The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs, and our website is dedicated to exactly that pursuit. Its goal is to improve standards of beer writing and extend the public knowledge of beer.
Charlestown’s iconic Pier House Hotel has reopened its doors following a sensitive £380,000 refurbishment program by St Austell Brewery to restore and modernise the stunning site at the heart of the historic Georgian harbour.
Having acquired the property in 2016, outline planning for the modernisation of the building was approved last year and, since closing at the end of January, an extensive work schedule has involved a rework of existing bar areas and a new, extended bar at the core of the building while dining areas, both internal and external, have been refurbished to allow for better accessibility throughout and to make best use of the floor space within the venue.
Mindful of the heritage of the building, much preparation work was undertaken to maintain the character of the hotel, which started life as a farmhouse on the harbour in the late 1800s. As St Austell Brewery Retail Director Steve Worrall commented, “It is vital any alterations made to historic buildings balance the competing needs of respecting the past, whilst at the same time, creating a space that will excite and engage our team and guests. The Pier House looks stunning now, inside and out, our team are delighted and I trust our guests will be too – I certainly believe we’ve struck that balance exactly right.”
Those sentiments were echoed by local residents who were treated to a sneak preview of the results of the modernisation program at a special drinks reception prior to the reopening, with Patrick Wharton, local resident and community watch officer commenting, “I think the Brewery has done a brilliant job in such a short time. It all looks fantastic.”
Project managed by St Austell Brewery’s Patrick Gribbin together with Rebecca Groves from Cardiff-based Design Management Partnership the works, which have entailed a complete reworking of the downstairs of the hotel, were completed to plan and to schedule, alongside a new, external terraced seating area to take advantage of the unparalleled harbourside location.
As Patrick said, “We’re immensely proud of what we have achieved at the Pier House. By increasing the accessibility we’ve opened up the site to many more people and allowed so much more opportunity for guests to appreciate the amazing views from the hotel. It’s probably true to say that this is our favourite project to date.”
Husband and wife management team Rob and Lucy Brewer have taken over the running of the Hotel, following years of local experience at the helm of the Rashleigh Arms just a few yards up the road, while existing hotel staff have also joined St Austell Brewery to ensure the continued success of the landmark hotel.
For information about the Pier House Hotel, including bookings for dining and accommodation in its 27 luxury bedrooms, visit www.pierhousehotel.com.
St Austell Brewery has been acclaimed the UK’s best tenanted pub company for the sixth time in a row by the harshest of critics – the tenants themselves.
The annual M&C Allegra (MCA) Tenant Track survey interviews more than 1,200 pub tenants and lessees operating within 13 different pub companies across the country to gain a snapshot of the health of the sector. This year’s survey by the independent food and drink research agency saw St Austell come out top yet again with great relationships and support from the Brewery in terms of business controls and Point of Sale equipment driving the company’s success.
Continuing to outperform its rivals, the family-run business scored 8.73 out of 10 by tenants asked to rate their pub company, the highest score recorded in the survey, with day-to-day dealings with the Brewery rated at 8.92 out of 10, up 13% on 2017.
According to Steve Worrall, the success of the relationships shared between the Brewery and its tenants stems from listening to them to find out what they really need and sharing best practice which, over the last year, has seen the further development of dedicated design and marketing support to enhance the bespoke service already offered to all tenants.
In response to the survey, Steve said: “We are delighted to have come out top in the latest Tenant Track survey and to have again increased our scores from last time. We continue to roll out initiatives that have worked well in our managed estate such as free mystery customer visits and look to provide the best support possible to tenants and their teams with customer service training to help promote best retail practices.
“Where appropriate, we have also stepped up smaller capital investments with our tenants, including beer garden and bedroom schemes to help drive business while our Business Development Managers have increased their focus on providing practical business support, especially for those in their first year of trading.”
St Austell also came out top in three key training categories, including the support it provided for development training, recruitment and company support website, as well as leading the field in terms of its knowledge of both the tenants’ business needs and customers.
The overall quality of the Brewery’s network of business development managers (BDMs) also topped the poll, scoring an impressive 9.2, again the highest in the study, and up from 8.7 in 2017. Reporting the highest weekly turnovers in the survey, food sales continue to be a core revenue stream across the Brewery’s estate, with 93% of St Austell tenants reporting selling food, the highest share in the study. Food sales currently make up 42% of sales at St Austell pubs, well above the study average of just 23%.
For more information contact email@example.com or 01726 627154
Coastal Brewery in Redruth is up for sale after owner and head brewer, Alan Hinde, and his family decided the time was right to move back to Cheshire.
