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St Austell Brewery pays Tribute to Roger Ryman
St Austell Brewery has paid a heartfelt tribute to their brewing director, Roger Ryman, who passed away on May 28th, aged 52, following a battle with cancer.
Their statement said: “St Austell Brewery is sad to announce that its brewing director, Roger Ryman, passed away peacefully this week – aged 52 – following a brave battle with cancer.
“Roger, who led St Austell’s brewing team for over two decades, played a leading role in the company’s growth and success. Since joining the brewery, he has been responsible for transforming the family brewery’s portfolio of brands – including its three flagship beers, Tribute Pale Ale, Proper Job IPA and Korev Cornish Lager.
“Roger’s first original brew when starting at the brewery in 1999 was Daylight Robbery – a short-term seasonal beer to celebrate the upcoming total eclipse of the sun. Due to its phenomenal popularity, it went on to be relaunched as Tribute – the brewer’s first truly national beer and longstanding flagship brand.”
Kevin Georgel, chief executive, St Austell Brewery said: “We’re devastated to have lost Roger – a much-loved friend, and highly respected colleague. All of our thoughts are with Roger’s wife Toni, his father, two sisters and wider family, at this terribly sad time.”
He continues: “Roger was a world-class brewer and a leader in his field, who we were incredibly lucky to work alongside. Passionate about people, he played a huge role in nurturing and developing young talent, both in our business and throughout the brewing industry. The growing reputation and quality of our beers, since Roger joined St Austell Brewery in 1999, is testimony to his hard work, leadership and passion. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and worked with him.”
James Staughton, president of St Austell Brewery, who worked with Roger for 20 years said: “I recruited Roger in April 1999, and he immediately wowed all of us with his passion for beer and brewing within minutes of his interview starting. The job of head brewer was already effectively his, right there and then – we need not have seen anyone else. He was the breath of fresh air our brewery so desperately needed at the time.
“He has left us all with a legacy that we will nurture and build on, as a mark of our respect for Roger and in remembrance of him. A brilliant, talented brewer and a great friend.”
Before joining St Austell, Roger worked at Maclay & Co in Scotland and Newcastle Breweries. He was twice awarded Brewer of the Year by the British Guild of Beer Writers in 2006 and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group in 2009. Roger held the IBD Master Brewer qualification and was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 2014.
Thatchers Cider reports sparkling growth
Somerset cidermaker Thatchers showed strong growth for the financial year ending 31st August 2019. They report gaining further market share and continued growth ahead of the cider market thanks to the increased distribution and popularity of its ciders.
During 2019, their turnover increased 6% to £106.6 million. They continued to invest in flagship brands Thatchers Gold, Thatchers Haze and Thatchers Katy and launched Thatchers Rose. They also focused on all stages of the cider-making process including the “ongoing development of a new mill and distribution systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives.”
“Investing in our brands is crucial for the continued success of the company. It encourages innovation and fresh thinking, something we are exceptionally proud of,” says Martin Thatcher, managing director.
“Our focus on keeping our cidermaking and packaging processes under one roof at Myrtle Farm means we are able to guarantee the quality of our ciders. Furthermore, it puts us in a position to respond quickly and positively to outside influences, such as the C02 shortage, and increased demand from retailers this spring during the current Covid-19 pandemic. “
Spa in Cheltenham to be converted into hotel
The Grade-II listed Chapel Spa in Cheltenham is to be transformed into a 12-bedroom hotel after planning permission was given the green light.
Cheltenham Borough Council’s planning committee backed the plans, submitted by the managing director of Chapel Spa Mena Louka, by a majority of seven via an online meeting.
The change of use of the building, constructed in 1816, will see the construction of around 12 bedrooms with en-suite facilities across two floors. A new first-floor structure will be built over part of the Grade-II listed building but none of the existing spa elements will be removed.
Mena Louka said in the planning papers: “The existing use of the building as a spa is no longer commercially viable and the proposed use as a hotel is considered the most appropriate function for the building.
