Wednesday, 30 December 2009

BrewDog plans to open chain of pubs

THE brewery behind the world's strongest beer aim to open a chain of pubs by the end of next year.

Brew Dog's James Watt and Martin Dickie, both 27, said they wanted to build on the "rapid growth" at their Aberdeenshire business and continue to 'tackle' a culture of mass-produced cheap drinks.

The pair recently launched their 32 per cent Tactical Nuclear Penguin beer, which upset drinks industry body the Portman Group.

And the watchdog have already banned the brewery's Tokyo beer over the label which says: "You must, from time to time, have excess."

Brew Dog bought the vacant Marischal Bar in Aberdeen this month and are hoping to have bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh by the end of 2010.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

CAMRA launches legal challenge to OFT

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today announced it will issue a legal challenge to the Office of Fair Trading's decision to reject its super-complaint on anti-competitive practices in the UK pub market. CAMRA is pledging funds to the appeal, but is depending on consumers helping to raise further funds to ensure this vital legal challenge can stand the best chance of success.

In October the consumer group criticised the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for failing to protect consumers by taking no further action to address consumer detriment in the pub market following CAMRA's super-complaint submitted in July.

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, CAMRA is entitled to appeal the OFT's decision to the Competition Appeals Tribunal, and has decided upon this course of action to continue fighting anti-competitive practices in the UK pub market.

From Tuesday January 5th 2010, CAMRA is calling upon consumers to visit the CAMRA website and contribute to the 'Consumers v. OFT Pub Market Ruling' Campaign Fund.

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive, said:

'CAMRA has taken the decision to appeal due to the inability of the OFT to deal with the problems affecting the UK pub sector.

'CAMRA's super-complaint to the OFT was based on securing a fair deal for the pub-goer, and building a sustainable future for Britain's pubs. However, we believe the OFT did not take reasonable steps to understand the pub sector, and more generally why over 50 pubs are closing per week across the UK.

'We've seen the consumer watchdog scrutinised in previous years with the success of the Association of Convenience Stores' appeal in 2005 in overturning the OFT's decision at Tribunal. Pending the success of our appeal, CAMRA remains optimistic of Government intervention or a referral to the Competition Commission for a full investigation into the UK pub market.'

Bob Young, a former member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and respected Principal of Europe Economics, has said the OFT's response was "as inadequate as CAMRA's super-complaint was compelling. The OFT has not seriously considered whether there is fair competition at a local level which ensures that consumers, or pub landlords for that matter, get the best deal. This is a critical shortcoming in the OFT's response to CAMRA."

Mike Benner concluded:

'We now urge consumers and associated trade bodies to get behind our 'Consumers v. OFT Pub Market Ruling' Campaign Fund in the New Year and support our appeal.'

CAMRA's super-complaint, 'A Fair Share for the Consumer', was published in July and can be viewed

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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Friends set up first brewery in Angus since 1957

Two friends have set up what is believed to be the first brewery in Angus in more than half a century.

The Angus Ales microbrewery produces two types of beer named to reflect the town’s deep historical ties with golf.

Mashie Niblick, a full-flavoured malty ale, which contains 4.2% alcohol by volume, and Gowfers’ Gold – a pale, golden ale, at 3.8% abv – are being brewed at a small base in Panmure Industrial Estate.

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Monday, 7 December 2009

Beer Writer of the Year 2009

Pete Brown has been crowned Beer Writer of the Year at the prestigious British Guild of Beer Writers Annual Awards Dinner 2009 (3 December 2009).
The Beer Writer of the Year is chosen from one of six category winners which seek to find the very best of beer writing and journalism in the UK. As well as picking up the overall title - which has this year been named after late beer writer Michael Jackson for the first time – Brown also won the Budweiser Budvar John White Travel Bursary for his book Hops and Glory – the story of one man’s search for the beer that built the British Empire.
Last year’s winner and chairman of the judges Zak Avery said: “Pete is an exceptional talent writer and his depth of knowledge and passion for beer really comes across in his writing.

Results in full
Brewer of the Year 2009 -Miles Jenner, of Harveys Brewery in Lewes, Sussex.

Budweiser Budvar John White Travel Bursary 2009 winner - Pete Brown.

Shepherd Neame Bishop's Finger Award for Beer and Food Writing 2009 winner - Ben Mcfarland.

Brains SA Gold New Media Award 2009 winner - Mark Dredge; runner-up 2009 - Dave Bailey -
Owner of the Woolpack Inn and Hardknott Brewery,

Deuchars IPA Regional Journalism Award 2009 - winner - Alastair Gilmour; runner-up - Simon Jenkins.

Wells & Young's Business to Business Journalism Award 2009 winner - Jeff Evans; runner-up 2009 Rob Brown, Brewers Guardian.
Coors Brewers National Journalism Award 2009 winner - Arthur Taylor; runner-up Alex Barlow.

The Michael Jackson Gold Tankard award - Writer of the Y ear 2009 - Pete Brown.

The British Guild of Beer Writers was established in 1988 to help spread the word about beer and brewing and improve standards of beer writing in general. Today the Guild has moree than 150 members – to find out more go to The British Guild of Beer Writers Website

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