Brits across the nation can grab a free pint at their local Greene King pub as soon as the first drop of rain falls in Manchester from 25th March.

As a weather-obsessed nation, research by Greene King to mark the first day of spring revealed that despite over eight in ten Brits (81%) believing rain is quintessentially British, almost three quarters (74%) claim that it puts them off going out and socialising. Those least likely to go out are Gen Z, with 85% citing they’re less likely to go out if it’s wet.

To encourage the nation to step outdoors and into the showers and to mark March 2023 being the wettest March on record for 40 years, this year, leading pub company and brewer Greene King is celebrating the rain with its biggest ever free beer giveaway.

According to research, Manchester has been crowned the UK’s wettest city, with over 1 in 5 of the nation claiming it’s the place that rains the most in the entire country.

So, to launch Greene King’s free pint offer, a nine-foot-tall pint glass shaped rain drop detector will be situated at Great Northern Warehouse in Manchester city centre from Monday 25th March.

Once Manchester experiences it first drop of rain onto the pint glass, the detector will light up and the free pints deal will be activated in Greene King pubs up and down the country, so Brits can head to their local participating pub to shield from the rain and quench their thirst. Keen viewers can watch the action unfold via a livestream of the Rain Drop Detector from the 25th March: https://www.greeneking.co.uk/we-pour

With the nation’s go to topics of conversation over a tipple being sport (56%) and the weather (49%) to chat about down the pub, Greene King has enlisted Former England footballer and avid pub lover, Peter Crouch to launch its free pint offer.

He said: “Having experienced playing football at the highest level for England, I know how much the nation loves their sport and hates the weather, so it’s no surprise to see that’s what people chat about at the pub most.

“I’ve also had my fair share of playing in wet conditions and seen first-hand how it can impact sport, and with my height, when it rains, I feel it before most people do.

“There’s no better place to go on a rainy day than a cosy pub to enjoy a well-earned drink, I’ll be on tenterhooks looking out for the rain on Monday, with 100,000 free pints up for grabs, there’s only one place I’ll be heading when the rain drops start to fall.”

Despite the Great British weather being stereotypically wet and miserable, over four in ten (44%) Brits admit they still don’t like the rain and over three quarters of the UK (75%) reveal weather as the most typically ‘British’ topic of conversation.

Clair Preston-Beer, Managing Director for Greene King Pubs, said: “Since March 2023 was the wettest March on record, we decided to mark the beginning of spring by offering the nation 100,000 free pints in our Greene King pubs nationwide to celebrate rather than commiserate the first drops of rain, because let’s face it, it won’t be the last of the wet weather!

“With over four in 10 (41%) saying a free pint would cheer them up on a rainy day, it was a no-brainer for us to announce our biggest ever pint giveaway, as we all love a freebie, but the stats show not all of us love the wet weather!

“At Greene King, we are proud of being the nation’s go-to place to eat, drink, and relax with your family, friends, and colleagues, we have something for everyone, so while we can’t control the weather we can make up for it with a free pint at one of our pubs up and down the country – meaning a Good Time is (Almost) Guaranteed. We can’t wait to welcome customers into our pubs to claim a free drink on us, so keep an eye on the sky and our rain drop detector!”

Find your local participating Greene King pub here: https://www.greeneking.co.uk/we-pour

A fresh new look and name change for SIBA

Brewing industry trade association SIBA are today launching their new brand identity, with a fresh new look for the association and a change in their name to reflect the expanding membership, becoming the Society of Independent Brewers and Associates.

As well as representing independent breweries SIBA also have brewing industry Supplier Associate members, including ingredients suppliers, brewery manufacturers and service companies, and more recently expanded their membership to include associate homebrewer and international brewing members.

“Independent beer and brewers are the heart of what SIBA is about and always will be. As our organisation has grown to reflect wider parts of the industry, we’ve evolved our name to include that. We’ve taken the opportunity of a rebrand to build on the SIBA name that we’re best known by, and to clarify the wider appeal of SIBA membership and what it means to be a part of that – putting independence at the heart of who we are.” Andy Slee, SIBA Chief Executive. 

The new SIBA logo highlights ‘Independent’ in the Society of Independent Brewers and Associates and uses a ‘loudhailer’ symbol to emphasise SIBA as the Big Voice of Independent Beer. The colourful new branding was developed by Ape Creative, SIBA Head of Comms and Marketing Neil Walker, and a working group of SIBA brewers and Board members who offered a diverse range of perspectives to the project.

