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Issue 71 November / December 2017 ÂŁ4.95

The great escape

Lock in your punters with mystery games p01 cover.indd 1

04/11/2017 13:07

Beautifully balanced, expertly crafted by mixologists, perfect for pairing with premium spirits. Inspired by the master.


© 2017 European Refreshments. All rights reserved. SCHWEPPES, the FOUNTAIN DEVICE, the SCHWEPPES 196 GRAPHICS and J.SCHWEPPE and Signature Design are registered trademarks of European Refreshments.

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04/11/2017 13:19





this month Mindfulness in the pub• Restaurant of the year


drink Low- and no-alcohol •




play Bobby George • Mystery games


stay Little touches to charm your guests


back-bar business Marketing your sports offer online


time at the bar Hops • Boffin wars • Your work for charity








began my very first column for Inapub, way back in 2015, by revealing that according to ONS stats, one in five UK adults was now teetotal. It is a truly arresting number and is one I have referred to many times in the intervening years, so much so that I usually now actively try to avoid it. Yet, it tells such a story about the changing landscape pubs face that I find myself repeating it here, in my very first column as Inapub’s editor. And that’s because, in the run-up to the annual booze fest that is Christmas, we’ve chosen to focus on low and no alcohol drinks (pages 20-21) and mindfulness (pages 10-12). Perhaps, like us, you might initially raise a cynic’s eyebrow at both concepts but both are bona fide business opportunities for pubs, as that statistic and the features prove. What’s more, the principles of mindfulness (which is about more than just cutting out booze) may well help you and your staff survive the next few weeks, as the revellers descend. Good luck! We’ll see you on the other side.

Winter drinks

Bar snacks • Gastro greatness in Greenwich

Editor Robyn Black 07909 251 2 1 • robynb Contributors Matt Eley, Richard Molloy, Michelle Perrett, Nigel Huddleston, John Porter



Production editor Ben Thrush 07 10 20 1 9 • ben



Chief executive Barrie Poulter 0790 1 7 • barrie Sales manager Leah Gauthier 07 • leah





Visit us online at p03 contents.indd 3

Subscriptions 0 00 1 0 19 • subscriptions

Printed by Warners Midlands

06/11/2017 11:19



625,000 bottles sold*


£10m in sales since launch*

A distinctive and versatile Scotch Whisky Recruiting the next generation of whisky consumers* Supported by a heavy weight TV, OOH and Digital media campaign across November and December featuring David Beckham



C L U B M A N & C O L A O L D FA S H I O N E D

INGREDIENTS • 25ml Haig Club Clubman • Cola • Slice of lime METHOD Fill a highball glass with desired amount of ice, add 25ml of Haig Club Clubman and top up with cola. Garnish with a slice of lime.

INGREDIENTS • 50ml Haig Club Clubman • 1 tsp of brown sugar or simple syrup • 20ml Cola • 5ml Vermouth • 1 cherry and 1 slice of orange METHOD Stir all ingredients with ice for 1 minute, then pour over ice and garnish with a fresh cherry and a slice of orange.

Source: Nielsen Homescan and Nielsen Scantrack, data to 09.09.17

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Welcome to Haig Club: Enjoy Responsibly.

04/11/2017 27/10/2017 13:24 13:21

POSTCARD from the pub frontline

Young’s Pubs and Geronimo Inns kicked off a month-long celebration of all things beer with a Hop on, Hop Off bus tour for punters around London’s Wandsworth area — the birthplace of Young’s 184 years ago. First stop was The Duke’s Head on the river in Putney where passengers were treated to a selection of US brews, introduced by their very own brewers from across the pond. Next up was The Alma Pub and Hotel for some more brews, before pulling into the final destination, The Ship, for some proper posh pub grub matched with Young’s ales. It was a “money can’t buy” event, with no tickets for sale, p05 big pic.indd 5

but beer fans were able to win them in competitions run in pubs and on social media throughout September and October. The tour formed part of a wider programme of events, which also included: The Science of Beer and Food with London brewer Sambrook’s; Yeastie Boys Beers, featuring Kiwi brewers Stu McKinlay and Sam Possenniskie talking about how they swapped pencil pushing for brewing, and a (Dis)Loyalty card offering drinkers a free ticket to the Young’s Beer Festival in January if they try enough new beers this autumn.



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IN THE TRADE THIS MONTH Trade unhappy over fruit machine rules Pub industry bodies have said they are disappointed with the Government’s recent proposed changes to amusement machines, which do not include an increase in either stakes or prizes for games machines in pubs. Both the British Beer and Pub Association and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers said they would continue to lobby for changes.

TOP STORIES ON TRADE.INAPUB.CO.UK Boddingtons and Melanie Sykes are back

Nearly a third see hospitality as dead-end Research from Nestlé Professional found that 31 per cent of people don’t think hospitality is a career path you actively choose. Further findings showed that that nearly half of Millennials (45 per cent) consider a career in hospitality a mere stop-gap. However 70 per cent of workers in the sector said they were proud to be part of the industry.

Drinkaware calls for harassment crackdown Drinkaware is urging pubs to get tough on sexual harassment after a survey found more than 60 per cent of women have experienced such behaviour on a night out. Venues and operators can help by supporting bystanders and making it clear that drunken sexual harassment will not be tolerated on site, said the charity.

Public views alcohol taxes as money grab

Is it time to ditch cask beer?

A new organisation aimed at “seeking honest balance in the debate on alcohol and health” claims that the majority of people see alcohol taxes as merely a cash cow for the Government, with a mere one in 10 believing the money raised goes to improving public health services.

7 easy-peasy ways to “veganise” your menu “Yorkshire puddings like savoury clouds” King of bling takes the flight to cancer

Could you be manager of the month? BT Sport is on the lookout for pub landlords who give their customers a bit extra when it comes to sport. The company launched a Manager of the Month initiative, which will celebrate one licensee each month from now until June 2018. Winners will get a trophy presented by a local sporting celebrity and a new 4K TV for their pub. To kick off the awards Martin Whelan, landlord of The Tollington in Islington, London (pictured) was presented with a statue of himself. It was unveiled by Arsenal legend Martin Keown. The landlords of The Chequers in Lutterworth, and The Gardener’s Arms in Norwich also received statues. The pubs were rewarded for efforts such as “painting the pub to match the local team’s colours, TVs in the toilets, or getting the players from their local team in after the game,” said Bruce Cuthbert, BT Sport’s director for commercial customers.

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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 06/11/2017 11:41

this month.inapub THE WAY I SEE IT DARREN SEWARD


How to attract skilled workers post -Brexit

We asked:

Many licensees we are speaking with are stressing the huge importance of EU staff to their operations, with real worry that Brexit will result not only in a smaller pool to recruit from but also skills and talent shortages. Therefore, it’s important to understand not only how to attract new talent to the industry, but also how to keep it. Employees tend to move around much more than they used to, so finding what entices them to stay is imperative. Work/life balance is a key area for millennials, and this doesn’t mean working fewer hours, but offering flexibility wherever possible. An organisation’s culture is also very important in attracting young talent. Employees want to feel cared about and looked after. Lastly, employers need to offer development opportunities. These aren’t just promotions, they can be learning programmes, mentoring, secondments, shadowing, projects or coaching. Overall, it is important to make your talent feel valued. If they feel appreciated and believe they matter within the organisation, they are more likely to stay.

The Feathers Inn, Stocksfield has won Best British Roast Dinner 2017 – but how much gravy is too much gravy?

Darren Seward is a hospitality sector specialist at NFU Mutual, for more information on attracting and retaining staff you can download a guide from the NFU website

You replied: If it’s running over the edge of your plate, you’ve probably gone too far. Otherwise no such thing as “too much” gravy! @WBandBEER You can never have too much gravy! @KittyVine I like a jug on the side so I can keep topping up! @TheFeathersInn Good tip. Or a new campaign for pubs to serve roasts in huge, high-sided bowls for us gravy fiends! @WBandBEER Could describe this as an oxymoron – because there can never be “too much gravy” @OwlCottage1


The amount we Brits spent on drinks last Christmas in 211 million visits to pubs, bars and restaurants, according to analysts CGA.

Find us online every month at @inapub p6-7 news.indd 7





06/11/2017 11:41

LinQ glassware

Who says practical kit can’t be stylish? The elegant design and translucent grey finish of this range offer class in a glass, but not at the expense of stackability, durability or versatility. Three sizes of beverage glass, plus a rocks glass and a double Old Fashioned, are available. 020 8391 8542

Schweppes 1783

The classic mixer brand is hoping you’ll be bowled over by its new skittle-shaped bottle, modelled on the original one blown by Jacob Schweppes back in 1783. Said to help create optimum effervescence, the bottle is part of the drinks maker’s biggest ever brand investment, along with a new 1783 range of naturally flavoured premium mixers. 0808 1 000 000


What’s new in the pub this month

Country Range chicken breast

There’s nothing paltry about this poultry. The premium quality fillets are fully traceable, with no added water. Conformists will be pleased to hear they are calibrated to ensure a uniform look and size, and the company has developed a range of recipes for the product, including the buttermilk chicken pictured here.

Botonique Vintage

What’ll it be for the designated driver? Not necessarily another lime & soda, with this dry, sparkling alcoholfree release targeting wine lovers. Billed as “the first non-alcoholic drink where vintage matters”, it was created by wine merchant Hilary Marsh, who drew on her childhood experience of helping her family make hedgerow wines. p8-9 stuff.indd 8

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this month. Lion Lager

Some of us here at Inapub Inn grew up on a chocolate bar with similarly ferocious branding. Our palates have evolved since then, so it’s great Kingfisher beer has kept pace by bringing this Sri Lankan beast to our shores. Roasted malts give the 4.8 per cent ABV lager a robust taste profile with fruity and caramel notes It is available in 330ml cans and 330ml and 620ml bottles. 01622 351 110

Lotus Biscoff crumble range

Solerno blood orange liqueur

Did you hear about the man who had jelly in one ear and custard in the other? He was a trifle deaf, but biscuit-maker Lotus wasn’t deaf to the demand for its products in an easy-to-use crumble form. The freshly baked particles can be used as a base or topping for all kinds of desserts. 0800 834 050

If Santa fancies a change from the traditional sherry this year, he could do worse than this zesty tipple, which claims to be the world’s first blood orange liqueur. Made from fruit harvested on the slopes of Mount Etna, it should bring a festive feel to your back-bar and can be used in cocktails such as the Solerno Negroni. 0207 580 8360

Sheppy’s VAT 14 classic cider

Pretty funky for a 201-year-old. One of the world oldest and most distinguished cider makers has brought in a contemporary look for its new canned products. Named after the vat it was made in, the cider is complemented by Cloudy cider VAT 07. 01823 461 233

Wye Valley kegged stout

With all the unwholesomeness going on generally in the modern world, it’s good to see a new antidote unveiled, in the form of the Herefordshire brewer’s Wholesome Stout in keg. The product is available to order for Wye Valley’s pub customers in the midlands, the Cotswolds and south Wales. 01885 490 505 p8-9 stuff.indd 9



06/11/2017 23:35

Be here now by MATT ELEY

It used to be that people would go to the pub for a skinful but nowadays you might find they are just as likely to go for a mindful. Millions of people across the world have taken up ‘mindfulness’ as a way of coping with the stresses and strains of everyday life. But what exactly is it, and how can this help pubs?

