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Butcombe invests millions in West Country brewing
Butcombe Brewing Company has made a £4m investment in its West Country business. The brewer is funding a new craft beer production unit, newly installed packaging lines and a beer storage and delivery facility in Bridgwater. There will also be an additional investment in the existing Butcombe brewery to increase capacity.
The development will support the double-digit growth in their keg range, including Butcombe Original, Goram, Blonde and Bohemia beers. The investment will allow Butcombe to bring the quality control of their bottle and keg beers back in-house by installing a bottling and kegging line at their second site.
A new brewery facility and distribution unit close to the M5 will allow for faster distribution. Investment in their current brewery will see capacity and capability improved through the purchase of extra fermentation and conditioning vessels. It is thought these improvements will allow Butcombe to produce up to an additional 40,000 barrels of beer per year enabling their continued growth.
Steve Wilkinson, managing director of brewing & brands at Butcombe Brewery said: “This significant investment will provide us with a new platform to better service our loyal Butcombe customers more effectively at a lower cost which we intend to reinvest in our Butcombe beer brands to secure our future growth, and keep pace with the increasing demand for all of our new beers. Bringing our packaging “in-house” will give us better quality control over our brands and enhance our capability.
“The investment in specialist bottling and kegging equipment is a rare opportunity for a regional brewer of our size to really gear up and satisfy the rapidly changing market, to redouble our efforts in our heartland with Butcombe Cask beers at the centre of what we do supported by the same consistent quality beers in bottle and keg.
These improvements will allow us to ensure we retain and enhance our quality reputation while stepping up production to move closer to our long-term goal of becoming the number one regional brewer.”
South West Chef of the Year 2017
The winning chefs were announced at Exeter College on 25th October after a final that competition founder Michael Caines MBE described as “a truly vintage year”.
Winner of the Overall South West Chef of the Year was Robert Cox, head chef at the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant in Clearwell, Gloucestershire. He made it a multiple success on the night by also picking up the Professional category award, the Best Menu and the Best Dish for his starter of cured brill, scallop tartare, smoked bacon hollandaise, pickled shallots and puffed spelt.
The Young Professional category went to Joshua Murphy, demi chef de partie at Lucknam Park, Bath while the Student/Apprentice Chef went to Eleanor Thuell, Exeter College and Rodean Restaurant, Kenton in Devon.
In the Home Cook category, which saw contestants attend a final at Ashburton Cookery School on Saturday 14th October joined by the Junior Chef finalists, Sue Stoneman from Exmouth, Devon won. While Anna West, Penair School, Truro in Cornwall and Amber Clay, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire picked up the Junior Chef award.
Best Showcase of Regional Ingredients went to Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset (who was a Home Cook finalist). Best Presentation went to William Hamzij, Exeter College and Driftwood Hotel, Porscatho, for his main course dish of ballotine of chicken, merguez, parsnip and mushroom.
The South West Chef of the Year was the brainchild of Michael Caines, who launched it in 2004. He said: “I’m immensely proud of South West Chef of the Year and what it achieves. The competition started 14 years ago because I wanted to highlight the skill and commitment of chefs and cooks in this region and the diversity and quality of produce available in the South West – which are exceptional in my opinion. I was delighted to taste menus from new and upcoming chefs and home cooks as part of the competition and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our winners, finalists, semi-finalists and competition entrants.”
VistEngland and VisitScotland launch new accessibility guides website
The national tourist boards VistEngland and VisitScotland are introducing accessibility guides as a way for tourism operators to increase business, by providing potential visitors with important accessibility information in a user-friendly format.
It is hoped the new format used by the guides will be easier for businesses to complete as well as standardise how information is presented, making it easier for disabled customers, their friends and families to compare venues.
VisitEngland research in 2015 showed that £12 billion was spent on trips where a member of the party had an impairment. Research by VisitScotland in the same year found £1.3 billion was spent on those trips, which includes day trips, domestic overnight trips and inbound trips.
UK Government Minister for Tourism John Glen said: “The UK has an incredible range of world-class attractions and we want them to be open to as many people as possible. These new guides will give clear accessibility information to make it easier for disabled visitors to plan their trips with confidence.”
VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “Our research shows that visitors in this important market value clear, concise accessibility information from tourism providers. The new accessibility guides will allow travellers to compare attractions, accommodation businesses and other venues before choosing their destination, enabling them to make an informed choice.”
Tourism operators can use the new, free website, www.accessibilityguides.org, to produce and publish their accessibility guides.
Ginger & Garlic come to Cheltenham
Korean themed chain Ginger & Garlic are bringing Korean cuisine and Asian barbecue dishes to Cheltenham with the opening of their new restaurant.
Located on Lower High Street in the town, the restaurant will offer diners the chance to cook their own selection of meats at barbecue stations as is the custom in Korea.
Dishes will include Bibimbap; mixed rice with vegetables, egg and meat, and Bulgogi; thin slices of marinated beef. Sides take in the most well-known Korean staple, Kimchi as well as Tteokbokku rice cakes and Pajeon savoury pancakes. Drinks will include rice wine, beers and the country’s national spirit Soju, subject to alcohol license.
