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British brewers Get Together to produce special beer
Leading breweries including Arkells, Palmers and St Austell have teamed up to brew a beer to mark the Great Get Together, a nationwide series of community events planned across the country on 16th–18th June to mark the anniversary of the death of Labour MP Jo Cox.
Get Together Beer is a pale ale brewed with UK grown barley and hops and a blend of yeast from some of the finest brewers in Britain.
Arkell’s Head Brewer, Alex Arkell, said: “This is a wonderful initiative in support of a hugely important campaign to get people together and we are absolutely delighted to be a part of it.”
Profits from the sale of the beer will go to the Jo Cox Foundation. For more information visit www.greatgettogether.org
Supreme Champion Cheese from the West Country
The winners of the British Cheese Awards 2017 were announced on 31st May at the Royal Bath & West Show, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. The overall supreme champion was Pavé Cobble made by White Lake Cheese, from just down the road in Pylle, Somerset. This handmade fresh sheep milk cheese also won Best Soft White and Best English Cheese while White Lake Cheese won the Best Specialist Cheesemaker award. Pavé Cobble is named after the classic bike races held on the cobbled roads in Belgium and northern France.
This year’s competition attracted just under 1,000 entries from 144 makers, with 70 judges reviewing 135 classes of cheese. Cheeses entered came from over 54 counties that covered the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.
Peter Mitchell, chairman of the British Cheese Awards, says: “The number and quality of the cheeses entered for this year’s awards has been exceptional and made judging and choosing the winners a real challenge. We’re delighted that White Lake Cheese, a local Somerset cheesemaker, won the Supreme Champion trophy for its Pavé Cobble; a delicious and intriguing aged fresh sheep milk cheese.”
Roger Longman, co-founder and cheesemaker at White Lake Cheese – winner of the Supreme Champion Award, says: “We were excited and nervous when we arrived at the awards dinner as we had no idea how we were going to do. When we won the first award, Best Fresh Cheese, for Pavé Cobble we were really thrilled and then we just kept winning more awards. We love cheesemaking and Pavé Cobble is a combination of the two things that I love doing – making cheese and cycling. The icing on the cake for us was to win Supreme Champion, simply fantastic!”
Butcombe give BII membership to tenant pubs
Butcombe Brewing Company are offering their pub tenants subsidised membership of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII).
Membership will provide tenants with independent business advice and access to the BII’s network of partners who provide savings on insurance, energy and credit card machines as well as other benefits.
Jayson Perfect, Managing Director of UK pubs at Butcombe Brewing Co. said: “By providing our tenants and lessees with subsidised membership of the British Institute of Innkeepers, we can ensure they receive independent professional advice and assistance when they need it. Providing support to our tenants is very important to us and we felt that the BII provides an additional valuable service that will enable and help our tenants to build better businesses.”
Social enterprise bakehouse expands
Column Bakehouse, an artisan bakery based at the Devonport Guildhall, Plymouth, has announced plans to open a second outlet at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth, comprising a café and a ‘Bakehouse Stores’ shop.
The Bakehouse was opened in 2013 by social enterprise RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – and supplies a range of restaurants and trade customers as well as operating the current café and shop.
RIO’s Head of Enterprises Claire Burgess said: “When we took on the management and running of Ocean Studios back in April, we began to explore how a Column Bakehouse café and Bakehouse Stores could work within the venue and support the community of makers as well as contribute to the food offer for visitors on the Yard.”
Column Bakehouse Stores is set to open in June, with the Column Bakehouse café at Ocean Studios opening in July.
Blue Flag beaches boost tourism tide
South West beaches have received 26 Blue Flag awards, giving a boost to West Country hospitality operators as they approach the holiday season.
Awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education, the region collected a large proportion of the 68 Blue Flags in England this year. Widely considered the gold standard for beaches, the award certification guarantees the quality of bathing water, environmental management and safety and services at the site.
Commenting on the boost to local tourism, Ed Jefferson from Hotels specialists Colliers International said: “Achieving such a remarkable number of Blue Flag awards will boost visitor confidence in the region. The fact visitors can be confident of any number of clean beaches in or near their resort will reinforce the West’s already positive image. We are already seeing increased demand as unfavourable exchange rates have made foreign holidays less appealing for us and more appealing for overseas’ visitors. Security concerns have limited the appeal of certain destinations – and as a result, the staycation has flourished.”
Redeveloped Falmouth hotel opening new £2m health club
St Michael’s Hotel and Spa in Falmouth is unveiling their new health club this month as the first stage of a £6m investment into the property to redevelop it as a world-class wellbeing resort.
