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The great escape

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Not for the faint-hearted




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Issue 53 April 2016

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Lock in your punters with mystery gamesROLL OUT


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Issue 65

May 2017





04/11/2017 13:07


Serving fans and foodieIssue s alike5

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an e boostnergy Supe from rman

December 2011

Issue 93




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Autumn 2020


From landlord to darts champ: the world no. 4 eyes the top prize

Get your slice of the pie in Britain after Brexit



What makes a good party, plus liqueurs and menu ideas


Have you got what it takes to crack the wedding market?




Going wild for kitchen supplies


Guest edited by

Debbie Baisden


Tickets Wor to the Champild Darts onship s

Sparklers to help you celebrate

BREWING YOUR OWN BEER Behind the scenes at one of the new wave of brewpubs

inapub Ina 21/03/2017 11:24

Issue 72

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Issue 27


Pub people

Dog’s break fast BOBBY GEORGE The Dazzler on darts and a life playing in pubs


inapub 20/11/2011 12:46

* Debbie is pictured in The Rayleigh Arms outside opening hours. Face mask: model’s own, ready to welcome in the punters.

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a licensee with a vision, aQUOITS plan for the post-Covid pub and an alter ego

May 2019

25/04/2017 13:05




November/December 2013

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Issue 28/09/2020 21:05

January 2


Publicans’ escape to the Isle


The spirit breaks fresh ground


How to sell the dessert trolley

DAVID LLOYD ON THE ASHES Sky’s man in the box looks forward to round two

Accommodation for pe


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A fridge of winefull



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things that make pubs

Who’s going to the pub in 2019?


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15/12/2015 10:12


Naturally brewed in Germany. Proudly served around the world.

@KrombacherUK for the facts

19345_KROM_AZ_UK_InaPub_190x266.indd 1 ad page.indd 2 15.11.19 12:49 10/05/2021 09:57

e’re 10 years old! Who would have thought when Inapub launched a decade ago that this feisty young upstart of a publication would still be regularly landing on pub doormats 10 years later? Looking back on the industry as it was when we started out, the pub landscape is almost unrecognisable now, as are the pub customers it serves, but the essence of great hospitality remains. It’s the people that make pubs so special, and over the years we have met some simply incredible licensees who make us proud to be a part of this industry. To celebrate our 10th birthday we dug into the back of the dusty Inapub archive and revisited some of the great characters and businesses we have met to find out how the intervening years have treated them. We are also bringing back a few former editors, contributors and regular features, and taking a look back at some of the weirdest and most memorable moments from the Inapub back catalogue. We’ve come a long, long way together, as Fatboy Slim would say, and the team at Inapub could not be prouder of how licensees have adapted and evolved and met every single challenge thrown at them over the years. A huge thank you to all our readers for joining us on this journey, and here’s to 10 more years of pub trade news, views and booze!



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this month 10 years in the trade • Old Forge revisited






play A decade of entertainment • Minority Report


stay Back to The Wiremill, 10 years on


back-bar business Kitchen equipment


time at the bar Nick Hewer returns • Rich Molloy • Top 10 pubs








• Drinks with Dodd • Summer drinks • Cider

Pub food with Porter • Food favourites • Outdoor dining

The Inapub Team





Editor Caroline Nodder



Contributors Matt Eley, Robyn Black, Claire Dodd, John Porter, Richard Molloy, Katy Moses





Production editor Ben Thrush Chief executive Barrie Poulter Sales manager Katy Robinson

Visit us online at

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Subscriptions 0800 160 1986 •

28/07/2021 00:05

years in pubs 0 1


When the first issue of Inapub hit bar-tops in August 2011, Amy Winehouse was still alive, we were still European and Joe Biden was still in the Whitehouse, albeit as vice-president. It’s been one hell of a 10-year ride, so to celebrate a decade of pub history we asked former Inapub editor Robyn Black to pick out 10 events that have had a profound effect on the pub trade in that time 1

Instagram launch 2011

All right, pedants at the back, technically Instagram launched at the end of 2010 but by October 2011 it had 10 million users and was beginning to make waves. Today it has a billion and every licensee has to consider “Insta worthy” drinks, décor and food to pull in the punters. The pub trade



After several years of pub-friendly celebrities on the cover, we figured it was time to let publicans be the stars. Over the years many inspirational licensees served as front-of-house for the magazine. We found Warren McDonald and partner Zoe on a walkabout in Leicester. Their eclectically decorated pub The Donkey hosted everything from big-name bands to book clubs to bikers. Warren also had a very photogenic beard.

Issue 58 September 2016 £3.95

Faces of Leicester

Several sides of a 1

city on the up 18/08/2016 15:59

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Localism Act 2011

Aimed at giving greater power to people and communities, this legislation gave rise to the Asset of Community Value (ACV). Some 2,000 pubs have been awarded ACV status since then, which essentially gives communities the chance to save their local should someone want to turn it into flats or a supermarket. It’s not been without controversy (in issue 49 we visited a landlord in Otley, West Yorkshire, who was “furious” about his pub being awarded ACV status) but it demonstrates how the importance of pubs to communities has been recognised in the last 10 years.

Live Music Act 2012

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was relatively slow to recognise the power of social media marketing, and in 2015 Inapub launched #pubsgetonline, a campaign to make sure you didn’t miss out.


This Act of Parliament removed the need for a licence to play live music, if the performance takes place between 8am and 11pm in a licensed premises for an audience of fewer than 500 people. While pubs 27/07/2021 12:22

this month. be felt. Brexiteer or Remainer, however, we know it will continue to shape the nation for years to come.

The Localism Act gave communities the chance to buy pubs such as The Punch Bowl in Battisford, Suffolk

have always been the home of grassroots music, theatre and comedy, this act helped to really drive the shift from pubs as drinking dens to pubs as part of the emerging “experience economy”.


Beer Duty Escalator ends 2013

George Osborne finally came up with the goods when he scrapped the alcohol duty escalator for beer (which had pushed beer tax up 42 per cent since 2008). He said the cut was a bid to save Britain’s pubs, then closing at a rate of 26 a week. It certainly helped Britain’s now booming beer scene.


Former Inapub editor Robyn Black

Paris Climate Agreement 2015

I don’t suppose many of us realised where this would lead – not just to a ban on plastic straws but to a profound shift by companies and consumers to try to live more sustainably. Some licensees were already leading the way, and we tried to highlight their efforts and give others a helping hand with an issue aimed at helping pubs go plastic-free two years later.


Brexit 2016

We voted to leave Europe five years ago but it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that we actually left, and the direct consequences are only just beginning to


Heineken buys 1,900 pubs from Punch 2017


Pub numbers rose for the first time in a decade 2019


Coronavirus 2020

The creation of Star Pubs & Bars marked the start of a period of mergers and acquisitions that has changed the landscape of the UK pub scene. Two years later Stonegate paid £1.3bn for Enterprise Inns and Greene King’s 2,700 pubs were snapped up by Hong Kong operator CKA for an eyewatering £2.7bn. It will be interesting to see whether the pandemic will ignite further consolidation in the sector, or if lower property prices might create some opportunities for independent players.

For most of Inapub’s life up to this point, the country had been losing pubs in horrifying numbers. This increase was modest to say the least – up by 0.8 per cent or 315 pubs, but there was still great rejoicing at The Inapub Inn.

Publand will be forever changed because of Covid. Clearly a global pandemic leaves a huge negative legacy but the accelerated adoption of technology in the sector, the pivot to serving at-home-dining and improvements in outdoor spaces are positive developments that will serve the industry well.

10 England reach the Euros final 2021

This is actually just one highlight in a decade of British sporting achievements that underlines how sport remains as important to pubs as it ever was. We could have picked the London Olympics in 2012, Andy Murray winning Wimbledon in 2013, Leicester City’s unlikely Premier League title in 2016, Anthony Joshua beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2017, or England winning the cricket World Cup in 2019, but the legacy of this extraordinary team is worthy of leading this list.

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LOOKING TO THE FUTURE One of the things this pandemic has done to the hospitality industry is exacerbate the same challenges that many publicans have faced over the last decade and for many years before; how to attract more people and increase incremental spend in their pubs. Katy Moses, managing director of insight specialist KAM Media, consults her crystal ball and offers her predictions for where we will see venues change over the next 10 years…


Bringing it home

Delivery will continue to boom and many publicans will launch separate brands to sustain a whole new revenue stream, with many setting up separate kitchens to cope with demand. This will move beyond cooked meals to things such as Friday night meal kits and barbecue platters. Pubs will realise they can reach a wider customer base by going straight into customers’ homes.


10am is the new 10pm

Pubs will focus on attracting trade during off-peak times, and flatten the traditional peaks throughout the day to keep a steady and safe stream of customers. Yummy Pubs for example, has advertised that “10am is the new 10pm”– pushing breakfast and brunch throughout the week. They’ve recruited a new chef specifically for breakfast, the music is different, the front-of-house team have been retrained on hot drinks, they’ve added new cocktails and mocktails and a bottomless brunch, and more punters are coming through the doors.


Inapub was launched to be informative and irreverent, a trade magazine that would enable licensees to share ideas with each other in a light-hearted way, a bit like a chat across the bar


Matt Eley, founding editor


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Booze-free boom


Digital by default

With the long term decline in alcohol consumption and the growth in daytime visits, pubs are going to have to realise that these customers (they’re not necessarily tee-total, just not drinking alcohol on that occasion) need the same quality of choice and experience as those drinking alcohol, and publicans need the margins. The range and quality of low- and no- drinks, premium adult soft drinks and hot drinks will improve tenfold. A lime and soda or a glass of tap water won’t cut it for either side.

The pandemic has meant even your grandma has downloaded an app and is ordering online. A credible online presence is a must for all pubs. Consumers are hyperconnected, especially to their phones. If you don’t have an app or, God forbid, a decent website, then you don’t exist!


Pub desks

Although many publicans are concerned about a fall in local office worker trade, many home-workers are now looking for a place to work for a few hours during the day. Some publicans are already jumping on this opportunity with pub desks, offering remote workers a table by a plug socket, wi-fi, a sandwich and unlimited tea and coffee for £10. Unquestionable quality is needed on the hot drinks to compete with local coffee shops for “remote worker spend”.