“The proposed change of use will ensure the building remains in beneficial use.”
The councillor who represents the ward where Chapel Spa is based, Dennis Parsons, told the committee the applicant’s proposal was “not just the most viable option, but it was and is the only viable option”.
Cornish vegan ice cream secures M&S listing
Coconuts Organic ice cream has secured a listing with retailer Marks & Spencer Food. Two of their flavours – Choc Orange Swirl and Double Caramel – will be available in selected Food Halls from 2nd June.
Launched in 2015 by entrepreneur Cecily Mills, Coconuts Organic also has listings in Tesco, Morrisons and on OCADO and was featured on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
CEO and Founder, Cecily Mills said: “Securing a listing with Marks & Spencer Food is a fantastic milestone for Coconuts Organic. I started my (pre-entrepreneurship) career with Marks & Spencer and recall very clearly the early days, dreaming of my products securing shelf space in the UK’s most prestigious high street retailer. I am incredibly proud that two of our products will now be available in stores. At a time when good news is thin on the ground, not least for SME’s, we are very excited to celebrate this next step.”
White rum wins silver medal
Circumstantial Cane, a white rum produced at Circumstance Distillery in Bristol, has been awarded a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition (SFWSC). It’s the first English white rum to win a medal in the history of the prestigious competition.
Liam Hirt, co-founder of Circumstance Distillery commented “The SFWSC is the world’s most respected spirits competition. We are absolutely over the moon that our white rum has received an award from a competition with such global recognition.”
Circumstantial Rum is made from South American molasses and is described by the producer as an “unashamedly funky white rum with bittersweet grapefruit, citrus peel and toasted banana notes.” For more information go to www.circumstancedistillery.com.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Westaways first to use compostable packaging
Devon-based Westaways Sausages has become the first meat producer in the UK to use certified compostable packaging.
Westaways have been using Forestry Stewardship certified recyclable or compostable cardboard trays for their sausages for 18 months. But it is the “revolutionary cling-film style wrapping” which has allowed Westaways to make the 100 percent eco-friendly claim.
“If you walk down a meat or dairy aisle in a supermarket you will see that just about every product is wrapped in plastic,” says sausage maker Charles Baughan. “As a company that cares about the environment, we asked ourselves why that should be?”
“This new wonder material will change our industry,” commented Mr Baughan. “It is strong, highly stretchable, glossy and, best of all, compostable.”
“It is a bioplastic – bioplastics are defined by European Bioplastics as being either biodegradable or made from a plant-base,” explained Mr Baughan. “In a compost heap, it will fully disintegrate within six months and fully biodegrade within a further six months without leaving any microplastic traces.”
“I have seen the damage plastics can do and so am passionate about doing something to make a difference,” he says. “Large corporations and supermarket chains had the same opportunity to do something about the problem, but it has taken our relatively small Devon company to lead the way and develop what we hope will become an industry standard.”
“The example we have set changes the way we do things in the food industry and other companies should follow our lead – which would result in the environment being freed of thousands of tons of plastic.”
For further information visit www.westawaysausages.com.
Pineapple rum from “world’s first carbon-negative” distillery
Devon-based Two Drifters Distillery have launched their Overproof Spiced Pineapple Rum for any eco-conscious celebrations this summer.
Made from molasses spiced rum with fresh pineapple, caramel and spiced vanilla, they describe it as a “drink with a tropical punch”.
Two Drifters was set up in 2019 and is carbon-negative. Their building, equipment and van are electric and they offset any emissions with Direct Air Capture, working in partnership with Climeworks to convert CO2 into chalk, which can then be buried in the ground.
Russ Wakeham, a co-founder of Two Drifters, commented: “When we launched Two Drifters, we wanted to show that we could make great rum in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way. We’ve demonstrated that it is possible to produce a successful premium quality rum and have a carbon-negative footprint at the same time.”
