Risk appoints senior team to lead Curious Brewery
Risk Capital Partners (RCP) has marked the completion of its purchase of the award-winning Curious Brewery by appointing brewing veteran Mark Crowther and former UK head of Budweiser Budvar Simon George to the business as chairman and managing director, respectively.
Crowther was most recently CEO at Liberation Group, and previously held senior positions at Carlsberg, Brakes, and Diageo. He is currently non-executive chairman at Portobello Brewery.
George, who will be responsible for day-to-day operations, led Budweiser Budvar in the UK for seven years before stepping down in January, and previously held senior commercial roles at Magners, Coors and Constellation Brands.
The pair will lead the business following its acquisition by the Luke Johnson-led private equity firm from English wine company Chapel Down.
“We are delighted to be working with Mark and Simon, who together bring an enormous wealth of experience and expertise, adding immense value to this business,” Johnson said of the appointments. “I couldn’t think of two better people to help unleash the potential for Curious Brewery, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as they get stuck in.”
Crowther added: “This is a high-quality business with a great group of people, an exceptional, premium range of superb beers and ciders, and an extraordinary, market-leading set up with its state-of-the-art brewery, and accompanying tap room and restaurant.
“Now, with the support of RCP, it has one of the most experienced and supportive sector-specialist investors in the market, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with them, and to support the team as we embark on this exciting new phase.”
Furthermore, George said: “I am tremendously excited to be involved in this unique opportunity.
“We see enormous potential to build this business and we are going to work very hard to ensure this fantastic collection of premium beers and ciders are available, enjoyed and shared in more places, across the UK and internationally.”
OAPA partners with Fred Sirieix to launch ex-offender employment drive
The charity that supports ex-offenders, vulnerable veterans and those having suffered homelessness into jobs within hospitality, Only A Pavement Away (OAPA), has partnered with First Dates and Million Pound Menu star Fred Sirieix, to launch the Sponsor a Kitchen campaign.
The campaign will sit alongside Sirieix’s existing charity, The Right Course, currently being implemented in both HMP Isis and Wormwood Scrubs, with four further prisons are already in the pipeline.
Only A Pavement Away ambassador Tom Aikens will also be supporting this new ground-breaking initiative.
The Right Course transforms staff messes into fully functioning restaurants run by prisoners for the benefits of all prison staff and external guests. Front of house, cooking and barista qualifications are delivered alongside on-the-job training and exposure to employers, preparing offenders for work in hospitality upon their release.
The new partnership sees Sirieix provide both syllabus and management of the programme, with OAPA stepping in to source employers and utilise a new job board.
“This is an amazing opportunity for ex-offenders to turn their lives around and follow a new path to employment within hospitality,” Sirieix said of the partnership. “By partnering with OAPA, we’re able to not only support through facilities and training, but also find employers who are willing to participate in order to source suitable roles for the offenders once they’re released and guide them on a positive path.”
OAPA charity founder and CEO, Greg Mangham, added: “We couldn’t be happier to join forces with Fred who is such a powerhouse in the industry.
“This is an incredible opportunity for hospitality employers to support this programme from the ground up. As we all know, hospitality has arguably been the hardest hit industry during the pandemic, and for it to be able to make such a positive change in someone’s life just goes to demonstrate the resilience and level of forward-thinking of the businesses we work with.
“It’s so important that we’re working with offenders from the earliest moment possible, and this programme does exactly that. We’d like to thank Fred for his valuable industry insight and urge hospitality businesses to pledge funds to ensure the prison facilities are up to standard for this vital rehabilitation.”
Mast-Jaegermeister UK hires Christian Stindt as marketing director
Mast-Jaegermeister UK has appointed Christian Stindt as its new marketing director.
Stindt joined Mast-Jägermeister in June 2009 working in the global public affairs team. In 2012, he joined the regional management Western Europe team and has since managed a number of markets across the region, including Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland. Most recently, he managed Spain and Italy.
“Managing different markets across Western Europe has been an incredible experience and seeing the Jägermeister brand grow as a result of our passionate teams remains inspiring,” Stindt, said.
“The UK is one of the most important markets for Jägermeister. It is a market where trends are born, often influencing the rest of the spirits industry.
