Hereford's Premier Pub Guide
www.hmpubguide.com - Hereford's Premier Pub Guide: August 2009

Monday, 31 August 2009

New Drinking Laws in Scotland

Tuesday 1st September 2009 sees a change in the licensing laws in Scotland. As a result thousands of premises selling alcohol could be operating illegally as an overhaul of the licensing system comes into force.The 2005 Licensing Scotland Act, which comes into effect on Tuesday, requires that businesses and some staff have special licences to sell alcohol. However, the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the implementation process was "confusing". Ministers said the changes would stop strong drinks being sold cheaply and thereby end the binge-drinking culture.

Under the legislation, which is the first major overhaul of Scotland's licensing law in three decades, drinks promotions such as happy hours will end and consumers will only be able to buy alcohol between 10am and 10pm. Shops and stores will only be allowed to display alcohol in a specific area which has been set aside for drink.

The act also requires places selling alcohol to have a licence for the premises and a designated staff member who has received a personal licence to sell drink after completing training on the new legislation. The Scottish Government has extended the deadline for licensing boards to process applications until 1 November, but businesses must have made their applications and completed their training by the end of August.

The SRC's spokesman, Richard Dodd, said the way the act was being implemented was confusing: "We've ended up with a recipe for confusion coming from the fact that a lot of premises and individuals, despite having applied in plenty of time, have not got the licences that they need," he said.

"We've also got an issue with different licensing boards suggesting that they'll interpret the act in different ways.

"I think there's every likelihood we'll end up with a patchwork of different rules in different parts of Scotland, on top of the fact that it's clear an awful lot of customers are absolutely unaware of the changes that are coming in from tomorrow."

The FSB also criticised the changes. Policy convener Andy Willox said: "Licensees are unaware of - or confused about - just what obligations they'll have under the new system, leading to fears that they may be unwittingly leaving themselves open to action.

"And there are vast areas of the new laws which are open to interpretation by licensing boards, leading to fears that operating plans in individual areas will be gold-plated by local officials - with no proper impact assessment, or real debate."

Paul Chase, chairman of CPL Training, said his firm had seen a last-minute rush for places.

"A lot of people have left it far too late - premises licence applications are late and personal licence applications are piling up," he said.

But Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said the changes would "play a part in rebalancing Scotland's relationship with alcohol".

He said: "The 2005 Act clearly sets out the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, securing public safety, preventing public nuisance, protecting and improving public health and protecting children from harm."The success of failure of these measures will no doubt lead to a change in drinking laws south of the border. So we will have to wait and see how the Scots adapt to the new laws.

SOURCE: BBC WEBSITE http://www.bbc.co.uk

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Pub Facts

Whilst trawling the web the other day I came across these beer and pub facts that I thought other similar minded people may find interesting:
  • There are approximately 57,500 pubs in the UK.
  • Eight out of ten adults count themselves as pub goers and over 15 million people drink in a pub at least once a week.
  • Over 600,000 people rely on pubs for their employment.
  • Over 80% of pubs are small businesses run by tenants, lessees and owners.
  • The average pub spends over £70,000 per annum on locally sourced goods and services.
  • The pub food market continues to thrive. UK pubs now serve over one billion meals per year.
2007 Most Popular Pub Names
Red Lion - 759
Royal Oak - 626
White Hart - 427
Rose and Crown - 326
Kings Head - 310
Kings Arms - 284
Queens Head - 278
The Crown - 261
  • Around 90% of beer sold in the UK is produced in the UK
  • In the UK 28 million pints of beer are consumed every day, which equates to 100 litres per head each year - compared to 20 litres of wine per head.
  • Beer is a traditional and wholesome produce made from natural ingredients.
  • Over one-third of the UK barley crop is bought by UK brewers who are also major users of English hops.
  • There are over 2000 different beer brands available in the UK and over 1.5 million pints a day are exported to over 120 different countries.
  • UK brewers are industry leaders on environmental issues. Since 1976, energy usage per pint of beer produced has been reduced by 45%, water consumption reduced by 40% and carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emissions reduced by over 40%.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

4 Hereford Pubs Re-Reviewed

Tuesday night saw a mammoth HMPG pub review session. We re-reviewed several pubs in Whitecross and saw a wide variety of public houses. We started off in The Monument (pictured above) the review can be seen by clicking here- but it's safe to say that this pub is still one of the best in Hereford and easily retains it's place in the top 5.
Our journey then took us along Whitecross Road towards town, and our next port of call was The Buckingham (pictured above). Although mainly a food orientated pub, it is very welcoming and much better than the grim old days some of you may remember before the refurbishment, click here to read the review, and see if it retains its place in the top 20.
Next up we ventured into the back streets of Whitecross to sample two very locally-type pubs. First was the Cotterell Arms (pictured above). What greeted us was a slightly run down lounge with a close knit group of regulars. However, we were left alone to drink our beer in piece, and didn't get so much as a nasty look- although I was too scared to get my camera out; so in order for you to see the interior you'll have to go there yourselves! Click here to read our review.
Finally our journey took us to The Brittannia Arms (pictured above). Again this is a local pub for local people, but has always been more welcoming. That night there was a folky-type band jamming which provided a unique atmosphere, and the new landlord was very chatty and friendly. Again the place is a bit run down and rough around the edges, but we'll have to wait and see if the new management tidies the place up a bit. What is worth a mention is the free pool table, which was a welcome sight after having to pay a pound a game at The Monument. Just click here to read our review.

We are now planning another trip to re-review the rest of the pubs in Whitecross/Belmont area, including: The Plough, The Horse and Groom, The Vaga Tavern and The Three Counties.

As ever we look forward to reading your comments and reviews, just click on the links above and right to contact us.

Monday, 17 August 2009

A Tale of Two Tenby Pubs

A few weeks back myself and Miss W spent a lovely few days near Tenby in Pembrokeshire. Its always a bit of a journey into the unknown looking for somewhere to eat in the evenings when you're away from home and our adventures took us to two very different pubs.

First there was The Cross Inn in Broadmoor. This was a very local pub (if you catch my drift). Though it serves pretty decent food I can't imagine the tourists flocking their for the hospitality and a polite way of describing it would be 'a bit run down'. Check out the full review here.

The next night we stumbled across The Boars Head in Templeton. This was a much more welcoming pub catering for those after food aswell as the drinkers. Click here for the full review.

Monday, 10 August 2009

New Hereford Re-reviews Added

The last week or so has seen a several Hereford pubs being re-assessed. To read the reviews just click on the following pub name: Rose and Crown, Hop Pole (pictured above left), Orange Tree, Long Bar (formerly ASB Bar), Commercial and Broadleys (pictured above right).
To see what these reviews do to the overall HMPG official pub rankings click here.
We have also received two readers reviews, both are of the Rose and Crown, and both are very positive. Just click on the reviewers name to read their complete review: Jo, Chris and Diane.
To see all of your Hereford reviews click here.
We look forward to reading more of your reviews soon.

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