eineken has limited the offer of its premium Birra Moretti beer to British publicans after Britons’ enthusiasm for a pint on tap at the open-air reopening exceeded even the brewing giant’s optimistic forecasts.
Pub owners reported seeing demand “above expectations” since sites reopened for outdoor-only service on April 12, with more than 10 million people making trips to pubs in the short period after months of lockdown.
And the world’s second-largest brewer, Heineken, had to temporarily limit customers to ordering a maximum of three kegs per week of its Birra Moretti, after the number of people ordering a pint of premium lager rose to above the levels expected by the company. .
A spokesperson for HEINEKEN UK said: “Demand from Birra Moretti and Amstel has totally exceeded our most optimistic forecasts, and our breweries are working around the clock to meet this high level of demand.
“We are working with our customers to offer alternative beers from the wide range of HEINEKEN UK brands as we increase production.
Other brewers have also increased the supply.
Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame, which operates 319 pubs and hotels in London and the South East, opened 200 locations on April 12.
Managing Director Jonathan Neame told Standard that “demand so far has been encouraging and exceeding expectations.”
He said: “There is pent-up demand and it’s putting some pressure on the supply chain as everyone tries to normalize stock levels and brewing rates.”
Brewers and tax collectors were reported to have been cautious prior to April 12 as outdoor sales are weather dependent – which in Britain is never reliable.
Industry sources have warned that they currently see no other larger shortage of premium lagers in UK pubs, despite increased pressure on the supply chain.
Under current Covid restrictions, pubs in England are currently allowed to accommodate groups of six people, or a group of any size from two households, outdoors. If Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown goes as planned, indoor seating will be allowed from May 17.
Many bosses of advertising groups have warned that a significant financial recovery for the sector depends on the full reopening on June 21.
Patrick Dardis, managing director of London pub group Young’s, called June 21 a ‘freedom day’, while Nick Mackenzie, managing director of Greene King pub group, warned that most outdoor venues will remain. in deficit even with a pent-increase in demand.
Greene King operates over 3,100 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK and opened around a third of its managed estate on April 12.
Ahead of the reopening, Mackenzie told The Standard: “With a myriad of restrictions set to remain in place over the next two months, pubs across the country will continue to struggle. It is therefore vital that the government stick to its schedule with a full and unrestricted program reopening from June 21. ”