Tuesday, 11 December 2012

CAMRA’s Save Your Pint Mass Lobby

CAMRA’s Save Your Pint Mass Lobby is nearly upon us. Over 1,000 CAMRA members, publicans and brewers have registered to join together on Wednesday 12th December for CAMRA’s first mass lobby.

The 100,000 signatures on the e-petition triggered a three hour debate in Parliament. The mass lobby is now more important than ever to ensure Government stick to their commitments and review the damaging tax regime on Britain’s pubs and national drink.

For more information visit www.saveyourpintlobby.org.uk


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Barrels crowned Pub of the Year

We are delighted to announce that The Barrels in Hereford has been crowned Herefordshire CAMRA 2012 Pub of the Year.

The Barrels is Wye Valley Brewery's flagship pub, it was the brewery's home for many years and is best described as a down to earth drinking establishment. It attracts an eclectic clientele who come for the lively, friendly atmosphere and, of course, the full range of Wye Valley Brewery's beer.

This is the 7th time The Barrels has been awarded Herefordshire CAMRA Pub of the Year.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Wye Valley Brewery are pleased to present a cheque for £1,280 to our local branch of Age UK, raised through sales of our Pint Bearer monthly special earlier this year. The money raised will be put to good use throughout Herefordshire.

Age UK does great work promoting the wellbeing of older people and aims to help make later-life a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. It comes at a particularly good time of year for the charity as elderly people are often in greater need for care and support during the cold winter months. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Message in a bottle!

Our head brewer Jimmy Swan is pictured below putting our 'message in a bottle' in the foundations of our new brewhouse! The message is a fantastic poem about the brewery by our poet laureate Steve Harris...

We’d like to send a message full of greetings and good cheer
Assuming in the future that mankind’s still drinking beer

You see, we’re on a mission that can’t afford to fail

A never ending battle to make the finest ale

Despite the huge taxation and duty on our booze

The very place you found this note is rather splendid news

To you it’s simply history, a place to dig and delve

But this, our brand new brew house, began in twenty-twelve

Here, Wye Valley Brewery, continued to expand

As Herefordshire’s finest ales are always in demand

The local hops and choice of taste all add to its appeal

The motto of our brewing team is ‘always keep it real’

As our campaign for real ale continues at a pace

We wonder if our future selves have carried on in space

Whilst dreaming that you’ve made it and now travel to the stars

Despite the lack of atmosphere, we hope you still have bars

On the subject of celestial, well heavenly at least

We have a special expert on barley, hops and yeast

Our Dorothy Goodbody is the drinkers favourite Miss

And from your very distant past, she sends you all a kiss.

P.S if you are reading this in just a few years time

Please ignore this message and the rather hopeful rhyme...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Beer Duty Debate

Following the success of the Beer Duty e-petition, the policy is being debated in Parliament tomorrow.

The debate in Parliament calls on the Government to review its controversial “beer tax escalator” policy, which has seen the tax on beer rise by a staggering 42 per cent since it was introduced in March 2008. The debate is to take place on Thursday 1st November. 

Vernon Amor of Wye Valley Brewery, says the debate shows the huge scale of concern about brewing and pubs and the vital role they play in our local economy. A petition signed by over 100,000 people has been the catalyst for action, after a national campaign backed by the Society of Independent Brewers, of which Wye Valley Brewery is a member, as well as other industry bodies and CAMRA. If the Government abandons plans for further big tax hikes, jobs and pubs could be boosted in this area.

“However, we are dependent on a thriving pub industry in order to sell our beers and any further pub closures will hurt us, as well being a huge social loss to the local community. Tax
is now on average over a pound a pint in the pub and further rises are just not sustainable.  

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Winning Dorothy for the Day!

The spirit of our Dorothy Goodbody – has been brought to life for our 2013 calendar cover thanks to 'Dorothy for the Day' competition winner Lucy Dearden.  
Dorothy Goodbody is the brains and beauty behind a delicious range of real ales from Wye Valley Brewery.  Legend tells that Dorothy was the daughter of a Herefordshire hop farmer in the 1950's and renowned local belle.  Inspired by the Herefordshire countryside, she developed a passion for real ale and created a range of fantastic ale recipes using local hops.  

We received over 90 applications from potential Dorothy’s, all keen to represent her in a fabulous 1950's styled photo-shoot.  To make this all possible, we worked with the lovely ladies from vintage fashion designer Vivien of Holloway.

We were overwhelmed by the response to this competition – and there were so many fantastic entries – it was really hard to pick just one winner!  But in the end, Lucy’s entry won over judges for her spirited prose - explaining why she would be a great Dorothy for the day - and her winning smile.
Lucy, comments “I had a great time on the photo-shoot, it was amazing to be transformed into the 1950’s look, the clothes were beautiful.  It was surprisingly hard work though – I certainly deserved a bottle of Dorothy Goodbody’s Golden Ale by the end of the day!”

To celebrate the local hops used in Dorothy Goodbody’s ales, the backdrop for the photo-shoot was the verdant hops at Pridewood Farm. Winner Lucy was joined for the day by runner-up and local girl Hannah Tuffin from Hereford. Percival the farm Jack Russell also had his 15 minutes of fame when he posed with Lucy in one of the photos!

The 2013 Wye Valley Brewery calendars are hot of the press.  Over 1000 copies will be distributed to Wye Valley Brewery customers and for Dorothy-fans they are also available to purchase from the brewery shop.

