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Thread: Brewery ownership of pubs

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default Brewery ownership of pubs

    For those who haven't seen it, there is an interesting post about the Brewery ownership of pubs in Ron Pattison's 'Shut Up about Barclay Perkins' blog today.

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    For those who haven't seen it, there is an interesting post about the Brewery ownership of pubs in Ron Pattison's 'Shut Up about Barclay Perkins' blog today.
    I've a feeling of Deja Vu about this as I'm sure I came across it somewhere else but I've no idea where. Heineken are largely a joke although there are a few notable exceptions, one in Beeston in our own list of top pubs. Greene King at least seem to be allowing some of their houses to become partial free houses. When they do this it seems to work pretty well. My Bete Noire is Marston's who seem to have sold off huge swathes of their smaller pubs (especially in North Wales) and seem quite happy to use one of the breweries under their umbrella in a totally inappropriate place. Jennings in Chorley or Penrith? They're having a giraffe. I don't recall the Black Country having a significant Marston's presence back in the day as it was all Banks's, Hanson's, M&B, Ansells.or if you were lucky the two good ones. Now former Banks's houses are badged as Marston's and I went to one last year where the only "beer" was Boddington's smooth crap. They do seem to have a few pubs doing several beers but I don't recall many (if any at all) selling anything other than their own beers.
    In the days when the Cheshire Cheese off Fleet Street was the only pub selling Pedigree in London you could always go down to Winchester or the NE side of Southampton to find a Marston's pub but they seem to have flogged that lot off to GK.

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    This Space For Hire sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    Jennings in ... Penrith? They're having a giraffe.
    Not sure that Jennings beers in Penrith would be a problem. A little bit out of their heartland (Keswick, Cockermouth, West Cumberland), but I have a note of a visit to the Agricultural Hotel there on Christmas Eve 2004 drinking my accustomed Sneck Lifter; this was before the W&D takeover.

    Are you by any chance confusing Penrith with Preston?
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    This Space For Hire sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    I'm a little surprised that Marstons have only (sorry, "only") 1,421 pubs compared with GK's 3,048 and Heineken's 2,836. In some places they can seem to be ubiquitous.

    GK sometimes get credit with drinkers (and reviewers on this site; ok, and even with me) for their policy of guest beer offerings, but in fact these are mandated by the Beer Orders Act 1989, are they not?

    On the other hand, Heineken seem to fly under the radar (at least, as far as I'm concerned). I cannot recall ever going, "Oh no, it's Star Pubs & Bars, let's go somewhere else." Have I missed a boycotting opportunity?
    Come On You Hatters!

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    Interesting list of the brewers now.Thought Adnams -49 pubs were a lot bigger.Also Hydes 53 pubs I thought they own major swathes of pubs around Manchester.Very surprised that Felinfoel own so many pubs.Looking with my cynical eye I now realise how brewers like Batemans,Donnington etc have survived .They own loads of pubs who are tied to their imo tired beer.

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default Marston's

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    I'm a little surprised that Marstons have only (sorry, "only") 1,421 pubs compared with GK's 3,048 and Heineken's 2,836. In some places they can seem to be ubiquitous.
    Yes, but increasingly less so in in parts of the Black Country, Welsh Borders and North Wales (as noted by Aqualung) with many smaller, wet-let pub being sold off.

    According to the strategy on the Marston's corporate website, the company's top three priorities are:

    1) Operating a high quality pub estate
    We operate a pub estate that caters for a broad range of customers, with flexible operating models. As a consequence we ensure we have the right consumer offer, accompanied by the most appropriate operating model, to maximise sales and profits for each pub.

    2) Targeting pub growth: investing in pub-restaurants and Premium pubs, further developing Franchise
    The new-build programme remains our key growth driver. Our strategy has evolved to capitalise upon other opportunities for expansion where the returns create significant shareholder value

    3) Increased investment in rooms
    Accommodation acts as a complementary income stream to an existing pub making the total pub revenue more consistent and less dependent on weather. To enhance pub profitability we are expanding our rooms offer.

    So, fewer, bigger 'premium' pubs and pub-restaurants, many with rooms (and all with rather dull beer sold under various brewery names that the uninitiated might wrongly suppose to be guest ales from other brewers...).

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default Greene King

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    GK sometimes get credit with drinkers (and reviewers on this site; ok, and even with me) for their policy of guest beer offerings, but in fact these are mandated by the Beer Orders Act 1989, are they not?
    The Beer Orders were revoked in January 2003...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    The Beer Orders were revoked in January 2003...
    OK, more kudos to GK, then...
    Come On You Hatters!

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default Star

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    On the other hand, Heineken seem to fly under the radar (at least, as far as I'm concerned). I cannot recall ever going, "Oh no, it's Star Pubs & Bars, let's go somewhere else." Have I missed a boycotting opportunity?
    Do Star have any managed pubs? I find in almost impossible to know a Star outlet when I see what might be one, as they all appear to be unbranded and could be taken for free houses whereas they are (almost) all leased pubs owned by a pubco that just happens to be owned by a brewery.

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Not sure that Jennings beers in Penrith would be a problem.
    Jennings pubs back in the 1970s were restricted to their heartland of Keswick, Cockermouth and West Cumberland which you correctly identified. You wouldn't even find an outlet in the South Lakes. I don't know the history of that Agricultural in Penrith but they couldn't have taken it on in the 1970s. When I went to Keswick a few years ago to go to the JDW I didn't visit any Jennings Pubs whereas in the 1970s there wouldn't have been much else.

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