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his month I paid a visit to the Birds and the Bees in Stirling. It picked up the DRAM Gastro Pub of the year award in June, but as I wasn’t one of the judges, I was keen to see why it got such rave reviews. I wasn’t disappointed – what a fab pub. Owners Ross and Michelle Henderson give me their thoughts on why it has worked for them. I also paid a visit to Arran and the newly refurbished Douglas Hotel. Apart from the fact that the weather was glorious, the hotel itself was well worth the visit, mind you I did miss the first ferry and decided heads to Scotts in Largs for lunch. It was going like a fair. It was absolutely mobbed at 12.30pm, with a 20 minute wait for tables, and people kept coming! Jason Caddy meanwhile paid a visit to Barolo and Amarone – Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta’s newly opened restaurants. He was suitably impressed. See pages 26 to 32. This month I also asked various people their views on what the trade would be like five years from now. See pages 11 to 14. It makes interesting reading. Our website is proving very popular, so you are obviously reading online too. That’s great. You can also follow us on twitter and facebook. See you next month.





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WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS We take a look at what the trade will look like five years from now.

RUM’S BIG PERSONALITY Our monthly drinks feature focuses on rum.

THE PERFECT PARTNERSHIP Susan Young interviews Ross & Michelle Henderson (cover pic).

DESIGN FOCUS We check out Barolo, Glasgow, Amarone, Edinburgh and The Douglas in Arran.


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NEWS The latest news from around the trade.

SUE SAYS Straight talking from our very own Editor.








cots licensees are being urged to hold back their PPL fees in protest against proposed licence hikes. PPL, the organisation that collects royalties on behalf of performers and record companies, is proposing to charge pubs and clubs that put on Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) exorbitant fees and this includes DJ’s. The proposed price rises, which would see an average pub currently paying £30 for a 4-hour SFE, now having to pay £380 for its PPL license, excluding the cost of the DJ. While club owners, with a 5-hour SFE, and a 2,500 capacity, would see their fee increase from £129 to more than £4,000. It will affect pubs, clubs, hotels, and cafés, in fact anywhere that does more than use background music. It could spell the death knell for DJ’s, who get most of their income from the licensed trade, but it could mean a boon for live music bands. Live music doesn’t come under the PPL remit. The PPl have said that they don’t consider the fees currently paid a “fair reflection” of the value of the licence, but industry insiders say that it is merely a way of clawing back cash following a decrease in income from traditional channels. Although the fees are only at the consultation process, organisations such as the British Beer and Pub Association and Noctis, have already said they are “not feasible”. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said, “These proposed increases for playing music are unacceptable and off the scale. They would be a huge burden.” The BBPA estimates that a small pub company with six venues running two to three events a week could face huge fee increases. If between 250 to 400 people attended each event, a current bill of £22,300 could become £220,000 annually. Donald Macleod, MD of CPL, which owns The Garage and The Tunnel nightclubs in Glasgow, is incensed. He told DRAM, “We should organise a boycott of the PPL. These prices increases are insane. Do they not know what is going on in the licensed trade at the moment? This could cause bars goes out of business and jobs being lost. He urged, “We all need to get together on this. We need to speak to our politicians and we need to respond vigorously to the consultation. A campaign to oppose these prices needs to be organised. We should all hold back our fees.” He continued, “That might seem drastic, but it would certainly make PPL sit up and take notice of our concerns. If we don’t take action we will see more bars and clubs going out of business and jobs being lost." Eddie Tobin agrees, “We should run a ‘Hold back the money campaign’. This is an insane increase.The price increases being suggested are a disgrace and they could sound the death knell for the pub and clubbing scene in Scotland." Licensing law specialist Stephen McGowan, of Lindsays, says “PPL

lost a significant case last year in which they were forced to issue refunds to the licensed sector of around £20m, so they may be trying to mitigate that loss. The licensed industry has been bled dry over the last few years and established operators are going bust. This new fee increase will put people out of business. Ministers like Andrew Griffiths, who has acknowledged Government had let the industry down, need to step up”. PPL has defended the consultation. But even it admitted in its 2010 accounts, “The economy continues to play a part in our ability to collect licensing income and 2010 proved particularly difficult in some markets; such as the retail and pub industry where business closures resulted in less venues playing music.” ¬

WKD’S SEATS AHEAD 2011 is the tenth anniversary of the highly-successful and much-loved “Have you got a WKD side?” campaign and the brand is marking the event with new TV ads which will keep WKD top of mind as summer draws to a close. Another key part of this year’s £30m WKD marketing support package is an innovative on-pack promotion starting this month. Under the campaign theme of ‘Win A Chair’, the activity offers seat-related prizes ranging from racing motorised sofas through to flight vouchers and tickets for the cinema and comedy gigs. The humorous instant-win initiative is set to reward 250,000 lucky winners with a £12m prize pool and will feature on peel-andreveal labels on 6.5 million 275ml WKD bottles. Consumers peel away the special neck labels to reveal unique promotional codes. The activity will boost sales for stockists and will reward WKD consumers who’ll love the opportunity to bag great prizes. WKD free point of sale hotline: 0800 917 3450. Sales enquiries SHS Sales & Marketing: 01452 378 500. DRAM AUGUST 11



John Gilligan, Sales Director of Wm Morton has been appointed Chairman of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association. He succeeds Jim Grierson of Maxxium UK.




The same accounts also show that PPL increased its revenue from licensing from £111.4m in 2009 to £143.5m in 2010. Says Eddie Tobin, “How can PPL justify raising licensing fees?” PPL wants to phase in the new rates over three years from April 2012. Operators would pay 25% of the charge in year one, 50% in year two and the full amount from 2014 onwards. To see the consultation document go to


Turnberry Hotel has become the first establishment in Scotland to use an iPad instead of a printed wine list. The practice which has been used in London lately, gives guests the opportunity to look and descriptions and tasting notes of the wines on offer. They can also search for their favourite wines. Although only a trial, if successful, the hotel plans to extend the concept to its other restaurants and bars. Guests cannot yet order from the devices, that is likely to be introduced in the future.In other countries where the iPad has been used instead of a menu, restaurants have claimed a rise in turnover from diners finding their ordering inhibitions are lifted when ordering direct, rather than via waiters, and this is already happening in several London hotels.



lasgow City Council’s decision to cancel its Hogmanay Party in George Square has been met with mixed reactions from the licensed trade. Donald Macleod of CPL told DRAM, “They can’t cancel Hogmanay. People will still come out. But let’s face it Hogmanay is no longer the golden goose it was, and we partly have ourselves to blame for charging too much.” But Carlo Citti comments, “I think it is a shame for the city.” The City council have taken the decision because they no longer felt it was delivering value for money and in fact cost £34 per person, with guests having to fork out another £19 to attend the event. Now there will be family day with ceilidh’s and the icerink, which will run up until 10pm on Hogmanay. Councillor Gordon Matheson Leader of the Council said, “At a time when frontline

services are under extreme financial pressure it is imperative that we get the best bang for every Glasgow buck and that is not what is happening at the moment." He continued, "Now the ice rink and all the other hugely popular attractions in George Square can be open to families and visitors on Hogmanay and New Year's Day which previously hasn't been possible for operational reasons.” The Council hope that the family events which will replace the midnight party will prove better value for money and more enjoyable to more people - perhaps even making the city more attractive to visitors. It has also said that it will make cash available to pubs and clubs to help with marketing activity this Hogmanay. Although it has not put a figure on the amount that will be available, estimates range from £30K to £50K.

Three Scottish hotels aim to attract more customers following the installation of electric car charging services. The hotels, John O'Groats Guesthouse; the Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort and the Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, have partnered with Tesla, a US carmaker, to install the stations, which although still privately owned, will be available to the public either free of charge, or for a small fee. Tesla called the hotels “forward thinking”, and hopes that it will bring them new customers as motorists can recharge while dining, staying over or using their leisure facilities. Charging car batteries would take anything up to three hours, said Tesla.

SHORTS The Victoria and Esplanade hotels in Bute have been put up for sale, but will continue trading as normal whilst a buyer is sought. Owned by Ian Bruce the two hotels are on the market at offers over £1m and £695K respectively. . Knight Frank has been appointed to sell the most westerly positioned hotel in Great Britain, The Isle of Barra Beach Hotel. The 39 bedroom hotel is situated on the Atlantic West Coast of the island, overlooking the beautiful white sands of Tangasdale Beach. It is currently owned by AUGUST 11 DRAM


Teresa Jenkins and Guy Adams and their family. It is being sold through Knight Frank. Offers over £950K are sought. Greene King, the group behind Belhaven, have spent £70m buying up more London pubs, ahead of next year’s Olympics. The deal will mark Greene King's third major pub group acquisition this year following the takeovers of Realpubs and Cloverleaf for a combined £108m. A Chippy has become the first in Scotland to serve up fish with a vodka batter. The Oban Fish and Chip Shop in

Argyll say the recipe has been inspired by telly chef Heston Blumenthal. Glendola Leisure are getting set to open Horton’s Bar and Kitchen, on the site of the former Frankenstein’s at 92 West George Street, Glasgow, later this month. Saltire Taverns have acquired The Hudson Hotel from Festival Inns after the group was put into administration. Former owner Kenny Waugh has now teamed up with G1 to create a new pub co EH1, which has bought a further five venues

The Castle Hotel Group have purchased the 130-bedroom Fishers Hotel in Pitlochry. They have put aside £3m to refurbishing and upgrade the hotel over the next four years. It’s the 9th hotel for the group, and it already owns The Athol Palace Hotel, also in Pitlochry.





dinburgh pubs could be subject to stricter fire regulations after fire chiefs called for a review. They want sprinklers to be fitted to places that store a high volume of alcohol. The request comes two years after a fatal fire at the Balmoral bar killed firefighter Ewan Williamson. Cllr Bridgeman, convener of the Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Board, says, " We

are living in a modern age, with technology and systems to try to prevent the damage that fire causes. Sprinklers should be considered by building standards (for pubs] because of the levels of alcohol content, which is highly flammable.” In order to make sprinklers compulsory the Scottish Government would have to change current building regulations.