Subscription models

A few operators have trialled “pay £30 a month for unlimited coffees” but we expect this concept to develop and grow. Generation Z are used to paying a monthly fee for their movies, gym classes, ground coffee delivery, even toilet roll delivery. There will be growing opportunities to build loyalty schemes for the savviest of publicans.

KAM Media is a boutique research consultancy, specialising in hospitality and retail. • @KAMMediaInsights

27/07/2021 12:22

this month.


Making use of dead space


Robots running your kitchen

Pubs will make more use of “dead space”. Examples of this I’ve recently seen space hired out for weekly fish & chip vans and artisan coffee trailer, a local barber and a Saturday evening oyster shucking stand. Using the space will draw more customers to the site as well as bringing in extra money.

OK, so maybe this is a bit far-

fetched. But without a doubt we will see robotics and artificial intelligence take a more prominent role in the running of successful pubs and most people won’t even know it’s there. This isn’t about robots taking human jobs, this is about embracing efficiency and cost savings and allowing humans to do what they do best, not the boring admin bits. Publicans will need to overcome their fear of technology or risk THIS MONTH getting left behind.

The veteran’s view Robert Humphreys MBE, former honorary secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and non-exec board member at The Society of Independent Brewers, appeared in the first ever issue of Inapub in 2011 and has worked in the pub sector for almost 50 years. Here he ponders the impact the last decade Robert (right) with editor Matt Eley and TV’s has had on the nation’s pubs… Nick Hewer (see p49) in Inapub’s debut issue Enjoying a beer with Inapub editor Matt Eley (left) and Robert Humphreys, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group

provides for youngsters in the pub industry. Generally young people still think “I

would have to be a claret. If I was feeling generous it would be a Pomerol or a Saint

Julien. And most of course I would invite all three will work on awhole building site in the summer In 2011 “What a momentous decade it’s been – not just for pubs but for the world. of the above to share it with me. and behind a bar when it is colder in the winter”. You end up getting people who people assumed everything would carry on more-or-less as it was indefinitely. So you must spend a fair bit of are not trained. What can time in France – what can pubs pub industry is a very good secNow we know different. We now know you can leave the EU,torThe although notin as French hospitality? learn from and people should it’s take pride In easy pubs learn (Long pause as he considers the term France the person who runs their own “Frenchno hospitality”)… French bars by and brasserie is considered to be a very good from aFrench one might have expected. You can stagger through global pandemic, although that’s professional who takes great pride in what large could learn a lot from British pubs, such as the ambience and the atmosphere. he does. The BII is doing a good job ofprinciples hospitality? cakewalk either. We can even survive an incompetent government with dubious Apart from Paris and the other big cities training people and promoting apprenticeis more a case of what the French could ships in the trade. It’s more a and negligible competence. Well, some of us can. One thing, though, is not so easilyitlearn ignored. from us. case of what What do you normally drink Whatthe do you remember about when you areare in a pub? By our behaviour we are destroying our own planet, and gradually we re-examining the last pub you visited? As someone with Irish roots, more often the French I was hereWhat at The Red Lion just off St James than not Ito will drink Guinness. choices we make in all we do, and looking beyond the immediate their repercussions. Square in central London. It is a small, tracould learn ditional pub but it has a great atmosphere. Would you prefer to share a we did a decade back with little thought, will soon become socially unacceptable, if it hasn’t It’s run by a diligent landlady who is doing bottle of wine with Lord Sugar or from us a very good job in a small pub. It has (past and present co-advisors) already. Selling wine shipped from across the globe, burning LPG inorthe open air, sending excellent Guinness on draught too. Margaret Karen? What wine would you choose? Nick Hewer was talking to Matt Eley a housepremises in Bordeaux, so thewith wine packaging materials to landfill, maintaining high temperaturesI have in our the doors left open, will soon, if they don’t already, attract criticism and even boycott from customers. 12 AUGUST 2011 The planet needs our leadership, and in everything we do, we can make a difference. And another thing – many pubs that have suffered so grievously through the past 15 months are re-opening in a prudently constrained manner, partly because of the short-term uncertainty, but also because none of us can be sure what might happen in a few months’ time. So limited menus and drinks ranges are the order of the day. And most especially significantly, many pubs have deferred resuming the sale of cask ale, given its perishability and all the previous challenges over destruction of out of date beers and recovery of duty paid. This is understandable and sensible in the short term, but as time passes, the reduced range could become a habit, reducing the choice offered to drinkers and imperilling the hundreds of small, local craft brewers that have steadily grown up over recent decades. For many of the smallest local brewers, with small, local delivery areas, their local pubs are their only route to market and their very survival is threatened by pubs’ decisions to limit the choice on the bar. The risk is real – one fine day in a year or two’s time we might just wake up to find that many of those local breweries have simply disappeared and the fabulous choice of which we boasted a year or two ago has gone too. And at that point, we may regret what we’ve lost, as we stare into the bottom of our empty glass. For those of us old enough to remember, a bit like the 1980s!” p10-11-12 Hewer.indd 12 p4-5-6-7 lead feat .indd 7


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POSTCARD from the pub frontline


NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 Mainland Britain’s most remote pub hit the headlines recently, as locals gear up for a community buyout of The Old Forge on Scotland’s Knoydart peninsula. When I popped out for a pint at The Old Forge back in 2014, it took 37 hours to get there. There was a 500-plus-mile train journey, a 60-mile taxi ride and finally a 15-mile hike across “Britain’s last true wilderness” from the nearest road. The Old Forge had a “bring your own instruments” music policy, so I roped in school friend Raj Whitlock (pictured with rucksack) as fiddle player for the expedition. The nearby bunkhouse was full, so we pitched a tent on the beach, retiring there after a reviving meal of local scallops and venison burgers washed down with Glenfinnan Standard Ale and a few drams of Scotch. Those who don’t fancy the yomp can access The Old Forge via a seven-mile boat trip, and the pub also picks up a

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fair chunk of its trade from passing yachts. When we visited, Belgian owner Jean-Pierre Robinet told 5 us about the challenges of running a pub in the middle of nowhere. There was the logistics of maintaining supply lines in stormy weather (he had a small motorboat for emergencies), plus balancing running a viable business with serving the needs of the small local community. The Old Forge makes much of its Guinness Book of Records-endorsed status to attract tourist trade, but locals have grown frustrated at it being closed during the dark winter months when they need it most. That tension now looks set to be resolved, or at least to be someone else’s concern. Jean-Pierre has put the pub up for sale at £425,000. The Old Forge Community Benefit Society aims to issue a prospectus for a community share offer in August with a crowdfunder to follow in September, opening a new chapter in the story of this unique pub.

27/07/2021 12:34


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This summer has us all wishing we were somewhere else. There’s one drink that’s most evocative of a palm-straddled shore; of course it’s rum.

DRINKS WITH DODD What’s the thing you missed the most during lockdown? Brutal as long spells without family or friends were – and they were brutal – from day-to-day it was the sensory things I craved. A dip in a pool, live music, hot sunshine, and… a draught pint. Words cannot express how much I – and I’ve no doubt millions of others – craved a pub-poured pint. Pubs, we’ve always known, are irreplaceable. And if there’s any silver lining to come from lockdown closures, it’s perhaps that millions of people took a moment to fully realise it too. So, what to do with this, the most unusual of summers? Across the following pages we run you through top-selling summer favourites, and our guide to the new launches that you need to know about. And grateful as we all are for our new-found freedoms, this summer has us all – unfortunately, inevitably, understandably – wishing we were somewhere else. Drinks makers know this. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll start to notice a whole range of booze brands tapping into the collective wanderlust of a nation craving an exotic holiday, with beach imagery, tropical fruit flavours and kitsch cocktail ideas. But there’s one drink that’s most evocative when it comes to imagining yourself on a palm-straddled shore; of course it’s rum. And when it comes to this storied – sometimes misunderstood and maligned – liquid, there’s rather

a lot going on. Let’s start with those holiday vibes. Pernod Ricard wants to bring Gen Z drinkers to rum with Havana Club’s first spiced variant. Havana Club Cuban Spiced features sweet vanilla and spices, with guava, coconut and pineapple. Both that and the fairly recent Captain Morgan Tiki (mango and pineapple) mix with lemonade, which according to Diageo is spiking in the off-trade as the mixer of choice for rum. For a mature take on spiced, there’s Sly Dog, a World Rum Awards silver medal winner, made with rums from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, and said to strike the right balance between not too sweet, and not too spicy. But with spiced rums having had a bit of a bad image over the years, the craft market’s answer to that is botanical rum. Market Row from the Brixton Distillery Company made with Kenyan black tea, Nigerian hibiscus and Asian red rose. Unusually for a rum, you can serve it with tonic. And finally, for a brand with a story, there’s Equiano. The world’s first African and Caribbean Rum – named for African-born writer, abolitionist and freedom fighter Olaudah Equiano – launched with a dark rum last year. New for this year is Equiano Light, a white rum, made from a blend of lightly aged molasses rum from the Caribbean, fused with fresh sugar cane juice rum from Africa. Make mine a Piña Colada please.

THREE RUM COCKTAILS Dark n’ Stormy Add 50 ml dark rum, 25 ml fresh lime juice and 100ml chilled ginger beer to a Collins glass over plenty of ice. Stir gently and garnish with a wedge of lime. p11 drinks with dodd.indd 21

Watermelon Daiquiri Blitz together 50 ml white rum, 25ml watermelon-flavoured liqueur or gin, 10ml lime juice and 100g watermelon, until just smooth. Pour into a tall glass over plenty of ice. garnish with a wedge of watermelon.

Piña Colada Pulse 120ml pineapple juice, 60ml white rum and 60ml coconut cream in a blender. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a wedge of pineapple.



