Cheers! Lord pays £400k to rescue pub from being closed down and converted into housing development

• Bottle and Glass in Oxfordshire was due to be turned into housing
• But estate of Lord Francis Phillimore, where Loddon Brewery is based paid £500,000 to keep it open
• It is hoped new landlord will sell LODDON beer once the pub has re-opened

A Grade II listed pub has been rescued after an aristocrat splashed out nearly £500,000 to save it from last orders.
Lord Francis Phillimore’s estate bought the 400-year-old Bottle And Glass in Binfield Heath, Oxfordshire, to prevent it from being turned into housing.

The thatched building has been closed since the last landlord quit in July 2013, and drinkers in the village – with a population of 700, including many workers on Lord Phillimore’s nearby estate – had feared the worst.

But now the owner, brewer Brakspear, has done a deal with Lord Phillimore, a 70-year-old retired barrister, who has paid more than £400,000 to pay for refurbishments and extensions.

Adrian Beales, an agent acting for the estate, said: ‘They wanted to help the community and try to save it as a pub.’
The inn will be let and it is hoped the new landlord will sell beer from the Loddon Brewery, which is brewed on the Phillimore estate.

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Dark Island Reserve top of Great Taste Class with three Gold Stars

The Orkney Brewery’s speciality Dark Island Reserve ale has picked up three gold stars – the highest award possible – at this year’s Great Taste Awards.

Dark Island Reserve 330ml

Regarded as the industry Oscars, The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Great Taste Awards are the UK’s largest independent evaluation of fine food and drink. Each product entered into the competition is subjected to rigorous tasting by a panel of over 400 expert judges.

Of the 10,000 entries received for this year’s event, only 153 have been awarded the top three-star classification and will now go on to be judged for a place in the Great Taste Top 50 foods, announced next month.

This is the second time the multi-award winning Dark Island Reserve has been given a three-star classification in the Great Taste competition, cementing its position as one of the world’s finest ales. This time around it was one of only six beers entered and the sole Scottish three-star winner.

One of the first ever whisky-aged beers on the market, the 10 per cent Dark Island Reserve is created by maturing small quantities of the Orkney Brewery’s iconic Dark Island ale in locally sourced malt whisky casks for three months. Exported to over a dozen countries around the world, Dark Island Reserve is available in 75cl bottles and a new 330ml version that’s proving extremely popular with fine food and drink lovers in the UK and overseas.

“We’re really thrilled with this result for Dark Island Reserve, which follows its three-star award in 2011,” said the Orkney Brewery’s Norman Sinclair. “Achieving three-star status at the Great Taste Awards is no mean feat as the judging process is exceptionally rigorous and the competition very strong, but we were confident the quality of our product would shine through once again. We now look forward to the next stage in the judging process.”

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Hop Pocket Race World Championship

For three years, Bromyard has hosted a Hop Festival to celebrate the beginning of hop harvest in the midlands. A celebration of the history of hop farming and the beers made with them, it also runs the World Championship Hop Pocket Race. Teams of 4 carry a 75 kg hop pocket (less weight for women’s and junior teams) at a speed of their own choice from Bromyard town square to the top of the town and back.

Brewery teams have always entered, but last year brewers competed for The Brewer’s Gauntlet – a handsome trophy donated by the Teme Valley Brewery.

Hobsons clinched the honour by a few seconds last year, but all breweries are welcome to try and take it from them. Entries are now open at

This year’s festival and event take place on Saturday 30th August. The Festival is a full-day event with Jazz on the Green, Rock in the Square an inflatable assault course, country crafts, horse and cart rides, circus and street entertainers who will challenge you to “have-a-go” and, of course food and many local craft ales.

Do you pride yourselves on your brewery’s physical prowess? Are you up to the challenge?
The gauntlet has been thrown.

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Oakham Ales is first UK Brewery to sign up for new beer iPhone app ‘Pint Please’

Innovative Peterborough based brewer, Oakham Ales, is the first in the UK to sign up to a new free iPhone beer app ‘Pint Please’   The app, already a success in Finland, shows where users can discover new beers, shows their locations, gives ratings and allows the user to give and receive recommendations on which beers to try and where. Users can share this information with friends and other beer drinkers in the region.

Adrian Posnett, Managing Director of Oakham Ales, says: “The new app is easy to navigate and attractively designed and I’m confident will be popular with our drinkers, who we know love to share their views on our beers.    I look forward to reviewing the data provided by Pint Please which will give us a closer insight into what drinkers are saying about our beer.  It will also enable us to offer highly tailored promotions to users of the app.”


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TROOPER scoops its’ first award in prestigious bottled beer competition

Photo TROOPER wins first beer award in prestigious BBI competitionPremium British Beer TROOPER, created by IRON MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson and handcrafted at ROBINSONS BREWERY in Cheshire, has won gold in the British Bottlers’ Institute Competition 2014 (BBI).