The 1,200 sq mtr health club will feature a hydrotherapy pool, indoor running track, three classrooms and a gig rowing room.
The ongoing revamp will also add 32 new bedrooms, due to open in August, and a refurbished bar and restaurant, spa and café in September.
St Michael’s Hotel and Spa is on the site of the former Falmouth Beach Hotel, which burnt down in 2014.
Cheltenham chippy opens second branch in Gloucester
Award-winning independent fish and chip shop, Simpsons, is planning to open in Stroud town centre this summer.
Director of Simpsons, James Ritchie, said: “We’re very excited to announce that Simpsons will soon be expanding its reach across the county with the launch of our very first fish and chips establishment outside of Cheltenham, with a brand-new Simpsons takeaway set to open on Stroud’s Bedford Street this summer.”
Family-run Simpsons Fish and Chips opened in 2009 and was named the best takeaway in the 2016 National Fish and Chip awards.
South West Chef of the Year open for entries
The 2017 South West Chef of the Year competition is open for applications. It’s now looking to find the best regional talent in five categories including professional and young professional chefs, students and apprentices, junior cooks under 16 years and home cooks.
Lead judge, Michael Caines MBE of Lympstone Manor who has championed the competition since 2004 said: “South West Chef of the Year has always aimed to not only provide a springboard for the region’s emerging chefs but also to inspire home cooks of all ages and to help young people to make cooking a career choice. I have always said that the South West is home to some of the best food in the world but the industry always needs new blood, and I invite all those with a passion for cooking, for wonderful ingredients and the produce we have in abundance here in the region to enter South West Chef of the Year. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn, to improve and be challenged.”
Michael will be joined by judges from some of the region’s most esteemed venues including Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park and Chris and James Tanner of Barbican Kitchen and Kentish Hare.
Entry to the first round of the competition opened on 1 June with four of the five categories now taking online applications until 31 July. For more details go to www.southwestchef.co.uk.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Butcombe’s new ‘out of this world’ craft beers
Butcombe Brewing Company are launching two beers – Invader and Forty Two – inspired by the year 1978, when the brewery was founded.
Invader is a “game changing beer” that celebrates classic video game Space Invaders. It’s a strong, malty lager with “dry finish with soft spicy German hop undertones.”.
Forty Two is the beer that answers the “ultimate question of life, the universe and everything” as revealed in classic sci-fi book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s a session ale that’s as “black as space” but with no burnt malt astringency.
Geraint Williams, Managing Director at Butcombe Brewing Co. said: “We created our 1978 Range in homage to the year of our birth. These new beers give us a chance to be creative and experiment with brewing outside of our classic range. Invader and Forty Two will allow us to access new markets and showcase our craft credentials.”
“Our decision to create these craft beers has been driven by a consumer demand for fresh concepts in beer style as well as design. As drinkers move away from bland homogenised beer, towards craft brews, they’re looking for beers which connect with their lives. We think Invader and Forty Two will be incredibly popular with sci-fi fans. We hope these beers will be as successful as the cultural classics which inspired them.”
Coffee on tap – Origin’s Nitro Cold Brew
Cornish speciality coffee roasters, Origin Coffee, has launched Sandows Nitro Cold Brew coffee at its Harbour Head café in Porthleven.
Nitro cold brew is one the latest trends in coffee, according to Origin: “It essentially fuses Sandows cold brew – which is brewed using specially sourced Origin coffee – with nitrogen. The nitrogen adds tiny bubbles that change the texture of the liquid. When poured it creates a beautifully cascading effect, akin to a Guinness, which has a deliciously creamy taste and texture.”
Tom Sobey, Owner & Founder of Origin Coffee, explains: “The key thing is that quality is increasing in every aspect of coffee, and this is reflected in the trends. Things that were once the domain of the commodity sector are being premiumised and re-worked for the speciality market. For example, whereas cold coffee was once simply coffee over ice we’re now seeing incredible direct trade cold brew and, more recently, nitro cold brew.”
Weymouth seafront hotel sold
The Alexandra Hotel on the Esplanade in Weymouth has changed hands. The 14-bedroom, Grade II listed hotel was on the market for £650,000 for the freehold.
The deal was brokered by Colliers International. Hotels specialist Ed Jefferson from the company said: “Weymouth is a traditional British seaside resort and is looking forward to a major upswing as more families switch to staycations rather than deal with presently unfavourable exchange rates on the Continent… On present projections, the new owners are well placed to take the business to the next level.”
