Robinsons Are Brewing A New Look

Robinsons Master Unicorn-Brewery CMYK CPR AW

ROBINSONS – one of only 32 independent family-run breweries in the UK – has announced a company-wide rebrand commencing with a new logo design by Truth Creative; an award winning design agency based in Manchester.

The brand revamp comes as Robinsons prepares for their biggest pub investment commitment to date, which includes fresh pub signage throughout the estate to reflect the sleek new look, and over the coming months new pump clips, bottle labels, merchandise and literature, together with a newly designed corporate website, will be updated to reflect the new brand identity.

Explaining the vision behind the new look, Darren Scott, Founder and Creative Partner of Truth, commented: “We were thrilled to be asked to deliver a new brand proposition and corporate identity for Robinsons. We have modernised, refined and simplified the brand mark to be bolder, more dynamic and future proofed. Robinsons rebranding is distinctive without detracting from the Unicorn motif; which has formed the backbone of their respected lineage and represents all the company stands for as an independent family brewer. Likewise we felt ‘Copper’ was a key ingredient in the Robinsons brand recipe. The material is historically intertwined with the craft of brewing and beer; as well as having a strong presence throughout Robinsons’ Visitor Centre; including a reconditioned Copper vessel which served the brewery for more than 80 years.”

“We have a wonderful tradition of strong brand identity that stems over the last 176 plus years,” explains Oliver Robinson; joint Managing Director (Beer Division) of Robinsons Brewery. “As custodians of our family business we have reached a point to move forward with its development and in doing so take a tighter control of our image, how we portray ourselves and importantly our tone of voice. Following heavy investment in our pubs, brewery and beers, we felt it was the perfect time to brew a new look and redefine our positioning.”

Handcrafted in the historic market town of Stockport since 1838, Robinsons has evolved from a local Stockport brewer to a multi-million-pound establishment owning over 300 pubs across Cheshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire and North Wales. With the sixth generation now at the helm, Robinsons continues to offer a wide range of award winning ales, ranging from heritage brews (such as Old Tom and Unicorn) to lively young ales (such as Dizzy Blonde and TROOPER; brewed in collaboration with Iron Maiden). It’s a winning formula that has earned the company worldwide recognition.

William Robinson, joint Managing Director (Pub Division) comments: “We’re incredibly proud of our achievements and of our unique family heritage which binds us together. Robinsons is a passionate and dynamic business with great traditions and bold new ideas. It’s at this critical point in our drive to evolve and move forward that we have reviewed our image and experience as a brand.”

Robinsons remain one of Britain’s best-loved family-run breweries and one of the most celebrated, having won many prestigious awards over the years, including ‘World’s Best Beer’, ‘BBPA Beer Champion’ and ‘Family Business of the Year’. In addition, the brewery Visitor Centre has recently been voted ‘Best Small Visitor Attraction’ by Marketing Cheshire, automatically being put forward for the Visit England awards in 2015, and Robinsons has been shortlisted for the Publican Awards under the category ‘Best Community Pub Operator’.

Concluding, Oliver Robinson said: “It’s an exciting time for Robinsons – and for our customers. Combining craftsmanship with innovation, we will continually strive to better our offering and bring brilliant products and outstanding social experiences to our customers.”

To stay in the mix, please visit www.robinsonsbrewery.com

 

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Robinsons Announce New UK Wine Partnership With Bodegas Forcada Rioja

BodegasForcadaWines

A new partnership between Robinsons Brewery and Bodegas Forcada will see 5 exclusive wines imported to the UK market for the very first time.

The range of wines, produced by David Forcada and his family in the Baja region of Rioja, have been produced from vineyards that are between 60 to 100 years old and grown at up to 800 metres above sea level; both factors give the wines great depth of flavour and complexity.

Noel Reid, Wine Buyer for Robinsons Brewery, said: “It was incredible to discover such a unique boutique winery with such tremendous wines still hidden within Rioja.”

The brewery’s wine division will welcome Bodegas Forcada Joven, Vendimia Seleccionada, Crianza, Reserva and Alma Da Forcada Cepas Viejas Garnacha to its extensive wine portfolio of over 150 different handpicked wines from around the world.

