Leading politician praises pub trade


05 March 2007

A leading politician has praised the British pub and British brewing as the prime examples of everything that is good about responsible drinking.Greg Mulholland, Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North-West, was speaking at the opening chairman’s reception at this year’s SIBA conference in Leeds. He stated that the very best responsible attitudes to drinking could be found in British pubs.

“Everyone talks about needing to introduce a continental café culture to cure binge drinking problems. Well I have a solution – there is a culture where we can enjoy alcohol in a responsible and socially conducive way – and that is the great British pub culture.”

He then went onto criticise the way the British government has failed to support one of its prime national industries.

“Why has the pub only received token support from successive governments – why do we not treat British beer the way the French treat wine? We should wrap ourselves in the union jack and shout out that our beer is the best beer in the world!”

Also speaking at the reception Keith Bott gave his final speech as chairman of SIBA, following four years at the helm.

Reflecting on the great strides made by British independent brewers over this period, Mr Bott called on SIBA members to strive to maintain their excellent standards.

“I challenge all independent brewers out there to continue to produce great, consistent fresh beer. And don’t give into discounting in the marketplace – discounts are the last resort of the lazy salesman,”he said.

He also called on regional and family brewers to stock more locally brewed beers.

“I challenge vertically integrated brewers to allow more local beers into their pubs. Your overall sales will grow – unless you are scared your product isn’t as good as the local beers around you,” he said.

Taken from: www.thepublican.com
By Adam Withrington

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