Breal Group swooping or observing

It was always going to be a tough ask for investment firm Breal Group to be accepted by the brewing industry after it had purchased a batch of distressed brewers because much of the industry (and its eco-system) has an uneasy relationship with finance and money. When Breal acquired in relatively quick succession Black Sheep,…

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When smaller is better

Wandering around the smart Belgravia area of London on Father’s Day involved passing some of my favourite pubs including the Fox & Hounds, Nag’s Head and The Grenadier, which I have frequented over many years. One common theme among them is that they are all pretty small, and their cosiness is an attractive characteristic that…

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Calling time on phones

Recent train journeys to and from Brighton, a morning coffee in Pret A Manger, a spell in the waiting room at my dentist’s and an early evening pint in my local pub all had one thing in common. It was the annoying use of mobile phones for conversations on speakerphone or people viewing videos at…

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Book Review – ‘Drink Maps in Victorian Britain’

Over the years I’ve created a number of what you could call ‘drink maps’ and they have provided me with the basis for some great pub crawls. But the history of the original drink maps shows that they were designed to reduce rather than promote the consumption of alcohol. In the newly-published book ‘Drink Maps…

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In line for success

Venturing down a quiet side street in Hackney, East London, will lead you to a typical Victorianpub. Although it is an extremely attractive example of the genre there is something rather unusualabout this backstreet boozer. You can catch the rather unique characteristics of the Chesham Arms in E9 on a Friday andSaturday evening when there…

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The Kernel sails on almost serenely

He’s very modest so he’d almost be embarrassed if you suggested he possibly runs the UK’s best brewery in the country. Reality is, this might just be the case on certain measures. My own measurement is whether a brewery releases any duff beers and on my personal calculations The Kernel Brewery does not produce duff…

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Beer Travels with Adrian Tierney-Jones

Late Monday morning, and after a walk through the washed out January streets of the Vinohrady district of Prague, past patches of dirty snow and skeletal droppings of ice, it’s early doors at the Vinohradský Pivovar restaurant. Tables are already occupied with diners, including one where a chef in whites looks like he’s studying the…

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In search of the craic

Seated at the expansive bar counter of the new Irish Exit bar in Moynihan Train Hall in mid-town Manhattan in New York City, early evening was a joyous experience in what is undoubtedly one of the best station bars or pubs I’ve encountered during my travels. With around 250 covers, it is a pretty extensive…

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