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Pubs return to sales growth in April

by admin 5/14/2015 10:30:00 AM

The managed pub and restaurant sector returned to like-for-like growth in April after a brief dip in March, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Collective like-for-likes among the 30 companies in the tracker were up 1.2% on the same month last year. April’s numbers benefitted from strong trading over the four-day Easter break, when like-for-like sales were up 5.1% on last year.

Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, said: “The eating and drinking-out market remains a good news story, but recent figures, suggest it may be getting a little harder to win extra sales.

“Underlying like-for-like growth appears to be slowing compared to the end of last year, so it will be interesting to see how the public reacts next month now that the uncertainty of the general election has gone and the summer begins.”


Hopkins departure opens door for new pubs minister

by admin 5/13/2015 10:29:00 AM

Kris Hopkins' move to the Whip's office has opened the door for a new pubs minister.

Former community pubs minister Kris Hopkins has been moved from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to the Whip’s office.

Hopkins, who replaced Brandon Lewis as community pubs minister last summer, has taken on the position of vice-chamberlain of the household.

Alongside assisting in the implementation of the Tory manifesto in parliament, Hopkins’ new role includes a number of royal duties, such as writing a daily report on Commons business for the Queen, and accompanying the monarch during certain social occasions.

The move leaves the pubs brief up for grabs within the DCLG. Potential candidates to take on the brief include new under-secretaries of state, Marcus Jones and Mark Francois.



X Factor goes to the pub

by admin 5/13/2015 10:24:00 AM

Brighton drinking spot The Tempest will play host to X factor auditions this weekend.

The long-running ITV talent show will team up with the pub’s open mic night in the hoping of discovering Brighton’s answer to One Direction.
Matt Andrews, co-licensee of The Tempest pub, said: “X Factor are collaborating with our open mic night and I guess they’re talent spotting, too. It wasn’t something we originally planned to do, but we like trying as many things as possible, and it’s nice for our open mic guys to get some publicity.”

Fame-hungry hopefuls will compete for attention with The Tempest’s unusual interior, which is made up of 12 connecting caves inspired by smuggler’s drinking dens.


Pint-size pub created in shed

by admin 5/12/2015 10:26:00 AM

When Steve Worrallo fancies a pint at his local, he only has to open the back door and step into his garden shed.
The father-of-two cleared out his lawnmower and hedge clippers eight years ago and set about transforming the shed into a pint-sized pub, complete with bar, snug and lounge.

The shed is filled with pub memorabilia, including original beer pumps and 1,300 beer mats which decorate the walls.

Worallo is now is hoping his replica taproom will win the coveted title of Pub Shed of the Year 2015.

The 64-year-old said: “It really is like heaven to me. I come in here every day and I always find something else that needs doing. I’ll never finish it – it’s my hobby.”


Labour tops CAMRA election list

by admin 5/1/2015 11:09:00 AM

Labour has come out as the party that has the most pub-friendly prospective MPs, in a survey conducted by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Less than one week before polling day, the Labour Party are leading as the most pub and beer friendly, with 292 election candidates pledging to “Support well-run community pubs”, “Promote Britain’s 1,300 breweries” and “Represent pub goers and beer drinkers”.

More than 1,000 prospective MPs, including Conservative leader David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, responded with support for CAMRA’s calls to stand up for Britain’s pubs, breweries and beer drinkers.

Tim Page, CAMRA chief executive, said: “Whilst CAMRA remains strictly non-party political, we are pleased that in recent years Parliament has listened to our concerns and made some positive steps towards growing the British beer industry.”


Prime minister defends pubs record

by admin 4/30/2015 11:08:00 AM

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended his government’s record over the past five years when it comes to backing the pub trade.

When the Conservatives came to power in 2010, Cameron promised that his would be the most pro-pub government ever.

The PM has pointed to the help given to pubs by cutting alcohol duties, business rates and employment costs, as well as reducing income tax for working people, as evidence of his pro-pub credentials.

He has also vowed to continue the support and “remain on the side of Britain’s publicans” if the Conservatives are back in power after the upcoming general election.


Calorie labels on alcoholic drinks considered by 2016

by admin 4/30/2015 11:07:00 AM

Members of the European Parliament have backed calls for compulsory calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks following a vote yesterday at the European Parliament.

The resolution has also called for a new EU Alcohol Strategy focusing on alcohol consumption by minors and EU-wide labelling to discourage drink driving and drinking while pregnant.

The EC has to compile a report on the issue and then decide whether to take action on the labelling proposals.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said: “We are not against making it mandatory, but the important thing for us is that there is a consistent approach across all alcoholic drinks.”


'Pub Landlord' launches own beer

by admin 4/29/2015 11:05:00 AM

Al Murray has ramped up his election campaign with the launch of his own beer – a pale bitter called ‘Beautiful British Beer’.

The Pub Landlord said: “For too long the British public has been beset by inferior ales and lacklustre lagers, it’s about time this great nation had a tipple it could be proud of, a shining beacon of hope in an ocean of bargain basement booze.

“This Beautiful British Beer is made with the finest ingredients and brewed by Kentish brewers, handpicked by myself to create the finest drop known to man.”
The beer will be brewed in South Thanet’s Ramsgate Brewery using only British ingredients and will be available from 8 May.


Finalists announced for Licensee of the Year Award

by admin 4/28/2015 11:03:00 AM

The finalists for the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Licensee of the Year Award have been revealed ahead of the Summer Event and Annual Lunch on 2 June.

This year marks the 30th Licensee of the Year, which recognises the country’s top licensees with a passion for the trade.

The finalists are: Tim Tomlinson (Merchants 1688), Mike Wheeler (Penwig), John Horton (Abbey House Hotel & Gardens), Sandy Castle (The Fatling), Tim and Liz Hore (The Victoria Inn) and Keith and Diane Marsden (The Prince of Wales).

Judging will be based on the finalists’ ability to display business acumen, operational skills, outstanding customer service standards and the ability to be innovative in the market. On the day the finalists will sit on four interview panels, covering finance, people and training, marketing and business development and general industry issues.

Tim Hulme, chief executive of the BII, said: “It is an extremely impressive achievement to be crowned as the BII Licensee of the Year and despite the high number of industry awards at present, it is still considered to be the industry’s most coveted award.”


'Staycation' spending expected to reach £56bn this summer

by admin 4/24/2015 1:58:00 PM

Brits choosing to holiday at home are expected to spend more than £56bn in the UK this summer, including an average spend per person of £250 on eating and drinking out.

According to a study by 83% of people in the UK will take a break at home this year, which has risen 17% year on year.

People will spend an average of £1,352 on staycations, including £250 on food and drink, £206 on accommodation, and £101 on visiting attractions.

Cornwall was named the number one UK holiday destination, followed by London, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, Bournemouth, Isle of Wight, Edinburgh, New Forest, Brighton and Cardiff.