Robbies rocks on again!



July 22, 2016


Robbies brewery aims to be top of the taps… after creating its second rockstar brew within weeks!

Robbies make a brew with pop band Blossoms

Top band Blossoms.

Hot on the heels of its collaborating with Iron Maiden this month, to brew up Trooper Red ‘N’ Black Porter, Stockport’s Robinson’s Brewery has now teamed up with the local band Blossoms, to mark the musicians’ debut album.

The tribute act comes in the form of Charlemagne – a 4.1 per cent, full bodied golden ale with a rich malt and hop character.

It will be sold only at the town’s Blossoms pub – which inspired the band’s name.

To celebrate the launch of the band’s eponymous album, the pub will be offering a free pint to fans who purchase either a physical copy or digital copy of the album and can present proof of purchase at the bar on August 5.

Robbies brand manager Gill Yates said: “We are delighted to be working with Blossoms on this very limited edition beer. We are a proud Stockport brewer and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the success of a local band than by creating a beer for their fans.”

Blossoms’ rise to the top of the charts has been a national success story over last 18 months, with the band racking up numerous accolades including being named in the top 5 in Radio X’s Great X-Pectations, 4th in BBC Radio’s Sound of New Music 2016 and one of the featured bands in MTV’s Brand New for 2016.

They even knocked Adele off the top of the iTunes album chart with the release of their At Most A Kiss EP earlier this year.

With a recent slot at Glastonbury under their belts and forthcoming appearances at festivals such as Reading and Leeds, Blossoms will return to play a special homecoming show at Stockport Plaza at midnight on August 5.

Band member Tom Ogden said: “We were really excited when Robinsons told us they wanted to produce a special Blossoms beer to celebrate the album release. It’s great to hear that fans will now be able to enjoy a pint of Charlemagne at The Blossoms!”.

You can find Blossoms here; Robinsons Brewery here and follow the brewers on Facebook and Twitter


Small beer… Hand-Pumped in brief



July 22, 2016


Sometimes news, like beer, comes in gills rather than pints. Here’s Hand-Pumped’s latest round-up of ale stories in brief:


beerNew Prime Minister Theresa May has only been in the job a few days… but already she has her own BEER! Come What May has been brewed in her honour by Hieneken UK’s pub business, Star Pubs and Bars, and will go on sale on draught in pubs in her Maidenhead constituency.

beerPembroke landlord and town coun Jonathan Nutting has teamed up with the town’s CAMRA branch to launch the first Pembroke Beer Festival, which will combin with an arts and music fest. The event runs from July 29 – 31, at Pembroke Town Hall, and there will be 25 ales, plus ciders and wines, to go at. The long-term plan is to build the festival into a national event.

beerThe England v Wales Euro 2016 football match drove London pub sales up by 296 per cent as fans flocked to bars with an average 163 per cent increase across the UK. In Bolton, takings rocketed by an amazing 987 per cent above normal, whilst in Wales, Swansea and Cardiff racked up 426 per cent and 418 per cent rises respectively.

In brief beer glass logoCAMRA’s Rail Ale Festival takes place in the Goods Shed, Station Road, Market Bosworth, today and runs until Sunday, July 24. On offer are 70 real ales, together with perries, ciders, fruit wines and a Pimm’s Bar. There will be appearances by everything from steam trains to steam organs and vintage bikes. Cost is £5 per person; CAMRA members free.

beerSussex brewer Bedlam has added a new keg pale ale to its range – powered by a mix of bramling cross, target and a new UK cascade hop which add notes of lemon citrus, lychee and blackcurrant to the 4.8 per cent brew.


Muntons digester wins top award in its first year



July 21, 2016


Less than a year after opening its new £5.4m anaerobic digester (AD) plant, to convert its waste products into more than 10 per cent of its total electricity needs, maltster Muntons has seen the plant win a top industry award.

Muntons AD award trophyThe Stowmarket plant took the award for Best food and drink industry AD project, at the AD and Biogas Industry Awards.

It was a posthumous triumph for Muntons site services manager, Mick Cochrane, who pioneered the AD plant but sadly died just before it was commissioned.

The award is a highly contested category for UK food and drink companies, sponsored by HRS Heat Exchangers.

Some 400 guests at Birmingham’s Vox conference centre saw Muntons’ victory, at a ceremony hosted by Charlotte Smith, presenter of radio 4’s Farming Today programme.

Dr Nigel Davies, Muntons’ Manufacturing and Sustainability Director, picked up the trophy – accompanied by Muntons team members who manage and run the AD plant on a day-to-day basis.