SIBA say one of the core principles of the new brand is its adaptability – taking inspiration from Museums and Art Galleries who need to be able to curate and promote a broad range of artists.

“SIBA has been around since 1980 and has a diverse membership of very different businesses and breweries, some with long histories and heritages and other newer businesses who themselves are making a big impact on our industry. The evolution of not only the SIBA brand but the name of the organisation has been done to better reflect that membership, a modern brand which is adaptable and flexible, to work in different ways for different audiences.” Neil Walker, SIBA Head of Comms & Marketing.

Founded in 1980 as the ‘Small Independent Brewers Association’, SIBA changed its name in 1995 to ‘the Society of Independent Brewers’ but kept the original acronym for which they have now become well-known in the industry. The rebrand will see the organisation move forwards as SIBA – The Society of Independent Brewers and Associates.

To read more about the rebrand project click here


Independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame has now installed electric car rapid charging stations at six of its pubs in the South East.

A total of 15 rapid charging points are available across the following sites: 

It is just one of the initiatives that Shepherd Neame is investing in as part of its People, Pubs, Planet campaign, heralding a trio of ambitious environmental goals:  

  • Net zero carbon for direct emissions by 2030
  • Net zero for Scope 3 emissions no later than 2040
  • Zero waste to landfill by 2025

Shepherd Neame’s Head of Professional Property Services John Barnes said: “As a company, we are committed to doing the right thing for our environment, and our investment in electric charging points across our estate is part of that strategy. They not only to help promote cleaner transport but offer an additional service for our customers. 

“All of the sites chosen have big car parks perfect for the installation of the charging points, and are conveniently located for drivers at key points across the country near major road systems. We have seen a great response, with lots of new customers visiting our pub while they are charging their car. A rapid charge typically takes around 30 minutes, depending on the car, so it is the perfect opportunity to pop in for refreshments while you are waiting.” 

Drivers don’t need an account or an app and there are no connection fees, it is pay-as-you-go with contactless card payment. Charge points also accept electric vehicle roaming cards and fleet solutions.

Find more pubs with electric charging points.

New venue in Manchester gets £900k investment

Manchester family brewers, JW Lees, officially opened the doors on Founder’s Hall, Albert Square, last night. The redevelopment takes JW Lees forward and brings the people of Manchester a space to experience the vast line up of the brewery’s beers all in one place, as well as creating 25 new jobs.

Located in Albert Square, Manchester, in the shadow of the work-in-progress Manchester Town Hall, replacing the former duttons Manchester site which opened 10 years ago, Founder’s Hall has a unique but familiar feel and will be a place to meet, eat and drink. With the Brewery at the heart of the business, paying homage to their Founder, John Lees and nearly 200 years of brewing history, Founder’s Hall is a shrine to JW Lees beers, showcasing a vast range of cask ales, craft lagers, traditional brews and small batch Boilerhouse beers.

JW Lees wanted to shout about its heritage, so the décor reflects this and the beers are the heroes – customers will be able to enjoy tasting flights and beer cocktails and the team are knowledgeable in JW Lees beers to create a more immersive experience. Service style will be hands-off, akin to a pub rather than a bar, whereby ordering is done at the bar and customers are welcome to sit, eat and drink where they are most comfortable.

The external area will be extended and feel comfortable enough to attract diners as well as drinkers and, when the weather allows, the bi-folding patio doors open to create a real ‘outside / inside’ experience. The whole site will also be flexible in order to accommodate extra footfall that will be generated by large events on Albert Square in the future.

The menu features nibbles, bar snacks and small plates perfect for pairing with a few pints or sampling something new with beer flights. The main event is the individually hand-crafted pies made on site and packed full of flavour, as well as some JW Lees pub favourites, best of the season dishes and a cracking Sunday roast with unlimited Yorkshire puddings and gravy.

Whether Manchester is pouring with rain or the sun is shining on the square, this is a space to catch up with friends, enjoy your favourite beers, cocktails or a few glasses of wine and drink up the atmosphere. From late February a calendar of weekly and monthly events will start rolling out including quiz nights and ambient DJ evenings, to give city centre workers a place to relax and enjoy after a long working week and a venue to enjoy throughout the weekend.