Oliver Kay Produce appoints new development chef

December 2019

Fresh produce specialist Oliver Kay Produce has appointed Dean Kinsey as development chef.

Kinsey joins the business as sales of vegan and vegetarian dishes continue to grow, and will be working with chefs across the full range of hospitality businesses to develop innovative ingredients and recipe ideas.

His background as a chef spans fine dining in restaurants and hotels, food-led pubs and private dining, and he was most recently head chef at BAB NQ restaurant in Manchester.
One of Kinsey’s first tasks will be to help oversee the Oliver Kay National Vegan Dish of the Year 2020, a high-profile recipe competition for chefs, which launches in January 2020.

He said: “I’m delighted to join Oliver Kay, and it’s definitely a case of jumping in at the deep end as we launch the search for new and innovative vegan menu ideas.

“It’s now essential that hospitality businesses offer engaging vegan options, and I’m looking forward to seeing what my fellow chefs come up with for the competition – as well as working closely with them in the longer term to drive sales of plant-based ingredients, and develop new recipes.”

Kinsey’s role is not limited to vegan dishes, as he has an expertise in meat, including game, developed during his days working in country pubs. This ability to turn his hand to a wide range of cooking styles will enable him to support chefs and caterers at all levels with menu planning and recipe development.

Ian Stuart, Managing Director of Oliver Kay Produce, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Dean on board. His experience of a broad range of catering businesses combined with the flair, innovative ideas and skills he brings, will ensure our sales teams appreciate what can be done with fantastic seasonal produce, and help our customers offer innovative and profitable menus.”

Oliver Kay supplies a wide selection of vegan products and ingredients, which will be further expanding in time for January menus. For more information and for chefs to order call 0844 847 9790 or order online from Oliver Kay Produce

Drinkaware relaunches night-time economy safety scheme

November 2019

Hackney and Cardiff first to sign up to new Nightlife Crew training

Drinkaware is relaunching its successful Drinkaware Crew scheme with a new name – Nightlife Crew – and a new structure that includes five different training offers to extend the scheme into a wider range of environments.

Hackney and Cardiff have become the first local areas to sign up for Nightlife Crew. Drinkaware is expecting more local authorities, BIDs (Business Improvement District) and others with responsibility for night-time safety to adopt the training over the coming months.

The relaunch follows a thorough evaluation of the scheme, which was launched in 2015 and has so far been activated in clubs and bars in 21 areas across the country, including Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Nottingham. It has also been informed by Drinkaware’s activity at festivals, such as British Summer Time, and on the streets, like those in Soho, where the original training has been successfully adapted to promote customer safety.

Nightlife Crew is being offered to local authorities and BIDs, through a ‘train the trainer’ course delivered by Drinkaware. Delegates who successfully complete the course are then accredited by Drinkaware to deliver the training in their areas, incorporating it into their existing night-time safety initiatives.

Nightlife Crew is available as a complete package of five training modules:
• Club Crew: Training for dedicated members of staff in a pub or club, whose role is to promote a positive social environment and identify and support customers who may become vulnerable
• Lead Crew: Training for managers and supervisors, equipping them to support customers
• Support Crew: E-learning for all staff to raise awareness of vulnerability in venues
• Festival Crew: Adapted training for dedicated members of staff to support festival-goers
• Street Crew: Training for dedicated volunteers within local communities, helping them to support people on the streets rather than in venues, and to create a safer environment

Drinkaware will continue to offer its e-learning course, now called Support Crew, direct to pub, bar and club operators wanting to ensure that all their staff selling alcohol are trained to identify and deal with alcohol-related vulnerability.

Brett Crabtree, Head of Business Development at Drinkaware, said: “We’ve already seen our night-time safety scheme help so many people to have a safer, more positive night out, and we’re grateful to the many partners who have made it such a success.

“We’re enormously proud to see the training evolve into what is now Nightlife Crew.

“We’re delighted to have secured Hackney and Cardiff as our first partners and are looking forward to seeing Nightlife Crew roll out across the country. We would urge all local authorities, BIDs and others with a night-time safety remit to look at how Nightlife Crew can help to promote their local area as one that people can visit for an enjoyable evening – without the risk of alcohol harms.”

