The Beautiful Beer Awards scheme was launched in March 2006, to recognise and reward pubs who deliver ‘excellence in beer’. To gain an award, pubs have to pass a thorough inspection of all aspects of beer service from cellar conditions to the beer in the glass. Successful pubs receive a Beautiful Beer plaque to display outside, as a guarantee to drinkers that the beer inside is of excellent quality. The aim of this campaign, owned by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), is to encourage more consumers to make beer their drink of choice on more occasions.
All fine and dandy you may well say. What a good thing you might say. So what has happened to this laudable scheme, primed with £600,000 of BBPA money? Well, they have axed both the founding director and the Public Relations Manager (who was the main contact and really ran the show) to concentrate funds on "political issues such as alcohol strategy and taxation." Don't know about you, but I rather like the idea of sorting out beer in pubs and spending a little on that.If they want to campaign on political issues, maybe they should find the funds out of another budget, rather than the beer quality one.
Awards have to have support and credibility to make them work and be seen to have value to the pub and the consumer. That means a proper structure, publicity and staffing. In a time when many pubs are empty, this move would seem to be taking an eye off the ball.
The awards scheme will continue it seems, but to me it has lost a bit of cred.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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