Campaign for Real Ale Ltd
Cyfarfod Rhanbarthol Cymru
South & West areas Regional Meeting
No Sign Bar, 56 Wind Street Swansea SA1 1EG; 1pm Saturday 21st July 2018
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of previous meeting
- Welsh language membership forms (Offer of translation for inclusion on web site)
- 3 Taxation
- Situations Vacant
- Welsh Directors Report
- Welsh national super festivals
- Bottled Beer competition (Brian)
- CAMRA reps from each parliamentary constituency in wales to go to lobby in Westminster 30/10/2018
- Competitions items (Chris Gillette)
- Festival bar equipment
- Cider report (see attached)
- Kate firstname.lastname@example.org monthly article of 500 words on ale & cider for food and drinks section of Shiresmagazin
- Branch Reports – matters arising
- DVNM. Do you wish to split the meetings to North Wales, South Wales, and an annual one for all Wales, which has been a previous pattern.
Welsh Branch Reports
CHESTER & SOUTH CLWYD
GWYNEDD A MON
NEATH PORTTALBOT (SUB BRANCH)
TEIFI VALLY (SUB BRANCH)
Jamie Ayres Teifi Valley Branch
I’ll be looking at updating all of the Pubzilla entries over the next month or so when I’m not covering summer holidays at work.
Generally pubs appear to be doing well in the Teifi Valley area. From my own experience and that of other landlords I have spoken to the pub trade is healthy and real ale and cider sales are strong. We have had no further pub closures since the Black Lion in Lampeter in September last year (I believe there is a potentially interested party in that property who would keep it as a pub) and the Lamb of Rhos (a strange situation of a thriving pub that has simply closed its doors for no apparent reason). I have not been able to reach the landlords of The Lamb for comment. In fact, Felinfoel refurbished and reopened one of its properties a few months ago after a relatively long closure (Llwyndafydd) and has also refurbished another just a mile or so away from it (The Black Horse, Pentrecwrt) so despite it not being my favourite brewer it is good to see some long-overdue investment in its estate.
Although not directly related to real ale or cider it might be worth discussing how the recent CO2 issue caused problems across the pub industry. With my pub I was lucky in that we didn’t quite run out of CO2, but had we ran out it would have had a knock on effect on real ale sales. Real ale drinkers often come in with lager and draught cider drinkers but those draught punters would likely have stayed away taking the real ale drinkers with them. Obviously we were looking at using it as an opportunity to convert the more adventurous ones to real ale! 😉
I’m sure that pubs with far larger turnover of draught stock and those that sell food (also affected by the CO2 shortage) as a primary source of income would have been / were hit a lot harder.
VALE OF CLWYD
VALE OF GLAM & BRIDGEND
WELSH CIDER REPORT
May Cider Month Promotion. Here in Wales we have had an extremely busy cider promotion for May starting with 4 days Mayday Bank Holiday.
The Llandod Ale Trail & Cider Nouveau Festival
The Llandod Ale Trail & Cider Nouveau Festival involved a pub crawl around Llandrindod Wells. All the pubs had a range of different Ciders and Perries 60 in total, all from apples and pears pressed in the 2017 autumn. There was a small problem with the long winter some ciders and perries were not ready, and had restarted fermentation when the weather warmed up, but we had a good range of varieties from all over Wales.
With the weather forecast so good we were looking to a bumper 4 days, with the Festival starting on the Friday evening at the Llanerch Inn with their music night.
It was all go for Saturday, calm sunshine, the pubs ready, even a fun fair turned up, but where were the punters Llandod was like a ghost town, we were waiting for the sage brush to come bowling down the street. Unfortunately Sunday, and Monday followed the same pattern The problem was solved when a group of people turned up on Monday afternoon, to say they were back from Aberystwyth were they had left early due to the seaside being packed with so many visitors you could not move, this was seconded by others returning from the coast, and the late TV news.
So having looked forward to a record breaking May Bank Holiday weekend we were down about a third on previous years.
19th Sunday 20th May saw The Royal Welsh Saturday Agricultural Society Spring Fair
Here we were again in the sheep shearing shed of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. But this time we were combined we the beer section of “Drinks Wales” in a large square bar, Buster from Brecon Brewing was representing the ale section of “Drink Wales” with various ales and beers from the smaller brewers in Wales. I was doing similar with Welsh ciders and perries, and also using the opportunity of the Spring Fair to hold the 2018 Welsh CAMRA competition for cider and perry. We were joined by Dave Yates and Kerry his partner from Hereford to assist with the competition, and also learn about how the competition was organised, as we shall be hosting the West Midland Cider and Perry competition at “Beer on the Wye” in July.
The event started at 10.00, and we served the first round at 10.15, then everything went crazy. With five of us serving, such an early start we just managed to keep the queue served. The trade carried on like this until 3.00 in the afternoon. There had been acoustic music on the stage, were normally the shearers demonstrate their skills in denuding sheep.
Then a group with all the noise came on, they were so bad they cleared the shearing shed, but this lull in the proceeding gave us the chance to run the cider and perry competition
Sunday was busy but not to the small degree as Saturday, with three of us serving on the bar we finished at 5.00pm with 5 partly filled bag in boxes left. What a weekend!!!!
Spring bank holiday 4 day event last Bank Holiday Friday 25th Monday 28th May
Welsh Perry and Cider Society Annual Cider & Perry Festival
At Caldicot Castle. We started on the Wednesday. I sorted out all my pop up bars for the event, and once the marquees were up, we set up all the bars. With an addition of a refrigeration trailer for the bottles. Last year the trade on the bottle bar was so busy, although there were fridges the bottle could not rest in there long enough to cool down, so this year all the bottles were stored in the trailer and put into the display fridges as required this system worked extremely well.