PICTURED IS: Winner Lucy Dearden, amongst the hops at Pridewood Farm near Ledbury.

For, further images from the photo-shoot see the facebook album.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Great British Beer

It's official, Dorothy Goodbody's Blissful Brown Ale is a Great British Beer!

Dorothy Goodbody's Blissful Brown Ale recently reached the finals of the 2012 Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt. We made it through the regional heats, which secured inclusion in the in-store beer festival in September. 

The beer qualified for the Grand Final of this year's competition, unfortunately it wasn't the final winner, however, qualifiying for the Grand Final two years in a row isn't bad, and there is always next year!

Dorothy Goodbody's Blissful Brown Ale has sold well at food festivals over the Summer and only a few cases remain, if you would like to try this limited edition beer please visit our brewery shop or our online shop.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Cask Ale sales back in growth

According to The Cask Ale Report, which has just been published, cask ale volumes grew in 2011 for the first time in 20 years, recording a 1.6% uplift.

Report author Pete Brown says, 'The Cask Report has been analysing the sector for six years now and while cask has been outperforming the beer market for most of them, this is the first full year of actual growth'.

To see The Cask Ale Report visit www.caskreport.co.uk.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Beer fit for World Champions

One of the highlights of the Bromyard Hop Festival which is held in September is the Hop Pocket World Championships. A total of twenty teams of runners carrying a full 'hop pocket' (the huge sack used to store dried hops) set off from the Market Square and ran the length of the town before doubling back. 

Winners of the 2012 Hop Pocket Word Championship race were the team 'Awesome', made up of two pairs of brothers: Ashley and Andrew Davis, and William and Lewis Jacobsen.   'It was a last-minute decision to enter', said Andrew Davis, 'but I'm glad we did.  We had no special training, but we're all pretty fit, so we just went for it'. 'Awesome' ran the course in 2 minutes 41 seconds, narrowly beating a team of Halo Leisure fitness instructors who made 2 minutes 47. The Butty Bach Boys, a team from Wye Valley Brewery came in third place.

The new Ladies World Champion team is Luscious Ladies, who are Philippa Jones, Sally Bullock, Carla Chamberlain and Steph Bagley. The girls returned a time of 4m 11s. "The women's hop pocket weights 50 kg as against the men's one at 70kg, so we're very pleased with that time", said Steph Bagley, "and very proud to have taken over the title of Ladies' World Champions. Proud, but exhausted!"

Chris Barltrop, one of the organisers of the Bromyard Hop Festival said ‘the Hop Festival Committee are hugely grateful to Wye Valley Brewery for their whole-hearted support in so generously being one of our two major sponsors’.

The two winning teams met up at Wye Valley Brewery to collect their prize boxes of beer.

Pictured Vernon Amor, managing director of Wye Valley Brewery, with winning men’s team ‘Awesome’ and winning ladies team ‘Luscious Ladies’.

Friday, 21 September 2012

25 years for The Barrels

Visitors to The Barrels were celebrating last night as the pub was awarded a plaque to mark 25 years of being featured in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide. 

Described in the Good Beer Guide as a multi-room pub which enjoys a cult following, it stocks the full range of Wye Valley Brewery beers, and has been awarded CAMRA Herefordshire Pub of the Year on six occasions.

This year The Barrels held their 25th charity beer festival and raised a massive £25,000 for local charities.

Pictured from left Peter Amor landlord of The Barrels, Mark Haslam from Herefordshire CAMRA and Phil Pryce, Manager of The Barrels.

The Blooming Barrels!

The Barrels in Hereford has been recognised in the Heart of England in Bloom awards. 

The Barrels is Wye Valley Brewery’s flagship pub and was home to the brewery for many years. This popular pub which boasts a friendly atmosphere and excellent beer, also prides itself on its colourful beer garden.

The Heart of England in Bloom judges awarded The Barrels a Gold Award, in the Hotel and Pub Grounds category. 

Manager of The Barrels Phil Pryce and Estate Manager Geoff Evans were delighted to collect the award, and were pleased that their hard work had been recognised.

Pictured Geoff Evans receiving the Gold award.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Breweries in UK at a 70 year high

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) says there are now 1,000 breweries in the UK - the highest figure for 70 years.

Camra said 158 new breweries had opened in the past year alone, the highest number ever recorded by the lobby group's annual Good Beer Guide.

The organisation said the growth rate had quickened over the past 10 years and that the number had doubled in that time, with one brewery for every 50 pubs.

Camra called the figure "astonishing".

The increase has come against a backdrop of continuing pub closures. Almost 10,000 pubs have closed in the past decade.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

25th Charity Beer Festival

Every August bank holiday The Barrels in Hereford holds a charity beer festival, it has done so for 25 years.

In its 25th year visitors enjoyed 6000 pints of excellent beers from various British brewers, including Herefordshire’s very own Wye Valley Brewery, and 1000 pints of local cider.

The beer festival is run by volunteers and benefits local Charities, in their 1st year they raised £1,000, and in their 25th year they raised a record £25,000, a huge amount over inflation!

In particular, the festival donated £1,500 to The Mayors chosen charities, which are The Breast Cancer Haven and Robocap, a state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer.

Over the last 25 years The Barrels Charity Beer Festival has raised in excess of £350,000.

Pictured Peter Amor, Landlord of The Barrels with Mayor of Hereford, Cllr Brian Wilcox.