Southern Hampshire CAMRA

Hop Presshops Hop Press Issue 37 front cover

Issue 37 – Spring 1994

 

A rough OCR of the original leaving out adverts & some sections such as the Crossword

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Contents


EDITORIAL
Government quango pleads for CAMRA's help!
Hop Press index

An eye-catching headline, not out of place in any tabloid. Not totally fanciful either.

English Heritage used the occasion of CAMRA's annual general meeting and conference in Scarborough at the end of April to launch a sorely needed manifesto. Aimed at halting the horrific damage being done to the nation's stock of public houses by regiments of philistine brewery executives, myopic magistrates and narrow-minded planners, English Heritage's ideas are identical to CAMRA's long-held views on pub preservation.

English Heritage, although answering to the minister, Peter Brooke, are an essentially independent body, charged with the responsibility of protecting the quality and character of England's best buildings – in the widest sense – from world treasures like Stonehenge or Salisbury cathedral down to tiny cottages, even barns. Their weapon, in this battle to keep the best of the past from being submerged by the dross of the present, is the listing procedure. So named from the lists of buildings of "special architectural or historic interest" that the Secretary of State is required to compile for each county, lists that are maintained with the help of the local authorities.

In the past, decisions to list buildings have been predominantly based on the architectural criterion, especially considered from the external facade and its place in the "townscape." Only really major historic interest factors – a scene of a great event, a celebrity's birthplace etc. – have been allowed to count. Interior layouts and appointments have been given very much lower weights than the frontages when buildings were considered for listing. The original use versus the present use of a building rarely entered the equation.

English Heritage, in their crusade for pub preservation, want to challenge and change some of these priorities. They also want to enlist the help of pub goers and in particular of CAMRA to seek out those pubs that must be saved for the nation.

A glance at the lists for any county will show immediately that pubs are unique amongst all the other types of building in that they are the only group still almost totally in the use for which they were built. Even our stock of listed churches now have many devoted to secular use (although, as yet, the cathedrals remain sacred...). The old mills, the cornmarkets, the warehouses are all gutted and turned into business parks or fashionable offices. The medieval almshouse is probably a luxury town house and the Georgian mansions are old folks' homes but, the Victorian boozer is still, glory be, a pub! This realisation has led English Heritage to rethink the listing priorities.

The Chief Executive of English Heritage, Jenny Page, in her address to CAMRA's conference, emphasised that from now on the listing of pubs would take full account of such things as the interiors, for example, whether original layouts or fittings were present. Another important factor will be whether the pub is representative of a particular historical type – special to the evolution of pub itself or perhaps a local variant peculiar to an area or even to a special group of customers, iron-workers or miners for example. Under this criterion the pub need not necessarily be a piece of fine architecture – it is more important that it should fully represent its genre. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, consideration will also be given to the pub's place in its community, the continuity of service that the pub has given to its customers, how it fits into its surroundings in human as well as architectural terms.

In her address Ms Page was coruscating on the subject of present day pub "improvers." The ubiquitous polished brass trumpery, the more than liberal, yet often inappropriate, use of endangered rain-forest woods and the seemingly inexhaustible supply of agricultural bric-a-brac all came in for condemnation but perhaps her most savage remarks were reserved for the popular (?) ruched Austrian curtains which she said, "would better serve as a tart's knickers!"

After outlining the new emphasis on, for want of a better word, the "pubness" of a pub, she went on to dispel any fears that listing would lead to a pub being mothballed. "We are not pickling these buildings in aspic," she said. "English Heritage doesn't want a fossilised, museum society. A building's long-term interest is best served by its remaining in use, preferably the use for which it was originally intended. Pubs are businesses and they must be profitable to survive. A balance has to be struck between history and profit."

English Heritage have published a booklet, "Pubs – Understanding Listing" outlining these policies, explaining listing and giving a brief run-down of the history of the pub and its different styles. You can get the booklet, and more information on preparing listing requests – there is no charge for making a listing request – by writing (with a large SAE) to:

English Heritage, Listing Branch Room 240
23 Savile Row
London, W1X lAB

The Southern Hampshire Branch of CAMRA are keen to see more pubs in our area given listed status and will, we hope, be preparing some listing requests, using the new guidelines. If readers have any recommendations drop us a line. If only we had had this initiative in place and if we had been in place in the fifties and sixties what fine pubs we might have saved! How many readers remember, in Southampton, the Crown (as it was) in High Crown Street, or the Eagle in Millbrook Road or, in Winchester, the White Horse in Canon Street – all classic, small, town pubs without pretention or architecture but there are few like them left now! Remember the Grapes in Oxford Street? A full interior of Victorian panelling, bar fittings and ironwork – the planners were keen on the outside, just a veneer, but ignored Whitbread's indoor vandalism. Alas, the lost pub list is longer than the listed pub list!

