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No Champagne before Brexit, UK pub chain says

/ 06:45 PM June 14, 2018

Image: AFP

British pub chain JD Wetherspoon will stop serving French Champagne in favor of sparkling wine made in Britain and outside the EU in the run-up to Brexit, it said Wednesday.

Wetherspoon, whose chairman and founder Tim Martin is a vocal Brexit supporter, added it would also stop serving wheat beers produced in France and Germany from July 9.

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The company will instead serve sparkling wines also from Australia, alongside more British-brewed wheat beers, at its near 900 pubs across the UK and Ireland.

The switch will take place towards the end of the 2018 World Cup, a tournament during which Britain’s pubs are set to enjoy booming demand from thirsty football fans.

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“This move helps us to broaden our horizons so that we create an improved offer for the two million customers who visit our pubs each week,” Martin said in a company statement.

“It is the start of a review all products in the next six to 24 months, with the object of making our business more competitive.”

Martin was a Leave campaign donor in the run-up to Britain’s shock 2016 referendum result in favor of leaving the European Union.

Wetherspoon is well known for its pro-Brexit stance and even printed special anti-EU beer mats for punters ahead of the vote.

The company is the nation’s third biggest pub chain after leader Greene King and second-place Enterprise Inns, according to data from market research provider Euromonitor.

Britain remains on course to depart from the European Union in March 2019. AB

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TAGS: Brexit, Champagne, JD Wetherspoon, sparkling wine
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