As the Grand Départ draws ever closer, Ilkley Brewery is setting its wheels in motion for the world’s greatest cycle race by commissioning its very own yellow cycling jerseys.
The jerseys, made by Ilkley-based cycling jersey manufacturer, Spirit Cycling, display the Ilkley Brewery brand and serve to commemorate the start of the 2014 Tour de France which will fly through Yorkshire this July.
Richard Shelton, director at Ilkley Brewery, said: “Both Chris and I are lifelong cycling fans, as well as members of Ilkley Cycling Club, so the arrival of the Grand Départ in Yorkshire this summer is something we are looking forward to with great anticipation.
“We wanted to kick off the Grand Départ build-up with the release of our very own cycling jerseys to show our support for this global event which will race through Ilkley, and within metres of the brewery, this summer.
“The jerseys are the first of many Tour celebrations we have planned. Over the coming weeks, we will announce further involvement in local events and reveal how the thousands of Grand Départ spectators, destined for the Wharfe Valley, can enjoy world class cycling with award-winning Yorkshire ale.”
The jerseys, which come in a range of sizes for men and women, are available to buy direct from the Ilkley Brewery website – www.ilkleybrewery.co.uk/shop – and are priced at £49.50.
The Wild Beer Co has recently purchased extra brewing capacity and a new bottling line from Devon firm, Vigo, with the help of a grant from the REG Programme and the Rural Development Programme for England. The brewery, based in the village of Westcombe in Somerset is only 18 months old but has already exported to over a dozen countries with growing demand in the US, southern Europe and Scandinavia.
MD Andrew Cooper applied for a grant from the REG Programme, “the bottling process had become a real bottle-neck for the business, and with growing demand we knew we had to find some new equipment. The grant and support we have received from the REG Programme has meant that we have bought a really good piece of equipment and allowed us to grow our capacity, which will allow us to confidently plan our growth over the next few years and has meant that we have already added 4 people to the team in the last couple of months.”
“The project was supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural areas. It has been grant funded through the REG Programme delivered by Devon County Council on behalf of the Heart of the South-West Local Enterprise Partnership.”
The new bottling line allows the Wild Beer Co to increase bottle production to over 1500 bottles an hour. Brewing Director Brett Ellis commented “Far too often we had found ourselves bottling long into the night to get orders ready to go out, the new equipment means we can achieve a more consistent quality to our bottling in a fraction of the time. We are very pleased to have worked with Vigo on this, as they have helped us make the right decisions on the specifications we needed and they offer an unrivalled training package and after-care.”
Somerset beers go stateside
The Westcombe-based brewery is about to send its biggest bottle shipment yet to the US, with over 18000 bottles due to leave next week, following on from a 13000 bottle shipment in February. The Wild Beer Co also send draught products out in tank containers that are kegged by the importers, B.United at their state of the art facility in Connecticut, before being dispatched all over the United States.
Speaking about the brewery’s US exports, managing director Andrew Cooper, said: “We’re thrilled with our growing sales in America. Export is a key focus for the business; it was always at the centre of our business plan, as we felt that whilst the UK market was becoming more adventurous, some of our more esoteric beers would only ever sell in quite small volumes in the UK’s very traditional beer scene.”
“I have just returned from my first visit to the States so that we could get a better understanding of which of our brands would sell best and to get a better understanding of the market over there. The trip has already led to an increase in sales and helped to grow interest in some of the beers we will release in the US in the future. The trip was part-funded by the UKTI’s Passport to Export program which offers great support to enable us to carry out market research and market visits, not only in America, but also in Scandinavia, with further visits planned for Italy, Norway and another trip to the US.”
“We are particularly pleased to do business with B.United in America because there isn’t a huge amount of British beer available in the States, predominantly because there are so many fantastic craft breweries out there already. It is really exciting to us that we can offer something a little bit different to American craft beers and that we now have a bottling line that enables us to continue to grow those sales.”
Can Makers and SIBA launch competition to find the nation’s best independent beer – in a can
Indie Beer Can Festival, the first UK-wide search for the very best independent beer in cans has been launched by the Can Makers in partnership with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). Every independent brewer’s beer, regardless of current pack format, is being offered the chance to be showcased in cans at the Indie Beer Can Festival final and potentially be crowned the winner. The competition opens today via www.indiebeercan.co.uk.