COOK'S BREWERY Hop Press index

Chris Brown

Just across the Dorset border, on the edge of the New Forest, is the tiny hamlet of Bockhampton. It was to here that Nigel Cook moved his brewery from its first home, a London double garage! The Bockhampton premises, single story, white-washed, farm out-buildings, provide an ideal location for a micro-brewery.

Nigel had spent his career as an engineer, supplying equipment to the brewing industry, but his dream had always been to produce his own distinctive product. Realising that dream began in 1986 when Nigel acquired equipment from the defunct Swanell's Brewery of King's Langley in Hertfordshire. He setup the plant at his Twickenham home and using a recipe developed with the aid of John Wilmot, a brewing friend. The first batches of Cook's flagship brew, Yardarm Special Bitter, were soon being produced.

After only a couple of years, Nigel abandoned the metropolis in favour of rural Dorset and steady development has continued since. The brewery now occupies the whole building. The equipment is shoe-horned into a room at one end, the rest is used for beer racking, storage and, of course, there is now a new visitors' sampling room. Lately, both marketing and brewing help has been recruited as part of expanding operations.

The plant is all stainless steel and has a gas fired copper. It is capable of an eight barrel (288 gallons) brew. Using only top quality traditional ingredients, Nigel produces interesting real ales.

Yardarm is still the prime product. It is a strong bitter (5.2% abv), full-bodied and full-flavoured, dark tawny in colour with a rich sweetish palate and a quite bitter after taste. The complex flavour derives from the use of three different malts and three different hop varieties. Whole dry hops are added to the cask, helping to produce a splendidly aromatic nose. This beer also comes in bottles, thankfully not pasteurised and filtered like the vast majority of British bottled beers.

The release of Cook's second beer happily coincided with the media circus surrounding last year's Christchurch by-election. Named By-Election Special at the time, the beer was subsequently reincarnated as New Forest Gold and continues to be brewed under that name. It is lighter in strength (4% abv), body and colour than Yardarm and also differs in using Stryian Golding hops to impart its particular bitter tang. A third beer has appeared this year, also at 4% abv but much darker and sweeter. This beer marks the ninth centenary of the nearby Christchurch Priory and is consequently named Christchurch Priory 900.

Most free trade outlets for Cook's beers have been close to the brewery, however, some beer agencies and CAMRA beer festivals have helped ensure a more widespread familiarity. Visits to the brewery can now be arranged, so if you don't see Cook's beers on sale elsewhere, you could always make the trip and sample them at source.

NEWALE BREWERY Hop Press index

John Chadwick

It is hard to keep up with the rise of Andover as a brewing metropolis. Within a couple of years the town has seen the arrival of two breweries, the most recent being Newale which started at the end of last summer.

Like a hundred other new micro-breweries, Newale is housed in an anonymous industrial unit. In this case on Andover's Walworth Trading Estate. A surprise however, immediately obvious to the visitor, is that Newale is not alone in its factory building – in fact the brewery only uses a small spare space in a much larger enterprise, the Puma Air Conditioning Company (very handy for brewery construction!).

Phil Newton, Puma's owner, was looking for ideas for use of the floor space at his main business. He was always a keen home brewer and a real ale enthusiast, and, as Lesley his wife says: "I've lost count of the times we've been to a pub where he has said that he could brew a beer as good as we were drinking." So the birth of the Newale Brewery last September became almost inevitable! Perhaps it was also inevitable that Lesley has assumed the brewer's white coat.

The brewery is a "five barrel plant." In other words the vessels used in the brewing process – mash tun, copper and fermenters – all hold enough for five 36 gallon barrels. Not that Newale use any beer barrels, such large casks are rarely seen these days, small brewers now use predominantly 9 gallon firkins and sometimes 18 gallon kilderkins. So a brew at Newale produces about 20 casks of beer. The plant was assembled from a variety of odd sources – the fermenters are modified pub cellar tanks, the main water tank came from a David Bruce brewery and the copper is a fifty year old Tate and Lyle sugar boiler, last used for lemon curd!

