By James Atkinson
Coopers chairman Glenn Cooper and Little Creatures founder Howard Cearns gave their insights on draught beer at home products, as a poll by TheShout found 70 per cent of respondents believe Lion's Tap King is bad news for pubs (pictured right).
Billed by Lion as a market-leading innovation for the beer category, Tap King has copped a strong backlash from hoteliers.
Glenn Cooper told TheShout that the reaction was similar when Coopers made its entry into making home brew kits.
He reiterated his earlier comments that if people decide to sit at home and drink beer as an alternative to visiting the pub, "there's something wrong with your hotel".
"Hotels are not just selling beer, they're selling atmosphere," he said.
Asked if Coopers would consider developing a Tap King equivalent product, he said he doubted whether any home draught system could ever compare with having a Coopers in a hotel.
"It would be hard to beat a good pub with good beer line systems in quality," he said.
Little Creatures faced similar opposition from publicans when it experimented with selling miniature kegs directly from the brewery, founder Howard Cearns told TheShout.
"Our customers weren't happy about us marketing them broadly, so we kept them fairly tightly attached to the brewery itself. Inevitably we stopped it because it became inefficient," he said.
Out of nearly 350 votes received by TheShout's reader poll, 70 per cent said pubs would be negatively affected by Tap King, and just 6 per cent suggested retailers stood to benefit from the product.
Scroll to the bottom of our original article to see reader reaction to the product.
Several comments were negative, but one reader agreed with Lion's view that Tap King could be just the shot in the arm the struggling beer category needs.
"Let's face it, even with craft beer in growth, the overall category is in decline. Surely a product that is going to bring attention back to the beer channel has some positivity about it?" he said.