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Real Community Commitment

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.


England’s pubs to back tourism

by Ashleigh 10/13/2014 5:25:00 PM

VisitEngland is collaborating with the British Beer & Pub Association in advance of English Tourism Week (14-22 March 2015). Pubs represent a significant contribution to the visitor economy and, as the lead body representing Britain’s brewers and pubs, the British Beer & Pub Association has pledged to encourage its members to take part in this important week for the tourism industry.

Tourism is worth £106billion to the UK economy and employs 2.6 million people. English Tourism Week kick starts the tourism season and provides hundreds of tourism businesses with the opportunity to take part in a national campaign to encourage more visitors through their doors, and inspire people to become tourism ambassadors for their local area.
For tourists, pubs are a beacon that offer something uniquely English, and are often identified as a major attraction for an English holiday. This desirability is highlighted by some 13 million foreign visitors every year to England.


Breathalysers introduced in Nottinghamshire pubs to avoid disputes

by Ashleigh 10/10/2014 11:24:00 AM

Late night pubs in two Nottinghamshire towns are now able to breathalyse punters before allowing them entry, as part of a new voluntary scheme to encourage responsible drinking.

A pilot was launched in Mansfield, and has now been rolled out in Newark and Worksop, as part of the local police force’s ‘Alliance Against Violence’ campaign.  Breathalysers are now in use in 14 venues across the country, many of which have already turned customers away due to levels of drunkenness, according to police.

Nottinghamshire Police said the equipment has been introduced to help avoid arguments between door staff and customers over whether or not a customer is drunk. Each pub decides its own drinking limit.


Pro-pub policies are good for Britain, says BBPA chairman

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

Policies that are pro-pub are good for the economy and local communities, was BBPA Chairman Jonathan Neame’s key message at last week’s BBPA Annual Dinner. In his keynote speech, Jonathan urged policy-makers to champion more of the same, in the run up to next year’s General Election.

Jonathan also highlighted a host of positives for the beer and pub industry in 2014, including the second historic duty cut in the March Budget; national beer volumes showing modest growth; investment in pubs accelerating and a boost in new entrepreneurs seeking to run pubs.
Full speech available here:


Bars toast cocktail sales surge

by Ashleigh 10/10/2014 11:21:00 AM

Cocktail sales have grown by more than 10% over the last two years, and the mojito is the drinkers’ favourite, according to a new survey from CGA Strategy. The report reveals that cocktail sales have grown by an impressive 10.8% in just two years, and that more than one in five (22%) of the country’s on-trade venues now serve them.

Contrary to some popular perceptions, it is not just women who enjoy cocktails, with the split between female (54%) and male (46%) drinkers fairly even. In addition, amongst the core 18-35 demographic, cocktails are becoming a drink for all on-trade occasions, with consumers increasingly choosing to drink cocktails throughout the night, rather than just at the start.

Tom Lynch, Commercial Director at CGA Strategy, said: “Cocktails and the bars and pubs that serve them have been surging in popularity over the last few years and our latest research emphasises just how integrated they’ve become to mainstream drinking. They present a terrific opportunity for bars and pubs to drive footfall and increase spend – but only if they can fully understand what customers want from a cocktail menu and give them a consistent experience every time.”


Pub on Wheels venture launched

by Ashleigh 10/9/2014 11:23:00 AM

Pub on Wheels (POW), a new venture set to launch officially next month in London, has so far converted two former Ministry of Defence trucks into fully operational pubs. Investment group Cirrus Inns has taken a majority stake in the business, with plans to add a further five vehicles during 2015, and growth to 20 vehicles over the next five years.

The venture is led by David Watt, former head of hospitality and sales for the Ryder Cup. The founders plan to create “a highly versatile and completely mobile group of pub trucks that takes the philosophy, products and service style of pubs into the event market place”.

The initial two trucks have been named Monty and Vera, and are complete with a 5.5m bar, draft beers, ten fridges and room for 30 covers each. They also provide free Wi-Fi services for customers.