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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 28th Sep 2017 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Soho Coffee Co focuses expansion on London as it looks to cement position on high street, targets ten new sites next year: Soho Coffee Co managing director Penny Manuel has told Propel the company’s expansion focus is firmly on London as it targets ten new sites next year. The company opened its 40th site this month – in Gresham Street in the City of London – its ninth launch this year. It has grown from its roots in the south west of England and its shopping centre focus as it looks to cement its position on the high street, particularly in the capital, although Manuel acknowledged it was a completely different market. She said: “Fortune favours the brave and I have my eyes wide open. I would hope we can secure another ten locations in London, which is our main focus. Overall we’re looking to open ten sites next year but it has got to be measured growth on a site-by-site basis. If there were suitable acquisition opportunities then we would consider them. I want us to retain our position in the market but I don’t want to become homogeneous. We have a responsibility to our investors – it’s a balance.” Soho Coffee Co received investment two years ago from Qatari-based BTC Hospitality, which has allowed the company to accelerate its expansion plans. BTC acquired Apostrophe Restaurants and Euphorium Bakery last year and seven Apostrophe sites have been converted to the Soho Coffee Co brand. As well as its UK sites, Soho Coffee Co has outlets overseas, including Las Palmas, Malaga, Dublin and Faro with another due to open in Portugal this year. Manuel said: “We have to be very careful with our site selection and we don’t always get it right. We will pick and choose our opportunities but we have a good half a dozen or so sites we are investigating at the moment.” Manuel said current trading was “mixed”, although like-for-likes were up. All the converted sites were performing “very well”. She added: “Regionally it’s a mixed bag – shopping centres are a tough world to be in. I think it’s a really tough market and you are fighting for every penny you take. I think there’s competition everywhere because everyone is working to exploit every daypart, whether it’s a coffee shop, pub, restaurant or grab-and-go. We are aware we are on a journey – albeit a very exciting one. We’ve got lots of lessons to learn. It’s up to us to make it a success.”

Industry News:

Propel Multi Club Conference open for bookings, two free places for operators: The final Propel Multi Club Conference of 2017 is open for bookings. The full-day event takes place on Wednesday, 1 November at the Millennium Gloucester hotel in London. Multi-site operators of pubs, restaurants and foodservice outlets can book up to two free places by emailing Anne Steele on The speaker line-up for the morning session will be Christie & Co head of restaurants Simon Chaplin; Andrew Ball and Gareth Ogden, of sector accountant haysmacintyre; Darrel Connell, of investment fund Imbiba; and Jeremy Simmonds and Matt Grech-Smith, founders of the Institute of Competitive Socialising brand Swingers. Speaking after lunch will be Chilango co-founder Eric Partaker, Hubbox founder Richard Boon, Lucky Voice founder and executive chairman Nick Thistleton, and elite sports “mind coach” Mark Sheasby. The final session will feature Bowmark Capital partner Ron Pearson, Fuller’s Inns managing director Jonathan Swaine, and Boxpark founder Roger Wade.

Consumers more interested in ingredients of beer than other drinks – or even food: Consumers are more interested in knowing about the ingredients that go into their beer than other drinks or even their food, according to a new report. Research conducted by There’s A Beer For That revealed that while natural ingredients in food and drink are important to two-thirds of Britons, more than 88% said natural ingredients are important to them when choosing a beer. The data also showed 58% of respondents were interested in knowing more about how the food and drink they consume is made and sourced. And while 44% thought they knew what the main ingredients of beer were, only 22% recognised beer was brewed using water, barley, hops and yeast. Additional research findings exposed that understanding beer styles and tastes also remains a mystery to many drinkers, with only 10% of respondents able to name more than six styles of beer when there are more than 150 different styles available worldwide. There’s A Beer For That programme director David Cunningham said: “Interestingly, it was the 25 to 34-year-old age group that was most in need of education around beer styles and tastes, with 33% commenting that all beer tastes the same.  Communication with consumers is therefore key and highlighting the naturalness of ingredients in beer and demonstrating the role they play in the style, taste and look of the beer is critical to encouraging experimentation and driving sales growth.” 

