Backing Britain’s Independent Brewers – Clewyd South

Mabon ap Gwynfor is one of the Parliamentary Candidates agreeing to back the SIBA Manifesto

Photo of Mabon ap Gwynfor with Steven Evans, owner of the Llangollen Brewery

Mabon ap Gwynfor with Steven Evans, owner of the Llangollen Brewery, one of the handful of breweries in his constituency (Clwyd South)

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MP “Beer Champion” award

Photo of MP, Dr Andrew Murrison presented with Parliamentary Beer Champion Award by  James Timoney of Plain Ales Brewery, Warminster

MP, Dr Andrew Murrison presented with Parliamentary Beer Champion Award by James Timoney of Plain Ales Brewery, Warminster

MP, Dr Andrew Murrison presented with Parliamentary Beer Champion Award by James Timoney of Plain Ales Brewery, Warminster

MP for South West Wiltshire, Dr Andrew Murrison was presented with a SIBA Parliamentary Beer Champion 2015 award for his support for the British beer industry during the 2010 to 2015 Parliament. He was presented with the “Beer Champion” award, a certificate and a souvenir pump clip by James Timoney of Plain Ales Brewery, Sutton Veny near Warminster, on Friday 27th March whilst visiting the Brewery.

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) wanted to recognise the role of MPs who have gone the extra mile to support Britain’s brewing and pub industries. The Beer Champions scheme recognises acts of advocacy in Parliament, in votes, supportive motions, and debates. In all 100 MPs have been honoured by the scheme.

James Timoney said, “The industry now has a more optimistic outlook and much of this is down to the work of MPs such as Dr Murrsion fighting our corner in Parliament and campaigning for 3 consecutive cuts in beer duty, the third being in the recent budget on 18th March and for scrapping the Beer Duty Escalator. “

Having been presented with his award Dr Murrison enjoyed a pint of Plain Ales’ award winning ‘Innocence’ in the brewery bar before being taken on a tour of the brewery and sampling the different malts and hops used in the process.

James Timoney said, “ We are extremely grateful to the MPs whose support for British beer made the quest for fairer beer taxation a reality and we are delighted that today we were able to play our part by thanking Dr Andrew Murrison and presenting him with this award.”

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Brewery To Sail Across the Humber To Deliver New Beer

Photo of Fail Loop BoatEast Yorkshire based brewery Great Newsome has come up with a novel idea to launch its new April seasonal beer Ambhas on 1st April by making the first deliveries of the beer by boat across the Humber estuary from which the beer takes its name.

The brewery based on the north bank of the Humber plans to row across the treacherous estuary starting at Stone Creek near Thorngumbald, finishing at Grimsby in some 2 hours. The idea for this novel method of transport came from the brewery drayman Roger Williams who plans to take the specially commissioned boat ‘Frail Loop’ and a couple of firkins of the beer instead of his usual van.

“It is a very exciting departure from the usual delivery van”, explained Matthew Hodgson, director at Great Newsome Brewery, “Roger mentioned this is passing when we came up with the idea for the beer and it seemed like a great idea”.

“It will also do the companies green credentials no harm”, he added, “If this works we are looking in to the possibility of deliveries up the coast to Scarborough and Whitby using the same method”.

Great Newsome Brewery uses old local dialect and points of interest to name its beers, like ‘Sleck Dust’, ‘Pricky Back Otchan’ and ‘Jem’s Stout’. Set up originally as a farm diversification and based on a working farm near Patrington just outside Hull, the brewery is able to use its own barley to brew its stunning range of beers. The brewery which will celebrate its 8th birthday at the end of April, now supplies its award winning cask and bottles beers throughout the UK and to a growing overseas market.


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Castle Rock Brewery adds to its estate

Castle Rock Brewery, the East Midlands based brewer and operator of 20 pubs in the East Midlands and Yorkshire, has purchased the freehold of the Horse and Plough, an established pub and restaurant in the commuter town of Bingham, ten miles from its base in Nottingham.

The pub has been acquired by The Beer Consortium Ltd., an EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) company set up in late 2014.   It will be managed by Castle Rock and operated under the company’s long established real ale ethos.

Castle Rock has good experience of EIS funded growth.  According to chairman, Geoff Newton, their first EIS funded pub, the Poppy and Pint, is an outstanding success both in its day-to-day operation and in its early financial backing: “Ever since we set about funding the purchase of the Poppy, we knew we had a loyal and discerning shareholder base who would look favourably on further opportunities.  The Poppy paid a double digit dividend to shareholders in its third year’s trading.

“Many of those investors have stepped up again to be joined by others in this new scheme where fundraising has again been excellent.  Approaching £1 million has been raised so far and we plan to leave the scheme open until 30 April to allow others to invest.

