JD Wetherspoon (JDW) has said the supply shortages it has been experiencing with several of the beer and lager brands it sells is down to the industrial action proposed by delivery drivers supplying Heineken products.

The pub operator is currently experiencing supply problems with both Carling and Coors lager, resulting in some pubs running out of those products.

A spokesperson for JDW said its pubs usually offer 23 different brands on draught, with Heineken supplying six of those lines.

“Last week, we understand, there was industrial action by delivery drivers acting on behalf of Heineken, our biggest supplier. As a result of a shortage of deliveries of Heineken, some other products ran out in some locations – for example Carling and Coors lagers,” he said.

Strikes by 1,000 draymen were set to take place on 24 August and 2 September, but an improved pay offer from employer GXO Logistics Drinks meant action was suspended.

The strikes were to be accompanied by an overtime ban and work to rule, starting on 24 August and continuing until 15 November.

JDW said it hoped that, with the industrial action now suspended, supply issues would be resolved in due course.

“As of today, the majority of pubs, we believe, are now fully stocked, but some pubs may be short of a few brands, pending deliveries in the next few days,” added JDW.

Unite the Union said the draymen were responsible for around 40% of the beer deliveries to pubs and other hospitality venues in the UK. A ballot on the new pay offer closed on 31 August, with Unite recommending workers vote in favour of it.

Product shortages have been reported across the hospitality in recent weeks, due to a combination of the ‘pingdemic’ meaning less drivers are available, the impact of Brexit on driver numbers and the effect of the pandemic on new HGV licences, as well as the heightened demand for beer seen from the supermarkets, and the number consumers trading up to more premium drinks. 

A spokesperson for Heineken said: “We continue to do everything we can to get our beers and ciders to customers, and are keeping them constantly updated. We’re working tirelessly to find solutions to delivery issues caused by considerable disruption in the haulage and logistics market. What’s important is that the great British pub is open for business.”