CAMRA says pubs need freedom to stock local goods to survive

CAMRA’s Cheers for Choice campaign calls on pub companies to allow landlords to sell local beers from small and independent breweries.

Every pub across the UK should be allowed to stock and sell beer and cider from small, local and independent brewers and cider producers to help them recover post-lockdown.

That’s the message from CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, as they launch their new ‘Cheers for Choice’ campaign this week.

As pubs prepare for reopening, CAMRA’s 190,000 members across the UK are signing petitions to pub company bosses urging them to allow all landlords to stock local brews. Over 7000 people have taken part so far.

Current beer ties mean that most pub tenants are restricted in what they can sell in their pubs and are often banned from putting on the products they know their customers want to drink.

The campaign hopes that pub companies’ beer tie arrangements can be relaxed as pubs reopen following the coronavirus lockdown, so that all parts of the industry can pull together and support each other.

A recent survey of 21,000 beer drinkers and pub goers carried out by CAMRA found that 68% of people are less likely to go to a pub if it isn’t selling local and independent beer and cider.

CAMRA National Director Ben Wilkinson said, “Relaxing restrictions for tied pub tenants is the right thing for pub companies to do - making sure all parts of the industry, no matter how small, are supported in the recovery from COVID-19 and are able to thrive in the weeks and months ahead.

“Allowing small and independent brewers and cider producers to sell into all pubs will also improve consumer choice and allow pub goers to support local brewing businesses hit by recent events.

“It also makes business sense, with 68% of pub-goers saying they would be less likely to go back to a pub if it doesn’t have a range of brews from small and independent producers.”