11 27/07/2021 13:14

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26/07/2021 23:56


10 summer drinks


There’s nothing quite like sitting beneath a pub garden umbrella and pretending it’s not raining. We’ll never take this firm fixture of the Great British summer for granted ever again. But what to drink? Curious – read as bored senseless – consumers have been having a little mixology sesh during lockdown, ordering every new beer they can find off the internet, and reading the calorie count on every bottle they pick up. Put simply, though, the irreplaceable lure of a draught pint is guaranteed to put bums on seats. Now’s a good time to make sure the rest of your drinks offer is hitting the current trends, so you can make the most of the *cough, cough* glorious weather. Here’s our run down, in no particular order, of the 10 drinks you need to know about this summer…


Camden Piña Lager

Tropical flavours are big, Piña Coladas are big, lager is big. What do you get when you combine them all? This canned summer special from Camden Town. Piña Lager is brewed with Sabro and Sultana hops, which give coconut, lime and juicy pineapple flavours. At 4.5 per cent ABV, it comes in 330ml cans.


Discarded Grape Skin Vodka

People care about sustainability like never p13-15-16-17-18 summer drinks.indd 13

before, and that extends to the drinks on your menu. William Grant’s Discarded brand is perhaps one of the most high-profile launches to tackle sustainability head-on. You may have already seen their Cascara Vermouth (made with waste coffee berry fruit) and Banana Peel Rum (made with waste banana peels). Their latest launch is made from grape skins and stems usually thrown away in the Chardonnay wine-making process, while the packaging is also 100 per cent recyclable. The vodka itself is said to have aromas of green apple, lychee and almond croissant. Mix with soda for the simplest serve, or add dry vermouth for a Martini.


Muri NoLo wine alternative

It cannot have escaped your notice that low- and no-alcohol products – from beers, to spirits, to ciders – have become a big deal. According to everyone’s favourite regulatory body, the Portman Group, almost two-thirds of UK adults (62.5 per cent) have tried low- and no- products, while 25 per cent of drinkers consider themselves to be semi-regular consumers.



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drink. But for all the beers and gin-a-likes, there remains a dearth of decent options when it comes to non-alc wines. That’s where Muri comes in. Passing Clouds is the brand’s white wine or champagne alternative, said to pair well with cheese, spicy and seafood dishes. Nuala, a red wine alternative, pairs with meats, cheese and ceviche. According to founder Murray Paterson, Muri was created to “make sure everyone at the dinner table knows they are sipping something special”. Cheers to that.


savoury flavours. Again, we’re travelling to warmer climes for this one. Adnams recently launched Jardin Mexicano, made with avocado leaf (said to give notes of anise and liquorice) with a mix of Mexican-inspired botanicals including epazote, smoky chipotle chili and lime peel. And now London’s Portobello Road has launched the aptly named Savoury Gin. Inspired by Corsica and the Mediterranean, it’s made with bergamot, rosemary, basil, green olive, and a pinch of sea salt to evoke the sea air.

Bombay Sapphire Sunset

Golden hour beckons. This new flavour from Bombay Sapphire is inspired by “the mellow heat and orange glow of the setting sun” – remember that? Targeting the sunstarved masses is a shrewd move. Botanicals include golden turmeric, Indian white cardamom and Spanish mandarin. Taste-wise, it’s said to have both subtle sweetness, and warming spice. Serve with tonic and an orange wheel garnish.


Portobello Road Savoury Gin

How curious are your gin drinkers? Have you got the kind of customer base that demands a 30-strong gin list and matching glassware? Those tiring of fruit flavours, rejoice. The next trend in gins is

In a study from last year, gin was found to be the biggest contributor to spirits share growth over the past six years and 42% of consumers chose cocktails that included gin in 2020 Faith Holland, head of category development, on-trade, Diageo p13-15-16-17-18 summer drinks.indd 15


Clean Co Clean T

Make mine a non-alcoholic Margarita please. After the flurry of gin-substitutes, non-alc brands are now casting their gaze to spirits such as tequila. From Spencer Matthews’ Clean Co brand comes Clean T. Made using a complex distillation process, it’s claimed this replicates its taste, aroma and mouthfeel – earthy, fruity with ripe melon, wood, green olive, peppery rocket and watercress, with a slightly cooling note – but at 0.4 per cent ABV. There’s also just 12 calories per 50ml serving.



27/07/2021 14:54

Try serving the

Pink Spritz. 7

Henry Westons Vintage Draught

Craft ciders are having a moment (see our cider focus on p23-26 for more), so it makes sense that Westons has chosen this summer to launch its Henry Westons Vintage on draught. Darryl Hinksman, head of business development at Westons Cider, says: “As the UK’s biggest glass bottled cider brand, Henry Westons is the largest cider brand in the off-trade not represented on draught. But it has the highest pence per litre in the off-trade when compared with all draught competitors. It’s clear that this represents


Mix: Pink Soda + Rosé Wine + Pink Grapefruit 1 Part • 1 Part • 1 Slice

Speak to your CCEP rep or visit (once registered) for supporting Schweppes POS kits and digital assets.

The first few years of Inapub saw a celebrity of sorts grace the cover each issue, giving us their angle on what pubs had meant to them and their careers. Comedy legend Ade Edmondson was no stranger to a drink or two in his role as Eddie Hitler in TV’s Bottom, but he brought a more sophisticated side to our interview, discussing the social history of pubs and the inevitability of him running one of his own one day, as well as reminiscing about performing in pubs when starting out on the circuit with Rik Mayall.



Issue 33 June 2014 £2.95




Cooking up a coq au cider with the pub fan funnym an


The Tour de France in



The hottest hybrid tipples


Kopparberg’s colourf ul past


Display your wines to





18 bo of Sm ttles irnoff


© 2021 European Refreshments. All rights reserved. SCHWEPPES is a registered trademark of European Refreshments. p13-15-16-17-18 summer drinks.indd 16

27/07/2021 14:54

Try serving the

Elderflower Fizz.

a huge sales opportunity for our on-trade customers.” The launch is supported by a £2m national advertising campaign.


Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale

Diageo sure is lining them up for this summer. Fresh off its launch of Haig Club Mediterranean Orange (featured last issue)

The big thing in our estate this summer has been Spritz – but not just Aperol; Campari spritz, Sipsmith spritzes (with Lemon Drizzle and of course their brand new Strawberry Smash), Tanqueray Spritz (using Flor de Sevilla and their new Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale), and others using vodka. We’re seeing a lot of interest in passionfruit, including passionfruit inspired beers, and Pornstar Martinis continue to fly out Edward Fryer, drinks category manager for Fuller, Smith & Turner pubs

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Mix: Elderflower Tonic + Vodka + Cucumber 3 Parts • 1 Part • 3 Slices

Speak to your CCEP rep or visit (once registered) for supporting Schweppes POS kits and digital assets. © 2021 European Refreshments. All rights reserved. SCHWEPPES is a registered trademark of European Refreshments.

27/07/2021 14:54

10 years on: Lee and Keris De Villiers London licensees Lee and Keris featured in our first issue. Inapub caught up with them to find out how the last decade had shaped their business and their customers. Formerly of the Nightingale in Balham, the couple now run The Ram Inn, The Pig and Whistle and The Old Sergeant in Wandsworth, and have their own brewery, SlyBeast. Keris says: “We were very lucky throughout lockdown; we did takeaway drinks, delivery drinks, everything we were allowed to do. We had so much beer from our brewery we didn’t want to go off. Every restriction we kind of adjusted to, and were doing deliveries to people’s houses on foot. In the summertime we did frozen Margaritas, frozen Pimm’s. In the Pig, we run a weekly wine club, so in lockdown we delivered that too. “During and since lockdown, we have noticed people want local, local, local. They wanted to support as many local businesses as they can. People really wanted draught beer. We felt like such a part of the community, and it’s insane how that’s changed how the pubs now operate; everyone has come together. “Things have changed so much in the last decade. At the Nightingale there was no craft beer, just ale and lager. People now don’t mind paying a bit more to support local brewers. Non-alcoholic drinks are also now huge. People are way more health-conscious; they’ve moved away from the sweeter things. And people really love artisan-style sodas and tonics. You now have so much more choice as a customer. “A lot of people now do also ask for cocktails in pubs.

We have always felt that we want to stay a pub. Maybe in a year’s time we’ll have to do it, because we don’t want to be left behind. But for now spritzes are absolutely huge. We have a menu of 12 different ones. It started with an Aperol, but it’s now evolved. We do a Pimm’s spritz, a peach spritz, passionfruit, pomegranate and rose, Saint Germain spritz, Campari spritz, you name it. It gives that fancy cocktail feel, with a pretty glass, and people love it.”

which aims to bring the Aperitivo occasion to a wider audience, comes this distinctively coloured liquid from Tanqueray. Is purple the new pink? Though it was launched back in February, we think the summer and autumn could be its time to shine. Made with French blackcurrants, it has vanilla and black orchid notes, and clocks in at 41.3 per cent ABV.



With bitter flavours, spritzes, and non alc drinks all ticking the trend boxes this summer, this non-alcoholic Italian Aperitivo from Campari could be just the thing. First created in 1965, in Northern Italy, using a recipe of 15 secret herbs, spices, woods and roots, it’s a decidedly grown-up option for those swerving


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the sauce. Serve in a wine glass, over ice with an orange wedge.


Brixton Brewery Generation Pale Ale

Drink with purpose. Following news that Age UK had experienced a surge in demand for support over the past year, Brixton Brewery teamed up with the charity to create a beer, donating all proceeds. According to Brixton: “The beer is a celebration of the older people who are as likely to enjoy a great night out in a pub with a pint as any young whippersnapper.” Made with British hops Olicana and Harlequin, it’s 3.8 per cent ABV. 27/07/2021 14:54

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02/10/2020 12:42


Will the real cider by CLAIRE DODD

Cider is more valuable to an on-trade business than gin, vodka or wine. This success is largely driven by mainstream brands and flavoured variants

please stand up?