OLIVER SET TO OPEN IN THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS Jamie Oliver has chosen a location for his new Edinburgh restaurant. It appears it will be situated in the Assembly Room building in George Street. It’s not the first time that a ‘Jamie’s Italian’, has been located in a Grade A listed building, his Cambridge restaurant is also in a listed building. Edinburgh councillors believe the new restaurant will bring “an exciting and contemporary feel to the beautiful and historic venue.” The restaurant is expected to open next summer.


Aberdeen police now believe that their city centre is one of the safest in the country after serious assaults fell by 46% over the last year. Aberdeen Police say this couldn’t have been achieved without the support of local businesses including pubs and clubs. Chief Supt Watson said, “We have looked at city centre policing models and good practice from across the country and we looked to adopt 'what works', which to my mind has significantly contributed to the turn around. This is now one of the safest city centres in the country.”

from the administrators. Edinburgh has been identified as one of the most attractive cities in the UK for hotel investment. Global consultants HVS London revealed that the city is at the top of the register. Waldorf Astoria, Marriott, InterContinental, Hotel Missoni, Motel One, easyHotel, Premier Inn, Travelodge are just a few of the hotel companies that have chosen Edinburgh in recent years. One of Scotland’s most famous films, Whisky Galore, has just been re-


released. Whisky Galore was set in 1943 on the apocryphal Hebridean island of Todday, which was actually Barra. Work has started on a new Travelodge hotel in Edinburgh’s Queen Street. The £2m development, which will see a former derelict townhouse, transformed into an 85-bedroom hotel. It will be completed by Spring next year. Travelodge are also planning two new hotels in the city as part of an ambitious expansion drive following its acquisition by Dubai Sovereign Capital.

The 100 year-old Caledonian Hilton in Edinburgh is set to become Scotland's first Waldorf Astoria next year, following a £24m refurbishment. The hotel has already benefitted from a £10m facelift, and a further £14m is to be spent over the next 12 months to bring it up to the standard required. It will then will be renamed as The Caledonian, Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The refurbishment which includes a number of additions and improvements to its public spaces, rooms, spa and restaurant. The 241bedroom hotel will be the third luxury Waldorf Astoria property in the UK for Hilton, and its 25th worldwide. JD Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin has warned that drinkers are facing price rises of between 4% and 7% over the next 12 months. However, he didn’t say that JD Wetherspoons would be raising its prices, just that this estimate was for the industry overall. He suggested the price rise would reflect the higher purchase costs of food and drink and utility bills. Despite increased costs JD Wetherspoon continues to grow its sales. Sales rose by 7.1% over the 11 weeks to July 10, with a like-for-like increase of 1.6%.

Magners is launching a new range of flavoured ciders this month.The range includes a pear ginger, spiced apple and honey, and spiced apple and rhubarb. Attraction Inns have rebranded its Stereo nightclub in Edinburgh’s Lothian Road as Silk, and have given the club a complete overhaul. More news next month. Edinburgh’ festivals are now worth more than golf tourism to Scotland according to a new report. It suggests its year round festivals bring in £250m to the Scottish economy. DRAM AUGUST 11





BrewDog’s new Glasgow pub has just opened and is already proving a hit. On the site of the former Lock Inn on Dumbarton Road, opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, and designed by CM Design Consultants, the pub is the third BrewDog to open in the last 12 months. The first was in Aberdeen, the second one opened earlier this year in Edinburgh and now the Glasgow pub is going down a storm. Two further pubs are planned for London.

Viva Brazil Churrascaria is an authentic, Brazilian style Steakhouse which is coming to Glasgow in September. The new restaurant, which is owned by Liverpool-based, mother and daughter, Rosie Sebold and Anna Martin, offers 15 different types of Beef, as well as Lamb, Chicken, homemade Brazilian Sausage and more all slowly roasted over a charcoal barbeque. The concept has already been well received in Liverpool, and now the two are moving into Glasgow. Viva Brazil, will also be unique in Glasgow in that customers will be encouraged to decide the pace of the meal themselves and will be given discs – one side is green, and the other is red. If diners would like more they show the green side, while if they are finished or want a break they show the red disc. The new restaurant will be located at 87-91 Bothwell Street.


One of Glasgow’s most colourful Asian businessmen, Sohan Singh, has now officially taken over as the owner of The Lorne Hotel and Bukharah restaurant. He bought the hotel in May after the previous owner Archie Shariff ran into financial difficulties. Singh also owns the Bombay Blues Indian restaurant and The Artto Hotel in Hope Street.

POMMERY POPS UP The Signet Library, just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh is the location of a new pop-up Pommery champagne bar which is open for the duration of the Festival. It will now be open to the public as well as the legal eagles. The venue is usually used exclusively for the legal fraternity although it is hired out for private events, and during the three weeks the bar is open guests will be able to view its lovely interior. But some are not too pleased. Donald Findlay QC told Scotland on Sunday, "I'm utterly appalled and scandalised at the suggestion. This is the slippery slope we're on now. The next thing they will be doing is carry-out pizzas and selling hamburgers.” The Pommery Champagne Bar will be at the Signet Library until the 29th August and is also serving seafood.

MCCLUSKEY SPREADS HIS WINGS The Bon Vivant champagne bar & restaurant owned by Stuart McCluskey now has a sister venue in the shape of the 'The Bon Vivant's Companion'. This too is located in Edinburgh’s Thistle Street, but it offers a deli/larder and coffee shop experience, and also includes a specialist drinks shop. Downstairs it boasts a sampling room which will be hosting regular tastings, events and masterclasses, for both trade and consumers. Jolly's Hotel in Broughty Ferry, one of the town’s favourite venues, is now up for sale having gone into administration last month. The hotel which was owned and run by John Adams, and latterly his son, Derek, has been for sale for a while, with Wetherspoons one of the interested parties. But having falling into administration it has now put it up for sale, through Christie & Co, with an asking price of for the freehold of £1,200,000. hotel comprises: 24 en suite letting bedrooms, a characterful public bar with seating for 50 people, a lounge which is normally used for functions, a main lounge bar and music venue with seating for 114 and a first floor breakfast room. AUGUST 11 DRAM


A modern, Scottish, flavoursome IPA. Refreshing floral hints and citrus tones with a crisp, clean flavour

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM Aberdeen: 01224 896 826 • Alloa: 01259 728 510 • Dumfries: 01387 259 466 • Dunbar: 01368 862 323

HEAD OFFICE Spott Road, Dunbar, East Lothian EH42 1RS DRAM AUGUST 11



New single estate vanilla spiced Mauritian rum. The Indian Ocean Rum Company and Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits have just launched Pink Pigeon, the first super premium, spiced rum from the Island of Mauritius, into the UK and into Scotland. Although complex in flavour, this mould-breaking spiced rum is fantastically easy to drink and distilled five times with the purest of spirit. Pink Pigeon is blended with hand-pollinated and hand-picked natural vanilla from Madagascar and Reunion Islands. It incorporates a rich and golden appearance with a truly balanced sweetness. “My family have been producing the finest spirits for 200 years in both Reunion and Mauritius. I am very proud of what we have achieved with this Rum and am delighted to sign my name to every bottle.” Alain Chatel, the Master Blender of Pink Pigeon Pink Pigeon spiced rum is named after the rare and endangered bird (of the same name) found on the island of Mauritius. The stunning pink species symbolises peace, freedom and harmony, qualities closely aligned to those of Pink Pigeon. The bottle and packaging reflects the rum’s aspirational positioning and each bottle is hand finished with a ribbon, ring and wax. Pink Pigeon brings a vanilla twist to classic rum cocktails as well as tasting delicious with a solitary mixer. Plus the striking looking bottle and luxury feel means it has stand out on the bar. Pink Pigeon is also the only rum in the market available in a Magnum size. Two prestigious London clubs have already stocked Pink Pigeon - Circus in London + One For One Club in Park Lane (elected best new boutique club 2011).