Well, to start with, it is a meditative technique that has been transported from Buddhism into a multi-million-pound secular global industry. The cynics among you may say that doesn’t feel very calming but just go with it for a second. It is based on people being still and focusing on the present. Just being. The theory is that concentrating on the moment in hand reduces anxiety about things that have gone or are yet to come, because you can only ever really be in the now. Still with us? Right, so what the hell has this got to do with pubs? That’s a very good question. Well, in the workplace in general it is believed that mindfulness can reduce stress and increase productivity. Many big corporates, from Google to Goldman Sachs, have introduced classes and training sessions to help reduce stress. It makes sense when you consider that in the UK last year stress, depression and anxiety accounted for 11.7 million sick days off work — that’s nearly half of all days taken off for work-related illness. The financial cost of that is estimated to be around £530m. So, if it means a happy workforce and saving money, perhaps mindfulness is worth a go — especially with the fun and games of the Christmas period looming over us.

De-stressing your staff

James Penlington is the owner of Buckinghamshire-based multiple operator Distinct Pubs. It is a successful and burgeoning business, but with that comes pressure that he says can affect his levels of anxiety. He stumbled across mindfulness when it was recommended to him by a friend. He explains: “I was quite cynical about it at first. A friend of mine got into meditation and I thought ‘here we go’ but I got a book p10-11-12 lead feature.indd 10

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Club Soda’s Laura Willoughby runs mindful pub crawls. “If people don’t want to drink when they’re out, they shouldn’t be expected to”, she says

on it called The Power of Now (by Eckhart Tolle). It is really simple and is full of advice I would probably give to other people but fail to do myself.” The advice can be as straightforward as recognising when you are feeling overwhelmed and giving yourself a moment to breathe. James continues: “I am not an expert in spiritual enlightenment, but it doesn’t take an expert to know that there are stresses in the hospitality industry and anything that can help has to be worth trying. There are so many demands on your time these days with phones, Apple watches etc. I know my triggers now, so when I feel myself getting stressed I know to stop and take a moment to consider what my issues are now, what I can do about them and what I can’t do.” It is something that James has seen work for other people in the industry and may be something he suggests staff could try. “I knew a duty manager who used to p10-11-12 lead feature.indd 11

always take a moment to go outside and walk around the pub on a busy shift,” he says. “It helps to take a moment and realise why you do things. “In the hospitality trade we are the leaders of that atmosphere for everyone else. If you have a host who is stressed, it can affect everyone’s experience.”

Mindful customers

And it isn’t just your staff you should consider. More and more customers are becoming mindful as well. This is another part of many people trying to lead healthier lives by reducing their alcohol intake and trying to eat better. There is even a Mindful Drinking Movement that has been set up to bring like-minded people together and find venues that are supportive of their lifestyles. Club Soda is for people who want to cut out or cut down their drinking, but still enjoy going to the pub. The idea is that in a bar queue, rather than automatically ordering a vodka, people will take a moment to consider what



04/11/2017 14:10

Nirvana founder Steve Dass (left) provides low- or no-alcohol beers for mindful pub crawls

I don’t want to go out and drink orange juice because it isn’t breakfast, and I don’t want fizzy drinks because I’m not a child

they physically and emotionally want . Founder Laura Willoughby explains: “We are a mindful movement that helps people drink less alcohol or stop altogether.” It sounds like a step away from the mindfulness techniques mentioned above but it is based on helping people feel less anxious and more confident in doing what is right for them, rather than feeling pressured to fit in with a social group. Laura continues: “If customers or pub staff don’t want to drink when they are out, they shouldn’t be expected to and that should be respected. Just because someone had a drink on Saturday it doesn’t mean they should on Tuesday.” We joined a Club Soda pub crawl in Shoreditch, London, and met with two dozen people who had all signed up for different reasons. For some it was part of doing Stay Sober for October, others wanted to cut back a bit on their intake and several had to stop drinking altogether because it was damaging their health. One 52-year-old man said: “I watched a friend die from drinking too much and I was going the same way. I didn’t know when to stop until I was physically unable to drink


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any more.“Part of my recovery has included using meditative techniques but I also still like going out, and if you can go out and not drink in a bar you can do it anywhere.” To serve this growing chunk of the population — it is now estimated only 56.9 per cent of Brits drink regularly, the lowest since 2005 — pubs need to consider their offer. A 40-year-old woman on the crawl tells me: “I don’t want to go out and drink orange juice because it isn’t breakfast and I don’t want fizzy drinks because I am not a child.” The options are improving with the emergence of brands such as non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip and brewers such as Nirvana, which only produces no- or low-alcohol beers. (For more ideas, check out our feature on p32-33). Nirvana founder Steve Dass provides samples on the crawl at Strongroom in Shoreditch. He says: “We sell to a lot of bottle shops, but pubs are starting to increasingly take more confidence in what is out there. It’s a growth area.” Whether it is providing low-alcohol alternatives or allowing staff time to take a moment to clear their heads, the growing interest in physical and mental well-being is something that pubs should, at the very least, be mindful of. 04/11/2017 14:10

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04/11/2017 14:15


Robyn Black finds the award-winner is still very much a pub

Pubs are great for chefs because you can start out on a relatively tight budget, the overheads are less and you can build things up slowly


When is a pub a restaurant? When is it (oh dreaded term) a gastropub? Or what about a restopub? Come to think of it, when is a restaurant a restaurant? “McDonald’s calls itself a restaurant, after all,” points out Steven Smith, chef-owner of The Freemasons in Wiswell, Clitheroe, which has just been named England’s Restaurant of the Year in the annual AA Awards. The pub is no stranger to accolades — more of which later — but being named “Restaurant of the Year” has led to a slew of questions around how much The Freemasons remains a proper pub. Steve has no such questions. He is quite sure that the pub he has run for the last eight years with his wife Agnieszka, most definitely remains a pub. “Take today for example,” he says (it is a random Thursday lunchtime in October when I visit). “We’ve got a table of six downstairs celebrating a big birthday and they’ve had the full shebang — tasting menu, Champagne, wine, and look like they are settling in for the duration. At the same time we’ve also a couple from the village that just dropped in for a spot of lunch after a funeral. They are having the soup. “Later this evening there’ll be around 10 locals at the bar and we’ll put out some bowls of chips and mayo, as we always do on a Thursday, and they’ll stay for a few pints before heading off.” Of course there are some that would suggest it is economic madness to maintain a bar area in which locals can down pints and free chips when it could fit a large table of punters shelling out £105 per person for the tasting menu matched with wine — but if you did that, it wouldn’t be a pub would it? “Having regulars at the bar creates a


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warm, friendly atmosphere, which is what keeps people coming back as much as the food,” says Steven. The food, too, traverses that fine line between high-end dining and pub grub. Steve’s philosophy is to take the food seriously but “not ourselves too seriously”. So there’s Native Lobster (butter poached with crispy claw won ton, heritage potato cooked in seaweed, orange and coastal herbs, sauce of Tellicherry black pepper) and “Chippy Tea”, a now-legendary regular event consisting of three courses of chip shop classics.

An every day kind of place

“Food is different to different people. A game pie to some will be very ‘foodie’, to others it’s just a pie, so we try to keep that in mind,” Steve explains. “For example, Fish of the Day is always a good seller for us, so we might have both turbot on at £28 and plaice at £21 to give people the choice. We really work hard to make sure that people can come here five days a week; it’s not just for special occasions. “It’s also about cooking for customers and not yourself, which was perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my time running a pub.” That doesn’t mean unambitious food though, and it doesn’t mean giving up on ambitions of greatness. As mentioned earlier, The Freemasons has won numerous awards — so many Steve can’t remember the grand total — something which has helped the business by putting it on the map. “We’re located in the middle of a small village, in the middle of a row of houses, with no carpark and no signage as such and so we had to get our name out there and build a profile. Awards are a way of doing that.” There is still one award missing — a 04/11/2017 14:25

this month.

Michelin star, which most believe would be fully deserved — and which Steve admits he has his eye on (“I’d feel we’d underachieved if we didn’t ever get one”) and tentative plans for a few more Freemasons scattered around the country, especially in London, should the right pubs crop up. “Restaurants have their place, of course, but pubs are great for chefs because you can start out on a relatively tight budget, the overheads are less and you can build things up slowly. “My parents ran working men’s clubs when I was growing up and I’m quite informal by nature. Pubs are just a good fit for me.”


more fine dining pubs

The Fr Wiswelleemasons Lancash , Clitheroe, ire

Staff: 20 Signatu re style: Forging love of s a easonal ingredie and the nts classics with wo flavours rld Online: www.fre emasons atwiswe

Hand & Flowers, Marlow, Buckinghamshire Perhaps the most famous fine dining pub of them all The Harwood Arms, Fulham, London The capital’s only Michelin starred pub The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire An inn for “proper dining and drinking” since the 1960s The Pipe & Glass, South Dalton, East Yorkshire Where hearty pub classics are raised to a new level p14-15 famous for.indd 15

04/11/2017 14:25

RICHARD MOLLOY It’s nice to know who your friends are. Such a simple phrase and yet so pertinent for we publicans who, in a packed bar, will know dozens of names and even more faces. We’re a mate to all — yet friends with few. We enjoy the love from the bulk of the chattering throng, but, as is the case the world over, there’s a modicum of mire that must be tolerated by the landlord on his rounds. We can’t discriminate or take the moral high ground, however much we may despise what someone is. We judge people — for the most part — purely on their behaviour in our pub. So we choose our friends carefully — holding down friendships with customers is not as easy as it seems. To the casual observer a pub landlord has a hundred friends, yet the landlord knows he has few. So tenuous is that relationship of customer and publican, yet who else can a landlord make friends with if he spends so much time at work? Many a study has claimed that running a pub is up there as one of the most miseryinducing professions there is. I disagree,

The one thing I think makes the life of the publican lonelier than most would believe, is the difficulty of forming and maintaining meaningful friendships 16

Richard Molloy is director of four-strong pubco White Rose Taverns and the microbrewery Platform Five. Read more of his work on

but the one thing that I truly believe makes the life of the publican a lonelier one than most would believe, is the difficulty inherent in forming and maintaining meaningful friendships. You’re only ever one argument from a friend boycotting your pub. This in itself highlights the main obstacle… money. Your mates are effectively paying your wages and although this obvious truth remains largely unsaid, it is known and accepted by both parties. Should we give away free beer to our closest chums? No! Of course not. This would be a disaster not only by way of alienating your other customers, but also in regards to the friendship itself — the balance of power is pitched for pitchers and you are now buying their company. There is no real answer to this conundrum and one must face the fact that in that sea of smiles and fist-pumps, hidden within the forest of sycophants and sleeve-whisperers there will be but a small band of true friends that will endure beyond your tenure and stay in touch when neither has anything to gain from the relationship. If there are more than you can count on one hand then you are lucky indeed, but then again, who isn’t lucky to have that many true friends?


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06/11/2017 12:01

Photo taken by co-founder Charles. The hills of Madagascar: source of our hand-pollinated vanilla.

