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Emma Inch wins top writing award

23 Nov

Brighton based beer writer and radio broadcaster Emma Inch has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2018 at the Guild of Beer Writers’ annual awards ceremony last night alongside six other women writers and brewers.

Beer Writer of the Year is the top award in the Guild’s annual competition for writing about beer and pubs, which this year received more than 140 entries across nine categories. Inch won two category awards – National Media and Online Communication – on her way to the top prize.

Emma is the creator and presenter of Fermentation Radio, the UK’s only regular beer and brewing show on FM radio. She has written for a number of national and international publications, judges regularly at beer competitions and this summer established the first Brighton & Hove Beer Week.

Adrian Tierney-Jones, chair of judges this year after taking the Beer Writer of the Year title in 2017, said, “All the judges found it exceptionally hard to choose the winners and runners up from the very strong field of entries received this year. As someone who has written about beer for 20 years, it is heartening to see the impressive levels of knowledge, energy and passion in beer and pub writing, and also to see the growing media interest in the subject.

Tierney-Jones was joined on the judging panel by Amy Bryant, food editor at The Telegraph; James Cuthbertson, MD of Dark Star Brewery and founder of the Beer & Cider Marketing Awards; Stu McKinlay, co-founder of Yeastie Boys; Jenn Merrick, founder of Earth Station Brewery; Mark Taylor, Bristol-based food and drink writer, and Zoe Wood, retail correspondent at The Guardian.

The Guild’s Brewer of the Year title, presented at the same time as those for writing, was this year shared for the first time by two candidates who drew level in a poll of Guild members: John Keeling, recently retired from Fuller’s, and Jaega Wise, head brewer at Wild Card Brewery.

Presenting these Awards, Guild chairman Pete Brown said, “Both John and Jaega are worthy recipients. John’s contribution to brewing has been immense, from championing traditional cask ale to creating contemporary crowd pleasers with craft brewers, while also being an advocate for gender equality in the industry, appointing a woman head brewer to succeed him.

“Jaega has not only been producing outstanding beers but has also worked tirelessly to promote beer among the general public and built links with other drinks industries such as wine. Jaega has risen to become one of the most important voices of the industry, and a champion of increasing diversity and promoting equality within it.”

 

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

Brewer of the Year:

John Keeling, recently retired from Fuller’s

Jaega Wise, Wild Card Brewery

Guild Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator

Winner: Martin Oates

Commended: Oli Carter Esdale

Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications

Winner: Roosters Brewery

Guild Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer

Winner: Jonny Garrett

Silver Award: Mark Dredge

Long Live the Local Award for Best Writer about Pubs

Winners: Jessica Boak & Ray Bailey

Commended: Bob Jeffrey

St Austell Brewery Award for Best Young Beer Writer of the Year

Winner: Eoghan Walsh

Silver Award: Katie Taylor

Commended: James Beeson

Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online

Winner: Emma Inch

Silver Award: Matthew Curtis

Fuller’s London Pride Award for Best Beer Writer – Trade Media

Winner: Will Hawkes

Silver Award: James Beeson

Commended: Matthew Curtis

Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer – Regional Media

Winner: Alastair Gilmour

Silver Award: Susan & Judith Boyle

Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer – National Media

Winner: Emma Inch

Silver Award: Melissa Cole

The Michael Jackson Gold Tankard for Beer Writer of the Year 2018

Emma Inch

Back to more research for a ‘deeper dive’

9 Aug

Dea Latis, has been awarded a second grant by the The Worshipful Company of Brewers from their Brewers’ Research and Education Fund to delve further into women’s attitudes and behaviours around beer following the publication of their report in May this year, The Gender Pint Gap.

Dea Latis directors, Lisa Harlow and Annabel Smith identified during the early stages of drafting their report that the results demanded a much ‘deeper dive’ into the psychology of female relationships and attitudes towards beer. The report was drawn from a YouGov survey of 2,000 respondents answering mainly multiple-choice questions so there was no opportunity to explore responses in more detail at that stage. The new funding will provide an opportunity to conduct more detailed, qualitative research.

