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Best of beer writing recognised in annual awards

Beer author and filmmaker Jonny Garrett has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2022 at the Guild of Beer Writers’ Annual Awards, presented on 23 November.
Beer Writer of the Year is the top accolade in the Guild’s annual competition for communication about beer and pubs, which this year received 190 entries across 16 categories – the highest number ever, and matched with a record prize fund of £19,500, shared between 27 Gold and Silver award winners.  
On his way to the top honour, Garrett won Gold Awards in the categories for Pub Communications, Books and Video Communications – the latter with Brad Evans, his co-presenter on the Craft Beer Channel on YouTube. His book, A Year in Beer, was published earlier this year by CAMRA, and he also contributes regularly to beer magazines and websites such as Good Beer Hunting. Garrett has been named Beer Writer of the year once before, in 2019. 
Pete Brown, chair of judges for this year’s Awards after taking the Beer Writer of the Year title in 2021, said, “Choosing an overall Beer Writer this year was exceptionally hard, but Jonny was the judges’ choice because of the range of his work, from print articles to website posts, films and a new book. Whatever he does, he has complete mastery of his topic, thanks to painstaking research, and is able to communicate it to beer nerds or a generalist audience.  If we ever get a beer programme on mainstream TV, Jonny should definitely make it! 
“We were impressed by the standard of submissions across the board this year. The knowledge, energy and passion shone through entries whether newspaper columns, blog posts, books or films. Several winners tonight are relatively new to beer and pub writing, proving that our robust judging rewards talent, not time served. 
“Everyone who received an award or a commendation should be extremely proud; they really are the cream of British beer writing in 2022 and we wish them all success in their future career communicating about beer, pubs and cider.”
The Guild revised its Awards this year, splitting the previous Broadcast category into Audio and Video sections and introducing new Awards for Best Communication about Diversity in Beer and Pubs, and for Best Communication about Cider, following the decision to include cider writing within the Guild’s remit. 
Brown was joined on the judging panel by Mitch Adams, Beer Sommelier and beer buyer at Euroboozer; Molly Davis, head of communications at the BII; Claire Dodd, travel and drinks writer; Matt Eley, communications consultant and former editor of Inapub magazine; Fergus Fitzgerald, production director at Adnams; Kelly McCarthy CBII, licensee of the Old Sun Inn in Yorkshire; John Mitchinson, co-founder of crowdfunding publishers Unbound; Ned Palmer, cheesemonger and author and Michelle Perrett, industry journalist and communications expert.
The Brewer of the Year title, sponsored by SIBA, was presented to Andy Parker, founder and head brewer at Elusive Brewing, who won the highest number of votes in a poll of Guild members. 
Presenting the Award, Guild Chair Emma Inch said: “Andy’s passion for brewing shows in every beer he produces, and what ends up in the glass is always a shining example of its style. He hasn’t forgotten his homebrew roots, running an annual competition that gives the winner a platform to brew their own beer, and benefit from his time and knowledge as a mentor.”
The winners were announced at the Guild’s annual dinner held at One Great George Street in Westminster. Each dish was served with a specially selected drink: Asahi Fuller’s Honey Dew; Little Pomona Wading In Cider; Geipel Bock; Bohem Amos; Thornbridge Jehanne and Adnams Broadside.  Beers from some of the Award’s sponsors– Asahi UK, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, Greene King, Heineken, Krombacher, Shepherd Neame, St Austell Brewery, VisitFlanders and SIBA - were enjoyed before and after dinner. 
SIBA Award for Brewer of the Year
Andy Parker, Elusive Brewing
Guild Award for Best Corporate Beer Communications
Winner: Untold Agency for Republic of Beer campaign for Budweiser Budvar UK
Guild Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator, sponsored by Krombacher
Winner:  Oli Haydon for
Silver Award: Matthew Rogers for CAMRAngle magazine
Award for Best Beer Business Communicator  
Winner: Stephen Beaumont for articles in Just Drinks  
Best Communication about Pubs, sponsored by Shepherd Neame 
Winner: Jonny Garrett for films on cask ale
Silver Award:  Alastair Gilmour for articles in Meet and Drink: The Microbus, Gateshead (review) (
Highly Commended: David Jesudason for articles in Good Beer Hunting and Pellicle 
Award for Best Communication about Beer & Travel, sponsored by VISITFLANDERS 
Winner: Lily Waite for articles in Pellicle You Had Me At Hello — The Salutation Inn at Ham, Gloucestershire — Pellicle (
Silver Award: Dan Saladino for chapters from his book Eating to Extinction 
Award for Best Communication about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs, sponsored by Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company UK
Winner: Anthony Gladman for articles in Ferment and IBD 
Silver Award: Mark Dredge for articles in Ferment
Award for Best Communication about No and Low Alcohol Beers, sponsored by Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I
Winner: Laura Hadland for blog articles
Silver Award: Jane Peyton for Food Talk Show
Award for Best Audio Beer Communicator, sponsored by Asahi UK
Winner:  Eoghan Walsh for A History of Brussels Beer in 50 Objects — Brussels Beer City
Silver Award: Jane Peyton for articles on Food Talk Show
Guild Award for Best Video Beer Communication, sponsored by St Austell Brewery
Winner: Jonny Garrett & Brad Evans for Craft Beer Channel:
Silver: Danny Savage for pub stories broadcast on BBC News

