set at a European level, so we hope the Government will use Britain’s departure from the EU as an opportunity to review that system.”

    Tax bands are EU determined. Tax is country determined. The UK has far higher alcohol taxes than elsewhere in the EU.

  16. SE says:

    Not a problem. It’s a free market – if they aren’t selling what I want to buy I’ll just spend my money somewhere else.

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