WOULD YOU MIX A HANDCRAFTED, BARREL-AGED WHISKY WITH ANY OLD COLA? NEITHER WOULD WE. Premium whiskies, rums and brandies deser ve a mixer that enhances their complex flavours. So we set about creating one: the first cola designed for mixing with dark spirits, made from a rich blend of kola nut, exotic spices, citrus and vanilla. It was a journey that led to our founders Charles and Tim travelling to some of the most remote regions in the world, sourcing extraordinary ingredients, such as the vanilla they found in Madagascar. These vanilla plants flower just once a year and must be hand-pollinated by highly skilled farmers. If this doesn’t happen the day the flowers open, it won’t happen for another year. Whoever said ‘you can’t rush greatness’ had obviously never worked with vanilla. It’s thanks to the vanilla farmers’ tenacity that our cola has such a rich, round flavour that is perfectly balanced with the blend of 20 different spices needed to create this unrivalled mixer.



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06/11/2017 16:44

drink Is the “sugar tax” a good idea or merely absurd? By all accounts one introduced in Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian chain back in June 2015 has been a huge success. The 10p additional cost for sugar-laden softs resulted in sales of such drinks falling by 9.3 per cent after six months, according to reports. The initiative was introduced way in advance of the government’s own proposed sugar tax or, to give it its proper name, the Soft Drinks Levy, due to come into force next April. This will add 18p per litre to drinks containing 5g of added sugar per 100ml and 24p per litre for the drinks containing 8g per 100ml. Have you worked out what your strategy to deal with this will be yet? Are you aware how much of your soft drink range will be affected? Are you planning on absorbing the cost yourself or passing it onto customers? If the latter, how are you going to communicate your price rises? Have you looked at offering alternatives? Drinks with


no added sugar, such as fruit juices, will be exempt and the big manufacturers are doing their best to reformulate some of their best sellers to bring them in under the threshold. Apologies for bringing you such thoughts during what is already your busiest time of year but, let’s face it, you haven’t got long left. At this point no one really knows what effect making sugary drinks more expensive will have but I’m willing to bet a spun sugar crown that it will have some impact. Maybe you disagree — one restaurant chain full of relatively affluent customers proves nothing, after all, and there was more going on than a simple price rise. Recall the times of plentiful plastic bags, though? It wasn’t that long ago the idea of paying 5p for a plastic bag seemed vaguely absurd. Now what seems absurd is that we accepted endless free plastic bags as a good idea at all, it seems to me this isn’t that different.

Have you worked out your strategy to deal with the “sugar tax” yet? Let’s face it, you haven’t got long left...

COMMERCIAL BREAKDOWN Coca-Cola European Partners – Designated Driver Coca-Cola is thanking all those December drivers who make it possible for the rest of us to enjoy a festive tipple by bringing back its Designated Driver initiative for the 10th Christmas in a row. A “buy one get one free” offer will again run in participating pubs.

London Pride – Confessions As part of a rebrand of its flagship London Pride ale, London brewer Fuller’s asked people to confess secrets to their dads over a pint of ale. The touching moments were videoed and shared on social media.

Old Mout Cider – The Kiwi Wild Show Old pals Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan have joined forces with Old Mout Cider to try and save the Kiwi bird. They are fronting a new online show called The Kiwi Wild Show, as part of a major campaign for the Heineken-owned cider, which originated in New Zealand.


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Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch

Created to celebrate the “craftsmanship and skill of world class Scotch blend ing,” two new whiskies joined the Johnnie Walker stable this autumn: Johnnie alker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast and ohnnie alker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish.

Budweiser Prohibition

An alcohol-free version of Budweiser is to land on these shores before the end of the year. Budweiser Prohibition taps into the growing demand for low and no alcohol drinks and boosts brand owner AB InBev’s pledge that 20 per cent of all its beer will be low to no alcohol by 2025.

Look out for... ICEE

Fi y fro en drink brand ICEE is coming to the via a distribution deal with Vimto Out Of Home. Said to be the “world’s leading fro en beverage brand, with more than 500m ICEE drinks sold each year, Vimto is hoping the launch will shake up the ’s fro en drinks market. 0800 066 2133

EXCLUSIVE INAPUB READER OFFER Get 5% off everything CODE: INAPUB007 As a national drinks wholesaler, we can offer our members beer, Champagne, wine, spirits and soft drinks at cash and carry prices. We offer an extensive range of products, very competitive prices; delivered nationwide in as little as 24 hours. •One stop solutions for all your drinks needs • Fast nationwide delivery • Competitive prices • Excellent stock reserves • ess stock holding on your site (allowing you to free up cash flow) • Access to marketing support, which is normally only available to big chains • Purchasing online will save time, money and hassle that would have been spent travelling to other wholesalers.

Four Pillars Christmas Gin

Made with distilled Christmas puddings, a limited number of bottles of this Australian gin will be available in the for the first time this year. It is said to have aromas of, “classic juniper and a hint of cinnamon, backed up with a rich, luscious palate with a hint of sweetness.” p18-19 drink intro.indd 19

06/11/2017 13:06

not booze

I can’t believe it’s by NIGEL HUDDLESTON

Entrepreneur Rob Fink had an epiphany in April of last year. “I looked around a bar one day and realised just how little choice there was in low- or no-alcohol beers,” he says. “It didn’t feel as if much had changed over the last 40 years or so. Yes, new brands had emerged but there wasn’t much evidence of innovation.

“After a little more research, I realised that there was a gap in the market for a craft brewery dedicated solely to production of excellent-quality, full-flavoured low-alcohol beers.” So he launched the Big Drop Brewing Co, a low/no alcohol brewery. “Since we launched, other brewers have started to experiment with their alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers and there is now a genuinely credible choice on offer,” he says. Big Drop now offers alcohol-free beers as diverse as a Chocolate Milk Stout and a lager.

The time is right

In fact the low- and no-alcohol market has been threatening to erupt since the 1970s but somehow it has never quite come to the boil. Until now. Mintel research published this year showed that a third of all Brits have reduced their alcohol intake in the past year and more than half of beer, wine and cider drinkers say they’re drinking less alcohol than a few years ago. “Pubs and bars are proving popular venues for low alcohol brands,” says Mintel’s senior drinks analyst Richard Caines. “A night out (26 per cent) and a casual drink at the pub (22 per cent) are when low-alcohol drinks most appeal to consumers if they are limiting or reducing their alcohol intake.” (Check out our lead feature on pages 10 to 12 for more on that phenomenon.)

Innovation game

And, if the soft option was once the preserve of the designated driver and widely labelled as a “distress purchase” (perhaps one of the most off-putting pieces of marketing jargon of all time) today it might be for a whole host of reasons: giving up; taking a few days, a week or a


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drink. month off; generally cutting down; to save money; punctuating a boozy night with a bit of common sense; pregnancy; faith; to fight the flab; as part of faddish eating regimes; doctor’s orders and so on. Now, you can also add “because they taste nice” to the list, as a host of new launches have revolutionised the category. Launches such as non-alcoholic distilled spirit Seedlip; the South African gin & tonic alternative The Duchess; Smoke House from the Real Kombucha range of tea-based brews, which does a decent impression of a cider; a vintage non-alcoholic wine called Boutonique, not to mention offerings from the big brands such as Budweiser Prohibition and Heineken 0.0. David Lette, premium brand director for Heineken, says the brewer expects the category to double by 2020 and that product quality is key. “It’s taken a long time to do it because we had to make sure we got it right,” he says.

Coke rewards designated drivers for a decade Coca-Cola’s Designated Driver scheme reaches its 10th anniversary this year and will reward those taking part with a buy-one-get-one free offer on the Coke range, Schweppes sparkling juice drinks and Appletiser in December. Paul Grace, director of field sales at Coca-Cola European Partners, says the scheme increases the time spent in a pub by parties of people, with participating venues’ overall wet sales increasing by almost 9 per cent and 88 per cent of licensees who’ve taken part saying that they’d be willing to get involved again. The initiative is run in partnership with the Department for Transport’s drinkdriving campaign and some 8,000 pointof-sale kits will be available to outlets, featuring a case of free product. p20-21 lowno alc.indd 21

Tee-totalling transformed Low- and no-alcohol beer is no longer about bland or artificial-tasting liquids. “It’s unrecognisable from where it was a decade ago,” says Stephan Kofler, UK sales and marketing director for German lager Krombacher, which sells lowalcohol pils and wheat beer in the UK. “In the past it was dominated by a couple of brands, providing limited choice, which never really inspired much trust from consumers. “Now the category is incredibly competitive with a wide range of brands, countries of origin and beer styles available. Standards have been raised, which is good for the category and great for the consumer.”

Party drinks

All of this goes to show that low and no alcohol alternatives have moved way beyond the token Dry January. Indeed, Andrew Turner, director of wine at Eisberg supplier Halewood Wines & Spirits, says it launched sparkling versions of the alcoholfree wine to drag the category into the party season, not just its aftermath. “Huge numbers of people are honouring their New Year’s resolutions by making more permanent and positive health choices that have purpose and longevity,” he says. “Whatever their reasons, they don’t want to feel excluded from Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations and year-round social gatherings, nor restricted by the choices on offer to them.” With so many low-alcohol options on the market, no pub’s customers should be left feeling short-changed this Christmas through lack of choice.



06/11/2017 23:38


We’re celebrating a decade of the Coca-Cola designated driver scheme. 2 for 1 offer on Coca-Cola variants, Schweppes Sparkling juice drinks and Appletiser Pub finder website to help consumers find participating venues and drive footfall into bars like yours! Consumer awareness campaign featuring radio advertising, PR and social media

ad page2.indd 22 COC0919_Desi Drivers_Inapub-DPS_AW1.indd All Pages

04/11/2017 13:17

Help support the designated driver heroes this Christmas. To apply for your free designated driver kit ask your CCEP rep or contact the CCEP customer hub at or call the customer helpline on 0808 1 000 000

Don’t Drink and Drive

ad page2.indd 23

All brand names are registered trademarks of their respective owners. Š 2017 The Coca-Cola Company. All rights reserved

04/11/2017 27/10/2017 13:17 10:50

Winter warmers by ROBYN BLACK

Christmas is a time when people are in the mood to spend a little more — well, that’s the received wisdom anyway, but will it ring true this year? Perhaps not, as economic forecasts suggest revellers will be in “cautious mode” when it comes to spending this winter. Equally, people have become used to treating themselves all year round – premium drinks aren’t just for Christmas any more, with 57 per cent of UK adults now buying premium drinks at any time (Mintel 2015). In fact premium spirits are now growing all year round across all sectors, by far and away outperforming their standard counterparts – total premium spirits have grown 14 per cent across the on- and off-trade this year,


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according to the latest CGA stats, versus just one per cent for standard spirits. With all of that in mind, doesn’t it seem likely that this year’s “cautious” spenders might not trade up yet further into superpremium and luxury, but rather stick with what they are already treating themselves to the rest of the year? And if they do, what will that mean for your Christmas takings?

