Inaccurate Reporting of Beer Supply Issues

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 5795K
Wetherspoon (JD) PLC
02 September 2021

For Immediate Release



Inaccurate Reporting of Beer Supply Issues at JD Wetherspoon  PLC

There have been a number of inaccurate reports regarding beer supply at Wetherspoon. For example, a BBC headline said that "Wetherspoon runs low on beer amid driver shortage" and quoted the singer Billy Bragg who said "Here's a lament for Tim Martin, whose Wetherspoon chain is struggling with the realities of the Brexit for which he campaigned so loudly".

In fact, it is inaccurate to say that "Wetherspoon runs low on beer" because beer shortages applied only to a minority of the 23 products sold on draught by the majority of Wetherspoon pubs. As of yesterday (Wednesday 1st September), when the BBC report was issued, the overall amount of beer that Wetherspoon had in stock was approximately the same as 2 years ago.

These limited shortages followed threatened industrial action in recent weeks by drivers and warehouse staff acting on behalf of Heineken which, Wetherspoon understands, included an overtime ban. 

As result, some Wetherspoon pubs ran out of Heineken products and there was a knock- on effect on other brands.

Therefore, the impression given by the report in the BBC article regarding shortages was highly misleading.

Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin said:

 "Strenuous efforts are being made to link supply issues to Brexit.

"In this case the main link relates to industrial action -  Brexit gave the power to the UK Government to allow more HGV drivers in, should it choose to do so.

"There are supply chain issues in many EU countries following the pandemic.  It has been widely reported that there are shortages of 400,000 HGV drivers in Germany, France and Spain, for example, and Germany, in particular, is struggling with major worldwide supply chain issues.

"As an aside, it is interesting to note that a recent BBC report on McDonalds running out of milk shakes hardly mentioned Brexit and its report on shortages at Nandos did not mention Brexit at all. By the same token, a BBC report, a fortnight ago, on beer supply issues in Scottish pubs did not mention Brexit either. However, the BBC report on Wetherspoon refers to Brexit in the headline"


2nd September 2021





Ben Whitley                   Finance Director                        07970 477428

Eddie Gershon              Company Spokesman               07956 392234

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Notes to editors

1.    J D Wetherspoon owns and operates pubs throughout the UK. The company aims to provide customers with good-quality food and drink, served by well-trained and friendly staff, at reasonable prices. The pubs are individually designed, and the company aims to maintain them in excellent condition.


2.     Visit our website:      


3.     This announcement has been prepared solely to provide additional information to the shareholders of J D Wetherspoon, to meet the requirements of the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules. It should not be relied on by any other party, for any other purposes. Forward-looking statements have been made by the directors in good faith, using information available up until the date on which they approved this statement. Forward-looking statements should be regarded with caution, because of the inherent uncertainties in economic trends and business risks.


4.     The current financial year comprises 52 trading weeks to 24 July 2022.


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