The producers of the Cask Report have recently undertaken research to identify why people go to the pub.
With the World Cup upon us, it is worth noting that sport plays a particularly important role with cask ale drinkers – and remembering that the cask ale drinker is frequently the decision maker on the choice of pub.
The search is on for the best writing about beer and pubs, as the British Guild of Beer Writers opens its annual awards, offering a total prize fund of £11,000 to the winning journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and other communicators.
Entries are invited between now and 7 September and will be judged on how well they further the Guild’s mission “to extend public knowledge and appreciation of beer and pubs”.
Judges this year are: Amy Bryant, food editor at The Telegraph; James Cuthbertson, MD of Dark Star Brewery and founder of the Beer & Cider Marketing Awards; Stu McKinlay, co-founder of Yeastie Boys; Jenn Merrick, founder of Earth Station Brewery; Zoe Smith, retail correspondent at The Guardian and Mark Taylor, Bristol-based food and drink writer. The current Beer Writer of the Year, Adrian Tierney-Jones, chairs the panel.
Guild of Beer Writers chairman Tim Hampson said, “We are excited about embarking once again on our annual awards, which not only reward those who excel in their field, but also help to raise the public profile of beer and pubs.
“As the UK’s beer and pubs sector develops, so too do our awards. We are delighted to be introducing a new award this year in conjunction with Britain’s Beer Alliance, which recognises the vital role that pubs play at the heart of our communities. We look forward to receiving entries to this category that celebrate all that is great about the British pub.”
Entries are invited in nine categories, each carrying a prize of £1,000 for the winner and £500 for the runner-up, with the exception of the Best Writer about Pubs and Best Citizen Beer Communicator awards, which give one prize of £1,000 only, and the Corporate Communications category, where entries are submitted by organisations rather than individuals and the winner receives a trophy.
More detail on how to enter can be found on our Awards page
Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, National Media
Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer, Regional Media
Fuller’s London Pride Award for Best Beer Writer – Trade Media
Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online
St Austell Brewery Award for Best Young Beer Writer
Britain’s Beer Alliance Award for Best Writer about Pubs
Guild Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications
Guild Award for Best Beer Citizen Communicator
The Guild will publish a shortlist for all nine categories in November, while the winner and runner up for each will be unveiled at the Guild of Beer Writers annual awards dinner on 22 November at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel. One overall Beer Writer of the Year will receive the Michael Jackson Gold Tankard Award and the Guild also bestows the Brewer of the Year title on one brewer at the same event.
Full details of all nine categories in the Awards, and advice on how to submit entries, can be found on the Guild’s website. Entries must be received by the closing date of Friday 7 September and must have been published between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018.
The Guild is grateful to the following sponsors, whose support makes possible our annual awards and dinner:
Established in 1872, Adnams combines innovation with tradition. Behind the walls of its Victorian-looking building, it has some of the most advanced and energy-efficient brewing equipment in Europe and constantly experiments with new, innovative techniques. Adnams brews a range of beers which reflect its heritage but also challenge conventions. They use locally-grown East Anglian grains of malted barley, rye, wheat and oats wherever possible and deploy a number of different hop varieties from Britain as well as across the world – all of which contribute to their beers’ individual characters.
Britain’s Beer Alliance Britain’s Beer Alliance is a cross-industry group of brewers, pub companies and beer organisations working together for the good of beer in Britain.
Fuller’s London Pride
For Fuller’s, brewing beer is not just our business – it’s our passion. We bring everything to it, committing all our energy and creativity to make Fuller’s beers more special than the rest. It’s that dedication that keeps London Pride as fresh and popular as ever – exhibiting the characteristic longevity of the flower it is named after.
Brewing in Bury St Edmunds, the home of Greene King, dates back 1000 years to day of the Doomsday book and in 2019 our two historic breweries, Westgate in Bury St Edmunds and Belhaven in Dunbar will be celebrating a combined brewing heritage of 520 years. With a diverse range in our beer portfolio, from pale ales to craft beers and from bitters to stout one thing is for sure, our passion for brewing top quality, delicious beer is as strong today as all those years ago.
We are proud to sponsor the Guild of Beer Writers Awards, a wonderful celebration of our national passion for great quality British beer, the writers who challenge the brewers and the brewing industry who continue to drive innovation in beer.
