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Everything from September 2013


Brighton hosts the return of populist politics


This year’s Labour conference has been described as a move from ‘pamphlet Labour’ to ‘leaflet Labour’. The party has made a shift towards providing tangible policy content in the form of readymade statements - easily printed up and thrust through a letter box.

What are Labour's plans on business rates? And what will it mean for pubs?


The big policy announcement ahead of Ed Miliband's keynote speech on Tuesday was a 'cut' in business rates for small businesses in 2015, if Labour were to be elected.

Flying the flag for cask ale week


There is only a week to go until Cask Ale Week, with pubs and brewers gearing up to ensure the flag is well and truly flown for cask ale.

Pioneering new sources of expert advice


In an earlier blog I spoke about how industry engagement in initiatives to ease the burden of red tape and regulation was starting to have an impact on the legislative and compliance environment.

Tackling excise fraud...a big issue


Ever wondered how much illicit alcohol and tobacco is seized by the authorities and what they are doing about it?

Travels in September


I am currently reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey, which is particularly appropriate given this month’s travel-heavy schedule and my recent holiday in the Cevennes! I am of course very thankful that methods have improved somewhat – as I will be taking the usual plane or train as opposed to donkey… September brings regional meetings, party conferences and the Brewers of Europe gathering in Croatia. So here are a few words on each…

The real role of beer sponsorship


This week we have been inundated with news stories based on research from Newcastle University that claims that football fans see around two references to alcoholic drinks per minute when watching televised football.

Family ties


I had the great pleasure of visiting the Arkell’s Brewery in Swindon last weekend for an open day and beer festival to celebrate their 170th anniversary. I have always had a strong affinity with Arkell’s having been born and bred in Swindon myself – in fact my Junior School was downwind of the brewery stack and family and friends have worked there throughout my life.

Are hops the new grapes?


Wednesday felt more like a sunny September morning on a Californian vineyard, as 400 invitees from across the brewing industry found themselves in the beautiful surroundings of Stocks Farm in Worcestershire for the 2013 Charles Farm hop harvest open day.

National Pubwatch website - a key tool for licensees


Pubwatches are the original partnership schemes specifically aimed at pub licensees – low cost, easy to set up and controlled by licensees and managers themselves.