Brewers dismiss proposed minimum price plans

Brewers in Staffordshire do not expect to be affected by Government plans to introduce a minimum alcohol price.

Titanic Brewery, which is based in Burslem and owns six pubs in the area, suggest that the price changes will only affect the cheapest alcohol.
David Bott, 53, who runs the brewery with his younger brother Keith, doesn’t expect the Government plans — to introduce a minimum of 40p per unit — to affect his business. Continue reading

Stoke’s Lost Pubs Mapped

As research from pub campaigners CAMRA suggests Stoke’s pubs are especially vulnerable, we have mapped the extent of recent closures (jump to map)

It’s a familiar sight – the boarded-up pub. And it’s increasingly common, as new data from pub campaigners CAMRA shows that more than 50 pub buildings are currently standing empty or being repurposed in Stoke, with more under threat.

The data indicates that around one in five pub buildings in Stoke is currently standing empty, or has been repurposed. Despite high-profile campaigns to save pubs in recent years, landlords continue to struggle with the smoking ban, high alcohol taxes, and competition from supermarkets. Continue reading

Tribute To Titanic Brewery Founder John Pazio

A special charity ale has been produced by Titanic Brewery in tribute to its founder.

John Pazio died recently following a long illness. John revived brewing in Stoke-on-Trent when he launched the Titanic Brewery in 1985.

Unfortunately the project faltered, before being taken on by Keith and Dave Bott.

The Titanic Founder’s Ale will be available in the brewery’s five pubs in Stoke, Burslem, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford and Stone, for a limited period. A donation of 10 pence will be made to John’s favourite charity, the Edridge Fund, from each pint sold.

Titanic Managing Director Keith Bott, worked as a brewer for John in Titanic’s early days.

Keith said

I shall always be grateful to John for giving me a chance to pursue a career in the brewing industry

Titanic Brewery was John’s venture and when he could not carry on, I – along with Dave and our father – were fortunate to be able to raise the funds to take it on.

John was a kind and generous man who could often be seen enjoying a pint in the brewery tap the Bulls Head, Burslem long after he was forced to sell the brewery.

It was a measure of the man that he never felt any bitterness and remained a great supporter of Titanic Brewery throughout his later life.

John passed away on 4 December at the age of 60 following a long illness.

His wife, Janet, said

John would have loved the fact that a real ale was being produced in his memory. He was a great supporter of CAMRA and was really pleased to see that Titanic Brewery was thriving.

John worked as a probation officer from 1998 until earlier this year and he often fund raised for the Edridge Fund which was set up to help current and present probation officers and their families.

Full Steam Ahead For Titanic Charity Challenge

Customers will drink to their local’s favourite charities during a Cider Festival across five Staffordshire pubs.

Licensees at the Titanic Brewery pubs in Stoke-on-Trent, Stone and Stafford have each chosen a favourite charity to support during the festival this weekend.

Customers will be asked to support the good causes and the Potteries based brewery has agreed to match the money raised.

Landlady Cherryl Poppit of the Royal Exchange, Stone, has chosen to support a fund set up in the memory of a teenager from the town.

Joe Gilligan, a friend of a Royal Exchange employee, died last year at the age of 20 after suffering a brain tumour.

The Joe Gilligan Trust (www.joegilligantrust.com) has been set up in honour of the former pupil of St Joseph’s College, Trent Vale, to support and raise funds for children and young adults suffering cancer.

Other charities being supported are the RNLI (the Bulls Head, Burslem), the Douglas Macmillan Hospice (the Greyhound, Hartshill Road, Newcastle), Animal Lifeline (the White Star, Stoke) and the Katharine House Hospice, Stafford (the Sun Inn, Stafford).

“I will also be taking part in a series of fund raising challenges against my co-manager Steve, such as pork pie eating, bar billiards and blind beer tasting.”
“The pub has had a long association with the RNLI and will once again raise money for this vital cause this weekend.

“Port Vale are at home to Accrington Stanley on Friday and I am hoping supporters will come in on their way to and from the match to help us become the most charitable Titanic pub.”

The festival begins on Friday night and runs throughout Saturday and Sunday. A range of craft brewed ciders will be available alongside Titanic’s range of award winning real ale.

North Staffordshire Companies Join Forces For Launch Of Titanic Tours

Fine ale lovers are to embark on a package of tours thanks to a new partnership between Titanic Brewery and Bakers Coaches.