They are also keen to explore how brand owners, brewers and retailers are responding and reacting to female attitudes towards beer and to draw up some ‘best practice’ guidance.

Lisa Harlow explained: “Our first report was the most comprehensive piece of research in this area for over nine years and provided us – and the sector – with a fascinating overview of today’s situation. At the same time it generated more questions than we could answer.

“For example, why did so many non-beer drinkers say that they just don’t like the taste of beer. Was it tempered by inherent beliefs and opinions or have they had a poor experience of beer so their conclusion is that all beer is the same? Have they had the opportunity to experience a diverse range of flavours, styles and colours, and been encouraged to form opinions without judgement or ridicule?”

The second piece of research will also look into why women don’t drink beer for fear of ‘being judged by others’; why marketing and advertising of beer is such a big barrier (48% in the 18-24-year-old age group) and what brewers might be doing to address the misconceptions about beer in terms of calorific content, serve size, quality and image.

Annabel Smith added: “Our aim is not to tell the beer industry how to do their job or give negative opinions about their marketing strategies. We want to engage and work with brewers to create an achievable set of standards and messages based on robust ‘real life’ opinions of real consumers. We want to engage, educate and entice women to consider beer and research such as this is commercially valuable to brewers, brand owners and retailers.

“We are very grateful to the Worshipful Company of Brewers for their support in this, and our earlier research.”

Women dominate beer group awards

10 Jul

Women involved in the beer and pub sector dominated the awards given at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) Annual Dinner in Westminster recently with four of the seven awards going to five women.

The presentation was made by Mike Wood MP, the Chairman of the APPBG at the Beer Group’s Annual Awards Dinner in Westminster which attracted over 200 MPs, Peers and senior industry figures.

Sara Barton from Brewster’s Brewery in Grantham was nominated by the Institute of Brewing & Distilling as ‘Brewer of the Year’ for her brewing innovation, advocacy in communicating about beer and for blazing a trail for the current generation of female brewers and beer lovers.

Annabel Smith and Jane Peyton won a joint ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. Annabel was described as one of the countries most respected beer quality trainers; one of the driving forces behind Dea Latis and hosting beer and food matching events for female MPs, the most recent being held last November.

Jane is a writer, broadcaster, events host and drinks educator. She holds the Guinness World Record for leading the world’s largest beer tasting; hosts a popular beer tasting tour of historic London pubs and instigated Beer Day Britain. Both were two of the UK’s first female beer sommeliers in 2012.

Ruth Smeeth, MP for Stoke North was awarded the honour of ‘Beer Parliamentarian of the Year’. Ruth has brewed her own beer, worked an evening behind the bar at the Bulls Head in Burslem; she has hosted two receptions in Parliament for Dea Latis and is the Beer Group’s Labour Vice chair.

Finally, Great British Bake-Off winner, Candice Brown, was named as the Beer Drinker of the Year.

Other awards at the dinner were:

  • Special Award: Colin Valentine and Tim Page, CAMRA
  • Pub Parliamentarian of the Year: Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield.
  • PubAid Award:  Stonegate Pub Company

The photograph shows Jane Peyton, Annabel Smith and Sara Barton toasting their awards

Calling time on homophobic, sexist & racist abuse in pubs

4 Jul

Drinks writer and beer and pubs advocate, Jessica Mason has launched a new accreditation scheme for pubs called The Equality in Pubs Accreditation (TEPA) in an attempt to stamp out homophobic, sexist and racist abuse in pubs.

Pub owners/operators who want to tell customers that their pub has a zero tolerance policy on abuse in any of its forms can now sign up to TEPA and, from 2019, gain a window sticker and a plot on a map on TEPA website to let people know that their pub doesn’t support homophobia, sexism or racism in any of its guises from neither its staff or it’s drinkers. Joining TEPA means the publican has a civic duty to act should they recognise abuse in their venue.

