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Real Community Commitment

Craft beer could follow gastropub mistakes

by Ashleigh 9/26/2014 3:26:00 PM

Craft beer is in danger of following gastropubs in being misrepresented to consumers, the Craft Beer Company’s Martin Hayes claimed at the MA300 Business Club in Brighton last week.

Hayes, founder of the company in 2011, said: “Large scale industrial brewers claiming to sell craft beer could see consumers lose confidence in the short term. But in the long term consumers yearn for something tastier.”

He referred to ‘the Denmark experience’, where similar attempts to badge more commercial products as craft beer caused mistrust, and also said local beer was truly the best beer to be supplied for a pub. He added: “We are a small enough country that we can scour the breadth of this country for great beers.”


‘Make Some Noise’ campaign receives BBPA backing

by Ashleigh 9/26/2014 3:25:00 PM

The Publican's Morning Advertiser has launched a campaign to protect well-established pubs and bars that are threatened with closure due to noise complaints. The trade paper states that they ‘aim to unite the industry in lobbying the Government to implement an agent of change principle'.

The campaign hopes to highlight the fact that some people choose to live near a well-established business, yet make damaging and on-going noise complaints.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, comments: "Many pubs have been at the heart of their communities for decades or even centuries. It must be right that a burden should not be placed on pubs when issues arise between new homes, developments and pubs."


Sky Sports awarded American Football rights

by Ashleigh 9/25/2014 3:27:00 PM

Sky Sports has won the rights to Monday Night Football as part of a new five-year agreement for even more live American Football from the NFL. From 2015, Sky Sports viewers will be able to enjoy over 80 live fixtures a season, including up to five games each week of the regular season, the play-offs and Super Bowl.

Sky Sports’ coverage will also include all matches from the NFL’s International Series as teams travel to the UK for regular-season match-ups, which has seen sell-out games at Wembley since 2007.

The new deal – the 23rd live rights agreement announced by Sky Sports this year - offers pubs Monday Night Football, the International Series (live overseas coverage, including Wembley games), and the Super Bowl – including play-off fixtures and the hugely anticipated Super Bowl itself, on February 1st 2015.


Serving beer is ‘not rocket science’

by Ashleigh 9/23/2014 3:31:00 PM

The founder of the Micropub Association has claimed that serving beer is “not rocket science”, and predicted that the micro-pub movement will reach 100 sites nationwide by the end of the year.

Martyn Hillner, who is also the owner of the Butcher’s Arms in Kent, said: “There are some basic rules, but it’s not rocket science to look after beer. And it’s better if they’re new people to the trade because they look at it from a new angle.”

The Butcher’s Arms was allegedly the country’s first micro-pub when it opened in 2005, and Martyn said there are now 72 “true to the cause” micro-pubs in the UK, following three openings this month, and there “should be 100 open by the end of the year”.


Lancashire pub stages seventh annual Gravy Wrestling event

by Ashleigh 9/22/2014 3:32:00 PM

The Rose ‘n’ Bowl, in Stacksteads, Lancashire has again staged its annual World Gravy Wrestling Championships to raise money for a local hospice. The seventh annual event brought together competitors from all over the world, including from as far afield as Australia, to compete in the unusual occurrence.

The championship was a four-hour event with 24 male and 14 female competitors, and each round lasting two minutes. The winner of each round was decided as whoever entertained the audience the most, and collected £100, which was then donated to the hospice.

Spectators were charged a £2 entry fee and, as an alternative to the ice bucket challenge, they were also offered the chance to take part in a ‘gravy bucket challenge’ to help raise more money.


Outlets cut prices for Tax Equality Day

by Ashleigh 9/22/2014 3:31:00 PM

A total of 15,000 UK pubs, bars and restaurants cut food and drink prices by 7.5% on Wednesday last week, following VAT cut campaigner Jacques Borel’s call to make Tax Equality Day an operator’s busiest day of the year.

Aimed at highlighting the benefit of a VAT reduction in the hospitality industry, Tax Equality Day aimed to demonstrate the effects of a 15% VAT cut, equivalent to the 7.5% reduction in food and drink prices on the day. The day is organised by Borel, who has achieved VAT cuts in a number of countries, including France, Germany, Belgium and Finland. At present, all food and drink in pubs is subject to 20% VAT, compared to supermarkets which benefit from a zero VAT rate.