“With only 200,000 bottles produced each year, this will be the first time the wines will become available in the UK” explained Noel. “David and his family have protected their site within the beautiful and dramatic landscape of the Biosphere Reserve in Rincon De Olivedo for generations and it is a pleasure to begin our work with this tremendous family and their hand crafted wines.”

The entire range of Bodegas Forcada Rioja will be available at selected sites across Robinsons’ 300 strong pub estate. For more information on Robinsons Brewery and how to find your nearest Robinsons pub please visit: http://www.robinsonsbrewery.com and to find out more about Bodegas Forcada please visit: http://www.bodegasforcada.com/ or email: noel.reid@frederic-robinson.co.uk

Trooper Scoops Its First Award In Prestigious Bottled Beer Competition

Iron Maiden

Rocker-cum-brewer, Bruce Dickinson,  has every music accolade under his belt worth having, but this is his first in the brewing industry and the fact that it was awarded in a blind tasting, which saw TROOPER unanimously voted best in class by the prestigious panel, makes this victory all the sweeter for Bruce.

This year the BBI competition, which first began back in 1953, attracted a record number of entries. Ed Binsted, BBI President, commented: This year TROOPER was an outstanding entry. It was marked as the clear gold winner in that class by ALL the judges, I can’t remember this happening before. We set very high standards when conducting the blind tasting, none of the judges know the products they are tasting, as all labels, printed crowns and embossing on the bottles are removed, so the results reflect purely the quality of the products taste. Summing up I would say very well done to TROOPER.”

Commenting on his first beer award for TROOPER, Bruce Dickinson said: “As a dedicated ale drinker myself, I’m very aware of the many great beers available and the extremely high level of competition we face. For TROOPER to have grabbed people’s imagination and taste buds right from the very start has given us all a real sense of satisfaction. But winning our first award just months after TROOPER’s first birthday is the perfect icing on the cake and a great start to our second year in the beer game.”

John Robinson, Robinsons Brand Manager, is delighted with TROOPER’s first beer win: “It really has been an incredible journey and one which we are very proud of – from the initial beer tasting with Bruce, through the excitement of the launch, to now distributing TROOPER in just under 40 countries, quadrupling our export sales, brewing over 5 MILLION pints in its first year, and engaging a whole army of new beer fans – this award makes all the hard work worth it. And the fact that the accolade came on the back of a blind tasting just emphasis what we – and the fans – have been saying since TROOPER was first launched – the beer tastesgreat!”

The medals and certificates will be presented at the annual BBI dinner being held on Thursday 23rd October at The Vintners Hall, City of London.

As a result of TROOPER putting its beery head above the parapets and achieving huge global success over the last 12 months, Bruce Dickinson has been asked to announce the winner of the much-coveted ‘Champion Beer of Britain’ award at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) in London tomorrow (Tuesday 12th August) at 3pm; organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Colin Valentine, CAMRA Chairman, commented: “CAMRA are hugely proud to have Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden announcing the winner of the Champion Beer of Britain competition. He is a true real ale lover and has brewed his own beer with Robinsons Brewery called TROOPER which we are going to be selling at the festival.”

The unique flavour of TROOPER ale has proved hugely popular and will certainly be a must-try for many ale enthusiasts at this year’s festival.

The Great British Beer Festival will see over 55,000 thirsty beer lovers attend the week-long event, which will feature over 900 different real ales, ciders, perries and international beers across a total of 29 different bars. Robinsons’ TROOPER beer will be available while stocks last on the ‘Stilt Walker’ Bar (B10).

Hoptimum Prime Roll’s Out’ To Pubs

Hoptimum Prime pump clipHoptimum Prime, Robinsons’ spring seasonal ale, has ‘rolled out’ across the country. This carefully crafted 4.1% ABV amber ale has returned and is exclusively available to pubs until the end of April.

Returning for a second year, this delicious quaffable brew exhibits a rich array of malt flavours which are complimented by a crisp, dry finish. Brewed using only the finest British hops and barley malts, the unique flavour of Hoptimum Prime changes as each individual ingredient combines to tease your taste buds and satisfy all of your hoppy needs.