Restaurateur Tommy Miah approaches MPs over working restrictions on Bangladeshi chefs: Chef, restaurateur and author Tommy Miah has approached MPs over the working restrictions placed on Bangladeshi chefs working in Indian restaurants in the UK. Workers from Bangladesh make up 90% of chefs in the UK’s Indian restaurants. According to regulations, they need to earn almost £30,000 per annum to qualify for a visa. Miah is also organiser of the Indian Chef of the Year competition, which will announce this year’s winners on Monday, 9 October.
Plans approved for restaurants, cinema and bowling alley in Barnsley town centre: Plans have been approved for a £130m development scheme in Barnsley that will lead to ten restaurants, a 13-screen cinema and a ten-pin bowling alley being built in the town centre. The Glass Works scheme, funded by Barnsley Council, will include ten family-friendly restaurants and 25 retail units that will frame a new public square. Two key leisure anchors, Cineworld and Superbowl UK, both signed 20-year leases earlier this year. Cineworld will provide a 13-screen multiplex cinema, with work due to begin in autumn 2018. Construction has already started on an initial phase of the project, which includes a new library and transformation of the Metropolitan Centre to house the town’s markets. Barnsley Council and development managers Queensberry are working towards a completion date of 2020 for the entire scheme. Roy Miller, of Barnsley Council, told The Business Desk: “Making Barnsley town centre a daytime and evening destination that families and friends can enjoy has long been a priority of the council.” Queensberry commercial director Stuart Harris added: “Cineworld and Superbowl UK (will mean) Barnsley residents will no longer need to travel further afield to find first-class leisure facilities.”

Peckham Levels to give taste of line-up at new street food venue: Peckham Levels, which is transforming the inner levels of the Peckham town centre car park into a creative space, is giving a taste of what to expect from its new street food development by teaming up with neighbouring coffee, cocktail bar and creative space Spike + Earl. Spike + Earl will host a six-week series of weekend kitchen takeovers, showcasing six south London food traders that will take residence in the venue when it launches later this year. The series will start on Thursday (28 September) with Drums & Flats, which specialises in chicken wings, sauces and sides, with a two-day residency. Other traders appearing are Chinese street food specialist Hao Hao Chi (5-7 October), French-inspired Canard (12-14 October), Kurdish vendor Nandine (19-21 October), Californian-inspired trader WEST (26-28 October), and vegan pizza purveyors PickyWops (2-4 November). Each residency will run from 7pm to 10pm. 

Company News:

Market Town Taverns slips to pre-tax loss as turnover remains flat: Yorkshire-based Market Town Taverns has reported it slipped to a pre-tax loss as turnover remained flat. The company saw turnover fall to £7,075,266 for the year ending 4 February 2017 compared with £7,105,589 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. It saw a pre-tax loss of £185,208, compared with a profit of £132,018 the year before. During the year, employee numbers reduced to 193 from 200. The company has now refurbished 17 of its 19 sites in Yorkshire and the north west having reopened Veritas in Leeds last month.

City Pub Company acquires new site in Fulham: Independent pub operator City Pub Company has acquired The Aragon House pub and its freehold in Fulham, west London, from Fulham Royal British Legion. Aragon House, which is a grade-II listed pub in New King’s Road, was built in 1805-06 and gets its name from its past as a dower house belonging to Catherine of Aragon, the first of Henry VIII’s six wives. City Pub Company said Aragon House was a landmark site that would open in the second half of next year and benefit from having three trading floors and extensive outdoor space. City Pub Company, which currently owns and operates 33 sites, was established in 2011 by an experienced management team chaired by Clive Watson, co-architect of the Capital Pub Company, which sold to Greene King for £93m. It has grown through the acquisition of “high-quality, unbranded pubs with a strong individual identity” in affluent cathedral cities including Oxford, Cambridge and Bath, market towns, and in London. Watson said: “This is an amazing pub in an area of London that is well known to us. We have expertise in developing pubs to make them the heart of the community serving a wide range of popular beers and spirits and a no-nonsense menu, giving our customers a great experience. The Aragon House will be an excellent addition to our existing high-quality portfolio.”