The premium question

Before we take this discussion any further, perhaps we need to ask how we are going 06/11/2017 13:59

to define what is premium and what is super-premium – two nebulous concepts if ever there were — but Leanne Ware, brand manager at Halewood Wines & Spirits, cuts to the chase: “The major consideration is price point,” she says. “This immediately determines where a product sits and is often set by a combination of the producer’s perceived value, coupled with market demand. “We tend to see premium spirits marketed with a price point of £20-plus, with superpremium more often than not commanding a £50-plus price tag.” And while trade up is happening in all categories, there are some spirits that people seem willing to spend more on than others. Premium gin in particular has proven to be hugely successful for Halewood,” says Leanne. “Gin demand has created a more educated and discerning consumer, eager to experiment with new styles and varieties. This has certainly leant itself to trade-ups from the usual back-bar offering, to more craft and premium brands.” Whisky is another area licensees can look to tap into this winter, says Nick Temperley, head of reserve brands at Diageo. “There’s

Mistletoe and wine With Prosecco now replacing Pinot Grigio as an “everyday” treat, Christmas is the time to boost spend on fizz by “pimping your Prosecco” and/or offering more expensive sparklers. For the former, look to syrups and garnishes to help drive spend — Unicorn Prosecco, made with floating edible glitter, is particularly Instagramable and set to be popular this year. Otherwise think about promoting English sparkling wines and classic Champagnes to improve margins. In terms of still wines, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec have been the “hot topic in wine in recent years and have become a bar call that consumers are willing to spend more on,” reports Charlotte Bramham-Jones, category development manager at Accolade Wines. Craft wines, brands which take their cues from the booming craft beer category, are also ones to watch this winter, such as 19 Crimes and the Gentleman’s Collection from Treasury Wine Estates. p24-25-26-27-28-29-30-32 winter drinks.indd 25

06/11/2017 14:02

“There’s been decent growth in single malts in particular recently that we haven’t seen for a little while, says Nick Temperley, head of reserve brands at Diageo

Softly does it There’s plenty on the new wave of low alcohol drinks over on pages 32-33, but classic soft drinks have an equally important role at this time of year and still offer trade up options. Take Coca-Cola for example: 75 per cent of customers want to drink Coca-Cola from a glass bottle in pubs but only one in four licensed premises offers it. It’s worth considering, as research shows 64 per cent of people are willing to pay more for a glass bottle than for Coke on draught, making it a margin-boosting option. Festive serves of brands like J20, Appletiser and kids’ drinks such as Fruit Shoot must also be given the attention they deserve, because in among the office parties, big business can also be had among the designated drivers, family get-togethers and the increasing number of teetotallers.



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been decent growth in single malts in particular recently that we haven’t seen for a little while,” he explains. “It’s the ultimate craft spirit industry really and it’s very exciting too – there are lots of stories and old brands that people are interested in, which is why it’s doing very well now.” Perhaps more surprisingly, Nick points to vodka as being another area in which drinkers are willing to spend more during the festive period. “Vodka is more about celebration and is seen as more up-tempo, so people really connect with it over the party season. “In this category it’s less about the liquid and more about the occasion, but the motivation to trade up is still there.”

The experience economy

Now we’ve established all that, the question is: how can you get your punters to spend a little more this winter? Nick suggests savvy 06/11/2017 14:02

licensees will make the switch from thinking about premium products to premium experiences. “We are living in an experience economy — 78 per cent of millennials, for example, say they would rather spend money on an experience than goods or products. “Think about creating a whisky den or a gin garden, for example. Or provide menus suggesting specific mixers with certain spirits and create an experience out of that. “We’ve been doing some work with Fever Tree on this, matching our range of whiskies with their mixers in an initiative called Whisky Fever.” It’s activities such as this that can help give pub-goers the nudge to trade up a little more. Changes even as simple as adding seasonal garnishes to your mixed drinks can be effective. Swap out the strawberries and mint for cinnamon sticks, cloves, p24-25-26-27-28-29-30-32 winter drinks.indd 27

06/11/2017 14:02

Mix the familiar with the unfamiliar – create mulled or spiced punches that have connections to their festive favourites


candy canes or even a mini mince-pie, for example. To go the extra mile, create a menu of seasonal drinks. “Mix the familiar with the unfamiliar – create mulled or spiced punches that have connections to their festive favourites, nutmeg for example, with something new and exotic like a new type of chilli,” suggests Sarah Fulton Vachon, marketing manager at luxury food and drink supplier The East India Company. “This can even work with standard drinks such as a gin & tonic but create an upgrade with sprigs of herbs or seasonal fruit.”

Supersonic tonic

Don’t restrict your signature mixed drink to G&T either; tonic is becoming a popular

Beer cheer Think beer isn’t festive enough for Christmas? Think again. The majority of what you sell during this period remains hop-based, so ignore the category at your peril. Stouts and porters traditionally make their appearance at this time of year but pay attention too, to sessionable lagers and ales that punters can drink plenty of. Super-premium beers are now emerging as a category in their own right, according to insight from Asahi UK, with brands in this sector ranging from Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Birra Moretti to Brooklyn Brewery and Brewdog. Boost spend by encouraging barstaff to recommend such brands and review your pricing to make trade-up between premium levels easy to swallow.


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choice to mix with a myriad of other spirits. Think vodka, vermouth, tequila and even Port, advises Sam Jones, brand manager at Global Brands, owner of mixer brand, Franklin & Sons. “Once solely focussed on gin, tonic water has become ‘the’ drink of 2017,” says Sam. “With one in three drinkers now insisting on buying premium mixers, according to our own research, a deeper focus on what is increasing in popularity and conducting research into what their consumers want in terms of luxury and super-premium drinks, will guarantee licensees stock drinks that will sell and add value to the back bar.” To tap into this opportunity Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has relaunched 06/11/2017 14:03

its flagship mixer brand, Schweppes, with a new bottle and added a new premium range — Schweppes 1783. “We have taken the time to seek guidance from mixologists and drinks experts to create this distinguished range of mixers that will appeal to new age of mixer drinkers that are keen to discover new taste combinations,” said customer marketing director Simon Harrison. The range comprises: Crisp Tonic Water, Light Tonic Water and Golden Ginger Ale as well as two more unusual tonics, Salty Lemon Tonic Water and Quenching Cucumber Tonic Water. Fever Tree, meanwhile – the brand that remains synonymous with premium mixers – has also just added some new variants in time for winter. Spiced Orange and Smoky Ginger Ale have been trialled in key accounts over the autumn and have performed well, reports Fergus Franks, Fever Tree’s on-trade marketing manager. “We continually strive to lead the premium mixer category, which means we’re always looking to extend the range,” he says. Fergus points to the popularity of dark spirits globally, where they make up 60 per cent of total premium spirits consumption, compared with gin at just six per cent. “Offering a large variety





*Source: CGA MAT P04 2017



@JungfrauLikor p24-25-26-27-28-29-30-32 winter drinks.indd 29

06/11/2017 14:03

of mixer options means there is something for everyone, which will certainly encourage higher spend over the Christmas period. People are increasingly aware of what they are drinking and are not prepared to mix a premium spirit with a saccharine filled mixer. If three-quarters of your drink is the mixer, you want to mix with the best.”

A taste for liqueur

Premium liqueurs are also worth

Similarly with cocktails continuing to gain momentum in UK pubs, premium liqueurs might be worth looking at this winter. “We know that 20 per cent more outlets are selling cocktails year-on-year (CGA Mixed Drinks Report 2016) and with cocktails focusing on innovation and premium experiences, this filters into premium cocktail ingredients like liqueurs,” says Global Brands’ Sam. There certainly seems to be signs of recovery in the liqueur sector, albeit rather

looking at this winter

fledgling — up two per cent in value and 0.2 per cent in volume in the on-trade (CGA 2016). In terms of cream liqueurs too, things have gone posh – think about the success of Baileys Chocolat Luxe and the work brand-owner Diageo is executing around the main variant too, pushing Baileys Espresso Martinis and Baileys Lattes, for

Don’t forget cider Check out your copy of October’s issue for an in-depth look at cider’s potential during the winter months and festive period — it goes far beyond mulled. Offer some richer, bolder ciders and ramp up your bottled cider offer at this time of the year as well, they are popular with revellers and are quicker to serve than draught, easing the pressure on staff during particularly busy periods. The new generation of bottled ciders, typified by brands such as Diageo’s Smirnoff Cider and Heineken’s Old Mout, also lend themselves to late night partying perhaps more than some other brands. These “up-tempo” ciders may well be worth looking into this year, as investment in this end of the category grows.



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g n i l k r a p s a Have . s a m t Chris A recipe for a great Christmas Pour 275ml Apple & Pomegranate Appletiser into a tall glass. Sprinkle a handful of Pomegranate Seeds and garnish with Cinnamon and an Apple Slice. Best served over ice. Stock up now for Christmas.

To find out more contact us at or call our Customer Hub on 0808 1 000 000 Š 2017 European refreshments. All rights reserved. APPLETISER is a trademark of European refreshments.

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06/11/2017 23/10/2017 14:06 09:41

Shout about the effort you’ve invested – post pictures on social media and highlight what’s on offer

example, placing cocktails with food (see p34 for details of our joint campaign with Diageo #MixAndMatch).

Premium pricing

Of course, there will be no point in investing time and effort into any of this if you don’t shout about it. Use point-of-sale to let customers know what’s on offer and make sure staff are focussed on pushing your higher margin drinks as well. Get social too, says Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits: “Make up a batch of your winter serves and post pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Encourage customers to do the same by displaying your hashtags and handle on posters, menus and table cards.” And finally, don’t get so carried away with the idea of premiumisation that you over-charge. “Several rounds at a price customers think is good value will generate more than one overpriced round that prompts customers to move on,” advises Dan. On that note, let the (till) bells ring out for Christmas.


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Mix and match

New research shows that a strong spirits-led offering can unlock the potential of dining occasions in your pub, which is why we’ve teamed up with Diageo for a new campaign to reveal exactly how you can do just that.

Our #MixAndMatch initiative launched last month, when we looked at the important role alcoholic drinks play when it comes to dining out. Exclusive research from Diageo shows that 51 per cent of people say alcohol is an important driver of where to eat1, for example. We also looked at the two main types of food-led occasions — spontaneous and planned – and this month we’re taking a more in-depth look into the latter.

Planning makes perfect

“Planned occasions offer a greater opportunity for licensees to trade up – customers stay longer, and look for more memorable experiences,” says Clare Moscrop, senior on-trade category strategy manager at Diageo. “It is also true that this type of occasion sees multiple drinks Planned purchased and a lengthy dwell time.” occasions offer a Pre- and post-meal drinks can be a big revenue driver here. greater opportunity Think about boosting your for licensees to trade G&T offering by giving yours a up – customers stay twist — a seasonal or more Premium Pink Gin a try). imaginative garnish perhaps? longer, and look for Or swap your usual gin for After the meal, think about offering more memorable something more premium or cocktails with dessert or indeed instead experiences unusual (give the all-new Gordon’s of dessert. Why not try a Baileys Flat White Martini, for example.