Selected judges will decide the 12 Festival finalists based on written entries. Then each of those not already in cans will receive an exclusive limited production run provided by the Can Makers. In September, at a closed session, influential judges including Chiara Nesbitt, Beer Buyer for Tesco, industry experts Adrian Tierney-Jones and Jane Peyton, President of Cask Brewing Systems Inc, Peter Love and Graham Fenton, Chairman of the Can Makers, will put each of the 12 to the test. The winners will be revealed later in the day at the Indie Beer Can Festival. One beer will take the gold and two runners up silver and bronze, with all winners receiving trophies and e-badges.
Every finalist will have the opportunity to have their beers sampled by influential guests at the Indie Beer Can Festival. The remaining cans will be delivered back to breweries after the event alongside a finalist’s e-badge. This will be a great way to let everyone know the beer is one of the 12 best independent canned beers in the country.
Chiara Nesbitt, Beer Buyer for Tesco and judge, comments, “I’m a huge fan of independently brewed beer. There has been a massive increase in the variety of independent beers on our shelves as customers tastes evolve and they look to discover new styles. Cans are a great way to achieve stand out on shelf and keep drinks tasting fresh. In my line of work I’ve seen a lot of canned speciality beers from the US and I look forward to seeing this happen in the UK too.”
Adrian Tierney, award winning writer and journalist said, “This competition is exciting and very timely, so I’m looking forward to the judging. Nowadays cans are a great way to package good beers. On top of the benefits cans provide by being very portable, light and quick to chill, the whole of the can provides a great canvas for brewers to play with and communicate their brand messages on. Cans are cool.”
Nick Stafford, Commercial Director at SIBA says, “The Indie Beer Can Festival is a fantastic opportunity for independent brewers to showcase their beers to influencers in the business and gain recognition. Quite a few are already in cans and there are many more brewers keen to explore the potential for canning beer. This competition ensures that any independently brewed beer has a chance to win and we look forward to seeing how it unfolds and, of course, to the final event.”
Graham Fenton, Chairman of the Can Makers, comments “Independent beer is an increasingly important part of the drinks market. I’m delighted that we’re able to partner with SIBA to offer today’s growing number of brewers a chance to explore the can’s benefits and share the passion they have for beer with a wide audience. I hope that this helps to establish independent beer in cans as a key part of the growing market.”
• Closing date for entries is midnight on Monday, 16th June 2014
• For entry forms and full competition rules visit www.indiebeercan.co.uk
• Finalists will be contacted in July 2014
• The Indie Beer Can Festival will take place in September 2014
From tomorrow, Saltaire Brewery and Northern Monk Brew Co are officially launching a new Smoked Porter 6% ABV – this is the second collaboration of 2014 that Saltaire has undertaken.
“Collaborations with other craft breweries such as Northern Monk are quite new to us.” said Tony Gartland, Saltaire’s Managing Director. “Our first was with Dark Star Brewing Co, from Sussex, this is only our second. Working with other brewers enables the fusion of ideas, talent and approaches, with the end result being the creation of unique and exciting beers for drinkers. The beer we created with Dark Star has already collected two awards at CAMRA festivals. We have high hopes Smoked Porter will be as well received.”
Both Northern Monk and Saltaire are located amongst the industrial smoke stacks of West Yorkshire and it’s this industrial back drop that was the inspiration for this dark, rich smoked Porter. Saltaire brewed the Porter to a recipe created by the combined talents of each brewer – the rich smoked flavours result from the use of specially selected German smoked malts.
Of the collaboration, Russell Bisset of Northern Monk says, “As a new brewery it’s great to see what the Saltaire team have achieved over the last few years, having grown up in the area they’ve been a real inspiration for me. Once we have settled in our new brewery we hope to work with them again. Having the opportunity to develop and brew Smoked Porter has been a really rewarding experience. The resulting beer is one we can all be proud of!”
Smoked Porter will be available in cask from Saltaire and in kegs from Northern Monk. Both breweries will have stocks of the bottled Smoked Porter. It will be officially launched at The Sparrow Bier Café in Bradford on Thursday 10 April from 7.30pm.
Both breweries can be contacted for more information about the availability of the Smoked Porter.
Tel: 01274 594959
Tel: 07595 586 195
Robinsons Brewery has declared their trio of business building Roadshows to be the most successful they have ever had, with over 60% attendance from its 330 strong pub estate.
The three day event was the brainchild of Robinsons Retail Marketing Manager Sarah Rogers who co-ordinated the events in Wales, Cumbria and Stockport.
