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DrinksTrade29AugustSeptember2012

Beer OlympicIssues of BEER & CIDER proportions As the world’s attention turns to London for the Olympic games, proponents of real ale are bemoaning the sponsorship deal that has made Heineken the official beer provider of the XXX Olympiad.John Holl reports. Phome of the Archery competitions, Lord’s Cricket Ground. Roger John Smith’s Smoothflow and Strongbow cider,” said Norbert Cappetti,“Heineken has sole pouring rights at Olympics events and the packagegives Heineken the rights to also sell two other brands in its portfolio,erhaps the most egregious insult regarding beer and the 2012Olympic Games is that cask ale will not be served at the soon-to-be Protz, historian and the editor of the Good Beer Guide summs it up best; communications manager for Holland Heineken House London 2012. “This the home of world cricket, known to the international cricketing While many in London bemoan the fact a Dutch beer maker has community as ‘headquarters’ and it’s deeply insulting to the traditions exclusive pouring rights, the small breweries that call the region home of the ground to kick out English beer and make way for Heineken.” say that while they cannot afford the expense themselves, they had This should be an exciting time for breweries in London. After hoped that people who appreciate small batch beer will seek out their decades in decline, there are currently around 30 breweries operating wares when visiting for the games. However, it might not be that easy. in the city, from the very large, including Fullers and Meantime “The Olympics organisers have turned into the old East German Stasi,” Brewing Company, to the very small, such as the London Brewing said Roger Protz. “Dire consequences are threatened against any pub Co. Many hoped that the city that had once left an indelible mark or brewery that breaks the embargo around any of the venues for the on the world’s beer culture would get a bigger boost than what games.” In Cardiff, for example, an ‘exclusion zone’ has been placed is currently expected – but that now doesn’t seem likely. on the city centre around the Millennium Stadium where women’s Exact terms of the Heineken sponsorship opportunity have not soccer will be held. This means the local Brain’s Brewery can’t sell its been disclosed, but several media outlets throughout Great Britain beers in the stadium and can’t promote them outside its city-centre said the global brewer paid upwards of £10 million for the rights pubs. “Breweries are keeping schtum because they are frightened to pour its beer. Olympic sponsorship is separated into tiers or of being prosecuted by the Olympics committee,” Protz added. categories, starting with worldwide sponsors that include Coca-Cola, Norbert Cappetti said Heineken prices would be comparable with London McDonalds and other global brands. The subsequent tiers come prices, with a half pint price of £2.75. “With regard to beer prices within the with some benefits and restrictions depending on the level. Olympic Park and other Olympic venues, whilst we would expect pricing As part of the agreement with the London Organising Committee for a premium beer such as Heineken to be comparable with prices at of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Heineken is the official lager other prestigious sporting or events venues, we have no control over retail supplier and sponsor of London 2012 in a tier three sponsorship deal. pricing which is a matter for LOCOG and their catering partners,” he said. 34 drinks trade


DrinksTrade29AugustSeptember2012
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