Coastal Brewery was established in 2005, moving to bigger premises on Redruth’s Cardrew Industrial Estate in 2009. Alan brews a number of core beers, including the popular Hop Monster and Angelina golden ales, and darker beers, such as Merry Maidens Mild and St Piran’s Porter, as well as a number of seasonal and special throughout the year.
He said: “We’ve had a great time for 12 years, building up the business, and winning a number of CAMRA and SIBA awards along the way.
“Merry Maidens Mild and golden ale Poseidon have been particularly popular with beer judges.
“For family reasons, though, we’re heading back to Cheshire, where we came from in 2005.”
He added: “I’ll miss brewing, of course, but the business is in good shape, with a large and loyal customer base – mostly outside of Cornwall – and a convenient site, close to the A30, with good transport connections.”
The sale includes a complete six-barrel brewkit, with five fermenting vessels, hot liquor tank, cold liquor tank, copper, mash tun, pumps, control panel and cold room.
There is also a new van, a steam cleaner, cask washer, 988 casks, forklift office and computer, as well as 385 5kg freskpak hops of various varieties.
As well as the brewkit, the unit has its own taproom bar with four keg lines, a busy bottle shop and chiller fridges.
Alan is seeking offers in the region of £100,000 for the business. He can be contacted on : 01209 212613 / 07875 405407 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, contact:
Unit 20, Cardrew Trade Park South
Tel: 01209 212613 / 07875 405407
Published by Dog ’n’ Bone, 10th April 2018, £16.99
The Beer Bucket List is the latest book from Guild member and award-winning writer Mark Dredge
This collection of over 150 unmissable beer experiences features the world’s greatest beers, bars, breweries and events: it’s the ultimate bucket list for every beer lover. Combining travel, city guides, food and history, The Beer Bucket List takes you around the globe, via traditional old British pubs, quirky Belgian bars, brilliant Bavarian brauhauses, spots to enjoy delicious food and beer, the hop gardens of New Zealand, Southeast Asia’s buzzing streets, amazing beer festivals, unique beer styles, pioneering breweries and the best new craft brewers. This is any beer lover’s must-read book about the most essential beer experiences on the planet.
Members interested in receiving a copy for review or feature should contact Jessie Sullivan at RPS & CICO Books: email@example.com
Bristol Brewery Left Handed Giant is currently in the closing stages of an incredibly ambitious crowdfunding campaign, with the company looking to raise £1 million to fund its Finzel’s reach development.
The campaign launched at the beginning of May and hit the initial £400,000 target within 24 hours. Stepping up its ambitions, the brewery is now looking to raise up to £1 million to build the brewpub project, which will feature a taproom, brewery and a restaurant partnership with one of the city’s most exciting chefs.
Bruce Gray, Managing Director at Left Handed Giant, had this to say:
“The aim of this Brewpub project is to create a world-class facility where communities of friends and investors can have a real input into the day-to-day of the business, as well as having the opportunity to drink locally brewed fresh beer.”
The funds raised will be spread across different projects with the bulk being put towards to development of the Brewpub at Finzels Reach, which will also feature an exciting new dining offering.
Left Handed Giant have teamed up with Bristol Michelin starred chef Pater Sanchez-Iglesias, who will be operating a restaurant from the first floor of the development as well as developing a separate offering for customers of the brewpub in the neighboring kitchen.
Peter Sanchez-Iglesias adds: “Forming this partnership with such a well-respected force as Left Handed Giant and creating food to go with their beer is an awesome project to be involved with. The development kitchen will evolve and enhance everything we do at Casamia, with our hyper seasonal dishes on an ever-changing menu, using the best ingredients, cooking it to perfection and then finding out what it needs to make it better.”
Left Handed Giant, which gets its name from the old legend that the Avon Gorge was carved by hand by the original left handed giant, has been part of the Bristol brewing scene since 2015.
Craft Beer fans rejoice… Bristol Craft Beer Festival will return this September for three days of world class beer, great food and live music. After the success of its 2017 edition, the event will move to Bristol harbourside, taking up residency at the heart of the city from 14th – 16th September.
Festival organisers, We Are Beer, plan to build a carnival of craft beer – a food and drink fan’s wonderland – honouring Bristol’s modern independent beer movement and inviting international and national brewing icons to bring the finest line up of brews the city has ever seen. The event will feature a main stage for a stellar line up of DJs and the hunt is on now for the best in local and national street food, to be paired by experts with selected craft ales.