The introductory beer from Newale was Anna Valley Ale, at 4% well on the "best" side of an ordinary bitter. This was soon joined by a true best bitter, the 4½% Balkesbury Bitter, darker, redder and with a more complex dry, hoppy flavour. In recent weeks a third beer has been added. Again up a half per cent, this is 5% Clatford Clout, a light coloured, hoppy, premium bitter, very much in the modern idiom. The alphabetic sequence and topographical allusions are quite intentional and we understand will continue as further brews are introduced. However, we can only hope that the strengths do not maintain their numerical progression or we may have to consume a 15% Weyhill Wonder in a year or two! Among tentative ideas in the brewery at the moment are a mild, a winter brew and maybe a bottle-conditioned beer, probably a stout.

If you would like to try some Newale beer then we can suggest (at the time of writing) the Red Lion at West Dean, the Cartwheel at Whitsbury, the Crown at Upton or the Compasses at Damerham. The Crook and Shears at Upper Clatford is one of the outlets nearest to the brewery, almost a Whitbread owned brewery tap?

GROUPS Hop Press index

Rob Whatley

Pub groups have been with us for many years but it is only recently that they have become a major factor in the licensed trade. This results from the ownership rulings that came out of the 1989 Monopolies Commission's enquiry into brewing. The pub groups that are the subject of this article are companies that operate multiple pubs but have no breweries. In theory, these pubs should offer customers the widest choice of beers. In reality, as we shall see, they are often tied tighter to one brewery than the brewery's own pubs.

Westmacott Inns has run a small number of local pubs for more than ten years. Their current houses are the Hunters Inn at Swanmore, the George and Falcon at Warnford and the Windmill at Four Marks. They also ran Eastleigh's Golden Eagle (now Felix Park) for a few years. The choice of beers is not exciting and the emphasis is very much on food. This was the pattern for the other pub groups that operated in Hampshire during the 1980's, such as Surrey Free Inns and South Coast Taverns.

Surrey Free Inns were established in 1986, their thirty pubs are almost all managed, a third are leased from Inntrepreneur and Carlsberg-Tetley whilst the remainder have been purchased. The beers are mostly from Courage and Scottish and Newcastle although some guest beers also appear. Pubs in the group sell Auld Soxx and No Name Bitter. These beers' origins are unclear but No Name Bitter first appeared as a pseudonym for a Ringwood beer at one of the company's houses, the White Horse (aka The Pub with No Name) at Priors Dean. The group's pubs are believed to include the Bridge at Shawford, the Bugle at Hamble and the Sir Walter Tyrrell in the Forest. We can not be more specific as a letter asking the company for an up-to-date list did not receive a reply.

South Coast Taverns are another very shy company from which no reply has been received. The following history of the company has therefore been compiled from snippets of information obtained by various local CAMRA members over the years and so the word allegedly prefaces all that follows.

South Coast Taverns has been around since at least 1988. In 1989 local pubs featuring in their advertisements included the London Hotel, the Winston Hotel, the Queen Vic, the Smugglers and the Northumberland in Southampton and the Old Mill at Holbury. Recently the company merged with True Country Inns of Chandler's Ford, which itself was born out of Coastal Leisure. Coastal Leisure, by 1990, was running twenty-two pubs from its Gosport headquarters. John Miller, who during the 1980's built up the J M Inns chain before selling on his eighteen pubs to First Leisure in 1988, has also been involved with South Coast Taverns.

The latest acquisition is a 60% holding in Bristol based Beverages Leisure and its eleven outlets will operate under the banner of Brown's Leisure. Apparently, a supply deal has been struck with Courage. The company is aiming for an estate of 100 pubs. A 1993 advertisement for South Coast Taverns still featured the Old Mill but was joined by Piaf's in Romsey, Ringwood's Fish Inn and the Beaulieu Road Pub.