Special drinks for special occasions

During the meal there is a different opportunity. Diageo’s research reveals the choice of drink here is usually quite considered, with diners looking for drinks that complement the sense of occasion. These days people are also more open to new experiences and are moving away from the traditional wine option with their meals, making this a great opportunity to offer cocktails and long mixed drinks with dishes. As Clare explains: “A drink choice outside of traditional wine helps consumers stand out, and it can even help to mark a special moment. This is a perfect opportunity for licensees to upsell to more premium brands.” 1. CGA Peach Brandtrack, February 2017

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06/11/2017 14:16

eat It’s that time of year again. It feels as if the autumnal stews and soups barely got a look-in, squeezed in after the last of the summer barbies, and now the festive season is upon us. Before we get to the turkey and sprouts though, pubs across the land will have a month-long party to host. Many punters won’t be looking for the full sit-down dinner, but bars across the land will be thronged with groups of friends, work colleagues and weary shoppers. It’s times like this that the sharing platter comes into its own; covering all bases, removing the need for decision-making, keeping punters away from the kebab shop and making life easy for your service staff. This style of dining fits well with the social atmosphere most people want from a pub and, properly presented, can make a big impression on a festive table. Quite often, though, it doesn’t. I once had a colleague in the pub trade press who often expressed his pathological hatred of sharing platters. This may have said more about PROMOTIONAL CONTENT

Mix and match with Diageo As part of our #MixAndMatch campaign with Diageo this month we are looking at drinks with meals for planned eating occasions (see p29). Here are some top tips to help you boost takings from this lucrative opportunity: • Inspire potential customers during their planning process — use email and social media to promote the serves you offer • Upskill staff to offer an aperitif when first greeting customers, and digestifs, alongside desserts and coffee, with the aim of unlocking significant incremental sales • Use your food menus to prompt consideration. For example, offer a signature G&T alongside appetisers or a liqueur or whisky-based serve on a dessert menu • For aperitifs, offer long and refreshing serves and for digestifs consider shorter, sweeter or richer serves

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with BEN THRUSH him than about the dishes in question, but the fact is they can often appear underwhelming. Chicken wings, fish goujouns, breaded mushrooms, prawn tempura… nothing wrong with any of those. It’s just it can all look a bit… beige. It was a running joke at post-press pub sessions — “shall we get a platter of beige food?” No-one’s favourite colour is beige. Friends of mine once threw a comedy beige-themed fancy dress party, with“beige music” from the likes of Chris Rea and Phil Collins. It’s a colour-code for all that is boring, and that’s hardly the impression you want to make at Christmas. Eating begins with the eyes and it shouldn’t be too hard to add a splash of colour. A bit of greenery, a few slices of purple radish, some bright red chorizo and you could have a platter that will turn heads and prompt additional purchases. Some of the language used in your pub over the next few weeks is bound to be colourful — why shouldn’t your nibbles be too?

Are you skipping breakfast? Pubs are missing out on an opportunity to grow breakfast and brunch sales, according to a new report from potato brand Lamb Weston. The Future of Breakfast: An Insight Report 2017 has found Britons eating breakfast out more often than ever before. Just 12 per cent, however, eat breakfast in a pub once a month. The report also found that: • 7 per cent of people feel it is important for pubs to have breakfast options on the menu • Customers are looking for different experiences when eating breakfast out of home, with around half saying they would choose a dish they wouldn’t prepare at home • Millennials and “ladies who brunch are driving a trend for dining from 11am onwards, Nigel Phillips, Lamb Weston’s country salesmanager for the UK & Ireland, said: “Breakfast is no longer viewed as a functional meal to start the day but as a sociable, indulgent occasion. It presents a great opportunity for pubs to diversify their offer and grow.”

06/11/2017 23:46

SALMON WITH SQUID AND SQUID INK RISOTTO Jamie Celnik, The Alford Arms, Frithsden, Hertfordshire

Price point

“This is on the menu at £17.95, so it is more popular as a dinner rather than lunch. It is definitely a hearty one that will fill you up.”


“We’ve added a pea shoot on top of the salmon to garnish and provide an added bit of colour.”


“There are many schools of thought as to how you cook the perfect risotto. We use a traditional Italian style with onions and garlic, we then add the risotto rice and add fish stock one ladle at a time.”


“This comes from the Faroe Islands, which is where our fish supplier gets a lot of fish from. We pan-fry it on the flesh side, then on the skin side, then put it in the oven. Whatever fish you use these days, you really have to keep on top of it to ensure it’s sustainable.”

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Squid ink


“We add the squid at the end when the risotto has been cooked. It’s cut like the rice so you can’t really see it in there, but it adds texture and comes as a nice surprise when you’re eating it.”

“This is becoming a more common ingredient now and most fishmongers will have it. It doesn’t have a really exciting flavour, it’s a little salty, but it is all about how it looks, which makes for a dramatic dish against the pink of the fish.”

06/11/2017 14:24

What’s your bag?

The days are long gone when cheese & onion or smoky bacon was the biggest decision a customer had to face when selecting a snack to accompany their pint. Today’s pub punter is expected to negotiate a snacks choice that might include dried wasabi peas, beetroot crisps and parmesan popcorn, without even a flicker of hesitation. Analysts at Mintel report that while crisps are still by far and away the biggest-selling bagged snack, sales have declined each year for the past three years. The popcorn market, in contrast, has more than doubled in value over the same period, and is also making the running in terms of developing new, gourmet-style flavours such as goats’ cheese, teriyaki, and gin & tonic. One clear way that crisps are fighting back is by taking their own offer equally upmarket. Walkers, for example, has just launched new packaging for its Market Deli range, which highlights the authentic ingredients used to create flavours such as Mediterranean Balsamic Vinegar, Cornish Mature Cheddar and Anglesey Sea Salt. Also highlighting provenance are brands such as Kettle chips, which has added Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup flavour to its range. Alex Albone, founder of Pipers Crisps, observes: “Premium crisps are one of the best-performing types of snack in the ontrade at present, having almost doubled penetration in less than five years. They also command around a 30 per cent price premium over quality mainstream products, according to CGA figures. “Ever-more sophisticated consumer tastes have led licensed outlets to premiumise


their food menus, enhance flavours and improve provenance. This trend has also driven the “premiumisation” of snacks and is the reason behind the huge sales growth in this category, which is happening right across the UK, in all kinds of bars.” As on-trade drinkers’ tastes diversify, Alex also sees scope to take premium crisps beyond the traditional with-a-pint serve. With the Pipers Crisps range including Atlas Mountains Wild Thyme & Rosemary variety, he says: “The gin-drinking revolution is currently riding the crest of a wave and gin drinkers are looking for high-quality snacks


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06/11/2017 14:29

with innovative flavours. Thyme and rosemary work really well in premium crisps and are a perfect match for great gins.” Also seeing an opportunity in this market is the 10 Acre brand, which has added wasabi popcorn variety to its range of crisps and popcorn. Tony Goodman, chief executive of 10 Acre brand owner Yumsh Snacks, says: “Pub-goers’ tastes have refined and the gin trend has created a wealth of ideas for food and snack pairings; strong cheese flavours match well, as does Japanese wasabi, and many Indian spices complement the botanicals. “The complex flavours within many craft beers also lend themselves to snack pairings. Easy wins are achievable by matching lighter beers with simple, crisp flavours such as sea salt and heavier ales with heartier varieties such as BBQ or chicken.”

CHIA & SULTANA BRIOCHE GLAZED A new twist on the traditional fruited teacake, our chia and sultana brioche offers something a bit different for customers looking for a tasty fruited bread. They work well either toasted or untoasted and can be topped with fresh fruit for a filling fruity afternoon treat.

Snack rack Golden Wonder Chippies A new range from the Golden Wonder brand, owned by Tayto of Northern Ireland. Reassuringly, we’re told that these are made from real potatoes, and they come in chip-shop inspired flavours: Chip Shop Curry, Salt & Vinegar and Ready Salted. Pop Works & Company From the Pepsico-owned Walkers stable, Pop Works & Company was launched last year. It has now launched its full range of flavours in a pub-friendly single serve format, as well as introducing a new flavour to the line-up, Lightly Sea Salted. Brindisa Smoked Almonds Almonds are acclaimed as a superfood and are a source of vitamin E, protein and magnesium, giving them an appeal to customers looking for healthier choices. Importer Brindisa offers the Marcona almond variety from Spain, in salted, smoked and paprika varieties available in both 150g sharing bags and 1kg cater packs. Metcalfe’s Cinema Sweet Also on the healthier track, the Kettle Foods-owned Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn brand has launched Cinema Sweet flavour, using stevia leaf extract to deliver 67 per cent less sugar than the average sweet popcorn, and with only 93 calories per serving.

If you would like to try any of our new products please visit: p36-37 bar snacks.indd 37

06/11/2017 14:31

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06/11/2017 14:52


A £650 personalised Blok chef knife

• •

PLUS £150-worth of McCain Gourmet / Traditional chips

PLUS a chip masterclass with the McCain Chef team

Your personalised design to go here Care and craft make for the freshest, crispiest chips, which is why you should serve McCain Signatures Staycrisp chips in your pub. The new improved Staycrisp Traditional Thick and Gourmet Chunky Chips now feature a unique gluten-free StayCrisp™ coating to make them stay hotter and crisper for longer. McCain has 300 British farming partners and 50 years’ experience in making chips in the UK, which means each and every chip has been carefully crafted from farm to fork. Cutting-edge farming technology combined with plenty of care and attention helps produce longer, better-tasting potatoes, resulting in better plate coverage and better-tasting chips.


Find out more at careandcraft

Email your answer to

McCain is giving one lucky licensee a personalised Blok knife and the chance to serve their customers the freshest, crispiest chips — chips that stay hotter and crisper for longer. The winner will get their own engraved Blok knife worth £650, etched with their very own bespoke design; £150 worth of McCain Menu Signatures Staycrisp Traditional Thick or Gourmet Chunky Chips and a chip masterclass. To enter, simply answer the following question: McCain Menu Signatures Staycrisp Traditional Thick or Gourmet Chunky Chips are made with: (a) 100 per cent British potatoes (b) 50 per cent British potatoes (c) 20 per cent British potatoes

…by Wednesday, January 31, 2018, remembering to include your name and details of your pub

or on Twitter @McCainFoods_B2B

The winners will be selected and informed at the start of February. To enter you must be aged 18 or over and in a position of responsibility at a UK pub. The pubs must be eligible to stock McCain products. Usual terms and conditions apply – see p39 mccain comp.indd 63

06/11/2017 14:48

Shooting for the stars by MATT ELEY

There’s more to The Gun than meets the eye. The traditional pub is a short walk from Canary Wharf, one of the busiest business districts in the country. It’s tucked away in a residential area that has watched on as the corporate skyscrapers erupted on its landscape. From the street, it looks like a decent enough local but you get no idea of what is waiting inside. Nooks and crannies await, along with a history involving Lord Nelson, and some of the best riverside views you could wish for. It is here, looking across the Thames to the dome of the O2 Arena , where we meet manager JP Toerien. He has been behind the barrel of The Gun for five years. During that time, it has been bought by Fuller’s from London multiple operator ETM Group, in what, it is safe to say, was a multi-millionpound deal. That’s the other surprising factor about the pub: it’s a Fuller’s managed house. You wouldn’t know from looking around because apart from the ubiquitous London Pride being on the bar, there is barely any branding. It is the food at this pub that sets it apart though. It is truly in the upper echelons of gastro offerings, which is again not something you would necessarily associate with a

Lord Nelson’s local At the end of the 18th century, Lord Horatio Nelson moved into the area and bought a nearby home — still known as Nelson’s House. He regularly visited the pub and met with his mistress Lady Emma Hamilton in an upstairs room, now called The River Room. The pub was renamed The Gun in 1802, after the cannon that was fired to mark the opening of West India Import Docks.

company on the scale of Fuller’s. JP explains: “The quirkiness of the pub and the whole fresh food concept drew me to it. Our ethos was that we would have daily fish specials that the chefs would create in the kitchen.”

