BrewDog to close six pubs over spiralling energy costs as industry chiefs issue warning

BrewDog has confirmed it will close six of its bars, including three in Scotland, after claiming “spiralling energy bills” made the future of the sites unviable.

The brewing giant says staff will be moved to other locations and there will be no job losses.

Pubs in Peterhead, Aberdeen and Motherwell will be shut, with the other three outlets reportedly in London.

A company spokesman said: “All staff have accepted roles in other BrewDog locations. There will be no job losses.

BrewDog is feeling the pinch of the energy crisis.

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“This is part of the regular review of our portfolio.

“With rapidly increasing costs including spiralling energy bills, these bars were a substantial distance from being viable to operate.”

The move comes as a Scottish business owner was forced to shut his restaurant after his energy bills soared from £1,000 a month to nearly £4,000.

David Haetzman, 49, said he hoped protections would be put in place to help others after he claimed he was left with no choice but to close the Firebrick Brasserie in Lauder earlier in August.

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The chef said: "We're heartbroken and pretty distraught. Obviously we have put a lot into the business over the last seven years.

"We're very passionate about what we do and it's pretty heart-breaking to have to close.

"The cost-of-living crisis, and in particular the energy prices, is the thing that sent us over the edge."

A number of firms in the hospitality industry have already called on the UK and Scottish governments to step in and prevent the loss of more pubs.

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Amid price hikes upwards of 300 per cent, Greene King, JW Lees, Carlsberg Marston's, Admiral Taverns, Drake & Morgan and St Austell Brewery all expressed concern, signing an open letter to the UK Government and calling for action.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive officer of 2,700-strong group Greene King, said one tenant has seen their energy bill jump £33,000 for the year.

He said: "While the Government has introduced measures to help households cope with this spike in prices, businesses are having to face this alone, and it is only going to get worse come the autumn.

"Without immediate Government intervention to support the sector, we could face the prospect of pubs being unable to pay their bills, jobs being lost and beloved locals across the country forced to close their doors, meaning all the good work done to keep pubs open during the pandemic could be wasted."

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Concerns have also been raised about the social and cultural impact of losing pubs in some areas.

Tom Stainer, chief executive of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: "Pubs are one of the only proper local spaces to gather in, as we have seen the decline of community hubs. [They allow you to] meet people from where you live, they help to combat loneliness and isolation, and pubs generally do a lot of work for local charities and grassroots sports teams.

"Pubs provide local employment and a lot of it, often supporting younger people with their career development and training.”

A Government spokesperson said: "No government can control the global factors pushing up the price of energy and other business costs, but we will continue to support the hospitality sector in navigating the months ahead.

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"That includes providing a 50 per cent business rates relief for businesses across the UK, freezing alcohol duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits and reducing employer national insurance."

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