What does cider mean to you? Is it a sweet and fruity summer drink for the party crowd, a finely crafted heritage product or a draught staple? As cider has evolved and reinvented itself it has attracted a broader demographic than perhaps any other drink. Falling in and out of fashion, morphing and reviving itself with more flavours, more draught products, more brands, cider has changed its image more times than a moody teenager. First came the traditional ciders – from the West Country, to France and beyond. Then came their super-strength, super-cheap, distantly related cousins. Magners kick-started the cider renaissance with its modern take on a forgotten and underinvested category, making it hip to younger drinkers. And then followed the fruit. For a time we had pear. We even had artisan rosé ciders in wine bottles, served in flutes. Next beer and vodka brands came, with Stella Cidre and the now retired Smirnoff Cider. But it’s the

sweet, fruity liquids, the summer fruits, that seem to have spurred the most new product launches. Then, and now. So where are we now? Well, as with anything in life, that depends on who you talk to. John Gemmell, on-trade category and commercial strategy director at Heineken UK, says: “Cider is more valuable to an on-trade business than gin, vodka or wine, and delivers £2bn to the on-trade every year. This success is largely driven by mainstream brands and flavoured variants. £1 in every £15 spent on drinks in the on-trade is on cider, with one million pints and 400,000 bottles bought every day.” Now, let’s try the flipside. “According to

Westons emphasises the heritage credentials of its cider to help create a premium experience p23-24-26 cider.indd 23

27/07/2021 23:42

Pink products are in fashion, particularly with the younger drinkers who are keen to get back in the pub

the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM), in 2020 the cider industry had lost sales of 28 per cent and market share of 30 per cent in a decade,” says Alistair Morrell, founder and director of Cider is Wine, an alliance of cider producers with “traditional values”. “This would seem to sum up where the cider category is – a decade in decline.” Both views can be – are – true. There are the best-selling products, and there are the heritage, premium products. So, what should you have behind the bar? “Fruit ciders… attract a higher tax… pull


We always had a soft spot in our hearts for Everards, our first ever advertiser, who bought a page after we handed them a blank dummy magazine and asked them to smell the quality of the paper! It clearly worked Matt Eley, founding editor


p23-24-26 cider.indd 24


the consumer perception away from authenticity and misalign the proposition and the market,” adds Alistair. “The 100 per cent juice not-from-concentrate proposition offers margin, theatre, sales value, higher spending customers, with less associated costs – waste, space, serve – adding a level of value to the whole supply chain that 35 per cent juice and all its derivatives simply doesn’t. Of course it’s small-scale, but nonetheless a clear indication of the direction that consumption is taking – less but better.”

In the pink

No doubt pure juice ciders have a place on the bar – especially in food-led pubs – but which products are shifting volumes? What are your customers voting for with their wallets for? Alistair is right. Premium is key. Rob Sandall, on-trade sales director for Thatchers Cider, says: “Many consumers have more cash to spend, not having been able to spend over the last few months, so are looking to splash out.” Just as in gin, pinkhued products are in. “We’re seeing a younger demographic return faster to the pub than any other age group,” adds Rob. “Thatchers Rosé is a great fit for the high tempo, highquality outlets favoured by younger millennials and generation Z.” John from Heineken 27/07/2021 23:40













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26/07/2021 22:47

agrees that rosé cider has strongly emerged as a subcategory in the off-trade during lockdown, alongside exotic flavours and premium flavoured cider. Putting something on tap is always a big decision. However, John says, 70 per cent of the volume delivered by flavoured draught is incremental to the cider category, but apple cider of course, remains the top seller, accounting for 70 per cent of all draught cider sales. His recommendation? Add both.

Hold the booze

What about alcohol-free? Cider has become the next area of focus for a juggernaut of low- and no-alcohol alternatives, with brands such as Kingstone Press Low Alcohol (0.5 per cent), best-selling brand Thatchers Zero (0 per cent), and Smashed (0 per cent). Is it right for you? Calli O’Brien, marketing controller at

Our pick of this summer’s new crop ECO New from Heineken, Inch’s is a new, sustainable apple cider on draught, aimed at younger drinkers. According to the brand, consumers aged 18 to 34 prefer to buy brands that have a social and environmental commitment. Inch’s – a lightly sparkling, medium apple cider – is made from fruit grown and sourced 40 miles from its Herefordshire cider mill. All apple cider waste is converted to green energy. DRAUGHT Cornish brewer Sharp’s has partnered with Aspall to make a 4.5 per cent ABV medium-dry premium apple cider described as light and crisp, and with branding that challenges “the usual design conventions of traditional ciders”, and “speaks of where it came from” according to James Nicholls, marketing controller for Sharp’s Brewery. Cold River Cider is available on keg. WORLD Premium – and from out of town – French cider Galipette is made from 100 per cent pure juice, from handpicked cider apples from Northwest France, using “century-old cider making traditions”. Free from gluten, added sugar, or preservatives, Galipette is available in Brut (4.5 per cent ABV), Biologique (four per cent ABV and sweeter) and 0 per cent ABV (described as gently spicy, crisp and acidic).


p23-24-26 cider.indd 26


Aston Manor Cider, says: “Recent research revealing that 27 per cent of 18- to 35-yearolds say they are actively cutting down on alcohol consumption, and 56 per cent are now consuming more low or no alcohol products, demonstrating the increased sales opportunity.” Rob from Thatchers agrees that low no products have grown in popularity during lockdown. Richard Clark is founder and managing director of Drynks Unlimited, makers of alchol-free Smashed, which is available in Apple and Berry flavours. He agrees. “The alcohol-free market is still small but it’s growing at pace and Covid has accelerated it,” he says. “The on-trade is playing catch-up on offering a range of alcohol free drinks. Understandably a number of consumers think that alcohol-free cider is just apple juice. We start with a real five per cent ABV British craft cider, and then gently de-alcoholise it. Our Smashed cider customers over-index with women and Smashed Berry cider appeals to a younger 18- to 25-year-old audience.”

A taste of the tropics

But when it comes to flavour, where are we up to? “Tropical is the third biggest fruit cider flavour and the fastest growing profile across other drinks categories,” says Rosie Fryer from Kopparberg. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see a number of tropical flavours launch for the summer, including Kopparberg’s Mixed Fruit Tropical, Friels Piña Colada Cider and Friels Passionfruit Punch Cider. With fruit cider now accounting for a third of all draught cider sales and appealing to non-traditional cider drinkers, and craft cider outpacing the growth of the overall category with a 46 per cent share of draught apple cider, Darryl Hinksman, head of business development at Westons Cider, recommends taking a seasonal approach. “Fruit cider is far more reactive to the seasons – especially those lighter, summer evenings, which leave consumers seeking a sweet, light and refreshing serve,” he says. “To maximise profitability, prioritise a draught fruit cider during the summer months, and then switch this out in favour of a crafted proposition in late August.” 27/07/2021 15:20

New Mixed Fruit Tropical Limited Edition

To the first taste of an endless summer

Follow us on social: @Kopparbergtrade

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26/07/2021 23:34

How about a glass of New Zealand?

New Zealand wine has never been more popular, so pour your customers a glass of New Zealand. As we celebrate pubs opening across the country, New Zealand wines are the perfect choice for your customers to enjoy as the weather warms up – both indoors and out! Get in touch with your suppliers to take advantage of the growing popularity of New Zealand wines, and add value to your business today.


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3/05/21 4:05 PM 10/05/2021 10:28


Even a decade ago, going out to eat was often seen as a special occasion, all white tablecloths and best clothes. Now there’s a whole range of informal options

PUB FOOD WITH PORTER Anyone who’s ever had that anxiety dream where you’re gripped with fear at having failed to revise for an exam, despite being *ahem* a couple of decades on from leaving school, will have a sense of how I felt when Inapub said they needed a new Pub Food with Porter column. My immediate worry was that I’d missed eight years of deadlines since the last one appeared in 2013. I then remembered that the column was dropped all those years ago. Not, I hasten to add because it was ever anything other than popular and influential, but rather on the somewhat spurious grounds that a column written by a pub chef might carry more credibility than one written by an esteemed pub food journalist. If you’ve ever faced a print deadline while trying to persuade a busy chef or publican to actually deliver on an article they’d promised to write, you’ll understand the folly of that reasoning. In one sense, pubs and pub food haven’t changed much in that decade since the first Inapub. The most popular dishes remain fairly constant, and what we used to call the wet/dry sales mix – the relative percentages of drink and food sold – is also about the same. However, something fairly fundamental has changed alongside pubs – often in the same street or on the same parade of businesses. It’s called casual dining. Even a decade ago, going out to eat was often seen as something for a special occasion, all about white p29 pub food porter.indd 29

tablecloths and best clothes. Now, from burgers to bento and wings to wasabi, there’s a whole range of grab-and-go or dally-and-digest options for informal eating out. It’s human nature to categorise or pigeonhole things, and doubly so if you work for an eye-wateringly expensive marketing consultancy, and so there’s been a concerted drive to try to define pubs as just another sub-sector of the wider casual dining market. That is, I would respectfully suggest, complete bollocks. Pubs were here first, and hold a unique place in British culture. Allowing the bean-counters to factor pub numbers in with restaurants, which come and go all the time, threatens to devalue their importance. At a time when pubs need all the support they can get, let’s keep them special, please.

CLASSIC COVERS In Issue 63 we looked at the Desi pubs of the Black Country, a celebration of modern British identity that were breathing new life into the sector with a winning mix of pakoras and pints. Publican Amrik Singh Saini struck a commanding pose on our cover, on horseback in the bar of The Fourways in Rowley Regis.


Issue 63 March 2017 £3.95

From the Pu njab to the pub

The Desi licensees offe ring service with a styl e

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23/02/2017 02:06



27/07/2021 15:33

10 dinner winners by JOHN PORTER

Advice on pub menu planning is always in plentiful supply, and as the sector re-opens, food suppliers have been working overtime to read the runes. Wholesaler Bidfood notes that the number of dishes on pub menus has decreased by 22 per cent year on year – this makes sense after the focus on takeaway and delivery during lockdown, which favours triedand-trusted dishes. Bidfood suggests a continued focus on core favourites, with options to add value by customising dishes with extra toppings and sides. Brakes suggests hosting food and wine tastings, and themed menu nights such as steak night, as well as extending the range to suit different social occasions, such as tapas, bar snacks and sharing dishes for a more informal dining experience. All of which is good advice; it’s clearly important to innovate without neglecting the core menu. The top pub food dishes haven’t changed much at all in the 10 years since Inapub launched.

THE FAMOUS FIVE For pubs looking to drive menu appeal, the bankers to focus on include:


Fish & chips

Cod and haddock remain the favourites for this pub classic, although fish suppliers can suggest a broader range of white fish, according to availability and value. Add a dish of home-made tartar sauce to give it a personal touch.


