Allied Domecq to axe C-T beer

Lager brands Carlsberg and Castlemaine XXXX face the axe from thousands of pubs owned by Allied Domecq Retailing after the pub owner negotiated a new beer supply deal.

The two brands, owned by Danish controlled brewer Carlsberg-Tetley, will be replaced by Whitbread’s Stella Artois and Scottish Courage’s Foster’s lager in many Midlands pubs.

The move will deal a potentially fatal body blow to Carlsberg-Tetley, which earlier this year was the target of a takeover by Bass that was blocked by President of the Board of Trade Margaret Beckett.

Allied Domecq Retailing, which runs 3,700 pubs around the UK, announced its enlarged lager portfolio yesterday. It has added Stella and Foster’s to a range of lagers including Carlsberg Pilsner, Carlsberg Export and Castlemaine. But the retailer will not offer all the brands in all pubs. Instead, each pub will be able to select brands favoured by its customers.

City analysts believe that up to half of Allied Domecq’s pubs will opt to ditch Carlsberg and Castlemaine in favour of Stella and Foster’s, which spend four times as much on advertising as the C-T brands.

Allied Domecq Retailing says it has not yet decided which pubs will take on the new lagers and ditch the old ones, and that it is impossible to say how many will. C-T was unavailable for comment.

Bass has sold 1,190 leased pubs and 238 managed pubs to a venture capital company for 563.7m.

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