With over 2,000 passionate people, some of the nation’s most loved beers and ciders, nearly 3,000 pubs, thousands of acres of orchards and three UK breweries, there’s more to HEINEKEN than the name above the door. Our portfolio of brands includes Foster’s, Heineken®, Strongbow, Desperados, Kronenbourg1664, John Smith’s, Bulmers, Amstel, Birra Moretti and Old Mout backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands.
As long term supporters of the British Guild of Beer Writers, we truly believe in the power of storytelling – whether that be through the written word, a podcast, or a photograph. And we are proud to be sponsoring once again.
St Austell Brewery
Founded in 1851 by Cornishman Walter Hicks, St Austell Brewery is an independent and family-owned brewer and pub operator. Its brewery in St Austell produces many of the region’s most popular beers for sale in pubs, bars and supermarkets in the south west, across the UK and overseas. Led with brands including Tribute and Proper Job IPA, St Austell brews beer with individuality, character and spirit which is true to its vision of what good beer ought to be. Fellow west country brewer and pub company, Bath Ales, joined the St Austell Brewery family in summer 2016.
Guild seminar highlights the ‘exciting opportunity’ for beer and food matching
Beer and food matching offers pubs, bars and restaurants an exciting opportunity to engage more customers and upsell them more premium beers, according to speakers at a recent Beer & Food seminar hosted by the Guild of Beer Writers in Bristol.
The event, created and chaired by Susanna Forbes, drinks writer and Guild director, was staged at the award-winning Wild Beer Co’s bar in the city. Around 40 guests attended to learn more about beer and food from the speakers, and to experience it in practice through the stunning five-course beer matching lunch created by Wild Beer.
Starting the day, author Melissa Cole highlighted the need for credibility. ‘Shoehorning’ beer and food pairings doesn’t work and in the long term can alienate consumers, she warned. And, she continued, “if you don’t understand how a dish is created, you are unlikely to be able to match a beer to it” – so spending time in the kitchen is vital.
Food and drink writer Fiona Beckett observed that the majority of people who enjoy drinking beer in the pub but just don’t think of ordering it or serving it with a meal – there’s a disconnect. Yet, beer’s widespread availability, and affordability, are its strength, allowing diners to experiment more freely than they could with wine, she noted, adding, “Introduce people to beer and food matching with one great match – something they can ‘own’ and pass onto their friends.”
Beer historian and writer Martyn Cornell gave a historical perspective on beer and food. “We always did have beer and food together on the table in Britain,” he said. “Then, sometime in the late 19th century we lost it, and we’ve never really recovered it.” Dinner ales and luncheon stouts were widely brewed, beer was part of the meal at many eateries – and even Christmas dinner in the workhouse included a firkin of double stout.
In his ‘Beer + Food: What it’s Worth’ presentation, Justin Wylde, category development manager at Matthew Clark, stressed the importance of creating ‘grammable’ experiences for the new centennial consumers. Guest chefs, themed beer and food pairings and similar will entice customers – and they will pay a privilege for the experience. Justin also shared research showing that customers choose based on beer style as well as brand name, and that good beer tasting notes can generate a huge boost to beer sales.
After the theory, beer and food matching in practice was enjoyed over a five-course lunch, created by chef Sam Sohn-Rethel, with explanation from Wild Beer co-founders Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis. Fiona Beckett was among those complimenting the “really stunning beer and food pairings”
Closing the day, a panel debate on ‘Are Pubs Doing Enough with Beer & Food Matching?’ concluded that much more could be done. Beer sommelier Jane Peyton shared her frustrations at the many missed opportunities and asked, “How many pubs can you think of that do really good beer and food matching?” Simon Bunn, MD of Brewhouse & Kitchen, detailed some of the initiatives in place across his 20-strong group. Every dish has a recommended beer match, and every table has a Beer Bible. Beer style rather than brand suggestions give more flexibility, as their beer list changes more frequently than the food menu.
Rounding off the day, a number of guests followed Susanna Forbes on a guided Pub Walk, ending at Moor Beer, where founder and the Guild’s current Brewer of the Year Justin Hawke led a guided tour of the brewery.
COMMENTS FROM GUESTS
Natalya Watson, marketing manager at Duvel Moortgat and freshly minted beer sommelier
“I thought the day was brilliant. I really enjoyed hearing from Melissa Cole along with Brett and Andrew from Wild Beer Co. The beer pairing lunch was incredible, and the dander through Bristol and tour of Moor Beer by Justin Hawke himself really capped off the day.”