Pink Pigeon spiced Rum is available through Matthew Clark and Speciality Drinks (Wholesalers) Whisky Exchange, The Drink and Berry Bros. & Rudd. The brand is distributed by Global Brands in the UK.





n the on-trade time, generally speaking, we tend to live in the here and now. But this month we ask some people to give us their predictions on what the trade would be like five years from now. It was an open question, and individuals have interpretated it as they saw fit. John Gemmell, Trading Director North, Heineken UK; Phil Whitehead, Director of Sales and Service Molson Coors; Jack Cumming, Hill Brown; Euan Venters MD, Greene King Brewing & Brands; Jim Grierson, On-trade Sales Director, Maxxium UK. David Johnston, Development Director, Montpeliers and Innes Bolt also of Montpeliers contributed as did David McGowan of Diageo and Ken McGown, Operations and Sales Director of S&N Pub Co; Dougal Sharp of Innis & Gunn and Mark Brunjes of CM Design. And of course I couldn’t resist a wee forecast myself! However I’ve probably taken the less businesslike approach!” What will the trade look in five years time… here goes:-

OVERVIEW OF TRADE John Gemmell: “We will see a continued shift from on trade to off trade... this dynamic has been prevalent for years and will continue. People often point to this being about price but that is too simplistic, as consumers are making their decisions on lots of different reasons. The 'pub' must offer a compelling reason for people to choose to go, it is not enough just to open the doors and expect people to come.” David McGowan: “It would be very easy just to focus on all the technological evolutions that will take place in the next five years, and how they will impact on our daily lives and our visits to the pub. However, remember that pubs are about people, communities, having a drink with friends, and of course, satisfying our taste buds. What won’t change is the social interaction from friendly, well trained bar staff. Technology also won’t change the celebratory drink with friends when your team wins, or commiserating when they lose. So, if there is one thing we can guarantee, it is that retailers and suppliers who have a quality offer and understand the importance of customer service and customer loyalty will be the winners of the future.” Phil Whitehead: “We have to face up to the fact it's a tough market. Total alcohol consumption has fallen by an estimated 11% between 2004 and 2010 and beer sales in pubs are down by over

30% in the last six years (or 5 million pints per day) so the whole industry, from suppliers, like us, to the independent publican has to realise the scale of the challenge ahead of us. That means that we must see real innovation that will help support the great pubs, clubs and restaurants across Scotland to ensure that we keep a robust, dynamic industry going. What is clear, however, is that changes are happening and fast, so the on-trade is going to look very different in five years time.” Ken McGown: “In the future there will be less pubs but they will be of a better quality. People will become even more discerning. And as the quality of outlets improve, the ontrade will receive proper recognition for being a real career opportunity as commercial management will have a high value. People going into the trade will have to have commercial acumen – marketing, sales and social media skills. Although the economy will remain tough consumers will continue to be "aspirational" looking to trade to premium products.” Jack Cumming: “The economic downturn, the smoking ban and the costs associated with the new Licensing Act have created a toxic mix for the trade over the last few years. Taking anything approaching positive view on the future is not easy. Recent highprofile casualties have demonstrated that quality operators are far from immune from difficult market conditions. There are big success stories, of course - those in some sectors who have read the market well and evolved will last the course.' 'Adaptability' is the key. Take Oddbins - down the drain, while Majestic surged on. The former didn't get into online properly, became too expensive - while Majestic spotted market behaviours early enough.” Dougal Sharp: “I don’t think that the on-trade scene in Scotland will, broadly speaking, look significantly different in five years’ time. Although the products on offer will undoubtedly change as a result of the move to premium products that is happening globally.” Mark Brunjes: “Design follows world events, and recent events have spurred a new rebellion and rejection of establishment values. Design trends follow social movement; style bars represented excess, minimalism, stainless steel, marble, plain fabrics and cool colours. The reaction to over styled contemporary bars will be about eclecticism and fun. Susan Young: “By 2016 the pub trade will by dynamic – new blood will be coming through, as people finally see the industry as an aspirational profession. But most pubs will have no chart music, it ¬ DRAM AUGUST 11


WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS ¬ will all be original…as they don’t want to pay a huge amount for a PPL licence!”

TYPES OF PUBS John: “The National Managed channel will grow at the expense of the Independent. They have control over some of the best sites and offer the consumer a branded consistency, which is comforting to the consumer. However it is far from the end of the free trade. When a free trade customer gets it right then they are some of the best outlets in the UK, playing a huge part in the local community.” Phil: “The first change is going to be in the number and variety of licensed premises. We know that pubs, bars and clubs are closing but what we are seeing of those that are left is that they are making a greater effort to differentiate themselves from the competition. The customers we are dealing with are trying to provide the right environment for every drinking occasion and it's important that pubs can offer a wide range of services that keeps people in the pub and out of the coffee house.” David Johnson: “Customer demand for total value i.e. the whole experience, will increase and as a result continue to thin out companies that are unable to provide this.

reclaimed, eclectic, personal, friendly environmental and real. Think architectural salvage yards. auction houses, ebay and even skips! If your bar is simply the biggest and best, then someone will always overtake you. Dare to be different, break the rules, look at things differently and become leaders not followers. Ken: “A lot of pubs that are no longer viable will disappear, and the trade, five years from now, will be a far stronger business environment. Pub companies will have better quality estates, which will reflect the changing face of the pub environment. Customers will expect quality – that will be the norm across the trade. Community pubs will take over from post offices and small corner shops. They will be offering services ranging from selling newspapers (already happening) to allowing people to drop off laundry. There will be all sorts of reasons to go to the pub, not just for food and drink.” Sue: “Robots will have taken over from staff on quiet nights and in pubs that can’t afford robots - self-serve technology will allow customers to serve themselves. (There’s already a pub in American with this technology which is utilising it!”)

BEER John: “Beer will get colder. The average temperature of draught beer has reduced significantly over the last 20 years and there is room to go lower. In fact it is what the consumer wants. Not only for draught beer, but we will see more focus on consistent delivery of colder packaged lager

“Supermarket bars. Not content with supermarkets, insurance, credit cards etc. Supermarkets will start opening bars and restaurants.” Euan Venters: “Tourism will be an even more important part of the Scottish economy making the hospitality industry critical to our national prosperity. Consumers will be even more discerning about what they spend their hard earned cash on when they go out. Good pubs will prosper and pubs that do not give the customer what they demand will struggle to survive.” Jim: He sees pubs being transformed and being so much more than just pubs. He predicted – “Take away - pubs start to deliver drinks to your home. You order online or phone in! Mini cinemas = showing classics and independent films and….Hair-pubs!" - pubs with hairdressers based in them, so that the whole hairdresser experience becomes so much more enjoyable!” Dougal: “We think the independents and the groups that deliver something different, something bespoke and train their staff well, are the ones who will win through because they're not following trends but adopting their own individual style and delivering a quality, personal service.” Mark: “Future bars are warm, earthy, natural, recycled, AUGUST 11 DRAM


as well.” Phil: “This shift from a one-size-fits all approach will also be reflected in the products that are served. The idea that you can stock one lager, one red, one white, ended some time ago and we’ll continue to see a diversification of the stock behind the bars. The rise of world beers will continue as will beers with lower ABVs. We’re hopeful that a more sensible approach to duty taxation may mean that lower strength drinks attract lower duty. But that might be more wishful thinking than a prediction. This shift into a more diversified stock should also help attract more women drinkers to the on-trade, this will be further encouraged by the new batch of drinks that are designed with women very much in mind, like Molson Coors’ new beer, Animee.” Euan: “Consumers will continue to seek out new things and variety. Cask Ale, foreign lagers and new products will take a growing share of the beer market.” Dougal: “The US has always been a reliable barometer for trends forecasting this side of the pond. The craft beer market there has skyrocketed over the last few years driven by a real consumer appetite for more interesting, flavorsome beers and you can see just how much this segment could influence the on-trade landscape in Britain in a matter of years. It’s already happening. In London

and Edinburgh, where we’re now selling Original on draught, the beer scene is really taking off with credible beer bars making their mark.” Ken: “Cask Ale and natural organic products will continue to prosper.”

TECHNICAL INNOVATIONS John: “Technical innovation will continue at pace. How can we introduce new equipment that can reduce energy costs for our customers. We will see a higher number of smaller hybrid outlets using mobile dispense equipment which no longer requires a cellar.” David: “I do expect to see some amazing technical developments, many of which probably haven’t even been thought of yet. Judging by the current levels of technological advancement, it’s likely we will all have very clever gadgets in our pockets which will do the job of car keys, credit cards, mobile phones, Satnav, MP3 players and PCs. You never know, this little gadget may even replace traditional menus and it may even include a thermometer, and a head gauge, but only a true professional will be able to pour the perfectly served pint of Guinness! For the industry, the best experiences will be from us embracing technology and mixing it with quality, service and our need for social interaction.” Phil: “The way customers pay will change dramatically and help make the pub drinking experience a better one. The number paying by cards has rocketed and that has had a fairly dire impact on how long people have to wait at the bar, but that could soon change. The introduction of mobile contactless payments and the roll out of the terminals in pubs and leisure venues across the country will, hopefully, herald quicker, more straightforward payments and less irate people forced to wait at the bar for a chip and PIN transaction to go through.” David/Innes: “Mobile phone Apps instead of e-mail, loyalty cards and vouchers. Mobile voucher technologies linked to EPOS and the above will give us more intelligence on our customers so enabling more effective direct marketing. Digital and interactive menus at tables instead of paper. CCTV facial recognition for unwelcome customers and VIP’s. Phone applications for menus, ordering and bill payments. Self service dispense areas. Interactive Multi Media/3G technology that can manipulate environments, music, lighting etc. Contactless Technology. Exclusive environments/ products controlled by voice recognition/thumbprint technology (VIP areas/Luxury Items)… (I ‘d love to be at Montpeliers brainstorming sessions!!)