Muntons AD award

Nigel Davies, centre collects the award.

Mr Davies said: “To win this award means a great deal to us.  Our site services manager, Mick Cochrane was the driving force behind our AD project but sadly he passed away just before the project was completed.

“His legacy is the AD plant, which now generates 13 per cent of our Stowmarket plant electricity, has enabled us to significantly reduce waste tanker movements and more importantly provides us with a biofertiliser which we can offer back to the farmer to enrich the soil on which our raw material, malting barley, is grown.”

For more information, visit Muntons’ website

Scottish tied houses get Code of Practice cover



July 21, 2016


Scottish Beer & Pub Association has launched a new voluntary Code of Practice, covering 700 of the country’s 900 tied pubs.

It enshrines protection for pubs across the country, will come into effect at the same time as the English & Welsh Statutory Code, and will be binding for pub-owning businesses, with protections for tied pub tenants and continued access to low-cost dispute resolution procedures.

brigid_260712SBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds explained: “This Code is a landmark for Scottish tied pubs, setting out protections for tenants, and is the first designed specifically for Scotland.

“The pub sector in Scotland is hugely different to the rest of the UK. What works for pubs in England and Wales doesn’t necessarily suit the industry in Scotland.

“This code takes into account the unique nature of the Scottish tied pub trade, providing the best balance of what works for  pubs in Scotland, whilst also protecting much needed investment in both the pub sector and local economies across the country.

“The Code also allows Scottish tenants access to independent, low-cost resolution procedures for rent, through PIRRS, and for other issues through PICA-Service, both of which have Scottish-specific expert representation.

“The tied pub sector, whilst only making up a small percentage of Scottish pubs, is a fantastic opportunity for self-employed entrepreneurs to get a low cost means of entry into business ownership. The industry also serves as a major employer of the nation’s young people, offering lifelong career opportunities in a vibrant sector that is vital to Scotland’s larger economy.”

She added: “At a time of immense pressure on small businesses, this new Code, alongside continued support from the Scottish Government through schemes such as the Small Business Bonus Scheme and measures to alleviate the unfair tax burden on pubs, can continue to promote investment in the industry and local economies across the country.

“The announcement of this Code is a further sign of the industry’s determination to work alongside a range of stakeholders through self-regulation, in order to continue to promote a healthy pub sector that is vital to Scotland. The Code ensures this will be done in a responsible, joined-up way, supported by significant capital investment across the country.”

Brazil goes nuts for British ale!



July 20, 2016


They’re nuts about real ale in Brazil… and if you’re a UK brewer, this means a great export opportunity!

The Dept of Trade and Industry are offering a contract for craft brewers to send their beer to South America, as a Brazilian beer importer seeks to cash in on the growing demand for real ale there.

DTI logo - Brazil beer exportsThe DTI says that, according to the Brazilian Beer Association, the country expects a 10 per cent growth in the market over the course of this year alone, as real ale consumption booms there … compared to just a 3-4 per cent increase in ‘industrialised’ beers.

The Department says that the Brazilian company behind the contract already imports from the UK and has a very large distribution networking in Brazil.

The value of the contract is said to be “under £100,000” and the closing date for applications is July 30 – so brewers need to move NOW.

For more information visit the website

York’s monster ale trail is back!



July 20, 2016


The World’s End tour has come to York.. and ‘appen there won’t be alien human-replicants, with bodies filled with blue blood BUT – there will be TWENTY-FOUR pubs to go at, on this monster ale trail!

Thankfully, unlike the Simon Pegg comic epic, you’ve got six weeks – not a single night – to undertake it.

york_camra_logoAs ususal, York’s CAMRA branch has organised the summer ale trail – which has now begun – as a prelude to the York Beer and Cider Festival on the Knavesmire in September.

You can get a leaflet from any of the participating pubs, listed below, and there are festival discounts depending how many venues you visit!

But get supping.. your ale trail cards must be back with the organisers by August 31. The venues are:

City centre: Eagle and Child, High Petergate; City Screen, Coney Street; Golden Fleece, Pavement; Guy Fawkes, High Petergate; The Habit, Goodramgate; House of Trembling Madness, Stonegate; Lendal Cellars, Lendal; Old White Swan, Goodramgate; Pavement Vaults, Piccadilly; Red Lion, Merchantgate;   Rook and Gaskill, Lawrence Street; Snickleway, Goodramgate; Sociale, Micklegate.