Overproof Spiced Pineapple Rum (63% ABV) is available to buy from www.twodriftersrum.com at £45 per 70cl bottle.
Salcombe Gin launch virtual gin school
Salcombe Gin has launched their Home Gin Schooling programme to help virtually recreate the experience of visiting their distillery, currently impossible due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
There are three bespoke offerings including the chance to enjoy a virtual gin school experience via a live video conference with a member of Salcombe Gin’s distilling team, recreate a recipe you have previously worked on at their Gin School or the option to create a new gin recipe online. Pupils will receive their unique creation complete with personalised labels, a copy of the recipe and a serving suggestion to enjoy at home.
For more details, go to www.salcombegin.com.
SOUTH WEST INITIATIVES
A Bournemouth-based company has developed a range of non-medical face masks with the hospitality sector in mind. Made in Italy and EU approved, they are reusable, washable and come in four colours and seven patterns. Or you can supply your own design. The masks come vacuum packed in packs of 6 and cost £15.99 a pack. Rise & Shine readers can get a 10% discount when they order.
Go to https://www.covid19filtermasks.co.uk to view the full selection and receive a 10% discount when you enter your exclusive code RS01.
Two Bristol hotels are offering complimentary rooms to NHS staff in the city as a way of thanking them for their heroic efforts during the Coronavirus crisis.
Between them, DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre and Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre, both part of the Focus Hotels group, are offering 25 complimentary rooms to these most essential workers.
DoubleTree has been open since the middle of May providing accommodation for essential workers, and Hampton is due to re-open on Monday 8th June.
Peter Cashman, chief executive officer of Focus Hotels, said, “We have implemented the strictest guidelines in order to ensure the safety of our staff and our guests. Hotel teams have received training on enhanced cleaning regimes and, of course, social distancing measures are in place… Anyone who takes up our offer of accommodation will also be able to have a free ‘Grab and Go’ breakfast. Lunch and dinner services are also available for guests to purchase, with all food delivered directly to bedrooms.”
“Understandably, reducing the risk of spreading the virus, and doing everything possible to ensure the safety of staff and guests is a top priority. That’s why we’ve been working closely with the Hilton CleanStay initiative, which is a new program which aims to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection, and with Clifton Environmental Services.
“While we hope to be able to welcome many guests – old and new – in the near future, we are pleased to be able to offer these complimentary rooms now to NHS staff in Bristol.
“They have been at the very heart of the fight against this pandemic, and this is the least we can do for them.”
The complimentary room offer is not available on-line; Bristol NHS workers interested in taking up the offer must make direct contact with the hotels. The DoubleTree can be contacted by calling 0117 926 0041 or email email@example.com, and the Hampton’s phone number is 0117 944 6888, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tarquin’s Gin in Padstow has launched an initiative to help their customers bounce back from Covid-19. They are doubling credit to their smallest customers to 60 days, scraping minimum order quantities, and providing free hand sanitiser stations for retailers.
They hope their new initiative – Bounce Back with Tarquin’s – will help retailers across the county and country, including farm shops, wine shops and delicatessens to restart trading from June 1st 2020 – the date when the UK government announced that shops will begin to reopen for business.
Tarquin Leadbetter, founder and master distiller said: “I really appreciated the support I had from the local community when I first started the business, and now we want to help our customers have a fighting chance of coming out of this crisis stronger.”
Tarquin’s has continued to develop new products for the summer including their first-ever rum, Twin Fin and a new gin designed to be served as a spritz, rather than with tonic, Cornish Sunshine Blood Orange Gin – both available to independent stores from mid-June.
Thatchers is supporting British pubs by offering all its free-trade customers a free 50-litre keg of cider in a pledge worth £1 million.
Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers explains, “We want to help the pub industry get back to business after this immensely tough period. There’s no doubt pubs and bars will need all the help and support they can get, with the new normal being just as challenging.
“By giving free-trade customers across Britain who currently stock one of our draught brands, a free keg of cider, we’re hoping that this will be of great value to them financially for when they’re able to get the pints pouring once again.”
