Brewery group Scottish and Newcastle has called a halt to a 20-year old tradition and stopped offering free beer to retired brewery workers in Tadcaster in Yorkshire.
Former John Smith’s employees had enjoyed two free pints of beer or lager three times a week as part of an unofficial agreement with the brewery.
But now Scottish and Newcastle has halted the free ale meetings in a bid to achieve a fairer distribution of funds throughout the country, according to local newspaper reports.
A spokesman for Scottish and Newcastle denied that the move was a cost-cutting measure, and said the company would end up spending more money on its pensioners overall.
He added that the former employees will still be able to meet at Magnet Sports and Social Club and will receive £30 of company vouchers every Christmas.
Geoff Baker spent 19 years working for the Tadcaster brewery and enjoyed meeting with his colleagues for a free pint at the former pub, The Queen’s Head.
“Some of these men would have worked there for over 40 years. It seems sad that a firm as large as Scottish and Newcastle can’t recognise that this is a lifetime’s work,” he told the local newspaper, Knaresborough Today.