Cordatus Property Trust adds first hotel to portfolio with £4.6m Travelodge buy in Tewkesbury: Cordatus Property Trust has added a first hotel to its fund after acquiring the freehold of a Travelodge site in Gloucestershire for more than £4.6m. Cordatus Property Trust, which is a venture between CBRE Global Investment Partners and Cordatus Real Estate, has bought the 71-bedroom hotel in Tewkesbury. The deal is the first hotel investment within the fund’s portfolio of primarily retail and industrial assets and the company said it “added diversity” to the estate. Cordatus has acquired the Travelodge at Shannon Way, just off Junction 9 of the M5, from the trustees of the Alfred Hopkins Pension Fund (care of LaSalle Investment Management). The acquisition is for £4,665,000 reflecting a yield of circa 5.50% on a long unexpired lease to Travelodge with 27.6 years remaining. The lease involves five-yearly, uncapped, Retail Price Index-linked rent reviews. The three-storey hotel is arranged over ground and two upper floors and the site includes 70 parking spaces. Cordatus chief executive Tom Laidlaw said: “We are building an attractive portfolio of assets within the Cordatus Property Trust and this first hotel investment offers strong returns and regular index-linked uplifts within a long lease. This is our 22nd investment since establishing the trust and we have now deployed in excess of £100m into a balanced portfolio of high-returning assets.” Lewis Ellis acted for Cordatus, while Gerald Eve represented the vendor.
Bodean’s signs with Feed It Back: American barbecue diner-deli brand Bodean’s has signed up with Feed It Back, the EPOS-linked guest feedback service. Feed It Back is the only guest feedback system that integrates in real time with Comtrex EPOS system, among others, enabling feedback questions to be personalised to the guest’s visit. Bodean’s operations manager Bjorn Berkemeijer told Propel: “We are always working to refine our offering to make it more relevant to our guests and we want to understand guest preferences by age, gender, spend, group size and other factors. We also want to ask guests for their opinions on our new menu ideas and Feed It Back is perfect for this. We will invite guests to access Feed It Back via our website, invite our loyal customers to access Feed It Back via social channels and make use of Feed It Back’s tablet app with guests at menu launches and other events.” Feed It Back chief executive Carlo Platia added: “Bodean’s wants to make the best possible use of data to optimise the guest experience and make its brand stand out in a crowded market. Our job is to put that data at their fingertips and our real-time EPOS link makes us uniquely placed to do that.”

London-based startup helping consumers find best food and drink offers in real time seeks £250,000 for expansion: A London-based startup that helps consumers find the best food and drink offers in their area in real time is seeking £250,000 to expand. The startup, founded by Giuseppe Uslenghi and Nikolas Kairinos, is offering a 20% stake in return for the investment. Stinjee operates in more than 30 countries, helping restaurants and bars fill empty tables by “actively managing and promoting customisable offer campaigns to attract nearby customers”. It is raising the funds through the Angel Investment Network platform, which connects startups with angel investors, in a bid to increase the number of venues using Stinjee, particularly in the UK and Italy, and to develop the app. The pitch states: “We aim to become the international digital aggregator for merchants in the food and drink space, for discount vouchers, pre-paid coupons, delivery, and reservations. The simplicity and ease of use for customers and users are at the core of our vision – launch the web or mobile app and see special deal listings in your immediate vicinity. Stinjee is currently a revenue-share partner of Groupon (global e-commerce company), Hungry House and Foodora (food delivery companies), and Quandoo (restaurant reservations company). Right now, Stinjee brings more than 60,000 food and drink specials from more than 50,000 restaurants in more than 30 countries. By the end of 2020, we target in our direct markets (UK and Italy) 10,000 stores, or about 4% of total, publishing their specials on the app and 3,800 stores, or about 2%, paying subscription and other fees.” The startup expects to start making a profit in 2019 with turnover of £2,140,000, rising the following year to £4,100,000 with profit of £880,000.

Banana Tree opens Chelmsford restaurant for ninth site: South east Asian restaurant group Banana Tree has opened a site in Chelmsford, Essex, for its ninth venue. The company, founded by William Chow, has opened the restaurant at the High Chelmer shopping centre. Banana Tree specialises in food from across the Indochina region and offers pan-Asian dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore alongside an extensive Oriental cocktail menu. Chow told Essex Live: “We were attracted to a place like Chelmsford because it’s a fun city and people like to go out there. However, it does not necessarily have a brilliant reputation for pan-Asian cuisine. There is a distinct lack of ethnic food here and we are excited to bring our food to this vibrant city.” High Chelmer centre manager Mick McDonagh added: “Banana Tree is a really exciting and growing restaurant brand and I’m pleased we’ve been able to help bring them to the people of this great city.” Chow launched Banana Tree 21 years ago in London and as well as sites in the capital it also has restaurants in Milton Keynes and Oxford.

