Tower Brewery marks more than 500 beers in Parliament
The Tower Brewery in Burton on Trent raised a glass of its popular Tower Bitter at the seat of Government recently after local MP Andrew Griffiths chose its beer as the week’s guest ale in the Strangers’ Bar, sited inside the House of Commons.
Andrew Griffiths, Conservative MP for Burton on Trent and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group said “It has been a pleasure to bring this fine beer to Westminster and introduce my colleagues to a taste of Burton. Burton is the UK’s brewing capital, boasting six breweries and 128 pubs and employing over 4000 people. Beer has been brewed in the town for over a 1000 years. No wonder its beers are so popular!
“The Tower Brewery is a real asset to our constituency, brewing wonderful craft beers, providing jobs for local people and supporting other businesses including the pubs that are at the heart of our local communities.”
The owner and head brewer of the Tower Brewery, John Mills said, “We were delighted that our Tower Bitter was selected for the Strangers’ Bar and grateful to Andrew Griffiths and the team at the Strangers’ bar for making it happen. We’re very proud of our beers and this was a great opportunity to spread the word on a national stage.”
Will Conway, Supervisor of the Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons said “Over 500 different beers have been served since we introduced the MPs’ guest ale programme to the Strangers’ Bar over ten years ago. We have stocked beers from Cornwall to Scotland - and from the Isle of Wight to the Isle of Man. MPs take enormous pride in being able to share excellent beers from their constituency with their Parliamentary colleagues and the guest beers have grown enormously in popularity; particularly during the current Parliament.
Any brewer who wants his beer served in the House of Commons Bar just has to speak to his local MP who can request that staff in Strangers’ order it. We will then do everything we can to obtain it. The whole process is tried and tested – and best of all, extremely simple!
Tower Bitter was made available in the Strangers’ Bar as part of a scheme run by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and the Society of Independent Brewers, the organisation that represents more than 700 of the UK’s smaller brewers.
Photo (left to right): Will Conway, supervisor of the Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons, John Mills from the Tower Brewery and Andrew Griffiths MP pictured at the House of Commons.
· The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) was founded in 1980 to represent the UK’s smaller, independent breweries. Today it has more than 700 brewer members, on whose behalf it lobbies at Westminster and in Europe. SIBA campaigned for the ‘penny in the pint’ reduction in beer duty introduced in the 2013 Budget – the first cut since 1959.
· The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group organises meetings, receptions, briefings and other activities for around 400 supportive MPs and Peers. Its purpose is to promote understanding amongst Parliamentarians of the UK beer and pubs industries. The Group is supported by around 70 individual brewing and pub companies and by SIBA. An officially registered all-party parliamentary group, the Group is one of the largest industry groups at Westminster.
The Group’s formal objectives are to promote the wholesomeness and enjoyment of beer and the unique role of the pub in United Kingdom society, to increase understanding of the social, cultural and historic role of brewing and pubs in the United Kingdom and their value to tourism, to broaden recognition of the contribution of brewing and pubs to employment and to the United Kingdom's economy, to promote understanding of the social responsibility exercised by the brewing and pub industries, to support the United Kingdom's brewing industry world-wide and to promote a positive future for beer and the pub.