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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.”  

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Great British Pub Awards winners revealed

by Ashleigh 9/12/2014 10:18:00 AM

 

A London pub has been crowned the Great British Pub of the Year 2014, at last week’s awards, hosted by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser. The Grafton in Kentish Town, which is run by licensees Susie Clarke and Joel Czopor, was chosen from the Great British Pub Award’s 17 national category winners.

The award was presented to the pair by Sky Sport’s F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham, on a night where they were also named national winners in the Best Partnership Pub category. Judges were impressed with how the Grafton is a diverse modern business that remains true to the ideals of a traditional pub.

Rob Willock, editor of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, said: “The Great British Pub Awards is a very special event – the only national, pan-industry awards I can think of that celebrates the brilliance of individual pubs and the achievement of their licensees.”

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Government called to produce more accurate alcohol stats

by Ashleigh 9/11/2014 10:22:00 AM

Leading pub industry figures are calling on the Government to produce more accurate and balanced statistics on alcohol, after claiming recent council reports include “flawed” data that amount to “meaningless propaganda”. The claims were made following the National Day of Action on Alcohol Harm earlier this month, which aimed to tackle the reputed £21bn annual cost of drink-related harm.


Some in the pub trade say statistics produced by both the local and national Governments, to justify clamping down on the night-time economy, fail to report that the benefits of pubs far outweigh their cost to the economy. Last year, Public Health England altered the way it reports alcohol-related hospital admission statistics, and the trade has suggested a similar change should be adopted for all alcohol figures.


Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said the Mayor’s Office and Greater London Assembly is the only department that puts the costs of the alcohol industry alongside its benefits: “This means that for every £1 spent on tackling alcohol related harm, our industry generates £26 to invest in the local economy”.

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Kate Nicholls new ALMR chief executive

by Ashleigh 9/11/2014 10:22:00 AM

David McHattie last week stepped down from his role as chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). McHattie, who took up the position 16 months ago, has been replaced by Kate Nicholls, the organisation’s director of strategic affairs.


The ALMR said McHattie will be developing his pub operation, the Devonshire Arms in Barnslow, and will continue to serve as council member of the ALMR. McHattie went on to say that he was “incredibly proud” of the progress of the ALMR has made during his time as chief executive and was “delighted” at Nicholls’ appointment.


The ALMR board said: “Kate brings 20 years’ of experience with her of the sector and an unrivalled insight into politics and public affairs. Her appointment retains the ALMR’s consistent, individual and effective voice and we are really looking forward to continuing to work with here.”

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UK has most breweries per head

by Ashleigh 9/11/2014 10:20:00 AM

The UK now boasts more breweries per head of the population than any other country in the world, according to The Good Beer Guide 2015. The guide, published by CAMRA, reveals there are 1,285 breweries operating in Britain, the largest number since the 1930s and 1940s.

Over the past 12 months, 170 new breweries have opened in the UK, continuing an annual growth rate of over 10% per year. The continued growth across the whole of the UK has been driven by small independent breweries springing up all over the country, many experimenting with new types of beer. Also, more than a third of young people aged 18-24 have tried real ale and, of those, 87% say they plan to drink it again.

Roger Protz, editor of the guide, said: "It is fantastic to see more young people discovering and enjoying real ale. The Good Beer Guide relies on recommendations by local CAMRA members across the UK and as more young people discover real ale we hope to continue to see the guide adapt and evolve alongside the British pub."

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Pub renamed ahead of Scotland’s referendum

by Ashleigh 9/11/2014 10:20:00 AM

A Glasgow pub has changed its name from ‘Vespbar’ to ‘Yesbar’ in a bid to push their vote for the Scottish referendum. Licensees Jim and Suzanne McLaughlin are confident of seeing Scotland become independent in the vote, and say they might keep the name if the referendum is positive.

Suzanne said: "It's been amazing. Twitter and Facebook went mad almost as soon as the new ‘Yesbar’ signs went up. And since then people have been coming in droves to have a drink and congratulate us on the name change."

The pub on Drury Street has already become a hit on social media, and even had a visit from Hollywood actor Alan Cumming since the name change.

However, ‘Yesbar is not the only pub getting involved in the referendum. The Twa Dugs in Ayr is offering ‘yes’ and ‘no’ pints to its customers in a bid to suss out its customers' opinions and create debate ahead of the referendum.

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Sky to film pub quizzes across the country for new series

by Ashleigh 9/8/2014 11:25:00 AM

A new series about the Great British pub quiz will be filmed at venues across the UK this year. The Sky 1 show, called Quiz Nights, will follow four teams, each in a different pub, as they battle it out to be crowned quiz champions.


Eight pubs have been announced as participants in the new show, from Birmingham and Liverpool to Oxford and Newport, with Sky promising that as the series progresses new pubs and teams will be introduced.


Sky Commissioning Editor Entertainment, Chris Brogden said: “Whether just for fun or for the highly competitive, Quiz Nights will be a true celebration of one of Britain’s great institutions.”

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Brighton and Hove voted best UK city for restaurants and bars

by Ashleigh 9/8/2014 11:24:00 AM

The readers of Condé Nest Traveller magazine have voted Brighton and Hove the best UK city for restaurants and bars – higher than London.
Readers voted for they place they love to eat and drink in in the magazine’s annual travel awards. Brighton and Hove placed first because of its variety of bars and choice of places to eat out. It also nudged into the world’s top 100, which feature a variety of luxurious destinations across the globe.


Brian Fitch, Brighton and Hove mayor, who was presented with the award. He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have pushed London into second place, and it’s a real achievement for the bars and restaurants in the city, demonstrating their diversity and the excellence of their offer."

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Cost of northern night out less than in south

by Ashleigh 9/8/2014 11:24:00 AM

Northerners can expect to pay around 10% less on a night out with friends than southerners, research from Worldpay, the global card-paying service, has revealed.


Worldpay surveyed 1,500 people and looked at many of the components of a night out. On average, those living in the south expect to pay £3.54 for a pint of beer, while northerners expect it to cost £3.19. A five-mile taxi journey would set southerners back £8.55 on average, whereas northerners would expect to pay only £7.60.


In addition, half of southerners wouldn’t expect change from £10 for a main course in a pub, compared to 31% among northerners. Fish and chips in the south is likely to cost southerners 8.5% more, while a southern curry is 13% more expensive than a northern one.


Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK, said: “At a time when owning a home is a distant dream for many people, we wanted to know how much people pay for the things they enjoy, such as a pint with their mates down the pub. It is clear from these results that northerners are getting a better deal, especially when every tenth pint is free.”

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Manchester proposes ranking of 'problem' pubs

by Ashleigh 9/8/2014 11:22:00 AM

Pubs in Manchester could be ranked on criteria such as the age of customers and the amount of seating — in a bid by local authorities to identify problem venues.


A report from Manchester City Council, proposes forming a team to “take strong enforcement action against those breaching licence conditions or poorly managed premises”. This includes deciding whether to prosecute problematic premises or seek a review.


The team would look into developing a ranking system of licensed premises, using a series of indicators “such as young customer base and low ratio of seating in venues”. It has been based on mathematic models created by Liverpool John Moores and Cardiff Universities.

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