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Eggleton and Newell take stake in independent Bristol brewery
High profile local investors, the Newell and Eggleton families are joining the board of the Bristol Beer Factory.
Guy and Becky Newell with Josh Eggleton and family, owners of Michelin-starred Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, near Bristol, will join the brewery founders Simon Bartlett and George Ferguson and other directors Sam Burrows and Natasha Miller at board level.
Founded over 14 years ago, the brewery has six beers in its core range and recently opened the Brewery Taproom on North Street, Bristol. It also has the Barley Mow on Barton Road, the Grain Barge Harbourside pub on Hotel Road and the Tobacco Factory on Raleigh Road.
MD and co-founder, Simon Bartlett said: ‘‘We have reached a crucial stage in our development of needing investment to reach our full potential and chose to reach out to potential investors with the right experience to help the business grow without losing our focus on quality, service and innovation. Both George Ferguson and I have had great respect for Guy and Josh for many years and to have them as part of our forward thinking creative team is better than we could have hoped for.”
Guy and Becky Newell recently led the acquisition of Butcombe Brewery by the Liberation Group. They said: “Bristol is a city that loves a ‘Taste of Independence’. With Butcombe and Bath Ales, previously the city’s two main independent breweries having been taken over by the Liberation Group and St. Austell respectively, it is left to Bristol Beer Factory to fly the independent flag.”
Josh Eggleton, chef patron of The Pony & Trap and a director of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, said: “Bristol Beer Factory was a great fit for me and my business portfolio. Fiercely independent, rooted in Bristol but with ambitious plans and the people involved are down to earth but hugely experienced. We are looking forward to working together to expand and grow this already amazing business.”
Hotel trade’s business rate unfair due to Airbnb success
Hotel operators should hit back over an unfair business rate disadvantage caused by the impact on the market of ‘disruptors’ like Airbnb, who don’t pay business rates, according to agents Colliers International.
They argue the rise in the volume of Airbnb lettings should be seen as a ‘material change’ to the hotel industry. The Valuation Office Agency, who undertake business rate appeals, normally look favourably on businesses that can show a material change in their circumstances. Colliers believes hotels in areas where Airbnb is strong should be included in this policy.
Hotels are currently facing increases in business rates following the revaluation in April 2017. Colliers point to rises at both ends of the market with one hotel in Belgravia seeing an increase of nearly 194% in its rateable value from the last valuation in 2010, and the budget Z Hotel in Piccadilly seeing a rise averaging 114%.
Hotel operators are also having to compete against new entrants into the market like Airbnb, who because of loopholes in rating legislation can avoid paying business rates.
“This is just not a level playing field,” says John Webber, head of rating at Colliers International. “Not only is Airbnb attacking hotel market share, by offering cheaper room rates, but is able to do this through the unfair advantage of not paying business rates.”
Webber continued; “The quantity of additional rooms being made available by Airbnb is equivalent to the building of several hundred new hotels across the UK. Yet should these hotels have been built, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) would accept “a material change of circumstance” to the hotel operators’ business.”
Colliers back up their argument with research on the rise of Airbnb which shows nights booked with Airbnb in London rose 130 percent in 2016 reaching 4.62 million, with a market share of overnight visitors doubling to 9%. They also found that in 2016 listings, almost 54% were offered by hosts with more than one listing, up from 48% the year before, reinforcing concerns about professional lettings via the site.
Webber commented: “Airbnb seems to be no longer an accommodation site for individuals letting out their own homes, but people are buying residential properties specifically for Airbnb and running these as businesses.
“We would argue that the advance of Airbnb rooms let in close proximity is a ‘material change’ and hotel operators should appeal their rateable value and hence their rates bill, before they take a financial turn for the worse, which would affect both profits and jobs in the trade.”
Hotel openings 40% higher than last year due to cheap pound
More than 7500 hotel rooms opened in the UK during the first six months of 2017, which is the highest number for the first half of the year since 2012 and 40% higher than when compared to the same period last year, according to the Q2 2017 Hotel Bulletin by AlixPartners, AM:PM, HVS, and STR.
