The Queen’s Head, a Hook Norton pub in Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, has been visited by West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin for a discussion about the challenges facing the pub industry.
Harriett met with pub landlord John Wilsher and Hook Norton Brewery managing director James Clarke, and was accompanied by local county councillor Liz Eyre.
Harriett comments: "I always enjoy visiting the Queen's Head, which is an important part of the Sedgeberrow village community and I was eager to pop in and show my support for John and Olive. The brewing industry has benefitted from a one penny cut in duty last year which has helped beer sales enormously.
"I will take the message back to the Chancellor and to Vince Cable that breweries and pubs are grateful for the support and hope for more."
James adds: “It was great to have the opportunity to discuss the issues that affect the pub industry with Harriet. Pubs are a key part of Britain’s culture, and must be protected – we really appreciate having Harriet’s support.”
McMullen, the family brewer based in Hertford, has invested over £90,000 in an extensive refurbishment of The Steamer, a community pub occupying a prominent position on the main road through the village in the south of Old Welwyn, Hertfordshire.
The Steamer has undergone a full interior and exterior refurbishment, creating a warm and inviting yet professional atmosphere with a food and drink offer that appeals to local residents and visitors alike. Inside, the previously separate restaurant and bar areas have been opened up into one larger space, which has created seating for 30 more people. Central heating has been installed, alongside new flooring, soft furnishings, lighting and seating.
Outside, The Steamer has benefitted from new signage to attract passers-by, while patio areas have been opened up to create attractive outside dining sections. The Steamer now has an emphasis on quality ales and wines and simple traditional pub food. The new food offering consists of a breakfast menu, daytime meals with key pub favourites followed by authentic Indian cuisine served every evening
The Steamer also welcomes Dan Tubbs, who has previously managed pubs for JD Wetherspoon for nine years, as its new landlord. Dan comments: “I’m really enjoying running my own pub, particularly one that has the potential to become a true cornerstone of the community. The Steamer has been given a new lease of life thanks to its extensive refurbishments, and the feedback we’ve received from customers to date has been incredibly positive.”
Gavin Mansfield, Tenant Operations Manager at McMullen, comments: “The Steamer needed considerable renovations to give it the welcoming and comfortable feel that we wanted, and is already proving well worth the investment. Dan is a great landlord, very professional, and exactly the type of person we like to partner with at McMullen. We are always looking for talented and driven entrepreneurs, though not necessarily experienced operators, who would enjoy the rewarding challenge of running their own pub.”
Batemans, the family brewer based in Lincolnshire, is celebrating its 140th anniversary by launching new branding using the strapline ‘Craft Brewers Since 1874’, alongside a selection of exciting new product launches, including Bohemian Brews and Biscuit Barrel Beers.
The new product branding boasts a more contemporary design, with a strapline that highlights the heritage and expertise of the brewery. This is supported by new pump clip images for the core XB and XXXB beers, with ‘key-ring’ descriptions attached to inform the customer about their choice.
Furthermore, the Salem Porter beer has been rebranded under the new Salem Bridge Brewery range, which features imagery of the ancient bridge which the brewery windmill overlooks. As part of rebranding its portfolio, Batemans has extended the maturation and secondary fermentation time for its beers to give them an even more satisfying body and flavour.
Alongside the new branding, Batemans is launching a selection of new craft beers, including the Bohemian Brews range, which is infused with exciting flavours; including Mocha (winner of Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt), Mocha Amaretto, Orange Barley and Hazelnut Brownie. These rich and delicious beers undertake extended maturation in the brewery cellars to ensure their quality, and are available in bottle, and for limited periods in cask.
Furthermore, Batemans presents the new Biscuit Barrel Beers, which combine all the flavours of classic biscuits with the traditional brewing recipes of cask conditioned beer. As beer and biscuits share many common raw materials; barley, oats, malt and cane sugar, this is the perfect combination, and these beers feature subtle overtones and nuances of delicious biscuit flavours.
The Biscuit Barrel Beers are brewed on a seasonal basis and represent the crispness of spring, the lightness of summer, the autumnal colours of autumn, the long dark nights of winter and the traditional fruits of Christmas. Flavours in the range include Oatmeal (springtime), Digestive Biscuit (summer), Bourbon (autumn), Chocolate Digestive (winter) and Fruit (Christmas).
