Monday, 19 January 2015

Excellent @guardian article - How craft beer has set struggling pubs free from the nachos

On a Tuesday lunchtime, Whitelock’s is doing healthy business. At Leeds’s oldest pub, a mixed clientele samples the 10 real ales and tucks in to hearty pub food. The pub that John Betjeman described as “the heart of Leeds” celebrates its third centenary this year, but a few years ago its place in the city’s firmament was less secure. Whitelock’s, like many other pubs, had fallen on hard times and had lacked investment from its owner, the pub company Spirit Group.
The giant pubco had imposed a limited range of drinks and a generic menu of nachos and other dishes at odds with Whitelock’s character. Loyal customers drifted away. Dave Herbert, the pub’s manager, says: “The previous owner had given up a bit and that was reflected in sales, which were incredibly low.” 

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