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inapub

Issue 83 January 2019 ÂŁ4.95 trade.inapub.co.uk

Beat the January Blues Tempt in the teetotallers, try new things and get your year up and running

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oes anyone like January? No one I know – and why anyone would choose this, over all the other months, to give up the grog is a mystery to me. Yet plenty do, an estimated 4.5 million this year in fact. So, no surprise we’ve given over a few pages of this edition to look at the phenomenon and find out what you can serve over the bar to keep the temporarily teetotal filling the till. And, as a glass half-full kind of a team here at the Inapub Inn, we’ve also taken the time to focus on the initiative known as Try January. A positive movement born of the desire to persuade people to get out to pubs and bars this month, which frankly is much more our cup of tea (or kombucha, we suppose, if we’re going to be trying something new). You can check it out on pages 10-12. We’ve also been wondering what is happening to pool in pubs? Where once upon a time a pool table was pretty standard pub kit, these days they’ve become as rare as a sticky carpet as the space is given over to tables for dining. But is that a wise move? Given the testimonials of some of pro-pool publicans on pages 38-39, you might want a rethink.

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this month Try January• Catering to commuters

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drink Make Dry January work for you• Get your range right

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eat Healthier options • Allergy awareness

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play Six Nations rugby • Pool

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stay Star-studded studio cabins

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back-bar business Trade show diary

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46 time at the bar Brit pubs abroad • Your work for charity

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Editor Robyn Black 07909 251 231 • robynb@inapub.co.uk Multimedia journalist James Evison 07884 868 365 • james@inapub.co.uk Contributors Matt Eley, Richard Molloy

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Production editor Ben Thrush 07810 620 169 • ben@inapub.co.uk Chief executive Barrie Poulter 07908 144 337 • barrie@inapub.co.uk Sales manager Katy Robinson 07884 868 364 • katy@inapub.co.uk

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this month.

BARSTOOL EXPERT all you ever needed to know about COOL CASK ALE Evening.

Exactly.

Evening. Hang on, is that a bottle of beer in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

And what has he found?

Funny. But you know I’m a cask drinker. Unless it’s a vintage ale you’re unlikely to see me crack open a bottle.

Too hot. 14°. Unbelievable. Hold the front page. What are you going to do?

Complain, of course.

OK. But it still begs the question as to what that is… woah! You’re sticking it in your drink now! Is it some kind of funky straw? I thought straws were banned these days?

Don’t you think the guvnor’s got enough on his plate without you moaning that his beer is a couple of degrees from perfection? Take it outside, it will soon chill.

It’s a thermometer.

That’s the other problem with cask. People are afraid to take it back. It’s tough to look after and it can go wrong, but landlords need to know, otherwise it won’t get any better...… oh dear...…

But why are you putting it in your beer?

Because, my lager-guzzling friend, the Cask Report found that cask beer is being served at the wrong temperature.

What is it now?

Too cold?

Too hot. I thought that stuff was meant to be warm?

A common misconception held by people who drink the mass-produced fizz you seem to enjoy so much. It’s mass-produced because lots of people like it. Anyway, what temperature is cask beer supposed to be?

It should be 11-13° but in the summer Cask Marque found more than twothirds was being served above that. Plus, it turns out quite a lot of people would like it cooler than that anyway. So, what’s being done about it?

Some beers, such as Doom Bar, are being trialled at lower temperatures, but the main drive is to get pubs to serve it within the correct temperature range, at the very least. Hence PC Centigrade investigating your ale…

I feel a bit unwell. I don’t think it’s the beer, but cask quality is another issue, so you never know. Good job you’ve got that thermometer then. You know exactly where you can stick it.

Keep it cool: Monitor the temperature of cask in the cellar and in the glass. Train staff so they know how cask should be looked after and presented. Encourage sampling and feedback from customers. Hot under the collar: Don’t keep your cask on for too long, have more lines than you can reasonably handle or ever try to get away with it by using phrases such as “it’s supposed to be warm”.

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IN THE TRADE THIS MONTH CAMRA puts forward plan to save pubs CAMRA has announced a three-point plan to help save pubs: introducing a preferential rate of duty for draught beer, reforming the business rates system and reviewing the pubs code. Hundreds of members marched through Westminster in support of the plan in a bid to lobby their local MPs into “tackling the root causes of pub closures”.

TOP STORIES ON TRADE.INAPUB.CO.UK A landlord has bought the world’s most expensive gin

More Than A Pub aid fund swells to £2.2m A £2.2m fund to enable more communities across England to save their local pub by buying it has been secured by the More Than A Pub programme. The cash will be available next summer, with further details expected in the spring. Since 2016 the programme has already helped 26 pubs open under new community ownership.

World’s Biggest Pub Quiz date for diaries Pubs are being urged to reserve March 3 to 7 next year for PubAid’s World’s Biggest Pub Quiz — a fundraising initiative for Prostate Cancer UK and other charities. The quiz saw 1,500 pubs take part last year, raising £190,000 and making a total of £405,000 since the event began in 2016.

ONS finds indies bear brunt of closures Figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown more than 11,000 pubs have closed since 2008. The data shows small independent pubs represent the biggest number of closures, with pubcos consolidating estates and focusing on large, high-turnover bars. However, there was some positive news: employment figures show there are six per cent more jobs in pubs today than in 2008.

Church creates ‘pop-up pub’ as local faces uncertain future Pub scraps its meaty name due to vegan menu changes The food trends for 2019 How can pubs profit from Chinese New Year?

Brewhouse beer tasters enter record book A record-breaking 1,264 people took part in a beer tasting on the last day of November, sipping three craft beers simultaneously across 21 Brewhouse & Kitchen sites. The event was overseen by Guinness World Record adjudicators and legal eagles from London law firm Joelson and set the world record for the largest beer tasting (across multiple venues). Brewhouse & Kitchen co- founder Kris Gumbrell said he wanted to break a world record while enjoying great beer. “The teams at Brewhouse & Kitchen pride themselves on creating a welcoming and friendly hub for the communities they serve and we couldn’t have set this record without the support from local people,” he said. “This is a world record not just for Brewhouse & Kitchen but for all who took part. We couldn’t be prouder.”

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this month.inapub THE WAY I SEE IT JILL WHITTAKER

TWEET ALL ABOUT IT

Firms risk losing Apprenticeship Levy fund

Last month it was announced Guinness has signed a new six-year deal to become the title sponsor for the Six Nations and the stout and rugby lovers of the internet couldn’t have been more delighted…

Introduced nearly 18 months ago, the landmark Apprenticeship Levy was set up to help fund millions of apprenticeships in the UK. Despite this, 40 per cent of hospitality professionals admit they still have a poor or very poor understanding of the legislation, our research shows. The levy requires companies with a pay bill of more than £3m to contribute 0.5 per cent of their payroll to the scheme, which they can claim back for apprenticeships. Businesses below this threshold do not pay into the fund but still have access to government subsidies of 90 cent of the cost of the apprenticeship. With initial levy contributions expiring after April 2019, businesses are at a crunch point to start using or losing their funding. However, according to a survey of 250 HR managers or senior figures working in hospitality we undertook with 3GEM, less than half of hospitality operators have used up the majority of their funds — meaning thousands of pounds available to upskill new and existing employees will potentially be lost. We are encouraging hospitality employers to take advantage of the Apprenticeship Levy now to upskill their workforce, attract new talent and improve staff retention, and can provide advice on the best way to maximise the funds available. As the hospitality industry facing a skills shortage of an estimated 375,000 positions (University of Cambridge and SkillSnap, 2018), it has never been more important for businesses to reap the benefits of apprenticeships and help future-proof the industry as a whole.

Yaaaaaaas! Two of my favourite things ever, together as they should be #Guinnesssixnations @CatBramley No greater combination! #guinnesssixnations #guinness #rugby @therealwayneg I feel a beer promotion coming on in February @BSRUGBY @athompsonjones Best decision ever. Great combination Rugby and Guinness @thealmightyquin ‘Guinness’ Six Nations… yep, yes, I think I can deal with that. The one I actually had from the store house once was delightful, just a half though #guinnesssixnations @daniellemered_ That actually made me go ‘OOOOO’ out loud. Is that ‘OOL’? #HappyStoutDays #GuinnessSixNations #GuinnessIsGoodForYou #mymumsaidso @janeymac64

Jill Whittaker is the managing director of HIT Training, a specialist training and apprenticeship provider for the hospitality and catering industry

90%

of pubs in England failed to prevent children using adult gaming machines, according to a report by the Gambling Commission

Find us online every month at trade.inapub.co.uk

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Old Speckled Hen Low Alcohol

Looking for a booze-free beer for Dry January? You’re spoilt for choice this year, with the category up more than 30 per cent in the past year as people embrace healthier lifestyles. Greene King is the latest brewer to bring out a low-alcohol version of its classic brand, keeping the malty caramel notes but switching the digits to 0.5 per cent ABV 0845 600 1799

Recycled furniture

Along with not drinking and not eating meat, being concerned about plastic waste looks set to continue as a major trend this year. Show your punters you care with this stylish furniture made from milk cartons and ice cream containers diverted from landfill sites. As if good looks and eco cred weren’t enough, the Seaside Casual range from Ovation is also extremely hardwearing and requires zero maintenance. 03301 130 983

Stuff

What’s new in the pub this month

Uncle Ben’s Katsu Curry

We have a Ben on the Inapub staff who has a Japanese nephew, and if you asked him about Uncle Ben’s katsu curry you might be met with a raised eyebrow. There’s nothing questionable about this sauce from Uncle Ben’s though, which can be poured over breaded fried chicken to magic up on-trend Japanese dude food, or used in a chicken katsu burger for a modern twist. 01942 272 900

Mrs Cuthbert’s British Gin Liqueurs

Some people must still be drinking this month, right? Hark back to a bygone era before everyone got all sensible, with nostalgic flavours including Victoria Sponge and Rhubarb Crumble. www.mrscuthberts.com

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this month. Gordon’s Ultra Low

In 2018 the world seemed divided in many ways, not least between those who were turning up their noses at the booze and those who were knocking back great draughts of gin. Why not reconcile those two trends in 2019, with these ultra-low-alcohol Gin & Tonic drinks from gin supremos Gordon’s? Available in Hint of Lime and Hint of Grapefruit. Let us move forward together. www.gordons.co.uk

Country range shoestring fries

With the economy preparing for Brexit, perhaps it would be appropriate to axe the French fries from your menu and start serving shoestring fries instead? With a crispy coating and a commitment to fluffiness though, these should deliver bang for any budget. www.countryrange.co.uk

