British Pub Week can act as a healing force to unite the trade as well as promote the virtues of the pub to consumers — that's the hope of British Pub Week chair Inez Ward.
The week, which runs from 30 October to 6 November, aims to get people back in to pubs by promoting their positive impact on society through a series of events over the week.
The week already has the backing of the Morning Advertiser, BII, Punch Taverns, Marston's, Enterprise Inns, Sky and around 2,000 pubs are expected to take part.
But Ward also hopes the week will help heal the trade's internal rifts. "I have a dream of a strong, united trade — one that we can all be proud of," she said at the official launch yesterday.
"A trade where many long to be part of it. A trade that is built on honesty, transparency and an undeniable passion for pubs.
"A trade that has the utmost respect for pubs, the licensees and consumers. A trade that is justifiably proud of its history, heritage and culture.
"I believe British Pub Week is part of that dream."
Ward said it was time to "shout from the roof tops" about the positive impact of pubs including promoting responsible drinking, giving musicians their first gigs and providing a centre for social interaction.
"How many overseas visitors make the Great British pub one of their calls? I do believe surveys have found the British pub second on the list — does that not speak volumes in itself?
"How many countries try to emulate the very thing we are letting go of?
"Why can't they manage to emulate it? Because the British pub is unique. The licensees are unique and the consumers are unique.
"We are one in a million, never to be copied or emulated."
BII chief executive Neil Robertson urged as many licensees as possible to get involved. "Thousands of events will be taking place at thousands of pubs up and down the country," he said.
"There is support for licensees and pubs to invigorate their trade to bring people back to the pubs.
"We are urging consumers to come and rediscover what you are missing if you sit at home and just watch Sky TV."
The launch took place at the Punch Tavern on Fleet Street, London. Catering manager Dave Pocock said the pub would be putting on a Halloween night and a special sausage and mash meal for £5 for the week, which also coincides with British Sausage Week. "We will also have poker and quiz nights and raise money for charity," he said.
• For more information visit www.britishpubweek.co.uk