Good morning and welcome to the second issue of Rise & Shine. We’ll be here in your inbox bright and early every Monday morning with everything you need to know about hospitality in the south and south west. See us as your full English breakfast of info, setting you up for the week ahead but so much easier to digest. Let us know what you think and if you have any news you want 20,000 fellow industry professionals to see, send it to Carolyn, our Hospitality News Editor at email@example.com. Have a great week.
Liberation Bought, Butcombe Expands
The Channel Island’s market leading pub business and owners of the south west’s Butcombe Brewery, the Liberation Group, has been acquired by Caledonia Investments for £118 million.
The Liberation Group has 94 managed and tenanted pubs, two award-winning breweries and three wholesale businesses. Caledonia say they will “help Liberation continue to build its business through a combination of enhanced organic growth and acquisitions of single and pub groups in the south of England.”
Liberation’s CEO, Mark Crowther said: “Our customers want to enjoy great pubs with fabulous beer in their local community. We will continue to deliver that through investment, innovation and excellent customer service. We are excited about the next phase of our development and look forward to working with Caledonia on delivering further success for our new shareholders, employees and customers.”
Butcombe Brewery announced it plans to grow by over 100 sites in the next five years with this new backing from its parent company. The first two additions to its current 19-strong portfolio of pubs are The Charlton in Shepton Mallet and the Pelican Inn at Chew Magna, both in Somerset. Butcombe aim to add up to 20 pubs each year between now and 2021.
These are the first purchases since Butcombe was acquired by Liberation in January 2015. A period of consolidation has seen eight pubs transferred to the tenanted division from being managed properties, a re-alignment of the brewing business under Stuart Howe and a new managing director, Geraint Williams, appointed. Williams said: “We have been brewing some of the best UK beer since the 1970s and we have built a new team to drive the business forward.
“It is very important to us not to lose the character for which we are known and loved across our heartland. Our beer is what makes us who we are and is at the core of everything we do. Having a modern, well-invested pub portfolio is obviously important because we want our customers to enjoy our products in the best surroundings.”
And we’ll all drink to that…
In Cod We Trust! Seafood Week Returns With Fish Pun Day
After providing an estimated £18 million boost to the industry in 2015, Seafood Week is back from Friday 7th to 14th October this year and looking to make even bigger waves.
This consumer campaign is an eight-day celebration of seafood that aims to grow sales and awareness. Last year saw more than 80 brands and companies including Young’s, Whitby Seafoods, Yo Sushi! and Loch Fyne all signed up as partners, alongside retailers such as Morrisons, The Co-operative and Aldi. The Co-operative Food reported a ‘double-digit’ sales growth in seafood sales following the conclusion of Seafood Week 2015.
Even more companies are being called upon to help make this year the most successful yet, beating the estimated £18 million estimated worth of last year’s activity.
Mel Groundsell, corporate relations director at Seafish said: “We’re blown away by these results, they clearly show the benefit that Seafood Week has had across the industry.
“Seafood Week is about promoting and celebrating the seafood industry – and encouraging the public to eat more fish, more often. There are plenty of opportunities for businesses to take part in this year’s campaign and I would like to encourage companies from right across the supply chain to get involved.
Fish Pun Day is a way for companies, brands, and the public to use their Twitter accounts to mark the start of the celebrations by using their best fish puns and the #fishpunday hashtag.
In addition to Fish Pun Day, a different seafood species will be focused upon on each of the eight days, with alternative species also being highlighted to raise awareness of under utilised fish.
Spotlight stories will highlight different areas of the seafood industry, including interviews with fishmongers, fishermen and the winners of various seafood-related awards held by Seafish. There will also be competitions, special events, a toolkit of marketing materials for companies to use, and a number of Seafood Week events held around the UK.
