Cromford landlord’s bid to tackle the ‘destructive’ beer tie

A Cromford landlord is on a mission to educate publicans and drinkers in the Dales on the “destructive effect” of the beer tie.

Dave Mountford, owner of The Boat Inn, Cromford, and GMB trade union representative, is to visit pubs in the area ahead of a nationwide consultation on the issue.

In January this year, business secretary Vince Cable announced that all tied pub agreements – generally held between landlords and breweries – would be covered by a statutory code of conduct.

A six-week consultation is expected to begin in the next few weeks, which will include a survey for publicans and customers alike.

Dave said: “If you ask people why pubs are closing at an alarming rate, they will probably say it’s because of cheap alcohol in supermarkets and the smoking ban. While they are both valid points, the main reason is the beer tie.”

Dave, who used to be a tied tenant, believes that companies often take advantage of tenants by charging inflated beer prices and rents.

“Over the next few weeks I’ll be getting around pubs in the Dales as much as I can to make sure people fill in this survey. But I’ll also make sure people know the true facts about the industry and the destructive effect of the beer tie,” said Dave.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has confirmed that any regulation would only apply to the six largest pub companies.