James Beeson, food & drink writer at the Morning Advertiser
“Just thinking about today’s @Britbeerwriters#BeermeetsFood seminar and how diverse the attendees were. Not just circa 50% women but also people from all backgrounds and different parts of the industry (PR, marketing, journalism, events). Great to see. »
Susanna Forbes, food & drink writer, who created and chaired the event
“I loved the fact that not only did we hear the past and present of beer and food matching, but we experienced a creative future in the hands of Wild Beer Co’s special menu, as well as hearing dozens of tips from our speakers on how to encourage further use of beer and food matching. The chance to visit Moor Beer with founder Justin Hawke rounded a special day off with style.”
For those wanting to get more of a flavour of the day, visit #beermeetsfood on twitter
Caption: Melissa Cole; Fiona Beckett; Justin Wylde; Brett Ellis of Wild Beer; Jane Peyton; Martyn Cornell and Simon Bunn
On 13 July 2018 Lervig will launch House Party, a new session beer to complement its core range, with a series of themed house parties around the UK.
The beer, which is designed to make a great easy-drinking house pale ale, plugs the gap between the accessible core range and more experimental seasonal range that has produced some of the world’s best New England IPAs and imperial stouts. It takes the exciting flavours of Lervig’s bigger hop-forward beers but puts them at an ABV and price point where pubs can put the beer on permanently.
House party is brewed to be clean and robustly bitter with a healthy dose of grapefruity Citra and pineapple-loaded BRU-1 hops making it a thirst quenching pale ale best drunk by the pint or straight from the can.
Inspired by the traditional after parties of Norway social life, the beer will be launched by importer Cave Direct with house parties around the country (see the list below) with everything from talks and tap takeovers to beer pong, DJs and red cups.
Lervig head brewer, Mike Murphy says: “We have long winters and short summers in Norway, where we often daydream of being on a island paradise. But more often than not we just end up at a friend’s house party all night long and what we drink is House Party – super-clean malt allows the hops give their juicy/tropical fruit flavours an unobstructed pathway to your palate. It comes in a can, and it’s completely crushable.”
Neil Kitching, Sales Director as Cave Direct, says: “We’re really impressed with how clean and drinkable House Party is, but it’s still got that signature juicy hop aroma we expect from hoppy Lervig beers. At this strength and price point it’s going to be a fantastic house pour for both specialist craft beer bars and less beer-focused pubs and bars.”
While the beer may sound like a departure of Lervig, who have made a name for experimenting and pushing the boundaries of different styles, it actually recalls the reason Lervig was founded. Hailing from Stavanger, Norway, Lervig opened after Carlsberg bought and closed the only brewery in the area in 2002. Unhappy with being forced to drink imported lager the townspeople founded a new brewery, Lervig, to make a new local pilsner. Since joining in 2010, Mike Murphy has brought a huge range of exciting styles, but always produced easy drinking beers for locals and export markets too.
The beer will be exclusively available from Cave Direct, Lervig’s importer and the UK’s leading speciality beer wholesaler. For more details on the Lervig, the beer or the launch email Jonny Garrett (email@example.com). If you want to stock the beer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To sample the beer, get down to one of the parties on 13 July, being held at:
Beer Day Britain, the event devoted to the nation’s favourite drink, has arrived – and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) is once again celebrating the occasion!
Beer lovers from across the country will join in raising a glass and saying ‘Cheers to Beer’ at 7pm this Friday, the same date the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. People can also use the hashtag #CheersToBeer to share their celebrations on social media.
Beer Day Britain, now in its fourth year, aims to raise the profile of beer as Britain’s national drink. It was instigated by Beer Sommelier Jane Peyton and is supported by major organisations in the beer industry including Britain’s Beer Alliance, the British Beer & Pub Association, the Society of Independent Brewers, Campaign for Real Ale and Cask Marque amongst others.
BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“Beer Day Britain is always a fantastic celebration of our great national drink and its history, and this year won’t be any different, with hundreds of thousands of people from across the country heading to the Great British pub to say ‘Cheers to Beer!’ this Friday.”
For further information, please contact:
Nick Lawrie, Digital Communications Manager: 020 7627 9156/ 07824 359 013
David Wilson, Director of Public Affairs: 020 7627 9151/ 07557 405 815
The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.
Purity Brewing Company has confirmed its star performers will be back on tour for three of the Midlands’ biggest festivals this summer.