A local group which runs some diverse hostelries is Star Hotels. The name comes from the Star Hotel in Southampton's High Street, one of seven houses in the group. There are traditional pubs such as the Humble Plum in Bitterne and the Master Builder in West End. These have recently been joined by the Builder's Folly at Horton Heath where the emphasis is more on food, as is the case at the Duke of Wellington. The building theme stems from the former profession of the group's founder, Charles Brown. The Grange in Netley, a new "family" pub built in 1989, was added to the portfolio in 1991 after the first owners, Mill House Leisure, went into receivership, although the pub itself was trading profitably. The beers on offer in Star pubs are largely from the Whitbread and Bass stables, although some more interesting brews are seen in the Humble Plum and the Master Builder. One of the company's schemes that failed to come to fruition was a proposal to build a hotel at Lepe.

Our area also has pubs run by companies based outside of the county. Glendola Leisure own the Dog and Duck and its associated clubs in Southampton's City Centre and recently they acquired JFK's in Canute's Pavilion at Ocean Village. These establishments – not of much interest to real ale drinkers – are apparently typical Glendola venues. Mother, The Genghis Khan restaurant is believed to be up for sale.

As mentioned, pub groups really took off as part of the fall out from the Beer Orders that followed the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report in 1989. The result was that the biggest brewers had to off-load a large number of their tied houses. Courage and Grand Metropolitan (Watneys) found a way round the Beer Orders in 1991 by Courage taking over all of the brewing whilst Grand Metropolitan looked after the pubs. In the dark days of the 1960's, Watney's abandonment of brewing would have brought cheers all round but with this amalgamation there are fears that the range of beers will now narrow with, for example, John Smith's Bitter being replaced by Websters.

Chef and Brewer was the managed house division of Grand Metropolitan and operated 1,600 pubs including 330 acquired from Courage in the 1991 agreement. The pubs are tied to Courage beers until 1995. However, as we reported in the last Hop Press, these pubs have now been sold to Scottish and Newcastle.

Inntrepreneur continues to operate the remainder of the pubs under 20 year leases, which have replaced the traditional tenancy agreements. Although many local examples appear to be closed or under temporary managers as prospective licensees consider the rents are uneconomic. Nationally there are almost 7,000 pubs under the company's control, of which 4,250 are allowed to be tied until 1998. These tied pubs will take Courage beers until then, after which they may be free, but another deal will probably be negotiated. The others (some leased to other pub groups) became free houses on November 1st., 1991

Whitbread is the other national brewer with many, many houses in our area. Whitbread Inns run 2,300 managed houses, while Whitbread Pub Partnerships run a similar number of leased pubs, most with 20 year agreements. The managed houses include those trading under the banners of Beefeater, Brewer's Fayre, Wayside Inns and Berni. Whitbread have also disposed of many pubs in order to meet the conditions of the Beer Orders, these have had various fates.

Roast Inns (the first of which was the Fishers Pond) are no longer under the control of Whitbread as the name, with some of the pubs, was sold to Devenish. Devenish was founded in 1742 and ran a large tied estate in Dorset and Devon. The Weymouth brewery was closed in 1985 and the company signed a supply deal with Whitbread in 1991, leaving its Redruth brewery to a management buy-out. Thus Devenish became purely a pub owning group and the 450 pubs under the company's control included 50 bought and 115 leased from Whitbread, including many in Hampshire. This change of control did no favours to drinkers as licensees who previously had a legal right to sell a guest beer of their choice lost that right under Devenish. This is one of the insidious ways in which the choice for drinkers has been reduced by pub groups. In 1993 Devenish were bought by the Warrington based, Greenalls Group, themselves former brewers.

Boddington is yet another former brewer which is now simply a pub owning group, with almost 500 pubs in its North Western estate. The Strangeways brewery still produces Boddington's beers but the brewery is now owned by Whitbread, hence the wide availability of the beers locally.

Many former Whitbread pubs are now under the management of Discovery Inns, based in Bristol. This company was founded in 1992 and runs 222 pubs, all of which are owned by the company, in the South West of England. The only two pubs run by Discovery Inns in our area are the Malt and Hops in Hythe and Chequers at Lymington. They own a further five in Portsmouth and Gosport and it seems likely that the company's Hampshire portfolio will increase in the future. Despite having reservations over the limited choice of beers available to their licensees, we are grateful to the company for supplying Hop Press with information.