Adrian Field, Executive Director at FOR Cardiff, said: “We are proud that Cardiff’s nightlife has so much to offer. Our aim is always to ensure the public experience Cardiff at its best by promoting the city as a safe environment where you can have a memorable night out. We’re delighted to be rolling out Drinkaware’s Nightlife Crew training in venues across the city. The Nightlife Crew training gives venues the confidence that their staff are fully aware of how to support customers, thereby giving them room to provide quality, safe service as well as a great time.”

Samantha Mathys, Hackney Council’s Late Night Levy Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be rolling out Nightlife Crew at the beginning of 2020 to venues across the borough. The training will form part of Hackney Nights, our night-time safety charter, which will encompass and deliver a variety of training modules for venues and public advice on safety-related issues throughout the night-time economy.

“So alongside the training, our Charter will include public awareness campaigns on night-time safety and resources for local licensed premises, funded by Hackney’s Late Night Levy, which is paid for by local late-night licensed venues to contribute towards policing and the management of night-time economy areas.

“In addition to licensee training and resources and our public awareness campaigns, the Late Night Levy is also funding extra police presence on the ground. These are just some of the ways our Late Night Levy is helping to promote a safer night-time economy and protect local residents, visitors and licensees from crime and antisocial behaviour.

“Drinkaware’s training is another layer to Hackney Nights, and we are sure that it will empower venues with the tools they need to help support their customers on nights out.”

Proven success

The night-time training from Drinkaware has made an impact in a number of venues, including larger clubs and bars. In what will now be known as Club Crew, dedicated, specially-trained team members circulate inside the venue, promoting a more positive atmosphere and supporting customers where needed – reuniting them with lost friends or helping them get home. In research at nine venues operating the scheme1, four out of five customers said they felt more positive about a venue with Crew in place. Three in four would be willing to pay £1 more for entry if a venue offered Drinkaware’s Crew scheme.

Last Christmas, Westminster City Council launched its Soho Angels night-time safety scheme, for which Drinkaware provides training to its large group of volunteers. The scheme, which runs in partnership with the LGBT Foundation and is supported by Smirnoff, runs every weekend, and collaborates with St John Ambulance as well as the local police and ambulance services. Volunteers, who join the scheme from all ages and backgrounds, receive the Drinkaware-based training to help people on a night out to ‘end the night well’. The training includes everything from how to approach someone who is drunk to how to spot someone with alcohol poisoning. In just a year the Soho Angels have helped hundreds of people get home safely, prevented ‘blue light’ incidents and even saved lives.

To find out more about Nightlife Crew, contact

To purchase the Support Crew e-learning module, contact

1 Future Thinking (2019). Drinkaware Crew Research. February 2019. London: Future Thinking. Available at:

PubAid celebrates 10 years and £1 billion raised for charity

November 2019

Liverpool pub named Charity Pub of the Year 2019

PubAid celebrated its 10th anniversary and an estimated £1 billion raised by pubs for charity at an event in London last night (19 November), where it also unveiled the winner of the Charity Pub of the Year Award, sponsored by Matthew Clark.

Around 100 PubAid supporters from brewers, pub companies, suppliers, media and charities as well as the eight Charity Pub of the Year finalists gathered on the Tattershall Castle on the Thames.

PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan said: “In the decade since we started PubAid, pubs have raised an estimated £1 billion for hundreds of charities and local causes. They are also providing a lifeline to grassroots sport, with financial and in-kind support worth an estimated £40m a year.”

By conducting the research to uncover these very impressive figures, and then communicating them to a broad audience, PubAid has helped to reshape public perceptions of pubs. We’re delighted that they are now more widely recognised as a force for good in local communities and broader society.”

Liverpool pub takes Charity Pub of the Year Award

The Charity Pub of the Year 2019 Award, sponsored by Matthew Clark, was presented to the Rose of Mossley in Liverpool.

