Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Problems at t'Coal Face

The Micropub movement and craft ale revolution prove there's burgeoning demand for more good quality beer retail and places to socialise all over the UK.

BUT there are major obstacles to progress of this gestative movement not yet evident in the market: 

1) the substantial outlet for beer wholesale remains foreclosed due to restrictive tie contracts across the UK. There are strict restrictions to the volume of beer that can be dispensed through the limitations of capacity of small independent retailers that are micropubs... They simply cannot keep pace with the underlying market demand
2) and microbreweries are going to suffer as their available market becomes a competitive pressure cooker where there's oversupply.

MRO next year may improve this situation but the pubco's are actively bullying tenants out of substantive long term agreements anticipating in advance they will be going free of tie...  Micropubs cannot take up the latent demand made by the cartel.  Instead people change their habits and find other ways to spend leisure time ... Family friendly managed food and drink destination venues, often owned by... the same Pubco's operating the Tie cartel (Marston's, Greene King, M&B, and Punch and Enterprise are getting into this big time with anodyne carbon copy identikit units where you can't tell who owns them except through knowing the brands each corporate has distribution deals with) ... coffee chains and just plain not going out to socialise because it's so expensive and uninteresting to do so in the majority of our underinvested pubs.

All of this shows need for mass conversion of the national pub estate to free of tie with simultaneous investment in its fabric to completely reinvigorate Britain. The micropub movement and ale revolutions will thrive alongside but it's a tall order.

No comments:

Post a Comment