No such help was received from probably the fasted growing of the pub groups operating locally, Maritime Taverns. It is a subsidiary of John Labatt (UK) Ltd. and the Canadian lager can be found in the company's houses. A number of local pubs are included in their 100 outlets across the South, many purchased from Bass. Probably the best known to readers is the South Western in St. Denys. This company was founded in 1992 and recently moved its headquarters from Southampton to Chandler's Ford.

So far, Hampshire has fewer pubs owned by pub groups than many other areas, but the number of pub groups and the number of pubs under their control is certain to continue to grow rapidly. There are a large number of pubs currently available for sale or lease and even more are likely to come onto the market from the big brewers as the property business recovers. As running pubs appears to be more profitable than brewing beer there is a chance that some of the most famous names in the brewing industry could become just pub owning companies, pulling out of brewing entirely. Evidence so far suggests that this will not lead to any increase in the choice of beers available in our pubs.

EDITOR'S POSTBAG Hop Press index

In our last edition we carried an article expressing concern at the rising prevalence of "house beers" – beers bought in and then re-named after the individual pub.

One of the organisations mentioned was the Star Hotel group, which we called to account for not identifying the origins of their house beer, we invited them to tell us. Mr. Hitchen, a Director of Star Hotels has responded:
 

Dear Sir,

I was interested and also slightly concerned to read an article in the Winter Edition of "Hop Press" entitled "What's in a Name."

I would like to reply to the points raised in your article but feel that I should also set the record book straight first by saying that both I, personally, and the Company, are more than enthusiastic regarding Cask Ale and that it is our policy to promote a large range of Cask Ales in all of our houses (we have six in total).

However, back to the article, it is true that we have recently been selling "Brown's Star Bitter" and I would make these observations:

1. The name is made up of:
    •   Brown's – the name of our Managing Director.
    •   Star – taken from the Company name.
    •   Bitter – say no more!
2. The legalities of selling "Brown's Star Bitter" are that we have to display the abv% and the price, which we do.
3. Whilst the beer is brewed by either a local or a national brewery (yes we did change supplier after approximately two months due to quality problems) we have never claimed that it is something which it is not, unlike the Devon Publican who claimed his beer was locally brewed.
4. In any retail trade the customer is always king and therefore has the right to exercise his own mind when presented with a range of more than one choice.
5. You mention that until the 1950's beers did not have names as such – simply mild, bitter or best (the good old days before fizz!). Well, the same position still exists today, if only in theory, and it is still possible for us to name our products as we wish, so long as no deceit or misrepresentation is intended or implied.

I would liken house brand beers to many supermarket products, i.e. basics like tea, or coffee through to beers, wines and spirits. Again the customer chooses the brand he or she prefers, be it Sainsbury's or Nescafé.

I am sorry that CAMRA felt the need to write about this Company but! can only reiterate what I said earlier, we are 100% committed to the Real Ale Cause as you can judge for yourself when looking at our outlets.

I hope that the above offers some explanation on the subject and I should like to think that CAMRA will not think any the less of us for it.

K. Hltchen, Director,
Star Hotels (Southampton) Ltd.

Ten Years Ago Hop Press index

The first Hop Press appeared in the late 1970's, first as a four page photo-copied sheet. By the eighties Hop Press had evolved into this A5 booklet form. We can now embark on that favourite of most news-paper editors, the nostalgia and "we told you so" column. Below we look at the contents of the issue of March 1984.

The editorial warned readers of the coming threat of the Watney Host Group's theme pubs. That unfortunate and expensive scheme spawned many of the worst examples of "plurals" pubs and a number of hostelries still have not fully recovered from the experience. Other articles included an Innsight on the (then Whitbread's) Shoe at Plaitford and one on Gibbs Mew at Salisbury, then only partially back to the real ale path.

In Pub News the main story was the opening of Wadworth's second pub in Southampton, the Guide Dog. The pub was previously run by Whitbread as the Valley Inn, but had been closed for three years. Pubs undergoing refurbishment included the New Forest at Ashurst, the Jolly Sailor at Ashlett Creek, the Dolphin at Hursley and the Fishers' Pond.

The advertisements included one for Mash Tun Bitter, brewed at the pub of the same name in Winchester and another for Joshua Privett's Traditional English Ale from the Pig and Whistle at Privett.

There was also an advertisement for the Winchester Beer Festival which was to be held for the first time at the Recreation Centre, North Walls after four years at the Guildhall – sic transit gloria mundi ...

