Brewers dismiss proposed minimum price plans

Brewers in Staffordshire do not expect to be affected by Government plans to introduce a minimum alcohol price.

Titanic Brewery, which is based in Burslem and owns six pubs in the area, suggest that the price changes will only affect the cheapest alcohol.
David Bott, 53, who runs the brewery with his younger brother Keith, doesn’t expect the Government plans — to introduce a minimum of 40p per unit — to affect his business.

I don’t think it will make a difference at all

David said

The new laws will only affect the very cheapest forms of alcohol and that won’t really affect our customers.

We don’t get involved in selling alcohol at those types of prices.

David also thinks that customers will find a way around the price increases and the only result will be less people drinking in safer environments.

He continued

The Super-markets will always sell it cheap. They want you to pick it up as you go around.

All [the new prices] mean, is that kids will be getting drunk in Tesco car park, rather than in a pub. When, in fact a pub is a much safer environment because it is managed and controlled.

Pamela Rowlands, manager at The White Star pub in Stoke-on-Trent, echoed David’s comments.

She said

I doubt we will be affected. We had a big increase in sales this year and our lager is the most expensive in Stoke-on-Trent, so I’m confident we will be okay.

Pamela also agreed that pubs are a place where people can often catch-up and discuss, among other things, politics, so it would be a shame if the price increases discourage customers.

She added

Pubs have always been a base for political discussion. We provide newspapers, which can spark off discussion.

As a publican you need to be neutral and sometimes you need to calm things down if it gets too heated.

The minimum price per unit isn’t likely to be a popular move, and David thinks that perhaps it hasn’t been thought through very well.

He added

I don’t think it is a very good idea. It seems like a bad way to go.

What do you think? Will minimum pricing on alcohol make a difference, will it make things better?

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