Under new management

He built the business for four years and then, just over a year ago, experienced the uncertainty of the pub changing hands. “It was a surprise at first,” says JP, “but joining a bigger company like Fuller’s meant a lot more support at operations level. I soon realised how much support there was. It’s hard work but I love this business and this building and the history.” The building and the history remain but with a change of ownership came some new things too. Some customers drifted to other ETM offers while new ones were attracted by the Fuller’s name. Keeping the food consistent was essential to the pub’s continued success. “We used to have more independent suppliers and now we have ones who supply to a larger number of people. We couldn’t allow our quality to drop but there have been some good changes,” he continues. “We haven’t had to change the p40-41 the gun.indd 40

06/11/2017 14:56

The Gun Docklands, London Dates from: Early 18th century Taken on by Fuller’s: July 2016 Staff: 42 Covers: 350 on Sundays alone Wet/dry: 45/55 Twitter: @TheGunDocklands

We have to make sure our service lends itself to both the corporates and the residents - we have to provide the same level of service to all

menu, we do that with the seasons and work with fresh products. Things are as good as before, just with different suppliers.” The style of food has remained the same too and the pub is exploring a wider range of vegan and vegetarian options. “We mix it up between traditional and trends. Our menu is British and Frenchinspired. We have some classics such as pies, scotch eggs and mussels,” says JP. The appeal of the pub is for the many, not the few. Its customer base is mixed, with corporate business dominating the week and more local trade at the weekend. They also run numerous private events in dining rooms and on the terrace. “We pride ourselves on our service and our food,” continues JP, “and we have to make sure our service lends itself to both the corporates and residents — we have to provide the same level of service to all.” Perhaps the fact that The Gun retained all of its staff shows how smoothly the transition went from one owner to another. It also shows why The Gun is the template for a new dining division that Fuller’s has created for gastro pubs — and why traditional values never go out of fashion. p40-41 the gun.indd 41

06/11/2017 14:56

OVER 100 MONEYThe biggest fixtures,

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Saturday 23 December, 7.45pm Premier League

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Huddersfield v Man City Sunday 28 November, 4pm Premier League

West Ham v Chelsea

Saturday 9 December, 12.30pm Premier League

Arsenal v Liverpool

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Saturday 2 December, 12.30pm Premier League

Liverpool v Everton

Sunday 10 December, 2.15pm Premier League

Everton v Chelsea

Friday 22 December, 7.45pm Premier League

Saturday 23 December, 12.30pm Premier League

Newcastle v Man City

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Wednesday 27 December, 7.45pm Premier League

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06/11/2017 15:04

MAKING OPPORTUNITIES back-to-back. Served all day

All England and Ireland’s Autumn International matches exclusively live

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Saturday 18 November, 3pm Autumn International

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Saturday 25 November, 3pm Autumn International

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Saturday 25 November, 5.30pm Autumn International

Live action from EFL, SPFL and La Liga including:

Leeds v Middlesbrough Sunday 19 November, 1.15pm Sky Bet Championship

Real Madrid v Barcelona Saturday 23 December, 12pm La Liga

Celtic v Rangers

Saturday 30 December, 8pm Scottish Premiership

Plus, don’t miss PDC Darts this November and December

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Statistics quoted refer to content shown on Sky Sports channels between 16/11/17 to 31/12/17 and are correct at the time of print: 27.10.2017 and may be subject to change. England and Ireland Autumn International matches exclusively live in the UK. Sky Sports requires a Sky subscription, equipment and installation. Further terms apply. Calls to Sky cost 7p per minute plus your provider’s access charge.

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27/10/2017 15:05 11:59 06/11/2017

play with MATT ELEY The Four Thieves in London’s Battersea looks like the kind of place that shouldn’t need to do much to get people in. It has a huge surrounding population of young adults with healthy disposable incomes – people who like to go out. Yet it makes the effort anyway. We visited for an escape room night (see pages 48-49) but could also have tried out the pub’s arcade, enjoyed a comedy night, listened to live jazz, sampled its brewed-on-site beer or stretched our old grey matter in the pub quiz. If you haven’t been before, there are plenty of reasons to

try it and if you have, there are many reasons to go back. And if you need to work this hard to get people to visit you in an affluent part of London, it stands to reason that this remains true across the country. Whether you are a city centre pub or a rural local (check out “Let Me Entertain You” on the opposite page) you must give all sorts of people as many different reasons to visit you as possible. For licensees that’s a huge creative challenge, but for people like me who enjoy going to the pub it means they have never been as interesting as they now are. Thank you.

Vaughan: not being nasty, but we hate Australia Former Ashes winning skipper Michael Vaughan has stoked the fires ahead of this month’s upcoming series between England and Australia. He told Inapub: “We hate Australia. Some of them are my best mates but in terms of cricket it’s a hatred and I’m sure that people in pubs and clubs feel that as well. “Not in a nasty way but it’s just the emotions we go through when England play in Australia.” For the full interview with Vaughan and former fellow BT Sport pundit Graeme Swann visit


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Sky survey finds supporters show their loyalty to pubs screening sport Showing sport in pubs is a virtual guarantee of loyalty, according to new research. Sky teamed up with pub finder app MatchPint to quiz more than 2,000 people who had watched sport in a pub in the last year — and the results show the value of live action. A staggering 99 per cent said they would return to the same pub having watched live sport there. On top of that, 94 per cent said they prefer the atmosphere in their local to anywhere else when watching the big games on the box. 06/11/2017 17:13

The Ashes

The women’s series is under way and the men start their contest later this month. Will England be punching above their weight, with or without Ben Stokes? November 22 to January 8, BT Sport

Christmas Day

OK, you probably don’t need a reminder of the date, but we wanted to mention that it’s on a Monday this year, giving you a lovely weekend of trade before the big day. The same goes for New Year. December 25 ( just in case)

Happening this year Champions League

The Brits are faring well this year and all five English sides could make the last 16. Celtic have a better chance of Europa League qualification. There are two more rounds of group games before the knockouts begin. November 21, 22, December 5, 6, BT Sport

North-West derby day

A genuinely exciting double-header with two derbies in quick succession. Liverpool host their Merseyside rivals at lunchtime before the two Manchester clubs go head to head in a tantalising teatime fixture at Old Trafford. December 10, Sky Sports

Autumn Internationals

The home nations welcome the best from the Southern Hemisphere in the annual rugby fest. November 11, 18, 25, Dec 2, BBC and Sky Sports

Black Friday

Retailers will be doing their best to get money from shoppers. Maybe you can create offers to get them to the pub? November 24

Let me entertain you Brian Priest The Chequers, Swinford, Leicestershire As one of the inaugural winners of BT Sport’s Manager of the Month competition, you would think Brian would have football at the heart of his offer. And he does – after all he did get 20 volunteers to help him paint the pub blue and white when Leicester City won the Premier League. However, it doesn’t begin and end there. Brian, who has been licensee at the pub for 30 years, explains: “We show a lot of football but it is not the only driver. We are a village pub so we have to do quite a spectrum of things. We host a lot of live music and beer festivals. We also do a regular pub quiz and hold rock n’ roll bingo nights. “One of the most successful events we ever did was bingo on New Year’s Day. We got people of all ages in playing that. It must have been the right thing for that day.” He added: “You have got to be proactive these days. Gone are the days when you could just open the doors and get a dozen people coming in. You have got to give them a reason to go out now.” p44-45 play intro.indd 45

06/11/2017 17:13

Get on board by MATT ELEY

Darts great Bobby George says the game is a great soap opera for licensees to showcase in their pubs. The professional-turned-pundit, who is raising awareness about Prostate Cancer (see “Pubs against prostate cancer”, below), says people love watching the arrers in the local. He told Inapub: “It’s great entertainment and it generates a great

Pubs against prostate cancer Bobby George has signed up to the Men United Arms campaign to encourage pubs to help men beat prostate cancer. Bobby said: “The pub is the hub of a community, which is why it is so important that licensees start raising awareness among their locals, and funds for this cause. Plus, it is a great way to get customers at your bar. “I didn’t know much about prostate cancer but the stats are frightening — one in eight men gets it and every 45 minutes a man dies of it. A lot of men are worried about going to the doctor to get checked out but it’s just a blood test and it’s best to catch it early. This campaign is about raising awareness and money — because you need that to fight it.” Pubs are being encouraged to raise money for the cause between now and March 31. Every pub that signs up as a Men United Arms goes into a draw each month to win prizes including t-shirts, branded golf balls and football tickets. And all those that raise more than £200 will be entered into a competition to become the Prostate Cancer UK charity’s favourite local — with Bobby joining MasterChef’s Greg Wallace and industry professionals on a judging panel.The winners will receive free social media advertising, a cheque presentation, a framed personalised Prostate Cancer UK shirt and publicity within their local and trade media. To sign up for a fundraising pack or receive more information visit



p46-47 bobby george.indd 46

atmosphere in the pub. People watch it and have a bet on it and enjoy the show. They say ‘I like that one because he’s good-looking’, or ‘I don’t like that one because he’s ugly or he’s boring’. It’s all about personality.” Bobby, who is now 72, was the starting point for the razzamatazz that has made darts one of the most popular televised sports. Years before theme tunes and models accompanied players to the stage, he would make his way to the oche wearing a cape and carrying a candelabra. “I feel a right prat doing that at my age,” he laughs. “but it’s what people want and it’s part of the game.” He also believes darts is well-represented in pubs in certain parts of the country. “It depends where you go,” he says. “There’s a lot of pubs in Birmingham with dartboards and Scotland does well too. Other places went for pool tables but lots of them have gone now, because pool players don’t drink like darts players and the dining has come in. “In community pubs the darts can be really important because you get a big group in and it’s important trade. In places like Surrey and London it’s more about dining and having lots of people in who you might not see again.”

’tis the season

Darts comes into its own in the winter with two major tournaments. Leading the way is the PDC World Championships, which starts on December 22 and ends with the final on New Year’s Day. This year’s tournament will be a poignant affair, as it is the last time the 16-times world champion Phil “The Power” Taylor will take the stage. The action will be broadcast on Sky Sports. A Sky spokeswoman says: “Watching 06/11/2017 23:57


Bobby George is promoting the Men United Arms campaign, where pubs can help fight prostate cancer and promote themselves to customers at the same time

darts in a live arena can often have a similar atmosphere to that of the pub, meaning licensees can capitalise on what is an ideal sport for their venue by recreating that unique buzz and making their pub the go-to place for watching darts.” She adds that pubs can recreate the atmosphere by ensuring walk-on music can be heard and by giving customers placards and foam fingers. Lager is the most popular drink at darts events so pitchers could be in order, along with quick and easy food such as burgers and hot dogs. In January, attention switches to the BDO’s version of the World Championships, an event broadcast by BT Sport as well as Channel 4. Bruce Cuthbert, BT Sport’s director of commercial customers, said: “What better way to beat the January blues than by arranging a darts night to coincide with the competition? If you don’t have a dartboard, get one, and make the most of the winter’s Wimbledon effect in arrows.”