The award-winning brewery will be hip hopping, malt-zing and dancing in the grain at this year’s Lunar, Mosely Folk and Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul festivals, all set to be bigger and better than ever.
Refreshing music lovers with its own headliners, Purity will have Pure Gold, Pure UBU, Mad Goose and Lawless Lager available at its bars, along with World Beer Award winning Veltins Pilsner.
Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival takes place across 6th – 8th July at Moseley Park, Birmingham, with this summer’s line up including Jimmy Cliff, Sister Sledge and a 30th anniversary performance from Jungle Brothers. See http://mostlyjazz.co.uk/ for more.
Lunar Festival follows across 27th – 29th July at Tanworth in Arden, Warwickshire, and features Goldfrapp, The Stranglers and a Basement Jaxx DJ set. Get further information and tickets from http://lunarfestival.co.uk/
The summer sounds culminate with Moseley Folk Festival, 31st Aug – 2nd Sept at Moseley Park, Birmingham, with Levellers, Teenage Fanclub, Nick Mulvey and many more: http://www.moseleyfolk.co.uk/
Purity MD, Paul Halsey, said: “We love our local festivals and can’t wait to see people enjoying themselves with great beer and food, great music and, with a bit of luck, great weather! There are some truly terrific artists this year and we’ll have our own headline acts on tap, ready to make these fantastic weekends even more special. See you there.”
Purity Brewing Co. is a company dedicated to making a difference. In its award-winning products: Mad Goose, Pure Gold, Pure UBU, Saddle Black, Longhorn IPA, Lawless Lager and Bunny Hop – Purity demands premium quality and uniqueness. In service, Purity offers distinction, approachability and integrity.
Central to the brewer is a strong commitment to supporting the environment. Purity only uses natural ingredients, supports recycling programmes and respects the community. Also, waste products are recycled through a pond and wetland system. This sustainable eco-system helps minimise carbon dioxide emissions and encourage wildlife diversity.
Issued on behalf of Purity Brewing Co by Gough Bailey Wright, St Johns House, 16 Church Street, Bromsgrove, Worcester, B61 8DN, Tel: 01527 579555. For further information please contact: Richard Harris, email@example.com
Calling time after 16 years at the helm of Wychwood and Ringwood Breweries, Head Brewer Jeff Drew will retire at the end of June. Held in high regards as one of the most experienced, creative and expert brewers in the country, Jeff has been integral to the success of many of the nation’s favourite beers, like Hobgoblin and Ringwood Razorback.
Jeff honed his skills at Morland Brewery and took up the position of Head Brewer at Wychwood and Ringwood in 2002 and since then he has split his time between the two breweries. Jeff was the mastermind behind the creation of; Hobgoblin Gold, Ringwood Circadian, Oxford Gold amongst others, whilst most recently he has been managing the production and involved with numerous marketing initiatives across both the breweries. Jeff’s passion and extensive knowledge are transferred into all of his work, and this has always been admired by both colleagues and the general public alike. Not missing a trick, Jeff has been known to step in and take brewery tours. His unique sense of humour and charm made him the perfect host for customers and some famous faces including David Cameron and Prince Charles who have both been given tours of Wychwood brewery.
Not to go out without a bang, Jeff’s involvement in the creation and launch of Hobgoblin’s first IPA has been the perfect ending to Jeff’s career. Throughout this time as part of Marston’s Beer Company, Jeff has been included in numerous projects and launches and created a real legacy which will be remembered. To honour his contribution to Marston’s and in celebration of his retirement, a parting gift of a personalised beer, presented by brewers; Jon Tilson and Maurice Walton, both of whom received their Master Brewer qualification whilst working under Jeff – ensuring Jeff was truly sent off in style…with a pint in hand!
“It’s bitter sweet to be leaving, I have had some amazing years at Ringwood and Wychwood where I have made memories that I will truly look back on with joy. After 16 years I am sad to go, but I am excited to put my feet up and enjoy my retirement!” finalised Jeff.
For more information, please contact Marston’s Press Agency, Vital, on 01926 338811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Plastic pollution has been a hot topic recently and is one of the biggest environmental problems the planet is facing. Powderkeg Brewery is joining forces with Surfers Against Sewage to raise money to tackle plastic pollution, and increase awareness of the problem.
A new beer, aptly named ‘Brainwave’, will see 10p in every pint sold go straight to Surfers Against Sewage to make our coastlines a cleaner, brighter, better place for us all to enjoy.