Growth in hotel RevPAR (rooms revenue per available room) in all but two UK cities and double-figure growth in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast; and London recording an 8% uplift demonstrate international visitors are still coming to the UK on the back of a weaker pound and some high-profile events.
A significant part of the growth has come from the budget sector with 43% of all new hotel openings in the next three years expected to be budget properties. Premier Inn’s continued expansion is highlighted although the report also points out notable activity in independently branded hotels. “Boutique hotels in quirky buildings with a strong stamp of personality and a more unusual proposition are becoming very fashionable amongst discerning customers,” commented HVS London chairman, Russell Kett.
Go to https://www.ampmhotels.com/news/Hotel-Bulletin-Q2-2017_30009.html to download the report.
Whitbread to open Bar + Block in Bath
Whitbread are bringing the ‘contemporary’ Beefeater spin-off brand to Bath next month.
Launched in Birmingham last year and with sites in London’s King Cross and Whiteley, Bar + Block is an “informal, all-day dining restaurant with a focus on high-quality steaks” aimed at a younger demographic.
The 132-cover, 3780-square foot Bath restaurant will be located in the front reception of the Premier Inn on James Street West. It will serve breakfast and brunch options alongside steaks priced from £12.95 – £39.95 from its open kitchen, as well as burgers, salads and the ‘Express’ menu where all dishes are under £10 and served within 10 minutes. Drinks will focus on craft beers and ciders, cocktails and wine.
Nathalie Pomroy, Chief Marketing Officer for Whitbread Restaurants, said: “We’re very excited to launch our fourth Bar + Block Steakhouse in Bath as part of our wider brand growth strategy. Following the success in Birmingham, London and Whiteley, we are eager to see how our unique offering will be received in the beautiful city of Bath filled with real foodies.”
Butcombe wins Gold at World Beer Awards
Butcombe Brewing’s Original Bitter has won a Gold in the UK Bitter 4%-5% category at the World Beer Awards 2017.
The awards are chosen by a panel of international experts, chaired by beer writer Adrian Tierney Jones. Over 1900 beers from more than 36 countries were entered into the blind tasted awards.
Butcombe Original Bitter was launched in Bristol in 1978 and for 26 years was the only beer Butcombe brewed. Their Rare Breed Bitter picked up a Bronze in the same category at the awards.
Geraint Williams, Managing Director of Butcombe Brewing Co. said: “Taking a Gold Award back to Bristol is a fantastic reward for the hard work we’ve put into our brewery over the last 40 years. It’s great to see one of the West Country’s favourite beers achieving success on the world stage. As part of our classic range, Butcombe Original has the local heritage which really makes it special. It has been around for a long time and will remain a staple of our widening and innovative range, as we plan to launch an additional five new beers this year to cater for ever changing consumer tastes.”
The World Beer Awards will hold its final round of judging and vote on the World’s Best Beers 2017 in eight categories, to be announced on 21st September. Go to http://www.worldbeerawards.com for more details.
Usain Bolt’s restaurant looking to expand across UK
A Jamaican theme restaurant backed by Olympic champion Usain Bolt is heading to the UK. Track & Records boasts Bolt as a partner and, as part of a deal with the UK’s Casual Dining Restaurants Group (CDRG), owners Franjam, a Jamaican franchise company, are planning to open 15 sites over the next five years.
The brand had two restaurants in Jamaica and promises visitors will “taste real Jamaican vibes”. Food includes Red Stripe BBQ wings, Burgers a la Usain and Jerk Pork.
“I’m happy to be able to share a taste of the Jamaica that I know and love with the rest of the world through the opening of these restaurants across the UK,” says Bolt.
Franjam’s managing director Gary Matalon said: “I don’t recall there ever being an authentic home grown Jamaican concept entering any international space to compete at this level.”
“Aside from the point that the food, service and atmosphere will raise the bar for casual dining in the UK as a whole, our ability to gain tremendous exposure will undoubtedly result in a competitive advantage we intend to leverage in a big way.
“The use of Jamaica’s music, food and culture along with the partnership with Usain Bolt will provide an entirely new level of customer experience and marketability.”