Tim Hortons lodges plans to add to Scottish portfolio with Linwood site: Tim Hortons, the Canadian cafe and bake shop owned by Restaurant Brands, has lodged plans to add to its Scottish estate with a site in Linwood, Renfrewshire. SK Group, which is leading the UK roll-out of Tim Hortons, has applied to Renfrewshire Council to build the venue at the former Rootes car factory in Linwood Road. SK Group plans to invest £700,000 in the site, which would create 25 jobs. The application stated: “The attraction of a new brand in the UK and across Europe to Renfrewshire will contribute to promoting Renfrewshire as a key location for inward investment. The first UK Tim Hortons restaurant opened in Argyle Street, Glasgow, in early June with a second due to open at the city’s Silverburn shopping centre. The company has further sites in Scotland lined up – at a retail park on the outskirts of Ayr and a drive-thru in Stenhousemuir. Earlier this month, Tim Hortons revealed the second phase of its UK roll-out plans as it prepares to open sites in England, Wales and Northern Ireland this year. The company will be opening sites in Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast during the coming months, with plans for a minimum of 100 venues in total. Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 by its namesake, a professional ice hockey player who wanted to create a space where “everyone would feel at home”.

Smashburger to open Birmingham site next week: Better burger brand Smashburger is to open a site in Birmingham next week, its fifth UK restaurant in total. The venue will open on Thursday, 5 October at Gallagher Retail Park in Wednesbury, just off the M6 on the outskirts of the city and close to IKEA. The 120-cover restaurant will also have seating for 28 people outside and feature an industrial look with exposed brick, hanging pendant lights and urban typography describing the heritage story behind the brand. Smashburger, one of the fastest-growing restaurant concepts in the US, uses 100% British beef at its UK sites, which is hand-formed into a meatball and smashed on to a hot buttered grill, searing in juices and flavour. The company is also set to open a site in Glasgow city centre site in October, with a further Scottish launch lined up for Dunfermline. Smashburger’s other UK sites are in Bath, Milton Keynes, Brighton and Newcastle. In May, the group said it planned to reach 35 restaurants in the UK by the end of 2020. Smashburger was founded by Tom Ryan in Denver in 2007. The brand now operates more than 370 sites in ten countries.

Five Guys opens Wandsworth site: Better burger brand Five Guys has opened a site in Wandsworth, south west London. The company has opened the restaurant at the Southside shopping centre. Five Guys, which was founded in Virginia in the US in 1986 by the Murrell family, has 73 sites in the UK. It opened its first in Covent Garden in 2013, while locations listed as “coming soon” on its website include Cheltenham, Oxford and South Kensington. It has also secured a site at the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre in east London.

Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar Taka launches in Mayfair: Restaurateur Andrey Datsenko and his sister Anastasia have brought their Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar concept Taka to Mayfair. The venue has opened in Shepherd Market taking inspiration from the Datsenko’s debut restaurant in Tokyo of the same name. Taka offers an “authentic Japanese dining experience in a contemporary setting”. The venue is set over two floors, with the 28-cover restaurant on the ground floor offering a range of Japanese signature dishes. An illuminated sign at the bottom of the stairs reads “for the sake of the saké” and leads to a lower ground-floor bar. The centrepiece is a bespoke illustration of a flowering tree created in Japanese newspaper, while there is a range of saké, Japanese liquor and whiskey cocktails on offer. The decor features walnut and bespoke oak on the ceiling, weathered brick walls, and a built-in leather and oak bench mixed with larger sharing tables.

