“We are the facilitators to our own creative evolution.” Who do you think? Descartes? Darwin? Dawkins? Nope – none of the above. In fact, it was said by the inimitable Bill Hicks, a man who also proclaimed: “We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.” I’m not so sure pub and bar operators would agree with the latter.
Your 4 September edition of Pub & Bar is the next stage of our very own creative evolution – as you can see, we’ve had a bit of a spruce up. While going through this process, I’ve been thinking of our readers every step of the way. Week after week, we receive buoyant news about pub companies and operators refurbishing and revitalising their venues all across the country, and now it’s Pub & Bar’s turn. There are many reasons for a venue to undergo such a project: fixing problems, maintenance, investment, change of style/offer, etc. However, the key basis for a refresh is engagement. Just as your pubs evolve with the customer in mind, magazines do the same for their readers.
It was precisely this time six years ago that Pub & Bar magazine first started landing on the desks of the UK’s finest operators, and throughout the last 150 issues, we’ve seen a great deal of category evolution – none more so than in the beer market. The boom in the styles, serves and popularity of beer has been fascinating to observe and document. This edition of the magazine is dedicated to the humble beverage that so many more are exploring and engaging with compared to back in 2011.
Our lead interview sees deputy editor Charlie Whitting head to Wales to talk to our cover stars Gazz Williams and Bradley Cummings, co-founders of Tiny Rebel Brewing Co (page 20). Yes, they’re brewers, but they also run three mighty fine venues. Elsewhere, I tackle the topic of bottle shops and just what the increase in these drink-in and takeaway concepts means for the pub and bar trade (page 24). After that, we’ve got cask ale, craft beer, cellar management and a whole lot more. Enjoy the issue.
Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor