Lord, Give Me Strength

at

Grolsch on sale in Tesco has gone up in price but lost an Alcohol Volume Percentage point

This afternoon.

Are supermarkets selling watered-down beer?

Sea writes:

‘The best example currently is Grolsch, owned by the Ahasi Group. When last available in Ireland it was 5% and roughly €1/1.25 a can.

It’s now reintroduced, at €2 per can and 4%.

So, less beer, bigger profit, lower tax liability…. Shrinkflation in the extreme.

Both Grolsch/Ashai and Tesco (though many supermarkets practise this) have refused to answer my queries, via twitter both in private and public messages.

Other brands have been doing it for years but the recent re-introduction of Grolsch serve as a timely example.

Carlsberg is frequently sold at 3.8%

Heineken is 5% everywhere else in the world.

Sierra Nevada is sold often at varying strengths.

Frankly, the list goes on and on.

If a pub behaved this way, they would lose their license. Why should a retailer be any different?

I hope I’m not alone here. I’m very passionate about beer, and believe others would be too if the Diagio and Ashai groups couldn’t manipulate the market and effectively bully out competition against their own swill.

They have other methods – Don’t get me started on keeping much better beers out of pubs, free stock, construction of beer gardens and so on.

With minimum pricing on the horizon, I believe the consumer is at risk of even further dilution and price gouging under the cover of regulation.’

Anyone?

Pic: Tesco

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36 thoughts on “Lord, Give Me Strength

  1. scottser

    that’s nordy beer, usually found in some of the more disreputable off licences and shops.
    they sell weaker beer (3-4%) in smaller cans (440ml).
    It’s why nobody takes them seriously as a nation.

    1. wearnicehats

      Not strictly true. I always stock up on Heineken in Sainsburys if I’m up north. Never mind being way cheaper it is also 5% compared to the 4% dishwasher you get here. Tesco in the UK also sell the 4% Grolsch shown

      1. scottser

        heinomite is standard 5%. I’ve never seen it at 4%; sure you wouldn’t wash your mickey in it at that.

        1. Donker

          Irish Heineken has always been 4.3%. Until the mid nineties Uk Heineken (brewed by whitbread I believe) was about 3.4% before changing to the global standard 5%. They used to sell it in some shops here in cans identifiable by a red ring below the rim of the can.

  2. Des

    Its not ‘less beer’ Its less alcohol. But alcohol % is very much arbitrary. If you buy a bottle of wine at 12% alc by vol it can be 12%, 12.5%, 11%, 11.5%. Once the % alohol goes up duty goes up hence spirits having higher duty.

    On two other points:

    *If a pub behaved this way, they would lose their license. Why should a retailer be any different?* – They wouldn’t lose their licence as they are not responsible for product make up or delivery of any marketing promise.

    ‘I hope I’m not alone here. I’m very passionate about beer, and believe others would be too if the Diagio and Ashai groups couldn’t manipulate the market and effectively bully out competition against their own swill’

    They are not manipulating the market they are maintaining their market share. The market segment for established contenders is definitely not the segment for premium artisan beers who pay for a variety of other brand promises with % alcohol only being one of them.

  3. theo kretschmar schuldorff

    Must be from different vintages and terroirs.
    I’d ask down at Devaney’s only it’s a Pharmacy now.
    (And I don’t live there anymore)

  4. Clampers Outside

    Hands up if you had those Grolsch bottle caps on your shoes at any point :)

    I’ll go first…. Yes, yes I did…. :0)

    I’ll get me coat, and sit by the wall of shame :(

    1. U N M U T U A L

      Nah, the cool kids used them as makeshift strap-locks for a guitar. (⌐■_■)

  5. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    very chemically, desperate headache inducing crap, it was 6.50 a pint in a bar I worked in a hundred years ago but free for me so I should know

    1. alickdouglas

      To think that it’s Stella that has the bad rep these days. With some vanishingly rare exceptions Dutch beers are heinous rubbish. Much to my shame it was my first post lockdown beer on tap not so long ago. It was a choice between that or Peroni, my fault for going to a hipster tip with two taps.

      1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

        now that’s a disappointing post lockdown pint, I’m yet to have mine…sad face,
        however my brother set up a proper tap and keg of Guinness besides his drums in his ” garage” ….happy face

  6. Tarfton Clax

    Better off buying locally produced Irish beer, or failing that German/Czech beers. Prost

  7. Col

    Websites like craftcentral.ie sell a wide selection of beers in plenty of styles (not just IPA), including ones from Irish breweries
    You can get very strong % beers as well, if that’s your thing. 6.5% milk stout or a 5% lager for €2.50

  8. wearnicehats

    Grolsch is back as a 4% abv beer, instead of its previous 5% abv version. The lower abv reportedly “answers the call from UK consumers, retailers and publicans alike for a product that delivers great refreshment at a slightly lower abv”. The brewer said it has managed to do this while still retaining its distinctive depth of flavour, which is achieved via its ‘double-brew’ process (a double-decoction mash, using two hop varieties blended with two types of Dutch malt.

    Tim Clay, Managing Director at Asahi UK, said: “Grolsch Premium Pilsner is back with a fresh brand identity and a brilliant, revitalised liquid, brewed at its iconic home in East Netherlands. The brand-new packaging and in-store activations we’ve tailored for Grolsch’s return are just as exciting – highly distinctive and full of character. We’re delighted with the response and take-up from customers to date.

    “This is a fantastic new proposition for the UK & Ireland market, building on Asahi UK’s comprehensive suite of premium beer and cider brands. It comes at an important time, with a growing consumer preference for a range of ABV beers that also offer high quality and strong provenance. Grolsch Pilsner ticks all those boxes, providing great refreshment to suit any occasion, and with an excellent depth of flavour.”

  9. Paulus

    I bought a few cans of, deep breath;

    Wicklow Wolf, Mad Mex Imperial Mexican Chocolate Cake Stout, 10.5% Vol. Actually TOO flavoursome, me poor ould taste buds haven’t recovered yet.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      I had 12 percent Trappist beer in Belgium a few years ago. I had to mix in Grenadine as it was pretty rough stuff.
      The Belgians tried to trick me too with the Kwak beer, 8.5% in its round-bottomed long-necked glass. The idea was the unsuspecting victim would drink as normal from the glass, and a bubble of air would push extra beer up onto the face, with a quacking sounds to destroy you. Didn’t work though.

  10. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    Kinnegar brewed in Donegal, imo best beer in Ireland ( The Rust Bucket pour moi )

    1. GiggidyGoo

      I like the Boyne beers. You can get them in Tesco. Used to be on special at 4 for €10, but now €2.99 per bottle.

  11. Frank

    The smooth smooth taste and thirst quenching ability of WHIPLASH ales, porter and lager is really first rate. when a lady or (chuckles) a man sees you quafing a WHIPLASH can of pure goodness they know you’re in favour town, NEXT STOP OBLIVION and all the fun that probably ensues. ad.

    I need to say as a disclaimer that I was the recipient of the WHIPLASH BIG BAG OF CANS earlier this year and if WHIPLASH would like to send on some more I will gladly accept.

  12. Mack

    Is this a trend with Tesco in anticipation of the new alcohol pricing laws. Noticed that the 5 Euro bottle of Linden Village (I know) hadn’t been available from January until recently but its 6.40 Euro now on it’s reappearance, quite an increase.

    1. Slave to the Rhythm

      hahah you are a self-confessed knacker cider drinker!
      Go and stand in the corner please!

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