Hoptimum Prime has been going down a storm with drinkers, selling over 66,000 pints in a single month and becoming Robinsons 4th best-selling ale for March, chasing the heels of their beer champions: TROOPER, Unicorn and Dizzy Blonde.

Hoptimum Prime is available nationally via listings with Heineken, Carlsberg and Punch, and regionally via selective Robinsons’ pubs across Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Wales and Staffordshire. Available only until the end of April – so get it while you can

Simon Rimmer Hosts Man v Food: Round 2 At Robinsons Brewery

Robinsons Man v Food 2

Following a gruelling first round, TV Chef and restaurateur Simon Rimmer returns to Robinsons Brewery on Friday 7th March to host an ample second serving of Man vs. Food.

This belly busting event, inspired by the hit US series ‘Man V Food’, pits 50 competitors against each other in a race against time to consume an offensively huge dish.

Perfectly timed for Great British Pie Week, Simon Rimmer and Robinsons Development chef Christian Whittleworth have upped the ante for Round Two. The previous 30 minute time limit has been devilishly cut in half leaving only 15 minutes to defeat the best that the Great North Pie Company has to offer; a mouth-watering selection of pies designed to stretch your stomach and taste buds to the limit.

“We’ve devised a menu that will push our competitors to the absolute limit” said Simon. “In Round One we saw seven competitors walk away with the win; but I would be highly surprised if anyone can overcome the colossal challenge we have in store. Something tells me this next round will truly separate the men from the boys! It’s a great excuse to celebrate the Great British Pie during British Pie week.”

The challenge will consist of four different pies: a giant Great Northern meat pie, a luscious Lancashire cheese and onion, a fiery chilli-tom-carne pie made with Robinsons legendary Old Tom Ale and a delicious chicken and ale pie made with another Robinsons favourite: Dizzy Blonde. Food combatants will also have to contend with a punishing pint of mash potato and a pint of peas.

On completion of the gargantuan challenge, the successful elite will get their meal for free; complete with a unique, money can’t buy, winners t-shirt. The fastest to clean their plate will also win their own height in beer.

The event takes place on Friday 7th March 2014 at Robinsons Visitors Centre in Stockport. Tickets are available from £10 per person with competitor and spectator places available. Spectators can scoff a regular sized version of the challenge menu for no extra cost (and with no time limit).

To book tickets call 0161 612 4100 or email events@frederic-robinson.co.uk

Simon Rimmer Hosts Man vs Food At Robinsons Brewery

Simon Rimmer

The American cult culinary TV series, ‘Man V Food’, has fast become a worldwide cultural touchstone, but how did local contestants cope with the mammoth meat feat dished up by Robinsons Visitors Centre in Stockport?!?

On Tuesday the 17th December, Celebrity Chef Simon Rimmer put his wooden spoon aside for a front row seat at Robinsons’ gastronomic marathon. Inspired by the hit US series ‘Man V Food’, the premise of the event was disarmingly simple: eat everything in sight!

Gastro belts were loosened, stretched, and eventually engulfed as Simon Rimmer, Robinsons’ Catering Development Manager Christian Whittleworth, and the rest of the Robinsons Visitors Centre A-team served up a ‘challenge’ of colossal proportions for 50 allegedly insatiable men and women, plus 80 ‘spectators’ who enjoyed ‘regular’ portions of food.

Each of the stalwart contenders had just 30 minutes in which to consume an offensively huge dish designed to stretch their stomachs and taste buds to the limit: sporting a gargantuan 18oz burger the size of a sofa cushion served on brioche and topped with bacon, cheese, caramelised onions, chilli mayo, pickles and BBQ pulled pork… served with a side order of fries, coleslaw and salad leaves (for the health conscious!), washed down with a chilli laced pint of Robinsons real ale and cooled down with an ice cream made from – yes, you guessed it – chillies!

Simon RimmerNeedless to say … they came, they saw, they were conquered!! Of the 50 competitors that took part, only seven men were left standing. These food champions received their dinner for free plus a bespoke winner’s T-shirt. Food had the last laugh as these defeated men and women were served up a divine final course of instant, unexpected pregnancy … AKA … the food baby from hell!

