Awards for Black Sheep, Craft Union, the Co-op and Heineken UK, alongside a hugely popular Chairman’s Award for Steve Goodyear, were last night presented at the British Beer & Pub Association’s Annual Dinner at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.
The winners triumphed in Beer Champion, Pub Champion, Off-trade Retailer of the Year, and Heart of the Community categories, which were presented, along with the Chairman’s award last night, by BBPA Chairman David Forde and special guest, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson (pictured).
Beer Champion award sponsored by Kegstar: Black Sheep
Black Sheep Brewery based its entry around the company’s 25th Anniversary. To kick off the year the company offered all Masham residents the opportunity to join them for a free pint in their Visitor Centre. Black Sheep launched hosted VIP tours and most importantly, their first ever lager, 54° North, which has been created in homage to the home of the Brewery in Masham, North Yorkshire. The brewery has also launched a five-barrel brewing plant, where all new beers are tried and tested before scaling up. These and other projects show how Black Sheep Brewery is driving innovation, whilst using traditional brewing equipment
Pub Champion Award: Craft Union Pub Company
Craft Union aims to bring brilliant pubs back to the heart of local communities, and has built a rapidly expanding stable of 170 pubs that includes sites that previously struggled. The pubs focus on sports, entertainment and community events, along with innovative refurbishments. Craft Union typically invests £100-120k per pub, with the key aim of providing historical pubs with better amenities to bring communities together, whether it be watching sport, karaoke nights or sports tournaments. Craft Union is also improving energy efficiency throughout their estate. The Sevens Pub, of example, is now saving an average of 11,000kWh per month, equal to £955 per month.
Off-Trade Retailer of the Year: Co-op
A winner for the second time, the Co-operative has pioneered regional ranges in convenience stores throughout the UK, providing a sustainable market for small brewers. in supporting microbreweries, the Cooperative sold over 500,000 pints of British ale. Crucially, The Co-op has engaged with members, with over 24,000 members having a voice in developing new products and services. The Co-operative has also effectively marketed and promoted beer; features on craft beer ran in Co-op Food Magazine, reaching two million consumers. Their work in marketing beer has resulted in an impressive, 15 per cent increase in sales across the beer category.
Heart of Community: Heineken UK
Heineken’s entry focused around three community campaigns; #BrewingGoodCheer, School of Hard Knocks and Helping Britain Blossom.
With #BrewingGoodCheer, Heineken launched a nationwide campaign to tackle loneliness and celebrate the crucial role of pubs within our communities. Heineken teamed up with local charities and community pubs to host festive lunches for people who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone.
Secondly, the company used its strong rugby presence to partner with the social inclusion charity ‘School of Hard Knocks’ (SOHK) which runs programmes using the values of rugby to help young men and women to get back into employment and improve the quality of their life. Monies raised enabled the charity to open a new facility in Edinburgh to get 100 men and women back into work in 2017.
Finally, Helping Britain Blossom, launched in 2014, created a partnership between Heineken and The Orchard Project. Over 2,200 volunteers have given more than 30,000 hours to plant or restore over 2,500 fruit trees in 150 orchards. Not only did Heineken help make a physical change happen, they brought together communities and provided them with new skills.
BBPA Chairman’s Award Winner: Steve Goodyear
The BBPA’s special Chairman’s award has been won by Steve Goodyear of the Young’s Pub Company, after a lifetime of key roles across the brewing and pub industry spanning over 40 years. Steve is non-executive Chairman, after 20 years’ service, with Youngs, where he was previously Sales & Marketing Director, and then for 13 years the company’s Chief Executive. This followed 21 years with Courage. He has steered Young’s to a new golden age, with significant management changes and a huge investment in the company’s pubs and people, keeping pace with the vast array of competition for consumer spend he has witnessed throughout his long career.
BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds commented, “Huge congratulations to all our winners, and a big thank you to all those who submitted entries. We have had another great showcase of all we are achieving in our industry, in working to keep beer and pubs at the heart of our social lives and central to the UK economy.”