Food line-up announced for Dorset’s Bestival
The line-up for the dedicated food area of this year’s Bestival music festival – The Feast Collective – has been announced by the organisers. Taking place on the 7th-10th September 2017 at the Lulworth Estate in Dorset, it features chefs and street food stalls from across the UK.
The area will be hosted by London raclette specialists Le Rac Shack who will serve their alpine themed dishes and DJ to some of the 30,000 ticket holders.
Other artisan food stalls taking part include the acclaimed Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, British Street Food award winners Le Bao, South East Asian street caters, Makatcha, fish and seafood sellers Seadog and fried chicken stall Butchies.
Feast Collective curator Gemma Thorogood said: “We’ve been around the world and back via the Dorset beaches to find the most delicious food the fields can offer for this year’s Feast Collective, from Taiwanese Bao buns made by a Brazilian/French lady duo Le Bao to banging Vietnamese from new kids on the block Krapow! There’s new dishes to try, as well as your trusty faves to keep you coming back for more…”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Skinners Brewery create beer tasting kit
The Cornish brewing company, Skinners, have launched the Beer Tasting Kit, “an accessible yet educational pack to facilitate an evening of beer tasting.”
The kit includes a handbook detailing beer tasting notes and food matching suggestions, an aroma wheel poster and six jars containing beer ingredients and advice on hosting a beer tasting evening.
It was inspired by the beer tasting events held at their SIBA award-winning pub The Old Ale House. Owner Steve Skinner said: “Our beer tastings sessions in The Old Ale House have been really popular and we’ve seen many a happy punter walk – and sometimes stumble – out these doors with more knowledge and understanding of what makes a great beer. We thought we could make this experience available to a wider audience and help beer lovers everywhere hold fun events where they can discover more about the beer they drink”.
The kit was originally planned as training pack for pubs serving skinner’s beers but is now aimed at everyone, including pubs who want to hold their own events and educate their employees about beer, how it’s made and how to pair it with food.
The Skinner’s Brewery Beer Tasting Kit retails for £19.99 from www.skinnersbrewery.com
Fruity spring water drink has no added sugar
Made from fruit and spring water, PHROOTI (pronounced ‘fruity’) is aiming to be healthy and tasty with low sugar content (only 1.4g per 100ml).
Coming in 330ml glass bottles, three flavours are available: Raspberries & Strawberries, Blackcurrants & Blueberries and Apricots & Mangoes.
PHROOTI was a semi-finalist in Virgin VOOM 2016 and won three industry awards: Santander U.S.E. Best Start Up 2015, Cotswold Fayre Young Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 and a Duke of York’s Young Entrepreneur Award 2016.
The RRP is £1.99, go to www.phrooti.com for more details.
INNOVATION & EQUIPMENT NEWS
Artis launch hand-made glassware range
Glassware distributor Artis have launched a new range of hand-made glassware, Grace.
An “elegant collection of long-stemmed glassware”, the champagne flute, white wine glass and martini glass are accompanied by a decanter.
List prices are 20cl Flute £4.65; 55cl wine glass £5.45; 24cl martini glass £7.35. The 270cl decanter is £14.25.
For more information go to www.artis-uk.com.
Bath’s Queensbury appoints new manager
Magaly Etter has been announced at the manager of the three-AA-red-star, 29-bedroom Queensberry hotel in Bath.
Swiss-born Etter will oversee the hotel day-to-day and lead the housekeeping and front of house teams. She has previously worked at the Abbey hotel in Bath as duty manager and as the front of house manager at the Dormy House hotel in Broadway, Worcestershire.
The hotel is currently refurbishing its public areas. This follows an upgrade of the three-AA-rosette Olive Tree restaurant in 2015. Once the bedrooms and bathroom are improved in the next nine months, a total of £700,000 will have been spent updating the hotel.
New Devon luxury hotel appoints head chef
Paschoe House, a 10-bedroom former manor house hotel on the edge of Crediton in Devon has appointed Alex Gibbs as executive head chef.
He was previously the executive head chef at The Royal Clarence in Exeter, the world famous hotel which burned down in October 2016.
