The Chain Locker, Falmouth, Cornwall, pub review

Sometimes you walk into a pub, and so demanding on the eyes is the interior that you end up having a nose about before suddenly remembering what you came in for. The Chain Locker is that sort of place. There’s a lot of wood on display, worn and weathered, on the floor, walls and ceiling….

Father’s Day: gifts for the thirsty dad

Father’s day is on its way, and dads around the country are standing in front of mirrors, drawing in deep breath and practicing their lines. «Socks! What a lovely surprise!» It needn’t be this way. A good father’s day gift can be a wonderful way of indulging your old man’s hobbies and interests on a day specifically…

The Clapton Hart, London E5, pub review

The Clapton Hart, formerly the White Hart Hotel (est 1722), sits with mildly affronted dignity on the Lea Bridge roundabout, the psychic epicentre of what used, in the far-off 2000s, to be known as Hackney’s “murder mile”. It is a testament to gentrification, then, that any lingering anomie is more to do with the outlandish scale…

How to have a sober stag do (plus five alcohol-free activities)

The statistics are emphatic: the younger generation get no kick from champagne. Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill them at all. Under 25s are swearing off the stuff in such numbers that 27pc of them now describe themselves as teetotal (which for the first time makes them as sober as the elderly in society) and in 2015 Chilli…

Sales of ‘Nanny State’ low-alcohol beers are soaring , figures show  

Sales of low-alcohol drinks have soared by more than a fifth in just one year, research shows. Experts said health-conscious millennials were increasingly embracing sobriety — preferring tipples such as «Nanny State» beer. The figures, revealed in Department of Health documents, show that in just 12 months sales of non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks sold…

The Wellington, Sheffield, pub review

There are a lot of ghost beers in Sheffield. Walk its streets and you’ll see a variety of pub façades decorated with the names of breweries whose product was last drunk in a dimly remembered past. Wards and Stones are common sights, while across the busy road from the Wellington, AH Smith and Co, the…

Chapel Down US sales sparkle amid bumper demand for English bubbly

Chapel Down’s bet on the US market has paid off after high demand for English bubbly from American consumers helped the British wine maker hit its first year sales target in the country. The Kent-based vineyard surpassed its goal of selling 10,000 bottles of sparkling wine in the US “with ease”, according to chief executive Frazer Thompson. Mr Thompson said Chapel…

Real ale drinkers reject Camra’s bid to support lager for the first time

Members of the Campaign for Real Ale have rejected a “far reaching” attempt to modernise the organisation, highlighting a schism within the ranks. Plans to widen its remit and attract a new, young generation by supporting lager for the first time were narrowly voted down by members. Colin Valentine, Camra’s outgoing chairman, acknowledged that the…

BrewDog beer plans stock flotation as soon as 2020

The co-founder of BrewDog has said the beer brand is targeting a stock ­market float as soon as 2020 following a hefty private equity investment. At the crowdfunded company’s ­annual general meeting at the ­weekend, James Watt said a listing was ­between two and four years away and that he had spoken to several ­investment…

Magners cider maker and AB InBev throw lifeline to Conviviality workers

The maker of Magners cider is joining forces with brewing giant Anheuser Busch InBev to snap up parts of collapsed drinks business Conviviality, throwing a lifeline to some of its 2,500 workers. Dublin-based C&C will buy the drinks distribution businesses Matthew Clark — one of the UK’s biggest suppliers to the on-trade serving more than…

The Bath Hotel, Sheffield, pub review

Rio the dog sits in front of me. He’s lovely, but a bit of a scrounger. I’ve got a roast pork and stuffing roll and he’s hoping I’ll slip him something. Given I’ve just heard his owner tell the bartender that he is on a diet, the food stays on my plate. Rio sits patiently, soft…

Heineken pulls ‘lighter is better’ beer advert amid racism storm

Heineken has withdrawn a television advert after it provoked an online storm and accusations of racism. Chance the Rapper was among those who complained about the ad which showed a bartender slide a bottle of low-calorie, reduced alcohol beer past three black people before it stops at the hand of a lighter skinned woman. “Sometimes…

BrewDog snaps up Draft House pub chain

Craft brewer BrewDog has snapped up the Draft House chain of pubs founded by industry entrepreneur Charlie McVeigh in its first major acquisition. The deal will see the Scottish business buy all 14 Draft House sites in London and the South East, increasing the number of UK bars BrewDog owns by more than a third, from…

The Crab Pot, West Sussex, pub review

The seaside out of season can be as quiet as winter storms are wild – but that’s why I like it. Selsey in West Sussex suffers somewhat from the curse of boring brown beer, with the honourable exception of long-standing real ale haven The Seal. New micropub The Crab Pot has added some much-needed colour. …