Greg Wells, Bristol Craft Beer Festival founder explains;
“Last year was a big success for us with Bristol’s beer fans embracing the idea of a beer festival for the new generation of beer lover. We’ll be seeing the summer out in style, taking in the epic views of the Avon and celebrating modern independent beer and Bristol’s place right at the heart of it. Alongside the very best Bristolian and regional brewing superstars, we’ll be taking the festival forward with a band of rock star brewers from the rest of the UK, Europe and the US.”
The line up of beers will also be joined by all kinds of artisanal drinks, including ciders, whiskey, wine and gin too for the non-beer lovers. Bristol Craft Beer Festival will once again operate our unique ‘all in’ ticket, meaning that festival goers get the opportunity to explore, experience and discover over 250 beers from the 35 specially selected breweries in attendance.
Early Bird tickets are available now at www.bristolcraftbeerfestival.co.uk/tickets and cost £35+BF which includes entry to the event for five hours, festival pours of any beer from any brewer, a full music line up, access to the people that make the beer themselves, a free beer tasting glass and a programme.
To keep up to date on all the latest information follow @BristolCBF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For more information please contact Plaster Creative Communications on 0117 953 0320 or e-mail:
Black Sheep Brewery is continuing its longstanding affiliation with legendary comedy troupe Monty Python, with the launch of a ‘very silly’ seasonal ale.
The Masham-based brewery has partnered with Monty Python to create ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus. A Very Silly IPA’, markingtheir third collaboration since 1999.
The 4.5% ABV amber ale will be available in pubs and bars in the UK from 19 March to 4 May, and follows on from the pair’s most recent beer launch during Christmas 2016.
Brian, which is Monty Python’s first official Christmas beer, was created in homage to the 1979 film, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, and forms part of Black Sheep’s festive seasonal and bottled range.
The pair’s first collaboration was to celebrate Monty Python’s 30th anniversary, in 1999, and led to the creation of Holy Grail, which has grown to become one of Black Sheep’s most popular beers.
Flying Circus is brewed with First Gold, Galena and Amarillo hops, along with pale ale malt and crystal rye that gives it a red tinge.
Black Sheep officially launched the beer at The Flying Circus, in Newark, with proprietors Tony Yale and Andy Muirhead, who are trade customers of the brewery.
Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “As with Brian and Holy Grail, we are expecting Flying Circus to be a real talking point at the bar, as drinkers reminisce about and recite the classic lines from one of the world’s most iconic comedy troupes.
“Our Python-inspired beers have grown to become regular and permanent fixtures among our range, and we are expecting Flying Circus to be a hit among Black Sheep drinkers and all fans of Monty Python.
“We have enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Monty Python and there will be plenty of ‘sillyness’ and enjoyment during spring from our latest Python brew!
“It was only fitting that we officially launched the brew at its namesake pub, The Flying Circus!”
CONTACT: Jamie Collis/Stuart Nicholls on 01325 363436
The Black Sheep Brewery is one of British brewing’s most famous stories and has grown from humble beginnings to become a multi-award winning company, with its beers enjoyed around the world.
In the past 12 months, Black Sheep has won a number of prestigious awards, including:
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Beer Champion 2017
World Beer Awards – Choc & Orange Stout – Gold Award
World Beer Awards – Riggwelter – Gold Award
World Beer Awards – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award
World Beer Awards – My Generation – Bronze Award
Based in Masham, in the heart of North Yorkshire, Black Sheep brewed its first beer in 1992 after being built up by Paul Theakston, whose family had brewed in the area for six generations.
In a world of ever-increasing bland, mass-produced beer, Paul saw an opportunity to return to what his family had done best since 1827, making real beer in the time-honoured fashion.
An old maltings building, once part of Lightfoot’s Brewery, became the Brewery’s home. This landmark building, which stands high over the banks of the Ure, had fallen in to disrepair as years of neglect as a semi-redundant grainstore had taken its toll. Paul assembled a small team around him to fight the rats and build a traditional country brewery.
The Visitor Centre, at the site of the iconic brewery, has grown to become an award-winning attraction for visitors to Yorkshire, with tens of thousands of people flocking to Masham each year.
The Black Sheep name derived from Masham’s association with sheep, but ‘Sheep Brewery’ didn’t quite sound right, so with a little creativity from Paul’s wife, the Black Sheep Brewery was born – a name that sat well with the area, spoke volumes about the business’ maverick attitude to the multi-nationals seeking to dominate the brewing industry and captured the essence of the family struggle that led to its birth.
Black Sheep’s beers are full of character derived from the best possible brewing materials, plenty of time and patience in the brewing and its very special Yorkshire Square fermenters.