Dougal: “Does the consumer really appreciate or want clever bar technologies or will they drink where they know they will get good choice and good service? So, the way we see it is that consumers are more interested in quality, substance and style rather than gimmicks.” Euan: “Pubs, restaurants and hotels will be cashless and will have a data base of all their “punters” that they can use to entice them into the outlet.” Mark: “Renewable products and low energy consumption are themes that will develop a collective social conscience.” Ken: “Already people are booking online, but this is going to get even more prevalent. There will also be more innovation in beer dispense, and cider dispense too.” Sue: “All of the above and self cleaning glasses – lipstick will disappear in a flash, dishwashers no longer required! Heating will come via decorative paint which will act as a heat conductors - (current development… honest!).”

CIDER John:“The cider category may end up looking very different in five years. The category has exploded in the last 10 years, firstly through cider over ice, and then flavoured ciders. There has been lots of new entrants. The future will be a much bigger cider market, with the growth coming in modern cider. Over time the big brands with very clear propositions such as Strongbow and Bulmer's will succeed.”

COMMUNICATION John: “How brand owners communicate with their consumers is going through radical change. The emergence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter is a huge paradigm shift. Every brand will rely much more heavily on their digital communication strategy. On trade outlets will also embrace it much more and the emergence of sites such as will have more relevance.” David: “Social networks, and digital technology are likely to help ‘guide’ us to a particular venue, and the recent Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project showed that people have an appetite for experiencing what is happening elsewhere in the world.” Phil:“Finally, in an industry that is seen as pretty traditional, it can be easy to forget that drinkers are increasingly going online to find reviews of bars and pubs, and to find out about what’s on. I expect that publicans will take a leaf out of hoteliers’ book – who have made Tripadvisor work for them. It’s an approach that could pay dividends. Engaging with customers online allows you to head off criticism if it arises, get feedback from drinkers direct so that you know what they want, and keep your customer updated on what you’re offering – whether its music, sport or food. The rise of ¬ DRAM AUGUST 11


WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS ¬ location based social networking like Facebook places and

to offer choice, not just in the range you stock but in the way it's served. At Molson Coors have already committed to rolling out 2/3rd pint glassware across all our brands and we’re expecting others to follow suit. Not only could this help cut irresponsible drinking but it could encourage more people to drink beer, as some drinkers can find a pint a bit over-facing.”

David/Innes: “The continued rise of social media will see other more traditional forms of advertising practically disappear.

David/Innes: “Variable ABV products and a much more Health conscious clientele. That’s if Licensing regulations don’t suffocate the industry!!

Foursquare is a great opportunity for publicans to drive footfall in a targeted and relevant way and with consumers more likely to trust peer-to-peer recommendations than any other form of marketing, the pub of the future needs to embrace social media to keep ahead of the game.”

Ken: “Loyalty cards and club cards are the way forward. The information gathered on your customers will enable far better communication, targeting the right offers to the right age of consumer, and the right occasion.”

Sue: ”Staff will have an inbuilt sensor on their uniforms which will gauge how much alcohol a customer has drunk. They will refuse everyone that has had more than 6 units!”



David/Innes: “The provenance of food and drink – Increased consumer knowledge and the demand for more detail and clarity on where and how food and drink is made and prepared. This will continue to drive demand for higher quality across the industry.

Mark: “Budgets for bar interiors will continue to be tighter than ever. We like to strip the building back to basics, retaining any original features and weaving the interior design scheme around this framework. Designers have to be more creative with their furniture selection. Finding one-off stand-out vintage pieces and restoring and re-upholstering them not only stretches the budget, it also creates an individual look and will sit alongside simple classics. The worldwide focus on sustainable issues will have an enormous effect on design.”

Ken: “A new updated form of "Gastropub" ...I .hate that term… will emerge. With M&S doing two meals for £10 and a bottle of wine, pubs offering food are going to have to ensure that what they offer can persuade people to leave their homes and come out to eat. The quality of food in pubs is only going to get better and chefs are going to use more fresh produce. Sales of coffee and non alcoholic items will continue to rise.” Euan: “Whilst good wet led “boozers” will continue to prosper having an excellent food, wine, soft drinks and coffee offering will become much more important for many pubs.” Phil: “The days of people being happy with a pint and a cheese sandwich are long behind us, a good and affordable food offer, coffee and snacks underpinned by professional customer service will get people choosing the pub more often.” Sue: ”Chefs will spend half the day working out how many calories are in their dishes, but the importance of good quality products, will be paramount.”

RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVES John:“Responsibility has to become more prominent within the industry. We will see the emergence of smaller serve glasses, lower ABV beers, and a commitment from Heineken to support the Responsibility Deal.” David: “It would also be great if we could look back as an industry and feel really proud about the things we have done working together with the Government to help address alcohol misuse in Scotland.” Phil:“In order to encourage more people back to the pub it's vital AUGUST 11 DRAM


Euan: “Giving people a reason to leave the comfort of their homes will be even more important. So the latest TV technology, cinema style viewing, great sound systems, a sense of community or an authentic pub atmosphere will be key.”

SECURITY David/Innes: “Policing being carried out by private companies as opposed to the Police. It is more than likely that our industry will have to pay for it!



David/Innes: “Government run Off Licences as per Norway that would allow them to charge whatever TAX they want and stick it back into the National Debt!” David/Innes: “Our government will finally collapse and be replaced by Tesco! They would do a better job! Maybe they will move in to running Prisons etc.” Jim: “Virtual reality pubs - in the winter you feel like you are sitting on a beach somewhere far away in the sun and in the summer (when we get one) you are in a cooler environment.” Sue: “Licensing Boards will be abandoned due to local authority cuts and pubs will be so well run that licences will be renewed automatically and free of charge! Licensed trade rates will finally not be determined on turnover but by size of premise, and supermarkets will no longer be allowed to advertise alcohol prices in newspapers or on TV.”





bumped into Captain Morgan recently and nearly did a jig with seconds – I’d love to see that – it might be world record the Kraken Hunter, if he hadn’t been so hot in his costume I’m – I’d be surprised if they could open the bottle in that sure he would have obliged. The occasion - our very own DRAM time! Awards. But the reason that I am bringing it up is perhaps the very Anyway, talking of parties another rum hit at the DRAM presence of these two brand ambassadors tells us something awards was The Kraken Hunter… he came, and nearly about why rum is still a favourite in Scotland’s pubs bars and clubs. died of heat exhaustion in a costume that was both Rum brands that put in the effort here reap the rewards. Now I fun and noticeable. The Kraken is a mythical sea have met Captain Morgan before – a few years ago now mind monster, and the old fashioned you… he hasn’t aged a bit! But now brand owner Diageo is not deep sea costume, carries on pussy footing about Captain Morgan’s Spiced is the name of the the theme. I would imagine brand, and our old favourite Morgan’s Spiced has to give way to that he would have also global influences. But not too worry the taste itself remains the been present at T in the same; it’s just the branding that is undergoing a transformation. Park, where Kraken Rum That’s why they have pulled the Captain back to promote the brand sponsored the cocktail – they say he is coke’s best wingman. He certainly wowed the bar. I’m sure some revellers ladies and the men at the DRAM Awards. may have thought that they The golden rum market is among the fastest growing sector, in the were imaging spirits business with value gushing ahead by almost 30% year on things… probably year, which shows that people are prepared to pay more for rum, not an unusual despite these recessionary times. The rum category alone has occurrence! seen a double digit sales rise over the past 12 months reflecting The Kraken Rum an ever increasing love affair with the tantalising tastes of both however is golden and spiced rums. ‘cracking’. It’s a A competitor to Captain Morgan is 19 Spiced, which strong, rich, black, according to the company behind it Malcolm Cowen, smooth 40% ABV rum packaged in a distinctive 70cl who are distributing the brand for Trinidad Victorian ‘flagon-style’ clear glass bottle. Ricky company Fernandes Distillers, performs well in Agnew of Marblehead fame and his team, blind taste tests against another who are distributing the brand in the UK, leading brand of spiced rum – are passionate about it. Ricky even now this could be Captain managed to get me drinking it Morgan’s, Sailor Jerry or straight, and it was lovely. It has a Lamb’s Spiced… you very strong vanilla flavour which would have to try it for makes it very versatile in cocktails yourself to see. I’d love as our cocktail bar entrants Ingredients to know what you proved. The winning cocktail • 35ml Brugal Añejo Rum think? from the boys at Bath Street • ½ fresh lime, squeezed The brand is a sister Pony was made with fennel – I • ½ shot agave syrup brand to VAT 19 couldn’t imagine what it would • 8 x fresh mint leaves another golden taste like, but it was • Good quality cubed ice rum (not to be unanimous – we all really • Splash Soda Water confused with enjoyed it. This cocktail Method VAT 69 – a session also proved how • Method Clap mint and drop in whisky). 19 important it is to get the right empty tall glass, add all other Spiced is to be brand in the right cocktail – when ingredients except soda water supported by Party we visited the Blythswood to taste and gently muddle, add ½ Nights, a new web Mal Spence’s masterpiece, the lime with cubed ice and site and by trade poor bartender was nearly struck churn well to infuse shows. dumb… because there was no Kraken flavours, top with fresh And they are looking for and then the rum he did make the crushed ice and licensees up for hosting a 19 cocktail with, just didn’t work. A return visit soda water. Spiced Party Night. They are remedied this, but still the Fennel cocktail and also running a cocktail competition that of Bond No 9, which included seaweed, were 19 mixologists making 19 cocktails in 19 imaginative and incredibly tasty, and just edged ahead. ¬