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06/11/2017 21:59

Gin and panic by MATT ELEY

Lock-ins aren’t what they used to be. The ritual of the landlord bolting the door, closing the curtains and welcoming you into an exclusive club is largely a memory from a time before licensing laws were relaxed. These days, a lock-in is just as likely to refer to a room punters are desperately trying to get out of.

This is what has brought me to the Four Thieves in London’s Battersea — a bustling Laine’s Pub Company venue with a multitude of reasons to visit. Before I’ve sat down I’ve walked past the brewery, clocked the gin yard and watched as dozens of customers have made their way upstairs to the arcade, where they can play crazy golf or take each other on in a variety of modern and nostalgic video games. As general manager Carly Piggott explains, these days you should give people as many reasons as you can to visit your pub. “A beer or a rum and Coke used to be enough but now it’s about the experience and doing something different and quirky,” she says. I’m here to try to find a way out of one of the pub’s two escape rooms. These have become big business in recent years with The Crystal Maze inspiring numerous Cluedo-esque or code-cracking games.

Sordid secrets

My friend and I team up with a couple who have come along to test their wits, and are led to our room by the mysterious Gabriel, an actress who never comes out of character and explains that our job is to “solve the sordid secrets of



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Lady Chastity’s vineyard in time to win her fabled bottle of aphrodisiac wine.” Basically, we have an hour to crack numerous codes around a dark and dingy room that hasn’t been touched since a deeply troubled Lady Chastity locked herself in her own cupboard many moons ago. Succeed, and we get wine. We try. Lord, how we try. We hunt through drawers, rustle through old clothes, shine our torches in dark recesses to find clues and secret doors, spend way too long looking at a collection of old bones, piece together puzzles and get attacked by a giant spider. But just as we get towards the final clue, Gabriel (who was waiting outside the door just in case an emergency escape were needed for any reason) re-enters the room to tell us our time is up. No wine. Gutted. A bit like Lady Chastity’s lovers. It was a head-scratching and adrenalininducing hour that warranted discussion over a drink after the event, which is exactly how pubs can make a few quid by hosting such a game. Carly continues: “We get all sorts in, large groups or couples, but they all tend to have a drink before or afterwards. Often at the weekends they will book a table and have some food or 06/11/2017 22:03

We have an hour to crack numerous codes around a dark and dingy room. Succeed, and we get wine

go and play in the arcade. “It’s driving different people into the pub and the next time they do something, they will think of coming here.”

Mystery guests

There are numerous escape room businesses across the country but, to our knowledge, only one that specialises in installing games in pubs. Handmade Mysteries was set up by James Addy after he decided he wanted to escape from his previous job in the civil service and follow his entrepreneurial streak. The company currently operates out of venues in Brighton and London and is looking to expand across the UK. James explains how the games, which cost players around £20 a go, can also be a money-spinner for the hosting pub in terms

of extra sales. “We have done research which shows that this can bring in an extra £2,000 a week and that 75 per cent of people coming in have not been to the pub before. We are marketing the pub and bringing in a lot of customers in that key 25to-35 age group,” he says. There are also minimal costs involved. You just need an appropriate space and a big enough potential customer base to ensure the games are being played regularly. This means they are likely to be better suited to urban pubs, rather than community locals in small villages. It is the experience of doing something active with friends which James believes is behind the success of escape rooms. “I think experiential events are the way forward for pubs. People are looking for something different from their pub entertainment,” he adds. They are undoubtedly different. Perhaps escape rooms could even hold the key to providing a new revenue stream for your business.

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 49 p48-49 mystery games.indd 49

06/11/2017 22:04

stay 11

12 little touches



A hot water bottle


A survival kit


Fresh milk


Dog treats

Upham Pub Group has 159 rooms across 14 sites, all offering posh Algotherm beauty products and home-made biscuits. At The Mill and The Swan in Chiddingfold, Surrey, however, guests can also get hot water bottles to take to their rooms.

Tommy Mark, general manager of The Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland, Northumberland, says that customers are provided with a survival kit comprising walking maps, a silver blanket and compass. “They can also borrow wellies, anoraks and binoculars,” he says.

Run by Tony Leonard and Dominic McCartan, The Roebuck Inn, Laughton, East Sussex, provides its guests with fresh milk, as Leonard says UHT milk is “disgusting, undrinkable and vile.” They’ll also find cafetieres with roasted coffee sourced from a local company in each of the pub’s four rooms.

All 110 rooms across the eight Oakman Inns’ sites that offer accommodation come equipped as a “home away from home,” with Nespresso coffee machines, DAB radios, HD TV and toiletries from luxury brand Noble Isle. The dedicated dog-friendly rooms come with an extra treat, however, in the form of dog biscuits.


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Personalised cookies

All Thwaites hotels and inns offer personalised cookies for children, alongside fresh milk and complimentary home-made shortbread. “There are certain things that a guest expects when staying anywhere – a comfortable bed, clean bathroom and a warm welcome,” says Chris Hill, Thwaites Hotels operations director. “But it’s also the little things that get remembered.”


A decanter of Port

Six of the Brakspear sites offer accommodation and, “while we of course ensure rooms have the most comfortable beds and powerful showers, we’ve also put a lot of thought and money into the added extras,” says chief executive Tom Davies. Those extras include a decanter of Port, and a “bits and 06/11/2017 22:17

stay. pieces” kit containing spare buttons and other useful items.


Board games

Run by former BII Licensees of the Year Ashley and Kelly McCarthy, rooms at Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, North Yorkshire, are stocked with games, puzzles and DVDs, as well as home-made chocolates and fruit juices. Ashley says: “Adding the opportunity to stay overnight at the venue not only adds to that experience of comfort to the guest, it also gives us the chance to show a different side to our hospitality.”


Local knowledge


A microwave



The 29-bedroom Worpleston Place, near Guildford, owned by Redcomb Pubs, provides guests with the Survival Guide. It features all the essentials including the kitchen hours, check out times, details of the local area, places to visit, and recommended businesses such as taxi firms and hairdressers. Each room also has quality bathroom goodies as well as a tray of complimentary drinks and nibbles.

Part of the Distinct Group of pubs, The Three Compasses in London’s Hornsey, boasts four rooms that are rented out via Airbnb for only around £38 a night. A communal kitchen offers milk, biscuits, fresh bread, fruit and cooking facilities.


A Mars bar


A book

At The Greyhound on the Test, in Stockbridge, Hampshire, owner Lucy Townsend has done away with offering “stupid little boxes of chocolates” to her guests. Instead they can help themselves to whole bars such as Mars and Twix free of charge.

In each of Fuller’s 714 rooms, across 32 sites, customers will find a book. The tome, Crafting a Company, charts the brewer and pub operator’s history. Other special touches in rooms include free bottles of beer and even hampers. Mark Fulton, the pub company’s head of operations for hotels, says: “These added extras add to the customer experience, help us exceed rather than meet expectations and hopefully drive improved reputation.”

TIME for

“While chocolates are always appreciated, it seems to be the practical extras, which save on the packing, that are appreciated the most,” says Rupert Bagnall, operations director at Wadworth. So, when the brewer invested £510,000 into The Inn in the Park in Poole, Dorset, the little touches were considered just as important as the full refurb. There are complimentary slippers and bathrobes in each room and fridges on each landing stocked with bottled water and milk.


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06/11/2017 22:18

back-bar business


ways to win over the sporting crowd Sport can be huge for pubs and it is going to get even bigger next year when the football World Cup rolls around.

But before our players are rolling around in tears on the turf you need to ensure your pub is the place to watch the action. Posters and good old word of mouth play an important part, but so too does digital marketing. Here’s some hints to help you blow the opposition away.


Pick your platform

There’s plenty of choice, from the necessity of using your own website, various

social media channels and sending emails to your customer database. There’s no harm in experimenting, so find what works for you and then make it part of your armoury.


Take Twitter


Face up to Facebook

Whether the platform permanently doubles its character count to 280 or not, this is still a pithy way of reaching plenty of people. Simon Delaney, licensee at The Firbank in Manchester, uses it before, during and after matches. “If it’s quiet we will use it to drum up more business and if it’s packed we’ll tweet out photos to show people how good the atmosphere is,” he says.

Facebook is a firm favourite with pubs because it allows you to build a community, similar to that in the real world.

Ipswich Town F.C. in action

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06/11/2017 22:39



Need a hand with your marketing tactics? Inapub should be able to provide the answer. Our Social Connect service allows you to update the sport you are showing on your website and social media simultaneously. We also send emails to licensees about upcoming sports fixtures. Plus, our Digital Marketing Guide has the answers to many more questions. Find out more at A free fix for football fixtures The free Sports Fixture Asset Plan available from Inapub in conjunction with BT Sport, provides your pub with a graphic detailing the next seven days’ stand-out fixtures from European, national and international competitions. Each week the graphic will be emailed direct to you. You can then post this to your social media channels. It has been designed to allow pubs to post clearly about football and get a high level of reach when added to their platforms. This will allow pubs to reach new and existing customers, driving footfall for those games. We design an asset for both England and Scotland to ensure the right games are highlighted for. To sign up for this free service email with the following details: • Email address • Email subject: “Football Asset Plan” •Full Name • Pub Name • Postcode

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Phil Cutter, licensee at award-winning Norwich freehouse The Murderers, is a fan: “The wonderful thing about a Facebook page is that it is generally used by your customers so you can’t really get more direct marketing than that. With sport we will mention big matches a few weeks in advance and then build up to it. We don’t do much social activity when games are on because people have made their decision about where to watch it by that stage.”


Don’t be afraid to pay for help

Digitally marketing sport is a game of opinions. Some licensees like to do it themselves, others get a hand. Martin Whelan, licensee at Arsenal fans’ pub The Tollington in Holloway, North London, goes with the latter. He says: “I pay one of the team to do three hours a day and just focus on that. You can’t do it justice when you are working on a busy bar.” It seems to be working. The pub has more than 9,000 followers on Twitter and reported huge engagement on posts relating to Martin recently being named as a BT Sport Manager of the Month.


Or get help for free

Speaking about the big broadcasters, both Sky and BT Sport have loads of promotional assets that pubs can use on social channels to promote games. It’s as easy as going to their customer websites and downloading what you need. We say free, but of course sports pubs pay for their subscriptions — so make sure you maximise them.


Analyse it


But don’t get obsessed with numbers

Not sure if things are working? Look at the analytics to see how far your posts are reaching and who is reading them. You can delve as deep as you like here, but a quick scan at the numbers will tell you what type of content is working for you.

At the end of the day it is not an exact science and the numbers you reach will not

Phil Cutter of The Murderers: “The wonderful thing about a Facebook page is it’s generally used by your customers”

necessarily directly correlate with how much extra cash you are taking. Phil at The Murderers says: “All the activity might just bring in five to 10 more people but that could be an extra £50 — and who will say no to that?”