In addition, Batemans has launched Golden Swallow, a fabulous golden beer with hints of passion fruit, as part of the Salem Bridge Brewery Beers range, as well as Black & White, a dark and smooth full bodied beer with a 3.6% ABV and fruity flavours and nutty undertones.
Finally, the new Black Pepper Ale from Batemans offers a completely unique beer experience; this strong pale ale is brewed with chocolate, crystal and wheat malts, and blended with spicy English Challenger, Golding and Styrian hops, creating a peppery aroma and flavour balanced by a subtle fruitiness. Drinkers can also add additional ground Asian black pepper from an attached sachet to enhance the flavour.
Stuart Bateman, Managing Director of Batemans Brewery, comments: “This year marks a momentous occasion for us, as we celebrate our 140th Anniversary! In recognition of this achievement, we’ve evolved our branding, and also introduced a range of new beers, which demonstrate the heritage and expertise of our brewery, while offering tastes and flavours that are incredibly modern. We’re extremely proud of these new beers, and hope our customers and fans enjoy them!”
Robinsons Brewery has today announced that their modern ‘Apprenticeship PLUS’ programme has signed up 50 applicants in the first 50 days – well on their way to 130 applicants by June of next year. “We’re off to an incredible start” said Beverley Ashton, Consultant Training & Development manager at Robinsons Brewery, “In just under two months we have filled almost half of our expected 130 places and the exceptional demand for the programme continues to grow.”
The apprenticeship PLUS is open to any pub, bar, hotel or restaurant in the North West. Funded through the GM Chamber of Commerce Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot (EOS), the programme has been developed with other Greater Manchester regional brewers, restaurant and pub operators to address concerns with the current offering by adding additional qualifications in customer service and wine knowledge as well as giving every apprentice their APLH (personal licence).
“What makes me really pleased about this is that we are engaging tenanted pubs initially and gaining success” explained Director of Marketing for Robinsons, David Bremner. “With a managed business arguably it would be easier to hit numbers quickly as there can be more of a “tell” approach. But we have worked with about 20 tenants so far who see the benefit of having funded training for aspiring members of staff through which they also achieve the mandatory training in health & safety and food hygiene.”
Robinsons have initially launched five apprenticeships for bar and kitchen staff, supervisors & managers and see this as the start of a programme which would allow people who want a career in hospitality to progress onto higher level apprenticeships, ultimately leading to degree equivalent qualifications. “I’ve admired what the legal profession has done in Greater Manchester, giving promising A-level students an alternative to being £50K in debt by the end of university by taking them through a similar programme and paying them instead, with the added benefit of higher staff retention” explains David.
The Greater Manchester Employer Ownership of Skills initiative is what sparked the immediate interest at the brewery. “Hats off to the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce for their support in getting us to this stage” David continued. “They funded someone to work in our business and develop this: someone who really understood the red tape, jargon and political pathways. The- funding allows us to train over 24s, through current mainstream funding. They continue to support us closely and the results are here to see. Without them we couldn’t and wouldn’t have engaged in Apprenticeships. I hope we can get certainty over future funding to continue the good work.”
“Selection of a training partner was also critical” explained Beverley Ashton who drives the initiative at the brewery and across Greater Manchester. “We invited over 30 training providers to tender, shortlisted nine and interviewed three. Charnwood were the clear winners and have been fantastic in helping us to date. They have people in our pubs helping sell in the message, sign up apprentices and they are already working on the next courses with the BIIAB so we can get them accredited and fully develop this career pathway. There’s no doubt that our tenants share our conviction when it comes to investing in training. Not only does it impact positively on the standards of service and the skills of staff, but it also directly affects the quality of the customer experience."
Commenting on the initial success, Rebecca Bolger, Account Manager at Charnwood said: “It’s great that licensees are supporting the Robinsons development programme and encouraging their staff to get involved to gain accredited and relevant industry qualifications. We’re excited to see how our relationship will develop over the next few months. ”
CONSTRUCTION on a new tourism, leisure and retail attraction in Liverpool will start within a year after councillors today approved plans for the £150m development of Cains Brewery Village.
The first phase of the new one million square feet development, which will secure the city’s iconic beer brand and grade II listed brewery for generations to come, is expected to be complete by summer 2016.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson described the project as an exciting and transformational development which would breathe new life into the city’s Baltic Quarter.
