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Heineken to delay full hit from its controversial price hike until new year

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A glass of Heineken alcohol free beer in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Apr. 15, 2018

A glass of Heineken alcohol free beer in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Apr. 15, 2018

A glass of Heineken alcohol free beer in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Apr. 15, 2018

Heineken is to delay the full hit of a price hike that will add around 25c to the price of a pint of beer for pub customers.

The brewery giant wrote to publicans earlier this month telling them it was increasing the price of kegs by the equivalent of 17cent per pint.

This is excluding VAT, with the expectation that the price of a pint would end up around 25cent higher at the bar. 

However, the Irish Independent has learned the hike is being partially walked back – with a discount offer that means the additional wholesale price will instead rise by around 10cent per pint for the next three months, before the full higher rate kicks in. 

Heineken Ireland said it had decided to provide temporary support to publicans, hoteliers and restaurant operators by giving a transition discount for a three-month period.

“Heineken Ireland has listened to the concerns voiced by some of its customers in relation to the timing of the price increase and has taken steps to address this issue,” the company said.

However, the brewer said it is facing unprecedented pressures across all input costs and has no choice but to pass on some of these cost increases.

“The challenges created by these cost pressures have not changed and therefore the 9pc (17 cent per pint of Heineken) price increase announced previously takes effect on 1st December 2022.”

A temporary discount of 3.5pc on all keg deliveries means that for the first three months the rise will be 10cent.

The initial news of the price hike, thought to be the biggest of any major brewery here to date, had provoked uproar from publicans and drinkers. 

The partial reversal may be too late for some publicans who said they’d seek alternative suppliers after the hike was announced. 

New pricing is expected to kick in from December 1.

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As well as Heineken the price increase will apply to Coors Light, Moretti, Beamish, Foster’s, Murphy’s, Orchard Thieves, Appleman’s, Tiger Cute Hoor IPA and Lagunitas.

The Dutch beer giant employs over 400 people in Ireland.

A recent Independent.ie survey found some pubs in Dublin are already charging up to €8.95 for a pint of Heineken, up to €6 in Cork, Limerick and Galway, €5.90 in Waterford, and €5.50 in Drogheda before the new prices kick in.


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