Wetherspoon to replace champagne with British sparkling wines in the run-up to Brexit

European drinks will be replaced with British wheat beers

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 13 June 2018 09:01 BST
Wetherspoons will replace champagne with British sparkling wines as Brexit approaches

Wetherspoon will replace champagne with British sparkling wines as Brexit approaches.

The pub chain also intends to buy less beer from the EU and swap it for brewers in the UK and outside Europe, it has said.

Champagne will be swapped for “Denbies Sparkling Whitedowns Brut and Whitedowns Rose Brut as well as Hardys Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay from Australia”, the chain said.

The changes will be introduced from 9 July. It will also bring more UK wheat beers to the pubs and will see Erdinger’s alcohol-free beer swapped for an alternative made by UK brewer Adnams.

Wetherspoon confirmed that it would still continue to sell Kopparberg cider from Sweden, despite Brexit, and an alcohol-free option will be added to the menu. The company has said it will switch to brew the cider in the UK after Britain leaves the EU. It should bring cheaper drinks to the chain’s pubs, Wetherspoon suggested.

Boss Tim Martin has been vocal in his support for Brexit, and has repeatedly suggested that leaving the EU will allow the pub to sell more cheap alcohol from outside the continent. “This move helps us to broaden our horizons so that we create an improved offer for the 2 million customers who visit our pubs each week,” he said.

Mr Martin said that the company will review all of its products in “the next six to 24 months”. He suggested that other companies will have to make similar changes in the future.

“The EU’s customs union is a protectionist system which is widely misunderstood,” he said.

“It imposes tariffs on the 93 per cent of the world that is not in the EU, keeping prices high for UK consumers.

“Tariffs are imposed on wine from Australia, New Zealand and the US, and also on coffee, oranges, rice and more than 12,000 other products.

“There will be an inevitable transfer of trade post-Brexit to countries outside the EU, which will reduce prices in shops and pubs.

“The products we are now introducing are at lower prices than the EU products they are replacing.

“We intend to honour existing contracts with EU suppliers, some of which have several years to run.

“However, we are starting to make the transition to non-EU trade now.”

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