Running from 10.30am – 3.30pm, the shows showcased over 30 industry-leading suppliers, ranging from food and drink to support services, providing Robinsons’ licensees with the chance to meet suppliers, sample products and services, watch live demonstrations of new technologies and take home a wealth of free business advice. Business incentives such as banners, bunting and posters for the World Cup, Father’s day and Easter were all on offer plus the opportunity to win £500 of cask ale, £50 free POS, £50 free credit on My Pub Hub (a tool where pubs can create their own posters, menus and other print material), and a free bottle of Bacardi. This year, Robinsons also launched social media seminars to its licensees.
One publican who attended was Gareth Walsh, who has been running The Black Lion in Abegele North Wales for 3 and a half years. Mr Walsh was very impressed with the support on offer: “We’ve always struggled to find a regular and reliable suppliers but the tradeshow opened these doors for us. We finally have some new contacts that we can rely one! I would recommend these shows to every Robinsons’ tenant!”
It wasn’t just the tenants who found the shows beneficial. Michael Smith … of Magners GB Ltd said: “Clearly much hard work and preparation went into the recent Robinsons Roadshows. All three events were impeccably organised and as a supplier we were very well looked after. The turn out on all three days was also fantastic. Clearly, Robinsons have some great partners running their pubs, they were very professional and passionate about their businesses and interested in new products to drive their business forward. We had significantly more visitors to our stand than expected and were able to do some productive business during the event as a consequence. It’s a ‘thumbs up’ from Magners – we look forward to seeing everyone at the next event!”
Tim Roberts Sales Manager of Cellar Trends said: “This was the first Robinsons Roadshow we have attended and I have to say it was one of the most organised shows I have been to. Huge credit to Sarah Rogers and the Robinsons team for planning such a successful and well attended event. It was very beneficial for us to meet more outlets and show what we have to offer, especially the new listings.”
Steve Bush UK Sales Manager of Boxerchips added: “Robinsons are a great business to work alongside. They buy into the fact that premium brands will generate a more robust RRP and stronger cash margin, especially from brands that have no association with the high street. The shows were well supported and well organised, roll on next year.”
Sarah Rogers, Retail Marketing Manager, was delighted by the turnout: “60% is brilliant; at the Stockport show alone over 90 pubs joined us. It’s never easy to entice licensees away from their businesses, but the benefits for those that did attend were considerable. These shows are a great excuse to get out and see as many people in our estate as we can. It’s also good for licensees to meet Robinsons’ staff and put a face to a name.”
“Every year, we have seen the Roadshows grow in popularity and following the licensee and supplier feedback from this year, we believe these have been our most successful yet.”
Following their 1 year anniversary, Robinsons Brewery in Stockport have announced new opening times for their Visit England accredited Visitors Centre.
The Apsley Street conferencing and educational centre, which has welcomed over 10,000 people since its opening in March 2013, has increased the opening hours to cope with the phenomenal demand for its facilities.
Retail Operations Manager, Simon Taylor said: “The positive feedback we’ve received since we opened in March last year has been overwhelming. With a year under our belt, the time felt right to increase our business hours and offer our unique experience to everyone 7 days a week.”
The new opening hours will see the centre open on Mondays for the first time and an additional Sunday tour added to the schedule at 2.30pm.
“Our brewery tours have proven to be a huge success” said Simon. “People love not only learning about Robinsons cask ale but also the growth of an English business that is over 175 years old. It’s been a hit with historians and beer lovers alike.”
The building has hosted over 100 conferences and meetings for local businesses and groups in their Old Tom meeting Room. Just last week, Robinsons also announced the launch of a new conference room aptly named after one of the brewery’s founders; ‘Frederic’s Room’.
“Going forwards we hope to extend our business offering and the launch of our new conference room will help us achieve that,” added Simon.
For tours, enquiries, group bookings or educational visits, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 612 4100, or complete the enquiry form. To keep up-to-date with upcoming events visit: www.robinsonsvisitorscentre.co.uk or follow Robinsons on Facebook www.facebook.com/robinsonsvisitorscentre
By Invitation Only
Location: Bolton Beer Festival – Bolton Lads & Girls Club Beer Festival, Bolton Rugby Union Club, Mortfield Pavilion, Avenue Street, Bolton, BL1 3AW
By Invitation Only
Location: Nottingham Castle, Nottingham