LOST AND GONE
Edwards' Brewery, Bishop's Waltham
Hop Press index

Gareth Davies

In 1850 a brewery was established in Lower Lane in Bishop's Waltham, by name, Edwards and Sons.

They produced a full range of beers, from the standard beers of the time, Porter and Stout, to Light Bitter Ale which in those days must have been quite avante-garde. The beers must have been of pretty good quality as they won prizes a number of times at various National Brewers' Exhibitions – the Bitter Ale taking third prize in both 1888 and 1905.

In 1898 the Company was registered as Edwards' Abbey Brewery, taking over Wiltshire's Brewery of Droxford. By the turn of the century they had also acquired another small brewery in Botley. A stocktaking record from 1903 shows that brewing was still being conducted on at least two of the three sites at that time, Botley was probably just a beer store.

MALT Bishop's Waltham    £35/11/9½   
Droxford    £90/15/6   
HOPS Bishop's Waltham    £473/16/9   
Droxford    £1/6/0   
BEER Bishop's Waltham    £373/9/5   
Droxford    £5/11/9   
Botley    £30/17/6   
COAL Bishop's Waltham    £6/11/6   
Droxford    £7/16/0   
Botley    6s 3d   

Apart from the actual figures – malt assessed to the halfpenny – it is interesting to notice the relatively large amount of the capital tied up in hops.

Things continued to do well, by 1905 they had also installed a mineral water plant and by the time that the Great War came they not only had two horse drays but a Tasker 24 horse-power steam wagon as well.

Edwards owned eleven tied houses at their peak, amongst which were the Wheatsheaf and Sam's Hotel at Shedfield, the Brewery Bar at Botley, the Cricketers at Curdridge, the New Inn at Swanmore, the Barleycorn at Hedge End, the Jolly Sailor at Bursledon and the Mill Tavern in Southampton. Money was even coming in from such sources as the London and South Western Railway Company for "attachments to the wall of the Mill Tavern" and from the General Post Office for "the erection of a pole in the garden of the Jolly Sailor."

It all changed in the mid-twenties. The company was bought by the Winchester Brewery, a much larger concern. Almost at once the Winchester Brewery was itself taken over by Marstons of Burton upon Trent and Edwards' Brewery was closed. However, the name still appeared on Marston's balance sheet as a trading company as late as 1941, when a profit of £941/11/4 was posted. The very last trace of the name that we are aware of was Edwards' Of-Licence, in the High Street, Bishop's Waltham. Run by a family member, in 1970.

EUROPEAN MANIFESTO Hop Press index

Pat O'Neill

The European Elections are approaching and, like all campaigning bodies, CAMRA has a manifesto of aims that we urge voters to match up with the candidates' claims. CAMRA is a member of the European Beer Consumers Union (EBCU), a federation of voluntary groups throughout Europe, we believe membership of the European Union benefits British beer drinkers.

The Beer Culture. The European Union offers the widest choice of beer styles of any political area in the world. The beer, pub and bar industry is vital to the economic health of the Community. We demand that beer and brewing be given the status it deserves. In particular, brewing must be placed on the same footing as wine-making. Wine production comes under the umbrella of agricultural processes whilst brewing is classed as industrial, the agricultural category attracts many financial benefits under the Common Agricultural Policy. It is hard to see that a small brewery is different in principle from a vineyard and winery.

Labelling. CAMRA strongly supports the contents labelling of all alcoholic drinks. It is quite absurd that a non-alcoholic beer has, by law, to display all of the ingredients that went into its production but the same beer, with alcohol left in, does not. The best hope of improved labelling law comes from Brussels. And, when we get it, then wines must also be included on an equal basis.

Taxation. Everyone in this part of the country is aware of the lunacy of the present alcohol duties. British beer drinkers currently pay an amazing 26p per pint more tax than les buveurs des bières Français!

Now that the Single Market is in full operation, over one million pints of beer are brought back from France every day. 1,000,000 pints every day! This is a massive distortion of the whole concept of a free market. British brewers are suffering, off-licences are closing. Britain's MEPs must campaign with our own government for a cut in our excise levels; not so that more beer can be sold but so that more of the beer that is sold, is British.

On the taxation front, we also call on our European Representatives to support the sliding scale system for brewery taxes – this is used in a number of EU countries, notably Germany. This system levies lower excise taxes on small-scale brewers, it is a powerful anti-takeover force – Germany still has well over a thousand independent breweries.