Marshfield Farm Refresh
The award-winning Somerset-based ice cream makers have had a brand refresh. They have dropped ‘ice cream’ from their name and changed their retail packs so they look “as good on the outside as they tasted on the inside”. Food design agency The Collaborators worked with Marshfield Farm to reposition the brand to its natural homeland of ‘proud producers of real dairy ice cream’ and they have a whole herd of newly illustrated Friesian cows on their packaging. As they explained: “We didn’t want to lose the story of our farm roots in the redesign, but we did want to claim our rightful place as a premium, top quality brand that the whole family could enjoy and we think we have done just that.”
Marshfield Farm’s Blackcurrants in Clotted Cream Ice Cream is a finalist in the 2016 Delicious Magazine Produce Awards. One of 30 ice creams and six sorbet flavours, made with their own organic milk, Marshfield Farm supplies over 3500 independent outlets.
Tarragon Restaurant in Cheltenham Closes Down
Thought of as a ‘hidden gem’, Tarragon has closed down after three years of serving acclaimed fine dining dishes in the city. Tarragon’s food was based on using local, seasonal produce and unusual meat including reindeer, zebra and camel. Opened in 2013 by Tom Johnson and Sadek Ahmed, the restaurant ran into difficulties when Ahmed left citing personal reasons.
Culinary Cocktails in Winchester
Food and drink come together in Winchester for the Kitchen Cabinet event, a new collaboration between award-winning restaurant, Forte Kitchen and Cabinet Rooms, the city’s cocktail event organisers and bloggers.
Co-founder and Director of Forte Kitchen, Naomi Beamish, explained, “the Kitchen Cabinet will be a relaxed affair for discerning foodies and so we shall be offering table service and a range of unique drinks, small plates and nibbles. We are delighted to be working with Cabinet Rooms who share our passion for great customer service and quality ingredients.” Cabinet Rooms are known locally for organising Winchester Cocktail Week and, more recently, the Ginchester Fête. The Kitchen Cabinet will be open from 6pm to 11pm on Friday 15th July. Entrance is free.
Pheasant Inn Takes Flight
A 450 year old former drover’s inn overlooking Berkshire’s Valley of the Racehorse near Shefford Woodlands, The Pheasant has been refurbished and is attracting glowing reviews in the press. The new landlord since January, Jack Greenall, has reopened with 11 en-suite guest rooms, an adventurous drinks menu and modern British cooking which showcases the best local produce. Completely refurbished by London-based interior designer Flora Soames, each of the 11 en-suite rooms has a unique look based on a bespoke combination of rich colours, striking patterns and luxurious textures.
Rooted in classic modern British cooking, the regularly changing menu showcases the freshest meat and fish and finest artisan products from around the country. Sausages and wild meat from the near neighbours Vicars Game, the charcuterie of Gloucestershire’s Kelmscott Country Pork and cheeses from Blur’s bassist-turned-gentleman-farmer Alex James are among the products that take starring roles in the unfussy, full-flavoured dishes.
The landlord’s family has a passion for brewing, inn-keeping and hotel management that dates back to the 1750s and, having trained with the fastest-growing country pub group in the south of England, he’s thrilled to be launching a new chapter for this well-loved local landmark.
Highbullen Hotel Wins Stars and Rosettes
A country house hotel set in 127 acres of beautiful parkland in North Devon, Highbullen has been awarded 2 AA rosettes for its food offering. The AA quality standard report praised its balanced selection of well-executed and imaginative dishes, outstanding presentation and fresh, locally sourced produce. A 5 star rating has also been awarded by the AA for the hotel’s self-catering holiday cottages; Fairways East, Fairways West and Stable Cottage.
Electric Bear Brewing Co, Bath
You only need a cursory glance at your local pub’s pump clips to see that there’s been a revolution in what people are drinking. The craft beer movement shows few signs of slowing down and it’s being driven by companies like Electric Bear Brewing. This award-winning micro-brewery, based in Bath, are on the eve of their first birthday.
The vision of local entrepreneur Chris Lewis and his wife Jacqueline, Electric Bear Brewing is already renowned for their experimental, innovative and truly exciting range of craft beers. The micro-brewery has grown from a core range of four beers to concentrating on their keg beer offer. To date Electric Bear have brewed 30 different beers from a 3.8% golden ale to a 12.1% Imperial Stout.
