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It's Community Pubs Month!

By guest editor Daryl Terr'd

Posted April 04, 2013
community pub month is now on
Pubs rule: Visit your local today! (Check bottom for credit)

Get down the pub this minute. It's your moral duty.

As that Rake bloke's still in the pub celebrating the demise of the hated beer duty escalator, we've roped in crisp magnet Daryl Terr'd to write up the following press release. Well, someone's got to do it.

This past Monday (1/4/13) was not only Easter Monday, April Fool's Day and a good friend's birthday, but it also marked the beginning of Community Pubs Month, described by a Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) press release as "a month-long celebration of British community pubs following the scrapping of the beer duty escalator and the first cut in beer duty in a generation".

"Hailing the tax cut as a new beginning for British pubs and brewing", Community Pubs Month, CAMRA explains, "encourages pubs to organise and promote a variety of events throughout the month that will appeal to the public".

As such, CAMRA has produced and distributed more than 6,000 promotional packs across Blighty to help pubs market what activities they have in store.

Loads of free booze, I hope.

And crisps.

Don't forget the crisps.

Anyway, this latest CAMRA initiative apparently follows in the wake of CAMRA/TNS research that showed some 42% of people are using pubs less than they did a year ago.

We at the Rake & Herald demand that this be reversed and are thus throwing our full support behind Community Pubs Month.

And so too is CAMRA CEO Mike Benner, who the press release quotes as saying: "The Chancellor has become the toast of Britain's cash-strapped beer drinkers and we should now be paying around 10p less per pub pint than [we] would have been had the escalator remained in place."

"This is a massive victory for Britain's 15m beer drinkers and we are urging people to celebrate in their local throughout Community Pubs Month."

"The research shows that many people are using pubs less in these difficult times and this tax cut is an important step in the right direction to support this great British industry and get people back into an essential community amenity, the pub."

Too right.

As reported here earlier, CAMRA's Community Pubs Month is the first of four national pub campaigns set to run over the coming 10 months.

The aim of these campaigns, the press release states, "is to raise the profile of pub-going and increase the number of people using pubs regularly".

As such, CAMRA "is using Community Pubs Month to call for the industry, government, local councils and consumers to back its campaign for British pubs" by:

a) asking local councils to include pub protection and promotion policies in their local plans;

b) urging the government to build a package of support for community pubs, including reform of the planning laws to protect viable pubs from change of use and delivering legislation to rebalance the relationship between large pub companies and their licensees;

c) asking brewers and pub companies to back CAMRA's community pubs initiatives throughout the year; and

d) asking consumers to celebrate the end of the beer duty escalator in their local throughout April.

"There is now a need for everyone to work together to help reverse the decline in pub-going and put this great British industry firmly back on the map," Benner says.

Community Pubs Month, the press release continues, "provides pubs with a national campaign to hook their promotions around".

Furthermore, CAMRA "will use the four pub campaigns during the year to work with government and councils to bring in more measures to support the future of pubs".

CAMRA is also urging the media (hey, that's us!) to come on board and talk about the positive things pubs are doing for communities, highlighting the important role pubs play in improving community life.


Pubs are ace.

We love them and strongly recommend that all our cherished and beloved readers visit their local just as soon as they've finished reading this article.

Pubs are a great place to meet people, talk about stuff, drink beer and eat crisps.

Face it.

Pubs rock.

They sell beer, for f--k's sake!

And crisps.

Think about.

Beer and crisps together.

In the same place at the same time.

Shit hot!

mark twain playing pool down his local
Pool as f--k: Mark Twain down his local. (Check bottom for credit)

Salt and vinegar are my favourite.

The CAMRA/TMS research also examined what sort of things would encourage people to visit the pub more often.

The findings were as follows:

1) quality food and drink: 43% (40% male; 45% female);

2) live music: 27% (24% male; 30% female);

3) greater family orientation: 24% (19% male; 29% female);

4) the availability of traditional pub games, such as darts, pool, skittles, etc: 15% (18% male; 11% female);

5) more pub promotions: 15% (13% male; 16% female);

6) free wifi and computer access: 9% (10% male; 7% female);

7) social networking that would allow you to socialise in a pub with a friend in a different town using video technology: 5% (7% male; 4% female); and

8) a range of board games: 4% (2% male; 6% female).

The research also found that 37% of pub-goers would be more likely to visit their local pubs more often if they organised more events and were more forthcoming with information as to what was planned.

Thirty-one per cent of those polled wanted more local music, live bands and DJs; 24% wanted more pub quizzes; 18% wanted more themed food and drink evenings; 17% wanted beer tastings from local breweries; and 16% wanted more family-focused things.

Thankfully, no one wanted fewer crisps.

That would just be stupid.

"Our research," Benner says, "shows that, building on the success of the campaign to scrap the beer duty escalator, there is plenty pubs can do to attract more people through their doors in these tough times."

"We hope pubs will consider some of the findings for their own businesses."

They could also give out more free crisps.

And peanuts.

But mainly crisps.

Crisps rule!

See also Beer duty escalator axed at last, posted 20/3/13, and Support Community Pubs Month!, posted 25/2/13. Meanwhile, to find out more about Community Pubs Month, have a click of this.

Picture credit

Top and thumb: The Royal Oak in Fishguard, Wales by Donar Reiskoffer.

Bottom: Mark Twain and and Louise Paine playing pool down their local by an unknown photographer.

For licensing information click the above links.

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