Ballooned bellies aside, this was a truly fantastic event which brought the entire community out of their homes and into Robinsons recently launched Visitors Centre – a fantastic and very unique event venue.

Commenting on the event, Simon Rimmer said: “when we devised the menu I thought the heat was going to be the thing that got them and the power of the chillies but no one seemed to be particularly phased by that. I think what really got them was the combination of carbohydrates that killed them. All the guys who finished had good tactics – they didn’t stop. Adam (Richman) always says that with the big eating challenges you’ve got to keep going the digestive system going because the minute you stop the body goes into lockdown.”

When asked if Simon would ever do this he said: “never! I just don’t know how anyone does it; I admire everyone sat around this table that did it. Just the sight of it makes me feel slightly nauseous.”

The US series of ‘Man V Food’ may be no more, but perhaps a revival of this excessive extravaganza may be on the cards at Robinsons Visitors Centre in the voracious town of Stockport.

Since opening its doors in March 2013, Robinsons Visitors Centre has hosted a range of events from beer and food matching to BBQs, breakfast meetings to bespoke conference banqueting.

To snap up tickets for the next line-up of unique events hosted at Robinsons Visitors Centre please visit http://www.robinsonsvisitorscentre.co.uk , email events@frederic-robinson.co.uk or call 0161 612 4100. And don’t forget to follow the new Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/visitrobinsonsbrewery

Trooper Gets New UK National Beer Listing With Sainsbury’s

Trooper

Robinsons Brewery today announced a new supermarket listing for their fastest selling ale: Sainsbury’s will be stocking TROOPER nationally in just under 300 of their stores across the country!
This announcement follows the recent breaking news that Robinsons have now exported over one million pints of TROOPER worldwide; now taking the total number of pints sold globally to over 2.5 million pints since its launch on 9th May.
As UK beer in general struggles to raise the bar, with sales dropping by nearly 5 per cent this year, worldwide demand for TROOPER ale has both stunned and delighted regional family brewers Robinsons.

Robinsons Managing Director (Beer Division) Oliver Robinson commented: “Establishing a new beer in the UK alone is a long and difficult process but we feel that with two national listings in two of Britain’s favourite supermarkets, and export orders with over 30 countries worldwide, in just six months, we are off to a great start.”

According to Peter Walshe, global Brands Director at Millward Brown, there are three things that drive a brand to be successful: being meaningful, salient and different… TROOPER is certainly a brand that ticks all three of these desired boxes; having a healthy mix of both emotional and rational appeal, being perceived not only as unique but as somewhat of a trend-setter, and most importantly it meets the consumer needs.

Robinsons Director of Marketing, David Bremner, explains why he thinks TROOPER is succeeding where others miss the mark:

“Distinctiveness and authenticity is really important for us. If you look at the British beer market generally, it can be quite homogenous; although things are starting to change. TROOPER has more to it than just taste it has its own unique character and personality that fans buy into, and this has been backed up by a complete marketing strategy utilizing tools such as social media to really drive interest around the brand. TROOPER not only appeals to fans of Iron Maiden, it is appealing to a new group of customers who will try traditional British beer perhaps for the first time. On top of that, rather than appearing gimmicky, we are raising the profile of Robinsons and perhaps all traditional British brewers.”

TROOPER can be found on Sainsbury’s shelves as of today!

Soldiers Swap Armed Service For Kitchen Service

Simon Rimmer

On the 15th November, 3 Soldiers from 156 Transport Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, swapped serving their country for the evening and instead served up a gourmet delight for guests at Robinsons Visitors Centre in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Hosted by celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, the event – which included a 3-course sit down meal put together by Simon Rimmer, Warrant Officer Chris Green, Lance Corporal Stuart Graham and Private Clare Sampson – sold out within a matter of hours. £10 from every £25 ticket, together with funds from a ‘win your height in beer’ competition, was donated directly to The Soldiers’ Charity raising over £1100 in total.

The Soldiers’ Charity, formally known as the Army Benevolent Fund, is a charity that supports all soldiers, former soldiers and their families in times of need. Set up in 1944, The Soldiers’ Charity gives half of their money direct to helping individuals in areas such as debt relief, mobility assistance, education bursaries, care home fees and respite breaks.

