Three Hogs backs England for Euro 2016

June 2016

Surrey craft brewer Hogs Back Brewery is supporting England’s Euro 2016 bid with a specially-brewed ale, Three Hogs, available throughout June.

Three Hogs is a quintessentially English golden ale; at 4% ABV, it is brewed with locally grown Fuggles hops, among others, and a selection of English malts. 

The pump clip substitutes England’s three lions with three Hogs Back hogs and describes the ale as ‘a beer of two halves’: refreshingly hoppy up front, followed by a balancing bitterness and a hint of sweetness to finish.

Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said, “The Euros are going to be screened in thousands of pubs, with crowds of supporters rooting for England.  There’s no better way to toast the team’s triumphs, or commiserate if things don’t quite go their way, than with a pint of refreshing English ale brewed in their honour.

“We’d love to think that Vardy and Kane can lead the England team to Euros victory but, more pragmatically, we’d advise licensees to learn from the national team’s performance over the last 50 trophy-less years, and make sure Three Hogs is on tap for the group stage through to quarter finals, rather than the later matches.”

If England do defy the odds to reach the final, Hogs Back is offering a free pint of beer to any customer who visits its Brewery Shop in Tongham on Saturday 9 July to stock up for the big match on the Sunday.

Hogs Back Brewery is building a reputation for beers that offer a humorous take on events of national importance. Others that have peppered its seasonal ale programme include ‘Hogswallop’, which has been lubricating pub debate on the EU Referendum during May, and ‘England’s Mourning Glory’, which marked the national rugby team’s early exit from last autumn’s World Cup.

Premium New Look for Langley’s No 8 Gin

May 2016

Charter Brands is launching a redesigned bottle for its award-winning flagship brand, Langley’s No.8, giving the super-premium gin an even more distinctive profile in the fast growing gin category.

Exclusively created for the brand, the new bottle features the Langley’s logo embossed on the shoulder neck, along with the distinctive Langley’s figure ‘8’ embossed on the back.

The redesign, undertaken by Allied Glass, also includes a slimmer bottleneck; enabling bartenders to more easily insert a pourer, improving the speed of service at busy times.  Topping off the new look is a bespoke bottle cap and closure, which is self-sealing and tamper-proof.

Mark Dawkins, co-founder of Charter Brands, said: “When we launched Langley’s No 8 three years ago, we set out to create a classic, timeless feel for our quintessentially English spirit. Both the logo and the No 8 have always been very well received on the printed label, and incorporating them into the bottle itself increases the brand’s premium credentials even further.

“We always planned to have our own bottle once Langley’s No.8 had established a following, and that has become even more important as the number of gins available expands, and other premium brands have followed us into the market using the original bottle design.

“As well as improving our distinctiveness and giving us even stronger stand-out on the back bar, we’ve listened carefully to feedback from the bartenders who work with the brand. As a result, the new bottle also has practical benefits in terms of both security and speed of pour.”

The redesigned bottle will be spotlighted by Langley’s No.8 distributor Hi-Spirits at Imbibe Live, taking place at Olympia in London on 4 and 5 July.

For more information, contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email or see


Fireball Boosts Live Music Links With ‘Fuelling The Fire’ Tour

May 2016

Fireball is building on its close links with the live music scene by supporting a tour featuring punk, ska, reggae and roots music from some of the best live bands on the international circuit.

The first Fireball – Fuelling The Fire tour will hit the road in the UK throughout October 2016, presented by Academy Events in association with Fireball. Using the hashtag #FuelledByFireball on social media, the tour will give the cinnamon-flavoured spirit a high profile this autumn.

The eight-date run will feature Florida ska-punk pioneers Less Than Jake, with support from modern British reggae torchbearers The Skints and Mariachi El Bronx, the Mexican-flavoured side–project of hardcore punks The Bronx. Japanese ska punks KEMURI and Melbourne psychedelic reggae ska doom metal punk rockers, The Bennies, join on select dates.