Strykk Not Vodka

With this being the month many punters are swearing off the sauce, now could be the perfect time to experiment with your alcoholfree range. And while it’s all very well dabbling in the odd 0 per cent ABV beer, for serious non-drinkers there is now the genre-fluid category of alcohol-free spirits. Featuring cucumber and menthol notes and a spicy, warming finish, Not Vodka is intended to be as credible and stylish as a person without a hangover. 020 7157 9564

Eden burger bun

If only Eve had chowed down on one of these in the garden instead of accepting that dodgy apple, perhaps humanity would be leading a more virtuous existence. Part of Speciality Breads’ new Vegan Society registered range of more than 60 breads, the bun includes a touch of potato and is suggested as a partner for beetroot, jackfruit and other plant-based burgers. For more on meat-free options, see p32-33. www.specialitybreads.co.uk

Old Mout draught cider

Are you feeling fruity? The Kiwi cider brand is going beyond the bottle as it makes its first foray intro draught. They started trialling the Berries & Cherries variant in December, arguing with impeccable logic that if it sold well in the winter months “there’s no way it couldn’t work in summer.” With the trial reportedly surpassing expectations, the cider is now being rolled out to the wider on-trade. Who said kiwis couldn’t fly? direct.heineken.co.uk

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Try January by THE INAPUB TEAM

That January is a tough month to run a pub is not news to any licensee, so it’s no surprise that back in 2015 a chain of bars sought to boost business with a campaign they called “Try January”. Sarah Swaysland, the then head of marketing at that chain (Be At One) takes up the tale: “We wanted to encourage a paradigm change with the usual Dry January — basically, instead of promoting abstinence, we wanted to encourage guests to try something new, in a positive way.” The offer was all new cocktails for £5 in the hour after Happy Hour for the whole month and it proved to be a huge success. The group reported a 10 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in that first year, selling 29 per cent fewer Mojitos and more Mezcal

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in three weeks than it had for the whole of December. Since then the idea of Try January has been adopted by others in the hospitality industry and has moved beyond drinks into food and events too. So, if you fancy trying Try January this January, here’s a round-up of some ideas to help you get started.

Drinks

The beer industry has been pushing #Tryanuary for a few years now and there’s even an official website (tryanuary.com) and Twitter feed (@Tryanuary) aimed at promoting local beer. There were 180 events under the banner in 2018, from pub quizzes to Battles of the Brewers to film nights in breweries to a Stout Party, as well as the usual tap takeovers, tastings, talks and beer festivals. This year the organisers are promising even more, so get in touch via the website if you fancy getting involved. Of course, Try January doesn’t stop at beer, and cocktails are a great way to boost spend at any time of the year. Begin 2019 by banning the Porn Star Martini (now officially the UK’s favourite cocktail) for the month and promote new drinks instead – take inspiration from cocktails that are popular across the globe such as the Old Fashioned (the number one drink in nearly 30 per cent of the world’s best bars, according to Drinks International). Or, indeed, if you don’t sell Porn Star Martinis yet, capitalise on its new-found popularity and make that your cocktail of the month.

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this month.

Instead of promoting abstinence, we wanted to encourage guests to try something new in a positive way

Food Plant-based Veganuary – a registered charity set up by Matthew Glover and Jane Land encourages veggies and omnivores to try vegan eating for a month. Set up in 2014, it has been very successful. It grew by 183 per cent last year and had 168,542 people signing up to go vegan for January. Next year it plans to reach 300,000 people. If your pub would like to take part, the campaign suggests heading to its website – Veganuary.com – where there is a collection of recipes to attract customers, free posters and other support. If you are a multiple operator with more than 10 sites, Veganuary can offer bespoke support too. For more on plant-based food, see p32-33

Go American… southern style Is it time to go beyond the hotdogs when thinking about States-side cuisine? An emerging trend for next year, is the “New

South”, where American chefs from metropolitan areas have been creating a new fusion cooking based on southern cuisine. Related to this is Louisiana creole food, which combines French, Spanish, West African, Haitian, German, and Italian influences, and includes dishes such as gumbo – a type of rich stew – bisque, and main dishes with shellfish or chicken. Children’s menus and family-friendly dining The development of children’s menus looks likely to continue with the traditional burger or sausage & chips shifting to more adventurous options. Recognise children’s developing palates by offering smaller variants of adult dishes and “food challenge’” dishes to provide a sense of entertainment and intrigue for children. Creating spaces which are family-friendly is increasingly important too. The days of a few crayons in an old tin and a sheet of colouring paper are over.

Don’t do cocktails? Venture into the world of flavoured tonics, which offer a simple way to change up your mixed drinks and most of the big and small mixer brands offer them. Some of the most popular include cucumber and lemon tonics but there’s also the more exotic, such as salted lemon or Yuzu flavoured tonics. There’s also a plethora of exciting nonalcoholic drinks you could promote during a month that sees many abstain as part of their Dry January efforts (see pages 26-29 for more on that) or keep it as simple as offering a new coffee blend, wine or even a milk of the month – did you know oat milk is now a *thing*, for example?

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Shout about it on social media Inapub’s very own social media guru, Matthew Jones, suggests harnessing the power of the #tryanuary campaign across your own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds to boost business during the first month of 2019: Follow the Tryanuary campaign on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram via the tag/ username: tryanuary Use the hashtag #tryanuary throughout the month with posts of all of your craft, cask & bottled beers. Find your regional co-ordinator for the Tryanuary and see if they can help you with any events. Find out who that is at www.tryanuary.com Take regular pictures of your craft and cask ales throughout the month and showcase the USPs of your pub’s beer selection. Try out a Facebook live video on a regular occasion through the month and talk through the tasting notes and any other information about your beer selection.

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Sports and events

Although January can see some customers dropping the booze as they look to work off the guilt and extra inches December can bring, they still like to get out of the house. They might not come in for a drink, but maybe they would come to watch a game. By this point in the season, disillusionment with the UK version of football will be setting in for fans of many teams, so it could be a good time to try the American version. American football is one of the fastestgrowing spectator sports in the country and has gained something of a cult following in pubs. The end of season play-offs begin in January and the extra drama knockout competitions brings makes this the perfect month to introduce NFL to your customers. Talking of knockout sport, there’s also the FA Cup third round coming up. And if you plan on showing the Six Nations (see pages 40-41) why not try some Gallagher Premiership rugby as a warm-up act. One of the first big regular events in January is Burns Night. If you haven’t done so before consider putting on a Burns Night supper. You don’t have to be Scottish to appreciate

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Follow Inapub on Facebook, Twitter (@inapub), and Instagram (@inapub_) for more ideas and information.

haggis, Scotch or the works of Burns. You could also think about an alternative birthday bash. Elvis was born on January 8, which seems like an ideal excuse to hire in a singer or get the karaoke out. Another date to consider is January 14 — National Dress Up Your Pet Day, which could provide a chance to fill your pub with customers and their fury friends and some classic material for your social media channels. Finally, no doubt you and your staff will have been working all hours in December and may want a Christmas party of your own. Other hospitality teams will be in the same boat so you could market yourself as a place for a belated Christmas party for those otherwise occupied in December. It gets earlier every year, so why not extend it for as long as possible too?

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FAMOUS FOR COMMUTER CATERING

James Evison alights at a newly opened essential station stop

We try to appeal to all commuters. There are bacon rolls, vegan sausage rolls and takeaway salads for lunch

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It takes a special type of publican to see a boarded-up pub that’s been derelict for three years and say “there’s an opportunity’. But that is what Mike Hales thought when he saw The Railway in Bromley Cross, Bolton. It helped that Mike was a local lad and aware of the people the pub could serve. Yet it took a lot of time and effort to turn his dream into reality. The pub wasn’t even watertight when he took it on. “In the end it would have probably been cheaper to knock it down and rebuild it,” Mike says. “But if you look now, when you come through the door, it was worth it.” Mike and Star Pubs jointly refurbished the site with a clear vision – a commuter pub serving the local community, rushing around their daily lives from the crack of dawn. The Railway certainly has a target demographic and being positioned next to a station, a primary and a secondary school, it was clear to see where the opportunity lay. Mike explains: “There are no facilities in the station – it is literally a platform – but we have 300 commuters coming every day. “So The Railway offers toilets, wi-fi, shelter from the rain and, of course, food and drink. I wanted to have a mini-Starbucks or Costa-style operation opening at six in the morning, and capturing the first commuters of the day. “Then, it would be mums from the school run from mid-morning, and the older generation, before changing for the lunch and evening crowd.” After the refurbishment, one-third of the bar was set aside without handpumps to accommodate the morning café-style offer. This gives Mike space on the bar for sugar, croissants, stirrers and the like. All this is

cleared away at lunch time. A grab n’ go fridge full of breakfast food is adjacent to the bar, incorporated into the overall design so as to avoid looking out of place later in the day, when the pub becomes a more traditional dining and drinking space.

All aboard

Live train times are displayed throughout the day on a monitor, as Network Rail granted Mike access codes to its Darwin data system. The departures board was vital to create the true commuter vibe, Mike says. “We try to have something for everyone in the offer and appeal to all commuters. So, there are bacon and sausage rolls, vegan sausage rolls, smoked salmon and salted beef bagels, as well as takeaway salads for lunch, such as prawn cocktail – and, of course, coffee and tea.” How does Mike manage to get this ready at 6am? On the day we spoke, he had come into the pub at 4am to get prepped. But this was just to set up on the first day, and he says staffing won’t be a problem in the future. “We have hired a full-time barista and the food will be prepared by the chefs the night before,” he says. This way Mike, who is also a chef and sources meat from local farms and suppliers, manages the menu for maximum efficiency and minimum stock wastage. “The breakfast menu can be made from other ingredients in the evening and lunch dishes,” he says. “It is a way to move stock on without having to buy additional items.” Indeed, Mike has been a chef for 26 years, and has always had his own businesses, following a short stint as a teacher earlier in his career. He has worked in New

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this month.

The Railway

Bromley Cro , ss, Lancashir e Refurb cost : £500k Design inspir ation: New York ra ilway station s Cask ales: 6 Food: Comm uter takeaway s, fish, grilled m eat from local farms

York and his passion for that city and American cuisine has come out in the pub. “I let my imagination run wild,” he says. “The pub provides a journey in terms of its design. You start in Bromley Cross in the First Class station style waiting room, then, as you move through, you head to the next ‘stop’, New York. This is also signposted in the menu, which includes chicken waffle burgers and steak sandwiches later in the day, and the salt beef and smoked salmon bagels in the morning.” And how has the offer been greeted by locals? “It’s early days, we have only just started. But the week before the early morning opening, we had commuters banging on the windows and trying to get into the pub, so the appetite is there.” One thing is for sure: commuters won’t have to feel sad walking past the boardedup pub on their way to work every day. Instead, they can step inside and grab a hot coffee. Heartwarming stuff.