The Accreditation has been pioneered to offer all people the freedom to visit the nation’s finest pubs without trepidation and to remind the pub, beer and hospitality industry as a whole that inclusiveness is everyone’s responsibility.

Jessica said: “Social equality is a human right. Let the best pubs, bars and taprooms, run by the most accommodating, kind and friendly staff identify themselves and help all people remember that the value of pubs is as much what they represent as anything they serve across the bar.”

“Pubs are for everyone. The word pub is short for Public House. People should feel that term is valid irrespective of gender, sexuality and race. They are a community hub for all and a place where everyone, whatever their identity, should feel is safe.”

TEPA will be open for submissions from publicans from September 2018 where after a shortlist will be drawn up and the first accredited TEPA venues will be visited and mapped before the close of the year.

From the spring of 2019, the TEPA map will become accessible to all – with its usefulness designed to help people navigate their way to places that are non-discriminatory.

For more information contact: Jessica Mason, Drinks Maven Ltd, email Jessica@drinksmaven.com , call 07939 220485 or tweet: @drinksmaven

Beer writers outperform FTSE on gender balance

1 Jul

The British Guild of Beer Writers appointed five women to their board of nine members in June – which means that as an organisation it outperforms the FTSE 100 companies by 92%* on the gender balance in boards issue!

Elected as directors are Frances Brace, Pete Brown (as a new Chairman), Joanna Dring, Susanna Forbes, Robert Humphreys, Paul Nunny, Annabel Smith, Neil Walker and Natalya Watson. In addition, Ros Shiel, secretary to the Guild swells the females ranks even further at board meetings.

Warm tributes were paid to the long-standing chair Tim Hampson who stepped down after twelve years’ service and it was also revealed that for the first time in its history, the Guild has over 300 members.

Frances Brace, Director of Red Flame Communications commented: “The gender shift in such an iconic organisation should be good news for the image of beer and for those in the beer industry working towards greater inclusivity.”

*29% of FTSE 100 company directors are women but 56% of Guild directors are women.

 The photograph shows the female contingent on the Guild board, from left to right: Frances Brace, Susanna Forbes, Annabel Smith, Jo Dring and Natalya Watson

 

Is beer the last alcoholic drink with a gender bias?

8 May

Download PDF: The Gender Pint Gap Report_Dea Latis_May 2018

The UK has one of the lowest percentage of female beer drinkers in the world, despite the much lauded craft beer boom. Outdated sexist marketing, fear of the ‘beer belly’, and negative perceptions about flavour are all contributing to British women spurning our national drink. These are the findings in a new report into female attitudes and behaviours towards the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink.

The Gender Pint Gap report released by the women and beer group, Dea Latis is the first major piece of research about female attitudes towards beer in almost a decade. In a fast-moving consumer landscape that has seen a huge rise in the number of breweries and beer brands in the UK, the report reveals:

  • Only 17% of women drink beer at least once a week (compared to 53% of men).
  • Male oriented advertising is one of the three main barriers for over a quarter (27%) of women drinking beer – rising even higher for the 18-24 year-old female group to almost half (48%).
  • A fifth of women (20%) say that high calorie content is one of the three main barriers for women drinking beer.
  • 17% of women feel that ‘being judged by others’ is one of the three biggest barriers to drinking beer.
  • 32% of women would now drink beer at home with friends, compared to just 3% of women in another survey about women’s drinking habits and their relationship with beer in 2009*.
  • Taste is the great divide: Of the women who drink beer 56% do so because they like the taste; conversely, of the women who never drink beer 83% do so because they don’t like the taste.

The research conducted by YouGov was commissioned by Dea Latis, the group set up to inform and educate women about beer and to choose beer as a drink of choice. They wanted to examine whether the UK’s craft beer boom in the last decade has inspired more women to drink beer.

Comparing their statistics to a similar piece of research conducted in 2009*, it appears that female attitudes, perceptions and beliefs about beer have not changed much beyond a stronger trend to drinking beer at home. The report, say the authors, begs the question: why is the beer industry not tapping into this female market with an image overhaul?

