Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Feeling Bitter? Wetherspoons cans German beers & Champagne pre-Brexit

Feeling Bitter? Wetherspoons cans German beers & Champagne pre-Brexit

Brexit is set to change what you drink in a major booze shake-up on the high street.

The pro-Brexit founder of Wetherspoons announced the pub chain will ditch EU-produced champagne and wheat beers to make way for British and Australian drinks.

French champagne and German beers will be substituted for alternatives from the United Kingdom and other countries outside the bloc.

Sparkling wines from the United Kingdom and Australia will be substituted for champagne, while more United Kingdom wheat beers will be sold.

As well as including more United Kingdom beers in traditional styles and categories, Tim Martin's pub group with also replace German brand Erdinger's alcohol-free beer with a no ABV version made by Suffolk-based brewer Adnams.

Tim Martin, who founded Wetherspoons and campaigned for Brexit, said the chain was "starting to make the transition to non-EU trade" ahead of Britain's expected exit date of 29 March 2019.

"It is the start of a review all products in the next six to 24 months, with the object of making our business more competitive".

"This will not be possible if we remain in the EU's customs union".

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He said: "It imposes tariffs on the 93 per cent of the world that is not in the European Union, keeping prices high for United Kingdom consumers".

Nigel Farage, former UKIP leader and the public face of Leave.EU, praised Martin's decision ahead of what some are calling the United Kingdom economy's anticipated "Brexit Boom" as a result of retailers turning more to home-grown products.

Wetherspoon said its new wheat beers brewed in the United Kingdom will include Blue Moon Belgian White, Thornbridge Versa Weisse Beer and SA Brains Atlantic White.

Champagne will also be replaced by Denbies Sparkling Whitedowns Brut and Whitedowns Rose Brut - both made in the UK.

Swedish cider Kopparberg makes it past the cull, due to the company's decision to make its cider in United Kingdom after Brexit.

"The EU's customs union is a protectionist system which is widely misunderstood", Martin said.

He said that he intends to find a replacement for prosecco from the United Kingdom or new world countries which include Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the US.

Wetherspoon's will continue to serve Kopparberg cider from Sweden.

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