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RICHARD MOLLOY I think that most publicans are avid people watchers; habitual voyeurs. We see the little things that people do. We see the tics, the nuances and idiosyncrasies. We hear the repeated words and phrases that people utter unwittingly. We know who needs an ego massage and who can handle the piss-taking. We eke chatter from the meek nursing their mild, and defer to the taproom thespian quoting pseudoShakespeare at you to order a drink: “Why, yes, my good fellow. A pint of frothing ale would be a splendid thing on this fine morrow” (at this point it’s generally considered good business not to stab them in the throat with the lemon knife in spite of extreme temptation and any inner feelings of duty toward the order of natural selection). In some ways we know our locals better than they know themselves. We know where they will sit, when they’ll be in (and when they won’t). We know when they’re about to reach their drinking limit and the best way to deal with them when they do. We know what topics to bring up and, more importantly, which subjects to avoid. This is all part of our job and we should be good at observing and reacting appropriately, but what has always interested me is how the punters also do this and look after each other accordingly. Rarely does a publican have to calm down an irate regular as there’s a fistful of friends willing to help; those who’ve had too many are ushered into taxis or shouldered home; the sick are cared for and their wellbeing asked after by people with no common interest other than their choice of pub. And the regular pub-goer always has a decent throng at their funeral. Regular interaction breeds goodwill and affection, and nowhere is this more pertinent than the local pub. The one word that crops up consistently when people lament the loss of a traditional local is “community”. The pub is not just beneficial for a community, it is a community, and I was delighted

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A health organisation has actually acknowledged what landlords and punters alike have known for decades: pubs can be good for you

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

to read that pubs are considered a healthy addition to a town when a recent study by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) ranked Britain’s healthiest high streets. The RSPH reasoned that pubs are “centres for social interaction”. While I cringe a little at this clinical and rather bleached description of pubs, I also want to run naked into the street, screaming “at last! You’re finally fucking getting it!”. After decades of vilification and mechanical judgement from the middleEngland tutters and head-shakers, and miles of newspaper columns highlighting the dangers to health and the antisocial facets of drinking, a health organisation has actually acknowledged what landlords and punters alike have known for decades: pubs can be good for you. Oh, I know there have been very few sober fights in the queue of a kebab shop and that people are more prone to an argument with a drink in them, but they’re also much more prone to laughter, hugs, and singing and dancing than confrontation. Where else can you go in a stranger and come out a friend? Where else is always open when you need it? Somewhere you don’t need a plan for; a place that you don’t need to book or put in your diary? And who has ever said to their partner “there’s nothing on the box tonight so I’m just nipping to Starbucks to see who’s in”. Nobody. Ever.

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drink So, I’ve had an idea… we’ve all got used to carrying bags for life around with us, right? The sight of a plastic straw is now treated as a sort of obscenity. Refillable water bottles have become a must-have fashion item (see Chilly’s and Swell Bottles) and I bought three of my relatives Keep Cups for their “on the go” coffees as gifts this Christmas. This rise in reusables is all very commendable — but I think it also represents an opportunity for the pub industry. Imagine, for example, when I’m out and about with my refillable bottle and it needs to be refilled, that instead of going into a corner shop or Tesco Metro or whatever, I could pop into a pub and ask you to refill it with a soft drink. You already sell a range of soft drinks via eco-friendly (and profitable) post mix, so it would avoid the futility of having to buy a drink in a plastic bottle to then decant it into my refillable one, thus negating any environmental benefits of me carrying a reusable bottle in the first place.

with ROBYN BLACK

And make no mistake, as someone who (a) carries around a reusable bottle and (b) drinks a lot of fluid, the above scenario actually happens to me a lot. It’s not like selling soft drinks for punters to take away would cannibalise sales either, for such a customer was not intending to come in for a leisurely sit-down drink on this particular occasion. They were in fact heading to a shop, so it would be a boost to the coffers — perhaps a significant one at that. Soft drinks are worth £2.1bn to the convenience and impulse sector according to the 2018 Britvic Soft Drinks Report. Maybe you already offer this in your pub (if so, do write/call/Tweet and let us know) but I’ve never seen it in action and it strikes me as a good idea. But then I’m the person who refused to print a news story about Facebook launching in the UK because it would “never take off”, so what do I know about good ideas?

The rise in reusables is all very commendable — but I think it also represents an opportunity for the pub industry

COMMERCIAL BREAKDOWN TANQUERAY • Unmistakably Tanqueray It’s time to ditch the gimmicks and talk about how gin tastes, according to this multi-million campaign from Diageo. “For nearly 200 years, Tanqueray has always had an unwavering attention to taste and quality over anything else,” D-J Hageman, global head of Tanqueray, says. HOGS BACK • Adopt a hop The Surrey brewer has invited local residents, charities and businesses to plant their own hop in its new hop garden and offered people the opportunity to “Rehome a Hop” as part of the campaign, in return for a donation to a local charity.

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JANUARY 2019

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PEPSI MAX • Try a new tradition Showcasing the latest addition to the range, Pepsi Max Ginger, the brand took to the airwaves over the festive season to encourage people to try something new.

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drink. FunkinPro Hemp Syrup

Poetic License

Sunderland-based distillery Poetic License is renaming two of its gins in a bid to “deseasonalise” them — Fireside Gin becomes Spiced Gin and Picnic Gin becomes Strawberries & Cream Gin. The new monikers also better reflect the flavour profiles of the brand, says marketing manager, Grace Noon. poeticlicensedistillery.co.uk

Only available as part of Funkin’s professional range, this hemp syrup is aromatic and high in protein. It has been developed to complement a broad range of spirits including gin, tequila and spiced rum. Hemp is classed as a superfood and will stand out on a drinks menu, creating a talking point for customers, says Funkin’s head of marketing, Ben Anderson. funkinpro.co.uk

On the bar Phil Whitehead, The Old Bell, Saddleworth

Look out for... Hooch

The limited-edition Hooch bottles unveiled in early December are likely to become a permanent fixture, given their popularity. Available exclusively in the on-trade initially, the decision to trial a new bottle design was taken when customer research suggested most people preferred the lemon print Hooch can to the old bottle. www.globalbrands.co.uk

Jubel

This “beer infusion” brand was trialled last summer in the south-west of England and is now being rolled out across the UK. The beer is a cross between a fruit cider and a lager and was created in Cornwall. There are currently two variants: Alpine beer, which is cut with peach, and Urban beer, cut with elderflower. www.jubelbeer.com

Quilmes

Argentina’s biggest lager brand has been rebranded. Now known as Quilmes Clasica in the UK, the packaging has also been overhauled, which distributor Morgenrot says will be key to “making the brand a leading light in the superpremium lager category in the years to come”. enquiries@morgenrot.co.uk

We’ve just bought the world’s most expensive gin, a £4,000 Morus LXIV, to add to our record collection of 1,258 gins. We originally broke the world record for the highest number of commercially available gins in April 2014 with 404 gins, but since then the collection has just kept on growing. Some years back we created a gin emporium in the pub. They are all kept in there now and we get people coming from all over to experience it. We also get people calling up to ask if we have a specific gin and if we haven’t I usually manage to track it down. We also have the world’s second-most expensive gin, the £2,000 Watenshi gin, and Anty Gin, which is made from ants. It sells for £62 a shot and I’ve sold quite a few.

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drink.

Find your range by ROBYN BLACK

Drinkers are more adventurous than ever and research shows trying something new is one of their main motivators for getting up off the sofa and out through the front door in the first place. This trend is set to continue in 2019, so refreshing your offer across every category and choosing drinks that are exciting, on trend, popular and profitable is a vital exercise as we begin the new year. But which trends should you be taking note of and which are to be ignored? Where lie the missed opportunities for pubs and where the greatest prospects for growth? We have dug through the stats and insight and asked the experts to try to shed some light on the matter. Unusually for us, we have taken the decision to run this feature in two parts — quite simply because there was so much

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pt.I

rich information out there and we wanted to do it justice. Thus, this week we are focusing on RTDs, lager, wine and white spirits. Next month we will turn our attention to soft drinks, cask beer, dark spirits and mixers (cider will be running as a separate feature alongside).

RTDs

It might be a category in decline (down 6.7 per cent in value in the on-trade, according to CGA) but alcopops are far from irrelevant, especially if you have any 18- to 22-year-olds (now known as Generation Z) drinking in

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WKD Blue and Smirnoff Ice may be familiar but they are only a small part of what the alcopop category has to offer the modern drinker

your establishment. If you think I am wrong then it might be because you still think alcopops are all about bottles of sugary blue liquid — and that’s very Generation X of you. While the two biggest SKUs in the category — WKD Blue and Smirnoff Ice — may be familiar, these days they are but a small part of what the category has to offer the modern drinker. New flavours are coming through in the classic brands, with WKD Mango Crush launching earlier this year, while VK has Watermelon set for launch in February (the new addition was nominated and voted for by the brand’s own fans) but these days additional flavours are not where the category innovation starts and ends. The cocktail market has been inspiring many brand owners, with SHS Drinks moving WKD in this direction with WKD Mixed, introduced last May. Global Brands, owner of VK, says it is also looking at this area (perhaps by bringing its off-trade pre-mixed cocktail London Rd range into pubs and bars in due course) but has thus far taken inspiration from the craft market for its new products — see its Crooked and Hooper’s brands. Trend forecasters also see sugar content as something the category will address more in 2019, as this becomes more of a concern for its target market. Indeed, we have already seen a move into lower-sugar variants across some of the brands and licensees looking to lure in Gen Z could do worse than make these part of their offer.

Lager

Pulling power: while Heineken says for the UK on-trade lager has “never premiumised faster”, the real opportunity for pubs lies in low- and no-alcohol beers

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Despite what the craft beer gurus would have us believe, the lager category is in fine fettle — up 2.3 per cent in volume and 3.3 per cent in value in the on-trade, according to the latest CGA stats. Drinkers are continuing to shift to more premium brands; indeed, the UK on-trade has “never premiumised faster”, according to the Heineken Green Paper, a category report aimed at helping

A familiar name: big wine brands offer drinkers reassurance and build confidence in your wine list

retailers unlock further growth, which was launched last year. The main missed opportunity for the pub trade, though, is in low- and no-alcohol lager. According to that Green Paper, for example, 47 per cent of consumers are not satisfied with the low- and no- offering in the UK market. Yet most of the major brands have a version these days, including Carlsberg, Budweiser and Heineken, with the latter having declared itself determined to “make no-alcohol beer cool”. Meanwhile, German beer brand Krombacher reports double-digit sales growth for its low and no variants, following an already record-breaking 2017 — yet still only a few pubs stock a low- or no-alcohol lager. It is clear adding one or two to the fridge should be a priority for the trade in 2019.

