Wetherspoon’s pull plug on Heineken

Wetherspoon's branch in Blackrock, Dublin
Wetherspoon’s branch in Blackrock, Dublin

JD Wetherspoon will stop serving Heineken in all of its British and Irish pubs following a row over supplying beers to a new pub in Dun Laoghaire.

Heineken is Ireland’s biggest selling draft beer and the dispute arose when the company refused to supply its lager and Murphy’s stout to the Dublin branch, which is due to open on December 16.

The pub chain has been selling the stout and lager at 40 per cent below competition rates at its first Irish pub in Dublin’s Blackrock in line with its other brands.

They also asked for a personal guarantee from JD Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson to supply any other drinks such as Foster’s and Strongbow cider.

“We have been trading with Heineken for 35 years and they have never requested personal guarantees before. It’s obstructive to do so now, especially when we made record profits of around £80 million last year,” said chairman Tim Martin.

It is estimated that the Wetherspoon’s contract with Heineken is worth approximately £60m a year and the company is believed to be seeking a resolution as soon as possible.

It is not the first time that JD Wetherspoon has fallen out with a drinks company since it started to open Dublin premises.

The chain does not sell Guinness in Ireland due to a price row with Diageo, that would mean that the pubs would have had to sell the stout at higher levels than its competitors.

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