City planning councillors approved the scheme and granted listed building consent at a meeting on November 19th.
Cains Brewery Village bosses are now seeking development partners and operators for the hotel and independent cinema elements of the scheme, as well as an upmarket quality supermarket operator for the food retail element.
The scheme will secure and create in the region of 800 full-time jobs and attract 2.5 million visits per annum. A net additional £25m of GVA economic benefit would be delivered to the city per year.
The plans will see the restoration of the grade II listed brewery building to its former glory, described by planning officers ‘as an outstanding example of Victorian industrial / commercial architecture and one of the finest examples of a purpose built brewery in Britain’ housing the new Cains brewery, museum and event centre with a spectacular ‘Sky Bar’ in the roof which will offer views over the city and the river Mersey.
The building will also house a 94 room boutique hotel, courtyard bistro bar & restaurants and a large open plan retail hall for artisan food producers to make and sell their produce on site.
There will also be a designer retail market for independent fashion businesses and function rooms. The existing historic Brewery Tap pub will be restored and retained.
The plans also include a four-screen independent art-house cinema, a supermarket, health / beauty and fitness centre, up to 775 high quality homes or 2,500 student bedrooms and 500-plus car parking spaces.
The independent art-house cinema is to have treated copper panels on the outside to reflect the copper vessels traditionally used as part of the brewing process.
The new Cains brewery which will be installed will enable the business to brew a full range of international craft beer styles for consumption in the UK and export around the world. It will also be an integral part of the wider destination.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “The Cains Brewery Village scheme will transform one of the city’s most important historic buildings and create a new tourist destination capable of holding food, craft and cultural events which will complement the city’s existing retail and leisure offer. We’re delighted it is progressing and see it as a real boost for the Baltic Triangle area.”
Sudarghara Dusanj, Managing Director of Cains Brewery Village, said: “We are going to create a major new tourism and leisure asset for the city which will secure the future of the Cains beer brand and the grade II listed brewery for decades to come.
“We are now seeking development partners and operators for the cinema, hotel and supermarket to help take the scheme forward. We are particularly keen to speak to upmarket quality supermarket operators who want to take advantage of what is a clear gap in the city market.
“We’d like to thank the city’s planning and regeneration team for all their help in bringing this forward as well as our Baltic Triangle neighbours who have been extremely supportive and have bought into our vision.”
Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, said: “The planning permission means we will see the restoration of one of the city’s key heritage assets and the creation of a new visitor attraction for an important part of Liverpool. It’s really good news for the city.
Max Steinberg, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision, said: “These proposals are an indication of confidence in the city and its prospects. It’s an extremely exciting scheme and we’re delighted to see it being brought forward.
“Brewery Village can be a tourist anchor at the southern end of the city centre, linking into the Marina and Waterfront and helping to create a new hub of activity for visitors.”
Adam Hall, Managing Director of Falconer Chester Hall (Architects) said: “The scheme will bring together new and old to create a genuinely atmospheric and vibrant destination, with design inspiration coming from right across the world.
“The brewery building will be restored to glories not seen for a hundred years and become a landmark which the entire city can be proud of.”
Mark Worcester, Director of TURLEY ASSOCIATES (Planning and Heritage Consultants) said: “The granting of planning permission and listed building consent reflects our very careful handling of the site’s historic and architectural significance, as well as the major positive impact it can have on the city.
“We had the support of English Heritage, which said it considered the scheme to be ‘a constructive way of finding a new use for some otherwise challenging, nationally significant buildings’, as well as the overwhelming majority of the public who we consulted on the plans.
Just one week after claiming the title ‘BEER CHAMPION 2013’ at the BBPA Awards Diner in London, Robinsons have received another accolade, this time ‘FAMILY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR’.
There were a record number of nominations for this year’s event, which was once again, a sell-out. The cream of the North West’s entrepreneurial crop were all present to enjoy the 12th annual awards ceremony, organised by EN Business Awards and held at The Mere Hotel.
The calibre of entrants was extremely high but it was Robinsons Brewery who walked away with the ‘Family Business of the Year’ award (sponsored by Lancaster University Management School).