The tied house. CAMRA supports the continuation of the tied house system for small breweries and will seek its retention when present legislation is reviewed in 1997. Loan ties, supply agreements with pub chains and inter-brewery licensing agreements can all be anti-competitive, we seek action to limit all of these monopolistic practices.

Advertising. CAMRA would like to see an end to all mass media advertising of alcohol and controls on sponsorship and promotions aimed at the young.

PUB NEWS Hop Press index

Rob Whatley

The Tally Ho at Broughton, a little to the South of Stockbridge, was for many years that endangered species, a rural pub with no real ale. Yet handpumps have not suddenly appeared at this listed building – all of the beers are now served directly from the cask. This is the second tied house for the Cheriton Brewhouse, joining the Flower Pots and like it, also purchased from Whitbread. On taking over, they found the original beer stillage long abandoned in an outhouse so normal service is at last being resumed!

Whitbread also put on the market the King Charles, at King's Worthy, and although it was feared that this pub might be demolished to make way for housing development we now understand that it has been bought by Gales, developments are awaited. The other King's Worthy pub, Marston's big roadhouse the Cart and Horses, is open again after extensive alterations which have increased the emphasis on the food trade. Also North of Winchester, the Lunways on the old A33 is now being run by Charlie and Jackie Marsden who used to be at the Waterloo in Freemantle. The beers on offer will usually include brews from Ringwood, Hop Back and Scottish and Newcastle.

Two pub refurbishments just missed the last edition of Pub News. The Plough, at Sparsholt, a Wadworth tied house, was closed for a week while the car park was enlarged and internal alterations took place, including the provision of facilities for the disabled. Meanwhile £150,000 was spent by Marston's on the refurbishment of the Willow Tree, a pub with a beautiful river-side site by the Durngate Bridge in Winchester. Paul and Sandra Smythe are the new hosts. We mentioned in the last edition, the re-opening of the Porterhouse but the latest news is that a nightclub, aimed at the "over 25's," has now opened on the top floor, despite objections from residents who feared a return to the troubled times of the "Red Electric."

The name change trend continues unabated with the latest victim being the Dolphin in Romsey. The fine Regency facade is to be desecrated by the childish name of the Lucky Sixpence. The Town Council, quite rightly, deplored the change in name and have written to Whitbread to express their concerns. Unfortunately there are no planning grounds on which the Council can object to the scheme. Perhaps the new listing criteria [see Editorial] may be able to stop this pathetic nonsense? Of course, the Dolphin did briefly change its name in 1987, when it became the Olive and Dove for one of Southern TV's [actually TVS's – online Ed.] Ruth Rendell Mysteries! Another new name is Buskers, which is the new persona for the Stoneham Inn in Bevois Valley, Southampton. At least it will stop confusion with the Stoneham Arms which is a couple of miles away at Bassett. The good news is that with the name change real ale has been re-introduced.

Staying in Southampton, the announcement of the refurbishment of the Dog and Duck in the City Centre has left us a little confused. The owners, Glendola Leisure, claim that the change, "...brings in a new colour scheme and fun theme of a '60s and '70s traditional pub." When Pub News visited after the refurbishment, for the first time in a number of years, the changes appeared to be so minimal as to be imperceptible. We are also intrigued to know exactly what was the fun theme of a traditional pub in 1960.

Two pubs which have new licensees who are keen to keep them as traditional pubs with a good range of beers are the Lapstone at Horton Heath, where the restaurant trade had been in the ascendant, and the King and Queen at Hamble.

Other changes that are quite old now but did not get a mention in the last edition are the swap of managers between the Bell at St. Cross where Stan and Barbara Whitlock are now well installed and the Junction in St. Denys where Graham and Mayvrill Roberts are equally so. A few yards up the road at the Bridge the licensee is now Ray Rose.

Over the horseshoe bridge, in Dukes Road, the old burnt-out Waterloo is finally being demolished. Surprisingly, it is for once a welcome sight to see a pub being raised to the ground, the long-neglected ruins made a depressing sight, even offices may be better.

