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Wetherspoon chain to no longer sell Heineken in 926 pubs after row over Dublin prices

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The Three Tun Tavern in Dun Laoghaire

The Three Tun Tavern in Dun Laoghaire

The Three Tun Tavern in Dun Laoghaire

The Three Tun Tavern in Dun Laoghaire

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The Three Tun Tavern in Dun Laoghaire

British pub group Wetherspoon said it would no longer sell Heineken drinks at any of its 926 pubs after a disagreement with the Dutch brewer over pricing in Ireland.

Wetherspoon, whose cheap drink and food offers have proved popular in the UK, has been selling pints of Heineken lager and Murphy's stout at prices around 40pc below the competition at its first Irish pub in Blackrock, Dublin.

The pub chain, which last year outlined plans for around 30 pubs in the Republic of Ireland, said today that Heineken had refused to supply Heineken lager, Ireland's biggest selling draught beer, and Murphy's to its second pub in Dun Laoghaire, due to open this month.

The spat is another blow for Wetherspoon's Irish ambitions. The firm does not serve Guinness there either after a disagreement on price with drinks group Diageo.

Wetherspoon said Heineken had also wanted personal guarantees from Chief Executive John Hutson in order to supply the Dun Laoghaire pub any of its others drinks, such as Strongbow cider and Foster's lager. It did not say what the guarantees were.

Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said the brewer's decision was "unacceptable and hard to understand".

"We have been trading with Heineken for 35 years and they have never requested personal guarantees before. It's obstructive to do so now, especially when we made record profits of around £80m last year," he added.

Heineken’s business with Wetherspoon is worth around £60m (€76m) a year.

“We are aware of the comments made by JD Wetherspoon and its chairman this morning. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position with a customer,” a Heineken Ireland spokesperson said.

“It is not our intention to comment in any further detail at this point as we do not wish to comment publicly on relationships with any customer.”


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