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Real Community Commitment

Village pub puts on menu for mutts

by Ashleigh 10/23/2014 4:42:00 PM

A pub in Little Wakering has come up with a menu for dogs in an effort to attract more canines, and their owners, in for dinner. The Castle Inn offers scrambled eggs with ham, chicken and rice, roast beef with peas and carrots, and even sausage and bacon pasta.

Tanya Chapman, co-owner of the pub, came up with the idea and says it has proved really popular: “It has created a bit of a buzz and we’ve certainly had plenty of clean plates – it especially seems popular when people come in for a Sunday roast.”

She also states that investigated getting dog beer, but it’s currently not available in the UK.


Government U-turn on closing times

by Ashleigh 10/21/2014 4:41:00 PM

New Government guidance has advised councils they can consider zoning and staggering closing times, despite expressly advising against the policies a decade ago.

The Home Office issued its latest guidance under the Licensing Act 2003 last week. It advises local authorities that they “may wish to consider the use of alternative measures, such as fixed closing times, staggered closing times and zoning within their areas.” The guidance continues to say that decisions are continuing to be made in relation to individual premises, on a case-by-case basis.

This contrasts with the advice issued in 2004 which said Scotland, which created five zones in Edinburgh for 18 months in the early ‘90s, has “demonstrated that zoning leads to the significant movement of people in search of premises opening later and puts greater pressure on town and city centres.”


Customers pour own pints at self-service bar

by Ashleigh 10/21/2014 4:41:00 PM

A Swansea licensee has installed a self-service bar in his pub, so customers can beat the queues and pour their own pints. Mark Lingwood, who runs the Westbourne, says punters can set up a tab and collect a swipe card, which they can then use to pour themselves one of the seven beers at the new bar.

Four tables each have a couple of taps installed, and half of the tables have iPads so punters can order drinks without leaving their seats. Each customer can only pour three pints themselves, before a member of staff checks whether they can drink further.

The Westbourne is the first UK customer to host the self-service bar installation by Robot Pub Group, which itself owns three pubs with the equipment.


BBPA tackles packaging waste

by Ashleigh 10/20/2014 4:40:00 PM

Two British brewers have signed up to a new partnership initiative, supported by the British Beer & Pub Association, which will dramatically cut the cost of packaging waste. Wells & Young’s and Hook Norton have joined the scheme, and other British Beer & Pub Association members are expected to follow shortly.

The new scheme was introduced to BBPA members at a workshop in Birmingham in September, and progress is being made in recruiting members, due to the major cost savings that can be achieved, with the estimated cost reduction of around £150,000 per year, per company.

Cost savings will be achieved because Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming advocates, will operate as a not-for-profit partnership and will use its own in-house experts to give sector-specific support, unrivalled by existing compliance schemes, says the BBPA. Scheme members will have a direct influence on the future of how the sector’s packaging compliance is managed.


Cornish soap made with beer

by Ashleigh 10/18/2014 4:39:00 PM

St Austell Brewery is to launch a new Cornish soap made from their Proper Job IPA. To harness the skin-nourishing properties in beer, Cornish soap maker Sapooni has been working in collaboration with St Austell Brewery to formulate a nourishing and natural beer soap.

The star ingredient in the 90g bar is Proper Job IPA, which is brewed with Cornish spring water and a single malt made from Cornish grown barley. Sapooni’s luxurious soap recipe combines Proper Job with hops and essential oils of sweet orange and grapefruit. It has been created to complement and harness the hoppy, citrus-aroma of the beer.

Jeremy Mitchell, Marketing and Communications Director for St Austell Brewery, said: “We’re very excited to see another local Cornish company putting one of our beers to good use in such an unusual way.” 


First ‘spreadable beer’ available

by Ashleigh 10/15/2014 5:32:00 PM

An Italian chocolatier, Pietro Napoleone, working with Alta Quota brewery, has apparently created the world’s first spreadable beer - Birra Spalmabile – that is being sold commercially.

Using complicated chemistry, the creators thickened the beer into a creamy, smooth consistency, resulting in a sweet and beer-perfumed jelly, with an intense scent and a full-bodied taste. The spread is alcohol-free and is available in two flavours - Greta blonde ale and Omid dark ale. A single jar of the hop-product contains 40% beer.

The brewery stated: “This is not the first time in Italy and in Europe that someone has tried to make a non-liquid beer, but we believe that we have found the right formula with the use of high-quality products.”


UK wine producer growth

by Ashleigh 10/15/2014 5:31:00 PM

The number of new wine producers in the UK has risen sharply, according to new research. In the year to 31 March, almost 50 new producers registered with the taxman, up from 31 in 2012-13, according to an accountancy firm who undertook the study. 

There are now 135 UK producers registered with HMRC, with the growth driven by consumers' greater interest in niche, locally produced food and drink - tax changes have also helped.

The report stated: "Consumer interest in boutique products continues to grow. Food products such as artisan cheeses and organically reared meats, and drinks such as craft beer and artisan spirits, have been the focus of increased demand. Now, we're seeing the same thing in the UK's once-mocked wine industry. English wines have enjoyed a genuine renaissance over the last couple of years and are now being taken seriously on the international stage."


£120,000 toast to the village pub

by Ashleigh 10/14/2014 5:30:00 PM

An 18-month academic study into Britain's rural pubs are worth up to £120,000-a-year to their community.
According to scientists, the local offers economic, social and other benefits to communities that would probably not be replaced if they were to close. Some of that is social, like providing a place to meet for local people, many of them old or single who may not mix with their neighbours if it wasn't for a friendly inn nearby.

The study was conducted in partnership with the Leeds University Business School and examined rural pubs in 2,800 parishes, with a population of less than 3,000, and situated at least five miles from the nearest town.
John Longden, of campaign group Pub is the Hub, said: "In rural areas, pubs act as essential melting pots for bringing the community together from all walks of life.”


Anger as pub to open below alcohol misuse centre

by Ashleigh 10/14/2014 5:27:00 PM

Slough residents have voiced their opposition to a new pub opening below an alcohol and drug treatment centre,
A lease for The Assembly is being offered on the High Street, under The Turning Point centre. The site, which was vacant for several years in which time the alcohol misuse centre opened, previously had a licence, and so does not need approval to reopen as a bar.

A former client at the centre has started a petition calling on the council to revoke the licence. However, Slough Borough Council have stated that The Assembly is in an appropriate location.


BBPA urges business rates freeze

by Ashleigh 10/14/2014 5:27:00 PM

With recent inflation figures pointing to a £15 million rise in the business rates bill for community pubs, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called for a freeze in the rates multiplier in the Autumn Statement, to safeguard the future of many much-loved locals.

The businesses rates multiplier is used to calculate rates increases, each year, based on the current inflation figure. This means that from April 2015 a typical pub will face a rise in bills of £350, to a total of £15,000.
The BBPA is calling for wholesale reform of the business rates system, which it says places far too high burden on businesses, particularly small, family-owned businesses such as a typical pub.