“The Horse and Plough is a traditional establishment in the attractive market town of Bingham.  We’ve been in discussion with the vendors for some time and, though there’ll be change under the Castle Rock banner, we are confident the residents and customers in Bingham will welcome the quality of ales, food and service that have become the hallmarks of the Castle Rock estate.

Castle Rock’s managing director, Colin Wilde, says he is looking forward to running The Horse and Plough. “We’ll strive to provide to maintain the pub’s community focus by maintaining the pub’s well established relationships with its neighbourhood and the many individuals who call it their local,” says Colin.

Fund raising for The Beer Consortium Ltd will continue until 30 April with the aim of providing capital for further increases in the pub estate.  Plans are well advanced for a second purchase later this year.


The contract for the acquisition was completed on 30 March.


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Beer Innovation Summit 2015

Image of Beer Innovation banner

Photo of Dougal Sharp

Dougal Sharp








The Beer Innovation Summit hosted by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser will this year present a day of insight and innovation with some exciting sessions tailored for smaller brewers. The summit will take place on Monday 20th April in Birmingham and has already had a fantastic response from Brewers. Highlights of the day include a presentation from Dougal Sharp from celebrated Scottish craft brewer Innis and Gunn, who will gives his viewpoint on where future innovations might lead the category. Plus Mike Murphy, Brew Master at experimental Norwegian brewer Lervig, will discuss his innovation roadmap and add an international perspective to the day.


The summit will focus on future trends and particularly look at new product innovation for the category.


Photo of Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy

This is one not to miss.

5 reasons why you should attend:

  • Hear from leading industry figures on the latest trends and developments
  • Network with senior pub and beer industry professionals
  • Exclusive category research unveiled at the event
  • Discover new opportunities to boost sales
  • Perspectives from leading craft brewers from the UK and abroad

SIBA members are entitled to a discounted rate of £195 (rack rate £295) BOOK NOW and use the code on the SIBA Members’ Toolbox to secure your place.


View the agenda here


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Consumers returning to pubs but home drinking still most popular

By Mike Berry, 27-Mar-2015

Almost two thirds of consumers have drunk at a pub or bar in the last month, compared to almost 8 in 10 that have drunk at home, new figures have revealed.


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Personal licence renewals abolished from 1 April

By Ellie Bothwell, 27-Mar-2015

Publicans with personal licences expiring on or after 1 April 2015 will not need to apply for renewal, the Home Office has confirmed.


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SIBA South West Brewers Herald 2015

Cover image of Brewers Herald 2015

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Wood’s plan sparkling ‘emerald’ celebration brews

Photo of Edward Wood, Wood's BreweryThe Wood Brewery celebrates its emerald anniversary – 35 years of brewing – in 2015 and is planning a series of special ‘woody’ brews to celebrate.

All the beers are named after trees. The first is Chestnut, a modern mild, designed with gentle malts and hops and an abv of 3.5% to deliver a well-balanced, delicate flavour without knocking drinkers sideways on alcoholic strength. Wood’s plan two more emerald celebration brews during the year.

Wood’s MD, Edward Wood, said: “We’re delighted to have achieved this milestone and to have developed a series of successful draught and bottled beers that are popular with drinkers all over the Midlands and further afield.”

Wood’s supplies to more than 300 pubs spread through its home county of Shropshire, the Welsh Marches and adjoining West Midlands counties. It has brewed more than 30 million pints of beer since the first consignment went out of the door in 1980. The beer-loving Wood family started brewing traditional draught beers back then because they were concerned at how long-life ‘keg’ beers like Red Barrel and Double Diamond were sweeping real ales out of pub bars across the country.

The brewery is next door to its tap, the Plough Inn, in Wistanstow, south Shropshire. It still occupies the converted stable block where it started brewing but the building is now much extended to cope with the growing business.

Wood’s has become famous for its trademarked Shropshire Lad and Shropshire Lass beers, but it has produced several award winners in its 35 years. Notable among them are Pot o’ Gold, a 4.4% golden bitter which was voted best bitter in Britain by the Society of Independent Brewers in 2003 and has remained a strong seller in bottles and on draught ever since.

Wood’s are proud of their Shropshire roots, with many of their seasonal and special occasion ales named after famous county characters and landmarks.

The brewery has also played a big part in helping local charities and events, having contributed more than £100,000 to various causes over the years. Much of the money has been raised by setting aside a fixed sum for every pint of limited-run beers sold. Wood’s record of community donations has been acknowledged by three awards over the years from the Small Independent Brewers’ Association. The brewery is one of the founder members of SIBA.


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