Wine

Perhaps like me you thought the UK had reached peak Prosecco this year? Well, it turns out we were wrong. While it has boomed and

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Vodka is one of the most neglected spirit categories but a there’s profit to be made if you give it a bit of attention Beyond the buzz: while the gin boom goes on, investing the same effort in your vodka offer could reap rewards

Still got the fizz: if you thought we had reached peak Prosecco last year, think again…

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brought new drinkers into wine, “Prosecco penetration” remains at just 33 per cent of UK adults, according to Kantar, so there is still plenty of opportunity for growth. For any operators not already stocking Prosecco (what are you thinking?), adding one without delay must be a priority, For those of you that already do, seeking out a trade-up option to boost margins is a good idea. Away from the fizzy stuff, it seems you should all be stocking a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which has become a bar call in its own right, according to Accolade Wines. Fans are willing to shell out for a decent bottle too, so premium and superpremium options are a must. Wines by the glass are another huge opportunity for pubs, the experts say, adding that as wine knowledge remains low, offering by-the-glass options lowers barriers to trial. On this note, big brands are to be embraced rather than avoided (as they traditionally have been in the on-trade),

as research shows they offer drinkers reassurance and build confidence in your wine list. Accolade Wines’ brand Hardys, for example, has won the Inapub People’s Choice wine award for three years running — voted for by hundreds of pub-goers. As for those punters who already know a thing or two about the vinous stuff, then food matching offers an opportunity to boost margins. Highlighting wines on food menus, with suggested food matches, is the simplest and most effective way to do this but events built around wine and food pairing are also growing in popularity.

White spirits

Well, gin obviously is where the buzz is in this category. The boom is showing no sign of a slowdown and is likely to be driven this year by flavoured gins, such as Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin (which has been dubbed “the most successful spirits launch of the decade”). Gin flavour maps, meanwhile, such as that produced by Hi-Spirits, are helping both pubs and pubgoers navigate the category and boost spend on gin. More than half of the cocktails served in the UK, however (59 per cent), contain

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drink. vodka as the base spirit, which makes it the UK’s most popular spirit in cocktails (CGA Mixed Drinks Report 2018). It is true vodka is one of the most neglected spirit categories — perhaps because drinkers don’t have the same affection for their favourite brands as they do for other spirits — but there’s profit to be made if you give it a bit of attention. Try approaching your vodka range in the same way as you have gin in recent times: select a house pour, a trade-up option and some speciality brands. Diageo is also predicting a revival of the vodka, lime & soda as a rival for the G&T in pubs this year, pushing its Smirnoff Soda Lime Smash serve as a modern version of the drink (25ml Smirnoff, juice of half a lime, top with soda). Finally, outside the two biggest categories, take a look at tequila. Spirits drinkers coming out of gin are more willing to try new things and with some simple, refreshing serves available (the Paloma, for example), tequila has been earmarked as one to watch.

With thanks to Jen Draper, marketing director, Global Brands Amanda Grabham, head of brand marketing — alcohol, SHS Drinks Jerry Shedden, category and trade marketing director, Heineken UK Stephan Kofler, sales and marketing director, Krombacher UK Andrew Nunney, category, shopper and insights director, Accolade Wines Dan Bolton, managing director, Hi Spirits Sarah McCarthy, head of GB on-trade category development, Diageo

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JANUARY 2019

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Make the most of by ROBYN BLACK

In exclusive partnership with

the dry season

Love it or loathe it, Dry January is here. Last year 3.1 million people gave up the sauce for the month* and the predictions are that this year it will be even bigger, with Heineken estimating around 4.5 million will take part. So it’s vital pubs have something tempting to offer the temporarily teetotal. *YouGov “This is a crucial time for publicans to design a non-alcoholic offering that ensures those following Dry January enjoy each round as much as the rest of their group,” says Ed Jones, senior customer marketing manager at Vimto Out of Home. “With 42 per cent of consumers believing the choice of softs when eating and drinking out is too narrow (CGA BrandTrack), there’s definitely room for the pub trade to improve. By jumping on trends such as the one for frozen drinks, for example, pubs can jazz up their drinks offering. “A wide-ranging, exciting drinks offer can help to promote a message of balance and that pubs are still a great place to socialise without alcohol, which is important.” Jen Draper, marketing director at Franklin & Sons, agrees: “Rather than Dry January being perceived as a negative when it comes to pubs and bars, the ideology should be flipped to portray a positive message,” she argues. Concentrating on introducing new products is one way of promoting a positive message to pub-goers, as it highlights the

Adding a fresh garnish is a relatively easy way to give a soft drink an eye-catching look

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Jumping on the trends for frozen and craft soft drinks can help pubs jazz up their offering

Make a real thing of Dry January – don’t do it half-heartedly. Embrace it and you’ll reap the benefits In exclusive partnership with

exciting things punters can have, rather than what they cannot. “This time of year can be an opportunity for licensees to thrive off alcohol restrictions and push other segments of their bar that typically don’t get as much attention,” Jen suggests. “This could be around premium soft drinks and food pairing for example, something we’ve invested heavily in around the Franklin & Sons range.”

Soft drinks with style

Whatever you choose to do, certainly don’t be apologetic about it, says Mark Eagle, head of soft drinks at Bottlegreen. “Make a real thing of Dry January –don’t do it half-heartedly,” he says. Embrace it and you’ll reap the benefits.” He believes January is a great time to show just how great soft drinks in pubs can be – particularly pertinent now that more and more people are giving up alcohol all year round. “Give a little flair and make the serve look special,” he says. “Adding a fresh garnish is a relatively easy way to give a soft drink an eye-catching look. Along with ice, a slice of lime or orange can help transform a drink’s look – making it

appear something that’s been prepared rather than just poured. If other garnishes are available, such as raspberry or rosemary, then all the better. These extra touches demonstrate that a pub really cares about its soft drinks in the best way possible and are noticed and appreciated by customers.” Licensees should also look to capitalise on trends such as craft and premium, which are driving as much interest and growth in non-alcoholic drinks as other categories, and both of these trends come to life in a mocktail range, says Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at Coca-Cola European Partners. “Mocktails can be just as creative as cocktails and licensees should make the most of flavours from adult soft drinks to keep their offering exciting,” she says. “As nearly a third of people say they’d consider ordering a mocktail if offered (CGA Mixed Drinks Report), this is a great opportunity for licensees to maximise sales.” To help publicans interested in pushing mocktails this January, syrup brand Monin ran a survey to help determine what it is people want from their alcohol-free concoctions. In terms of flavours, strawberry and raspberry were the front-runners (with 41

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and 38 per cent of the vote, respectively). Orange came in third, followed by more adventurous flavours such as rose, lavender, rhubarb, coffee, jasmine and cucumber, while chocolate completed the top 10. Also targeting those looking for the taste of a mixed drink without the hangover, gin brand Gordon’s has launched two ultra-lowalcohol gin & tonic flavoured sparkling variants. With less than 0.5 per cent ABV and 68 calories per serve, Gordon’s Ultra Low Alcohol G&T flavoured drinks are made with Gordon’s London Dry Gin distillate blended with natural fruit extracts to produce two flavour variants: Gordon’s Ultra Low Alcohol G&T with a Hint of Lime and Gordon’s Ultra Low Alcohol G&T with a Hint of Grapefruit.

Booze-free beer boom

In exclusive partnership with

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Of course, one of the boom areas this year in zero-alcohol drinks has been in the beer sector. A recent study of 2,000 UK adults by Carlsberg UK found that 59 per cent of respondents had tried a low- or no-alcohol drink and more than half of those agreed it was more socially acceptable to do so now compared with the last year or two. Twenty-eight per cent said they

would consider drinking alcohol-free beer as an alternative to alcohol and 26 per cent would consider it as an alternative to a soft drink. “The UK has long been a nation known for its love of beer, but we’ve seen a step-change in people’s attitudes towards moderation when it comes to drinking,” says Liam Newton, the brewer’s vice-president of marketing. Heineken too, has been particularly active in this area over the last 12 months or so, investing £6m in a campaign for its Heineken 0.0 brand, which it says is the biggest to date for an alcohol-free beer in the UK. It estimates that 70,000 outlets in the UK now stock an alcohol-free lager, with 9,000 new outlets adding a bottle to their fridges this year alone – an increase of 15 per cent (CGA). Heineken’s category and trade marketing director Jerry Shedden says there are a few things to remember when ranging low and no-alcohol beer brands. “Avoid duplication – given that the rate-of-sale is smaller than alcoholic packaged brands, the choice can be limited to one or two brands,” he advises.“In the fridge, use non-prime real estate, such as the bottom shelf, as most of the time the request will come as ‘what noalcohol beer do you have?’”

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Alcohol-free beer is growing in popularity, with many established lager brands

Maximise the growing low and nonalcoholic opportunity with Gordon’s ultra-low alcohol pre-mix drinks range

offering a 0 per cent variant

GORDON’S, the number one gin brand in the UK1, has launched two ultra-low-alcohol gin & tonic flavoured sparkling variants into the on-trade. Featuring less than 0.5% ABV and 68 calories per serve, the pre-mixed drinks provide a premium low-ABV alternative for consumers during those social occasions when they choose not to drink or want to moderate their intake of alcohol. THE OPPORTUNITY

“Since range is tight, ensure you choose the right-tasting brands for your customers and don’t forget alcohol free cider. Similar to alcoholic drinkers, there are both beer and cider non-alcoholic drinkers, so don’t miss an opportunity for sales.” And with the growth in teetotalism in general, all of this work you put into getting Dry January right won’t be wasted come February 1 – it will reap rewards through the rest of the year too. “Offering a diverse selection of low and no alcohol drinks, beers and cocktails is extremely important nowadays and pubs that don’t do it are at risk of losing customers and even generating bad feedback online,” says Stephan Kofler, sales and marketing director at Krombacher UK, which counts both a zero per cent Pilsner and an alcohol-free wheat beer in its portfolio. “More importantly, though, a quality lowand no- menu can be a real business driver. It can help operators in traditionally quieter periods of the day and it can help attract new customers, including the growing number of young non-alcoholic drinkers. “With many customers researching venues before visiting, a low-alcohol option can be a key tool in attracting footfall if it’s promoted effectively.”

With gin sales continuing to grow in the on-trade2, and an unmet demand from consumers for a credible low or non-alcoholic gin alternative that has the same depth of flavour and sense of occasion as an alcoholic drink, the launch of Gordon’s Ultra Low comes at the right time. With a lack of credible low and no-alcohol alternatives on offer currently, there is a missed opportunity to trade up customers from soft drinks, which often results in earlier finish times. With the non-alcohol category in 22.2% category growth3, there is a real opportunity to make no- or low-alcohol drinking experiences as good as alcoholic drinking experiences.

