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Dublin boozer Darkey Kelly’s to remove Heineken taps after ‘unfair’ price hike

Darkey Kelly's, on Fishamble Street, is removing Heineken taps from the bar© Darkey Kelly's

Amy DonohoeIndependent.ie

A Dublin pub has started removing Heineken taps from their bar to avoid passing on the recent price hike to customers.

Yesterday, Heineken told pubs they were increasing keg prices meaning the cost of some of Ireland’s most popular pints will increase by around 25c next month.

Other products also affected by the price increase include Coors Light, Moretti, Beamish, Foster’s, Murphy’s, Orchard Thieves, Appleman’s, Tiger Cute Hoor IPA and Lagunitas.

Darkey Kelly’s, on Fishamble Street, doesn’t think it’s fair to increase the prices on customers, so they are considering replacing their Heineken taps with local brewery ones.

Owner, Nathy Towey, said: “We’re looking at other options as we stock quite a lot of the smaller craft breweries.

“As taps become free, we would look at installing a local independent brewery instead. There’s definitely an opportunity for the smaller breweries to jump in. If we can agree on a price, absolutely.

“For now, we’ll take two of the taps away and going forward, that could move to three or four being removed.”

With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, Mr Towey is already worried about what these price rises could do to the footfall of customers.

“Realistically, most pubs would put at least 25 to 30 cents onto a pint. But leading into Christmas and the New Year, that increase in one go could be a tipping point,” he said.

“The danger is when it comes to January and people will look at what’s in their wallet.

“The increase has really infuriated people. From our point of view, when you’re dealing with a big company like Heineken, it’s very clear there was no holding back on the decision.

“We need to fight back. We’ve six Heineken products pouring in our pub at the moment, they’d have a quarter of our tap space.

“Like every other pub in the country, we were shocked by the scale of the increase. It really upset everybody in the industry.

“We suspected there would be a price increase, but not at this side of Christmas. Heineken already put the price up in April.”

Like other pubs, it’s becoming tougher for Darkey Kelly’s during the cost of living crisis, but their customers still come first.

“We want people coming into us, you can’t alienate them. You can’t fleece them,” Mr Towey said.

“The customers coming into us are very price conscious. We’ve live music every night, it’s a pull factor. But if it’s €7.50 for a pint, they’re not going to come back.

“You still have to offer value for money. There’s a lot of office blocks around us, but some people are working at home two or three days a week, they’re not working in the office.

“Friday night drinks after work have changed. A lot of people work from home on a Friday now.

“On the food side of the business, the chicken, steak, fish, cooking oil, all those things have gone up. A meal in a Dublin pub would be between €12 and €18.

“It’ll get to a tipping point where people won’t come into you. Right now, you do have to absorb some losses and hope the price of electricity will come down.”


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