Tweet Some time ago I commented that what Heineken was doing in the Czech Republic was neither black, nor white, but rather of several shades of grey. Well, it seems those shades are getting a bit darker.
Pivovar Kutná Hora wasn't the only brewery that Heineken closed last year. They also sealed the fate of Pivovar Znojmo, which stopped brewing last summer.
After closing down the shop, the Dutch group offered to sell the brewery to the city of Znojmo for CZK 26 million (about a million EU). The city's government is, of course, very interested in buying it, not so much for the brewery itself, but because within its property is located the Rotunda sv. Kateřiny, a small Romanesque church dating from the 11th century, as well as the access to the Znojmo Castle, both sites of great historical and touristic importance.
So far so good. However, there is a condition that Heineken has put to sell the brewery which illustrates very well the attitude that companies like this have towards the concept of "Free Market". If the city of Znojmo decides to buy the brewery, for ten years they, or any other third party, won't be allowed to brew beer in the facilities, and if they decide to open, or allow the functioning of any sort of gastronomic venue, only beers from Heineken CZ will be sold for the same period.
Once the city sorts out the access to the historical sites, these conditions will result in them being stuck with a basically useless building, and will probably have no other option but to sell it, likely to a real state developer or something like that.
What a sick mentality! I understand that the accountants that run the company decided to close down a brewery that had actually been on life support for some time, but that they won't let anyone else make use of the facilities? That a future owner will have to accept such conditions that will leave them with very little choice but give the brewery a final death blow? And that they won't even allow other beers but theirs to be sold there? Are they so afraid of the competition?
This things really make me sick.
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