For the first few years we tried to make a name for ourselves by always getting a celebrity connected to a pub on the cover. This could work well – Harry Enfield, Bruce Dickinson, Elbow – or could end up being a massive struggle, like the time we had two Olympic volleyball players who were about as au fait with pubs as I was with the intricacies of their sport Matt Eley, founding editor

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Sausage & mash

An absolute pub staple, with the option to use local and speciality bangers from a catering butcher for a regularly changing choice, and veggie sausages as an alternative. Mash can be customised with crispy fried onions or grated cheese, or add spring onions or cabbage to offer Celtic variants champ and colcannon.



The most versatile dish on the menu. From a core choice of beef, chicken and vegetarian patties, you can offer near-infinite combinations of premium cheeses, salads and sauces to drive sales.


Steak pie

Always popular, and an ideal way to use better-value beef cuts. A splash of the house bitter in the gravy adds all the necessary provenance for a local steak and ale pie.


Sunday roast

The family favourite, with a range of meats and cuts available from butchers. If space doesn’t allow for a carvery, serve the veg in dishes at the table to create the Sunday-at-home feel that makes a roast dinner so popular.

FIVE FUTURE FAVOURITES The favourites may not change much, but pub menus still evolve. Dishes that have found their way in to the hearts of pubgoers over the past decade, and likely to still be around when Inapub turns 20, include:


Mac n’ cheese

Originally a vegetarian option, the versatility of macaroni cheese has put it well on the way to indispensability on pub menus. Loaded – or dirty – with bacon and extra toppings, it’s a main course in its own right, and in smaller portions works as a side or starter. p30-31 food favourites.indd 31


Choice of fish

Sustainability is an increasing concern for customers. For less reliance on overfished species, use special boards and “catch of the day” options to get best value from the full range of fish species available.





Pulled pork

Or seitan and portobello mushroom, come to that. Any chunky protein suitable for vegans, and robust enough to be fried, grilled or roasted, is an essential for tasty dishes on the modern pub menu.

A decade ago, asking for pulled pork might have seen you ejected from the premises, but the growth of barbecue menus makes slow-cooked, better value cuts of meat and poultry a versatile choice.


Superfood salad

Salad will probably always be the Cinderella of pub menus, but chuck in a few slices of avocado, some kale leaves, and a sprinkle of turmeric, and suddenly you’ve got a superfood side dish with appeal to customers seeking a healthier option.

Two trends to watch Takeaway options Now an expectation for many customers. Lamb Weston has developed the new Hot2Home Fries concept, with a secret recipe coating and patented packaging that keeps the fries hot and crispy for 20 minutes. Desserts An appealing dessert menu will increase spend per head. Use fresh fruits and berries to complement indulgent ingredients such as ice cream and chocolate. Dessert supplier Callebaut has a new range of vegan desserts such as Chocolate Beetroot Cake and Chocolate Banoffee Pie that can be enjoyed by everyone at the table.



27/07/2021 16:11

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26/07/2021 23:54

BARSTOOL EXPERT all you ever needed to know about OUTDOOR DINING Hi, we don’t often see you outside the pub, do we? Hello. No, I’ve relocated from my spot at the bar to this picnic bench while I wait for my al fresco food order.

That’s a nice parka, by the way. Thanks. It came in handy back in April when they reopened for outdoor-only trading in the snow, and it’s doing a sterling job of keeping the rain off now.

Doesn’t look like this place has got many booked in for outdoor lunch. No, but it doesn’t take much. If the rain clears up there’ll be customers clamouring for these outside tables.

Are we better off booking ahead? Yes, they’ll reserve outdoor tables if the

customer asks, but they don’t take more bookings than they can accommodate inside. If the weather co-operates, they’ve also got the vacated indoor tables for walk-ins.

Can we order from the full menu outside? If you really must, but al fresco diners are advised to browse the special outdoor menu. It features dishes that are simple to eat outside – burgers, sandwiches, sharing platters, bowls of chips and onion rings, as well as pitchers of draught beer and cocktails, and wine by the bottle. They also serve in plastic glasses, unless the customer insists on a “real” glass. It all makes outdoor service less of a challenge for the serving staff, and reduces breakages.

I do like my pint in a glass tankard. I could tell you were a troublemaker.

I see there’s an outside bar too. Yes, you can buy bottled beers and wine from the outdoor fridges without going inside. They’ve also got baskets of cutlery and condiment sachets there, as well as an area where you can return used plates, glasses etc.

What if I want the loo? The entrance closest to the toilets is clearly marked. Don’t forget to wear a face mask while moving around the pub.

Is that still a legal requirement? I’ve no idea, your face just annoys me.

Urrgh. Is that a blob of mayonnaise on your picnic bench? No, it’s seagull poo. Don’t worry, I’ll chip it off with my knife once it dries. Could you pass the butter, please? p33 barstool expert.indd 33



27/07/2021 16:24

Cask Marque Become one of the best 10,000 cask ale pubs in Britain

‘Cask Marque’ is an independent scheme that assesses the beer quality in pubs to ensure standards are driven and maintained. Qualified assessors visit pubs to test the beers temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. pubs have increased sales since 88% ofgaining the accreditation of accredited outlets said they would 98% recommend the scheme to other licensees Benefits include: n Featured on the CaskFinder app - used 60,000 times a month to find Cask Marque pubs n A Cask Marque plaque – recognised by 77% of beer drinkers as a badge of quality n Point of Sale material – to help promote this achievement to customers n Random inspections – helping pubs to consistently serve quality beer n Access to cellar management training n Regular newsletters Sign Up today by visiting or calling 01206 752212

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10/05/2021 10:58


10 years in the game by MATT ELEY

Matt Eley was Inapub’s first ever editor back in 2011, and is still a regular contributor to the magazine today. Here, he takes a look back at how pub entertainment has moved on since he launched the magazine a decade ago and how licensees have adapted to that change… If one phrase can capture how pub entertainment has changed in the last decade, it is “competitive gaming”. This phrase is to entertainment what “gastro” became to pub food around the turn of the century. By that, I don’t mean that it has become crazily pretentious and will end up eating itself, but rather that standards have been driven higher to satisfy the demands of customers. In those early issues of Inapub we were covering events that are still relevant today – how to run a comedy night, the Rugby World Cup, poker nights… OK, so the latter doesn’t pull in punters like it used to do but, in a sense, that surge in the popularity of Texas Hold ‘Em paved the way for today’s competitive gaming trend. In recent years there has been a pattern of traditional games being given modern twists. Flight Club, with its tech inspired gaming and quality food and drink offer, has taken darts to a new, broader audience. The likes of Puttshack are doing the same with crazy golf. Other weird and wonderful experiences, such as axe

CLASSIC COVERS Our cover star for Issue 8, Gareth Southgate was managing Carlsberg Cup-winning team The Freemasons Arms at the time. He kicked on from there to land an even more prestigious job, just missing out on the Euro trophy but bringing some epic pub scenes to a nation in need of something to cheer.



Issue 8 March 2012 £2.95



The ex-England man YOU for the Carlsbergneeds Pub Cup




Your customers, after these award-winning you tried recipes


A category reinvented


Celebrating special days


Courvoisier helps pub pack a punch one GOURMET BURGE


p01 cover.indd



A bu case mper from of spirits Hi-Spi rits BREAKFAST


CELLARS 21/02/2012 00:43 p35 10 years entertainment.indd 35

On the pull: punters enjoy an escape room at The Four Thieves in London’s Battersea

throwing, immersive 3D gaming and escape rooms have all featured on the Inapub pages as pubs look to find hooks to get people out. And that remains the key to all of this: how can you drag someone away from the settee to the pub when they have so many options at home? Again, in a similar way to food, we have collectively improved the entertainment on offer at home. Flat-screen TVs, streaming devices and games consoles will be found in most UK households. This is where the competition really comes in for pubs. One solution is to make your offer bigger and better. Did you show the Euros? A single screen in a corner just isn’t going to cut it any longer. Provide giant screens, with awesome sound quality and unobscured views, and you might just have a chance. The other things you are providing with that is a collective human experience and an atmosphere no home entertainment system can provide. That remains the major advantage that pubs have over home entertainment: a human desire to socialise and experience new things with different people. And after the 18 months we’ve all just had, that’s something many need now more than ever.



27/07/2021 16:41

MINORITY REPORT A look at the minority sports played in pubs across the land Back in the early days, Inapub launched a series of features called Minority Report – and not just because we thought it was a clever play on that Tom Cruise movie. Here are some of our favourite pub games and minority sports that have appeared on these pages over the last decade...

1. Shove ha’penny In the first issue of Inapub our crack team of investigative journalists went to the places Panorama dared not tread. We brought you a world exclusive on a game that needs a few coins and a chalkboard, or a table if you’re stuck for the latter.

2 . Spoof We still haven’t found a better way to decide who buys a round than a game of spoof. You just need three coins per player and that old pub skill, the ability to bluff.

3. Beermat flipping Another exclusive for Inapub as we caught up with world record beermat flipper Dean Gould, who has flipped and caught more than 100 beer mats in one go – and 71 whilst blindfolded. Go on, give it a go… you know you want to.

4. Aunt Sally If there is anything more satisfying than cleanly knocking “Aunt Sally” off her perch by lobbing sticks at it from 30ft away, we have yet to find it. For clarity, Aunt Sally is a doll, not a violence-inducing relative.

5. Skittles There was a time when skittles were as common in pubs as beer branded ashtrays brimming with dog-ends. Ah, happy days. Maybe it’s time for a skittles renaissance – flashing lights, automatic scoring, pins that pop up electronically. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Skit Pit.

6. Toad in the Hole Not a meal, but a game most popular in that East Sussex pub paradise, Lewes. In simple terms it involves throwing money at a table with a hole in it. What’s not to like?

7. Pea throwing Staying in Lewes for another. Head to The


p36 minority report.indd 40


Lewes Arms every August and you will find contestants taking part in the World Pea Throwing Championships. The current world record is 44m. Top tip: throw with frozen peas.

8. Bar billiards Not as familiar a sight as they once were but is there anything more pubby than seeing a couple of old boys supping real ale over a game of bar billiards… while their horses graze happily outside. Yes, yes, we know we are getting sentimental but this is an anniversary issue!

