Guinness pulled from menu at Wetherspoon’s Blackrock pub

UK pub group to stock Beamish and Murphy’s as Guinness price point “too high”

The interior of the Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock, Co Dublin

The interior of the Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock, Co Dublin

Mon, Jun 30, 2014, 15:10

British pub group JD Wetherspoon has pulled a surprise by deciding not to stock Guinness at its new Three Tun Tavern pub in Blackrock, Co Dublin, when it opens for business next Tuesday.

A spokesman for Wetherspoon said the price point sought by Diageo for the famous stout was “too high”. It has decided instead to offer Beamish and Murphy’s stouts, which are brewed in Cork and owned by Heineken. Both will be sold at €3.95.

It’s a brave move by the British chain given that Guinness accounts for one in every three pints of beer sold in Ireland and is hugely popular with tourists. The Blackrock pub will be Wetherspoon’s first in the Republic.

“We like to sell our drink to customers at a certain price and the price that Diageo wanted us to sell the product at was too high,” a spokesman for Wetherspoon told The Irish Times today.

“We are not naive [about Guinness’s popularity in Ireland] but we think our selection of drinks will stand up well against any pub in the Republic.”

A spokeswoman for Diageo said it “remains competitive” with its pricing to customers in Ireland. “This is obviously a matter which is of a commercial sensitive nature and so we can’t comment any further,” she added.

Other popular Diageo brands are also missing from Wetherspoon’s menu in Blackrock, including Smirnoff vodka, Bushmills whiskey, and Baileys Irish cream liqueur.

Wetherspoon has spent €2.38 million developing the Three Tun Tavern on Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock on the site of the former Tonic Bar. It will be managed by John Hartigan and employ 60 staff.

Other famous Irish booze brands do appear on the Wetherspoon menu, including Jameson, Paddy and Tullamore Dew whiskies. These will be priced from €5.50 with mixers free with every spirit.

Ballygowan water and Bewley’s tea also feature on its menu.

There are a range of food options, with pub classics such as fish and chips, sausages and mash, and ham, egg and chips. A traditional breakfast costs €4.95.

Wetherspoon plans to open its Blackrock pub at 8am, with food served until 11pm each evening.

Among the other beers that will be stocked are Tom Crean’s Irish Lager from Dingle Brewery, Franciscan Well Rebel Red, and craft beers from Eight Degrees Brewing, including Howling Gale, Knockmealdown Porter and Barefoot Bohemian Pilsner.

The pub has been completely refurbished by Wetherspoon and includes a reading room, with “panelled ceiling and vintage books dedicated to Blackrock’s most famous author James Joyce”, according to the company. It has also commissioned artwork by local artists.

The Three Tun Tavern will be Wetherspoon’s first pub in the Republic, with another site secured in Cork and negotiations underway for other locations around the country.