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

Costly Christmas in store for hospitality, warns Lynx Purchasing

October 2019

There is likely to be a costly Christmas in store for catering and hospitality operators, as price rises kick in for many festive menu staples, warns buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.

Both turkey and Brussels sprouts, essential components of a traditional Christmas dinner, are forecast to see higher prices in the run-up to the festive season. Other food items, from lemon for the pre-dinner gin & tonic to cream for the Christmas pudding, are also in the inflation firing line.

“While we’re still waiting for clarity on how Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will affect the supply chain, other factors are having an impact as operators get ready for the peak trading season,” says Rachel Dobson, managing director of Lynx Purchasing. “Extreme weather, from the spring floods to the summer heatwave in Europe, has affected many crops, and there are various other challenges facing meat, seafood and dairy.”

The advice comes as Lynx Purchasing publishes the Autumn/Winter 2019 edition of its regular Market Forecast, which offers operators an in-depth look at pricing and product trends over the coming months, using exclusive data gathered from the range of suppliers who work with Lynx Purchasing.

“All in all, operators who haven’t yet secured the essentials they need for their Christmas menus may find some items in short supply,” adds Dobson. “Even where they have placed firm orders, they’re likely to have higher-than-expected bills to pay when it comes to settling up with suppliers in January.

“There is some good news. While there were concerns about the quality of the potato crop, in fact supplies are looking to be up to scratch in terms of quality, as well as good value. Most customers probably won’t object to a few more roast potatoes and not so many sprouts, but that won’t be much comfort for operators trying to manage margins across the whole menu.”

Areas highlighted in the Market Forecast include:

Turkey: Turkey prices have been higher than usual for much of the year. This was initially driven by concerns over lack of margin that prompted some farmers to switch to other types of poultry. In addition, there has been a constriction on seasonal workers needed by producers, due in part to Brexit, as well as to the improving economy in Eastern Europe.

Pork: African swine fever continues to spread in China, as well as other parts of Asia and Europe, creating high demand for unaffected supplies. Pork prices set a new record in August and are expected to rise further.

Farmed fish: Overcoming any concerns chefs have about using farmed fish is important in supporting sustainability initiatives in the hospitality sector, and farmed fresh and smoked trout is a useful and tasty alternative to salmon on Christmas menus.

Salads: Recent storms in Spain, thought to be some of the worst in over 100 years, led to some fairly extensive crop losses. Prices will remain high for the foreseeable future as growers try to ‘catch up’. The tomato is now the most expensive crop to cultivate in Spain, with reports suggesting that costs have increased by 20% in the past season.

Brassicas: Record rainfall in the spring, followed by a sustained period of record-breaking temperatures, has affected cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage harvests, and volumes of Brussels sprouts are also expected to be lower than usual as the peak season approaches.

Fruit: July’s heatwave across Europe did little to help fruit growers, with the World Apple and Pear Association forecasting that the European apple and pear crop will be significantly lower than last year. Additionally, heavy storms in some parts of Spain have caused extensive citrus crop damage.

Dairy: Increasing demand for dairy from manufacturers in the run-up to Christmas, combined with seasonally lower production, is putting upward pressure on prices. The UK imports considerable amounts of cheese and butter, and whatever the impact of Brexit, European suppliers have other markets for their products as global demand grows.

“There are fewer opportunities to use specials boards to make the best use of changing availability in the run-up to Christmas,” says Dobson, “as operators have often published menus and taken bookings well in advance. However, any flexibility that can be built into menus will help businesses make the most of the best value produce available.

“Equally, suppliers are just as concerned as operators about the ongoing political uncertainty and the resulting consumer caution, and will be grateful for any certainty they can get, so operators who can give forecasts of their potential orders to help suppliers plan will be in a stronger position when it comes to price negotiations.”

The Autumn/Winter 2019 Market Forecast is available to download free from the Lynx Purchasing website at Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast Autumn Winter 2019
Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 accounts in the hospitality and catering sector, on a no-membership and no-contract basis that offers like-for-like products at lower prices and often better quality than operators could obtain by negotiating alone.

As purchasing professionals, Lynx works with leading suppliers in the hospitality and catering industry. These include specialist fresh food suppliers, wines & spirits, catering equipment providers, utilities, and specialist service providers such as telecom, business rates consultancy and waste management.

For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit call 01325 710143 or email

New Hogs Back Brewery Bar gains Cask Marque accreditation

October 2019

Hogs Back Brewery has gained accreditation from Cask Marque after passing a rigorous inspection of the beers served at its Brewery Bar, located next to the brewhouse in Tongham, Surrey.

The accreditation carries special significance for Hogs Back as the brewery’s managing director Rupert Thompson was one of the founders of Cask Marque in 1998. Despite championing beer quality for more than 20 years, this is Thompson’s first bar and his first opportunity to apply for Cask Marque accreditation.

The Hogs Back bar opened earlier this year, in an area just outside the brewhouse with a canopy, lighting, sound system and seating for 30 people. Initially created as a summer bar, it has been so popular locally that Hogs Back is planning to keep it open year-round.

All cask beers served in the bar are poured through handpulls rather than direct from the barrel, which is the more usual practice in brewery bars. Beers served include Hogs Back’s flagship ale TEA and Surrey Nirvana in cask, as well as Hogstar Lager, Hog IPA and Little Swine lower strength beer in kegs.

Two decades ago, as brands and brewing director of Oxfordshire brewer Morland, Thompson was part of the small group that founded Cask Marque to address quality concerns. He said, “Since helping to establish Cask Marque in 1998, I’ve been part of the movement to improve the quality of draught beer in pubs and bars. We’re delighted that the Hogs Back bar has passed the Cask Marque inspection, and our plaque is in pride of place at the Brewery Shop entrance.

“There’s no doubt that standards now are higher than they were, meaning more drinkers are enjoying a pint of beer served as it should be – and are therefore more likely to order another. This is good news for drinkers, licensees and brewers, and I’m proud both to have been there at the start, and to continue to work to consistently serve great tasting, high quality cask beer.”
He added, “It’s been wonderful to see local drinkers enjoying our Summer Bar, which we are imaginatively renaming as the Winter Bar as we go into the colder months, equipped with heaters, more canopies and a changing selection of beers which will include Advent Ale closer to Christmas.”

Paul Nunny, Cask Marque co-founder, said, “It gave us particular pleasure to present Hogs Back Brewery with a Cask Marque plaque, given Rupert’s contribution to the scheme’s success.
“The Cask Marque plaque is now recognised by 77% of UK consumers as a guarantee of good beer, and many now use the CaskFinder App when choosing a pub to visit. It’s good to know that the Hogs Back Brewery Bar is now one of them, and part of the World’s Biggest Ale Trail on the app.”

The Hogs Back Bar will be open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings and at weekends and Hogs Back are planning to hold exclusive TEA Club events. For opening hours and details of events, visit the Hogs Back Facebook page.

(l-r) Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson and Brewery Shop and Bar manager Liam Davies