It is no secret that the Cheshire family brewers have been busy bees of late. In the past 12 months alone Robinsons have rebuilt their time-honoured Victorian brew house, combining cutting edge technology with 175 years brewing expertise; they have launched an innovative new beer and food matching concept with Simon Rimmer, and to top it all off they have enjoyed exponential success (both at home and abroad) with TROOPER, a beer created with Iron Maiden’s lead vocalist and real ale aficionado Bruce Dickinson.
Kirsty Hewitt, editor of EN Magazine, said, “Robinsons Brewery is a rare example of a business which has been run by the same family for 175 years.
“One of the UK’s biggest independent family breweries, it has gone from humble beginnings in Stockport to a multi-million pound empire boasting more than 340 pubs across the North West.
“The judges were impressed with the company’s longevity and its innovative nature. They also said they are looking forward to seeing what Robinsons will do next.”
Commenting on the award, William Robinson, Managing Director (Pubs Division) of Robinsons Brewery and member of the sixth generation of the Robinsons family, said:
“We are delighted to win this award – the timing couldn’t be more perfect for us. We’ve been working very hard to raise awareness of Robinsons, both locally and internationally, by communicating better with our customers, bolstering our brands, and boosting our local economy with high quality training courses and a new Visitor Centre. This award is testament to the dedication of each and every tenant, employee and family member here at Robinsons.”
A family tradition, and one which has grown over many years, the story of Robinsons – now one of Britain’s biggest independent family breweries – is not just about the history of a brewery but of a family which has played (and continues to play) an immensely important role in British Brewing.
One Family. One Place. One Hundred and Seventy Five Years.
Robinsons has announced plans to launch a series of apprenticeships, in partnership with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and quality assured professional training providers Charnwood, to meet the needs of modern retailing. The Cheshire brewery has spent the last 12 months developing the offer with licensees and will aim to have 130 candidates on the programme by the middle of 2014.
“The first thing we did was ask licensees is what sort of staff development would be most useful to them,” Director of Marketing David Bremner told us, “and the response was consistent; bar staff service skills, chef development and assistant managers. We then met with the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and their support has been overwhelming including them funding a consultant for 18 months to get the whole programme up and running and cost neutral. When I meet with colleagues in other regional brewers they are amazed at the support we have had and the way the rules have been adapted to meet the needs of our sector. The Bii too, could not have been more supportive and we are jointly developing plans for the next phase.”
Apprenticeship consultant Beverley Ashton has run focus groups with licensees, co-ordinated with other local pub companies and regional brewers. She has also run the tender process to narrow down the 29 training providers to Charnwood who will provide the training for those in the hospitality sector in the North West who wish to join with Robinsons.
“Charnwood’s pedigree came shining through and they have some great people ready to get started on this,” commented Beverley. “We have also bolted on some additional qualifications to add a PLUS to our apprenticeships. There is extra training on Customer Services as we all agreed this is crucial these days, as well as a wine qualification and a personal licence. We have 24 Robinsons apprentices ready to start from just 16 pubs visited so far and we are sure we are going to hit all the targets the Chamber have set us – we even have new licensees who are signing up to get themselves extra training post-induction.”
Initially Robinsons will offer two level two cooking apprenticeships, a level 2 for front of House (Bii licensed hospitality)and a level 3 for management who wish to progress. All courses are expected to take 12 months to complete and are fully funded through GM Chamber EOS (Employer Ownership of Skills) for participating licensees and candidates. Licensees will play a mentoring role with the on-site training being delivered by Charnwood via monthly visits to the pubs.
“There are so many apprenticeships it can be quite confusing,” David explained, “we have started with five to simplify things but we see this as a real career in hospitality and we hope to eventually take some apprentices through to degree level. Working with the Bii and Charnwood we will continually adapt our offering to keep it fresh and relevant. We will be running normal one day and two day courses too for other training needs but this is all part of a bigger process to really raise the bar in the North West for a pub company, brewer, restaurant, hotel or bar that is interested.”
This approach has also attracted the interest of local MPs and David has explained to them the historical difficulties in becoming involved due to the mass of red tape. “We really think we have something here which could be taken to other regions of the country and prove equally successful. Those involved love what we do – running pubs and bars and we want to see the next generation viewing this as a career decision with clear development opportunities and not just a temporary position.”
With around 340 pubs, Robinsons has a vested interest in delivering distinctive training opportunities to young people wishing to work in the hospitality industry in the North West.
