How long lasting relationships between pubs and brewers is essential to the future of both.
From bars to breweries, wine tasting to weekend festivals, there is more opportunity than ever to go somewhere new. Britain is now dotted with an array of pub turned bars, often competing to be that ‘something different’. Some are doing this successfully, but many fail to establish identity, amongst a blur of bland indifference. For those that have withstood the test of time, through years of industry turbulence; it is these that represent the true British pub. It is these pubs that have captured our loyalty, rather than any particular brands or brewers.
Be it celebration or commiseration, reunion or weekly meeting point, there’s no place quite like it. The pop up bar will not suffice, nor the local restaurant chain. Neighbours, school friends, colleagues or sports team. It’s a place in which we reminisce and decide, plan and reflect. For some, it hasn’t been all plain sailing, with recent years seeing a number of closures across the UK. Be it binge drinking headlines, health fuelled campaigns or the cost of going out. There have been reasons for them all.
So in the thick of all this competition, what’s the key to survival? Good drinks, great food, re-decoration or landlord, it’s difficult to pin point the exact thing that makes a “real pub” tick. Distinctive, individual, and full of character. The place that we return to, and importantly the place that captures our loyalty as customers, our trust as regulars and our openness to trying a new tipple or two.
As 2016 continues in full swing, the social scene is evolving, especially for us millennials. Increasingly, our loyalties are questioned as our curiosity mounts. Spoilt for choice and with more option than ever, our quest to discover continues. Our loyalty lies with no brand nor brewer, but to certain places and pubs we remain as faithful as always. Despite the emerging pop up bars, brand led events and an increasing sea of gin filled venues, the sustainability of these ad-hoc, trend led ideas is questionable. A talking point for sure, inspiring us to learn, like and buy into brands, but not the place in which we keep returning. It therefore seems essential to forge long term relationships with the places that we do: the pubs that we love.
The recently re-opened House of Peroni, is an apt example of this. An experience like no other; a chance to delve into the delights of Italy and the romanticism that surrounds the brand. A one off. Although important within the vastly growing top tier category, it’s evident that remaining accessible across a territory of premium pubs is the real key to its ongoing success. As obvious as it sounds, if it’s not for sale, it’s simply not going to sell.
As brands continue to emerge amongst an increasingly crowded market, this partnership is vital. With the past 18 months having seen a bigger come back than ever for the brewing industry, this is particularly prevalent for beer. Brewers need to work to distinguish their brands, become recognisable and renowned. What better place to do this, than the pub; their favourable partner since the very first brew. The pub is where we can learn to become loyal to our favourites, it is epitome of the British social scene and the home of the truly successful brand.