Brugal Skinny Mojito



RUM’S BIG PERSONALITY Kraken Perfect Storm

doesn’t come through heralding a new launch, or expression. For instance Maxxium UK announced the launch of Brugal Blanco Especial in the UK last month. They say it is one of the cleanest and purest rums every produced because it is made from Ingredients golden rum that has been double distilled. It’s • 50ml The Kraken Black Spiced Rum the first ever white rum the Brugal Maestros • 25ml lime juice Roneros have ever created. • 5ml sugar syrup No doubt this white rum will be competing • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters with Bacardi, which is the most popular • Ginger beer rum in Scotland, by a long chalk. Even if Method Brugal can take a small percentage of the • Fill a highball glass with lots of ice. Bacardi market it will be doing well. After Add 50 ml of The Kraken Black all around half a million people in Scotland Spiced Rum and 25ml of lime drink Bacardi! They may not realise they juice, 5ml of sugar syrup and 2 are drinking rum thou’! Brugal, no doubt dashes of Angostura aromatic is aiming at a slightly more discerning bitters. Stir well and top up drinker. I would imagine that they are with ginger beer. Garnish hoping that bar owners who have with a lime wedge, customers that are going the premium crushed ice and route will opt to have Brugal Blanco as soda water. their pouring white rum. Angostura rum has also had a facelift. It’s super premium Angostura 1919 and Angostura 1824 both have a new look bottle as well as new labelling and packaging. The new packaging offers a ¬ In fact since the awards a number of bar owners have contacted bespoke, iconic decanter and exquisite, specially commissioned me asking where they can get the The Kraken. So it obviously went original artwork which features on the neck label and gift carton. down well. Inspired by Trinidad and Tobago, the artwork Commenting on the potential for the brand incorporates national elements including: the here, Dave Steward of Marblehead says “The “THE KRAKEN WAS scarlet ibis, the national bird of Trinidad & Kraken was launched in the States by New Tobago, taking pride of place on the nations Jersey-based Proximo Spirits last year and LAUNCHED IN THE coat of arms; the ship, symbolic of discovery; has really taken off – it’s been a huge STATES BY NEW JERSEYthe sugar cane in arrow, signalling the phenomenon in both the USA and Canada BASED PROXIMO SPIRITS ripening of the sugar cane; the dancer, the and we’re confident that it will replicate that LAST YEAR AND HAS REALLY TAKEN OFF – IT’S joyous spirit of Trinidad and Tobago; and the success here. butterflies, numerous in variety and as “With the growing consumer interest in rum, BEEN A HUGE colourful as the rainbow people of La Trinity. It there is a real opportunity for us to introduce PHENOMENON IN BOTH sounds like a perfume bottle to me! a product which is distinctively different from THE USA AND CANADA Also landing in Scotland this month is Pink everything else in the market and which has AND WE’RE CONFIDENT Pigeon. I love the packaging. Black and pink, both intrinsic product quality and a fresh, THAT IT WILL REPLICATE very classy - and each bottle is hand finished energetic and fun personality. THAT SUCCESS HERE” with a ribbon, ring and wax. It definitely tickles “The Kraken has a story to tell, it tastes good my fancy. It’s the first super premium, spiced and the packaging will have strong appeal to Dave Steward, rum from the Island of Mauritius (I’ll probably those who want to experiment. It is the first Marblehead have to pop along to The Ivy to sample it) but dark rum to break the mould, and we believe if it tastes as good as it looks, I’m sure it too it will play a major role in redefining the rum will go down a storm with rum lovers. Its description is also quite market in the UK.” exotic “It is blended with hand-pollinated and hand-picked natural I read an article by an American journalist (just from the tail end of vanilla from Madagascar and Reunion Islands.” Unusually this rum last year) who claimed that there was little rum innovation in the is also available in a Magnum, I just hear the posh guys at Tiger market. I nearly choked. Maybe that’s the case in the US, but when Lily ordering it... “A Magnum of Pink Pigeon”… the next trend? it comes to the UK, hardly a day goes by when a press release AUGUST 11 DRAM








magine a country pub – all white, with lovely hanging baskets, and a great outdoor terrace…inside quirky memorabilia, stone walls, a fire, comfy seats, and defined areas for lounging, eating and relaxing, serving quality food with great service… that’s the Birds and the Bees in Stirling. It really is the perfect example of a quality country pub. The twist in the tale is that it is not really in the country but almost bang in the middle of Stirling. It recently picked up the DRAM Gastro Pub of the year title and it’s not hard to see why. Owner Ross Henderson and wife Michelle are delighted with the accolade. Over the last few years they have concentrated on improving the quality of the food on offer and their efforts have certainly paid off. Today the Birds and the Bees serves some 1,500 meals a week, with a great majority repeat business. This has brought this establishment to a turnover of around £1m. Says Ross, “Last year was our best year ever.” He puts much of the recent success down to the quality of the food. He says, “I think if we were just a pub, we would have not been so successful. Some of our customers come three or four times a week and they are coming for the food, so we have to keep the menu interesting.” He continues, “We have fresh deliveries every day, and we order a lot of fish. We also use Aberdeen Angus beef, and source from Scottish suppliers when we can. Everything is fresh except for our chips and scampi. I actually think scampi is best frozen!” The Birds and the Bees has certainly come a long way since Ross bought the business back in 1983. (Prior to that he had worked in the family clothing business). The

premises themselves have been developed and are now almost four times the original size. Ross explains, “When I bought the Birds and the Bees it was a bar and over the years I have developed it, in fact I really don’t think we could get planning for any more development. Today it is more of a venue than a pub. We do funerals, weddings, christenings, it’s still a local for the locals, and we also have exercise classes and business meetings.” Says wife Michelle, “We make use of every part of the building and we are continually re-investing. We have just built a new deck and patio area, and we are always adding pieces of bric-a-brac. Our customers do notice when we add things. You have to reinvest. People get bored if you let it get tired.” She adds, “The look of the pub really matters. Tourists come here and take lots of photographs. It’s also got a great atmosphere. I wanted to create a pub where I would take my family, and this is it.” Michelle met hubby Ross in the pub when she worked there as a waitress. Today she has a very hands on approach to the business, while managing her other role as mum to four children! And as Ross explains her involvement has been instrumental in the success of the business. He says, “Michelle was the best thing that ever happened to me. When she got more involved with the business it definitely added a new dimension to what we were doing. She made it more appealing to couples and families.” She was also there to guide the business when Ross was ill a decade ago. A hereditary problem meant at the tender age of 39, he had to undergo a triple heart by-pass, a ¬



THE PERFECT PARTNERSHIP ¬ procedure unfortunately he is about to undergo again.

Pictured below: one of the birds and bees longest inhabitants now screwed to the ground. The lounge area one of the extensions and it’s function suite and newly developed sun terrace/beer garden.

However, Ross also believes that if it hadn’t been for his illness he may have been less inclined to grow and invest as much in the Birds and the Bees, and have been likely tried to replicate the success of the pub elsewhere. Says Michelle, “We would have had a lot more places if the health problem hadn’t kicked in. But it also meant that we didn’t spread ourselves too thinly. In fact I was running another business before I decided to focus on this business.“ She continues, “We wouldn’t have been able to develop our business without the support of the staff. They have been great and some of them have been here for years. In fact we sent our chef Raymond, and one of our front of house team Emma, to pick up the DRAM Award, and we sat at the table grinning from ear to ear.” The couple actively market the Birds and the Bees. Last year for the first time they invited travel companies to use the venue. Says Michelle, “We have found that travel companies also want to put clients into places that are not just function rooms. They want a bit of atmosphere. Last year we made a few mistakes, but this year, touch wood, it has all gone smoothly. We now have 14 travel companies using the Birds and the Bees, and the tour guides and bus drivers come back and use the place with their own friends and family.” She continues, “The internet has been a positive influence on the business, as was the smoking ban. We have definitely benefitted from it with more families coming out to eat. Perhaps in the past they were reluctant to bring children in to smoky atmospheres.” Ross adds, “We also support local events, and take ads in programmes and such like. But we no longer do wee ads, now we take full pages around four times a year. I think this makes more of an impact.” Although Ross no longer serves pints, he is still happy to lend a hand doing whatever needs to be done. Says Ross,



“If there is an issue with the toilets then it will be me sorting it out! However, the Birds and the Bees is not his only business. He is also involved in property development. But he wouldn’t describe himself as an entrepreneur. Says Ross, “What’s that?” He continues, “I’m a businessman. I love wheeling and dealing. I’ve made some money, and I’ve lost money. I sold a chunk of land at Gleneagles, and made a lot of money, then I re-invested it and 20 minutes later the recession hit. But that’s what investing is all about. I got interested in property to make money, and we did, particularly at the height of the property boom. It really took off. Although right now we’ve a land bank that might embarrass Cala! His business partner on the property side is another man who is no stranger to the licensed trade – Lee Doyle. In fact the two are now actively looking for other licensed trade businesses to buy and develop. Says Ross, “We own the Inn at Kippen but lease it out, and we would like to have another two or three places. We wouldn’t want anything in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen but we have been looking at hotels. Ideally the idea is to buy places that we could develop.” However, first of all he needs that new operation, which will take place in August. Says Ross, “It is just one of these things. My family has been fantastic. The best thing I ever did was marry Michelle. She has been there through the worst times and the best times, and now I need her to do it all over again. When it happened 10 years ago we looked at our lives and did everything that we could to lead a more healthy existence. But it has come back. It does make you appreciate your family more – business is business, but going home to see the kids is what really matters. “ And with that he touches a wee bracelet around his ankle. He says, “One of the kids put it on when we were in Portugal recently. It’s my hospital good luck charm, and I’m not taking it off.”




