The liquid linchpin
There are many attributes that make UK pubs and bars so alluring. But there’s no doubt about it – millions of pub goers are simply here for the beer.
I don’t know whether it’s the summer sun, the holiday season vibes or merely the fact that everyone is just feeling incredibly thirsty, but over the past few weeks, beer-based bulletins have been pouring into my inbox.
As many have testified, it is ‘that time of year’ when pub gardens are at their peak and the pub going population are at their happiest when nursing a cold pint of the amber nectar. When the sun has been shining, I do hope this is what your businesses have experienced.
From mid to late August, many a beer message was received. In the space of a fortnight, the trade delivered the Great British Beer Festival, the Beer Marketing Awards finalists were announced and There’s A Beer For That continued to fight the good fight of consumer-driven beer matching.
Most recently the campaign has partnered with Picturehouse Cinemas to create bespoke beer and food pairings for all of their cinemas nationwide. It’s an exciting time to be a beer writer, let alone a beer drinker.
So, as we bid farewell to August for another year, Pub & Bar has put together a bit of a beery issue for you. That’s not to say that we’ve been imbibing at the news desk – those days of old school journalism are, alas, long gone. Instead, we’ve been creating an edition that covers not only updates and advice across the cask and craft beer categories (page 26), but one that features a bespoke guide to Cask Ale Week (page 32), an exclusive interview with Mark Sargeant on his favourite food matching beer (page 24) and a beer pub review (page 34). The latter sees deputy editor Charlie Whitting pay a visit to Zerodegrees, the bar, restaurant and microbrewery operation in Blackheath, south east London.
As much as I can say that I’ve witnessed the beer market evolve in my time writing about the on-trade (and it really has – it’s probably evolved again in the time this issue has taken to reach your desk), some people of course have seen even greater changes over the years. Chris Holden, trade analyst and market consultant, is one of those people. For the 29 August issue, we asked Chris to look back on his 30 years of industry experience and reflect on the beer market of the modern on-trade. You can join him on that journey from page 20.
Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor