ALE February 1999 No. 293

Brewery News

Elgood's are going strong: their beers have won 7 awards in 14 months and they've just bought their 46th pub, the Cock Inn in March.

Adnams recently bought two Tap & Spiles from Century Inns and are reverting to the former names and to tenancies (Colchester: Hospital Arms; Walton, Suffolk: Half Moon). Bearing in mind Adnams' support for the Cask Marque and the resulting sometimes chilly beer, the Chairman, Simon Loftus, said recently "once the consumer has got used to cool beer, they are not going to go back". [Quoted in The Publican 14/12/98]

Batemans are following up last year's Jolly's Jaunts monthly beers by Jolly's Generations, in addition to their set of seasonals such as Winter Wellie, Hill Billy Bitter, Wee Beastie (Jan.) and Middle Wicket (summer). Stuart Bateman said the "way to satisfy [...] changing demand is to provide beers that replicate the fun experience of the pub". [Ibid.]

Everards are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year and have spent 2M on converting a Victorian pump house in Leicester into a pub, The Quay.

Charles Wells are going to use TV ads in the region again to promote their under-regarded Eagle Bitter - they will follow on from the successful East Anglia Mountain Rescue Team ones.

Tolly Cobbold are producing a bottled beer called Countdown (golden, 5%) - the British Horological Institute's official beer for the Millennium.

Coniston Bluebird (The Champion Beer of Britain 1998) as supplied to distributers around here lately has been contract-brewed by Brakspear's, presumably as demand was too great for the microbrewery. Mordue were in a similar position after Workie Ticket won in 1997.

Follow-ups to brewery news in ALE 292

Greene King's new beer Triumph now seems to be standard in many GK real ale pubs, not just ones which used to have Rayments (at least in Cambridge). The beer has been well-received by most people, being judged remarkably tasty compared to what many expect from GK and at 4.3% filling the strength gap between IPA and Abbot. Wexford will shortly be replaced by Caffreys. Cask Suffolk Strong appeared on schedule at the end of November (first sighted at the Bird In Hand, Newmarket Road) and in January the celebration ale "1799" (4.5%) was available. However GK still has to be watched carefully as regards its rural pub closures and its tight control on which tenants are allowed its limited range of guest beers.

As part of GK's bicentenary celebrations, a wooden barrel is touring its 660 tenancies to help licensees raise money for charity. Each pub can use the barrel as it pleases so long as it gets to the next pub on time & intact! [Source: Licensee & Morning Advertiser 24/12/98]

The Potton Brewery has introduced an unusual beer, No. 1, at 2.2% ABV (sampled at the University Sports & Social Club at 1.40/pint): it's light & fruity in taste yet dark in colour.

Vaux and Ward are still waiting to hear whether they are continuing or closing. Hopefully the buyout team led by Frank Nicholson will succeed and acquire the two breweries & 350 tenancies.

Castle Eden have not wasted any time since becoming independent: their new brews already sighted hereabouts are the revived classic Nimmo's XXXX (4.4%) and the new and very flavoursome White Knight (5%). They've also taken over brewing Butterknowle beers such as Conciliation.


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