Brewers Raise Keg Prices

Tempo and Central Bottling Company, who together control almost 90% of Israel's beer market, both raising prices; Goldstar, Maccabee, Carlsberg, Tuborg, Leffe, Stella beers will get more expensive.

The two major local players in the beer market, Moshe "Mozi" Wertheim's Central Bottling Company and Tempo Beer Industries, have both raised prices on kegs of beer.

Tempo, the larger of the two beer sellers with a 48% share of the market, took the plunge first, raising prices on kegs of Heineken, Goldstar and Maccabee by 3% to 5% about a month and a half ago.

Central Bottling, with 40% of the market, has followed suit, through its Israel Beer Breweries, putting bars and restaurants on notice that it will institute similar price rises as of June 1. The firm sells Carlsberg, Tuborg, Leffe and Stella Artois beers, among others.

"It's clear that Tempo and Central Bottling are raising prices around the same time, because that's what happens when there's a duopoly that controls almost 100% of the market," said Shahar Levy, who owns Jerusalem's Restobar restaurant.

"At a time of social protest, it's not feasible to raise prices," he said, "and we clearly see that suppliers who have competition are not raising prices while those without competition are. Our input costs are going up too."