#AceFoodNews – LONDON – Nov.27 – It looks like last call for a 400-year-old British rule requiring many pubs here to buy their beer from the large companies that own them.
Shares in Britain’s largest pub companies fell sharply Wednesday after lawmakers voted the previous evening to allow “tenanted” pubs to buy their beer on the open market. The change would let publicans opt out of the “beer tie,” a centuries-old system that critics say force publicans to overpay for beer.
Around a third of U.K. pubs are run by tenants of one of the big pub companies, the largest of which include Enterprise Inns PLC and Punch Taverns PLC. Pub tenants are required by current rules to buy their beer from their owners, some of which brew the beer themselves. Others act as a middleman for the beer, buying it wholesale and selling it on to their pubs.
The amendment passed in Britain’s House Commons by 284 to 259 votes, despite opposition from the U.K.’s Conservative-led government. It still must be approved by the House of Lords before passing into law. Any significant changes made in the U.K.’s upper house need to be voted on again by the Commons.