Beer competition concerns alcohol watchdog

A pub competition offering 50 crates of beer to the winner has concerned an alcohol watchdog group which says it risks promoting excessive drinking.

The competition, being run at The Shed in Rotorua, involves weekly entrants chasing a prize which can either be taken in one hit, or one crate at a time for a year.

Alcohol Advisory Council (Alac) chief executive Gerard Vaughn questioned whether such initiatives breached a national protocol stating promotions involving large quantities of free alcoholic drinks were unacceptable, The Daily Post reported.

"Also, for all alcohol promotions, under the Sale of Liquor Act any promotions or activities must not be seen as intended or likely to encourage people to consume alcohol excessively."

The pub's owner, Reg Hennessy, said the competition did not promote excessive drinking and was about "getting people out and enjoying themselves and having fun pitting themselves against their mates".

Local licensing co-ordinator Sergeant Mike Membery said competitions promoting excessive drinking were concerning.

However, Mr Hennessy was known to have operated bars successfully in Rotorua for many years and Mr Membery said he was confident he would run a safe competition.