By the waterside, the Village Bells at Eling is now a Gibbs Mew house but, unhappily, the Highlander in Hythe was boarded up in December. Towards the Forest the long-awaited refurbishment of the White Horse at Netley Marsh was completed in December and there are plans afoot to incorporate the skittle alley and function room into the main building at the White Hart, Cadnam.

There have been changes behind the bars at Barton on Sea. John and Eileen Blanskby are the new proprietors of the Ventana while Bob Coulson and his partner Carol are back running the Red Linnet, where they both used to work 20 years ago.

The King's Arms in Lymington has recently had a facelift but the traditional character of the pub has been retained and the beer is still served direct from the casks behind the bar. Nearby at Pennington the Wheel Inn is open once again with Ringwood Bitter, Courage Best and Directors on offer. The pub has been sympathetically refurbished in a green colour scheme and retains two bars with contrasting styles.

At the farthest North-Western extremes of the county – literally, the border runs through the pub's bar – lies the Red Lion at West Dean. This was another Whitbread house recently sold off and now run by Mike and Cindy Skinner. They are keen supporters of the small brewers and make a point of featuring their beers – Pots Ale is currently the session beer. They also tell us, à propos of our last issue's editorial, that they only serve Imperial pints, not Brewers' Society 19oz pints!

Finally we wish a happy retirement to Jim and Rita Andrews who have been at the Old Thatched House in Shirley for almost twenty-five years. In the past we have expressed our concern over the rapid turnover of licensees in managed houses, but Jim must be one of the longest serving managers of the same pub in the country and was, we believe, the second longest serving licensee of any pub in Southampton. Jim and Rita will be spending their retirement at their home in Marchwood.

EFFY'S ROUND – a personal view Hop Press index

"I've got the Dog's Bollocks out the back," said the Landlord. III hadn't been aware that he was talking about beer then I would have been more than somewhat confused!

There are well over 600 cask beers available in the United Kingdom today and new ones are being added almost daily. From the national giants down to micro and pub breweries, the choice of a good name can mean the difference between success and failure in reaching the bar top. The giant brewers can bludgeon the drinker with mass advertising and seduce the licensee with heavy discounting and the old-established independents can rely on their (mainly!) good reputations, earned over the years. The new wave of miniature breweries can only draw upon whatever wit and imagination they can muster to market their brews successfully.

A recent television advertising campaign by our old friends Whitbread, promoting Flowers Original, caricatured "beer-spotting" punters in a country pub choosing the delights of Old Grumblebelly, Viper's Tooth etc. For their advertisement to make an issue out of mocking such names clearly shows that the successes of the micro-brewers are worrying someone in the depths of Whitbread's marketing empire.

Locally, we do not seem to be too outlandish in our preferences – 6X, Pedigree, and HSB for example are pretty conservative and even Old Thumper or Old Speckled Hen are ordinary by present standards. Hop Back's popular Summer Lightning has a powerful cult following, perhaps started by its very felicitous name, although undoubtedly now reflecting the beer's quality. These beers are not necessarily the best, but once a beer is established customers like to stay loyal. Now they get upset when the names are needlessly changed! Many Marston drinkers still resent the loss of the simple Burton Bitter, a name full of pedigree, one could say.

"Beer-spotters," of course, search out any new brews or names and travel miles to get them. The average customer (as I see myself) on the other hand will only try something different with the utmost reluctance. Good marketing must concentrate on a name that tries to capture the spirit of the beer. Just adding "best" to a brand is no longer adequate.

Some of the more bizarrely named brews now in pubs somewhere include: Brunswick's Old Accidental and Old Abusive, North Yorks' Dizzy Dick, Big Lamp's Blackout, Robinwood's Old Fart, Uley's Pigor Mortis and UB40, Jolly Roger's Shipwrecked and Nix Wincott's That ("a pint of that"). The length prize must go to West Coast Brewery for Dobbin's North Country Yakima Grande Pale Ale – they'll shut before you've ordered!

I can offer the big brewers a few new names, how about: Old Short Measure (alias Brewer's l9oz) or Committee Selection or Bland and Boring. You'll have better ones, please write.

By the way, Dog's Bollocks is OK, but don't have too much, you'll end up a bit ruff!

Hop Press issue number 37 – Spring 1994

Editor: Pat O'Neill
1 Surbiton Road
Eastleigh
Hants.
SO50 4HY
01703 642246
hop-press@shantscamra.org.uk

© CAMRA Ltd. 1994

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