Borel comments: “I am confident that Tax Equality Day will be a great success and that the price reductions will be welcomed by customers. Our message is clear – a reduction in the level of VAT on a long-term basis will generate growth and create jobs in the important leisure and hospitality sector.”


Southampton to have late night levy

by Ashleigh 9/18/2014 10:51:00 AM

Southampton City Council has voted to implement a late night levy to pubs, bars and other venues in the city which serve alcohol past midnight. The levy, due to be introduced on 1 April 2015, will be used to cover the extra costs of the night time economy, including charges for policing crime and anti-social behaviour.

It is expected to raise around £100,000 a year, which will be split between the police and the council.  Businesses subject to the levy will be charged between £299 and £440 annually. Hotels are exempt from paying the levy if they are only serving alcohol to guests staying overnight at the premises.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, cabinet member at Southampton City Council said: “The council and our partners, such as the police, share the responsibility for keeping people safe and limiting the effects the night time economy has on surrounding communities. We have therefore decided to take the government’s advice to implement a late night levy on business authorised to supply alcohol after midnight.”


Pubs lead recruitment boom

by Ashleigh 9/18/2014 10:26:00 AM

Pubs dominated the growth in hospitality recruitment in the last few months with a hike of 50%, according to the latest Hospitality Index Report.

There was a strong regional bias towards London and the South East with an increase of 31% and 14% respectively in the number of jobs being advertised.

However, Scotland saw the second highest growth with 21% more jobs available. The north of England was up 17%, the west and Wales up 16%.

While pub recruitment showed the strongest growth, the number of food service jobs on offer also saw a hike of 44%.


Heineken confirms sale of 111 pubs to Adrmiral Taverns

by Ashleigh 9/17/2014 4:33:00 PM

Heineken UK has announced that it has agreed to sell 111 pubs from its Star Pubs & Bars business to Admiral Taverns for an undisclosed sum.   The sale is expected to complete during October 2014.  Alongside the sale agreement, the two parties have agreed that Heineken will continue to offer its market leading ciders and beers to these 111 pubs.

The agreement follows Heineken’s regular review of its pub estate and stated ambition to build a portfolio of pubs that have a more specific identity and profile. Following completion of the sale, the Star Pubs and Bars business will comprise an estate of around 1100 pubs across the UK.

Commenting on the deal, David Forde, Heineken's UK Managing Director, said: “This sale frees up resources and enables us to focus on the core estate which has great scope for growth whilst continuing to showcase our cider and beer brands. We regularly review our estate to ensure that our portfolio contains pubs that have the right profile for our business, and can continue to benefit from our long term investment. Seeking a respected and experienced trade buyer for the sale of these pubs was our preferred option and we are delighted to have achieved that ambition with Admiral Taverns.  They will ensure commitment and continued investment in these pubs to drive growth and maximise their potential. "

Heineken recently announced an £18 million investment in its Star Pubs & Bars estate during 2014, through a programme of modernisation, refurbishment and product quality initiatives.

Kevin Georgel, Admiral Taverns’ Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are delighted to acquire these high-quality pubs, which are a great addition to the Admiral estate.   This transaction is an indication of our intention to develop the Admiral business and reinforces our position as the country’s leading community pubs group.  We look forward to welcoming these new licensees to Admiral, and to working with them and Heineken to ensure a smooth transition.

“We are confident that these pubs have a vibrant future, and that with our award-winning approach to supporting community pubs, we can help these licensees to maximise the potential of their businesses.”  


Charity box stolen in pub raid

by Ashleigh 9/17/2014 10:59:00 AM

A sick girl’s charity box was among a haul of items stolen during a recent raid on a Welsh pub. Officers are appealing for information to catch the culprits, who forced open the door of The Wendover in Towyn last week.

Cash was taken, including money raised for Alder Hey Hospital, from an event organised by a 12-year-old girl, who has been in care in the hospital throughout her life.

PC Philip Wilson said: “She had organised the event to raise money for the hospital to thank them for the support she has received over the years. The money was clearly marked in a tub labelled ‘charity’ but the offenders still took it.

“The family are understandably upset about the business money being stolen, but they are distraught that the charity money has been taken and the effect this has had on their daughter.”