“As the on-trade begins to reopen we are excited to continue to create innovative campaigns such as #savethenight, our Perfekt Serve programme and the much-awaited re-launch of Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee,” he added. “I am very much looking forward to being part of the UK team and delivering impactful initiatives.”
Sixth generation Everard appointed deputy chairman
According to reports by The Morning Advertiser’s sister title MCA Insight, Everards has appointed Julian Everard as deputy chairman in preparation for him eventually taking over the family brewer and pub business.
Julian is the son of fifth generation Richard Everard, chairman of the Leicestershire-based operator of around 160 pubs across the East Midlands.
Julian, aged 32, joined the company full-time in October 2020 from management consultancy Bain & Company in London, and previously spent six years in the British Army.
In a recent update, Everards said 71% of its pubs had started trading again from 12 April with the remainder opening from 17 May.
St Austell Brewery secures 100% renewable CO₂ supply
Cornish beer maker and pub operator St Austell Brewery and sister site Hare Brewery, the home of Bath Ales, have made the switch to a 100% renewable and sustainable CO₂ supply.
Used in the carbonation of packaged beers, the purging of road tankers, and the pressurising of kegs, CO₂ is a crucial component in the brewing and production process.
The brewery’s new supply is sourced locally from green energy specialist, BioCarbonics Ltd, which generates green CO₂ from maize grown in the south west. The maize is broken down naturally via a process called anaerobic digestion, which produces the gas.
“We go to great lengths to be environmentally efficient and are always looking to go further,” Andrew Holden, head of procurement and property at St Austell Brewery said.
“Our partnership with BioCarbonics represents a double win: CO₂ that is both 100% renewable and sourced locally here in the South West, resulting in fewer road miles to reach our two sites.
“We’re proud to be doing our part in protecting the unique and beautiful environment we call home.”
Pub Invest Group to create 500 jobs
Liverpool-based Pub Invest Group has outlined plans to create 500 jobs off the back of trading restrictions being lifted.
The operator of more than 30 brands across the north west – which recently created 100 jobs in Liverpool – is taking on staff at Einstein, its two McCooleys sites, Blush, Revolver, the Hatch, the Rocking Horse and Zanzibar.
“We will be recruiting for more than 500 jobs, which will include management roles, supervisors, bar staff, floor staff and kitchen staff,” a spokesperson said.
“Everyone knows it has been a tough time in all sectors since the pandemic began, but none more so than hospitality, which has faced many challenges.
“We all hope the continued vaccine rollout and dropping R number means we can all look forward now and look to return to some kind of normal sooner rather than later.”
Mermaid Gin supports carbon capturing seagrass meadows
The Isle of Wight Distillery’s Mermaid Gin has pledged its support for the restoration and protection of the Solent Strait’s seagrass meadows.
Part of the ‘#WilderSolent’ initiative run by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the activity will see the Distillery positioned as a marine champion of the Solent – the stretch of water that runs between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland – and an ambassador for seagrass.
As well as providing a unique ecosystem for marine wildlife, seagrass captures carbon at a rate 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. Seagrass meadows also sieve millions of pieces of plastic from the ocean.
However, it’s estimated that the UK has lost over 92% of its seagrass meadows in the last century.
“Through our Net Zero initiative, we’re already supporting seagrass meadows abroad, but wanted to also have impact locally,” Xavier Baker, co-founder of the Isle of Wight Distillery said. “The Solent’s very dear to us all at the distillery, so we’re delighted to be part of the #WilderSolent initiative.
“Having gone plastic-free two years ago and then achieving Net Zero, it’s just another step in our journey to being an environmentally-responsible business.”
Lincolnshire pilot scheme seeking £28,000-a-year pub lover
According to reports by The Lincolnite, Lincolnshire County Council is on the hunt for an avid pubgoer to save the county’s best-loved sites for an annual salary of £28,000 – funded by Historic England.
The council is seeking an “enthusiastic and creative” heritage project officer to take up the role on a one year fixed-term contract as part of its “Inns on the Edge” project.
The role will involve researching and recording the architectural and social history of pubs along a 50 mile stretch of coast from Grimsby to Boston to guide conservation efforts.
The project officer will also promote and celebrate the value of Lincolnshire’s historic pubs to tourists and the local economy through social media, trails and an end of project exhibition, according to The Lincolnite.