Beer Sommelier and Dea Latis director Annabel Smith said: “We know that the beer category has seen massive progress in the last decade – you only need to look at the wide variety of styles and flavours which weren’t available widely in the UK ten years ago. Yet it appears the female consumer either hasn’t come on the same journey, or the beer industry just isn’t addressing their female audience adequately. Overtly masculine advertising and promotion of beer has been largely absent from media channels for a number of years but there is a lot of history to unravel. Women still perceive beer branding is targeted at men.”

Co-author of the report, Lisa Harlow added: “Our research has shown many misconceptions which women still hold about beer, such as calorific content, self-image and pre-conceptions about taste. It was disheartening in our supposedly enlightened times that so many of our female respondents cited ‘being judged by others’ as a reason for not drinking beer. Perhaps we need some high-profile celebrity advocates to show women that it is acceptable to drink beer?”

Beer writer, Sommelier & Certified Cicerone®, Melissa Cole said of the report: “An important piece of research that’s based on intelligent and insightful questions to unearth the simple ways the beer industry has managed to disenfranchise women from their once-loved drink over the last 70 years or so.

“It highlights everything from societal pressures to inappropriate serves to ingrained misogyny and more as just some of the issues and challenges the brewing industry to do something about it.

“But it’s not just criticism, it’s got rational advice on how the new, and old, guard of brewing can make beer relevant to 51% of the population again; but it’s also only just the start and I hope more long-overdue funding is provided to help address this issue.”

Jane Peyton, Beer Sommelier, writer, and founder of the School of Booze said: “The stats are fascinating and so insightful. I learned a lot about attitudes. This report should be read by everyone who makes and sells beer.”

The report concludes with a ‘Beer Drinking Women’s Manifesto’ which urges women who drink beer to become advocates; encouraging sampling, asking for different volumes and glassware and dispelling myths about calories and acceptability.

About the survey:

The Dea Latis survey was conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults of which 1094 were female. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 4th October 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

 

*Molson Coors’ Bittersweet Survey: ‘Study into the drinking habits of UK women and their relationship with beer’ was sourced from an ICM survey in 2009. ICM interviewed a random sample of 2002 women aged 18-64 from its online panel between 26th – 28th January 2009. Respondents who don’t drink alcohol were screened out.

 

 

Connecting generations of brewing talent

7 Mar

Jenn Merrick, former Beavertown head brewer, is brewing a collaborative beer with Heriot-Watt students at Pressure Drop Brewery in London on 23rd March.

The idea came from the team at We Are Beer (London, Edinburgh & Bristol Craft Beer Festivals) who asked Pressure Drop Brewery facilitate a project to celebrate and profile women’s contribution to modern beer. Jenn Merrick of yet-to-be-built Earth Station Brewing will lead the project alongside the students and faculty at Heriot-Watt to make a beer that celebrates women in brewing; the craft, creativity and business expertise of women in the industry’s past, present and future.

Sienna O’Rourke, Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Pressure Drop explained: “The We Are Beer guys behind the festival did some research and found that 35% of their attendees were female but they want to grow that to 50%. They felt that celebrating and profiling amazing female talent would be a great way to head towards this goal. Meanwhile, intake of female students at Herriott Watt is shooting through the roof, and half the staff are female too, so it felt like a unique opportunity to connect the next generation of female brewing talent.”

The brew will take place on Friday 23rd of March at the brewery in Tottenham and the name of the beer is up for grabs and will be decided on the day.

After that, the beer will be poured at all the 2018 We Are Beer events and will have a national release in limited edition small pack.

Meanwhile, Jenn Merrick will launch Earth Station Brewery this summer. Located in East London’s Royal Docks—a stone’s throw from London City Airport and next to the brand new Elizabeth rail line—the brewery will form part of an “exciting hub for creativity and manufacturing” owned by local arts charity Create London.

 

With grateful thanks to the ‘In Your Area.co.uk’ news website for the photograph of Jenn.

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