The restaurant will also have karaoke booths for customers to enjoy.
Real Greek opens in Bristol
Eastern Mediterranean restaurant The Real Great will make its Bristol debut with a 2,300 sq ft site in the Cabot Circus shopping centre.
This follows trading above expectations at one of the chain’s first sites outside London in Westquay, Southampton which opened in 2016.
The restaurant serves dishes inspired by the Ancient Greeks and is designed to bring the “greek dining experience to the UK” with shared dining and a relaxed atmosphere.
Sarah Fox, head of restaurants and leisure at Hammerson, (the owners of Cabot Circus) said: “We are delighted to welcome The Real Greek’s first restaurant in Bristol to Cabot Circus, where it will complement and enhance the growing and diverse catering mix at the centre with its distinct cuisine. The decision to expand in the region demonstrates strong occupier confidence in both the scheme and Bristol.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
From Dorset in Co-op
Artisan preserves producer From Dorset With Love have secured listings for three of their products in 28 Co-op stores across Dorset and Hampshire.
The three products being stocked are their Strawberry Jam, Passion Fruit Curd and “a word’s first” Dry Hopped Real Ale Chutney.
For more details go to www.fromdorsetwithlove.co.uk
St Austell’s ruby ale legend
Ruby Jack red ale is the latest addition to St Austell Brewery’s range. Named after a Victorian Cornish heavyweight boxer called Robert James Fitzsimmons, the ale is 4.6% ABV and “a complex blend of rich toasted malt flavours balanced with fruity spiced hops.”
It’s available now with full POS support package in keg and distinctive 500ml bottles. Get more details from www.staustellbreweryshop.co.uk.
Thursday Cottage launch caramel spread
Small batch preserve makers, Thursday Cottage have released their Salted Caramel Spread. According to the Essex-based company, who make around 100 jars of different preserves, it’s “perfect for ice-cream and pancakes as well as filling and topping baked cakes.”
For more information go to www.tiptree.com.
Dorset ‘Cakesmith’ supplying Selfridges
Dorset-based artisan cake maker Alix Fauvel is supplying Selfridges with a handmade Christmas cake.
The Selfridges Selection cake has been a work in progress since January and features a hand-painted wreath with 3D baubles and bow. In addition to the cake, Selfridges are stocking five further Alix Fauvel – Cakesmith lines: a gingerbread wreath, gingerbread mug toppers, individual Christmas cakes and two festive flavours of all-butter biscuits in jars. Furthermore, Alix is already working on creating next year’s festive cake for the iconic high-end department store.
Go to www.alixfauvel.co.uk for more details.
Glassware design competition
Glassware supplier Libbey is hosting Glassology, its second glassware design competition for professional bartenders.
The competition calls upon professionals to come up with innovative new designs that “disregard existing styles and preconceptions about glassware.” Entries will be judged on creativity, innovation and originality. The winner will see their design put into production by Libbey and distributed around the globe. They will get to name their new creation and receive 250 pieces of their own glass. Additionally, they will become one of the judges in the next Glassology by Libbey design contest and act as the Glassology ambassador at the renowned Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans.
Bar professionals can register for the competition at www.glassologybylibbey.com.
TMI Convention 2017
30th – 31st October 2017
Managing Destinations, Making Places – Innovation and Competitiveness
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
“The convention will share experiences in place making, exploring how destinations need to design their visitor offers around authentic and distinctive qualities and experiences.”
HOSPACE – by HOSPA the Hospitality Professionals Association
2nd November 2017
The Royal Lancaster Hotel, London W2 2TY
A one-day annual conference and exhibition hosted by HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association. There is an excellent programme of topics with some of the best speakers in hospitality, with key supporters from within the industry.
To book your delegate spaces for HOSPACE 2017 – www.hospa.org/shop
Institute of Hospitality Southern Branch Event
“Increasing sales in food service through neuromarketing”
Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth BH1 3AB
“Karen Fewell from Digital Blonde will be talking about how the hospitality industry can incorporate psychology into marketing and social media communications.”
The European Pizza and Pasta Show
15th – 16th November
“The European Pizza and Pasta Show® is an exclusive B2B trade event uniting leading UK and European food wholesalers and retailers, pizza operators and pizzeria owners, restaurant chains and independent restaurants, hotels and catering companies with equipment manufacturers, specialist ingredients suppliers and service providers.”
Catering Equipment Suppliers’ Association (CESA) Conference
De Vere Wokefield Estate Hotel, Reading
“CESA’s speaker platform for the 2017 Conference is designed to inform and stimulate. The theme is Moving Forward in a Changing World and a highlight of the day will be Robin Clark, restaurant services director of Just Eat, who will talk about delivering change.”
Food Matters Live 2017
21st – 23rd November 2017
“Food Matters Live is the UK’s only cross-sector event bringing together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government and those working in nutrition, to enable collaboration and innovation to support a sustainable food landscape for the future.”