Thwaites back on track for £6m Beverley coaching inn launch: North west brewer and retailer Daniel Thwaites has said work is back on track at its much-delayed £6m venue in Beverley, East Yorkshire. The Beverley Arms was set to reopen in August after closing the year before when the hotel went out of business. However, following a number of planning delays workmen have now caught up on work to transform the venue into a coaching inn that will reopen in April. Work has included demolition of an ugly 1960s block at the rear of the hotel to pave way for a 40-bedroom extension. The scheme is for 40 high-quality bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, alongside private dining and meeting rooms. Thwaites estates director John Draper told the Hull Daily Mail: “The project is progressing well and anyone going past will have noticed our contractors hard at work. The Beverley Arms is a stunning building with so much potential. We have been keen to strip out anything from the 1960s and restore Georgian character wherever possible. That has included bringing some historic features back to their former glory. Everything has been done with quality in mind and we want guests to see that from the minute they walk in. We are still on track for opening in 2018.”

Escape Room Guys eyes Derby expansion: A Derby-based escape room business plans to expand its footprint in the city’s Cathedral Quarter. The Escape Room Guys occupies the first floor of 1-5 Iron Gate, which dates to the 1860s, and has submitted plans to Derby City Council to transform the remaining space from offices into an escape room venue. The Escape Room Guys currently operates one room for a game in which participants “break into the office of a chief executive to reveal the history and secrets of a company with a scandalous past”, Insider Media reports. A statement filed with the plan reads: “We’re only renting half the current floor space but have agreed terms to expand and take on the next area providing planning permission is approved. The build will continue the style already implemented in the changes made to the currently occupied side of 1-5 Iron Gate. We propose to update the layout to give a modern vibe. All the changes we propose to make are internal and won’t effect the outside aesthetics of the building.” Derby City Council is expected to make a final decision on the application before the end of the year.

Lincolnshire-based operators open second site after acquiring former Dexters restaurant: Lincolnshire-based operators Rebecca and Craig Robinson have opened their second site after acquiring the lease of a former Dexters restaurant. The Robinsons have launched the Scarlet Red Alehouse and Kitchen following a £130,000 investment in the Lincoln city centre site. It offers home-cooked food, six hand-pulled ales, lager and a variety of ciders. Rebecca Robinson told The Lincolnite: “We’re trying to keep the standard pub mentality and offer home-cooked food at reasonable prices, but still offering good quality.” The Robinsons also manage the Lincoln Green pub in North Hykeham. Fine Leisure closed its Dexters restaurant in Lincoln in February.

Merlin Entertainments earmarks hotel as part of Warwick Castle master plan: Merlin Entertainments has drawn up a master plan for the future of Warwick Castle, which includes building a hotel. The company has earmarked a location close to the new Knights Village for the 60 to 80-bedroom hotel and said a decision on whether the plan would progress would be made within the next year. The hotel is one of a series of projects in the master plan, which sets out how the castle wants to develop during the next five to ten years. Others ideas include a new glass-fronted cafe/restaurant on what is known as The Long Walk, close to where falconry displays are held. Two cottages at the original entrance in Banbury Road, known as Porters Lodge, could be refurbished and rented to visitors to the castle and town, while rooms in Guy’s Tower could also be converted into bedrooms to replicate the two popular luxury overnight stay suites in Caesar’s Tower. Merlin Entertainments divisional director Nick Blofeld told the Stratford Herald: “The hotel is the more contentious part of the master plan but everything in there are ‘aims’ and some of them might not happen. Merlin wants its sites to be resorts, it makes no secret about that, and we would like to add at least 40 bedrooms here.”

Ei Group to roll-out Zonal Aztec EPOS software to further 30 managed pubs: Ei Group, formerly Enterprise Inns, is further rolling out Zonal’s Aztec EPOS software in its managed estate that will see up to 30 more pubs active by the end of the year. The move comes as Ei Group awarded the hospitality management solutions company a service-led accolade at its annual suppliers conference, with Zonal account manager David Williams presented with an engraved tankard. The awards are based on Ei Group’s five core values – service-led, respect, innovative, collaborative, and commercial. Head of programme delivery Richard Fisher said: “The Zonal team is a worthy winner of the service-led award. It shares the group’s service mind-set and sees things through our customers’ eyes. Zonal shares our high standards and works hard to achieve and exceed them.” Williams added: “At Zonal we pride ourselves on delivering the highest service standards and do our very best to exceed our customers’ expectations. We are delighted to have our efforts formally recognised by Ei Group and look forward to continuing to deliver outstanding products and service.”