After opening the evening, Simon Rimmer handed over to Andy Reid, a spokesman and ambassador for the ABF. Andy lost both his legs and his right arm from an improvised explosive device whilst serving in Afghanistan. Remarkably, he spent only two weeks in hospital being treated for his injuries. The Soldiers Charity gave an immediate grant to pay for alterations to Andy’s home to ensure that Andy, his wife Claire and son William could live a normal life.

Andy recounted the heart breaking story of his injury to guests attending the sold out event at Robinsons Visitors Centre. Showing his positivity and courage he stated that “he had no regrets about serving his country” resulting in a roaring ovation.

Speaking about the event itself, Andy commented: “It was an absolutely amazing night. It’s great to see a British family company such as Robinsons supporting injured soldiers and their families. Coming here to speak about my experiences has been great because it’s important to get the message of the charity across and explain how it’s helped me personally.”

The evening came to a close with entertainment and several prizes awarded. Attendees had the opportunity to win their ‘own height in beer’ along with Simon Rimmer’s signed chef whites and exclusive golden tickets for a very special Robinsons brewery tour.

“It was a superb evening,” said Captain Graham Dowling, a long serving member of the armed forces, “it is a humbling experience to see that Robinsons and so many people are prepared to support this worthwhile charity. The ABF supports soldiers from all walks of life including regular and reserve soldiers; it’s great to see the likes of Simon Rimmer throwing their considerable weight to back the charity too.”

Commenting on the event, Simon Rimmer said: “I’m a huge supporter of the armed forces and was very proud to cook alongside some of the men and women who have unhesitatingly served our nation whenever the call has come.”

Since opening its doors in March 2013, Robinsons Visitors Centre has hosted a range of events from beer and food matching to BBQs, breakfast meetings to bespoke banqueting, gourmet nights to Man vs. Food.

To snap up tickets for the next line-up of unique events hosted at Robinsons Visitors Centre please visit http://www.robinsonsvisitorscentre.co.uk or call 0161 612 4100. And don’t forget to follow the new Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/visitrobinsonsbrewery

Robinsons Launch Hospitality Apprenticeships!

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Robinsons has announced plans to launch a series of apprenticeships, in partnership with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and quality assured professional training providers Charnwood, to meet the needs of modern retailing. The Cheshire brewery has spent the last 12 months developing the offer with licensees and will aim to have 130 candidates on the programme by the middle of 2014.

“The first thing we did was ask licensees is what sort of staff development would be most useful to them,” Director of Marketing David Bremner told us, “and the response was consistent; bar staff service skills, chef development and assistant managers. We then met with the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and their support has been overwhelming including them funding a consultant for 18 months to get the whole programme up and running and cost neutral. When I meet with colleagues in other regional brewers they are amazed at the support we have had and the way the rules have been adapted to meet the needs of our sector. The Bii too, could not have been more supportive and we are jointly developing plans for the next phase.”

Apprenticeship consultant Beverley Ashton has run focus groups with licensees, co-ordinated with other local pub companies and regional brewers. She has also run the tender process to narrow down the 29 training providers to Charnwood who will provide the training for those in the hospitality sector in the North West who wish to join with Robinsons.

“Charnwood’s pedigree came shining through and they have img0075some great people ready to get started on this,” commented Beverley. “We have also bolted on some additional qualifications to add a PLUS to our apprenticeships. There is extra training on Customer Services as we all agreed this is crucial these days, as well as a wine qualification and a personal licence. We have 24 Robinsons apprentices ready to start from just 16 pubs visited so far and we are sure we are going to hit all the targets the Chamber have set us – we even have new licensees who are signing up to get themselves extra training post-induction.”

Initially Robinsons will offer two level two cooking apprenticeships, a level 2 for front of House (Bii licensed hospitality)and a level 3 for management who wish to progress. All courses are expected to take 12 months to complete and are fully funded through GM Chamber EOS (Employer Ownership of Skills) for participating licensees and candidates. Licensees will play a mentoring role with the on-site training being delivered by Charnwood via monthly visits to the pubs.