Black Sheep Best Bitter is now one of the best-selling cask session beers in the UK and many of its creative brews, over the course of its 25-year history, have collected numerous awards – ranging from Black Sheep’s traditional ales to its up and coming craft beers.
2017 marked the launch of Black Sheep Brewery’s first lager, 54 Degrees North, created in homage to its hometown of Masham, which sits on 54’ 13’ 24” N; 1’ 39’ 20” W longitude and latitude lines, as the company embarks on an adventurous new chapter in its distinguished history.
The British Beer & Pub Association has welcomed measures to help pubs announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.
The Chancellor made the following announcements:
Following a consultation last year business rates revaluations would be brought forward from 2022 to 2021, consequently bringing forward the following revaluation to 2024.
The Chancellor also announced a call for evidence on the impact of VAT and APD rates on the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland.
Increased funding for apprenticeships for small businesses.
A consultation on reducing the use of plastics, including using tax incentives.
Following the Chancellor’s Statement, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA said:
“As the leading voice for UK pubs the BBPA has for some time been calling for a business rates system that allows for more frequent revaluations. This will mean that what amounts to a very burdensome tax on pubs better reflects the realities of their trading environment. As a sector we need to work with the Government to reduce the current unfairness in assessments which penalise pubs. Revising the criteria for pub valuation will be vital to the success of more frequent revaluations.
“A call for evidence on the impact of VAT on the hospitality and tourism sector in Northern Ireland is to be welcomed, as pubs are hugely important for the Ulster economy. I hope the Chancellor will consider extending this review to the UK as a whole, given that a third of the price of a pint in a pub goes to the taxman. The BBPA will work with Hospitality Ulster to ensure the economic work we have already undertaken on food and accommodation VAT makes a useful contribution to this study.
“The additional £80 million support announced for small businesses to access apprenticeships will be welcomed by pubs, but there is still a need to review the use of the Apprenticeship Levy in the supply chain.
“The Chancellor’s decision to freeze tax on beer in the Autumn Budget is helping the Chancellor to meet his inflation target, but there is more that can be done. I hope the Chancellor will look to continue to bear down on beer tax levels to help our pubs when we come to the Autumn Budget.”
For further information, please contact:
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.
The Head of Steam Leicester bar is set to launch on Market Street on Thursday 5 April from 5pm, shortly after plans were announced for a venue in Nottingham, creating a further 30 jobs for the region.
The new Head of Steam will replace the former Reynard pub in Leicester city centre, and will champion local breweries as part of its offering, including Brewsters, Charnwood, Framework, and Langton, and with specialty keg lines, as part of 30 taps serving craft beer, real ale and beers from around the world. Set across two floors, the 3,509 square foot space will offer a main bar, a VIP floor that can be reserved for special functions like business conferences and meetings, and a beer garden with seating for 30 people.
The Head of Steam, is owned by Hartlepool-based Camerons Brewery, and will offer customers the chance to choose from more than 120 different brews which they can enjoy in a welcoming space designed with a modern-twist. Speaking ahead of the launch, Chris Soley, chief executive at Camerons Brewery, said: “We are thrilled to be opening another venue here in the East Midlands, as part of our continued and rapid expansion south of the country. The Midlands is a thriving hub for business, and the perfect place to carry on our expansion.
“We are on course to open the Nottingham venue at the end of March, and Leicester next month with Birmingham planned for later in the spring/summer. More plans are in store for the Midlands as we move forwards, so watch this space.”
Established in 1995, The Head of Steam now has 13 pubs across the North of England in cities such as Leeds, Newcastle, Hull, and Liverpool. For more details visit www.theheadofsteam.co.uk, and keep updated on The Head of Steam Leicester’s Facebook, Twitter + Instagram.
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The Beer Adventures App has now launched in Russia and is the number one way to discover and explore the new and exciting Russian craft beer culture. Moscow and St. Petersburg have joined our other 85 global cities on Beer Adventures and we couldn’t be happier to see these great cities join the party in a world cup year.
Because these Russian cities are rapidly becoming some of the most exciting and dynamic beer hotspots in the world, Beer Adventures creator Jonny Quirk knew without doubt that it was time to launch here.
“We’ve friends in Moscow who’ve been saying we should launch in Russia for a while so thought with the world cup coming up this year it was perfect timing. There’ll be thousands of craft beer fans visiting Moscow and St Petersburg and we want them to drink in the very finest beer bars in town. I reckon they’ll be pretty impressed with the standard of the local micro brewery scene and range of imported craft beer from bar to bar when taking our app-led tours.”