Thomas Johnstone Limited wishes to congratulate Sean Henry and all of his team on their dedication to this iconic building, and is delighted to include The Douglas Hotel into our portfolio of hospitality and leisure projects. The experience and expertise of our in-house divisions represent a genuine “one-stop-shop”. Building, Fitout, M&E Services, Decoration, Design Development, Manufacturing and All Trade FM Support can act independently, or combine seamlessly, to deliver a wide array of projects to meet your individual needs. From the new build Hotel du Vin (Edinburgh), to the extension and creation of The Blythswood Hotel and Edinburgh’s Tigerlily, the refurbishment of Radisson Blu (Glasgow) to the fit-out of Indigo Hotel, and from full FF&E packages to bespoke bars and reception desks, we are proud of our track record and reputation for consistently high quality. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any current or future requirements you may have. SPECIALIST FIT-OUT CONTRACTOR CONTRACTOR WITH SUPPORT DIVISIONS










he day I visited Arran was glorious, and my visit to the new Douglas Hotel blew me away. The hotel, which re-opened in May after being closed for a few years, is only a stroll from the ferry terminal at Brodick. This building has been a hotel since the 1830’s, and in its heyday was one of the places to be seen in Arran. Over the last decade the hotel had fallen into disrepair, that was until Sean Henry, a former resident of Arran, decided to restore the old lady and bring her bang up to date. It was a mammoth task, which took almost two years. Today the hotel is a testament to Sean’s vision, and that of Pascal and Olga van den Broek, the hotel managers, and architects David Macmillan and Kirsty Lee of Tektonika Architects. Not forgetting the main contractors, Thomas Johnstone, says Pascal, “Thomas Johnstone were fantastic. So much so, I wouldn’t have any hesitation in recommending them, and would definitely use them again.” The imposing red sandstone Victorian building, which overlooks the harbour, from the front looks much the same today as it did 150 years ago, but that’s probably the only thing that hasn’t changed. The rear of the building is brand new, but it sympathetically blends in with the old. Says Pascal, “We wanted to keep its Victorian authenticity , but modernise it too, and give it a completely contemporary look. But we also wanted to remain true to our island heritage, that’s why we have brought the colours from outside in.” Says Pascal “The fabrics are fabulous and were supplied by Guardian. The grey mistiness of the island is reflected in the pale grey walls, while the heathery and natural blues, greys and greens, used throughout the hotel, which has amazing views across the bay from most of the rooms, including the kitchen, brings the outside in. As you walk up the hill towards the hotel, its sweeping lawn, and large terrace draws you in. The entrance which houses the hotel reception is immediately on your left and features an antique reception desk. Throughout the hotel there are some stunning

pieces of Victorian furniture, which actually add interest to what is otherwise a very contemporary interior. As you look beyond the reception you can see past the hotel lift, and original staircase, to the bistro/restaurant at the opposite side of the hotel. The effect of using wood flooring all the way through gives an impression of scale, and makes you want to continue along the passage to the bistro/restaurant, but first you come to the whisky bar. The whisky bar is a modern area, which several large whisky barrels, and this theme is carried through to the floor, which looks as if it was made from whisky barrel struts. It also features some sporting memorabilia, including (slightly incongruous ) a framed American hockey shirt! This Pascal told me belonged to a friend of ¬



¬ Sean’s, an American Olympic Hockey player. There’s

also stag antlered light fittings. Explains Pascal, “Brodick Castle is just across the water and it has 98 stag heads, so this was our nod to Brodick Castle.” He continues, “We didn’t want a traditional lounge bar. We took into account that the majority of people who visit Arran do so for the hillwalking, golf and cycling. So we have made this bar accessible to these visitors but at the same time provided a bar that locals are comfortable with.” The bar area itself is slightly unusual. It straddles both the whisky bar and the bistro/restaurant. And customers can’t walk around it. Says Pascal, “It allows us to serve both the bar area and the restaurant at the same time.” The bar area features bistro style tables, posing tables and sofas too, making it a comfortable place for a coffee, bite of lunch or afternoon tea. While at night it takes on the persona of a bar. It also has a snug area complete with dart board. Says Pascal, “That was a request from the boss, and I was happy to oblige.” You have to go out of the bar and back along the corridor to the restaurant and it certainly has the wow factor. The original dining room, is now almost unrecognisable. The floor has been raised so the room is now on one level, and two-thirds of the room appears to be slightly more formal, than the right hand side, which has tiled Moroccan-style floor, a 12-seater rustic oblong table and an amazing view of the bay. This is where guests can enjoy breakfast. The left hand side of the room has a wooden floor, modern rosewood furniture, white walls and the main wall features framed pictures of Arran from days gone by, including a bill from the old Douglas Hotel. Huge lampshades in the darkest of blues, complete the look. This area also features a door out into a further large terraced area, which provides a sheltered area to relax either before or after dinner. To the left there are wooden French windows which take you through to a small room which Pascal describes as the Piano Room – it features an antique baby grand, an Italian style tiled floor, black velvet armchairs, and dumpy stools with a glorious modern chandelier and bespoke lamps. It’s just not what you expect – this too leads out to a terrace, but this time at the front of the hotel. By this time I was expecting quality rooms, and I wasn’t disappointed. The doors to the 21 bedrooms are heavy white wood panelled affairs, they look quite cottagey, but the rooms are anything but. From the luxurious deep pile, pale grey carpets, which are plain in all the public areas and rooms, to the king-sized beds, modern tartan throws, fluffy towels, and antique furniture mixed with contemporary, and plasma’s. The rooms and bathrooms are not fussy, but feel luxurious, and they are all of a good size. Ground floor rooms without a view, have doors out to a contained garden area, while rooms to the front have the most amazing views of Arran, and the Penthouse suite has a balcony area which you could host a cocktail party on. There is nothing ordinary about this hotel, from the pane of glass in the stairwell, to the modern recessed lights, fabrics, and the lovely touches with the mix of contemporary and Victorian classic furniture. One other touch, which was great to see, was substantial windows in the kitchen. The chefs have the same view as the guests. Here’s hoping they don’t get too distracted! AUGUST 11 DRAM




i Maggio’s footprint in Scotland is a lot bigger now that Amarone in Edinburgh is serving up a slice of Italy in a former bank on Edinburgh’s St Andrews Square. The 215cover bar/restaurant is vast in size, and dwarfs its sister restaurant in Glasgow. What also sets Edinburgh apart is its corner position and the fact it’s on the ground floor (Amarone Glasgow is in a basement) – plus it’s a grade A-listed building with built-in WOW factors, including beautiful big original windows, and giant dome in the ceiling with little porthole windows. In other words there was a wealth of gems in the building before CM Design Consultants got its teeth into the brief from Di Maggio’s coowners Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta, who earmarked £1M for the refurbishment. Mark Brunjes of CM commented, “The building dates back to the 1930s and has many terrific original features so, naturally, this greatly influenced how we approached the design. The brief was to further develop the brand concept of Amarone Glasgow, with key features such as the colour-changing lighting and wood-burning pizza oven. Although we’ve also included a few custom-made additions for Amarone Edinburgh.” The entrance to the restaurant is just to the right of the main entrance to an office block in the Capitol Building, which houses several businesses on its upper floors, and counts itself as one of the tallest buildings in the capital. Being right on the corner, there are three parts to Amarone in all – the bar and two restaurant areas, with covers split between 50 in the former and 165 in the latter. From the outside, the bar is on the right-hand side of the corner, and a part of the restaurant on the left-hand side. The first thing that strikes you is the bar, which runs right along the far wall, with a shiny mirrored back bar with wooden wine racks that run all the way up to the ceiling, and pinkish-grey marble top. Black and pink is a theme that runs throughout the rest of Amarone, notably the large circular lightshades (black on the outside with a pink silk inlay) and the black velour seating with tiny

RGH BY JASON CADDY pink flecks, providing continuity with Amarone Glasgow. This area has a cream tiled floor, and the walls, in keeping with the rest of the design, are painted light cream, and there are high tables for larger groups with marble tops to match the bar. You can perch at the bar and around the tables on sturdy, and extremely comfy, stools upholstered in black and pink velour material. Next to the bar is a wood burning pizza oven surrounded by a Porcelanosa slate effect wall, which is fast becoming a bit of a Di Maggio trademark. On the wall opposite are black and white pictures of Italy. Photographer Paul Zanre’s work hangs throughout the restaurant. He snapped Verona, Lake Garda and the wine regions of Amarone on his travels. Moving beyond the bar and pizza oven and you’re into perhaps the most impressive part of Amarone – the first part of the 165-cover restaurant. The domed ceiling is made up of lots of little circular windows, like portholes, so light streams in by day. By night, there are four lights trained on the ceiling, and the all the colours of the spectrum are projected onto it, changing very gradually every few minutes. Hanging from the ceiling are several huge white mobiles, made from fairly thin strands of cord, and reminiscent of jelly fish in the sea, especially when the lights turn bluish-green. Unsurprisingly this is what prompts the most comments from customers and it’s the part of the restaurant Tony and Mario are most proud of. Below are black ash tables and chairs, and on the walls there are more mounted vistas of Italian landscapes and sporting milestones, like Italy’s national squad celebrating its 2008 World Cup win. An entire wall has also been devoted to coloured Murano blown glass figures and vases, which, according to GM Michael Prior, were imported from Italy. There are vases, and some multicoloured fish, and the theme extends to above the coffee machine, in the form of a lone blown glass cockerel. “It’s a lucky mascot from Tony’s mother!” says Michael. The floor in this area is wooden the walls are cream apart from a bit of walnut panelling at the base, ¬

