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    Tuesday, 17 February 2009

    Greene KIng And Spoons Kill Off Micros

    The news that Ruddles Best has replaced Greene King IPA as the 99p per pint beer of choice in Wetherspoons pubs is a dreadful thing for lovers of microbreweries and an unreal coup for Greene King.

    The brewers are said to have been worried that "given our obsessive attention to quality and the consistently high level of investment we have made in building IPA’s brand equity, we are understandably concerned about anything that might undermine this", yet they are apparently not worried that a beer which "is a well known cask brand full of flavour and character but with a relatively low abv. It is a great value, quality beer with a fine heritage and wide appeal.” might suffer the same negativity.

    No, the truth is that Greene King IPA will be joined in the top two best selling cask ales in the country by its stablemate. Greene King are on an absolute winner here and will increase their share of the market even more.

    This may initially be to the detriment of other larger breweries, but they will think of ways to fight back and the micros will lose out.

    I'm beginning to wonder if a spoons is just for festival times and best avoided otherwise.


    Dubbel said...

    Just don't drink the GK slops - there's plenty else to choose from. JDW's micro portfolio continues to go from strength to strength. That said, I only ever wind up there through chance or laziness outside of festival times.

    Woolpack Dave said...

    Green King and Wetherspoons have an ever decreasing appeal for the decerning drinker. It’s a budget lacklustre market. No self respecting quality micro would get involved in that sector.

    In my humble opinion.

    Tandleman said...

    I agree with Dubbel on this one. Not sure that's tight Dave. Phoenix and Elland to name but two, not quality?

    Tandleman said...

    Or right even! )-;

    Tim said...

    "I'm beginning to wonder if a spoons is just for festival times and best avoided otherwise"

    I think it's best to avoid them at festival times as well. I get no satisfaction from a pint served in a glorified drinking factory

    Tommy N said...

    Selling any cask beer that cheaply undermines the whole sector. Cask should be seen as the premium product it is. I for one will not be taking them up on their offer, why go to spoons when there are an ever increasing number of traditional pubs selling great beer at reasonable prices (in my area anyway).

    haddonsman said...

    I don't think it's to the detriment of micros. Spoons have always had an appreciably cheaper cask beer and it's nearly always been some regional/national rot. Those led by price will now drink 'Ruddles' rather than 'IPA' or Pedi or John Smiths....leaving the slightly pricier but infinitely tastier micro beers for me to enjoy.

    Anonymous said...

    Our Spoons rarely carry beers from Micro's. At least this stops any desire to go into a Spoons at present


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    Anonymous said...

    I lived in Cambridge a few years back, and worked in Bury St Edmunds, so it was hard to avoid Greene King. However, it (IPA) was lovely. I left the area in mid-99 to return to Leeds and kept an eye on GK expecially with it trying for world domination.

    GK has now made quitre a lot of in-roads up North, and has taken over the Tetley mantle in the student area. Tetley's was always over rated anyway, but I find GK up here really unpleasant. Thankfully most of the pubs I go to don't stock it, but should I come up against it then it's lager or soft drink for me.

    Richard H.