Published on January 17th, 2011 | by Dean Carr
How the brewing industry changed
PETER WARD, who has spent 44 years in the brewing industry, was guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of Henley Rotary Club at Henley Golf Club.
Mr Ward spent several years with Courage where he was heavily involved in building the new Berkshire Brewery in Reading.
Later, he set up his own company, Thomas Hardy Brewing and Packaging, based in Warrington and Kendal.
The firm produces and packages three million pints per week under confidential licence for several well-known brands.
Mr Ward said that in the last 40 years 70,000 pubs had been reduced to 50,000.
Nowadays lager producers accounted for 85 per cent of sales and regional breweries sold about 12 per cent, leaving the micro-breweries with about three per cent.
Sixty per cent of the beer sold was in supermarkets at prices a quarter of those in pubs.
This meant that pubs had become reliant on providing meals, with which customers chose to drink wine.
The biggest single growth of alcohol sales in recent years was in red wine.
Mr Ward singled out Arthur Guinness as the one company that consistently got it right by persisting in being a brewer and not a property company.
In a lively question-and-answer session, he suggested that the biggest problem surrounding binge drinking was the price of spirits.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Gordon Mintern, a former licensee.
Earlier in the meeting, club president John Fenn inducted a new member, Barry Prior, from Emmer Green, whose Rotary classification will be the law.
Source : Henley Standard