A major grants fund for scientific research and education in the brewing industry has begun inviting applications for funding in 2019/20. Under the Brewers’ Research & Education Fund (BREF), applicants have just under three months to submit their bids, with a deadline for funding applications of 31st March 2019. Full details of the applications process can be obtained via the British Beer & Pub Association website. The BREF supports vital research into projects of potential benefit to the brewing industry, such as improving brewery environmental footprint, dispense hygiene surveys and developing new hop varieties, as well as a range of educational activities. The fund was created through proceeds from the sale of the BBPA’s original headquarters in Portman Square, central London. The Worshipful Company of Brewers acts as Trustee and administers the fund, with the BBPA promoting the fund and providing the secretariat. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments: “The Brewers’ Research & Education Fund has supported many important projects over the years and is an important legacy from the Brewers’ Society and the Institute of Brewing. I’m delighted the fund is open for another year and look forward to receiving applications.” Michael O'Dwyer, The Clerk to the Brewers' Company, comments: “The Brewers’ Research & Education Fund is a great example of the Brewers' Company’s focus on investing in the future of the brewing industry. As the Trustee of the fund, the Brewers’ Company looks forward to awarding grants to another selection of valuable industry research projects and the opportunity to further education in beer and brewing.”
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today commented on the findings of a survey by the Portman Group, which found that there has been a boom in the popularity of low and no alcohol alternatives. Figures from the survey show that nearly a quarter (24%) of British drinkers have either already switched some of their drinking to low alcohol alternatives or would consider doing so in the next six months. The findings follow ongoing investment and innovation in low and no alcohol beers by UK brewers, which has been key to the low and no alcohol boom, says the BBPA. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, comments: “The boom in the popularity of low and no alcohol products, as shown by the Portman Group’s survey, is very encouraging. With the significant investment and innovation in low and no alcohol beers by UK brewers, beer has been a key part of this growth. “The skill and craft needed to brew low and no alcohol beers is no different to normal strength beers, meaning they taste great and quality is not compromised. With a bigger range of low and no alcohol beers than ever before, there has never been a better time to give them a go! “Although we are experiencing a boom in the low and no alcohol part of the category, there is a real need for the Government to engage and help our industry to promote these products and bring the guidance on alcohol descriptors in line with that of our European neighbours. There is growing interest in moderate alcohol consumption as the survey by the Portman Group shows and we need everyone to work together to make it easier for consumers to understand what is on offer and create real choice.”  Figure from YouGov PLC. Total sample size was 2004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 20th December 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to the Government’s consultation on planning reform. In its response, the BBPA has said that pubs must be front of mind when it comes to increasing planning flexibility, which will in turn help boost town centres and high streets. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, comments: “The pub is the heart of the community and vital to the high street offer, so it must be front of mind when it comes to planning reform. Changes to the Use Class Orders are key to this, so greater planning flexibility for leisure use is offered to pubs, not just restaurants and other hospitality businesses. Although merging Use Classes A1 (retail), A2 (Professional Services) and A3 (Food & Drink) would allow for more mixed uses, it would leave out pubs, meaning Use Class A4 (pubs) must be given greater flexibility too so pubs can make better use of their space. “The decline of the high street to date and closures to other public spaces has made pubs more precious than ever before. Many community pubs across the UK already house post offices, shops and libraries and there are no reasons why large pub premises should not provide a similar offer in town centres. This requires further discussions to ensure that whilst pubs’ unique planning statuses are retained, they have the opportunity to act as mixed-use venues too. “Town centres and high streets have a vital role to play in the need to build more housing, so the opportunity to extend buildings upwards is sensible. However, it is vitally important that the Agent of Change principle, which puts the onus on developers to protect existing businesses like pubs from noise complaints, is implemented vigorously and clearly identified in new guidance in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (Paragraph 182).”