Heineken has confirmed it is to continue to work with SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) to give Punch licensees access to beers from smaller breweries, if its bid for 1900 Punch sites is successful.
The Beerflex scheme, previously known as the Direct Delivery Scheme, was launched in 2003 to give independent breweries access to large tied pub estates.
Mike Benner, SIBA managing director said: 'It is good news that Heineken recognises the benefits of ensuring licensees have access to a wide range of beers from local craft brewers.
'Our Beerflex scheme provides hundreds of small brewers with an important route to market and pub companies with a means of enabling licensees to choose from a large range of craft-brewed beers.
'If their bid is successful, we look forward to working with Heineken to widen access for small brewers even further. Local craft beers are a unique selling point for Britain’s pubs and are increasingly demanded by today’s discerning beer drinkers.'
Heineken launched a £305m bid to acquire Punch Tavern’s 1,900-strong ‘Punch A’ pub estate, back in December.