Brainwave is a light, summery ale perfect for sunny afternoons by the sea. Balancing delicate, sweet malt with Cascade and Crystal hops, this beer will leave you feeling as fresh as a clear blue (plastic free) ocean.
Surfers Against Sewage have campaigned for cleaner seas for nearly 40 years, and are tackling plastic pollution as their #1 priority. They are uniquely placed to inspire, equip and unite local communities in response to this plastic pollution overwhelming our oceans, creating a growing environmental movement to reverse and remove the threat.
Surfers Against Sewage
SAS were instrumental in the campaign for the single-use plastic bag charge, which has already eliminated 6 billion plastic bags from the UK, demonstrating the dramatic impact of campaigning for legislative change. They are now campaigning for the introduction of a deposit return system on throwaway plastic bottles, and the first few weeks of 2017 saw over 200,000 people join them in this call with their Message In A Bottle petition.
Brainwave is launching on June 16th in keg and cask and will be available with wholesalers and direct from Powderkeg across the South West and nationally via eebria.com. For supply information please contact email@example.com
Surfers Against Sewage is a national marine conservation and campaigning charity that inspires, unites and empowers communities to take action to protect oceans, beaches, waves and wildlife. Registered Charity in England & Wales No. 1145877.
A new book will plot new routes through the beer garden this summer. Published this week, The Pocket Guide to Beer promises to demystify blackboards scrawled with unpronounceable names and off-licence shelves towering with artful labels that give little clue to a bottle’s contents. Drinks writers Joe Dick and Nikki Welch have created an ingenious tube map to help navigate beer’s crowded marketplace.
Beers are arranged by flavour profile along intersecting tube lines in a manner reminiscent of London’s iconic underground map. The Aromatic Line, for example, starts in the world of lagers with Kölsch, travels through a busy central zone full of IPAs, before arriving in the outer reaches of wheat beers and lambics. Change at Golden Ale for bitters on the Central Line. Barley Wine is only opens at weekends and bank holidays.
Handy and stylish, the book is packed with non-nonsense tasting notes, facts about history and brewing methods, troubleshooting tips, and a useful glossary. The section on food pairings makes the audacious claim that beer brings as much, if not more, to the table as wine when served with the right dish. Beer’s umami bias gives a dish depth while its carbonation cleanses the palate between mouthfuls.
Joe Dick, a seasoned industry insider, says,
When working in bars I always prided myself on arming staff with knowledge bombs, succinct nuggets of knowledge they could drop into a conversation with a guest without overwhelming them or appearing too patronising and nerdy. It’s great to be able to share these with a wider audience in such an accessible format. My hope is that The Pocket Guide to Beer will be an essential tool for bartenders, salespeople and consumers, providing a foundation of knowledge to help them comfortably open new conversations. Most importantly, it’s about helping people drink more widely and discover new things.
Nikki Welch, who began her career in wine and created the Tube Map concept, says
Compared to a few years ago there is an amazing selection of beers available, not just in specialist shops and beer bars but in your local pub and supermarket too, with new ones popping up every week. When we created the map we wanted people to see that there was more out there than a choice between fizzy lager, hoppy IPA and (for most people) terrifyingly dark beer. Instead there’s a world of flavour, you just need to find your zone… Working with Joe to develop this map has completely opened my palate, so that I buy and order a much wider selection of beers, to suit my mood, what I’m eating or just what’s on offer. By exploring a wider range of beers not only are you treating your palate, but supporting a burgeoning local and seasonal craft scene.
Notes for Editors
The Pocket Guide to Beer by Joe Dick and Nikki Welch is published by Birlinn on June 17th (£7.99, paperback)
Joe Dick studied English and Journalism at Napier University before going on to run a number of bars in Edinburgh and take a diploma in Distilling. He is a seasoned industry insider with an encyclopaedic knowledge of beer.
Nikki Welch is a drinks industry entrepreneur who specialises in inspiring people to be more adventurous in their drinks through pop-ups, training, and digital tools. She is the creative force behind the WineTubeMap and the WhiskyTubeMap.
Joe Dick and Nikki Welch are available for interview.
Copies are available for review or extract. Hi-res images are available.
Birlinn Limited is Scotland’s largest independent publisher, based in Edinburgh. Founded by Hugh Andrew in 1992, it publishes non-fiction, literary fiction, poetry, children’s and sports books across five imprints. The company was named Saltire Society Publisher of the Year in 2017, the year of its 25th anniversary.