Tuesday, 27 April 2010

LibDems close the gap in beer election

With just over a week until polling day, the Society of Independent Brewers' "beer-ometer" -- indicating parliamentary candidates' support for local beer, is showing a similar pattern to the real opinion polls, with the Liberal Democrats closing on the Conservatives' early lead.
When the election was called, SIBA wrote to some 2,300 candidates encouraging them to replace the traditional victory tipple of imported Champagne with a glass or two of beer brewed in their constituency by one of SIBA's 450 brewers. To date, the Tories have been the most enthusiastic, accounting for 36% of positive responses, the LibDems second with 32% and Labour trailing with 18%. The Greens have 11% -- a high proportion given that they have fewer candidates, while independents take the remaining 3%.
SIBA chairman Keith Bott said: "We've been very pleased by the response from parliamentary candidates and from SIBA brewers who have followed up our initital offer to candidates with a personalised approach of their own. It would be good to think that this could be the start of a continuing dialogue between local brewer and local MP -- and even better if it also involves local pubs."
He added: "We haven't heard from any of the party leaders in response to our offer, though I'm delighted that Minister for Pubs John Healey was one of the first to reply. We're confident that around 50 new MPs will be celebrating their success with beer rather than Champagne on election night."

Monday, 26 April 2010

Batemans wins top award

Batemans, the family-owned brewery in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, won the Best Regional Brewer award in the prestigious ceremony staged last week by Publican newspaper. Brother and sister Stuart Bateman and Jaclyn Bateman, great-grandson and grand-daughter of the founders, collected the award before more than 1,500 guests at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
The annual event recognises the best companies and individuals within Britain's licensed sector and is the biggest awards event for the pub and brewing sectors. The evening was hosted by comedian Michael McIntyre.
Stuart Bateman, managing director of Batemans Brewery, says: "It's great to have won such an award when we are up against companies 10 times our size. The Publican made it clear that the reason for our win was due to us having taken the relationship between tenants and the brewery to a level far beyond that of any other brewery. This means our tenants feel they have our support and assistance, their businesses are more likely to do well in this tough climate, and more local pubs will be able to stay open and continue to be an integral part of the local community.
"This builds on the Pub Company trophy we were awarded in 2009. What is particularly pleasing about winning the Best Regional Brewer title is that it encompasses not only our pubs but the way we do business generally -- our customer service, our training, our CSR programmes, our innovation and excellence in our beer production and the special relationship we have with our customers who appreciate our personal approach."
The Publican judges said: "Batemans demonstrated innovation in its tenancy agreements and has launched a new code of practice which shows it has taken the traditional values of a regional brewer and set new standards for the industry."
The Publican trophy will be on show at the Wainfleet brewery once it has toured Bateman pubs.