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Press Release


Struggling pubs need freedom to stock local products to survive post lockdown – CAMRA NI

CAMRA’s Cheers for Choice campaign calls on pub companies to allow landlords to sell local beers from small and independent breweries.

Every pub across Northern Ireland should be allowed to stock and sell beer and cider from small, local and independent brewers and cider producers, to help them recover post lockdown

That’s the message from CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, as they launch their new ‘Cheers for Choice’ campaign this week.

As pubs prepare for reopening next month, CAMRA NI’s members are signing petitions to big global brewers Molson Coors, C&C and Diageo, urging company bosses to allow all pubs to stock local brews.

NI’s small local producers cannot sell their products in most local pubs, as the vast majority of them have agreements with the large, multi-national companies that do not allow local beer to be sold.

It means landlords are restricted in what they can sell in their pubs and are often banned from putting on the products they know their customers want to drink.

The campaign hopes that the big beer and pub companies will relax their rules as pubs reopen following the coronavirus lockdown, so that all parts of the industry can pull together and support each other.

A recent survey of 21,000 beer drinkers and pub goers across the UK carried out by CAMRA found that 68% of people are less likely to go to a pub if it isn’t selling local and independent beer and cider.

Commenting, CAMRA NI Chair Ruth Sloan said: 

“Relaxing these restrictions the global brewers and pub companies insist on is the right thing to do – making sure all parts of the industry, no matter how small, are supported in the recovery from COVID-19 and are able to thrive in the weeks and months ahead.

“Allowing small and independent brewers and cider producers are able to sell into all pubs will also improve consumer choice and allow pub goers to support local brewing businesses.

“If pubs reopen and are still only offering a small range of beers from the biggest, multinational companies then we’ll be a missing a huge opportunity to let people explore more of our fantastic locally-produced beer and cider.”