'Local Beer for Local Pubs'

CAMRA seeks support for campaign during Winter Ales Festival

Jan 28, 2004 - Britain's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has taken its "Local Beer for Local Pubs" campaign to the home of British brewing this week. CAMRA will ask visitors to the National Winter Ales Festival, which opens today in Burton, to sign a petition to help get at least one locally brewed beer in thousands of pubs across the UK.


One hundred years ago Burton-on-Trent had nearly thirty breweries, which is why it is known as "the home of British brewing."

CAMRA's campaign calls for pub chains to enable pub landlords to buy at least one beer from a local brewery of their choice. The majority of non-brewing pub chains restrict the beers which their pub licensees can buy to those on a centrally supplied list. There are practical reasons for this, such as ease of control and accounting, but CAMRA claims that the system restricts access to market for small local brewers and leads to the same old national brands ending up on most bars.

"Over half of Britain's pubs are owned by huge faceless pub companies and most of them supply beer centrally to their pub estate which prevents local licensees choosing to buy beer from local breweries, said Mike Benner, Head of Campaigns and Communications. This reduces consumer choice, restricts access to market for small local breweries and leads to economic and environmental impacts through 'beer miles' as centrally supplied beers are shipped hundreds of miles via distribution depots before they finally reach the bar. This ridiculous situation has a severe impact on the viability of local economies."

Benner added, "If pub chains were more flexible and enabled landlords to buy a local beer, there would be no losers. Only those licensees who think they can improve their competitive position by stocking a locally brewed beer would do so. It would lead to a more profitable pub, which offers a more interesting choice to customers, supports the local economy and increases profits for the pub chain. It's a common-sense solution."

CAMRA claims that consolidation in the pub market is squeezing many of Britain's 400 local independent brewers, as they cannot get their beers included on supply lists for large pub chains.

CAMRA's "Local Beer for Local Pubs" campaign is part of the 'Local Works' initiative launched by the New Economics Foundation and others to promote the Local Communities and Sustainability Bill.

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