9. Conkers Has this not been banned by the fun police yet? The World Championships take place at The Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick, Northamptonshire, raising money for the visually impaired.

10. Welly wanging Much like the javelin really, but with an old boot less likely to impale someone having a quiet drink. Could this be the perfect pub activity to tie in with this year’s Olympics? 27/07/2021 16:46

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10/05/2021 12:49

The difference

in a decade


Converted try: The Cabbage Patch’s push for wider popularity has paid off

Ten years ago The Cabbage Patch was gearing up for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. And as pretty much everyone in this country will have noticed this summer, home nation participation in major international sports tournaments tends to bring in a crowd. However, much has changed in the way that Stuart Green, licensee of the Twickenham pub, has approached sporting events and his entertainment offer in general.

For starters, the Patch has had regular refurbishments and investment in the latest technology. “I remember putting the first flat-screen TV on the wall and thinking how much space it saved,” he says. “They used to be so bulky but now they are so light and we have 12 TVs, plus two 3m by 2m video walls. “We’ve invested in sound systems and permanent outdoor TVs.” Using the outdoor space was already on the Patch’s agenda but it has been given even greater priority due to Covid. “It has become such an important space and you can’t be sure what will happen with Covid this winter or next so it’s important to invest in that area,” says Stuart. Another significant focus has been building the Cabbage Patch brand. A decade ago it was well known in local and rugby circles but it has now transcended this to gain wider popularity. Stuart explains: “We were well known as being a great rugby pub already, but we really started to play on that in 2011. We p38-39 ideas entertainment.indd 38

27/07/2021 16:55


of the best

We’ve taken a nostalgic look through the back issues of Inapub to recall some of our entertainment highlights.

Outdoors has become such an important space and you can’t tell what’s going to happen with Covid, so it’s really important to invest in that area

Black pudding throwing The World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, held outside The Oaks in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, are said to derive from a battle in the Wars of the Roses when the opposing armies threw food at each other. Contestants hurl Lancashire black puddings in a bid to knock Yorkshire puddings off their 7.6-metre high perch. We are all in the gutter but… We were looking at the stars at The Culpeper in London’s Brick Lane. It might not be the obvious place for a spot of star gazing but it was a really clever way to use its roof bar. Yoga We were put through our paces in the function room of Steamin’ Billy’s Dog & Gun in Syston, Leicestershire, when we took part in one of its regular yoga classes. Maybe that should be the Downward Facing Dog & Gun… Crazy golf The Edinburgh Castle in Brixton were onto something when the marquee they put up for the Rugby World Cup was converted into a Tiki inspired crazy golf course. A few years later, in many city centres you can’t swing a club without hitting a venue like this, Bandioke Could pub entertainment ever surpass the heights set by karaoke and your locals screeching Celine Dion to a backing track? Step forward bandioke where punters live out their rock n roll fantasy by playing with a live band. Virtual reality

Inapub has whiled away plenty of hours at The Four Thieves in Battersea, enjoying its epic first floor games room, escape rooms and, well, just drinking. But top of the pops was getting to blast zombies to smithereens on a Virtual Reality simulator. Pow! p38-39 ideas entertainment.indd 39



27/07/2021 16:56

10 years on Hootananny, Brixton, South London

CLASSIC COVERS For the Rio 2016 Olympics, the iconic Discobolous appeared on our cover, swapping out his discus for a more pub-friendly burger and a pint to wash it down with. Inside, the Inapub team donned sweatbands and locked horns in Pub Olympic events such as Jenga, blow football and bar skittles. “This has got to be a joke,” harrumphed one unimpressed online reader. It kind of was (none of our staff were genuine Olympic athletes), but we hoped it might provide some inspiration for making games of all kinds work in your pub.


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Issue 56 July 2016 £3.95

Harness the Olym 1

pic spirit 28/06/2016 10:49

produced t-shirts with “probably the most famous rugby pub in the world” on them and it started to stick. Eventually we ended up dropping the ‘probably’.”

It used to be about what you did when you had them in. Now so much work goes into getting them in the pub in the first place. Social media has revolutionised that



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Social revolution

It has been a message that has been reinforced on the pub’s social channels, which were virtually non-existent 10 years ago. “That’s another huge change,” says Stuart. “It used to be about what you did when you had them in. Now so much work goes into getting them in the pub in the first place and social media has revolutionised that.” It’s an area where the best businesses are always evolving, which is also what has happened with the offer at the Patch. “There is so much competition now that you have to make sure you are upping your game and using every inch of your business. We are known as a rugby pub but we do so much more than that,” he continues. And he doesn’t just mean they screen football as well. The Patch has a jam-packed calendar with events such as movie nights – making the most of those screens – quiz nights, live music, comedy, private hire and even a ukulele club run with Age UK. “You have to maximise what you do and give people reasons to visit,” says Stuart. “We give the space away for a lot of the time but it comes back to us. We have had families book a meal because their grandad is learning the ukulele here.”

In Issue 3 of Inapub Sophia Yates, owner of Brixton music venue, Hootananny explained how the venue had invested in insulation and CCTV to ensure a sound and safe experience for customers and neighbours alike. In the intervening decade Hootananny has continued to invest and has expanded the range of live music acts that it hosts. It has invested heavily in the outside space as well as regular refurbs. Sophia says that the last 18 months have been incredibly challenging, but the appetite for live entertainment remains strong. “In the last 16 months we have only had 13 weeks of live music. We have been sold out with our current capacity of 420 but as soon as we can, we will be back to 870. The government’s scientists say it is safe to do this, so we will.” What has remained at the heart of the business, according to events and music manager Max Golfar, is “community and vibe.” He adds: “The music is important to us but we are also proud to be a safe space where people can just come and be themselves.” PLAY

Face the music DON’T LET SIMON

Linval Thompson performs at Brixton’s Hootananny

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Karaoke separat The Old Queen’sist: Head The Old Queens Head in Angel, north London, is split over two levels. It recently transformed one of the upstairs rooms into a private karaoke room — available to hire by the hour, seven days a week. The Queen’s karaoke room can acac commodate up to 15 guests, fancy-dress box, inflatable boasts a instruments, a scaled-down menu, and a “booze but button” to call a member of staff for food and drinks orders. Bookings manager Kat Dendy is amazed at how well it’s gone down. “Keeping the karaoke in a separate room works,” she says. “People tend to perform better in front of smaller groups — it’s more personal. It’s very much like a secret room!” www.theoldqueensh


With X Factor now set to dominate the Saturday nights of a even karaoke) is very large section of the much alive and well pub-going public until in pubs. Christmas, licensees could be forgiven for Last year, a survey feeling slightly bitter carried out by retowards music generally. searcher CGA found that But that would be to suggest there or recorded music events, pubs hosting live was any connection at all between genuine took 44 per cent more such as discos, artistic musical (£229 per day) than those that didn’t. endeavour and Simon CowSo what do you need ell’s saccharine-soaked to make sure your live music offering is good enough to drag snivelfest. your customers away from gawping at But while Gary Barlow? single mums, orphaned Licensed to thrill children Firstly, you need to look at the size and and the men- shape of your pub. Is there tally ill warble corner, alcove or raised an obvious and bawl their area that would suit a live show? Punters way into our nawill need easy access to the bar if you’re going to make tion’s brain-dead any money. Make the living rooms, live most of your space. music (and As with everything in the pub trade, there are legal hoops to jump through, but if you have taken over a pub, there is a chance the premises licence is already set up for live music. If not, you’ll have to apply for some changes in terms for your licence. This involves placing an advert in your local newspaper to let the community know you are applying to play live music, and posting an A4-sized blue notice in your pub’s window. You must also notify: your local police; fire brigade; trading standards; local council planning office; environmental health and health and safety departments, the Child Protection Agency and, of course, your local council’s licensing authority. If no-one objects within 28 days from the time you post the variations, you can go ahead. Once you’ve got your local licensing authority on board, you need another


20/09/2011 23:10

Live and kicking: Hootan anny Award-winning venue Hootananny in Brixton, south London, runs live music from Wednesday

s to Sundays and has a great reputation for live hip-hop, roots, reggae and ska. Owner Sophia Yates says it has taken a lot of work and investment. “We’ve spent a lot of money on sound insulation, and put up CCTV to monitor our staff and bands, to make sure they are not making any noise late at night,” she says. “Paid security patrol the back of our premises to make sure it’s quiet. We always respond quickly to queries from neighbours and inspections from the council. Up until now we have been able to satisfy all parties, but it usually means money on something. we have to spend more When it comes to sourcing acts, Hootananny promoters and lists all bands and DJs playing works with several www.hootanannybri on its website at Sophia is pragmatic about choosing which we listen and we are acts to put on: “We scout, approached by bands. audience decides what In the works. Look at the audienceend though, the like it, they stay. If they and learn. If they don’t, they leave.”

piece of paperwork; a PRS (Performing Right Society) licence. idea to attend a night Fees or two at some of to the size of a premises vary according the music-focused venues and the number in your area. of performances you Befriend the people put on in your pub, there, and you can but it can all be done share contacts and make sure your nights over the phone. There is no fine levied don’t clash. if you decide to avoid getting a licence, When it comes to promotion, but you could end the bands up in court to pay for themselves will also be one of your best licensing costs. marketing tools. Make Once all the red tape sure is in place, you can start work on the spread the word through you help them fun bit: choosing your bands. It’s important and social media channels. websites to get the right mix of acts for your pub, and If all else fails, you can no-one knows your always stick X punters better than Factor on the big screen. you. It’s also a good You wouldn’t be the first!


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20/09/2011 23:10

The model of expanding the entertainment offer is now being used in Stuart’s new venture, the multi-purpose Rec in Horsham, West Sussex. Previously better known as a nightclub and a laser tag site, Stuart and his team have transformed the venue so it now has a live music space that can cater for hundreds, as well as a separate sports bar. 27/07/2021 18:58

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02/10/2020 17:02

stay 11


The Wiremill



In the first ever issue of Inapub, then editor Matt Eley met the Yummy Pubs team at their stunning lakeside site The Wiremill. It seemed only right that a decade on he should visit them again to find out how the intervening years have treated them.