Hywel Evans, Innovation Commercialisation Manager, Diageo, provides top tips on how licensees can make the most of the low and no-alcohol opportunity: • Brand leaders, such as Gordon’s, are instantly recognisable – place them in the centre of the sub-category in fridges to make them stand out • 18%4 of consumers expect to find no-alcohol offering with RTDs, position them close to these types of drinks so customers don’t miss these in your fridges • When creating menus, ensure that your low-alcohol alternatives are clearly labelled, making it easy for your customers to identify the drink they’re after • Customers are less likely to make a purchase if they are unsure of the cost. Ensure the price of each low-alcohol product is clearly labelled on menus • As with all new products, staff knowledge is crucial. Ensure all staff are well-informed on key product attributes such as ABV and calorie content and can successfully sell your low-alcohol drinks • Offer a diverse cocktail menu which includes low and no-alcohol alternatives e.g. include virgin favourites such as Mojitos, Pina Coladas and Daiquiris.

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1. CGA data MAT to 16th June 2018 2. CGA data MAT to 03.11.2018 3. CGA data MAT to 16.06.2018 4. NIELSEN BASES II JULY 17 GB

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eat

2019. Really? Maybe I’m just getting old, but it is hard to believe it is the last year of the “teens” in the new century. And what a decade it has been. Pubs have changed significantly, and it is amazing to think, for example, that a decade ago Brewdog hadn’t even opened a bar. Like the beers, pub food was still fairly traditional back in 2009. Chips and lager with everything. This wasn’t – and of course still isn’t – a bad thing, but this decade’s diversification of the food and drink offer in the pub trade is a genuine cause for celebration. In fact, I would argue we are living in a golden era of public house grub. Pubs now have pop-up kitchens, barbecue to match the best street food operator, burgers to match the best casual

with JAMES EVISON

dining chain, and pizzas and stone ovens to match any Italian restaurant. And, of course, we shouldn’t forget the pubs with Michelin stars and AA rosettes that can give any fine dining establishment a run for its money. Publicans such as Tom Kerridge are even household names. Yes, times have been hard, and it’s impossible to escape the reality that a quarter of all pubs have disappeared since the financial recession in 2008. But the future for pubs must be in the lessons learnt from the growth of artisanal beer and high-quality food. To paraphrase Field of Dreams, build it, and they will come. Create a unique menu, serve lovely, tasty food with lovely, tasty beer and you will get custom – whatever the future holds in these chaotic times.

In season this month

Cabbage Kale Broccoli

Cauliflower

Leeks

30 JANUARY 2019

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Seville oranges When I was growing up, January was a time to get out the Kilner clip-top jars and make a year’s worth of marmalade with Seville oranges. While my father still spends hours at the hob creating his beloved marmalade, I have often wondered what else you can do with this truly seasonal ingredient. One idea is to remove the peel – a complex-flavoured sour skin – dry it out and then sprinkle it over meats, other fruits, and even salads. The sourness of the fruit means that it is ideal for use as a savoury ingredient. Additionally, it is great for cocktails and as a garnish for a number of desserts. Failing that, you could always make a batch of marmalade and use it for glazing ham or a sauce to go with a variety of meats.

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THAI RED FISH CURRY Mark Anderson, The Ruddington Arms, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire

Profit and prep

“This curry is a regular special and a firm favourite with The Ruddington Arms’ customers. GP is around 70 per cent and wastage is low.”

Dressing

“A combination of red onion, red chilli, coriander leaves and mint leaves, the herb salad provides freshness and visual appeal. Prep the salad ahead of time. Gently warm fish sauce, soft brown sugar, lime juice and white wine vinegar together to create a light, tangy, smooth dressing. Drizzle over the leaves at the last minute to ensure they retain their crispness.”

Sauce

“The sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated for five days. To take the dish to another level, use an authentic quality Thai red curry paste and a premium coconut milk for the sauce. Bring out the flavours and heat and give the sauce balance by augmenting it with spices such as ginger, paprika and cumin; lime leaves and juice; tomato paste; soy sauce, and sugar.”

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Spices and rice

“Thirty minutes before serving, make the rice. Spices give the rice a wonderfully aromatic aroma. Add star anise, a bay leaf, coriander seeds, a cardamom pod and a cinnamon stick plus onion and good quality chicken stock. Cook the rice in the oven – rather than on the hob – for consistently perfect fluffy, dry rice, without the need for frequent checking.”

Fish

“For a set menu – where margins are tighter – coley or hake work well. For a specials board commanding higher prices, try turbot or monkfish. Season the fish with sea salt and pepper, then cook in a heavy-bottomed frying pan until it starts to colour. Finish the fish in the oven, taking care not to overcook it. Top with a squeeze of lemon.”

21/12/2018 17:25


Easy on the greasy by JAMES EVISON

“Gone are the days of the bean burger,” says Liz Hesketh from The Meatless Farm Co. A wide variety of plant-based meat alternatives are now available for chefs to experiment with

“Pub grub” and “healthy eating” might not traditionally have seemed like phrases that belonged in the same sentence. But with customers increasingly looking for better-for-you options, many pubs are realising they need to modernise their menus with a view to those looking to eat more healthily. Of course, the idea of treating themselves with heartwarming traditional fare is often the reason punters go to their local rather than a restaurant, and no-one’s suggesting you should pole-axe the pie & chips. But if you can offer some healthier alternatives alongside, you give yourself the best chance of pulling in the diners in 2019. Introducing healthy alternatives doesn’t need to mean radically overhauling the food side of your business. Many of the ingredients used in higher-fat dishes can also be used in lower-fat and low-sugar dishes, so you don’t necessarily need to make major changes to your food supplies. One option is to take a traditional “pub grub” dish and simply make it healthier. Andrea Deustchmanek, UK country marketer at Lamb Weston, suggests: “Operators can utilise ingredients that are already on their menus and swap out other ingredients – for example, ‘dirty fries’ topped with pulled pork can easily be transformed

by swapping the meat for pulled jackfruit.” She adds: “It is no longer enough to offer just a salad or stuffed pepper. People want more choice when dining out – and large dining groups will want a location that caters to a variety of dietary requirements. “Inspiration can be taken from world cuisines which don’t traditionally incorporate a lot of meat, such as Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern. Vegan dishes in particular are becoming much more exciting and there is a wealth of innovative ingredients like tempeh and seitan that are becoming more popular and well-known.”

The meat-free market

Veganism is indeed growing rapidly at the moment, and while it may still only be a small percentage of people who eschew animal products entirely, the trend for “flexitarianism” should not be ignored. The idea that eating less meat is better for the body and better for the planet is gaining ground, and pubs can no longer afford to treat the vegetarian or vegan dish as an afterthought on the menu. “As diners are actively reducing the amount of meat they eat, it makes sense to have a range of meat free dishes on pub menus,” says Phil Thornborrow, head of foodservice at Quorn. He says health concerns are a major driver of the shift away from meat-eating, with 70 per cent of people giving a “generally healthy lifestyle” as their

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Corn tortillas with chicken & avocado salad. More and more people are embracing the glutenfree trend

reason for eating plant-based food. Quorn and similar meat-free products are a good source of protein for people looking to reduce their meat intake. “Gone are the days of the veggie bean burger,” adds Liz Hesketh, head of foodservice at The Meatless Farm Co. “People are becoming increasingly discerning and it’s important publicans can deliver a variety of options.” Meatless Farm Co.’s burgers and mince are made from plant-based ingredients including pea protein and chicory root. Liz says that with these products, “operators can be sure they’re using meat alternatives that not only have strong nutritional profiles but really deliver texture and taste.”

‘Free from’ foods

Recent times have seen a long-overdue focus on allergens in the food we serve (see our feature on p34-35). But it’s not only allergy sufferers who are driving the “free from” trend – gluten-free and dairy-free foods in particular are enjoying a moment in the sun as more and more people embrace them as part of a broader philosophy of healthy living. Andrea from Lamb Weston says: “Many businesses have already established their free-from options, capitalising on this trend. “Every operator is undoubtedly aware of this trend but being aware and taking action are two different things. Failing to react or adapt could risk the loss of an edge against competitors. Free-from dishes appeal to a huge number of consumers. Larger operators are already incorporating tasty free-from dishes onto their menus, so the consumer expectation for these options is growing.” January is traditionally a time to resolve to live more healthily. In years gone by we could perhaps expect to see most of these resolutions go by the wayside in the next couple of weeks as people sack off the salads and get back on the beefburgers. In 2019 though, we can’t be so sure.

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21/12/2018 17:45


Are you by JAMES EVISON

allergen-aware? On July 17, 2016, 15-year-old Natasha EdnanLaperouse boarded a British Airways flight to Nice. Prior to takeoff, she bought a sandwich from Pret A Manger. The baguette contained sesame seeds to which she had a severe allergy. At 9.50am she ate the sandwich. At 10.50am she lost consciousness, and by 8pm that evening she would be declared dead at a hospital in Nice. Sadly, this was not the first, nor the last death involving allergens. More recently, Megan Lee died after eating a dish containing peanuts from an Indian takeaway, despite signposting on her order form that she was allergic to nuts. In October, the owners of the restaurant were convicted of manslaughter. Indeed, a quick search on Google will reveal an alarming list of deaths as a direct result of eating food containing allergens. A study by ITV News revealed local authorities had 368 complaints about allergens information from eating-out venues – up from 166 in 2015. Seventy-eight of the incidents resulted in anaphylactic shock. Three people died as a result. Given these high-profile stories, now may be a good time to reassess your notices and menus to be extra sure you are complying, especially with the government looking to strengthen the rules further.

The rules

In force since 2014, the current rules are relatively straightforward. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) offers the following guidance – and, if you are in doubt, it is the best

34 JANUARY 2019

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point of call for information and advice. For pubs, information about allergen ingredients “should be recorded”, and thisshould include product specification sheets, ingredient labels, and recipes or explanations of the dishes. It is worth noting that “the customer has a responsibility to tell you about their allergy or intolerance”. But once they have, it is then the pub’s duty “as part of a conversation with a customer” to provide detailed allergen information. Crucially, this information should be “backed up” in writing to ensure it is accurate and consistent. Recording all allergen information – and communicating clearly with staff and suppliers about dishes and menu items – is the best way to make sure that punters with food allergies are given accurate information. The three crucial elements are: how food allergens are handled; how information is given to the customer; and how staff can be trained about allergens.

Good for business

If allergens are recorded and dishes carefully constructed, providing allergen information can be good for business.