Distributed in the UK by Hi-Spirits, whisky-based liqueur Fireball is one of the world’s fastest growing spirits brands.  It has built a strong association with live music, with bands on the touring circuit often pictured enjoying a post-gig chilled Fireball shot straight from the freezer.

Fireball’s marketing support means tickets for the tour are priced at just £10. The dates include an appearance at the O2 Academy Brixton in London on Thursday October 6, as well as Bristol, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham and Bournemouth.

Fireball UK brand manager James Pattison said: “We’re extremely excited to be launching the first ever Fireball – Fuelling The Fire tour with such a strong line-up of incredible bands. Coinciding with the new uni year and the run-up to the Christmas party season, it will give Fireball a high profile at a key time for spirits sales.”

Less Than Jake drummer Vinnie Fiorello said: “Thanks to Fireball we were able to assemble a huge group of our friends on this tour from around the globe. We absolutely can’t wait to come back to the UK shores for what will feel like one huge party every night, night after night.”

A video message from Less Than Jake and The Skints is online at:

For more information, contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email, or visit

Walkabout Bars boosts loyalty and footfall with Airship solution

May 2016

The Walkabout bar brand has seen a huge increase in traffic to its website following a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system implemented by digital customer experience specialist Airship.

With Airship working in partnership with Sky Cloud, Walkabout’s WiFi provider, email traffic to the Walkabout website has increased almost one-hundredfold, up by 9100%. The Airship system has also seen an increase in the opening rate of Walkabout’s marketing emails to its 360,000-strong customer database.

Initially implemented in November 2015, the new CRM strategy helped Walkabout increase revenue for pre-booked Christmas parties by 203%, and continues to drive sales for the business.
Owned by leisure operator Intertain, the 24 site Walkabout brand features big-screen sport, live music and other entertainment seven days a week. Airship was set the challenge of linking Walkabout’s CRM programme to the data gathered through The Cloud, the Sky-owned brand which provides free customer WiFi, in order to increase footfall and improve overall customer loyalty.

Dan Brookman, commercial director of Airship, says, “Walkabout’s customer visits are event-driven, so mapping the events taking place to the time customers are connecting to WiFi gives a clearer understanding of the behaviour of their most loyal customer types.

“Once we’d ‘cleaned’ their existing customer database by removing duplicates, standardising the entries and completing missing data, we then integrated the database far more closely with Walkabout’s website and party/table booking platform.

“We were then able to link with Sky to collect data on a daily basis from customers using the WiFi connection, both for the first time and every time they re-connect.”
Segmenting the data by session of the day and day of the week helped build a better picture of each customer and the type of events that bought them to Walkabout. By integrating with Sky, Airship was able to make use of Knowledge Repeat, which records every customer WiFi session as it happens and reconnects the customer automatically on their next visit; removing the need to sign up again or remember log in details.

As just one example, this means that if the customer’s visit coincided with rugby union being on the big screen, Walkabout can automatically notify the customer via email of upcoming rugby matches, and reward their loyalty with special offers.

Walkabout now has around 30,000 WiFi sessions a week with 13,000 unique users. By linking the email marketing with the WiFi data, the Airship system has been able to deliver results for Walkabout including:
• Revenue for pre-booked Christmas parties increased by 203%, the brand’s best-ever festive performance;
• An increase in email traffic to the website of 9100%;
• Open rates of emails increased by 2%
• The number of triggered emails for birthdays up by 9%;
• The number of triggered emails welcoming new customers up by 17%.

John Bettinson, market & customer insights manager at Sky, says, “Knowledge Repeat gives The Cloud’s commercial users a far greater and deeper understanding of the frequency of visits of their own customers, enabling them to see who’s visiting and returning to venue.

“Working with Airship’s analytics and segmentation platform, brands can compare WiFi analytics across multiple venues, as well as proactively market to WiFi users to drive more revenue or extend loyalty and customer feedback initiatives.