Best Wishes to Amarone Edinburgh and BrewDog Glasgow Contact Mark Brunjes on 0141 341 0313 or

Amarone, Edinburgh

BrewDog, Glasgow

Amarone, Edinburgh

Designers of Amarone / Antipasti / BrewDog / Bocadillo Barbarossa / Di Maggios / Esca / Epicures of Hyndland Ingram Wynd / Glenskirlie Castle & House / Kember & Jones Kudos / Lebowskis / The Merchant Hotel / Macsorleys / Sonny & Vito The Buttery / The Italian Kitchen / The Italian Caffe / TwoFatLadies / Zucca

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2011 - Shortlisted Scottish Design Awards 2008, 09 and 2011 - Finalist

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¬ and some mirrors which are tilted at an angle to give the effect of

even more space. Not that this is in any way necessary, as the ceiling is so high and it’s so bright you could almost be outside. Up a few steps, almost coming back around on yourself and you’re in what CM design dubbed the St Andrews elevation, because it commands fantastic views across St Andrews Square on the opposite corner to the bar. It’s a bit plusher than the rest of Amarone, thanks to the thick grey carpet, black leather banquettes and those huge black and pink lightshades. This area has many of the buildings original features, and the majority of the huge grey pillars, which look a bit like trees. There were also some structural changes made here. Explains Mark Brunjes, “A fire exit meant that one of the windows had been blocked, but we were able to move the exit elsewhere, and open up the window. As well as making a tremendous difference to the light and the view it also balances out with the number of windows on the bar side of the corner.” Even more black and white pictures cover the walls in here, plus mirrors and pictures that have been blown up and mounted, so every corner is busy with design. I also want to mention the large ‘A’ that hangs in each of the windows, in sympathy with the original design and can be illuminated at night. There’s also a glimpse of an original internal stained glass window in the above property, which can be glimpsed through a glass hole in the wall, but the best clues to Amarone’s past life lurk in the basement. Through the door marked toilets opposite the oven, an original green metal spiralled staircase takes you down to the basement where there are other original features like the cast iron walk-in safe door, plus a smaller combination hatch safe. The kitchens are located down here as are the toilets. And these have been decorated in rich copper tones, square sinks and taps and lots of posh hand wash and moisturiser. The design has capitalised on the versatility of the building, and each of the three spaces has its own unique appeal. Satelliet-Browns are proud to be furniture suppliers to the latest Di Maggio Group venue Amarone, Edinburgh. AUGUST 11 DRAM








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hen Di Maggio’s bosses Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta decided to retire L’Ariosto in Glasgow and re-open it as Barolo Grill, they knew they’d encounter some resistance. The well loved Italian restaurant had been part of the brickwork on Mitchell Street for generations, attracting many devotees along the way. Operations manager Chris Finnieston explains, “L’Ariosto was well known for its dinner dances, which ran for years. But we are not running them at Barolo. Some of the regulars are feeling a bit lost, so they took a bit of warming to the idea of Barolo, but now everybody can’t help but be bowled over by what we’ve done.” The £500K refurbishment, which was designed by Iain McLeod at Studio Mac Design, has totally changed the restaurant, but really only the bar has moved. The designers have worked wonders with the odd shape of the place, and replaced its gloomy interior with a much airier, but still cosy, feel. This has been achieved through a mixture of ceiling lights, a mural, a mirror and rich colours and tones. Structural changes have been minor, apart from the bar which has moved, the male and female toilets have also been switched, to make the latter bigger, which makes more sense. There are still a few familiar items from L’Ariosto, most notably the silver fronted fridges – a real classic design – and the huge mirror. It used to hang behind the bar, but after a buff up, it now hangs in the restaurant. There are a few other constants too in the new design, but the floor is not one of them. Instead of carpet the entire floor features cream terrazzo tiles throughout. The walls are a combination of exposed brick and various stylish wall coverings in browns and copper/burnt orange tones, and the lighting is as miscellaneous. The bar is now on the left as you enter. It’s a classic design with grey marble top, and plain cherry oak wooden back bar made up of wine racks. Above the bar are some fantastic lamp shades, which are thin cone shapes, made from a plastic that has been moulded to look like honeycomb. All the components here mesh together exceptionally well. Back to the entrance, and immediately to the right is a seating area incorporating booths where the bar used to be. The booths have

been upholstered in squidgy brown leather, there is exposed brick cladding on the wall and, again, some talking point lighting. It’s essentially a black see-through material draped over a frame, and wouldn’t look out of place at a séance. Chris explained that these lights have split opinion, and that they are still undecided on whether they will remain a permanent fixture. They are one of four lighting designs and, I have to say, I think that they look smart. This area houses an equally stylish mirror along the wall opposite the window. It’s a mosaic of lots of different shaped mirrors fused together as one, across the entirety of the wall opposite the window. And this is the only area that benefits from any natural light. At the bar, and just beyond, remains narrow, as right opposite are the toilets, before it opens out into the main area of the restaurant – with booths along either side. On top of what separates each booth from the next is an ornately-etched rectangle of glass, lit from within, and these really come into their own in the evening. Above the booths hangs lighting design number three. Black chandeliers, some with mini-shades over candle-shaped bulbs, and further into Barolo, there’s a variation on the same theme,



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¬ although this time they’re encased in a white cylindrical shade.

Again, the jury’s still out on whether or not to make them all one way or the other. Personally, I’m all for diversity, and think the contrasting designs look great. Then we’re at the heart of restaurant which also boasts a central island area of banquette seating, with the same illuminated partitions and brown leather upholstery. And the ceiling has painted glass recesses with lights behind them. These can be dimmed or brightened according to the time of day. Right at the very end of this area is a wood-burning pizza oven, which certainly adds a dramatic kick to Barolo, and the flames are noticeable as soon as you’re in the door. Explains Chris, “It had to be a certain height because we wanted the flames to be visible from the doorway and it always attracts positive comments from customers.” Along the wall to the right is a giant mural of Barolo Castle and the pretty wine village of Piedmont, in sympathetic burnt orange and copper tones. A photographer was also dispatched to this picturesque part of Italy, and his work is on display all over the restaurant in the form of black and white framed photos. Beyond here, right at the back, is the area where the L’Ariosto tea dances used to take place. This area can now stand alone for private dining or corporate functions, as it has plasma screens and a surround-sound system, or it can simply be annexed by the restaurant. It‘s design is characterised by some interesting cream wallpaper with a ribbon design, all very tastefully done. There are also illuminated wine racks embedded in the back wall, which is panelled in darkish wood. And, as always, I popped my head into the facilities to finish, but they were in darkness. In his eagerness to display the dimmed ceiling lights, Chris had knocked out the loo lights by mistake. But at the flick of a switch, all was remedied, and the loos were as immaculate as elsewhere, with a plain classic cream tile and wood interior. With Amarone in Edinburgh opening at roughly the same time, Mario and Tony have had a lot of plates in the air recently. But no corners were cut with this design, there’s nothing rushed about it either. The design is thoughtful, stylish and quite ingenious in places.

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lasgow is one of the UK’s best-value cities, according to a survey by TripAdvisor, which launched its inaugural cost-comparison index (Trip Index), with the news. What I love is that the researchers based their evidence on the combined cost of one night at a four-star hotel, a pizza, a dry martini and a five-mile taxi journey. Why a dry martini? It’s not exactly the most popular drink in Glasgow or for that matter around the country. Why not a glass of wine, or a vodka and coke? The cash total in Glasgow came to £131.40, while the bill in Edinburgh was £174.01, so obviously it isn’t just the taxi’s that are more expensive there.


