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Heineken invests £40m into pubs and boosts more SmartDispense

Heineken has made a £40 million investment into almost a quarter of its Star Pubs & Bars chain, putting SmartDispense into 100 cellars.

Aaron Wilson at the Three Compasses has recently seen the venue have a refurb c/o Heineken

Speaking to the drinks business, the beer giant confirmed that the refurbishment which will also involve putting its bespoke cellar systems into at least 100 pubs as part of the spend, will also include refurbishing 570 Star Pubs & Bar venues from the group.

A spokesperson for the global brewer told db: “SmartDispense will be fitted in all pubs having major refurbishments that don’t already have it. The programme includes 100 major refurbishment projects” which will see a spend of approximately “£200,000 each – creating around 600 new jobs”.

Heineken-owned beer brands available, monitored by the company via its SmartDispense system, include: Lagunitas, Birra Moretti, Heineken, Beavertown, Brixton Brewery and its newest lager acquisition Cruzcampo.

The upgrades, which are set to include helping pubs reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040, will focus on “neighbourhood locals” which, according to the beer company, make up 70% of Heineken UK’s 2,400 pubs.

The investment shows a £2 million drop compared to last year when the brewer revealed its plans invest £42 million into its Star Pubs & Bars estate in a move that boasted the creation of 700 new jobs.

Speaking about this year’s investment, the beer behemoth explained that because of “the British public’s appreciation of local, independently operated businesses, every refurbishment will be bespoke and tailored to the individual pub and the community it serves” thus giving the impression that the venue is not owned by a big macro beer business.

The new decor will “enhance the character of the buildings, retaining features such as flagstone floors and fireplaces” and “include measures to boost sustainability and, at the same time, reduce energy bills to help combat inflation” the spokesperson revealed.

Star Pubs & Bars’ managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: “Our investment is a vote of confidence in the great British local.”

The beer company recently announced plans to relinquish the UK rights for Kronenbourg to Carlsberg in a deal that transfers the licence of the French beer brand from 1 June 2023.

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