“Together, The Cloud and Airship are at the forefront of delivering the understanding businesses need into how WiFi data can deliver incremental revenue.”

Brakspear reopens Cotswolds pub

May 2016

Brakspear has reopened one of its eight managed pubs, the George Townhouse in Shipston-on-Stour, after a major refurbishment.
Brakspear bought the George, a Grade II listed building, in May last year. The renovation embraced the whole site, from patio, bar and dining areas to the 15 en-suite bedrooms. The project, completed by Brakspear’s in-house design team, has given the pub an elegant yet casual feel, by skilfully blending contemporary, quirky features with the site’s Georgian heritage.
The George Townhouse offers a number of spaces for drinking and dining from the large, open bar with a wide range of cask ales, wines and a speciality gin list, to the 40-cover Pantry restaurant, the Carriage Room for private dining and the Garden Room overlooking the decked patio area.
Food at the George Townhouse is produced by head chef James Neve, with direction from Brakspear’s executive chef Antony Ely. Dishes are created from British or local and seasonal produce wherever possible, as evidenced in the Pantry’s ‘Within Five Miles’ English breakfast. Other food offers include ‘Sunday Family Serve Roasts’ and afternoon tea with Champagne and gin options.
Upstairs, the 15 individually decorated bedrooms come with en-suite rainfall showers and/or roll-top baths. An elegant heritage colour palette is offset by antiques painted in contemporary colours and dramatic graphic print wallpapers, while soft velvet, mohair and woollen furnishings and Egyptian cotton sheets add to the luxurious feel.
Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “We’re delighted with the refurbishment, which has given the George Townhouse a new identity that sets it apart from other drinking and dining spots in Shipston and the surrounding area.
“ We’re confident it will quickly become popular with locals wanting a drink or bite to eat, diners looking for restaurant quality food in an informal setting, as well as the many visitors wanting to stay in the town overnight or longer.”
He added, “The refurbished George bolsters Brakspear’s presence in the Cotswolds, where we now have four managed pubs. While each will retain its own unique character, they will also have some shared elements across design, service style and food and drink offers, so that customers know what to expect from a Brakspear managed pub.”
Brakspear’s eight-strong managed estate includes three more pubs in the Cotswolds: the Church Street Townhouse in Stratford-on-Avon and the award-winning Porch House and the Grapevine, both in Stow-on-the-Wold, as well as the Bull on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames; Running Horses in Mickleham, Surrey; Chequers in Marlow and the Pocket Watch in Shepherds Bush. The Grapevine closes this month for a refurbishment.

Hogs Back launches ‘Hogswallop’ for EU Referendum

April 2016

Surrey based craft brewer Hogs Back is contributing to the EU Referendum debate with a specially-brewed ale, Hogswallop, available from the start of May.

A 4.2% ABV, easy-drinking rye beer, Hogswallop is designed to loosen the tongues of ‘pub politicians’ and encourage a lively discourse in the run up to the vote on 23 June.

Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson said, “Everyone will have an opinion on the Referendum and where better to express it than in the pub, which has a long tradition as a source of useful advice for the prevailing government.

“We hope that the sight of Hogswallop on the bar will raise a ‘rye’ smile from members of both ‘in’ and ‘out’ camps, as they enjoy an amicable exchange of views in their local.” He added, “Like the Euro-debate itself, this ale may appear increasingly bitter as 23 June approaches, but mellow somewhat thereafter.”

Hogswallop is a malty, rye beer with spicy notes and a hoppy finish. It joins previous Hogs Back seasonal beers marking events of national importance, such as ‘England’s Mourning Glory’, which lamented the home team’s early exit from last autumn’s Rugby World Cup and ‘Hog in the Limelight’ at the 2015 General Election.

Caption to attached image: sitting firmly on the fence in the EU Referendum debate, the Hogs Back Brewery team (l-r): head brewer Miles Chesterman; sales director Gordon Thompson and managing director Rupert Thompson