Award for Best Newcomer to Beer Communication, sponsored by Fuller Smith & Turner
Winner: Reece Hugill for article in Pellicle: I Want To See Mountains Again — The Banked Beers of Teesside, North East England — Pellicle (
Silver Award: Ashley Joanna for articles in Belgian Smaak The Sage (Humans of Belgian Beer) | Belgian Smaak
Award for Best Book about Beer or Pubs, sponsored by Heineken UK
Winner: Jonny Garrett for A Year in Beer (CAMRA)
Silver Award: Jaega Wise for Wild Brews
Highly Commended: Em Sauter for Hooray for Craft Beer 
Best Beer Communicator, Regional Media, sponsored by Adnams 
Winner: Alastair Gilmour for articles in Meet and Drink Battlesteads, Wark (
Silver Award: Ashley Joanna for articles in Belgian Smaak The Adventurer (Humans of Belgian Beer) | Belgian Smaak
Highly Commended: Breandán Kearney for articles in The Brussels Times Magazine   
Award for Best Communication about Diversity in Beer and Pubs
Winner: David Jesudason for various articles including:
Highly Commended: Ruvani de Silva for various articles including: How ‘Ladies Who Lager’ Is Changing Perceptions of Women as Brewers in India | VinePair
Award for Best Communication about Cider, sponsored by Inch’s Cider
Winner: Gabe Cook for Modern British Cider
Silver Award: James Crowden for Cider Country
Award for Best Self-Published Writing about Beer
Winner: Eoghan Walsh for articles on Brussels Beer City: Where are you from? // Brussels Beer Project launches their Lambic brewery — Brussels Beer City
Highly Commended: Mark Dredge for work on beer flavours 
Highly Commended: Beth Demmon for her Prohibitchin’ blogs April Dove Is Brewing A New Community - by Beth Demmon (  

Award for Best Commissioned Beer Writing, sponsored by Greene King
Winner: David Jesudason for various articles including The Triumphant Story of Britain's Desi Pubs - Gastro Obscura ( 
Silver Award: Jemma Beedie for various articles including The Connemara: Irish pub culture in wine country (
Highly Commended: Will Hawkes for various articles including: Black by Day, Red by Night — Mild Ale and the Industrial Heartland Where It Never Died — Good Beer Hunting
The Michael Jackson Gold Award for Beer Writer of the Year 2022: Jonny Garrett

Pedal Power From Sky Boosts Business for the World Cup

England’s first World Cup game certainly delivered and so too did Sky - in more ways than one.

A number of pedicabs were organised by Sky to pick up punters from their homes, encouraging them away from their sofas and delivering them to the doors of their local to watch England’s first group stage game in a pub packed with atmosphere.

The pedicabs were pedalling around Kingston and its surrounding areas, promoting Sky venues as the home of sport and the place to watch the game, providing free drop offs to anyone wanting to watch the match.

Rupert Gibbons, Landlord of The Swan in Hampton Wick, a family run business said; "The Sky pedicabs were brilliant. They were cycling around Kingston, Hampton Wick and Teddington, letting people know that we were showing the game and bringing people to the pub. It's been great."

"We all need the support. Pennies are tight for people, but we don't want to lose local pubs. Having people support their locals during the World Cup is going to be a much-needed boost and we hope that England continue their success in the World Cup!"

The activity was part of Sky’s ‘Everyone Loves a Local’ campaign, which puts pubs and clubs into the spotlight and encourages their customers to support their local during the 28-day long tournament.  The first stage of Sky’s support was raising awareness of local licensed venues, who are Sky customers, by organising a series of AdVans driving around local areas promoting the fact that they’ll be showing the tournament. 

The vans were adorned with images of local footballing heroes who are playing in the World Cup including Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Phil Foden. A list of local pubs in the area accompanied the image to acknowledge the close link between local pubs and local football stars.

