CUB is giving extended credit for two months to Melbourne pubs and bars locked down in Melbourne. The brewer has also announced it’s joining Lion in freezing its beer prices.
Chief executive Peter Filipovic sent a letter to venues this week saying “approved customers who purchased draught beer in areas under lockdown will be provided 8 weeks of extended credit”.
Filipovic also said CUB would match Lion in absorbing the August 1 increase in CPI-linked excise.
“This price freeze applies to all our Australian customers,” he said.
Lion’s National Sales Director Mark Powell wrote to customers this week saying: “In recognition that collectively we have faced bushfires, COVID-19 and a cyber attack, Lion is going to keep things simple and hold our prices flat this August.
“It’s another step to help our customers through a challenging year. This means no changes to our list prices for pack and draught beer and cider for the remainder of the year.”
Spike in Queensland sales
The Australian Financial Review reports: “Lockdowns imposed in late March by the federal government triggered a slump in beer volumes at CUB of around 30 to 35% in April, with packaged beer sales at liquor retailers unable to offset the heavy slide in on-tap beer.
But it says both CUB and Lion have been “partially buoyed” by rising sales in Queensland.
The state’s economy is steadily regaining momentum as restrictions loosen and more tourists arrive.
A Lion spokesperson said: “In Queensland, we are starting to see a return to normal demand levels, and we look forward to seeing the beer continue to flow across the state.”
Queensland MP Bob Katter has written to Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann asking them to freeze the planned alcohol tax increase due on August 3.
“I am sick and tired of the self-righteous, restrict-everything brigade who are pushing the higher taxes on alcohol,” he said. “It’s no wonder we have an increasingly high male suicide rate. The pub is a place you can get things off your chest and talk to mates, so it’s detrimental if going to the pub costs an arm and a leg.”
Brewers Association of Australia head Brett Heffernan wants Australia to join other nations in freezing beer taxes.
At $2.26 per litre, Aussies already pay the fourth-highest beer tax in the industrialised world, then they pay another 10 per cent GST on top,” he told The Australian.
“Forty-two per cent of the price of an Aussie-made stubby is tax … Australian drinkers are essentially shouting the taxman 10 of their 24 stubbies.
“Germany has deferred its beer tax from 13c to zero in response to COVID. The Brits froze their beer tax at $1.52.”