Landlady Mari Woods has been at the Greene King tenancy for 30 years, raising an estimated £250,000 in that time for many local charities and good causes, and offering hands-on help to individuals in need in the community. Mari is supported by the Friends of the Rose of Mossley, a group of regulars who help organise fundraising events. Beneficiary charities are selected based on nominations from the local community, via the pub’s Facebook page.

Matthew Clark marketing director Richard Hayhoe said: “The Rose of Mossley shows how a pub can make a huge, positive difference to the lives of people in its local area. Mari and her team work tirelessly to keep the pub at the heart of its community, offering financial, practical and emotional help to local charities, groups and individuals.

“We’re delighted to name The Rose of Mossley as our Charity Pub of the Year 2019.”

Paul Hegarty, Honorary Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, said: “The Rose of Mossley’s unstinting determination to support its local community makes it a worthy winner.”Choosing the Charity Pub of the Year was far from easy, and all our finalists have shown incredible community spirit, commitment and creativity in their support for local and national charities. They should all be very proud of reaching the finals.”

The Charity Pub of the Year competition ran for the second time this year, attracting around 100 entries from pubs across the country. The finalists, as well as the Rose of Mossley, were:

The Bull’s Head, Mobberley, Cheshire
The Falkners Arms, Fleet, Hampshire
The Fatling, Hornchurch, Essex
The Front Page, Ballymena, Co. Antrim
The Lion Brewery, Ash, Surrey
The Swan, Thornbury, Gloucestershire
The White Horse, Quorn, Leicestershire

Caption:. Charity Pub of the Year winners: Rose of Mossley licensee Mari Woods, with (l-r) John & Jason Foley-Doherty of the Friends of the Rose of Mossley and PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan 


Brakspear managed estate reaches 15 with Maidenhead pub purchase

November 2019

Pub operator and brewer Brakspear has purchased the Golden Ball near Maidenhead, taking its managed estate up to 15 sites.

The Golden Ball is sited in Pinkneys Green, a village outside Maidenhead. The pub has seating for 110 customers inside as well as a large patio and garden. Food includes fresh hand-stretched pizzas, burgers and a range of pub favourites, while the drinks list includes wines, cocktails and an extensive selection of gins.

Brakspear plan to trade the pub in its existing format through the busy Christmas period before giving it a light ‘sparkle’ in January to bring its look and feel more in line with other sites in the managed estate. The existing pub team will remain in place.

Tom Davies, Brakspear chief executive, said, “We’re delighted to be adding the Golden Ball to our managed division. It’s a popular pub serving its local community with a great range of food and drink and we think it has great potential within the Brakspear family.

He adds, “We’re very happy with the growth of our managed estate, which we started six years ago. While each pub has its own individual character, they also have some shared features that help customers to identify them as a Brakspear managed site, which will encourage them to visit other pubs in the group, knowing they’ll experience the same top quality food, drink and customer service.”

Brakspear’s managed division was formed in 2013 with the opening of the Bull on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames and includes pubs across the Cotswolds and south east, many of them with letting rooms. Last summer, Brakspear reopened the Frogmill near Cheltenham, its largest managed site to date, set in extensive grounds with a sizeable wedding and functions business.

Top Brakspear tenants rewarded at annual awards

November 2019

Pub operator and brewer Brakspear has recognised licensees from eight of its tenanted and leased pubs at its 2019 Hospitality Awards.

At an awards ceremony held at the Little Angel in Henley-on-Thames, the winning tenants were presented with a plaque and £500 – which Brakspear is doubling to £1,000 if they choose to spend it on refurbishing their pub. Their success followed rigorous judging, which reviewed sales growth, mysytery customer scores and Tripadvisor reports. Independent judges were involved in a number of categories.