John Gaunt provide information on the World Cup & Christmas

So, the World Cup has been going a few days, and England started their World Cup campaign strongly by comfortably beating Iran in the opening game. While it may be time to celebrate and be hopeful, we can go all the way to the final on the 18th December,, it’s also a time for operators to be vigilant and proactive, particularly in that this world cup coincides with Christmas celebrations and parties which will be starting shortly.

With events like the World Cup comes a large amount of responsibility that each venue must consider to ensure legal safety as well as best practice. It is essential that business owners keep in good contact with the police and the local authorities’ licensing officers to inform them of their plans for the matches. Many police forces and licensing officers will proactively contact a premises to offer advice and set out expectations. Letters have already landed on doormats with the early Christmas cards but we would recommend attending any pub watch meetings in your area to find out the concerns of the authorities and fellow operators.

You should always check the mandatory premises licence conditions as well as those that are specifically tailored to your venue to ensure compliance.

Showing World Cup games and hosting festive period parties each come with their own considerations that the licensed industry has been familiar with for many years. This year, however, we are all faced with the unique challenge of the two occurring at the same time. Both can be crucial money spinners for operators, which are particularly essential as the industry tries to fight back following crisis after crisis. We would recommend operators think very hard about how to navigate these two revenue streams to maximize profits while also avoiding enforcement that could jeopardise the business altogether. Time spent now looking and implementing working practices could save time and gain money later in the month, especially if staff are well trained and understand how the premise may operate differently on the big days.

Should you require any advice about operations or issues due to trading please do not hesitate to contact the legal helpline on
0330 058 3878

84% of hospitality professionals say it’s invaluable to form friendships at work 

New research reveals that friendships are the lifeblood of the sector 
Establishing a support network is vital in the hospitality sector, as friendships better teamwork (71%), reduce workplace stress (62%) and enhance customer service (46%)
A vast majority (93%) of hospitality professionals would even stay longer in their role if they had a close friend in their team
To celebrate the sector’s friendships, BRITA Professional and The Burnt Chef Project are giving away a money-can’t-buy prize to a pair of best friends working in hospitality 

New research has revealed that three-quarters (77%) of hospitality employees have a work best friend and that these relationships are essential in developing support networks and fostering better collaboration in the sector. 
The research, conducted by
BRITA Professional in partnership with The Burnt Chef Project, found that strong support systems are intrinsic to quality work, with over half (51%) of employees recognising that they are more efficient, productive and energetic when working with their best friend. A further 46% stated that their customer service also improves. 
This is underpinned by a shared sense of understanding, including: 
Appreciating each other’s strengths (74%)
Knowing their weaknesses (47%) 
Acting as a calming presence in stressful situations (58%)
Friendships are also key to good mental health, as nearly two-thirds (62%) of UK hospitality professionals say working with their best friend helps to minimise stress, while one in two (50%) acknowledge the anxiety-reducing benefits. 
Without these means of support, sector workers warn they would feel isolated (57%), bored (48%), and lonely (49%) at work. What’s more, they caution that businesses may see reduced performance as teamwork (51%), morale (44%) and engagement (37%) suffer. 
These relationships are so vital they can also affect presenteeism and loyalty: 
93% of hospitality professionals would stay longer in their role if they had close friendships within their team
Over one-third (38%) would be more likely to call in sick if their best friend wasn’t at work 
Despite this, one in six (16%) employers don’t throw social events for their staff, while the majority (54%) of businesses only run socials once a quarter or less. Furthermore, according to another survey conducted by The Burnt Chef Project 72% said they “never” or “not very often” spend time outside of work as a team.
While there are numerous benefits, businesses also need to be conscious of the pressures that friendships can have on employees, such as extra pressure not to let their team down (10%) and making it harder to take time off (9%). 
Kris Hall, CEO and Founder of The Burnt Chef Project, said: “The research conducted in partnership with BRITA Professional continues to highlight one of the many reasons that a career in hospitality should be considered by all, something we are intensely committed to at The Burnt Chef Project. The relationships forged within hospitality are strong, life-long bonds and now the data shown in this research backs this up.
“This data has done a great job of really highlighting the importance to our wellbeing of establishing a close-knit tribe and the benefits of promoting a healthy workplace culture focused on connection to begin combating workplace stress.”

