Pubs in France have stopped selling Guinness in protest at the high selling prices of the iconic stout across the Channel and the lack of support from the brand's distributor.

Some 20 pubs are refusing to sell Guinness this month, and other pub owners have expressed their unhappiness with Guinness owner Diageo, and its French distributor InBev, saying they support the boycott even as they continue to serve.

"In France, because of the distributor's prices, we have to sell a pint of Guinness at EUR6 (US$7.77), or EUR9 in Paris," said Pierre-Philippe Bourdel, manager of The General Humbert's in La Rochelle, who started the boycott. "It is EUR4.20 in Ireland. Nothing justifies such a high price."

Bourdel said the merchandising he gets from Guinness is minimal and often unsuitable, and that he had not seen anyone from Diageo for over a year.

Frank Jackson, owner of the Connemara Pub in Bordeaux, and a member of the Irish Pubs Association of France, is not boycotting Guinness but says those who do, have good reason. Jackson said the pricing structure around Guinness is wrong, with a pub that sells major volumes being charged the same as smaller volume outlets.

Gael Julliand of Guinness France said only that he is aware of the problem and that he would be talking to InBev about the matter.