View Full Version : Student Brewer - A publican's trade group

Blog Tracker
09-02-2011, 21:00
Visit the Student Brewer site (http://studentbrewer.blogspot.com/2011/02/publicans-trade-group.html)

Recent musings in the trade press here (http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=16&storycode=68930&c=2) and here (http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=16&storycode=68948&c=2)have asked us when are publicans going to get their voices heard. Previously I've suggested that the British Guild of Beer Writers (http://studentbrewer.blogspot.com/2010/02/1-to-rule-them-all.html) may be the answer, with Melissa Cole's quest to spread the word about ale to new audiences, and Pete Browns constant critical eye on mainstream press stories and health lobby releases.

I've personally developed a lot this year - and now I think I know the answer. Lets have a group for licensees made up by licensees.

I'm thinking on my feet here, but as a way of getting things started here's a few ideas:

The group will be the voice of licensees only. Not a mix of brewers, pubco directors and publicans, and not a group of licensees just targeting one issue affecting the trade (eg smoking ban or the tie).

The group's aims will be primarily the promotion of the pub as a responsible, socially acceptable venue for alcohol to be sold. Highlighting the value of community pubs, and distancing itself from pubs not interested in the basics

The basics - publicans will have to sign up to a code of conduct - to keep their pub clean, tidy, well-organised and 'responsible'*

Being realistic, the majority of discussion will take place on a private forum. This will allow openness between publicans and encourage an atmosphere of offering help without fear of reprimand from the public or campaign groups for the way you run your pub. Originally the group will set up as 1 nationwide branch, and have an aim of a meet-up (perhaps agm, perhaps purely social) a year at least. Depending on uptake, regional branches may prove more useful and realistic.

All members will be regularly canvassed for their opinion on key issues affecting the trade. Part of the private forum will be a survey, perhaps used bi-yearly, so that when a release is needed or asked for, it is an up-to-date reflection of the member's views. No release or comment should be made public in the name of the group without it having the support of the majority.

Some of this will be relatively easy - I can set up a private forum that would suit the needs of the group. Some will be harder - deciding on wording is never easy in a group, and verifying licensees before allowing them access would have to be carefully thought out. To begin with there will be no subs - an atmosphere of support and donation would have to suffice, mainly that most expensive commodity - time. But as the group grows, it may be suggested that a small annual fee could help us spread our message more effectively. But as with everything, it would have to pass the majority test first.

I hope this is food for thought, and that something may come out of it. We've talked about it for years - lets actually do something. Lets show respect for other licensees, even if we don't agree with their priorities, and lets use our authority as the only group that only speaks for licensees to get our point across clearly. And lets do it democratically, honestly and above board. The time for the tide to change is now - and nobody else will work for our livelihoods.


More... (http://studentbrewer.blogspot.com/2011/02/publicans-trade-group.html)