The 2019 Hospitality Award winners are:
• Best Newcomers: Adam & Niki Fortes and Colin Savory, Heron on the Ford, Charvil, Reading
• Best Kept Cellar: Claire & Mick Sugg, Hare & Hounds, Sonning Common
• Best Bar-Focused: Antosh Samek, Clayton’s, Marlow
• Best Garden: Dan Redfern, Cherry Tree, Stoke Row
• Best Sunday Roast: Jayne Worrall, Bull, Wargrave
• Best All-Rounder: Lee Cooper, Connaught, Hove
• Best Fundraiser: Rachel & Dan Selman at the Unicorn, Kingwood, which raised £2,010 for Mind, Brakspear’s preferred charity for 2018/19.
• Best Customer Service: a new award this year, presented to Nicola Hickey at the Six Bells, Warborough

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “Judging the Hospitality Awards every year reminds us of the talent within our company and we are proud to have some of the best operators in the business running Brakspear pubs.

“We take our Awards very seriously; all nominations are reviewed thoroughly and choosing the winners seems to get harder every year as standards rise across the estate. Tonight’s winners should be very pleased with their success and we know they’ll be celebrating again when back in their pub, thanking the teams and the customers who have helped them win this recognition.”

Caption to image: winners of the Brakspear Hospitality Awards 2019 with chief executive Tom Davies (middle row, centre)

Finalists announced for the Matthew Clark Charity Pub of the Year Awards

October 2019

Entries have been judged and eight finalists selected in the Charity Pub of the Year Awards 2019, run by PubAid and the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) and sponsored by Matthew Clark.

The competition, now in its second year, seeks to recognise those pubs who go the extra mile in their support of charities and good causes. This year’s contest attracted close to 100 entries from pubs across the country, with an extremely high standard that gave judges a near-impossible task in whittling the field down to just eight finalists.

The overall Charity Pub of the Year 2019 will be announced next month at the PubAid 10th Anniversary Celebration in London, from one of the following finalists:

• The Bull’s Head, Mobberley, Cheshire
• The Falkners Arms, Fleet, Hampshire
• The Fatling, Hornchurch, Essex
• The Front Page, Ballymena, Co. Antrim
• The Lion Brewery, Ash, Surrey
• The Rose of Mossley, Liverpool
• The Swan, Thornbury, Gloucestershire
• The White Horse, Quorn, Leicestershire

Judges, drawn from across the pub industry, considered not just the sums of money raised by entrants, but also their contribution to their local community through a range of activities from organising litter picks to holding a regular club for adults with learning difficulties, or hosting Christmas Day dinner for homeless local people. Together, the finalists have supported hundreds of charities and good causes over the years, from large national charities to local groups and individuals, whom they have helped through difficult times.

Co-founder of PubAid, Des O’Flanagan said: “We’re delighted to be running this competition again, and are grateful to the involvement of Matthew Clark, whose support makes these awards possible.

“The entries underline the incredible support provided by pub teams and customers for charities and good causes. Pubs in the UK raise £100 million every year for charity and contribute a further £40 million to grassroots sport, making them a powerful force for good in their local communities and wider society.”

David Phillips, Managing Director, Matthew Clark, said: “Our thanks go to all the pubs who entered the Charity Pub of the Year Awards. We’re proud to be involved in these awards and to recognise pubs across the country who give their own time and resources to support their local communities. We look forward to announcing the winner next month.”

Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South and Chairman of the APPBG, said: “It has been truly humbling to learn about the amazing things that pubs do to support charities and local community groups. We look forward to welcoming the shortlisted pubs to a celebration of their achievements next month.”



PubAid is a working party created in 2009 to highlight the work done by UK pubs for charity, sharing the message that UK pubs raise over £100m per year and contribute £40 million to grassroots sport. PubAid runs the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, which takes place every March. In 2019, around 2,200 pubs took part.

The PubAid working party is led by co-founder Des O’Flanagan, and includes a number of well-known figures from the pub world, who lend their time and other resources to help spread the positive messages about pubs’ role at the heart of their communities.

Matthew Clark is a leading national drinks wholesaler with over 200 years’ experience supplying drink products, hospitality training, labour management and marketing support to over 16,000 On-Trade premises in the UK.

The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group was set up in 1993 and has a membership of over 350 MPs and Peers. The Beer Group’s objectives are to broaden recognition of the enormous contribution of brewing and pubs to the UK economy from grain to glass – and to celebrate the unique role that beer and pubs play in our society