Rocker-cum-brewer, BRUCE DICKINSON, has every music accolade under his belt worth having, but this is his first in the brewing industry and the fact that it was awarded in a blind tasting, which saw TROOPER unanimously voted best in class by the prestigious panel, makes this victory all the sweeter for Bruce.

This year the BBI competition, which first began back in 1953, attracted a record number of entries. Ed Binsted, BBI President, commented: “This year TROOPER was an outstanding entry. It was marked as the clear gold winner in that class by ALL the judges, I can’t remember this happening before. We set very high standards when conducting the blind tasting, none of the judges know the products they are tasting, as all labels, printed crowns and embossing on the bottles are removed, so the results reflect purely the quality of the products taste. Summing up I would say very well done to TROOPER.”

Commenting on his first beer award for TROOPER, Bruce Dickinson said: “As a dedicated ale drinker myself, I’m very aware of the many great beers available and the extremely high level of competition we face. For TROOPER to have grabbed people’s imagination and taste buds right from the very start has given us all a real sense of satisfaction. But winning our first award just months after TROOPER’s first birthday is the perfect icing on the cake and a great start to our second year in the beer game.”

John Robinson, Robinsons Brand Manager, is delighted with TROOPER’s first beer win: “It really has been an incredible journey and one which we are very proud of – from the initial beer tasting with Bruce, through the excitement of the launch, to now distributing TROOPER in just under 40 countries, quadrupling our export sales, brewing over 5 MILLION pints in its first year, and engaging a whole army of new beer fans – this award makes all the hard work worth it. And the fact that the accolade came on the back of a blind tasting just emphasis what we – and the fans – have been saying since TROOPER was first launched – the beer tastes great!”

The medals and certificates will be presented at the annual BBI dinner being held on Thursday 23rd October at The Vintners Hall, City of London.

As a result of TROOPER putting its beery head above the parapets and achieving huge global success over the last 12 months, Bruce Dickinson was asked to announce the winner of the much-coveted ‘Champion Beer of Britain’ award at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) in London on Tuesday (Tuesday 12th August) at 3pm; organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Colin Valentine, CAMRA Chairman, commented: “CAMRA are hugely proud to have Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden announcing the winner of the Champion Beer of Britain competition. He is a true real ale lover and has brewed his own beer with Robinsons Brewery called TROOPER which we are going to be selling at the festival.”

The unique flavour of TROOPER ale has proved hugely popular and will certainly be a must-try for many ale enthusiasts at this year’s festival.

The Great British Beer Festival will see over 55,000 thirsty beer lovers attend the week-long event, which will feature over 900 different real ales, ciders, perries and international beers across a total of 29 different bars. Robinsons’ TROOPER beer will be available while stocks last on the ‘Stilt Walker’ Bar (B10).

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Brussels Beer Challenge Entries are open!

Participate at the Brussels Beer Challenge 2014 and register your beer(s) now! Don’t miss this unique opportunity and benefit from a discount rate until the 5th September ’14! The Brussels Beer Challenge is to its 3rd edition and will take place in Leuven, the beer city par excellence! Entries here


Award-winning beers from the Brussels Beer Challenge benefit from media exposure and international recognition. These awards are a powerful marketing tool paving the way for future development. In addition award winning beers are presented to the public during the a public event on 2 november 2014.




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Triple Chocoholic Stout wins again for Saltaire

Triple Choc Hi-Res bottle photoSaltaire Brewery’s Triple Chocoholic Stout 4.8% ABV has won Gold in the Speciality Beer category at this year’s Great British Beer Festival (GBBF), taking place in Olympia, London from 12 to 16 August. The bottled version has also received an outstanding 2 stars in 2014’s Great Taste Awards by the Guild of Fine Foods this week.

These are the latest awards for this internationally award-winning stout, which has received recognition every year since it was first brewed in 2009. In the UK, it’s long been a favourite at CAMRA beer festivals and was the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Supreme Champion in 2010. It’s also received international recognition in its bottled format. In 2011, it won a Gold Medal at the 2011 International Brewing Awards and was voted Europe’s Best Stout at the World Beer Awards. In 2012, it was Best Stout at the Hong Kong International Beer Awards.

Tony Gartland, Managing Director said: “The GBBF is one of the biggest beer competitions in the world and I’m delighted that Triple Chocoholic won Gold in its category this year – last year we received Silver in the same category so it’s heartening to know that CAMRA continue to rate it highly. Alongside its Great Taste award for the bottled version, this has been a special week for a very special beer. ”

Triple Chocoholic Stout is available in cask and bottles. The bottles are stocked in Booths  and selected Waitrose and Asda stores in Yorkshire, as well as independent off licences.


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CAMRA calls on British breweries to revolutionise the use of traditional pump clips to help increase real ale sales

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has called on British breweries to revolutionise the way they promote their beers in pubs by making it standard to highlight what a beer looks, smells and tastes on handpumps. CAMRA believes this can help grow the real ale market after new research launched today showed 68% of real ale drinkers* would try more varieties of real ale if brief tasting notes appeared on pump clips.