Driving the beer range is Head Brewer Guillermo Alvarez and recently joining the sales team bringing 14 years industry experience with him is Ryan Read.
Their biggest achievements have seen them supplying 18 beers to the Famous Royal Navy Volunteers in Bristol, followed by a Tap Takeover at the Craft Beer Co, Covent Garden London, where the micro-brewery had a total of 25 different beers on Tap. This month will see Electric Bear Brewing host a Tap Takeover in Tilt, Birmingham, supplying 8 different beers, with a future event lined up at Brewdog in Bristol.
Perhaps the icing on the cake for their first year has been a Silver medal for their Czech Style Lager, Edison, at the SIBA South West Independent Beer awards 2016.
Electric Bear are not just a producer of beer. Like many micro-breweries they understand the value of selling directly to punters. In the heart of the Brewery is a tap-bar serving a range of beers, with the Brewery itself available to hire for private events.
So what’s next for Electric Bear? “Most importantly it is to develop our beer range extensively, with a particular focus on flavour, innovation and niche styles” explains owner Chris Lewis.
“It is also to develop our distribution partnerships in the UK and get our beers into the best craft beer bars across the country. Our website will be developed to include an online shop. We will also begin exporting to key target countries.”
“Ultimately, our plans for the future are to continue to build on our reputation for producing delicious, innovative and quaffable beers of distinction. We want to get our beers into the marketplace to satisfy the rapidly growing appetite in the UK and overseas, for great British craft beer.”
It’s clear that for this innovative micro-brewery, the best is yet to come.
Lovely Drinks Launch Natural Colas
Cola’s set to get lovelier with the announcement that the south west-based independent artisan producer of soft drinks is launching two new colas using all natural ingredients. Lovely Drinks’ The Original Cola is a natural twist on the classic soda made with lime juice, burnt sugar and hand-blended botanicals and the Sour Cherry Cola is a natural fruity soda made with whole pressed sour cherries and hand-blended botanicals.
Co-Founder Rick Freeman commented, “Customers have been asking for years for us to make colas. The two we’ve come up with are based on a original cola recipe that was found years ago and are made by hand from real botanicals. There’s lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon in there. The colourings and flavours are all natural and there’s no caffeine in either of the products and there are real sour cherries in the cherry cola!”
The products will be available in 275ml bottle format and available across Bristol.
Cornish Seaweed Co up for Award
Seaweed is officially delicious. The Cornish Seaweed Co has their Organic Sea Salad named as a finalist for the 2016 Delicious Taste Awards. The founders of The Cornish Seaweed Company, Caroline Warwick-Evans and Tim van Berkel, began pioneering seaweed harvesting in England in 2012, with the aim of encouraging the nation to embrace seaweed as a nutritious food source and exciting ingredient. Their seaweed is now sold through health food stores and delis, as well as supermarkets such as Tesco and Waitrose. The judges said this product, with its great health benefits and sustainable credentials, excited them. The company’s website was particularly praised for its advice on seaweed’s uses and recipes.
With This Sausage, I Thee Wed
Bristol-based sausage producer Sausagenius are produce bespoke sausages for wedding couples. The couple will have the chance to help decide which flavours will make up their sausage and tweak it with tasting sessions before their big day.
A recent Mexican themed wedding held at National Trust-owned Shallford Mill in Surrey, saw Sausagenius create the Shallford Mill chipotle Mexican sausage. This combined jerk seasoning with chipotle flakes and green jalapeño powder to create a memorable sausage.
Cath from Sausagenius explained “We worked with the couple over three or four incarnations of the sausage until we were all happy before production. They were an absolute hit at the wedding and we have now added this sausage to our permanent range.”
Sausagenius will be showcasing their ranges – including a new low-calorie turkey sausage at the Bristol Sausage and Cider Festival on the 5th and 6th August.