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Eggs, wheat, nuts, milk and soy are some of the allergens most commonly found on pub menus

The 14 allergens •Cereals containing gluten, namely: wheat (including varieties such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats •Crustaceans, for example prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish •Eggs •Fish •Peanuts •Soy beans •Milk (including lactose) •Nuts; namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia (or Queensland) nuts •Celery (including celeriac) •Mustard •Sesame •Sulphur dioxide/ sulphites, where added and at a level above 10mg/kg or 10mg/L in the finished product. This can be used as a preservative in dried fruit •Lupin, which includes lupin seeds and flour and can be found in types of bread, pastries and pasta •Molluscs like mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and squid

Research from the FSA, with Allergy UK and the Anaphylaxis Campaign, discovered 60 per cent of young people with a food allergy or intolerance avoid eating out because of their condition. But 59 per cent would often visit the same food outlet, if they’ve eaten safely there before. Make a point of showcasing your pub as an allergens-aware business. There is no downside to taking additional care with dish management and a creative chef may be motivated by the challenge of preparing an allergen-free menu.

Look out for labelling

The recent spate of deaths and hospitalisations from allergic reactions has fuelled concern that current legislation may not be sufficient. The government is now working with the FSA on a review into strengthening allergen laws. A government spokesperson said it was launching a public

consultation on allergen labelling as it was “essential that all UK consumers have complete trust in the food they are eating, which is why we take the provision of allergen information extremely seriously.” FSA chairman Heather Hancock says the industry had seen “real progress in how food businesses approach customers with allergies” but more needs to be done. Heather says: “Living with a food allergy or intolerance is not easy and can have fatal consequences. It’s crucial that people feel confident to speak up and ask for allergen information, and that the people around them make that easier. “Food businesses have an important part to play. They are required always to provide accurate allergen information. Through our #easytoASK campaign, we’re encouraging food businesses to make it easier for everyone to ask the question, speak up and help keep those at risk safe.”

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21/12/2018 18:08


play Anyone who watches sport on TV will be aware of the proliferation of online gambling advertising in recent years. You can’t go through a half-time break without the likes of Ray Winstone or Jay from The Inbetweeners encouraging you to put a bet on the next scorer, the final result or how many throw-ins there will be in the last 10 minutes of a match. So it came as something of a surprise when gambling companies, admittedly after a degree of political pressure, voluntarily agreed not to advertise during live matches. For most, having a punt is a bit of fun, but for a few it can lead to an addiction that can destroy lives.

with MATT ELEY

So far, so similar to alcohol. Licensees and their teams are generally very good at ensuring the underage do not get hold of any alcoholic drinks in their pubs. It’s why we can rightly and proudly proclaim that pubs are the home of responsible drinking. Results from the Gambling Commissions test in pubs (below) show it is now time for pubs to take a similar lead when it comes to gaming. Pubs are opening their doors to families in increasing numbers and it is the responsibility of both parents and business owners alike to ensure those children are safe and protected.

Pubs need to up their game when it comes to preventing under-aged gambling Pubs have been urged to do more to prevent children using gaming machines. This follows a study by the Gambling Commission that indicated 89 per cent of pubs are failing to stop children from playing on age-restricted machines. Guidance has been issued that encourages pubs to: C • heck the age of those who appear under age; • Refuse entry to anyone unable to produce an acceptable form of identification; and • Take steps to ensure all employees understand their responsibilities for preventing under-age gambling. The failure rate is far higher compared to how pubs fare when it comes to preventing the serving of alcohol or tobacco to the underage. In those tests two-thirds of pubs are generally successful. The Gambling Commission’s Helen Rhodes said the watchdog was “extremely concerned” by the results. She said: “We urgently call on the pub sector to take action immediately to enforce the laws in place to protect children and young people. We expect to see significant improvement in further tests and will continue to work with licensing authorities to support any action required against those failing to adhere to the requirements.”

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play. West Indies v England

After winning an away series for the first time in years in Sri Lanka in 2018, Joe Root’s England will hope to repeat the trick in the Caribbean. This is the last extended Test series before the Aussies come over next summer. From January 23, Sky Sports

Blue Monday

The third Monday of the year is officially the gloomiest day of them all. Some people might need the pub to cheer them up… January 21

Happening this month FA Cup third round

Teams from the top two divisions of English football enter the famous cup competition as it reaches the third round stage. Can anyone pull off an almighty shock? January 4-7, BBC 1 and BT Sport

Australian Open

Andy Murray will be on the comeback trail at the first major of the year. Age-defying Roger Federer has won the last two tournaments here. January 14—27, Eurosport

Spurs v Manchester United

The North London side won 3-0 in the reverse fixture at the start of the season, so Man Utd will be keen to avoid having Spurs do the double on them. January 13, Sky Sports, 4.30pm

National Pie Day

Seriously, what is there not to like about this celebration of a classic pub dish? January 23

Pic: Getty

Pic: Getty

Did you know? Super Bowl Readers of our Try January feature (pages 10-12) will already know that NFL is a growing sport. Here are a few facts to impress your punters with. 1. Super Bowl 53 (or LIII as the Americans like to call it) will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 3. 2. The stadium only opened in August 2017 and is one of just five venues in the NFL with a retractable roof. 3. The Philadelphia Eagles became the 20th team to win the Super Bowl for the first time when they defeated the New England Patriots last year, having lost two previous showpiece games. 4. The Patriots hold the record for most appearances in the Super Bowl, winning half of the 10 they have played in. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers, with six, have won more. 5. The term “Super Bowl” was coined by Kansas City Chief’s owner Lamar Hunt. Its previous, less catchy name, was the AFL-NFL World Championship Game.

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21/12/2018 18:19


Get them cueing up by MATT ELEY

Below: A presentation night for the Walkley Friendly Pool League

38

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JANUARY 2019

When the smoking ban was introduced more than a decade ago, a lot went out with it. There was the aroma, the ashtrays students loved to pinch and the angry punters who couldn’t see the point of a pint without a fag. Other casualties included landlocked pubs with no space to adapt, gaming machines and pool tables. The latter started to dwindle in numbers when pubs realised the space tables took up could make a better a return if it were used as a dining area instead. Nowadays, seeing a pool table in a pub has become akin to seeing bar billiards being played: a novelty that harks back to a different era. But it doesn’t have to be like that, according to some involved in the sport. Julia Jefford-Flewitt is the chairman of the Walkley Friendly Pool League, for teams in the north-west of Sheffield. “It’s getting more difficult to get teams in the leagues. A lot of pubs have gone and others have become gastro-pubs,” she explains. “We are now having to travel further and further to play different teams.” She is keen to see pool tables back in

pubs, and points out how they can bring in trade. “Each team has between six and 12 players and we will be in the pub from 8.30pm up to 11pm,” she says. “There is an opposition as well and everyone will be drinking, be it beer or soft drinks. Most people will eat, whether or not that has been put on by the home team.” With various leagues running such as male, mixed and women’s, you could have teams playing in the pub as often as twice a week.

Pool potential

The potential for pool doesn’t end there. “Players will go to their local to practise and playing in the league has introduced us to some new pubs that we have returned to just because we like them. “Pubs can also host tournaments for teams which can raise money for prizes and for charity.” Teams and leagues also often hold their presentation nights in pubs in the division. Marion Ferns is landlady at The Forest, which has teams in the Walkley Friendly Pool League. She says: “We are one of the only pubs in the Kelham area with a pool table, so it is a novelty and a benefit to us. We get the

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play.

Each team has between six and 12 players and we will be in the pub from 8.30pm up to 11pm

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HOW TO BE A WINNER AT THE POOL TABLE

Mike White of The Cleveland Arms

league players in and if they come in to practise, we will give them a free table. “It does get used through the week, so although ours is only 50p a game, it generates revenue from playing and drinks.” Another pub that can see the benefits is The Cleveland Arms in Wolverhampton. The Mitchells & Butlers pub has five English pool tables that are regularly used. One is covered in signatures from cue sports stars such as Steve Davis, Jimmy White and John Higgins. Mike White, who has been at the helm of the pub for the best part of 30 years, explains: “We have had some fantastic exhibition nights here. The players play each other and then the customers. It gives people a great chance to meet stars of the sport.” Mike says take from the tables can be “up and down” but they do increase dwell time in the pub. “We have a league team but we also have lots of families, couples and friends who like to play, so the tables are well used.” Pubs considering introducing a pool table need to decide whether to rent or buy. Buying a table new will cost around £1,000. If you rent, a percentage of every £1 you take for a game will go back to the owner. Not charging at all is a good way to get people in to try pool, according to Julia. “Free pool nights are a great way of getting people in to play,” says Julia. “The pool teams will often go to these to look for players to recruit and if people know there’s a place they can play pool they will probably come back to the pub.” Give it a try, it could be worth a shot.

HAVE TABLE ETIQUETTE� IN PLACE Make sure you have clear rules about who is next on the table. This can be managed with pounds on the table or names on a blackboard. �DON’T SPEND TOO MUCH MONEY ON COMMUNAL CUES Serious players will bring their own, while those ownded by the pub could go missing DISPLAY CLEAR GAME RULES �A poster with the rules of the game on the wall should help settle disputes ARRANGE OTHER GAMES �As well as classic pool or tournaments, try popular games such as Killer or One Pocket pool MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TABLE �Pool tables can be covered to help out at buffets or even used as temporary table tennis tables, with conversion kits available to buy

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Countdown to the cup by MATT ELEY

The drama of the Six Nations is an almost guaranteed pub crowd-puller but with a World Cup to follow later in the year, there will be even more attention than usual on the annual event. Something that will no doubt please Guinness, the new headline sponsor of the event - now known as the Guinness Six Nations. With the Northern Hemisphere sides having enjoyed a successful autumn against the likes of the All Blacks, South Africa and Australia, whoever comes out top of the European pile will head to Japan in September with genuine aspirations of winning the William Webb Ellis cup. As it stands, Ireland, Wales and England line up in that order behind the All Blacks in

p40-41 six nations.indd 40

the world rankings, which points towards a very tight Six Nations – and some dramapacked sessions in the pub. The opening weekend sees England travel to Ireland in a match that could set the tone for the tournament. Wales will be hoping to ruin St Patrick’s celebrations when the Irish visit Cardiff on the final Six Nations matchday on March 16. Iris McBride, owner of McBrides on the Square in Comber, Northern Ireland, recalls how the tournament finished last time

21/12/2018 18:50


play.

It feels very much like a rugby club in here on matchdays. We cook a huge curry for half-time

around, with Ireland sealing the Grand Slam at Twickenham on March 17. She says: “The Six Nations is always very big for us. It is probably the biggest sporting event of the year. On that Saturday when Ireland played England, we had people queuing up outside the pub. “We do lots on beer sales, mainly Guinness. We get a really mixed crowd in. Lots of men but lots of couples too.” Drawing a rugby crowd with stacks of Guinness and Ireland going for a Grand Slam may sound simple enough but McBrides has been building a rugby fan base for years. The pub offers an Ulster Rugby Package to help supporters get to and from home games at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, around 10 miles down the road. For around £25 each, customers get a ticket to the game, a coach trip to and from the match, plus a burger in the pub before and a pint back there afterwards. It ensures that even customers who to go to live games spend at least some of their matchday in the pub. Iris adds: “We have a regular crowd and a lot of them will come in to watch Ireland play as well.”

