SIBA’s James Calder responds to Wetherspoon’s slashed beer prices

Jacopo Mazzeo

Jacopo Mazzeo

10 September 2019

James Calder, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has issued an open letter to JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin, expressing concerns over his decision of selling beer for as little as £1.39 a pint.

‘Making quality independent beer accessible to the widest range of people is something we should all strive towards,’ Calder pointed out in the opening of the letter. ‘However... many in the brewing community feel that selling a pint of beer for as low as £1.39 and creating the impression beer will remain that cheap is dangerous.’

‘Beer sold this cheaply has to be made cheaply, [while what] my members make is a quality premium product and should be treated as one,' he continued.

Many craft brewers already operate on very low profit margins, which they tend to reinvest back into their local communities. According to Calder, these businesses will struggle to survive in a competitive market that puts downward pressure on price.

SIBA’s chief executive closed his letter by proposing a meeting with Martin to discuss ‘ethical, flexible pricing… which will allow customers, brewers and JD Wetherspoon all to prosper in a post-Brexit economy’.

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