Growth of growlers a concern
Publicans should be concerned particularly in relation to the craft beer business as it enfolds in Ireland “.. which may be of some concern and/or advantage to us as publicans,” he said.
‘Growlers’ are one and two-litre containers that the consumer can take to a pub or off-licence to have filled with draught product which can then be made airtight for consumption at home and which can remain fresh for some considerable time as a result. As over half of craft beers are only available in kegged format, this trend is growing in Ireland.
In introducing the motion that ‘The VFI should carry a further study into beer growling, training etc as recommended in the 2016 Craft Beer Report’ he wanted to know just how the practice of ‘growling’ affected the licensed trade in its dispense and delivery of beer into the common domain.
“This may affect us into the next generation,” he warned of the new practice which began in the US and which is beginning to spread to the UK and Ireland.
“We need to examine this system with regard to government legislation etc,” he told delegates.
VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben agreed.
“I see this as having the capacity to be very detrimental to the pub trade,” he told conference, “It has significant potential for negative impact.”
Joe Sheridan was of the view that the Federation should report and asses this phenomenon and get to understand it to ensure that members can channel that practice towards publicans.
Under the law, a retailer can sell up to 4.5 gallons of draught beer before requiring a wholesale licence.
“All of us have got to do everything in our might to stop it from growing,” he added, “This motion seeks to understand it first and then see what actions need to be taken thereafter for the best benefit of our members.
“We must see what’s involved as there’s nothing illegal in what they’re doing. But this is not specifically just about craft beers, it’s about all beers.”
The motion was referred back to Head Office for further action.