“All the staff from The Royal Clarence, many of whom had worked together for years and years, became unemployed overnight. It was soul-destroying, not to mention incredibly sad, to watch the venue that we’d loved, burn to the ground,” said Alex.
It was a supplier who Alex had know for a number of years that suggested he contact the owners of Paschoe House, a brand new restaurant, hotel and events venue who were looking to recruit a chef.
“As soon as I heard about Paschoe House, I realised that this was exactly where I wanted to be. I fired off my CV and met the owner that same week. We open shortly, and I’m currently busy setting up the kitchen and creating our menu.”
Tabitha Amador-Christie, owner of Paschoe House, said: “Alex has an excellent reputation. I am excited about his creativity in the kitchen and can’t wait to see what delights he and his team produce from our brand new 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!”
River Cottage Summer Festival
26th – 27th August
River Cottage HQ, Axminster Devon
“There’ll be demonstrations from well-known chefs, inspirational speakers, masterclasses to take part in, tasty street food to sample, not forgetting our very own River Cottage chefs preparing the best seasonal food for you to enjoy.”
Witcombe Cider Festival
26th – 27th August
UK’s largest Cider Festival. 50 Ciders and a strong line-up of national music artists.
Speciality & Fine Food Fair
3rd – 5th September
“The UK’s leading showcase of fine food & drink – meet over 700 national and international producers and suppliers of artisan food and drink.”
Great Taste Golden Forks Dinner
Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London
The Great Taste regional awards and the Great Taste 2017 Supreme Champion will be announced at this prestigious event.
Packaging Innovations 2017
13th – 14th September
“See the latest innovative solutions being offered by the industry’s leading suppliers, and discover how they can revitalise packaging, increase brand awareness and boost sales.”
Luxury Packaging 2017
13th – 14th September
“Bringing together packaging buyers and decision-makers, with inspiring suppliers and an incredible range of bespoke and prestige solutions they provide.”
Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution Exhibition
13th – 14th September
Ricoh Arena, Coventry
“Showcasing the latest innovations for temperature controlled storage and distribution, the event focuses on solutions for the storage and transportation of chilled and frozen foods.”
Toby Buckland’s Garden & Harvest Festival
16th – 17th September
Forde Abbey, Somerset
“Delicious food and entertainment; celebrate the fruits of the season and enjoy a free programme of garden demos in the Forde Abbey’s stunning kitchen garden.”
Lunch! The Contemporary Food-To-Go Show
21st – 22nd September
“The UK’s leading trade show for food-to-go. Set to be the biggest and best yet, with over 350 exhibitors, 2 theatres of education, thousands of products, a new home and a new easy-to-navigate floorplan.”
Coffee Shop Innovation: Business Exhibition & Conference
26th – 27th September
“The UK’s leading event for professionals working across the café, coffee shop, and catering industries! Packed with seminars, industry leaders, interactive workshops, and an unparalleled conference schedule, the event will draw over 3,000 decision makers from the coffee industry”
Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo 2017
26th – 27th September
“The UK’s only exhibition for growing your takeaway or restaurant business. The event to help you boost profits, build your brand, grow your business, and much more!”
Restaurant Tech Live 17
26th – 27th September
“Restaurant Tech Live is Europe’s largest exhibition dedicated to the emerging technology and services that are forming the future of the restaurant business.”
Bar Tech Live 17
26th – 27th September
“Bar Tech Live is a brand new platform for the high-tech products, devices, gadgets, and services that will transform the look, feel, and future of bars.”
Hotel Tech Live 17
26th – 27th September
“Hotel Tech Live is the UK’s most exciting event for the technology, systems, products, and services that are breaking new ground in the hotel sector.”
Restaurant & Bar Design Show 2017
26th – 27th September
“The Restaurant Design show is the UK’s largest and most comprehensive event specifically aimed at restaurant, bar and café interior designers. This show will deliver the foremost in ideas, inspiration and creativity to food and drink establishment owners, architects, designers, and other industry professionals from across the country.”
Street Food Live 2017
26th – 27th September
“Street Food Live is Europe’s largest exhibition for street food vendors looking to start or grow their business.”