Commercial sink units from Die-Pat
The specialised catering equipment supplier Die-Pat Divisions has launched a new range of commercial sink unit assemblies. Complete with underframe, legs and shelf, the sink tops are made from 304 stainless steel. Customers can choose from a range of options and sizes and the assemblies are supplied as a flat-pack.
Eddy Edwards, managing director at Die-Pat Divisions, comments: “We’re delighted to add this comprehensive range of sink unit assemblies to our ever-expanding customer offering and we’re very proud of the quality of this range, which is produced right here in the UK. With a wide choice of options available to suit our customers’ particular business needs, we also offer a diverse selection of complementary products, including taps, water hoses, pre-rinse spray arms and bucket sinks.”
Get more details from www.die-pat.co.uk
Bridport Food Festival
11th – 17th June
“The Festival is a time for celebrating the very best food, drink and hospitality that Bridport and the surrounding area has to offer. Local growers, producers, farmers, restaurants, cafes, bars, food retailers and other related businesses all get involved, many supporting the Festival by putting on their own events during the week to showcase what they do. The week of delicious food events culminates with the main event on Saturday 17 June in the green fields of Asker Meadows.”
International Gelato Festival London
16th – 18th June, 2017
Old Spitalfields Market, London
“Sample delicious gelato and sorbet, witness top chefs and gelato masters compete, view live demos, enjoy entertainment for all the family and have the chance understand more about this much loved, authentic Italian dessert.”
Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival 2017
16th – 25th June
The Square, Bournemouth
“The Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival is 10 whole days of delight for foodies. Enjoy good food, amazing cooking skills and fabulous entertainment!” Includes: Street Food Festival, Farmers & Producers Market and Demo Kitchens.
Bournemouth Vegan Fair
17th – 18th June
Bournemouth International Centre
“A weekend of indulgence, inspiration and information – with over 90 diverse stalls full of tempting treats, a wide range of talks, and plenty of delicious food.”
Hampshire Food Festival 2017
1st – 31st July, 2017
Various locations in Hampshire
“The Hampshire Food Festival is an opportunity to show people what is grown and made in the county and offer unique experiences. From walking with buffalo to distillery tours or watching demos from top local chefs, the festival offers something for all tastes.”
Imbibe Live 2017
3rd – 4th July
“Join 12,000 drinks professionals at the innovative and interactive annual exhibition for anyone who sources, buys or serves drinks in the licensed on-trade. Be part of Europe’s largest on-trade drinks exhibition: listen to ground-breaking seminars, experience rare and unique tastings, source new products and discover new trends defining the future of the industry.”
The Yeovil Show
15th – 16th July
The Showground, Yeovil, South Somerset
Celebrating Yeovil and South Somerset – showcasing amazing local food and drink including two food halls, the cheese & cider marquee and live cookery demonstrations.
The Mid Devon Show
Knightshayes, Tiverton, Devon
“Experience a true celebration of rural Mid Devon with an eclectic mix of breathtaking entertainment, food, shopping, music, horticulture and farm life.”
New Forest & Hampshire County Show
25th – 27th July
The Showground, New Park, Brockenhurst
“Three days of agricultural fun and entertainment for all the family – now rated among the top ten agricultural shows in the country.”
Bristol Sausage & Cider Festival
4th – 5th August
Old Passenger Shed, Temple Meads Station, Bristol
“Music, real cider, and great sausages from artisan producers.”
Great Dorset Chilli Festival
5th – 6th August
St Giles House, Wimborne St Giles, Dorset
“A great day out for chilli enthusiasts, food lovers and families. A glorious weekend of “chilli fiesta”, with stalls selling all things chilli, plus cooking demonstrations; talks on growing chillies; artisan food producers and spicy street food.”
CAMRA Great British Beer Festival 2017
8th – 12th August
“Celebrating its 40th Anniversary – Real Ale and other Craft Beer, Cider and Perry plus English Wine, Street Food and Entertainment.” Includes the CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain competition.
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
19th – 20th August
Newchurch, Sandown, Isle of Wight
“There are huge garlic and food marquees and cooking demonstrations from top Island chefs in the all new theatre kitchen”
The Melplash Show
The West Bay Showground, Bridport, Dorset
“One of the South West’s premier agricultural exhibitions, the show is packed full of exhibits including livestock, horses, homecrafts and horticulture. There are over 350 trade stands selling everything from locally produced food to tractors….and plenty in between!”