The North Staffordshire companies have teamed up to launch Titanic Tours to members of the Stoke-on-Trent brewery’s members club.

The new venture will be launched with a trip to the Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court, London, on Saturday, 7 August.

Titanic Stout won the prestigious Best Beer in a Bottle title at last year’s event and a hat trick of awards from West Mildands CAMRA sees Titanic Brewery once again competing for honours.

Brewery Director Dave Bott said:

“We launched the Titanic Brewery Club earlier this year and see the tours as a good way of getting to know our members better.

“The Great British Beer Festival seems a great place to start and we will be offering trips to other real ale breweries and interesting pubs throughout the year.

“We are also delighted to be working with Bakers Coaches of Biddulph. The company has a long history of providing quality transport in the area and our partnership is a continuation of Titanic’s ethos that we should support other North Staffordshire companies where possible.”

Titanic Brewery works with several local food producers to ensure fine Staffordshire produce is available in its five pubs.

Phil Baker, Managing Director of Bakers Coaches, commented:

“Bakers Coaches are delighted to team up with Titanic Breweries to launch this new range of products to their members club and our travellers. We look forward to ‘setting sail’ from the White Star Pub to the Great British Beer Festival and hope it will be the first of many successful partnership tours.”

The Great British Beer Festival trip leaves from, the White Star pub, Kingsway, Stoke, at 7am on Saturday, 7 August. Tickets are available by telephoning 0800 2980498 at a cost of £24 return for Titanic Brewery Club members and £29 for non-members.

Titanic Roll Out The Barrell For Wartime Charity Tribute

Visitors will be transported back to a time of ration books and austerity as a Stoke-on-Trent pub hosts a World War Two themed event to raise funds for Help for Heroes.
But there wil be no shortage of fine ale at O’Leary’s as Titanic Brewery is to provide a beer festival in support of the event.

The Wartime Weekend will be held at O’Leary’s, London Road, Stoke, from Friday, 30 July to Sunday, 1 August.
The pub will be decorated with a 1940s theme, there will be wartime music on the juke box and a display of vehicles from the period.

Organisers have teamed up with Stoke-on-Trent brewer, Titanic, for the occasion and some of the brewery’s best known beers are being renamed for a mini beer festival at the pub.

Brewery Director Dave Bott said:

“Help for Heroes has been specifically set up to support members of our Armed Forces wounded in action, so when we heard about the event we were delighted to help.

“To add to the theme, Titanic has come up with a series of one off names for some of our best known beers. Therefore, White Star will become Rommel’s Downfall, Lifeboat is renamed Hurricane and Titanic Stout becomes Centurian.

“We have produced special logos and pump clips for the occasion.”

Twenty lucky Customers at the event will win a tour of Titanic’s Burslem brewery. A raffle ticket will be issued with each pint of Titanic beer bought during the weekend.
The World War Two weekend is being organised by O’Leary’s and WW2 Quartermaster, a company specialising in the supply of replica wartime items.

It will coincide with the opening of the WW2 Quartermaster shop in London Road, Stoke.

Carl Hamer of WW2 Quartermaster said:

“WW2 Quartermaster is excited to be involved in the 1940’s Wartime Weekend with O’Leary’s Bar. We would like to express our thanks to O’Leary’s Bar for suggesting that their event coincides with the grand opening of our shop.”

Stafford Veterans Pull First Pint

Familiar faces from the 1970s and 80s were back behind the bar as Titanic Brewery celebrated the opening of the Sun Inn, Stafford.

Former landlords Ashley Howard, 79, and Brian Deakin, 76, jointly pulled a celebratory first pint to mark the rebirth of the Sun.

The historic town centre pub was a favourite destination for pub-goers for decades but has been shut in recent times after an attempt to run it as a wine bar. Staffordshire based Titanic Brewery bought the building earlier this year and has restored it as a traditional style pub.

Brian Deakin, of Weeping Cross, Stafford, licensee from 1975 until 1994, said, ‘Titanic has done a wonderful job. The alterations have been carried-out in a very tasteful way and I wish the pub every success for the future.’

Keith Bott, Managing Director of Titanic Brewery, paid his own tribute to Mr Howard and Mr Deakin saying, ‘These are guys who ran proper pubs and, as a brewery and an industry, we would like to see more proper pubs opening in future years.’

Keith and Dave Bott who were brought up in Stafford and Keith said, ‘the opening of the Sun as a special day as it was among the first town centre pubs he visited as a young man.’