I read recently that in Switzerland they turn the day time Lido’s (swimming pools) into bars/clubs at night ie the Barefoot bar. No they don’t drain the pool, instead they set up the bar around the poolside and very civilised drinkers enjoy their evening al fresco. Can you imagine if that was in Scotland …you would need pool attendants to ensure that folk didn’t go for a swim! Writing in the Express Jimmy Young has picked up on the fact that Richard Smith, the former editor of the British Medical Journal and his cronies simply, ‘plucked the figures out of the air” when it came to determining the recommended weekly alcohol limits in 1987. I’ve been writing about this for years! However maybe there is now some progress. A Commons Science and Technology Committee is to examine the evidence behind the current British

guidelines…and will compare them, to for instance, Italy – which allows a bottle of wine more a week; Spain and Ireland which allow two glasses of wine more, and New Zealand and Japan which allow half a bottle of wine more. I still can’t believe that our alcohol health policy is based around figures ‘plucked from the air!” Cameron House are now offering a Whisky Afternoon Tea aimed at men. Perhaps before they do this they should get their ‘Champagne afternoon tea’s sorted. My mother recently received a gift of champagne afternoon tea in the Whisky Bar at Cameron House – a beautiful view was promised. Instead, despite pre-booking, the Whisky Bar was closed when they got there. They were seated in another area which had no window, but they didn’t feel that this did the gift justice so decided to go back another day. Another date was fixed. Yes, they got their window seat, and after a wait of half an hour, champagne, which they had to go to the bar to ask for. This was despite the fact that the waiter was the same person who had been on the last time they came, so you might have thought he would have given them extra attention, after all this was their return visit! It fell far short of a five-star experience in all aspects. It would put me off buying someone a gift like this, no one wants give a less than perfect experience! Billy Lowe has bought The Hudson in Edinburgh – this now means that he has managed a pincer

movement on his pal David’s outlets. Sandwiched between Le Monde and the Hudson are Tigerlily, Opal Lounge and Rick’s. There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the two, both keen golfers, are lobbying for George Street to be turned into a pitch and putt! Congratulations to Martin Wishart. His latest venture The Honours, which opened its doors last month, is proving a hit with diners. Before it opened it had 1,200 bookings, and since the opening diners have raved about it. A review by critic Richard Bath in the Scotsman began, “If you're lucky enough to get a seat at Martin Wishart's new brasserie, The Honours, then cancel everything else and go. I haven't enjoyed a meal more in years. The same seemed to go for all those around us. The Honours has all the makings of a runaway success.” The last six months have taken some well known operators out of the Scottish pub frame. First of all Jimmy Marr’s Estate went down, for the second time in the last few years; and more recently Castle Leisure Group called in the administrators, followed closely by Festival Inns and Bradley Stevens who had St Jude’s and Bar Soba. In American these business set backs would be looked on as pretty normal – after all Donald Trump went bust and look at where he is now. No business is without risk, and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of this year’s administration cases, but I am sure some of the operators will bounce back in another guise.

OBITUARY MARK GOLDINGER Mark Goldinger tragically lost his battle with Glioblastoma last month. He was diagnosed with stage four of the condition in December last year, and is survived by wife Cathi, and his children Ben and Rebecca. Throughout his career Mark shunned the spotlight, despite being the creative force behind many of Glasgow’s most successful clubs – including Bunker and Bamboo. Mark’s business partner and friend Brian McIlvaney says, “What I will miss most about him is his humour. He was a shy man until you got to know him, but once you did, you got to see how funny he was. He had a dry wit, and he was also incredibly sharp. In the twelve years that we worked together, we never had a cross word. He did prefer to work behind the scenes and wasn’t particularly showy. “ Despite the inoperable nature of his condition, it was able to be managed for a while with intensive radiotherapy, and Mark continued working throughout, and enjoyed a family holiday in Italy just six weeks before he passed away. Mark began working with Peter Stringfellow in London after AUGUST 11 DRAM


graduating from Leeds University. He then went on to work with Ron McCulloch, and together they opened Henry Afrikas in Glasgow in the 80s, before buying Fat Sam’s in Dundee. Then he and Ron McCulloch opened Club Cuba in Spain, which was managed by Colin Barr. A stint with Stefan King in the Queen Street club Archaos followed, where he met Brian McIlvaney, with whom he went on to open Trash, The Temple and The Shack, and latterly Bamboo and Bunker. But, according to Brian, his first love was music. He explains, “He was a trained saxophonist and always had a musical influence in his life. He managed a house music band called the Nightcrawlers, as well as running two music labels. He can add two fantastic film scores to his tremendous legacy – Rain, with Neve Campbell, which is currently in production, and a film called Anuvahood.” Mark Goldinger may have been the “quiet man of clubs”, but he will be remembered for his warmth, and genuine love for the industry. by Jason Caddy

PRODUCTS 01 HIGHLAND PARK MAGNUS The long-awaited and much anticipated third, and final, edition in Highland Park’s Magnus Series has now been released. Earl Haakon continues the story from the Orkney Inga Saga but reflects the darker, more sinister character by bringing the murderous cousin into the spotlight. Highland Park Earl Haakon adopts the character of its namesake through 18 year old cask strength single malt giving a character-busting ABV of 54.9%. This Orcadian beast encapsulates the spirit of Haakon, a true berserker and warrior, to capture the depth of flavour of Highland Park’s multi-award wining 18 year old but adding a new dimension achieved through one vatting. With only 3,300 bottles available worldwide, this third edition is set to sell out in record time and build on the success of both Earl Magnus and Saint Magnus. The Earl Haakon bottle is entirely black glass, made in the same historic way as the previous two bottlings, and is presented in an open black wood window wooden gift box.


02 DRAMBUIE 15YO Drambuie has just launched Drambuie 15 yo. A connoisseurs expression of Drambuie drawn from the Company's finest selection of 15 Year Old Speyside Malts. Selected for their soft complex fragrance and flavour, the rare Speyside Malts ideally complement and balance the herbs and spicy aromas of Drambuie's famed secret recipe.Drambuie 15 has a velvet soft mouth feel with a tang of lemongrass and warming malty notes, berries and heather. A finish of shortbread, fresh herbs and the unmistakable long afterglow of the Drambuie elixir results in a refined, drier expression, perfect for sipping and savouring either neat or over ice. G&J Greenall owner De Vere Group, has sold for the UK’s oldest gin company for £7.5m to a new private equity vehicle which has been formed to buy the business, led by Enzo Visone, the ex-chief executive of Italian beverage group Gruppo Campari and former investment banker Warren Scott. Greenall revenues during 2010 were £46m. De Vere Group will now concentrate on its its core hotel and venue business. De Vere chairman Andrew Coppel said, “We decided to sell because we have been seeking to dispose of our non-core business. The company, which is led by chief executive Christian Rose, distils gin and vodka under its own brands and for clients including Bombay Sapphire and theUK’s largest supermarkets. Greenall produces 70% of the UK's gin and exports around the world. DRAM AUGUST 11






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The Bowmore Ben Nevis challenge Fundraiser ¬ took place recently the Grand Central Hotel, ahead of the 20th August event. Just some of the guests are pictured after enjoying a whisky tasting with Iain McCallum, Master of Malts.

ROUNDUP NEW GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE BALMORAL IN EDINBURGH Franck Arnold has been appointed general manager of The Balmoral in Edinburgh. Mr Arnold, who starts this month, takes over from Ivan Artolli who was recently promoted to director of operations for the group’s properties in the UK, Belgium and Eastern Europe. Mr Arnold joins The Balmoral from The Jefferson Hotel in Washington DC, where as managing director, he oversaw an extensive renovation of the property. And prior to taking up his post in Washington, Arnold, who hails from Strasbourg in France, was hotel manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Says, Ivan Artolli,: “In Franck, we have a seasoned hotelier who brings with him a blend of luxury hospitality expertise and operational experience. I am confident that under his guidance, The Balmoral will continue to prosper as Edinburgh’s leading five-star hotel. ”

MARK BAIRD IS THE NEW CHAIR OF THE FIFE LICENSED TRADE ASSOCIATION Mark Baird, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Diageo Great Britain (GB), has been appointed Chair of the Fife Licensed Trade Association. The role, which will last for two years, will involve championing the cause on the on-trade in Fife. Mark will be assisted by Martin Earls. Says Mark, “Not only does this give us the opportunity to further demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the licensed trade in Scotland but also shows our commitment to Fife where we are the second largest employer and following our current expansion plans will employ over a thousand people at Cameronbridge Distillery and Leven Packaging Plant. While Sandy Haxton, President of the Fife Licensed Trade Association, said, “Diageo plays an important part in the economy of Fife and Mark and Martin's experience will be invaluable in continuing to develop the Association's role within Fife".

KING TAKES UP DOUBLE TREE ROLE Natasha King has joined the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane as restaurant manager of The Kailyard by Nick Nairn. With more than seven years of experience within the industry, King joins the team having previously held a similar role at The One Restaurant in Glasgow's Crowne Plaza hotel. She is now responsible for the running all of the restaurant operations on a day-to-day basis, King will also work alongside celebrated TV chef Nick Nairn to maintain the Kailyard's reputation for producing simple dishes from locally sourced ingredients.

DRAM DRINKS RETAILING AND MARKETING PUBLISHED BY MEDIA WORLD LIMITED UPPER FLOOR / FINNIESTON HOUSE / 1 THE STABLES YARD / 1103 ARGYLE STREET / GLASGOW / G3 8ND t. 0141 221 6965 e. web. Editor: Susan Young • Chairman: Noel Young • Production Manager: James Devlin • Advertising Executive: Martin Cassidy • Editorial: Jason Caddy • Administration: Cheryl Cooke Published by Media World Ltd. Subscriptions: DRAM is available by subscription for all other qualified persons involved in the Scottish Licensed Trade at the rate of £48 per annum including the DRAM Yearbook. The publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. Any transparencies or artwork will be accepted at owner’s risk. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made to the publisher. Articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. © Media World Limited 2011. AUGUST 11 DRAM


DRAM August 2011  

August issue of the only dedicated on-trade publication in Scotland, DRAM.

DRAM August 2011  

August issue of the only dedicated on-trade publication in Scotland, DRAM.