“Too often hospitality is overlooked as an industry with progression possibilities,” explains David, “these new apprenticeship schemes will help young people learn skills and responsibilities that will facilitate their next step up the career ladder.”
Testimonial: “We’ve had great success investing in training for our team. We currently have 3 of our 6 chefs and 2 of our FOH team on Apprentice Training Programmes. For me, there are two major benefits for training - lower staff turnover and being attractive as an employer. Not only do we get the best members of staff, we retain them as well. As a business the most fundamental value is 'Consistently Top Notch Customer Service’ - a stable, high performing team helps us to achieve this.” Martin Barnes the George & Dragon, Holmes Chapel, bronze winner of Best Pub and Customer Service Award 2013 – Chester Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival
Everards were crowned winners at the British Beer & Pub Association industry annual awards annual dinner on 9th October 2013, held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. Everards won the Pub Champion 2013 category, and were up against Daniel Thwaites, Marston’s, Punch Taverns and Star Pubs & Bars.
The BBPA said: “The judges felt that Everards did something really special. It took on the challenge of not only reopening closed pubs, but also supporting emerging small brewers to develop and expand. It is a company dedicated to pubs far beyond its own brand and invests in pub people at every opportunity.”
The British Beer & Pub Association Industry Awards recognise company and individual contributions to the sector.
Simon Godson, Operations Director of Everards said: “We are really proud to have achieved such a great award, especially being up against such fantastic competition. The judge’s comments show us that we are having a positive impact on the industry and its development. Everards will continue to work hard to make sure pubs remain a national treasure for future generations.”
Other winners scooping prizes on the night included Frederic Robinson for the Beer Champion 2013 category, Carlsberg UK for the Heart of the Community 2013 category – and a special Chairman’s Award was given to a remarkable Government Minister, Sajid Javid MP, who has championed the sector with the first cut in beer duty since the 1950s.
The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and around half of Britain’s 50,000 pubs.
IRON MAIDEN’S PREMIUM BEER PROVES A TRIUMPH FOR BRITISH EXPORT BUSINESS
Robinsons Brewery today announced that over ONE MILLION pints of TROOPER have already been exported around the world. Given that the beer was only launched in the UK five months ago on May 9, and only made available to the USA and most other countries less than two months ago, this is a remarkable accomplishment for the Cheshire family brewers and takes the total number of TROOPER pints sold globally to over 2 million pints.
Robinsons Managing Director (Beer Division) Oliver Robinson commented: “The beer itself is fantastic in terms of quality and taste, hence repeat purchases are high, but we are astonished to reach this second millionth mark in less than six months. To add to this, we have discovered that TROOPER is driving the sales of cask ale across the board. Within our Robinsons estate beer sales of the pubs that have listed TROOPER are actually 8% ahead of those which have not. This is a beer that not only drives customers into pubs; it also drives the sales of our other brands. There are not many beers in the world that can do that. Establishing a new beer in the UK and globally is a long and difficult process but we feel we are off to a great start”
At home, Trooper now has listings in many of the major pub chains including Punch, Spirit, Coors and Wetherspoons as well as the major wholesalers. Heineken has elevated TROOPER from a temporary seasonal listing to a permanent listing to the whole of the UK for Free Trade accounts. Abroad, expansion continues in Europe with TROOPER the No.2 best selling ale in Sweden – fast chasing down Newcastle Brown Ale which is currently No.1 there. Further afield the beer is just starting to impact across the continents after having secured all necessary licenses, permits and customs clearances which can be a lengthy process; New Zealand are preparing to take their first shipment, and TROOPER has just landed in Canada for the first time. Brazil alone have ordered almost 84,000 pints since May, when the first two shipments to arrive there sold out immediately.
David Davies, Managing Director of Sovereign Beverage Company, and Robinsons’ official export partners, claims TROOPER is the most successful new beer ever launched from the UK,
“We are the largest exporter of Ales and Cider from the UK, with distribution of products in over 52 countries. In an 8 week period, distribution in 30 countries and over 1,000,000 bottles with some of the World’s leading Importers has made this product launch the most successful we have ever seen from the UK. TROOPER is simply a phenomenon!”
“With the support of the globally renowned Iron Maiden, we look forward to longevity and building a really successful brand for the future in the world of export.”