ALMR Like Rate Cuts, Want More
The ALMR has welcomed moves to cut costs for businesses but say further support is needed, following Chancellor George Osbourne’s announcement that he intends to cut the rate of corporation tax as a result of the referendum.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The decision to cut Corporation Tax is a welcome signal of intent during a period of instability, but wide scale measures to cut costs for businesses are still needed in order to safeguard jobs and investment.
“Any cut in Corporation tax will not take effect for three years and will only deliver a benefit for those businesses making a profit. Meanwhile, we have three years of uncertainty for employers with no certainty of any benefit for some.
“UK businesses, including those in licensed hospitality, are looking at a period of turbulence post-referendum and we need an urgent reassessment of unnecessary business costs and legislative burdens. Continued reform of businesses rates and postponement of the Apprenticeship Levy would ensure that the sector is in a healthier position over the coming months and weeks.”
“It is encouraging to see the Chancellor working towards stability for the UK economy, but we will need to see a lot more done if businesses are to grow during this period of turbulence.”
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New Bath Boutique Hotel gets Jonathan Walker as General Manager
The former operation director at the Hotel Collection joins No. 15 Great Pultney, a new boutique hotel opening in September from the owners of Bath’s Abbey Hotel.
Jonathan, who lives in Bath, will lead the launch of the Grade 1 Listed Georgian townhouse hotel, when it opens with 31 bedrooms, private dining room, cocktail bar, sitting rooms and spa with interior design by Martin Hulbert.
No 15 Great Pulteney is the latest acquisition by Bath hoteliers Ian & Christa Taylor and joins sister properties, the 60-bedroom Abbey hotel and the 20-bedroom Villa Magdala.
Die-Pat Unveil New Website
CEDA member Die-Pat has launched a new website to showcase its 1200 item strong range of catering equipment.
The new website provides an enhanced experience for its customers in the commercial catering industry with clear navigation and compatibility with multiple devices.
Lucy Gleghorn, Head of Marketing, said: “We’re delighted with our new site. It’s clean, user-friendly and works across desktop, tablet and mobile. Every month we’re adding news articles keeping the market up-to-date with all aspects of what we do – whether it’s a new product range, industry information, an education piece, staff news, or how to choose the right product for the job. We think it will become a useful and trusted resource for all of our customers.”
Pioneer Brewing Company Industry Event
11th & 12th July
Boathouse Bar/Pantry, Bristol
Explore their portfolio of 70 great craft and speciality Beers
All Enquiries to RSVP@pioneerbrewco.co.uk
The Yeovil Show
16th & 17th July
The Showground, Yeovil, South Somerset.
The South Somerset show includes the very best food and drink with producers from the county and beyond.
Bellavita Expo London
Business Design Centre, London.
Italian food and wine trade show, including the launch of new innovative products and celebrating the expertise of some of the world’s top chefs.
Mid Devon Show
Knightshayes, Tiverton, Devon
Celebrating food, horticulture and farm life across Mid Devon.
2016 Cotswold Food & Drink Awards
14th Annual Cotswold Life Awards, celebrating the region’s food and drink industry.
New Forest & Hampshire County Show
New Park, Brockenhurst.
2016 Great Dorset Chilli Festival
30 – 31st July
St Giles House, Wimborne St Giles, Dorset
How do you Milk a Tiger?
Very, very carefully. Thankfully for the top American chefs who are increasingly using it, tiger milk (or leche de tigre) is actually the milky liquid you get left over after marinating raw fish in a ceviche. A staple of Peruvian cuisine, like lots of leftovers, it’s more than the sum of its parts – a complex blend of lime, chillies, onion and fish juice that has devotees in raptures. In Peruvian restaurants, customers will often down a shot with their meal, for the cooling, zingy taste as well as the reputed aphrodisiac qualities. But while it used to be a welcome by-product, chefs in the US are now using it in dishes as a vinaigrette or a marinade for poké, the Hawaiian dish loved by Barack Obama. At Son of a Gun in Los Angeles, they serve it with a globe of raw yellowfin tuna, avocado and tortilla chips. There’s certainly no shortage of the fresh fish you need for ceviche in the south and south west so we can see tiger milk starting to work its way on to menus over here too…