Former NME journalist to start expansion of craft ale bar and street food concept Overdraft: Amrik Rai, a former journalist at the New Musical Express and manager of 1980s cult band Cabaret Voltaire, is to start expansion of his craft ale bar and street food concept Overdraft. Rai opened his debut site with partner Teresa Zammit in Southampton in 2015. Now he is set to open a second venue in Hampshire, this time in Jewry Street, Winchester, at a site that formerly housed Ruby Reds Burger Shack. Overdraft Winchester is due to open on Friday (30 September) offering a rotating selection of 30 craft beers, real ale poured straight from the cask, rustic cider, and a range of locally sourced botanic spirits, mixers and organic soft drinks. The food menu will feature tacos filled with locally sourced meat, seafood and vegetarian fillings. Rai and Zammit have invested £200,000 in the venue and signed a rolling lease. Rai told the Hampshire Chronicle: “We are not a micro-pub – we have street food, music and events as well as 38 different beers. The atmosphere is different to pubs – at (our Southampton site) about 40% of customers are women.”

South African winery invests in Aberdeen-based brewer Fierce Beer to double brewing capacity: Aberdeen-based Fierce Beer has secured £400,000 investment from South African winery Southern Cross Beverages (SCB) to double its brewing capacity. SCB has taken a 20% stake in Fierce in return. The deal is the company’s first UK investment. Fierce Beer was founded in 2015 by former oil industry workers Dave Grant and David McHardy, who started out making home-brewing kits before moving into a dedicated brewery at Kirkhill Industrial Estate in May 2016. Companies House records show SCB was incorporated in London on 22 August. It was launched by US investor John Murphy and South Africans Derek Szabo and Russell Boltman, who are also listed as directors in Devil’s Peak Brewery, which was incorporated in London in July. Fierce said the investment would allow it to double brewing capacity to 600,000 litres per year, with plans to consolidate three sites in a new 13,000 square foot premises. Aberdeen City Council is helping Fierce to find a new premises and will purchase a property to lease back to the company. Fierce said the investment would also fund new equipment, while it plans to open a taproom and bottle shop at the site. Grant told Insider: “We are excited to be able to plan ahead for future growth and expansion to meet demand for our beers, and also move towards in-house canning.” An SBC spokesperson added: “We look forward to the journey with Fierce. What the team has created in such a short space of time is amazing.”

The Strand’s historic India Club ‘under threat’ from hotel plans: The Strand’s historic India Club is “under threat” from plans to refurbish the venue to make way for an upmarket hotel. Marston Properties, which owns 143 and 145 the Strand, has submitted plans to Westminster Council that include replacing the India Club’s first-floor canteen-style restaurant and lounge bar with en-suite hotel rooms. India Club director Yadgar Marker told the Evening Standard: “I could have easily modernised (the club) but it has such a strong heritage. The ambience is still the same, the furniture is still the same. People feel as if they are in Mumbai or Calcutta.” Celebrity fans include writer Will Self, who described the club as “beautifully old-fashioned”. A petition to ensure the future of the India Club has gathered more than 1,000 signatures. A Marston Properties spokesman said the submission was “just one explorative option” and “certainly not a notice whatsoever of our intention and must not be interpreted as such”.

Nottingham-based pub operator takes on second site in city: Nottingham-based pub operator Kev Allen has taken on his second site in the city. Allen, who currently runs The Hop Merchant in Upper Parliament Street, has acquired The Gatehouse, in Toll House Hill. It will reopen on Monday, 1 November as the Toll Bar serving real ale, gin, craft beer and coffee as well as food, including a selection of Pieminister pies. Allen told the Nottingham Post: “We’re taking it in a completely different direction. It won’t be a party pub – we want it to be a proper pub. There will be background music and maybe some live music, an acoustic night or something towards the weekend.”

Holkham Estate inks deal to supply majority of Marston’s grain: Holkham Estate in Norfolk has signed a deal to supply grain for the majority of Marston’s Brewery’s Burton malt. Marston’s head brewer Patrick McGinty told the Eastern Daily Press: “Our whole focus is built around ‘From Burton With Love’ and what better way to celebrate this than taking the grain from the heart of crop agriculture to the heart of Burton brewing.” Holkham farm manager James Beamish added: “The soil and climate here are ideal for growing superlative malting barley and we are confident our product fits well with Marston’s values for provenance and quality.” The agreement is set to extend past the 2019 harvest.

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