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News Roundup: brewery Festive events; special accreditation for Innis & Gunn

Added: Monday, November 26th 2012

There will be a rolling programme of pre-Christmas events at the Chiltern Brewery in Terrick, Buckinghamshire, between Aylesbury and Wendover. Special Christmas hampers of Chiltern’s beer plus such local produce as Christmas puddings, pies, cheese and chutney will fill the hampers. On Friday 7 December the brewery shop will be open until late in order that visitors can choose the ingredients for their hampers.

Other hamper days will be held on 1, 8 and 15 December, from 10am to 5pm, with special attention given to Christmas puddings, local fruit wines, cider brandy and whisky. The events at the shop will also give visitors the opportunity to buy a box of the Chiltern’s Ruby Anniversary Ale, brewed to commemorate the 40th edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer. The beer can be ordered by using the link from the advertisement on this website.

Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, Cumbria, will hold two Christmas Party Casino Evenings on 7 and 8 December. The evenings will include a disco and a Christmas carvery as well as the casino.

Edinburgh brewer Innis & Gunn has put its entire staff through the Beer Academy Foundation training course. Thirty five people from the business from as far afield as the USA and Canada attended the full course run by the Beer Academy’s George Philliskirk in Edinburgh and all passed the NVQ level one Beer Academy qualification.

Dougal Sharp, Chief Executive of Innis & Gunn, says: “Success in the highly competitive world beer market is all about differentiating your brands from the competition. Beer knowledge is essential if you are going to do this.  Everyone in the company needs to be able to explain what your beers taste like; what raw materials are used; how the beers are brewed and what makes them distinctive. Obviously this comes naturally to our technical experts, but it’s our sales and marketing team that need to be armed with the knowledge to inspire people about our beers.  The Beer Academy training has given everyone in the company the confidence to talk beer to customers, colleagues and friends.  This Beer Academy makes what could be a very arcane subject easy and fun to follow for the non-scientist.”

The Innis & Gunn portfolio has been growing rapidly in Britain and around the world.  Dougal adds, “Our beers are just that little bit different.  Now our team is even better equipped to explain why.”

Otley opens brewery shop

Otley Brewing Company, the leading South Wales brewer, has opened a new shop that will be open six days a week. Located at the brewery's new, 5,500 square feet unit on the Albion Industrial Esate in Cilfynydd, the shop will stock the full range of Otley's bottled beers and the latest pressurised mini-kegs, which hold five litres of beer.As well as stocking Otley beers the shop will also house an extensive range of real ales from breweries across the UK and some of the world, making it the first point of call for real ale enthusiasts in South Wales.

The front of house shop is the final part of Otley’s new premises to be completed. The new location has allowed for the brewery to re-instate its in-house bottling facility, which will process around 1,500 bottles a day as well as launch brewery tours and tasting sessions, allowing more people to learn about the processes involved in brewing some of the UK’s favourite craft ales.

Nick Otley, managing director of the Otley Brewing Company, said: “It is great to have the shop open and complete the offering that we have at the brewery. Visitors on our brewery tours can now purchase the beers they have sampled on site which we hope will enhance the experience for them. We hope that the brewery will now become an essential port of call for any beer and ale enthusiasts and will offer them something unique that they cannot find elsewhere. We’ve opened the doors just in time for Christmas for that those looking to stock up or to give as presents.” 

Beer shoppers unable to make the journey to the brewery shop can also purchase Otley beers online at  and, as an added incentive over Christmas, Otley has announced the launch of its golden ticket competition. Customers who have ordered an Otley Real Beer Box are being asked to look out for a golden ticket among their purchases.  Lucky customers who receive a golden ticket are in with the chance of winning either one of six mini kegs, a six-month RealBeerBox subscription and a one-off chance to spend a day brewing at the brewing.

Nick added: “Real Beer Box is a great way for people to sample our beers that maybe haven’t heard of us before.  It makes us even more accessible to the market outside Wales and we hope that our golden ticket competition will not only inspire future beer enthusiasts, but also encourage customers to sample the different beers in our range. In particular we are looking forward to working alongside the winner of the brewday ticket and, you never know we might let them brew a beer of their own.”

For more information on the Otley Brewing Company, please contact Rebecca Richards or Sian Taylor on 02920 786054 or .


 Yew Tree celebrates top Cheshire pub accolade     

The historic Yew Tree Inn at Bunbury, near Tarporley, is set to be judged on the national stage after being proclaimed Cheshire’s top pub. Rescued from closure and dereliction only two years ago, the Yew Tree was declared Tourism Pub of the Year at a glittering Marketing Cheshire Annual Awards ceremony held at the M&S Bank’s European Headquarters in Chester.

Judges said: “This pub showed a total understanding of what a pub is. They show ambition and excellent commitment to staff training and motivation. They market the business well and provide customers with good, honest food, good beers, wines and spirits providing value for money and friendly service.”

The accolade adds to a raft of praise collected since innovative licensees Jon and Lindsay Cox refurbished and re-launched the abandoned hostelry in 2010. Now the Yew Tree goes through to represent Cheshire at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.  In September the Good Food Guide declared the 19th century built pub "a big hearted country local rescued from dereliction -- the kitchen tips its hat to pub grub, but there are contemporary ideas too".

 It has also won recognition in several other prestigious guides including the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Good Beer Guide 2013, the Michelin Guide, Sawdays and the Good Pub Guide while being voted Camra Pub of the Season - Summer 2102 for South Cheshire. An array of events held in the past two years have seen a Cheshire Food & Drink Festival, several beer festivals, wine tasting evenings and showcase menus, including Taste of Game Fortnight. Jon Cox said: “This award is truly amazing. Two years ago we took a big risk to invest in a pub which had been abandoned by pub companies. Then it looked doomed to join the long list of village pubs that have disappeared over recent years. But we had great faith in its potential - which has now been far surpassed. We have had an outstanding year with very buoyant trade - despite the struggling economy -- and listings in the guides.

 “It is another terrific tribute to our wonderful staff. We aim to be a true village community pub where locals can just pop in for pint and chat while we also offer quality, informal dining. It seems we must be doing something right and this award is the real cherry on the cake.”

Titanic and villagers save local pub

Titanic Brewery of Stoke-on-Trent has opened a village pub in co-operation with villagers who raised £199,000 to save the Grade II-listed Hollybush in Seighford, Staffordshire. More than 400 people, including shareholders and local people, turned out on the pub's opening night. The Hollybush was bought by auction in March by a company formed by villager Peter Longstaff, secretary of the Seighford Pub Company. He said: "When we bought the Hollybush it was at the height of pubs closing and buying the local was seen as madness. But the village has lost its shop and a post office and we knew that developers had shown interest in the pub. We didn't want it to be demolished and turned into housing." The company has 71 shareholders.