The Sun Inn, which is number 5 in the Titanic Brewery fleet, officially opens at 1200 today.

Staffords Sun Inn To Use Alternate Energy

Titanic has become among the first breweries to install cutting edge equipment to chill its beer and provide heat for customers.

The Burslem brewer has teamed up with Geo Bar as part of the development of the Sun Inn, Stafford, which opens to the public next Thursday (22 July).

The Geo Bar heat recovery system takes excess heat created by pubs’ chilling equipment ““ which is usually expelled outside the building and lost – and uses it to heat water, either for direct use or in the heating system.

As well as saving money on energy bills, the Sun Inn will save 34,230kg of C02 emissions every year – the equivalent of 750 journeys from Stafford to London and back in a family car, or planting eight football pitches of rain forest.

Keith Bott, Managing Director of Titanic Brewery, said, ‘We are among the first in the country to install this energy saving system and the very first new pub to do so. It fits in with our philosophy of helping to conserve energy where possible to help the environment. We support the movement towards localism, buying local food for our pub customers where possible to cut down on food miles.’

Sun Shines On Stafford As The Bott Boys Are Back In Town

Stafford born brothers Keith and Dave Bott will fulfill an ambition with the re-opening of an historic Stafford pub.

The Sun Inn, Lichfield Street, Stafford, has been lovingly restored to its former glory by Titanic Brewery, owned by Keith and Dave Bott.

The Sun will open for business at 12 noon on Thursday, 22 July.

It will be the fifth pub in the Titanic fleet and the fourth to be opened by the Stoke-on-Trent brewer since 2007.

Managing Director Keith Bott said:

“We now have five pubs and have become used to opening new venues in recent years, but reviving the Sun Inn is special.

“We both drank in the pub regularly as young men and like many local residents were saddened to see it decline and close.”

Titanic’s expansion plan has bucked the trend of pub closures across Staffordshire and the UK. All five of the brewery’s fleet were boarded-up and dis-used before Titanic stepped in to rescue them.

After trading as a traditional style inn for most of its life, the Sun, in Lichfield Road, has recently operated as Tequila Red.

But Titanic has dispensed with the garish paint work and wine bar fittings to make the Sun shine once again.

The brewery has created a replica of the Sun’s former pub sign which is being hung from the original wrought ironwork on the front of the pub. The original sign, which is damaged, will be on display inside the pub.

Titanic has built a reputation for opening traditional community pubs. Keith added:

“We have worked hard to revamp the Sun as a traditional welcoming pub where people of all ages can enjoy a great range of beer and good quality locally sourced food in comfortable surroundings.”

Burslem Brewery Brew TV Quiz Beer

Burslem based brewery Titanic, have brewed a special one off beer to celebrate the appearance of Staffordshire Landlady Karen Malkin on The Weakest Link.

Karen Malkin of the Marquis of Granby, Ipstones, is to appear on BBC One’s The Weakest Link on Monday, 24 May. The pub regularly features guest ales brewed by Titanic from nearby Stoke-on-Trent, and the brewery has arranged for a special supply of one off brew Karen’s Ale to be served at the Church Lane pub on the day of the screening.

Director Dave Bott said, The Marquis is a great community pub and is at the heart of village life, and we were delighted to be able to join in the fun for Karen’s big day. Karen’s Ale is a full bodied deep red-brown beer with a hoppy bitterness balanced by roast malt flavours to produce a rounded finish. At a strength of 5.3 per cent Karen’s Ale is a strongest link among beers.’

‘Arrangements were made with my husband, Justin, but they have had to let me in on it before the big day,’ said Karen. ‘We are planning to show the programme on the pub’s large screen and will put on a buffet for our regular customers.’

Brewery bosses have arranged for a special pump clip featuring Karen to be displayed on the bar.”

‘I am keen on quizzes although I often take on the Ann Robinson role when we hold them at the Marquis, we have organised several charity quiz nights for the people of Ipstones raising funds for charity groups.’ added Karen.

Karen is not allowed to reveal how she did on the night, only commenting that she was “pleased and a little surprised” by her performance.

And, she added, ‘I am in a bit of an odd position as the BBC were meant to screen the show on the day that Gordon Brown resigned. They ran a special news broadcast instead of The Weakest Link. But the programme still appeared on the BBC iplayer for a few hours and I know some people in Ipstones have seen it.’

A clue to the outcome may perhaps be revealed on the special pump clip which features the strapline “The strongest link.”