The research also shows that 18% of people who have never tried real ale before would be encouraged to do so if pump clips provided more information on how the beer tasted. This was especially true of younger people, with a whopping 44% of 18-24 year olds saying they would give real ale a go if provided with this information.

“CAMRA believes the new research highlights it is time to improve the information at the point of sale to help consumers understand what a beer is like before they purchase it. With approximately 1,200 British breweries now brewing over 8,000 different real ales, it is now time to make this change and help introduce more people to the joys of real ale.” Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Head of Communications.

Beer sales figures recently issued by the British Beer & Pub Association on 25th July showed beer sales in pubs had experienced only their third quarterly increase since 2000, but CAMRA’s research shows that a new approach to promoting real ale on the bar is needed in order to encourage more people to try different real ales and possibly bring new people into the market.

“The handpump and pump clip are synonymous with the British pub and historically breweries have used these to just promote their beer name and brewery. Our new research shows that consumers now want breweries to use this limited space in a more productive way to describe their beers so that can make an informed decision at the bar. We have seen some breweries in recent times introduce some great ways of doing this but many still concentrate on making the pump clips look attractive or tell the consumer something historical about the brewery. This is not what the consumer wants to know and we think it is time for change.”

Chiltern (Bucks), Harviestoun (Clackmannanshire), Hook Norton (Oxfordshire) and Saltaire (West Yorskhire) are just some of the breweries already describing their beers on their pump clips and the likes of Batemans (Lincolnshire) have recently introduced tasting notes on key rings that are attached to the pump clips.

The Great British Beer Festival ‘BEER SELECTOR’ –

To help Great British Beer Festival visitors chose their beers at the showcase for British beer, CAMRA is launching their own new interactive way of helping visitors for the beers that suit their taste buds.

The BEER SELECTOR, which can be found at, allows visitors to select their beers by colour, abv and beer style and creates them a list to try at the event.  Real ciders, perries and foreign beers can also be searched for using this fun machine.

Cyclops Beer –

Another initiative which helps consumers to choose their beers is Cyclops Beer. This is a not-for-profit industry led promotion by CAMRA, Everards Brewery, Cask Marque and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers).

Approximately 300 breweries have over 1,800 beers ‘Cyclopsed’ through this consistent and thorough accreditation system where by beers are tasted and examined at Everards Brewery.  Working with Everards brewery, just a few words are agreed with the brewer to market what a beer looks, smells and tastes like on promotional material. This includes allocating a bitter and sweet scale out of five. This simple language and system makes it easier for new consumers to understand beer.

Cyclops Beer website offers a facility for pubs and beer festivals to create cask end cards that promote what a beer looks, smells and tastes like using Cyclops.

Tom Stainer concluded, “CAMRA supports any new interactive or fun ways of helping consumers find out what a beer tastes like before they buy it. Apps, websites and fun gimmicks like the BEER SELECTOR are great but one way that will not cost the brewer any additional money or rely on technology is to add beer tasting notes on pump clips. It is almost impossible for even the most seasoned real ale drinker to know what all 8,000 real ales on the market taste like, so using just a few words at the point of sale could just help a brewery sell more beer. Not everybody has the confidence to ask for a free taster before purchasing and we would urge all breweries to take on board these important research results.”

The Great British Beer Festival is taking place all this week up until Saturday (12th-16th August) and tickets can be purchased on the door. For more information visit


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Corvus wins Gold at International Beer Challenge

Devizes-based brewer Wadworth is celebrating after its popular Corvus Stout was awarded a Gold Tasting Medal in the 2014 International Beer Challenge.

Rewarding quality and celebrating excellence, the annual International Beer Challenge receives entries from more than 30 countries worldwide, boasting some of the shrewdest beer judges in the land – including retailers, publicans, brewers, writers and flavour analysts.

“This is fantastic news for Corvus and reflects the hugely positive response we have had from both consumers and publicans since we launched Corvus back in 2012,” said Wadworth Product Marketing Manager Ellie Alderton. “In an independent blind taste test* seven out of ten drinkers preferred Corvus to Guinness, highlighting how great the product really is.”

Almost black and served chilled with a thick creamy head; Corvus (4.1% ABV) takes its name from the Latin for ‘Raven’. Distinctly smooth with a subtle aroma of roasted malt and coffee, followed by a bitter sweet finish, it offers excellent drinkability.

Already available in over 300 pubs across the South and South West, Corvus is available is 30litre kegs to the trade via all good wholesalers and Wadworth.

Wadworth’s Beer Kitchen Orange Peel Bitter was also awarded a Bronze International Beer Challenge Medal for Design & Packaging in recognition the classically elegant 330ml bottles, designed specifically for the fine dining table.

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