Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2012 has found that 14 pubs close across Britain each week - reflecting the perfect storm of tax increases, below-cost supermarket promotions and the failure of national pub companies to support licensees.
The guide also casts further doubt over the sustainability of the large pub companies, revealing that nine tied pubs close every week compared to five free-of-tie pubs.
Roger Protz, Camra’s Good Beer Guide editor, said: “These figures show a spiralling decline in the tied pub sector, brought about by big pub companies squeezing their licensees with high beer prices and creating an environment where many publicans are unable to invest in their businesses.”
The positive news however, is that the number of free-of-tie pubs has actually increased in number by 425 over the same period.
“While many tied publicans struggle in the face of high rents and excessive beer prices, free-of-tie owners are faring better in the current climate with the ability to offer greater beer choice, lower prices and a better pub environment to the consumer,” added Protz.
Models for the future
“Free-of-tie pubs, managed pubs and tied pubs run on a more sustainable basis by the family brewers are much more likely to survive and continue serving communities long into the future.
“Such successful businesses take pride of place in the Good Beer Guide 2012 and serve as models for the future in helping to preserve Britain’s iconic beer and pub industry.”
As part of the Good Beer Guide 2012’s launch, Protz is calling on the Government to introduce free market reforms which will help save the nation’s pubs. The Guide is seeking for licensees to have the option of becoming free-of-tie, accompanied by a rent review carried out by a qualified and independent surveyor.