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11 November, 2022

Brewing news Ireland: Heineken to increase price of its kegs next month

Heineken Ireland, one of the largest suppliers of beer and cider in the country, has informed pub landlords that it will increase the price of its kegs next month, the Business Plus reported on November 10.

In a letter to publicans, the brewer said the price of wholesale draught products would increase by 9% from 1 December, blaming "unprecedented cost increases" across its entire supply chain.

Keg prices for Heineken and Coors lager will increase by the equivalent of 17 cent per pint, while all other draught brands and keg sizes will increase in price at a pro-rata rate.

"This increase is essential for us to offset, in part, the severe cost input pressure and ensure that Heineken Ireland remains as active as ever in supporting you through our brand activities, our direct support to you in the trade, and our commitment to advertising and promotional spend," the group wrote.

Heineken said it would not pass on the full impact of cost rises for its Irish business, adding that it "sets the wholesale price that is charged for its products but has no role in relation to the price paid by the consumer, as this is set by individual operators within the on-trade sector."

Noel Anderson, former chair of the Licensed Vintners' Association and managing director of Dublin pubs the Bridge, Lemon & Duke, and the Blackrock, tweeted that the price hike is a "huge kick in the balls."

"This madness has to stop. Calls will go in to reverse it but this is simply insane," he added.

Paul Clancy, CEO of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland, said: “There is never a good time for such a price increase, but in the current climate where everyone is feeling the impact of soaring costs this is particularly poor timing.

"Due to the cost of doing business, most publicans will have to pass on the price increase to their customers.

“These price increases are the last thing publicans or their customers need right now," he added. " The energy crisis has resulted in many pubs having to curtail their opening times to save money while other costs such as insurance and Sky Sports are making it extremely difficult for publicans to break even.

"Pub customers are also going through their own cost of living crisis and we know our members are desperately unhappy about having to pass on this increase.”

The CSO on November 10 measured annual consumer inflation at 9.2% in October, with licensed premises, restaurants and hotels contributing more than a tenth of that due to the higher price of alcoholic drinks and food over the past 12 months.

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