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Thu 14th Sep 2017 - CAMRA calls for greater support for British pubs as 28,000 close since 1970s
CAMRA calls for greater support for British pubs as 28,000 close since the 1970s, ‘Big Beer’ biggest threat to consumer choice: The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has called for greater support for British pubs after revealing the nation has lost 28,000 pubs since the 1970s. CAMRA states in its 45th edition of the Good Beer Guide, published today (Thursday, 14 September), that when its was formed in the early 1970s, Britain had 75,000 pubs. The number is now fewer than 50,000, with more beer drunk at home than in the pub. While there have been a number of contributing factors to the decline, the guide describes the business rates revaluation introduced this year as the latest “ticking time bomb” to devastate the sector. It said The Baum in Rochdale, CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year in 2012, will see its rateable value increase 377%, while 2015 winner The Sandford Park Alehouse in Cheltenham faces a rise of 181%. CAMRA said the move would only “fuel the rate of pub closures”. Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz said: “The British pub is unique. It is rooted in our island’s history, dating from Roman and Saxon times. There is no better place for people to meet, enjoy a beer, strike up a conversation, make new friends and put the world to rights. Above all, the British pub, both ancient and modern, has character and an atmosphere that could never be replaced.” Meanwhile, the guide warns “Big Beer” is the biggest threat to consumer choice despite the number of UK breweries soaring to more than 1,700. The guide said storm clouds were gathering as global brewers attempted to stifle that choice, with consumers “deliberately misled” as many were unaware familiar brand names on pump clips were now owned by what Americans call “Big Beer” and might no longer be made to original recipes. The guide also accuses big brewers of attempting to monopolise the supply of raw materials and patent ingredients. Protz said: “First Big Beer buys up a swathe of independent breweries. Now it’s attempting to control the natural ingredients used to make beer. CAMRA was founded to challenge the handful of national brewers that had phased-out good cask beer to promote fizzy keg beer, the quality of which would be laughed at today. I believe we are seeing a real threat to a return to those days – on a global scale. It is most certainly the biggest single threat to consumer choice.”

CAMRA names regional winners in National Pub of the Year competition: The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has named the regional winners of its nationwide search for National Pub of the Year. The 16-strong list features a wide range of venues from micro-pubs to street-corner locals and community-run pubs. Many on the list brew their own ale and host beer festivals, music and community events. Regional winners have been selected as the best pubs in their areas by CAMRA volunteers as part of the competition, which culminates in the announcement of the National Pub of the Year in early 2018. The 16 pubs are Central Southern: Nag’s Head, Reading; East Anglia: Stanford Arms, Lowestoft; East Midlands: Just Beer, Newark; Greater Manchester: Wigan Central, Wigan; Kent: Flower Pot, Maidstone; London: Hope, Carshalton; Merseyside and Cheshire: Cricketers, St Helens; North East: The Office, Morpeth; Scotland and Northern Ireland: Bridge Inn, Peebles; South West: Salutation Inn, Ham; Surrey and Sussex: Anchored, Worthing; Wales: Druid Inn, Goginan; Wessex: Wonston Arms, Wonston; West Midlands: Weavers Real Ale House, Kidderminster; West Pennines: Drovers Rest, Monkhill; and Yorkshire: George & Dragon, Hudswell. Each of the regional finalists will now compete in the next round of the competition, hoping to be named one of the four “super-regional” finalists. They are all featured in the 45th edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide, which is published today (Thursday, 14 September).

WE ARE Spectacular hires senior client content specialist to lead expansion drive: Brand, marketing and digital agency WE ARE Spectacular has appointed Kate Rapacchi to the new role of senior client content specialist to lead the company’s expansion drive. Rapacchi, who joins from The River Group, where she led the Co-op food account, will be responsible for managing all client relationships and projects, allowing group chief executive Mark McCulloch to grow the core business and focus on increasing client and industry digital, social media content and engagement needs. Rapacchi has more than 20 years’ client, content and publishing experience and will enable the company to offer a “full 360-degree service”. McCulloch said: “We have achieved way more than we ever thought we would in the last 60 months but now we need to be even more ambitious by hiring world-class people to take us to the next level. Kate joins the senior management team at an exciting time as we develop our clients, offering and expansion to span all sectors.” Rapacchi added: “I’m incredibly excited to join at a time of huge growth and hope to make each client’s experience a superior one.” Recent client wins for the company include Gail’s Bakery, Hollywood Bowl, and Cote brands Jackson & Rye and Limeyard.

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