Winning line-up

Steve Williams will be hoping that his pub in Newport, The St Julian Inn, will be full of jubilant Welsh rugby fans in February and March. “After winning all of the autumn international games and being ranked so high, things are looking good for Wales so it is an exciting time for the Six Nations,” he says. “We will be busy for every Wales game but especially when we face our old enemy England. We are the best of friends and the worst of enemies at the same time and we have had some memorable nights in here, such as in 2013 when we beat England 30-3 to win the title and stop them winning the Grand Slam.” The tournament provides Steve with a general trading uplift, but especially on drinks. “We are very much a cask ale house and a lot of the hoppy ones do well for us at this time of year. I’ll be getting some in from Dark Star and Tiny Rebel. We also sell a lot of Guinness and also lagers such as Carling do well.”

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SIX NATIONS 2019 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1 France v Wales

8pm

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2 Scotland v Italy Ireland v England

2.15pm 4.45pm

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 9 Scotland v Ireland Italy v Wales

2.15pm 4.45pm

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 10 England v France

3pm

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 23 France v Scotland Wales v England

2.15pm 4.45pm

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 24 Italy v Ireland

3pm

SATURDAY MARCH 9 Scotland v Wales England v Italy

2.15pm 4.45pm

SUNDAY MARCH 10 Ireland v France

3pm

SATURDAY MARCH 16 Italy v France Wales v Ireland England v Scotland

12.30pm 2.45pm 5pm

All games live on BBC or ITV

Steve also makes sure his customers have some food to keep them going. “It feels very much like a rugby club in here on match days. We cook a huge curry for half-time and 70 or 80 people walk through the kitchen to get their dollop of curry with some bread and chips.” Wales and Ireland fans will not be the only ones looking forward to a rugby feast. England, Scotland, France and Italy will also have their eye on the prize — and many of their fans will be on the lookout for a great pub in which to enjoy the action.

JANUARY 2019

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stay 11

Let’s spend the by MATT ELEY

The Cartford Inn enjoys stunning

night together

Take a multi-award-winning pub, add a charming front of house team, two stunning studio cabins and breathtaking views. Then add a sprinkle of stardust. The Cartford Inn is really hitting all the right notes.

views across the River Wyre and boast two Scandi-inspired cabins

It’s hard to know where to start with the Cartford Inn. The multiple-award-winning foody pub has the lot: a respected kitchen team creating inspiring dishes in an environment made for relaxation, knowledgeable and charming front of house staff, links with local breweries, a deli shop to take a “Taste of the Inn” home with you (along with products created by local artisans), vibrant artwork demanding your attention on every wall, and stunning views across the River Wyre as it gently flows past on its way to Fleetwood. Thank goodness it also has some very comfy beds to lay down on so you can take it all in. And this is what we have come to see, the pub’s accommodation offer. The inn itself has 15 boutique rooms but the latest addition to the business is two stunning studio cabins at the far end of the car park, overlooking their own private gardens and the river and fields beyond. These were planned, designed and created by Julie and Patrick Beaume, the couple who have owned and run the freehouse for just over a decade. Julie explains that the idea originally emerged when they resurfaced the pub car park two years ago. “It was a derelict car park with potholes,” she says. “It actually used to be a helicopter

pad. We used to get a few customers using it but I’d much rather have two cabins at the end of the car park.” With a budget of around £250,000 (aided by a £50,000 EU grant for rural businesses) the project took 10 months from concept to completion. The Scandi-inspired exterior design immediately grabs you, but as we all know, it’s what’s inside that counts. The pair have managed to combine the ultra-modern with the traditional in the split-level cabins. So, you have 4K TVs, wi-fi, remote-controlled blinds, along with a sound system controlled by an iPad allowing you to zone music in the lounge area, bedroom or bathroom. You also have a choice of listening to playlists, the radio, or the vinyl turntable that is also provided (with some classic LPs). Couple this with “that view”, a free-standing bath (framed by a structure made with reclaimed wood from the banks of the river), and a mini-bar packed with goodies from the deli and the pub, and you wonder whether people might struggle to walk the 100 yards to the main building. Oh, and the studios come in two different designs, the contemporary but classic Robins or the more rock n’ roll Ziggy, inspired by Julie’s love of that creative

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Julie and Patrick Beaume in front of the Scandi-inspired cabins, one of which pays homage to David Bowie Pic: Marketing Lancashire

The Cartford Inn Little Ecclestone, Lancashire

Rooms 15 Studio cabins 2 Occupancy rates 70-80 per cent Wet/Dry/Rooms 28/57/15 Online thecartfordinn.co.uk Rates 11 x Deluxe £80- £140 3 x Executive £90-£150 1 x Penthouse £130-£230 2 x Cabins £150-£250

trailblazer, David Bowie. There’s a Bowie hologram on the wall, books, vinyl and artwork all adding to the ’70s vibe. It’s one for the fans and indeed anyone who fancies a stay with a quirky touch of luxury. “I loved him as a kid but perhaps even more so since he died, to the point that one of the cabins is now a shrine! We saw this piece of artwork in London and I thought we had to have it and that was when I thought ‘one of the studio’s will be a Bowie room,’”

explains Julie. So, are those creative ch-ch-changes all paying off? The occupancy rates would suggest so, but Julie says the project was not about generating a stash of cash. “We haven’t done the rooms to make money. We’ve done the rooms to enhance the whole project. It finished off this wonderful property and it’s added that wow factor. Within 12 months The Evening Standard did a feature on the Bowie room, which created a lot of interest and increased the audience.” Of course, when she says “finished” she doesn’t really mean it. As we tour the building, she shows me how three inn bedrooms are being converted into two more spacious rooms, how she’s looking at making some space for cargo containers that will be converted into artist workshops and how her bathrooms (immaculate as they are) will need to be updated again soon. “The good thing about having the freehouse is having the freedom to be able to do that. In this business the more creative you are, the better,” she adds. A constant flow of ideas and the freedom to create… now who does that remind you of?

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back-bar business

Trade show diary 2019 CASUAL DINING SHOW

BEER X

✭✭

inapub pick ✭ ✭

February 27-28 / ExCeL, London www.casualdiningshow.co.uk

March 13-14 /ACC Exhibition Centre, Liverpool www.beerx.org Organised by the Society of Independent Brewers, this is the UK’s largest independent craft brewing trade show and is open to the entire trade – from SIBA member and non-member breweries; pubs, associated brewing businesses and beyond. Delegates can expect workshops, debates and a trade-only beer showcase, exclusively featuring award winning craft beers. It’s also the time and place where winners of the SIBA Business Awards are revealed, including Best Craft Beer Pub or Bar, run in association with our very selves. Keep an eye on our website and social media feeds for details and enter via: http://bit.ly/SIBABestCraftBeerPubBar19

This show has moved to a new home this year – from the Business Design Centre in Islington to ExCel in London’s Docklands. The larger venue means visitors can expect double the number of keynote speakers this time around – already confirmed are such pub luminaries as Paul Merrett, chef director and owner of the Jolly Fine Pub Group; Brian Hammond, managing director of Whiting & Hammond; Chris Knights, group executive chef at Young’s & Geronimo Pubs, and Nick Collins, chief executive of Loungers. There will also be 200 handpicked exhibitors; the “innovation challenge” to help you pick the best of the new products on offer in food, drink, equipment and technology and the King of Craft competition, the best craft beer and cider at the show, as voted for by selected VIP visitors.

LONDON WINE FAIR May 20-22/ Olympia, London www.londonwinefair.com Featuring 14,000 wines from 32 different countries, an innovation zone, industry briefings, masterclasses and curated tastings, this show is dedicated to all things vinous. For those who feel less than expert in this area, there’s no need to be intimidated, as there’s even an Education Zone. Registration opens this month (January) and attendance is free to licensees and other members of the drinks trade.

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FOOD & DRINK TRADE SHOW

IMBIBE LIVE

May 1-2 / Three Counties Showground, Malvern

July 1-2 / Olympia, London

www.thefoodanddrinktradeshow.co.uk

live.imbibe.com

The show for “inspirational regional food and drink,” say the event’s organisers. There are exhibitors from all over the country showing their wares – including a selection that don’t exhibit at any other shows; a demo kitchen with live demonstrations to spark new ideas, as well as plenty of networking and business opportunities.

Everyone from sommeliers to the humble glass collector is welcome at this event, which showcases some of the most exciting drinks available in the UK on-trade. The full 2019 programme has yet to be revealed but if you are interested in what’s hip and happening in the world of drinks then earmark some time in your diary for this show.

PUB19

GREAT BRITISH BEER FESTIVAL

February 5-6 / Olympia, London

August 6-10 / Olympia, London

www.thepubshow.co.uk

www.gbbf.org.uk

The only trade show that is dedicated solely to the pub trade makes a return for its fourth year – but this year it’s under new ownership. Fresh Montgomery, the new proprietors, are promising an even bigger and better show this year and are hoping to break last year’s attendance records (of 4,353 delegates) with a packed programme of tastings, talks, seminars, speakers and new products galore. New features include The Barcade, an area combining networking and entertainment with arcade games, classic pub games and “hand-held sports”; and Thirsty Business, a section of the show dedicated to the newest drinks and “wet-led innovation”.

The greatest beer festival of them all hits London every summer and next August will be no exception. Expect live music; a pub quiz; pies, pasties, pork scratchings and pickled eggs (alongside a host of other treats); books, t-shirts and other beer-related bits; cider, perry and plenty of beer of course!

LUNCH September 19-20 / ExCeL, London www.lunchshow.co.uk If pubs need to be about all-day dining these days, then where better to go for inspiration than this dedicated trade show to all things lunchtime? There’s plenty going on with a focus on new products, trends and businessboosting advice - just make sure you stop and get some actual lunch while you are there.

RESTAURANT & BAR TECH LIVE November 26-27, ExCeL, London www.restauranttechlive.co.uk

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Technology can provide your business with a competitive advantage but things move quickly in this area and it can be confusing. At this event suppliers are on hand to explain the technology and demonstrate its uses as well as offer consultations. On top of that there’s 170 seminars, 300 exhibitors, the Innovation Awards and a dedicated networking area.

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time at the bar

PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s publicans stand on the really big questions Samantha Pepperell, The Railway Tavern, Kelvedon, Colchester Samantha Pepperell runs The Railway Tavern with her parents Barry and Sue, who first took over the pub back in 1991, having previously run a pub in Hertfordshire. They’ve worked continually to improve standards and modernise the pub, while keeping the pub as traditional as possible. It’s a familyfriendly venue, which welcomes everyone with classic pub grub at reasonable prices and a well-chosen wine and beer selection.

