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P597 Last updated 28th July 2020

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Regrettably, the Branch’s normal cycle of events and activities has had to be suspended during the current Covid-19 crisis. We are hoping to resume them as soon as we possibly can. Meantime, we are pleased to see that pubs have been allowed to reopen and many in our area have bravely done so. Please give them your support, but in line with Government guidelines. You can still record your beer scores for them on this website and/or Whatpub. Watch out on our Official Facebook page for further news and developments. Please drink responsibly and stay safe !

CAMRA welcomes pubs reopening in England

Tom Stainer, Chief Executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said:
“Getting down to the pub for a pint with friends and family has been one of the things people have missed the most during lockdown, so it is fantastic news that people in England can start returning to their locals from 4 July." “Understandably, this comes with a responsibility to do so safely and responsibly in line with the government’s guidance. CAMRA is urging all pub–goers to follow the rules so that they can keep themselves, other pub–goers, and bar staff safe." “On recording customer details to help testing and tracing, this seems to be above and beyond what is being asked of other types of businesses. The Government need to make sure that this doesn’t disadvantage pubs and that the privacy of pub–goers is properly protected." “Not being able to go to our local has made us realise just how important pubs are to communities, and in tackling loneliness and social isolation. That is why we need a second wave of financial support to ensure that all pubs – both those operating at reduced trade and those that cannot open safely under social distancing – can survive the next few weeks and thrive in the weeks and months ahead.”

New Micro Opens in Blackpool

Shickers Micro Shickers Micropub at 3 Royal Oak Buildings on Waterloo Road opened on Friday 17th July.
The owners say on their Facebook page that the name Shicker is a word meaning alcoholic drink. My very limited researches suggest that it is Yiddish slang for for a drunkard. It probabably doesn't matter, let's hope they they have plenty of the former and only a few of the latter. There is a changing range of real ales, and a discount for card carrying CAMRA members. We wish them the best of luck, starting the venture at the most difficult time.

Beer Festival Ails

MBCF20 Another casualty of the pandemic is the recent postponement of 2021 Manchester Beer and Cider Festival. Drinkers who look forward to the North’s largest celebration of beer and cider each January will be disappointed the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival has been postponed due to the coronavirus. Volunteers from local branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have reluctantly concluded it cannot go ahead as envisaged.
It remains uncertain when large scale gatherings will be able to resume. However, with the possibility that Manchester Nightingale Hospital will continue to occupy Manchester Central into 2021, we can confirm that Manchester Beer & Cider Festival will not take place at Manchester Central in January 2021.
CAMRA policy at the moment is that all meetings, socials and events are cancelled until at least the end of September. There is currently a three month rolling ban on upcoming events which will be reduced to two months from the 1st September. This means that although there is slim chance that Festivals planned for November could still go ahead, the fate of the 2021 Fleetwood Beer & Cider festival hangs in the balance.

CAMRA & SIBA comment on JD Wetherspoon promotional poster

Commenting on a promotional poster from JD Wetherspoon advertising lower prices for alcoholic drinks after the Government’s VAT reduction, please find below a joint comment from Tom Stainer, Chief Executive of CAMRA, and James Calder, Chief Executive of the Society for Independent Brewers (SIBA): Sunaks Specials “A recent promotional poster from pub chain JD Wetherspoon has made it necessary for us to clarify that the Chancellor’s temporary VAT reduction only applies to food served in pubs, and excludes alcoholic drink sales which many traditional local pubs rely on for survival. “Like all pubs, Wetherspoons will not be able to benefit from a VAT reduction on beer sales and it is disappointing to see them potentially mislead customers into believing cheaper beer prices are as a direct result of the Chancellor’s measures. It’s likely JDW can only offer these prices if it subsidises beer from increased profit on other revenue streams. Sadly, this is a strategy many independent, wet-led pubs do not have open to them.
We’d hope consumers do not mistakenly believe CAMRA or SIBA have endorsed this marketing approach – which we believe is unhelpful for the pub industry as a whole and masks the truth that this VAT reduction will not directly result in cheaper beer prices and does little to help a large proportion of Britain’s pubs and brewers.”