Best friendships aren’t the only perfect pairings that drive success in the industry. Professionals say it’s also vital to buy the perfect equipment (70%), find the ideal suppliers (60%), and one in three (31%) state reliable equipment servicing is a key consideration. They even place establishing sustainable business partnerships high up the agenda (41%)
Chris Fay C.F.S.P, Business Account Manager at BRITA Professional, comments: “The friendships forming quietly in UK hospitality venues have a loud impact on the sector. We know the power that establishing the right partnerships and connections can have, both within teams and with third-party suppliers, especially considering the challenges facing the industry today. That’s why we want to celebrate the exceptionality of the sector’s perfect pairings through our latest competition.”
In celebration of the industry’s friendships, BRITA Professional and The Burnt Chef Project have launched a competition for best friends to win a money-can’t-buy experience at Whatley Manor.
To enter simply visit and share the contact details of you and your hospitality work best friend and what your favourite thing about working together is by 11.59pm on 31st January.  
BRITA Professional: 01869 365 851, 
The Burnt Chef Project:

Industry unites to tackle recruitment crisis and urges Government to show support at critical time 

With a recent survey showing hospitality job vacancies are at almost three times the national average, industry bodies have written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions outlining the severity of the recruitment crisis, urging him to publicly support the steps being taken to address it and to implement policies to alleviate recruitment pressures.

In a joint letter to Mel Stride MP, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), UKHospitality, the Institute of Hospitality and charity Springboard, have called on the Minister to support a new industry-wide recruitment campaign, after a survey of hospitality businesses showed the current vacancy rate stands at 11% compared to UK average of 4%, a problem costing the industry £22bn a year. 

Outlining the difficulties businesses are having in recruiting, the letter points to the newly-launched Hospitality Rising campaign, which aims to change the perception of what it’s like to work in pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels and encourage more people to take up fast-progressing and fulfilling careers in hospitality. 

Now, building on the backing of businesses from across the entire breadth of hospitality from national coffee shop and pub businesses to hotel chains and service stations, the letter has urged the Secretary of State to recognise the severity of the current crisis, to publicly endorse the campaign and ensure careers in hospitality are on the radar of young people and school leavers deciding their next steps. 

In a joint statement, the organisations said: 
“The recruitment crisis currently facing pubs, restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars across the UK is causing an existential threat to our industry. This is not a problem facing just one type of venue or hospitality business, it is a universal issue, and it is critical because brilliant, passionate people are the lifeblood of hospitality.

“Since the pandemic, vacancies in our sector have rocketed, with many businesses now struggling to recruit the staff needed to simply keep trading day to day. Couple this with the current extreme cost of doing business and you have a perfect storm which will force many businesses to close for good without urgent intervention. 

“Our industry is one of only a few that supports livelihoods and contributes to local economies in every single part of the UK, but we are being held back. We are already collaborating as a sector to demonstrate the dynamism of our businesses and the opportunity careers in hospitality offer, but we need the Government to help unlock our potential by ensuring there is a sustained talent pool available to support our businesses for the long term as well.”

As well as urging support for the campaign, the groups have also previously called on the Government to take action to help resolve the crisis by providing greater flexibility in the apprenticeship levy and increasing the number of youth mobility visas that are available to allow more people with the right skills to come to the UK. 

Read the letter to Mel Stride MP here.
For more information on Hospitality Rising visit:

Our Hospitality Hero - Pete Simmonds

OHH! Pete Simmonds is passionate about hospitality, having worked at the Wych Elm in Kingston, Surrey (a finalist in this year's BII Licensee of the Year Awards) for 38 years

Pete Simmonds celebrates 38 years at the Wych Elm this year. A Fuller’s Master Cellarman and a marvel at customer service – having scored 100% when serving the mystery diner during the judging of the BII’s Licensee of the Year Awards – his passion for the pub and its community is inspiring. His customer service extends well beyond the pub, as he is the first port of call for many within his local community. From putting up curtain rails, rodding blocked drains, fixing bikes and repairing stuff in customer’s homes, Pete is always on hand to help people out.

“I love my job and I love working with people. It’s about meeting and greeting, making them feel welcome and there’s always a smile on my face. It’s about creating an experience that makes people want to come and visit the pub. It has to be great. It’s not about giving them a pint or a bite to eat, but making them feel warmly welcomed and extra special, so that they want to keep on coming back.”

“In the old days, if anyone had a problem they’d go to the pub to find someone to help, whether it was a plumber, decorator or handyman – and that’s the service we offer today.”

Pete’s time at the Wych Elm began before BII LOYA 2022 finalists Michael Pearson MBII and Charlotte Salaman MBII took over the Fuller’s tenancy nine years ago. He first got a job at the pub as a part time barman in 1985, to subsidise his apprentice salary, while working for British Aerospace.