“This is urgently needed to enhance the local historic environment records, raise awareness in response to the threat of pub closures, and help the hospitality sector recover from the pandemic,” Lincolnshire County Council said.
If successful, the pilot scheme could be rolled out in other parts of the country.
According to the job description, applicants will be expected to demonstrate a “good working knowledge of the environment”, have experience of carrying out research with essential requirements including a degree or equivalent and experience in heritage management.
Re-branded Old Curiosity Distillery appoints managing director
As of Monday 3 May, Old Curiosity Distillery will be re-named The Secret Garden Distillery – with its gins to be known as Secret Garden Gin – in a bid to forge closer links with its “rooted in nature” ethos.
What’s more, the gin maker has appointed André de Almeida as its new managing director, to continue the expansion of its brand and range of spirits.
Discussing the appointment, Hamish Martin, founder of the Secret Garden Distillery, said: “I am so delighted that Andre, with his wealth of experience, has chosen to join the Secret Garden Distillery as its new MD. He has embraced all our beliefs and understands the ethos and our one true value; to be rooted in nature.
“On a personal level, having Andre at the helm means I can dedicate all my time to the development of our botanics and garden – this means I can support him by being here full time to communicate and physically highlight our total commitment to working hand in hand with nature. We are so excited for the future and all that it will bring.
“I look forward to working with Andre and welcoming as many people as possible to our gardens and distillery.”
Drinks Trust launches Another Round campaign
The Drinks Trust has marked the reopening of hospitality by launching its Another Round Fund, which will see £125,000 distributed in emergency grants of £400 per person across the drinks industry.
Applicants will be assessed based on their financial circumstances, with those facing significant hardship awarded a £400 emergency grant.
“This, most recent lockdown, has had a significant impact on the financial circumstances of thousands of people, with many having now lost their jobs due to the closure of hospitality and drinks businesses,” Drinks Trust chief executive, Ross Carter, said.
“As a result, we are now receiving significantly increased demand from people who are unable to pay rent and council tax or afford to feed their families, many of them now depend on food banks to do so.
“The Drinks Trust has been working hard to ensure that vital support is given to the most vulnerable people of our industry and that they'd be able to access the services needed,” he added.
“The purpose of ‘Another Round' is to reach those who are unable to celebrate the reopening of in the way others can, to support them financially where we can and to spread awareness that whilst this is a positive time for our industries, we cannot let our most impacted colleagues be forgotten."
City Pub Group adds to Mosaic Group stake
City Pub Group has announced that it has increased its stake in companies within the Mosaic Pub and Dining Group to 24% through the acquisition of shares in Galaxy (City) Pub Company, Pioneer (City) Pub Company and Sovereign (City) Pub Company for a total cash consideration of approximately £1.18m.
Led by joint chief executives James Watson, brother to City Pub Group's Clive, and Peter McDonald, The City EIS Fund, comprises the Galaxy, Pioneer and Sovereign City Pub Companies and trades under the Mosaic name.
The Mosaic Companies own nine pubs – predominantly in London and Birmingham – of which 7 are freehold.
This transaction takes City Pub Group’s total investment in the mentioned Mosaic Companies to £2.42m after it acquired a 14% stake in September 2020.
“These two corporate transactions demonstrate that the Company can provide liquidity for shareholders in EIS companies on a staged basis, with the aim of significantly increasing the size of our portfolio over the next two to three years,” Clive Watson, executive chairman of the City Pub Group, commented.
“We will continue to look at selective, high quality single pub acquisitions as well as larger estates.”
Marston’s partners with Attensi to create gamified training app
Marston’s has joined forces with gamified simulation experts, Attensi, to roll out a cutting-edge digital training app across its pub estate as venues resume trading.
The new app, Marston’s Skills, sees each “player” greeted by 3D avatar team members that introduce them to a series of mini games and challenges to complete, all of which are based on real-life pub scenarios.
“The partnership with Attensi demonstrates our determination to invest in and grow our people and our business,” Marston’s HR director, Liam Powell, said.
“As we move forward as a focused pub company, we see this platform being an absolute game changer to helping our teams grow their knowledge, experience and careers with us.”