JD Wetherspoon is the biggest bar corporation in the country. And as we all know, corporations are the enemy of the little man. Undercutting smaller businesses at every opportunity, promotions that will make even the most ardent anti-big business person look twice.
With ever rising taxes, breweries struggling to establish themselves, struggling to make profits, and the good old local pubs closing down at an alarming rate, the ale industry has every right to harbour some bad feelings towards ‘Spoons.
Another Wetherspoon Real Ale festival starts on April 3, with pints for as little as £1.99, lining their pockets while the landlord at your local stood with custom even lower than usual.
But rather than a call to arms, we at AleMighty suggest taking a step back and thinking about the flip side of the coin.
Hundreds, possibly thousands of people will be sampling their first pint of Real Ale. This gives the potential for hundreds, possibly thousands of new fans.
After they leave ‘Spoons and go their separate ways and wander past their local they may even be tempted by a local brew and stop in. That landlord who was watching his crowd dwindle could be welcoming in new faces. The brewery in the next town might have to sell them a couple of extra barrels.
That trickle-down effect could turn into stream. That stream into a river. While there is no sure fire way to judge the effects, good or bad, Wetherspoon did seem to have the same idea when we spoke to them.
Caroline Barley, PR representative for JD Wetherspoon said: “As a company we like to support local breweries. We supporting CAMRA and are glad our customers are able to enjoy participating in our Beer Festivals.
“We always have a good selection of Real Ales from around the world for our customers to try.”
The breweries involved with Wetherspoon must also see the potential in the deal as well. Otherwise, well, why would they be there?