What about Instagram?


Keep it fresh

Try it, by all means but, in general terms, Instagram is currently king when it comes to showcasing food and drink. Less so for live sport. If you have an eye for a photo it’s worth a go.

Whether it is on your social channels or your own website, ensure you are talking about the next game, and not one from a month ago. Matt Jones, Inapub’s digital marketing manager, says: “Customers will go to the ‘What’s on’ section of the website to see what sports you are showing, and if they cannot see that information or it is out of date, they are likely to go elsewhere. “When they visit your social media platforms they will expect to find you posting about showing sport if you are showing it. But if customers can’t see that on your social media, they may not visit you.”



06/11/2017 22:42

time at the bar




Geek out with your guide to the best hops about 1. Fuggles

6. Strisselspalt

No, not Red, Boober and Gobo (they were Fraggles) but instead this very popular British hop. It was the dominant variety in UK brewing for years and, mixed with Goldings (see below), produces a classic English ale.

Highly valued and one of only a handful of hop varieties to be found growing in France, these are most commonly used in European-style beers such as lagers, blonde ales and bocks. Its name is derived from the German words Strissel, meaning bouquet, and Spalt, meaning quality.

2. Goldings Found in the full range of brews — everything from pale ales to porters – Goldings have been grown and used in the UK for around 200 years. If grown in East Kent they are known as East Kent Goldings; Kent Goldings if grown in mid-Kent, and just plain Goldings if they hail from anywhere else.

7. Nelson Sauvin A distinctive hop, this has become known as the Sauvignon Blanc of the hop world due to the qualities it shares with the well-known wine grape — both can produce a wide range of flavours, from tart gooseberries to tropical lychees.

3. Amarillo

8. Jester

This American hop, most commonly used in modern pale ales and IPAs, was chosen to feature here really only so that the dreaded ear worm that is Is This The Way To Amarillo? can be in your head all day. Sorry, not sorry.

Fighting against the invasion of heavyweight American hops, in the red corner we have the plucky new British contender… Jester. The name might not give it much gravitas but this new kid on the block (released 2009) has done well as an alternative to the popular US hops: Cascade, Centennial and Columbus.

4. Bramling Cross Created in 1965, this British beauty was most famously used in Brewdog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin beer, the 32 per cent ABV “uber-imperial” stout, but is most commonly used to make more run-of-the-mill porters and stouts.

5. Cascade This hop has become synonymous with the American craft beer revolution, after it became popular with some of the movement’s earliest and most successful brewers. It contains a high level of essential oils, which give unique floral aromas to the finished beer.

9. Hallertau One of the original four German “noble hops” (the others are Saaz, Spalt and Tettnang), this hop is associated with classic Bavarian lagers. It is used mainly for aroma, giving the beer spicy, floral notes and is named after the region in which it was originally grown.

10. Farnham White Bine This variety once made Surrey famous for the quality of its hops but now just threeand-a-half acres exist. For those, we can thank the local Hogs Back brewery, which decided to revive the hop’s fortunes. A hop revival garden was planted back in 2014 in the field opposite the brewery, which this year produced its third full harvest. p54 top 10.indd 54

06/11/2017 22:49

Run a pub with us and you’ll see what £100 million of nationwide investment means for Britain’s pubs. Call us now on 08085 94 95 96 or visit

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22/08/2017 22:48

Global’s Make Some Noise has received a £100,000 donation from Greene King, following their three-month partnership this summer. The charity works with young people living with illness, disability or lack of opportunity. To raise money Greene King released a limited-edition ale, Amplified, which was launched by DJ Chris Moyles (pictured with Greene King’s brand director, Sue Thomas-Taylor). Five pence from every pint of beer sold was donated to the cause. The brewer and pub operator also ran a Summer of Sound campaign in its pubs to promote live music in pubs and raise cash for the charity,nity. “We’re so grateful for the support we’ve received from Greene King and its customers,” said Emma Bradley, Global’s Make Some Noise’s director. “The money raised will enable us to make a huge difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people and their families.

THE COLLECTION TIN What pubs around the country are doing to help good causes Industry charity Hospitality Action raised £54,000 at its 180th birthday bash last month. Guests were treated to a meal cooked by five of the country’s best chefs. including pub chef Tom Kerridge. Tom said: “It was great to see so many great chefs and industry names come together to give the charity the support it deserves.” Children at Silverhill Primary in Mickleover, Derby, got a new play area, and elderly residents of Carden Bank care home got a free carvery lunch at The Blacksmith’s Arms in Burton. They were among 36 beneficiaries of a £16,000 fund raised by Punch this year, along with victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and those affected by the Manchester bomb attack.

Woodforde’s Brewery created an ale for local charity Nelson’s Journey, which supports bereaved young people. The brew was called Porkies, in honour of the fund-raising festival it was created for – Porkstock — and was sold for £3 a bottle on the day with all proceeds going to the charity. The 16th annual JD Wetherspoon Kick for CLIC football tournament raised £445,000 for CLIC Sargent, the children’s cancer charity. Staff from over 500 branches of the pub chain competed but it was the team from the Becketts Bank in Leeds that emerged triumphant.The 15-year partnership between JD Wetherspoon and CLIC Sargent has raised more than £14m for the charity to date. Bottomless brunches, bingo and beauty sessions combined in Botanist venues to raise money for Barnardo’s. The venues, part of the New World Trading Company, are also donating £1 from every sale of a specially created cocktail, The Believer (a gin punch), and sharing dessert, The Carroty Pot Planter Sharer (a carrot cake served in a miniature plant pot). In addition the company has pledged to build a greenhouse in each city in which it has opened a Botanist this year, to help Barnardo’s Indigo Centres across the UK. The first was installed in London’s Ilford in September and will enable locals to come together to grow and share their own produce.

Are you raising funds for a great cause? Let us know at



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PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s publicans stand on the really big questions Leon Burns, The Queen Anne, Maidstone, Kent Leon has been working in pubs for the last 35 years. Six months ago he took over as manager of the newly refurbished Queen Anne in Maidstone. The Admiral Taverns pub has recently undergone a £100,000 refurb, re-opening just last month with a new lounge bar and garden as well as a revamped food and drink offer.

Plate or slate? Plate, we find it more practical in our pub. We do also use boards though, mainly for light lunches such as sandwiches and jacket potatoes.

Background music or silence is golden? Background music, definitely. I like to keep it at a controlled level so you can enjoy reading a book or the paper by the fireplace.

Cocktails or cask ales?

Dyson Airblade or hand towels?

Cask ales are popular throughout the day with our older clientele, but we also do cocktails and they are popular with the ladies from the local offices who come after work. We added a twist to our cocktail list by ditching the usual names, such as Sex On The Beach, and choosing “Diva” names such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey etc.

Neither. I find Dyson Airblades to be very noisy and hand towels never seem to make it to the bin. You can pick up decent hand dryers through any leading distributor that do exactly the same job as an Airblade, just quieter!

Brass or chrome fittings? Both. When we sat down with the designers to discuss our refurb, we all decided to take the pub back to a traditional look but add a modern twist. Bringing both the chrome together with the brass works extremely well.

Karaoke or pub quiz? Both. Our pub is buzzing on a Tuesday when our quiz night is on and karaoke is also a prime time entertainment slot here. We have spotted some great talent at karaoke and we’ve gone on to give them their own gig on a Friday or Saturday night.

Cash or Apple Pay? Apple Pay. We deal with 85 per cent card payments and 15 per cent cash. Technology has come a long way these last few years and I think in five to 10 years cash will have become something of the past.

Mustard cords or skinny jeans? Skinny jeans. I’m not a lover of mustard cords. Everybody’s fashion taste is different but cords hurt my eyes to look at, especially mustard ones.

Live sport or big screen ban? Live sport. It’s always a good profit earner when you have the big games on. It can make an electrifying atmosphere.

On the tab or no credit? I run a tight ship. I don’t believe in giving out tabs, I’m afraid. It doesn’t help me pay the bills and it tends to be more hassle than it’s worth. p57 plate or slate.indd 57

06/11/2017 22:55

time at the bar

HAIR OF THE DOG Tales of the unexpected from the wonderful world of pubs Getting into the spirit

Boffin wars on the wall

question nted pub? That was the Is this Britain’s most hau nt, as well Ke er’s Kiln in Canterbury, being posed by The Tyl erage of cov TV CC its the world as as news headlines around viral. ghostly goings-on went mming and sliding around, doors sla irs cha of e tag foo Eerie t, claims eis terg elves points to a pol parasols opening thems bert as the Gil rd dlo lan er fingers form owner Allister Collins. He aybe he stralian news channel: “M likely culprit, telling an Au e doesn’t like what I’ve don with the place.” Sceptics remained unconvinced, with one ’s commenting on the pub ng azi “am e Facebook pag re’s publicity stunt, guys”. The no doubt, though, that it The created interest ahead of ty. par een llow Ha ’s Tyler’s Kiln

Geddahhht of my pub! East London ain’t what it used to be. In what is surely the last word in gentrification, a theatre company sparked a row last month by unveiling £55-a-head “immersive” Cockney-themed dinner parties in an “authentic Hackney boozer”. The Cockney’tivity Christmas dining experience offers “three acts of hilarious festive drama and three courses of delicious food”. Zebedee Productions insists it isn’t poking fun at a stereotype, but its website does feature a cast of comedy Cockneys including a man hawking his wares from the inside of a sheepskin jacket. One East End resident told The Guardian: “They‘re sticking up two fingers to the local community and profiteering off the local people.” Gorblimey guv’nor, what a palaver.


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There was much tutting and shaking of heads at the Inapub Inn when we heard a historic Cambridge pub had been vandalised. This being Cambridge, however, the defacement was somewhat more cerebral than the usual crude scrawls in the gents. The Eagle proudly displays a blue plaque commemorating Francis Crick and James Watson’s discovery of DNA, which they announced in the pub in 1953. Some argue, however, that chemist Rosalind Franklin’s contribution to the discovery has been overlooked by history. Time to right this piece of scientific sexism, figured someone with a black marker who added “+ Franklin” to the plaque. Sixty-four years on, it’s good to see the pub remains a hotbed of intelligent debate.

Pub Pets’ Corner Portraiture fans pricked up their ears last month, Great British Pu as b Dogs hit the bo okshops to no litt in the national pr le fanfare ess. Photographer Ab bie Lucas and jo urnalist Paul Flec travelled the coun kney try to meet arou nd 70 four-legged for the lavishly sh publicans ot photobook. Go od for them, and proves a bestse we hope it ller. We’d just like to point out, though, that we’ve been publishing snap s of pub dogs in these ve ry pages for years. This mon th’s pin-up pooch is Dexter, a FrenchEnglish bulldog cross, is a new addition to The Ship Inn at Holy Island, an d was sent in by Paul Armst rong. Do keep them co ming. 06/11/2017 22:59

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19/12/2016 14:22

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20/09/2017 00:02

Inapub magazine nov-dec 2017 issue 71  

Christmas is a busy time of the year for everyone but perhaps most of all for licensees and their teams. With that in mind, in this issue we...