Plate or slate?

Brass or chrome fittings?

I always prefer plate for serving food, but on occasion slate can look nice for buffets and functions. While presentation is key it still needs to be practical!

For our pub we have chrome. But in more traditional pubs I love seeing vintage pumps and brass. As long as the beer is excellent, it doesn’t really matter.

On the tab or no credit here?

Wellies or heels?

On a tab is fine. We only allow this inside though, as we have a large garden and do not have the facilities to run tabs outside!

We love having people join us after long walks in the fields with their dogs for one of our home-made sausage rolls and tea. But Friday nights are all about Prosecco and heels.

Cocktails or cask ale? Both! We serve a small cocktail list and provide a selection of ales. We like to offer something for everyone.

Background music or silence is golden? Background music for sure. I find it eerie in pubs without.

Karaoke or pub quiz? Pub quiz. While ours are just for fun, we do like to hold two or three a year to fundraise for charities.

Live sport or big screen ban? Big screen ban. Although we do show The World Cup or Euros. But I prefer seeing everyone interact with each other and laugh, over eyes glued to the TV.

Wear what you like or uniforms for the staff? We have a colour code of black, but we’re happy for staff to be comfortable in their own clothes and show their individuality. We do offer uniform but it’s not enforced. As long as they look smart and do a good job, I’m happy!

Family-friendly or keep the kids at home? Family-friendly. We have a board game corner which I love to see families playing together in, rather than having their heads in an iPad.

Shabby chic or a design shrine? I wouldn’t say we’re either. Traditional. Every pub has a style that suits them.

Book in advance or find a seat where you can? We will always find a customer a seat where we can, but weekends are always busy so we do advise booking.

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A team from German beer brand Krombacher visited more pubs in a day than any group of people before them. The six intrepid souls started at the Earl of Camden in Camden Town, London, at 8am and finished at The Lord Moon of the Mall some 12 hours, 29 miles and 301 pubs later. Their total of 303 pubs visited in 24 hours beats the official record of 250 held by a team in the USA. However, they will not feature in the record books because they wanted all funds raised to go to the Licensed Trade Charity rather than paying thousands for an adjudicator. Stephan Kofler, Krombacher UK sales and marketing director, said: “It was a fantastic, albeit pretty gruelling day but we’re delighted to have hit the target of 300 and to have raised some money for an incredibly worthy cause.”

THE COLLECTION TIN What pubs around the country are doing to help good causes A cookbook of recipes that make the most of the back-bar has been launched in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. Unforgettable Recipes by Jenny Arnot features temptations such as Buffalo Trace Bourbon Truffles and drinks including Southern Comfort with lemonade and Fresh lime.

A pub smashed its fundraising target with a Family Fortunes night, a raffle game and an auction. The White Hart in West Bergholt, Essex, entered MS-UK’s first ever corporate challenge, to try to raise £925 in nine weeks, two days and five hours. They exceeded expectations by raising £6,000.

A pub that always does its bit for man’s best friend has been named runner-up in the DogBuddy Dog Friendly Pub Awards. The Kirkstyle Inn in Dunning, Perthshire, is a supporter of the abandoned dogs charity PADS and donates 10p from the sale of every pint brewed especially for the charity to the cause.

Pub operator Brakspear will be supporting mental health charity Mind this year. The company is aiming to raise £60,000 with a raft of fundraising activities from pub quizzes to live music nights and sporting endeavours. All 130 pubs in the estate have received a fundraising pack full of ideas from Mind.

A publican and part-time fireman was looking to climb up the charts at Christmas. Chris Birdsell-Jones, manager of Marston’s pub the Smithfield Bell in, Welshpool, Wales, orchestrated a cover of Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? featuring a choir formed by personnel from every fire service in the UK. It even had guest appearances from contestants from TV talent shows The Voice and The X Factor. Under the band name The Fire Tones, the single raised money for The Firefighter Charity and The Band-Aid Charitable Trust. Chris had to get permission from Sir Bob Geldof for the song, then co-ordinate the recording. He is part of the retained firefighting service, a group of individuals who operate on call for the National Fire and Rescue Service, meaning that they can be called away for an emergency at any time. Everyone who works for the service also has a full-time job, in Chris’s case running a busy Marston’s pub serving up to 1,000 customers a week.

Are you raising funds for a great cause? Let us know at editorial@inapub.co.uk

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BRIT PUBS ABROAD

Where to get a pie and a pint beyond British soil

Pic: Näystin/Flickr

Pic: Kristine /Flickr

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1. The Churchill Arms

Stockholm, Sweden This pub has 28 different beers on the bar, and even more bottled beers in the fridges. It also has a selection of single malt whiskies and serves bangers & mash, fish & chips and a Granny Smith apple crème brulée.

would expect Paddington Bear to be campaigning for – but it is a reality. The boozer is run by Barry Walker, a Mancunian ornithologist, and his Peruvian wife. Sup a pint of Abbot Ale, Greene King IPA or Old Speckled Hen while looking at walls full of British memorabilia, including a letter from the Queen regarding the publican’s MBE, and numerous football shirts.

2. Angleterre

7. The Fiddler

Helsinki, Finland With darts and toasted sandwiches, this is a pub that wears its Britishness with pride. In the city since 1976, it was the first pub in Finland, and only the fifth outside the UK to gain Cask Marque accreditation.

3. Pomeroy’s Pub

Pic: Jorge Gonzalez /Flickr

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Christchurch, New Zealand Dubbed “Pom’s pub”, this New Zealand institution offers a range of craft beers and imported brews. Family owned and operated, it describes itself as a communitybased pub. Offers live music and that most British of pub events, quiz nights.

4. Cross of St George

Pic: Hideyuki Kanmon/Flickr

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8. St Peter’s and St Anton

Moscow, Russia The pub is decked out with football scarves and shirts as well as providing a hunting lodge theme with stuffed animals. Pub grub includes steaks, roast beef, English pies and sausages, fish & chips and burgers. Oh, and cask ale, of course.

Paris, France One of several Charles Wells pubs in France, The Cross of St George provides a piece of Britain in the heart of the French capital. Taking its name from the Parisian suburb it calls home, it offers authentic English cask ale accredited by Cask Marque. The kitchen offers beer-battered fish & chips and roast dinners alongside French fare.

9. 82 Ale House,

5. The Elephant & Barrel

10. Union Jack Tavern

Franschhoek, South Africa A little bit of Britain in the heart of the Western Cape, which is famous for its history of wine. It stocks more than 30 traditional beers and serves hot breakfasts, bangers & mash and fish & chips.

6. The Cross Keys

Cusco, Peru A British boozer in Peru is the kind of thing you

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Den Haag, The Netherlands Claiming to be the biggest pub in the Hague, it celebrates what it says is “a lot of beer”. Which is fair enough, as it has more than 200 different bottled beers, and its own microbrewery producing a range of traditional English ales.

Various locations, Japan Admittedly a slightly Disneyfied version of the English pub, this franchise is true to the pub concept and design, even down to drinks ordering at the bar, which is unusual in Japan. You will get everything expected from a pub – a pint of Guinness, some fish & chips, bar snacks, and cosy surroundings.

Muntinlupa, Philippines Offering Union Jack craft beer and fish & chips, this pub offers a truly British experience, especially on the food front with a traditional Sunday roast on offer. It also has the British look of football paraphernalia, darkly-lit lanterns, wooden furniture and tables. Roasted lamb, turkey, boiled veg and desserts including apple pie are on offer.

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time at the bar

HAIR OF THE DOG

Tales of the unexpected from the wonderful world of pubs Stoatally unfair

all walks of life, to welcome people from These days, pubs need something you tory door policies aren’t and thankfully discrimina 9. tend to hear about in 201 hole, Cornwall Tim Pender from Mouse ter pun to t Try telling tha parties for the land are hosting lavish though. While pubs across s were pet his told s g, passim) , Tim wa dogs (see Hair of the Do rd. gua ast local The Co no longer welcome in his biggest not ferrets – that was the but gs do ws allo “The pub . ,” Tim told The Telegraph feeling of discrimination d here I can. They are as goo ryw eve “I take my ferrets e som ng oyi enj re we y the . In fact, as gold. They love music ht.” bluegrass in a pub last nig Vanhinsbergh is Lou General manager been asking to had ters pun t countered tha ngent smell of move tables due to the “pu the ferrets”. drinking in Tim and his ferrets are now rby village of Paul. the Kings Arms in the nea

Nowhere to pull Does the death of the pub spell the end of sex? So asked one cheery headline in The Guardian. Writer Emily Hill looked at the figures pertaining to pub closures and the “sex recession”, and theorised that the decline of the independent pub was leading to people doing it less. British dating culture relied on shared safe spaces with low lighting and limitless supplies of booze, goes the theory. As community pubs have disappeared, so have the opportunities for face-to-face interaction and the subsequent, er, other kinds of interaction. It’s yet another compelling reason to keep the community pub alive. The future of the human race could depend on it.

Proper Christmas spirit The festive season always sees pubs come into their own. And none more so than The Alexandra in London’s Wimbledon, which hosted its third “Don’t be on your own day” on Christmas Day. Open to anyone who would otherwise be on their own at Christmas, the pub offered up free three-course meals and “hopefully a few laughs”, and was hoping to serve up to 100 people. “People think that there’s some kind of catch or a fiddle, like we’re trying to get their emails, but that’s not the point,” publican Mick Dore told the Evening Standard. “I don’t care if they decide to never come back.” With suppliers and volunteers pitching in to help, it sounds like a genuine season of goodwill at The Alexandra.

Spot the differen ce They say imitatio n is the sincerest form of flattery. So Flatterer of the Ye Sincere ar so far goes to The Gun in Lond Spitalfields. The on’s Barrel House & Kitchen was rece by East London ntly re-opened Pub Co, with it’s branding (on the more than a pass right) bearing ing resemblance to that of, er, The Gun in Hackney (on the left). Nick Stephens, owne r at the Hackney Gun, sa id: “People keep as king us if we’ve expanded . It’s a case of the big guy sh amelessly stealing from the little guy.” Social media co ncurred, with the Spitalfie lds incarnation roundly deno unced as a copycat. Seem s the new opening had its sights a little off on this one.

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Inapub magazine january 2019 issue 83  

Welcome to 2019! Here’s our first issue of what promises to be an interesting year indeed - and a year for many which will begin alcohol fre...

Inapub magazine january 2019 issue 83  

Welcome to 2019! Here’s our first issue of what promises to be an interesting year indeed - and a year for many which will begin alcohol fre...

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