I've commented about the beer tie before on several occasions. I am not going to pretend I like it and I'd prefer it didn't exist. You can get my previous posts on the subject here. I find it interesting that statcounter reports a significant proportion of readers of my blog, find it by putting something in Google like "beer tie", or "tied houses" or something similar. I've tried testing similar phrases in Google and haven't found this blog quickly, so anybody who gets here cares a lot about the subject and is going to the somethingteenth page to find me.
A question that is clearly being asked is "Can a profit be made from a tied pub?" or variation thereof. My knee jerk reaction would be to say "no"; This can't however be the case. There are clearly going to be many places where profits for the licensee, lessee, are likely to be quite sufficient. My suggestion would be that where the pub freehold value runs into 7 digits and the turnover is a very health fraction of that, a profit may well be possible for somebody who takes on the lease. This is likely to be true of a good town centre pub.
I accused Jeff of being a supporter of the tie. He put me in my place and I'm sorry I misunderstood. But he does state "I don't support people who break their tie arrangements - it's a contract they freely entered into". This I have a problem with. Not because Jeff is wrong in pointing out that it's the contract, but that I'm not sure that a good proportion of people who enter into the contract fully understand all the implications. For instance, they will not get a choice when their beer is delivered. If they miss the beer delivery their business will be without a product to sell and they can't go anywhere else to get it.
Jeff makes a further, very good point. If it were to be outlawed by Government, it would no doubt be done in a clumsy unhelpful way. Indeed I'm not sure I know how to do it without throwing the whole of the industry into chaos. So this leaves me to think that the only real way of sorting the situation out is by market forces.
So here I do my bit. If you've got here because you are seriously thinking of taking on a tied pub, then don't, not unless you really, really think you can make it work. Running a pub is hard work; No, I mean really, really is hard work, harder work than you can ever imagine. What you just don't need is some Pub Co making it harder for you by narrowing down the options on your supply chain.