Outlying pubs: Fenton Flyer, Church Fenton; The Ship, Strensall; Wenlock Arms, Wheldrake; Charles XII, Heslington; Fox and Roman, Dringhouses; Lysander Arms, Rawcliffe; Sun Inn, Acomb; Walnut Tree, Heworth; Mended Drum, Huby; White Bear, Stillington; Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton.

Visit the York CAMRA website for more

England paceman Broad bowls into pub business!



July 19, 2016


England fast bowler Stuart Broad and Notts CCC team-mate Harry Gurney are bowling on into the pub business!

Stuart Broad's first pub, the Three CrownsThe pair have launched a new venture, the Cat & Wickets Pub Company, and followed through by adding the first local to their portfolio.

The Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club bowlers will soon be serving up deliveries at the Three Crowns, in the village of Wymeswold, midway between Nottingham and Leicester.

Broad and left-armer Gurney – himself an England one-day international – have been joined in the venture by mutual friend Dan Cramp. The trio have rented their maiden pub from Punch Taverns and the Three Crowns is now undergoing a major refurb.

Stuart Broad's new Cat and Wickets pubcoThe trio aim to have three or four high-quality pubs under their belt, in the longer term. Meanwhile the Three Crowns should start its innings in teh first week of August if the overhaul goes to plan.

Neither cricketer is planning retirement yet – but both are thinking about life after their playing careers are over.

Follow the lads’ efforts on Twitter here

Camden brews a strawberry lager



July 19, 2016


A new STRAWBERRY lager is on the way from the lads at Camden Town Brewery, to help dirnkers see off the summer.

The limited-edition Strawberry Hells Forever blends hand-picked Essex strawberries – picked by ther nbrewers at a local farm – with Camden’s Hells lager.

The 4.6 per cent brew – made with  mosaic, simcoe and peele hops – has a taste described as “tart, crisp and refreshing”.

It will hit the streets in August, in half-litre bottles and will be available online and in Camden’s own pubs.

To grab some, visit the brewer’s website

Stand and de-liver! New BrewDog beer offers organ donation…



July 18, 2016


Love ’em or hate ’em… the staff at outrageous Scottish brewer BrewDog are intent you aren’t going to igmore ’em.

The latest stunt from north of the border is a “terminally hoppy”, 8.5 per cent double IPA that dies in just 35 days… yet is linked to a push for organ donation!

BrewDog Born to Die aleBorn To Die 18.08.16 is brewed with a shelf life of just over a month, and dies on the stated date. Each bottle comes with its own organ donor card, which can be ‘popped’ out of a special beer mat, and which includes a link to the official UK organ donation register

Aberdeen-based BrewDog hopes to encourage consumers to sign up to be organ donors as they quaff.

Born to Die features a mass of American hop varieties including cascade, simcoe, amarillo and citra. August.

BrewDog’s shelf-life looks much longer than that of this ale… the brewery’s full-on strategy has seen it recently ranked at number 10 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list of the country’s fastest-growing private businesses.

For more, visit the website

Great news-ome! Jem the dog gets a makeover



July 18, 2016


Jem the dog has long been famous with real ale drinkers… on the bottles and beer engines of East Yorkshire’s renowned Great Newsome family craft brewery.

New Jem the dog branding on Great Newsome bottlesAnd now he’s had a makeover, after his creators decided he was looking a bit dog-tired!

There was no question that Jem might find himself put down, when the Great Newsome team went for a branding upgrade recently.

Instead, the redesign sees the iconic “beer with the dog on” branding given a fresh new look, whilst retaining its original charm, on both bottles and pump clips.

Great Newsome launched the new look at a brewery open day for both trade and drinkers.

MD Matthew Hodgson explained: “It was essential that we preserved and celebrated our farming heritage with the redesign retaining our new-look ‘Jem’, as we’re recognised as the beer with the dog on it!

Jem the dog branding on Great Newsome's Jem's Stout pump clip.“From feedback at the open day, we’re optimistic that the new look branding will go down well both with existing and new Great Newsome consumers and hopefully encourage those craft beer drinkers that have not tasted Great Newsome to give our award winning beers a try!”

The Hodgson family have worked Great Newsome Farm, on teh East Yorkshire coast, for teh past four generations. In 2007 they moved into brewing as well – and now have five cask ales and five bottled ales available at any time.

Among their successes is Frothingham Best, which took a gold award at the World Beer Awards 2013, and Sleck Dust which got a silver in the Standard Bitters category at the Regional SIBA awards 2012.

For more information, visit the website