We first visited The Wiremill in 2011, two years after a £120 investment to transform a derelict space into letting rooms

When Inapub launched in 2011, The Wiremill was one of those pubs that we knew we had to cover. It was a Freehouse of the Year award winner and there was a lot of positive noise about the work parent company Yummy Pubs was doing, especially in training and development. A decade on and much has changed at Yummy but The Wiremill remains a jewel in its crown and its six letting rooms – created



How the Wiremill breathed life into a derelict space


Short stays are becoming more important. The leisure pound is going to grow in the UK

Right: Pub partners – owner Anthony, Colin, Tim and Jason make a 50 per cent margin on the letting rooms. You get fresh veg, too

he Wiremill is one of those pubs that has an almost unfair amount going for it. We could have made it “famous for” its setting alone, perched on the edge of a sprawling lake that laps at the pub’s outside terrace. As the national winner of a Freehouse of the Year title, it naturally has a food and drink offer that is none too shabby either. But what makes the Wiremill’s accommodation offer so impressive is that it has grown from nothing to four per cent of the business in just two years. Four per cent might not sound a huge amount in the grand scheme of things. But add in the incremental guest spend on food and drink and consider that where six stunning rooms now sit, there used to be a flood-damaged cellar, and you can see the difference it has made to the business. Anthony Pender, one of the partners behind the pub, explains why they opted to spend £120,000 to bring the derelict space to life. “When you are paying a rent or a mortgage on a large property, every square foot counts,” he says. “To have 1,000 square feet empty downstairs defeats the object. Our accommodation has relatively low costs now we are up and running, and complements what we are doing upstairs.” And so it has proved, with occupancy rates now at 65

per cent. Guests who stay the night have proved to be some of the bigger spenders, with an estimated 75 per cent also staying for dinner. To get accommodation right, Anthony says you need to bite the bullet and make that initial investment, market the pub properly and ensure standards are kept high. But once the investment has been made, pubs can make a fairly decent return without huge running costs. For example, a Wiremill room, let at £64, will return a 50 per cent margin once cleaning, linen, VAT, breakfast and booking fees are taken into account. Remove the agents and you could make another 15 per cent. Figures suggest rooms really could start to deliver for pubs in the way that food has over the past decade. Anthony is also convinced that where possible it is a market pubs should try to tap into. “It is so expensive to go abroad, while petrol is going up and people won’t be able to drive as far,” he says. “Shortterm stays are going to become more important. The leisure pound is going to grow in the UK for those who do it well.”


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MARKET THEM RIGHT Online advertising is key. Make the most of Google Maps and sites such as Trip Advisor and MANAGE EXPECTATIONS You are a pub, not a hotel. Ensure customers know what to expect

The Wiremi ll Lingfield, Surr ey Initial inves tment:£120k Number of rooms: 6 Room: rates £64-£119 Occupancy rate: 65%

TRAIN YOUR STAFF Make sure they are clued up on taking bookings and welcoming guests SPEND CASH UP FRONT Do things properly. This includes showers and linen OFFER DEALS Longer visits can save on linen and booking fees. Cheap rates for extra days can work

FOUR MORE WITH GREAT LETTING ROOMS The Jamaica Inn, Bodmin, Cornwall

The Drayton Court, Ealing, West London

A smugglers’ inn, immortalise d in the novel of the same name. Reportedly haunted by ghosts of smugglers past

14 AUGUST 2011 p14-15 famous for*.indd 14

THIS MONTH 19/07/2011 05:13

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Traditional hotel and pub in the Fuller’s estate. Ho Chi Minh once worked there as a kitchen porter

The Babbity Bowster Glasgow

Six rooms, a great reputation for food and drink and, let’s be honest, you won’t forget the name in a hurry

Bryn Tyrch Snowdonia Inn

You can truly it all and relaxget away from in Snowdonia at this pub Ahhh, we’r National Park. e on our way …

AUGUST 2011 15 19/07/2011 05:14

for £120,000 in 2009 – are arguably more important than ever. When we meet on the pub’s recently extended terrace, co-owner Tim Foster tells Inapub about the importance of accommodation. He says: “If we hadn’t had accommodation here we wouldn’t have survived. “Mostly, it is important because of the winter trade, because you would have days when you would just have hotel guests. It filled that void.” Over the last 10 years the rooms have been refurbished several times but the rates have remained much the same, with a top price of around £120. One of the reasons for this is because the room stock in its location on the Surrey and Sussex borders has risen in recent years with the arrival of more hotels. Room occupancy, however, is now higher than the 65 per cent rate we quoted in 2011, partly due to The Wiremill also being used as a training base for the 100-plus staff in the Yummy business. Tim continues: “This is a training hub, so they stay down for a few days or weeks at a time and use the rooms.” Customers have also had new reasons to stay at The Wiremill since pubs have been 27/07/2021 18:02


The Wiremill East Grinstead, Surrey

Rooms: Six Staff: 47 Room rates: £110-£120 Website:

We see loads of people travelling locally. They just want to get out of the house and have an experience and that is a massive part of our trade

Matt and Tim 10 years on. The Wiremill has refurbished its rooms several times over the past 10 years. During the pandemic, the team has produced over 2,000 meals for isolated, vulnerable and elderly people local to the pub as well as teaming up with charity Only a Pavement Away to serve an incredible 33,000 meals to the homeless

allowed to reopen. “We see loads of people travelling locally. They just want to get out of the house and have an experience, and that is filling a massive part of our trade. “Most weekends it’s friends who haven’t seen each other or family meetings, with grandparents coming to see grandkids but not wanting to be in the house.”

From hospital to hospitality

Covid also ended up providing another reason for guests to stay. Almost as soon as the country went into lockdown Tim and the team were working on ways they could support their community. They launched a click-and-collect shop at the pub and provided hot meals to elderly and vulnerable residents. Word spread about their good work, and requests came in for help with accommodation. Tim explains: “We have a specialist hospital in East Grinstead and we have people coming to stay with us after they come out. They would be leaving hospital at 2am with literally nothing and no way to get any food. “People contacted us saying that family p42-43 stay.indd 43

were on their own and could we help, so we did all that stuff.” In a sense the company was well prepared for crisis management after a fire broke out at its flagship London site, The Somers Town Coffee House, in the summer of 2018. One of the changes the team made after recovering from the fire was to put in a luxury apartment upstairs to create an accommodation offer. The Somers Town and The Wiremill are now the primary focus of the group, which has put ambitions for growing its estate across London and the South East on hold. The team have returned to focusing on the pubs that put them on the map a decade or so ago. Tim says: “By growing to six sites my job changed so much and it was all about reports and sending in the sheets. It’s great to be able to be part of the team again and to be able to add value. I’m enjoying it and loving getting to know all of the team beyond an employee report or on an app. “We came so close to losing everything that you just appreciate how great everything is when it’s going well.”



27/07/2021 18:02

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26/07/2021 23:44

Kit out the kitchen

Investing in food and kitchen equipment is a challenging decision for independent pubs at the best of times. Doubly so as the industry moves out of lockdown into whatever the “new normal” turns out to be. by JOHN PORTER

Capital investment, whether in food prep, cooking, refrigeration, barista machines, chilled drinks dispense or warewashing, has to be juggled against the benefits of paying for more staff on the front line. For tenants and lessees, there is also that question mark over whether a future occupant of the pub



Pubs are there for every occasion, and in February 2016 we looked at the delicate business of hosting a funeral wake. For the cover we commissioned a florist to make us a pint-shaped wreath, which our production editor picked up, strapped to the back of his bike and cycled gingerly home with, weaving between potholes to avoid damaging the arrangement. The photoshoot was interrupted by neighbours who’d got the wrong end of the stick and come to offer their kind but unnecessary condolences.

Issue 51 Februar y 2016 £3.95

Tempting tax break

Hosting the final cel p01 cover 190mm


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27/01/2016 03:51 p46-47 BBB.indd 45

may get more benefit from the new kit than they do. However, pubs have an opportunity to diversify in areas such as through-the-day drinks and snacks to appeal to home-based workers, as well as takeaway and delivery, which new kit, from pizza ovens to refrigerated deli-style display counters, can support. Malcolm Harling, sales and marketing director of Williams refrigeration, says: “During lockdown we saw little activity from the sector, which is understandable as pubs needed all their cash to see them through a very tough period.

“As we got ready for the first stage of opening, there was a move to build outside eating and drinking areas, and if you’re in the market for new refrigeration – or, to be fair, any foodservice appliance – then now is the time to buy it. The government is currently offering a whopping 130 per cent tax allowance on new commercial equipment – the so-called “super-deduction’.” This enhanced tax allowance is only a



27/07/2021 18:09

back-bar business

New equipment launches With customers looking for reassurance that cleaning and hygiene practices are in place, the HyGenikx air and surface sanitisation system from Mechline Developments can help provide peace of mind. HyGenikx is a plug and play option, using a combination of technologies to kill both airborne and surface viruses and bacteria. The Inn Collection Group has installed 25 units in its kitchens, to provide clean air for food preparation. For beer gardens and mobile bars, Hoshizaki’s new automatic beer dispensing solution, the BeerMatic Dual Tap DBF-AS65WE has the capacity to pour two drinks simultaneously, with an internal chilling system and the ability to connect directly to a standard keg.

The industry is suffering from staff shortages and the loss of skilled workers. Modern foodservice equipment can help here – often it’s simple to use and fast 46

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temporary measure, designed to boost the economy, so it’s worth pubs trying to take advantage of it while they can. Paul Crowley, marketing development manager at warewashing specialist Winterhalter UK, reports: “We’re seeing a mixed picture – customers are doing what suits their particular business. It’s clear that some operators are investing and are keen to be using the most up-to-date kit, particularly where there are energy savings to be made. “There is also the other end of the spectrum where repair is the only option for some pubs – so the guys in our service team are working with operators on a partnership approach. This means we help the customer achieve the results they want while prolonging the life of machine – through best practice, training and regular servicing.”