In the USA, Lanny Hoff, VP, Brand Development and Marketing Artisanal Imports, Inc commented, “TROOPER is the most dynamic beer we have ever imported. Our distributors tell us it is outselling all of their other British beer, combined! Even more exciting, it is introducing many American beer drinkers to real, handcrafted, no-compromise British ale.”
Ruth Evans MBE, CEO of Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers' Association (BFBI), Director of Brewing Technology Services Limited, and organiser of the oldest international brewing awards in the world, agrees that TROOPER is providing a great profile for British beer all around the world,
“It is great to see such a successful launch of a British beer with the Internationally famous British band Iron Maiden into the export arena. With distribution into 30 countries in 8 weeks and over 1 million bottles sold overseas in the same period, we are confident that Trooper is the most successful launch of an English Ale in recent years and will be sure to help raise the overall profile of British beers in export.”
With its focus firmly on taste and easy-drinking, TROOPER was personally designed and developed as a top quality Premium British Beer by IRON MAIDEN vocalist and real ale enthusiast Bruce Dickinson with Robinsons' Head Brewer Martyn Weeks.
TROOPER not only appeals to Iron Maiden’s legendary loyal fan-base, it is attracting new customers to the beer category who are now trying cask ale for the very first time. Keith Bott, SIBA Chairman, believes TROOPER is strengthening the British brewing industry in these times of austerity and is one to watch for future world beer competitions:
"There's no doubt that a beer like Trooper with Robinsons is great for British beer exports generally. There have been 1 millions pints sold abroad to date and the way things are going this will multiply. Because the beer is directed at Iron Maiden fans worldwide it stands to reason that we have a fair proportion trying British beers for the first time and, if they like what they taste, then that can only be good for other British brewers. In recent years new world craft beers have done increasingly well in world beer competitions and this is the sort of beer that can fight back.”
To add to this success, Robinsons Brewery was last night named BEER CHAMPION 2013 at the highly prestigious British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) trade awards dinner.
Robinsons were awarded this accolade – fighting off fierce competition from the likes of Marstons, Thwaites and Molson Coors – because they had something all the judges were incredibly impressed by – a true dedication to beer and brewing. Robinsons have a strong desire to attract new customers to thebeer category while also educating and changing the perception of British real ale. TROOPER, in addition to the investment in their brewing operations, has helped them achieve and be recognised for this.
Cask Report kicks off Cask Ale Week by revealing how discerning taste is benefiting Britain’s national drink
People are drinking less and going out less, but when they do go out, they are choosing their beers more carefully – and cask ale is a main beneficiary. So says Pete Brown, author of the Cask Report.
The launch of the Report this Thursday 26th September is timed to coincide with the start of Cask Ale Week, a countrywide celebration of Britain’s national drink. The report shows how people are turning increasingly to cask ale in the search of flavour, natural ingredients and craft production methods.
“There has been a sea-change in attitudes towards cask ale over the past few years,” says Pete, “which explains why it’s now out-performing the beer market by 6.8%.
“It’s completely lost its image as an old man’s drink and now appeals to a broad range of drinkers, male and female, young and old. 63% of licensees say it’s attracting younger customers into their pub and a similar number say that more women are drinking it. More people see it as crafted product made from natural British ingredients and like the fact that it’s available only in the pub. This is great news for all those who care about the future of the British pub since it helps guarantee a new generation of drinkers who will help keep pubs relevant - and open!”
Pete points out that over 10,000 pubs held beer festivals during 2012, encouraging people to try out cask ale and modernising its image. “With all the extra beers on offer in each of those pubs during the festivals, that’s not only a lot of sales generated; it’s also a good illustration of why the market is fragmenting and new breweries are opening.”
184 new breweries have opened during the past year, some microplants in the brewhouses of regional brewers and others in pubs or converted buildings, on industrial estates or in the heart of the countryside.
“People love the opportunity to support local breweries,” says Pete, “but aren’t looking exclusively for beers from their own region. In fact 70% of drinkers would like to try beers from different parts of the country more often. This provides a great opportunity for pubs to diversify their range – and for the country’s 1,150 breweries to sell beyond their own doorstep.”
Activities for Cask Ale Week, which runs from 27th September to 6th October, range from master classes in ale tasting to beer quizzes, meet the brewer evenings, beer festivals, sampling and free pint offers. Even the Eden Project is hosting events. The theme for the Week is The Great Big Taste Challenge.