Fake North Korean beer brewed in China to evade sanctions

Chinese entrepreneurs have teamed up with North Korean government officials to brew a fake version of a beer that can trace its heritage back to Trowbridge in Wiltshire. Taedonggang beer is the most popular brew in North Korea and the brand had built up a firm following abroad, primarily in China but also in South Korea,…

Storm in a pint glass: beer drinkers split over Camra plan

For almost 50 years, it has been at the forefront of the crusade to promote cask beers. But the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) risks a rebellion from members over plans to support lager for the first time. Camra, which has championed traditional brews for 47 years, is  launching a «revitalisation project» in an attempt…

Conviviality shares suspended ahead of update

Shares in Conviviality, the drinks wholesaler and owner of the Wine Rack and Bargain Booze off-licence chains, have been suspended on the junior market ahead of an announcement. The Aim-listed company said on Tuesday that it expected its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation to come in 20pc below market expectations, in a…

Supermarket faces wrath of Belgium’s beer-brewing monks

A supermarket chain has incurred the wrath of Belgium’s most famous monks after selling their celebrated Trappist beer at an unholy price. The brewing brothers of the Abbey of Saint Sixtus in Westvleteren  in Flanders have strict rules governing the sale of their beers, which appear to have been broken by the Jan Linders chain. The…

BrewDog has launched Pink IPA ‘for girls’: ignore it, and try one of these top beers brewed by women instead

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, Scottish brewer BrewDog has launched a glittery new version of its most famous beer, repackaged in pink in an attempt to highlight gender pay inequality. This new take on the popular Punk IPA, light golden in colour with tropical fruits and light caramel on the nose, has been rechristened as «Pink IPA».  BrewDog…

The Pineapple, London NW5, pub review

Funny name for a pub built in 1868. Pineapples were about as common in north London then as champagne in the pit villages of South Yorkshire. But “the pineapple has been seen as a symbol of welcome ever since they were brought here,” I’m told by Poppy Wheldon, the very welcoming licensee. Amid the Friday…

Row over ‘sexist’ German national anthem

Germany is facing calls to remove the word “fatherland” from its national anthem — but not because of any perceived nationalist overtones or links to the Nazi era. Instead feminists are calling for the word to be removed because they say it is sexist. In a letter to staff leaked to the German press, the…

Run for your pint: should you join a brewery running club? 

Beer and running aren’t exactly natural bedfellows — unless, of course, the beer comes after the run. If the beer’s free, even better. On a bitterly cold night in north London, people of all shapes and sizes are getting together for a run; but a cold pint is the ultimate goal.  Running isn’t necessarily my forte, but…

Britain’s unlikely low alcohol beer revolution 

The ingredients contained in the longest surviving beer recipe found in a nearly 4,000-year-old Mesopotamian poem are essentially unchanged today. The Hymn to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer, breaks down the brewing process so that it can be repeated by subsequent generations. However, the brewing giants of today are risking the wrath of the ancient…

Pernod Ricard boss: We’re eyeing legal cannabis market ‘closely’

The boss of spirits giant Pernod Ricard has revealed that he and his rivals are studying the legalised cannabis market, as the drinks industry weighs the drug’s leisure potential. Alexandre Ricard, who runs the Beefeater gin and Havana rum maker, said his company was “watching it closely” when asked at a Bloomberg event whether he was…

Regulator quizzes pubs after tenants’ inflated rent claims

The pub industry regulator has quizzed the UK’s largest leased and tenanted pub companies after claims from a group of landlords that a miscalculation linked to beer sales could be artificially inflating their rents. The Punch Tenant Network has claimed its members’ rents are higher than they should be because of a failure by Punch…

Low-alcohol wine and beer fuelling lunchtime drinking, study suggests

Low-alcohol beer and wine promotions risk fuelling day-time drinking, a new study by Cambridge University suggests. A review of the UK’s four largest supermarkets — Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons — also found advertising strategies may be increasing people’s overall alcohol intake A review of the retailers’ websites revealed the products’ low-alcohol content was played…

My January Dad Bod Challenge: I lost over a stone in a month

Just over a month ago I was staring at my protruding gut and puffy face in the mirror — testament’s to a life possibly too-well-lived. I heaved myself onto a set of bathroom scales, and watched as cartoon springs popped out with a clownish “BOING!”. “14 stone 6 lbs” it read. According to my BMI calculator,…

Giving alcohol to teens at home fuels binge drinking, parents told

Children given alcohol by parents in the belief it will foster responsible drinking are more likely to become binge drinkers, a major new study has found. The six-year analysis of nearly 2,000 12 to 18-year-olds revealed there were “no benefits” to introducing alcohol to teenagers at home and that doing so only encouraged them to…

Marston’s £1m snow hit takes away some festive cheer 

Snow and ice brought an unwanted chill to pub company Martson’s which took a £1m profit hit from the inclement weather. The division of the company which includes its more rural destination pubs, numbering around 400, suffered the most from the bad weather although like-for-like sales were up 1.1pc if the two snow-hit weeks are…

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