Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 18:47 UK

Bar's 10p beers 'irresponsible'

A bar at the heart of Tyneside's drinking culture has been criticised for selling beer at 10p a bottle.

The Spy bar in Jesmond, Newcastle, offered 500ml of 4.7% Mexican Potro beer at the knock-down price.

The city council has branded the sale "irresponsible" and Northumbria Police plans to speak to the bar's management.

But Spy's owner said only 36 surplus bottles had been offered for 10p each, limited to one per customer, and were not part of any promotion.

The bar, where the drinks were sold last week, is situated on Jesmond's Osborne Road, one of Newcastle's most popular party destinations.

There was certainly no promotion, no adverts or anything like that
Mr Handa, Spy's owner

Police Supt Dave Wormald said: "Northumbria Police is committed to tackling alcohol-related disorder.

"However in addition to the role the police has to play, we also need a commitment from the retail and pub trade to take measures to help change the culture of binge drinking and the associated problems.

"My neighbourhood officers will be speaking to the management at this establishment to take the appropriate course of action to discourage them from offering such promotions."

Councillor Anita Lower, executive member for community safety and regulation at Newcastle City Council, said the bar's management would be "invited to meet the council's licensing committee".

Spy's owner, Mr Handa, said: "The bottles were being sold at full price months ago, but they were no longer on sale.

"Two or three cases, or 36 bottles, were later found behind the bar and were sold off at the cheap price, but they were limited to one per person and only offered to regular customers.

"There was certainly no promotion, no adverts or anything like that."

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