Pubs to sell beer by the schooner

TWO-thirds of a pint of lager and a packet of crisps please, barman.

It may sound odd but this is what drinkers will soon be able to order after one of the biggest changes to booze measures for more than 300 years.

Britain’s biggest brewer Heineken expects to be the first to see some of its beers sold in the new-size glasses from November. They are known as schooners in Australia.

It is pouring around £3million into the initiative following the change to laws dating back to 1698 which ruled beer should be sold in pints or quarts – which are two pints.

The brewer is ordering about 500,000 new glasses for its Heineken, Amstel and Tiger beer brands and will help plug them in pubs.

Click here for more.

The great British pub goes posh

Marco Pierre White has turned posh publican. And he’s not the only one. Here’s a round-up of the UK’s the boutique boozers to book now

Two dozen pubs close down in Britain every week and Marco Pierre White thinks he knows why — lager. The chef is convinced that the favoured tipple of the late-night lout, which you can get any old where, including the supermarket, is behind the downfall of an institution.

That’s why you won’t see a Foster’s or Stella badge on the bar at White’s new pub, the Pear Tree Inn in Whitley, near Melksham, Wiltshire, a wisteria-clad country inn where the grass grows faster than most of the locals speak.

To read more click here.

Our ten favourite pubs by the sea…

As the weekend approaches, we are all crossing our fingers for the sun to come out. Here are our top ten seaside pubs for some summer sipping.

The Ship Inn

Noss Mayo, Devon


The Master Builder’s

Buckler’s Hard, Hampshire




The Sportsman

Seasalter, Kent





The TY Coch Inn

Porthdinllaen, Wales




The Old Inn

Gairloch, Scotland




The Rising Sun

Lynmouth, Devon




Saltwater Brig

Co. Down, Northern Ireland




The Ship Inn

Elie, Fife




Spyglass Inn

Ventnor, Isle of White




White Horse

Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk


CAMRA calls for Pub Design Award 2011 entries

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling for entries for its Pub Design Awards 2011, which are open to pubs that were refurbished or newly constructed last year.

The annual awards, held in association with English Heritage and the Victorian Society, aim to recognise pubs that ‘demonstrate imagination, vision and a level of restraint in their design’.

Click here to read more.

My evolution as a beer drinker

Dan Vaux-Nobes, of Essex Eating fame, recounts his transformation from a Stella-swigging teen to a lover of local beers…

My earliest real memory of alcohol is the smell. I remember being propelled down a 1970’s East London high street by my mum one sunny morning, past the huge gothic Victorian pile of a pub on the corner and suddenly being enveloped in the most incredible warm, comforting hoppy aroma emanating from within. I was intrigued, and every time our route passed the same spot, the smell absolutely fascinated me.

Many years passed before I settled into drinking as recreational pastime proper. Admittedly, as with most teenagers, there was a very brief, ill-judged flirtation with Thunderbird/Strong cider/20-20, but it didn’t take me long to realise beer or lager was my drink du jour, namely Stella Artois.

Imagine if you will, the oft reproduced sketch of the evolution of ape to man. Hairy crouched monkey over time gradually developing through Homo Erectus *snigger* and finally into modern man.  I like to imagine my drinking represented like this. My swaggering teenage pub posturing, sporting an earring, reeking of Kouros and swigging from bottles of Stella is represented by an ape just beginning to rise from the crouch and taking his first tentative steps.

I thought I was sophisticated, sipping my Belgian brew. I now realise I was anything but. Although I had got one thing right, something, which helped to push me a few steps up the beer evolutionary scale. I’d read an article once informing me how inferior beer in cans was to its bottled brethren, which apparently was more likely to have been imported and therefore more often than not, tasted better. I took this advice to heart and never really got into swigging flat, metallic tasting booze from cans like my mates. No, I was a connoisseur…. of sorts.

The next stage in my evolution took almost twenty years, I slowly worked my way through hard to source, trendy imported bottled lagers, Italian, Japanese, American…I considered myself the international playboy of lager drinkers. Albeit still pretty damn hairy and crouched and yet to discover fire, but I was getting there.

Then, last year I moved to Bristol and absolutely everything changed, a complete evolutionary jump.

Bristol and the South West in general has lovely beer and ale, and it’s everywhere. No one was more surprised than me at how quickly I ditched my favourite trendy imported lagers, and started drinking pints of Bath Ales Gem, Bristol Beer Factory Sunrise, Otter or Sharp’s Doom Bar. All of it absolutely cracking, all locally produced and absolutely a million miles away from the mass-produced Belgian crap I’d drunk way back at the beginning. I’m not quite ready to join the bearded ranks of the rabid real ale drinker just yet, but I’m getting there.

If you asked me now how I’m portrayed in the drinking evolution scale, I’d say I’m almost a Homo Sapien, still a bit hairy arsed and stooped, but with a bit more refinement, I reckon my evolutionary beer journey is almost complete.