The festival followed its usual pattern with Monday the busiest of all.
So ended May a mostly extremely busy month, with the interest in cider & perry continuing to grow. We sold more gallons and ½ gallons take aways, more interest in making cider and perry, and were could cider & perry be bought
Beer on the Wye
I have been helping Dave Yates with our pop up bars, and supplies of Welsh Cider and Perry. Due to the sad demise of Sally Lavender I was asked to organise the CAMRA 2018 West Midlands Cider and Perry competition, this is the first time the cider competition has been hosted by Beer on the Wye festival. The competition took place on Friday 6th July before the festival fully open to the public. 37 cider and 21 perry entries arrived from the West Midland producers, there was supposed to be 36 judges, but unfortunately only 6 turned up. Although the competition over ran into the opening of the festival by about 3 hours. By this time we had managed to kidnap sufficient people to judge, so the competition progressed in better order to its conclusion.
Looking to the future
I is still a busy time of the year for events and festivals. It is only three weeks away from
We then have another bar the end of July, and a World War I bar in August to celebrate the end of the War 100 year ago
WELSH DIRECTORS REPORT
First my apologies
I am sorry for the minuets of the last meeting. As there was not any one to take the minuets I suggested we could record the proceedings and write them up later. Unfortunately the microphone in the recorder proved to be very directional, so trying to hear one end of the table was very difficult. It missed picking up all attending when we introduced ourselves, and also left us trying to remember, and decipher some of the comments. My thanks to Chris Gillette, and Dave Gill for all the work they put in to sort the problem. Please inspect the minutes we have produced, and contact me with any omissions and corrections. With the problems caused by trying to record the meeting, I shall not be using this method again
Welsh Super Beer & Cider Festival
I understand this has caused confusion, and concern, not only within Wales but also there has been problems within the festivals committee, and the warehouse suppling the festivals equipment.
This is a copy of the relevant section of the NE/RDs Debrief from Barrow in Furness for branches
“Accounts, IT and logistics all reported to Ken who was clearly getting to grips with the unacceptable service successive festivals were receiving from the warehouse. We acknowledged with the assistance of Graham Donning’s assembled photographs the lamentable condition in which some festivals returned their equipment, in some cases badly packaged to facilitate damage in transit. Festivals needed to organise enough staff and enough time for orderly take down, including washing and cleaning routines. Warehouse failings should now be escalated via RDs to Jill Burder and Jonathan Howarth, with copy to Ken. The festival business plan format was another bone of contention; if the idea had been to make it simple, it seemed to have failed. One regional assessor was reported to be unable to follow it. Via Nik Antona, we’d be inviting business plan designer Terry Lock to the December meeting in Cambridge. Following the GDPR briefing, standard wording was requested for a compliant festival volunteering form enabling consenting volunteers’ details to be shared with organisers of neighbouring festivals.
Members in the North were reported not to share any sense of ownership of, let alone pridein GBBF, concerns about which would now formally be raised via the Festivals Committee. For whom was it intended? Yorkshire brewers perceived it as limited to bitter, best bitter and mild, not the interesting stuff, and the requirement to supply four kils was a barrier to many. News that the current beer ordering team would be standing down was generally welcomed. However, those running brewery bars should be expected to bring their own equipment or pay extra if CAMRA needed in the event to make special arrangements to accommodate them. Frances Lock was reported to have asked about the attendance that might be expected at any GBBF (Wales), by comparison with a Cardiff Beer Festival. (The same question as between GBBF (Winter) and a Norwich Beer Festival might have been asked two years ago.) Four volunteers had so far come forward for a GBBF (Wales) committee. Such a festival might or might not materialise”.
I first heard of this several months ago, that an inquiry had been made to hold a large beer & cider festival at The Motor Point Cardiff. This was followed by a very confusing conversation with Frances Lock assuming that that it was The Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival at The depot, and saying the figures did not add up.
I understand the festivals committee are looking at each country in the UK holding a similar national super beer & cider festival, similar to London GBBF for England, and from this I was asked if I could form a Welsh committee made up from the Welsh branches to run it. To date I have had four volunteers, but nothing else is organised. No business plan etc., etc.
I hope to have further info which we can discuss at the next regional meeting.
Minimum Unit Charge
The Welsh Assembly Cross party group, Brewer, Cider Producers, and pubs had their second meeting, and we heard that the assemble had passed the legislation for M.U.C which is set at 50p unit and will start operating next year.
Assets of Community Value (AVC)
Wales unlike England does not have any protection for its pubs. It has promised legislation to bring in a similar ruling, but unfortunately the Welsh Assembly has still not progressed with setting up this protection
You Gov Survey Reasonable Price for a Pint
You Gov asked more than 40,000 Britons what they considered to be a reasonable price for a pint at the pub.
Brits think it is “reasonable” to pay £3.00 for a pint.
I was contacted by BBC Wales Radio, to give an interview, and Shire Magazine for an article for their food and drinks section.
I totally agree with the findings of You Gov, and over my experience of being a third generation licensee have found that if reasonable prices are charged customers will buy more, so increasing the sales, and profit. If the prices charged are high the customers feels “ripped off”, may have one drink, drink it very slowly, look for another reasonably priced bar, or in the case of an event smuggle in their own drink. But the expensive bar will lose out
The survey did not specify whether it was a pint of beer or cider, but on inquiring it could be either.