“I was a Precision Engineer working in British Aerospace’s experimental department. My job was to make prototypes – a designer would bring me drawings and ask me if I could make it. I’m OCD in terms of detail and everything I do has to be done to perfection. That's still the case now – I’m fussy in the cellar and don’t really like anyone else going down there!”

When British Aerospace shut down the factory, he opted to take a full-time role at the Wych Elm, but it wasn’t until Michael and Charlotte took over that he was given the reins to the cellar.
“I told Mike that I’d have Master Cellarman within the year, and I did.”
To attain Fuller’s top cellar award, a pub must achieve a score of 90% or more on four consecutive visits, before an independent assessor carries out a survey of the cellar and bar – looking at everything from the beer quality to the cleanliness of the cellar, glasses, etc. Pete has maintained his
Master Cellarman status for eight consecutive years.

“I’ve got the best job in the world. Working here is about being part of a family – our pub is the community’s hub and we want to keep it that way,” he says.

The Wych Elm, Kingston

Key challenges facing hospitality to be tackled at leading virtual event "Access All Areas" from sector technology specialist Access Hospitality

Access All Areas includes a series of thought-provoking speakers and discussions, informative customer best practice and helpful technology product sessions over the course of the 11 day, free to attend, online conference.
Designed to provide invaluable advice and insight for hospitality operators navigating through the challenges of uncertainty and rising costs, Access All Areas will bring together an unrivalled series of contributors talking all things hospitality. The event is organised by sector technology specialist Access Hospitality and the first session will welcome Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, and other industry experts to discuss the latest developments and support packages within the industry.
As well as general technology masterclasses, Access All Areas will feature ten hospitality-specific sessions showcasing industry expertise across areas ranging from the expansion of activity-led venues to loyalty programmes, finance and accounting to the advancements in hospitality tech that are driving great guest experiences and streamlining operational costs. Asma Khan, founder and CEO of Darjeeling Express will also host a session on diversity and equality within the hospitality sector.
Henry Seddon, managing director of Access Hospitality, said “Hospitality operators continue to respond positively to the severe challenges they face but there is always something to learn from each other when we share best practice. Access All Areas will combine this advice with the latest advances in technology that bring practical solutions to the challenges faced in increasing sales, reducing costs and looking after the workforce. All BII members are welcome to join any – or all – of the Access All Areas sessions free of charge as we present a programme that offers help and advice for working smartly to deliver an exceptional guest experience and build a motivated and productive workforce. If the schedule is not convenient, operators are invited to register and watch on demand at a more suitable time as we want to make the help, advice and discussions as accessible for as many people as possible.”
Access All Areas for hospitality runs online from Tuesday 8th to Friday 18th November 2022 with free
registration now open for each session.

How to overcome misconceptions and unleash employee potential

New research from HIT Training has revealed that hospitality businesses are missing a trick—less than half (46.3%) offer apprenticeships at all career levels. What’s more, most employees (58.5%) believe apprenticeships are only for school leavers. 
Yet, with staffing shortages dominating the industry, employers can’t afford to miss the benefits that upskilling existing workers can bring to their business, no matter their age or seniority. To overcome this, the industry needs a rethink. 
Adapt how we identify talent 
For too long employee potential has been measured purely by proven skills and experience. Let’s change the perception of talent, by instead defining employees by their ambitions, their passions, and their ‘soft’ skills. This can reveal that the very skills you seek to boost in your workforce, may already be bubbling beneath the surface of your team. 
Throw out the notion that apprenticeships are just for the young 
Outdated perceptions around apprenticeships are holding businesses back from tapping into talent throughout an employees’ professional life. 
With more than 80% of employees (81.9%) agreeing that there’s less emphasis placed on training and development as they progress in their career, it’s time to turn this around and bring fresh ambition to the surface. 

Unleash talent through apprenticeships 
Apprenticeships have great value to offer for the entire workforce. In fact, 77% of all people surveyed by HIT Training said that if they were offered a job with the prospect of doing an apprenticeship to develop their skills, they would in fact take it.
Considering the sector continues to face unfilled vacancies and a workforce feeling overworked - and at times undervalued - employers would be wise to recognise the potential talent nesting within their teams already. 

Our new toolkit makes it easier than ever 
Our new See V toolkit aims to look beyond the traditional experience-based CV, and shares insights from leading HR professionals in the sector on how to spot signs of talent hiding within a hospitality team.
To discover more about how offering hospitality workers easy access to lifelong career progression can improve team morale and breed positivity, download HIT Training’s See V toolkit today. 

To download the toolkit visit:
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