Embracing the new landscape

Pete Gray is managing director for equipment sales at HTG Trading, which owns both ice machine specialist Hubbard Systems and equipment supplier Taylor UK. He says that while lockdown initially saw a massive drop in business, as things stabilised, “we had a noticeable increase in


equipment sales with independent operators who had embraced takeaway and home delivery, and also those businesses lucky enough to have sufficient outside space to open when they were permitted.” He also warns that operators that don’t invest are likely to see increased competition from the managed players. “Our key account customers like M&B and Marstons have been pushing forward, reigniting plans and projects which they had in place prior to the whole Covid-19 situation.” Steve Hobbs, chair of the Foodservice Equipment Association, makes the point that new equipment can also help tackle one of the biggest challenges facing pubs: staffing. “Operators are starting to spend again – our members are reporting that the foodservice equipment market is picking up. “The whole hospitality industry is suffering from staff shortages and from the loss of skilled workers. Modern foodservice equipment can help here – often it’s simple to use and fast, while still delivering quality results. In many new kitchen designs, operators are looking for 20 per cent more output from 20 per cent less space and 20 per cent fewer staff.” 27/07/2021 18:10

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10/05/2021 22:39

time at the bar

RICHARD MOLLOY I guess boozers haven’t changed drastically in the last 10 years – discounting, that is, the last year and a bit of being either closed, serving people outside in a British second winter that we optimistically refer to as spring or being mask and hand-sanitising Nazis to people who just want a pint or a Pinot with their mates. Independent pubs are, on the whole, better than they were a decade ago. I can’t comment on the pubs born from PowerPoint embryos and shoved into old banks, offering cheap beer or two-for-one cocktails containing half the booze and twice the ice that result in a 30-minute wait for a disdainfully served pint of lager. I’ll leave that to the homogeneity hordes who are conned into thinking they are carrying on a Great British tradition by visiting vast wombs of mediocrity that they mistakenly refer to as pubs. Concrete and plasterboard dreams of big boys who brag about the size of their erections after the rabid hungry-hippoing of the independent businesses that preceded them. They’re not pubs, and maybe we should have another word for these types of drinking hangars... schmubs, maybe? Pubs (proper pubs) have built on what they’ve always been: hubs of the community. Carers for the elderly, stages for clowns and stooges, and ears for those who have none but their own. It’s this sense of family that separates us from other businesses, something that has become rarer as our numbers dwindle, and more highly prized by those communities who fear our passing. War is being waged by citizens and villagers on planners and developers who regard pubs as a waste of space and see only what their spreadsheets tell them. We are finally being recognised for that which we always knew we were: important and valuable contributors to a content society. Because of this – and maybe because of a stoic, backs-to-the-wall survival mechanism common to the entrepreneurs that slide the bolts on the doors of our eclectic and inde-


p46 Rich Molloy.indd 48


Proper pubs have always been carers for the elderly, stages for clowns and stooges, and ears for those who have none but their own

Richard Molloy is director of four-strong pubco White Rose Taverns and the microbrewery Platform Five

pendent bars – pubs have improved greatly in the 10 years since Inapub was launched. There is much more choice behind the bar as the fads come and go and their remnants remain. Broadly speaking, two real ales have become four, there are half-a-dozen flavoured ciders to choose from, six rums, cans of American-style cloudy ale in the fridge, and 600 fucking gins. There are wine menus and snack menus and olive menus and shot menus. There are massive TVs for sport and car parks are now beer gardens. The route to survival and prosperity lay, eventually, not through pubs competing with each other or the big players, but through finding a local niche in the market and extolling the virtues of a business that is about personality over profit, tradition over takings and community over commerce. If we keep belting out this message and continue to sing above the humdrum of the hive-dives, then maybe the next 10 years will see a shifting of the tide, a slide back towards community values and more victories for style over uniform. So happy 10th birthday to Inapub. Thanks for letting me rant and romance about what I care deeply about, and thanks for giving us publicans a voice and a feeling of not being alone. That is, after all, what pubs do too. 27/07/2021 18:20

PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s pub people stand on the really big questions Nick Hewer

Plate or slate?

Recently retired host of TV’s Countdown and star of The Apprentice

Never a slate, always a plate. Slates belong on the roof. I think it’s beyond pretentious to serve food on a slate.. The only thing you should find on a slate is pigeon crap.

Nick Hewer is a long-time champion of the licensed trade and was the cover star of the very first issue of Inapub back in 2011, when he met up with editor Matt Eley for a chat about all things pub. In the intervening years he has become best known for his role as host of TV quiz Countdown, a role he recently stepped down from after almost a decade. We caught up with him to find out what he really thinks about the important issues of the day…



Pub grub or Michelin stars? If I’m not paying I’ll steer myself into a Michel Roux. But there are times when pub grub is truly ambrosian – which of course is the food of the gods, not the rice!

Starter or pudding? Starter, I think. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth so I think a starter – but it depends what’s on the menu, I suppose.

Dress up or dress down? I’m of an age, and in business I always wore a suit. And it sort of sticks with you. So I’m not one for leisure wear, and that’s to say with the elasticated waist. I think people are so sloppy, really, and if you dress up a bit, it makes it more of an event I suppose. Also when you’re 77 I guess one is in a mould now that is difficult to break. Issue 1

August 201


£2.95 .uk www.inapubne



Lord Sugar’s righ t-hand man eyes up the pub business

Karaoke or pub quiz?


Run your own

W A y IN

e of Froar’s supp ly b juiceishers s

comedy night


Get set for the

footy season


Pick up tips from

the GBBF


Sell yourself with

THE GREEN p01 covera

social media




d 1

Football or rugby? LEGAL ADVIC




Rugby. I never played football, I was at a rugby school, and I loved



19/07/2011 p49 plate or slate.indd 49

Pub quiz, pub quiz, pub quiz. They tried to get me on Celebrity Mastermind (and I use the word celebrity cautiously!). But you have to bone up on the specialist knowledge and I’m too old to start doing homework with the risk of completely screwing up on the night. So I thanked them but said “no thank you”.

rugby. I really loved the Irish team. I watch football, and I admire the skill levels, but I’ve got no idea what the commentator is talking about. It’s a foreign language, but God bless England and Southgate. The current team are really great young kids and I think that comes from Southgate. He’s a very grownup person.

Table service or order on an app? Oh, no, no, I don’t want to do the app thing. You need human contact and also you can talk to a waiter and say “come on, tell me truthfully, is the cod really awful today?”

2011 or 2021? 2011. Like everybody else really. 2021 has been crap, and for your industry it’s been just awful. I think Kate Nicholls who runs UK Hospitality has made a terrific case to the Treasury and everyone else on behalf of the hospitality industry. I hope it all comes back as strongly as when we left it. A lot of little breweries and pubs are struggling, so let’s all make a big effort to drink as much beer and eat as much pub grub as possible.

Carol Vorderman or Rachel Riley? It’s got to be Rachel. I am very fond of Rachel, and her babies and her husband. I have met Carol – I don’t know her but I have met her a few times – a charming woman.

Face-to-face or Zoom? Always face-to-face. Always. I was on Good Morning Britain the other day I said ‘no, I’ll come to the studio’ because to connect with somebody you need to be with them I think.

The Apprentice or Countdown? Although equally exhausting, The Apprentice was fascinating because one was mixing with so many different people.”




28/07/2021 00:06

time at the bar




A small snapshot of the many wonderful pubs we’ve visited 1. The Square & Compass 1




Worth Matravers, Dorset It doesn’t have a bar (service in the historic interior is through a small hatch), but it does have its own fossil museum with icthyosaur skeleton. It also hosts a serious live music programme and a pumpkin and beer festival that once boasted a 1,300lb squash. Run by fourth-generation publican Charlie Newman, the pub is as much part of the local landscape as the ammonites piled up by the window.

2. The Bentley Brook Inn

Fenny Bentley, Derbyshire The World Toe-Wrestling Championships at The Bentley Brook Inn stars a cast of characters including serial men’s champion Alan “Nasty” Nash and bitter rivals “Twinkle Toes” and “Camel Toe” in the women’s. Our production editor Ben Thrush got knocked out in the first round but his bout made the TV news in countries from Japan to South Africa.

6. The Fenn Bell

St Mary Hoo, Kent Not content with the miniature railway in the garden, Andy and Kelly Cowell opened a zoo at their pub. Home to more than 100 creatures including monkeys, raccoons, parrots and coatis, it operates a full breeding programme and offers zookeeper experiences.

7. The Gladstone Arms

Borough, London Not only does it host a renowned folk and blues-focused music offering three nights a week, “The Glad” also set up its own record label, Superglad records.

3. The Eagle & Child

8. The Bag O’ Nails

4. The Poppy & Pint

9. The Prince of Wales

Ramsbottom, Lancashire Glen Duckett’s team cultivate young people’s careers, with the business’s main aim being to create employment opportunities. That’s not the only thing they grow, either – the pub is also famed for its edible beer garden, which produces courgettes, blackcurrants and more.

Nottingham The Castle Rock brewery-owned pub had only been open a couple of years when we visited, but it had established itself at the heart of its community. It made the most of its space by hosting everything from a mother and baby group to martial arts classes, meaning the pub 10 was used pretty much all day, every day by a wide variety of people.

5. The Cock

Luddesdown, Kent There are no TVs or jukeboxes in this 300-yearold-pub, which flies the flag for tradtional games. Shove ha’penny, nine men’s morris, bar billards, darts, petanque... pub athletes of

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any discipline will find their game here, in what feels like a survivor from a bygone age. Landlord Andrew Turner takes his beer seriously too – Inapub had its pint of mild warmed up with a hot poker, and his son Adnam (yes, named after the brewer) helps him run the pub.

Bristol Scene of surely one of the most challenging photoshoots in magazine history. The tiny pub was famed for its 14 cats and our poor photographer’s brief was literally to attempt to herd them all into shot. Landlord Luke Daniel lets punters play his vinyl or bring their own.

Moseley, Birmingham The self-confessed “slightly rough-around-theedges suburban boozer” proved you didn’t need to be picture-perfect to be Britain’s finest. Keith and Diane Marsden were crowned BII Licensees of the Year in 2015 after impressing with the pub’s carnival atmosphere.

10. The Old Bell Inn

Delph, Greater Manchester Inapub’s first decade coincided with the “ginaissance”, with licensees across the land lining their back-bars with different varieties of the spirit. None more so than Philip Whiteman at The Old Bell, holding the Guinness World Record with 464 gins when we visited.

27/07/2021 23:44

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Inapub Magazine Summer 2021 Issue 95 - The Tenth Anniversary Edition  

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