“There are so many apprenticeships it can be quite confusing,” David explained, “we have started with five to simplify things but we see this as a real career in hospitality and we hope to eventually take some apprentices through to degree level. Working with the Bii and Charnwood we will continually adapt our offering to keep it fresh and relevant. We will be running normal one day and two day courses too for other training needs but this is all part of a bigger process to really raise the bar in the North West for a pub company, brewer, restaurant, hotel or bar that is interested.”

9997037_xxlThis approach has also attracted the interest of local MPs and David has explained to them the historical difficulties in becoming involved due to the mass of red tape. “We really think we have something here which could be taken to other regions of the country and prove equally successful. Those involved love what we do – running pubs and bars and we want to see the next generation viewing this as a career decision with clear development opportunities and not just a temporary position.”

With around 340 pubs, Robinsons has a vested interest in delivering distinctive training opportunities to young people wishing to work in the hospitality industry in the North West.

“Too often hospitality is overlooked as an industry with progression possibilities,” explains David, “these new apprenticeship schemes will help young people learn skills and responsibilities that will facilitate their next step up the career ladder.”

Testimonial: “We’ve had great success investing in training for our team. We currently have 3 of our 6 chefs and 2 of our FOH team on Apprentice Training Programmes. For me, there are two major benefits for training – lower staff turnover and being attractive as an employer. Not only do we get the best members of staff, we retain them as well. As a business the most fundamental value is ‘Consistently Top Notch Customer Service’ – a stable, high performing team helps us to achieve this.”
Martin Barnes the George & Dragon, Holmes Chapel, bronze winner of Best Pub and Customer Service Award 2013 – Chester Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival

For further information contact Beverley Ashton on 07814 763234 or email apprenticeships@frederic-robinson.co.uk
*Conditions apply

Robinsons’ Ginger Tom Named The ‘Worlds Best Herb And Spice Beer’

old tom ginger

Robinsons Brewery, based in Stockport, has achieved the coveted Gold mark at the World Beer Awards 2013 for its Ginger Tom ale.

After winning the regional heat held in Europe, Ginger Tom – a richly flavoured dark oak coloured ale with distinctive aromas of peppery spice and sweet ginger – has beaten strong competition from beers across the globe to take the title ‘The World’s Best Herb & Spice Beer 2013’.

Following four rounds of judging, over 600 entries – from more than 30 countries all over the world including the US, Canada, Germany, France and Japan – were blind-tasted by a panel of carefully selected judges under the guidance of respected beer writer and journalist Roger Protz in the annual World Beer Awards.

First held in 2007, this International tasting competition continues to draw worldwide recognition from the beer industry, attracting an extraordinary number of high calibre entries from all over the planet. Organised by http://www.tastingbeers.com, the World Beer Awards is the pre-eminent showcase which tastes, selects, awards and promotes the ‘Best Beers in the World’ to consumers throughout the world.

The award tops off a very busy and successful year for the brewery, now in its 175th year of trade.

Oliver Robinson, Managing Director (Beer Division) of Robinsons Brewery, said: “To think that a speciality ale, brewed by a family brewery from the small market town of Stockport, can beat competition from all over the world is incredible.”

“The brewery has been very busy and it is a great pat on the back for the whole team and something we can all be very proud of,” continued Oliver.

Competing with the best beers in the world, Robinsons’ Ginger Tom – a hybrid of Old Tom (100 year old which gained worldwide recognition in 2009 as ‘The World’s Best beer’) and Fentiman’s award-winning Ginger Beer – is being lapped up internationally by Russia, Denmark, France, Lithuania, Japan, Italy, Sweden, South Africa, America.

Specially brewed using an infusion of Chinese bruised ginger root and botanical extracts, this warming speciality ale has a pronounced ginger and spiced herb palate complemented by a sweet roasted malt dryness and wonderful ginger after-burn.

Brewed since 2008, Ginger Tom is a lively 6.0% abv breed available in bottle. A subtle snap of ginger creates lovely purring warmth for those cold winter nights, or a refreshing summer beverage when served over ice.

The beer has been recognised before; gaining a bronze in the International Beer Challenge 2011, being named as Europe’s Best Herb & Spice Flavoured Beer 2013, and Ginger Tom has also recently received 60 new store listings in Tesco.