Shops killing pubs , says Protz

Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz has joined the chorus of industry disapproval over supermarket beer prices.

Protz urged England and Wales to follow Scotland's lead in considering a minimum pricing policy for alcohol.

Camra, which publishes the guide, claimed there was a direct link between supermarket prices and the closure of pubs, put at 36 a week by the British Beer & Pub Association.

"Cheap beer in supermarkets - often sold at less than the price of bottled water - is killing the British pub," said Protz.

"Over 150 pubs a month are closing, and the main reason is simple - people are abandoning their locals because they can buy cheaper supermarket beer at a fraction of the price charged by pubs."

Protz claimed that supermarkets "have no idea what happens to cheap alcohol once it leaves their stores".

He added: "In too many cases, it's passed on to under-age drinkers.

"It's the supermarkets, not pubs, that encourage binge -drinking, with their massively-discou nted sales of

alcohol."

Protz ac cused big brewers and multiple retailers as taking part in "the economics of the mad house".

"Coors has seen its profits halved , mainly as a result of the deep discounts demanded by the retailers," he said.

The Good Beer Guide 2009 is published by Camra, priced £14.99.