Thatchers is asking customers to fill in an online form at www.thatcherscider.co.uk/thatcherspledge/ to claim their free keg and will be working alongside wholesale suppliers for delivery.
The Cornish Fishmonger
The Cornish Fishmonger, Rob Wing, has pledged his support to the Fishermen’s Mission with a new donation scheme via his online fish home delivery website.
“The industry will take a long time to recover from this,” said Rob, “people are losing their homes and their livelihoods; we need charities like the Fishermen’s Mission to be well funded so they can provide vital support to the fishermen who need it most.”
For every 20 portion Cornish Seafood Selection Box bought online The Cornish Fishmonger will donate £4 to the Fishermen’s Mission services in Cornwall.
“We have experienced huge support from the general public as they look to source their food direct from small businesses rather than risk trips to the supermarkets. We want to share that support with our front line fishermen who risk so much every day to bring us world-class quality seafood”, says Rob Wing.
You can order a 20 Portion Cornish Seafood Selection Box by visiting www.thecornishfishmonger.co.uk.
Wickwar Wessex Brewing Company
The Gloucestershire-based craft brewery turned their surplus stocks of ale into cash and raised over £2000 for NHS Charities Together with their Beer Backs the NHS Initiative.
Launched on the 24th April, customers were given the opportunity to buy five litres of real ale for £12 plus delivery costs. with profits donated to the NHS. The brewery started with Bob, their most renowned ale before offering their other award-winning beers, Station Porter and Stand Up IPA.
Mike Flavin, director of Wickwar Wessex Brewing and Pub Company said: “We had a large amount of surplus beer left in the brewery at the time of the Covid outbreak which was going to go out of date or be disposed of, so we are delighted that we have been able to put the beer to good use, supply our loyal customers with their favourite cask ale and give support to our NHS heroes simultaneously.”
Wyke Farms appoint new chairman
Paul Hardwick will be taking on the official role and title of chairman, Wyke Farms. He will take over from John Clothier who is retiring after 70 years at the family business.
Paul has been with Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producer, for 30 years. A qualified Chartered Accountant, he has worked as finance director guiding the business and the Clothier family over the years.
Rich Clothier, third-generation cheesemaker and managing director at Wyke Farms, says: “Paul has a detailed understanding of the needs of the business, our people and our customers, he will help to provide the stability that we need in these challenging times”.
Image Retail Solutions
Image Retail Solutions is a Dorset based software house, established for over 20 years. Historically, we’ve always had strong roots in EPOS with over 1,000 systems now live across the country in a wide range of retail and hospitality settings, ranging from convenience stores to garden centres and farm shops, cafes, pubs and patisseries. With our innovative new smartphone apps, we are helping retail and hospitality businesses across the UK to adapt and overcome the challenges they face in a post-Corona world.
The latest addition to our portfolio of products – app2table (https://app2table.co.uk) – is a digital menu and ordering app which allows hospitality businesses to take orders and payment from customers at the table, whilst maintaining safe social distancing. Orders are sent to waiting staff who prepare the order and notify the customer, via the app, that the order is ready to collect from the service point.
Another recent addition to our range, Deliveryappy (https://deliverappy.co.uk), provides a home-shopping, delivery and click & collect solution, fully integrated with our EPOS systems. An increasing number of consumers are turning to app-based shopping in preference to the web, and this is a trend which is certain to continue. Apps also promote loyalty and repeat custom. Businesses can register on either of these apps for a low setup fee and nominal commission rate, or can purchase the app as a white-labelled product which can be branded for their own exclusive use; ideal for businesses wanting to strengthen their brand with their own app in the app stores!
Since our inception, we’ve always specialised in serving and supporting small, independent businesses who form the cornerstone of our userbase. As a result, our commercial models are very competitive and adaptable to the individual client. If you have an IT software or EPOS requirement, however big or small, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss how we can help.
Tel. 01202 698610