All bottled up! elbow’s ‘build a rocket boys!’ beer to go global



All Bottled Up

All Bottled Up

Press Information                                                            24th August 2011


All bottled up! elbow’s ‘build a rocket boys!’ beer to go global

build a rocket boys!’ beer created by elbow and brewed by Robinsons is to be launched in bottle as well as cask.  Bottling ‘build a rocket boys!’ beer comes in response to countless requests for the beer to be available outside of the band’snorth westheartland.


elbow are delighted, “fans across the world will now have the chance to enjoy a pint of ‘build’, even if they can’t get to the north west for a pint of cask.”


In addition Robinsons have decided to use this opportunity to support the famine appeal in East Africa.  John Robinson of Robinsons Brewery says, “We are keen to support Oxfam in their efforts and will donate a significant percentage of profits raised by ‘build a rocket boys!’ beer to this campaign.”


Visit  to find out how to support Oxfam’sEast Africa appeal to supply food and water to more than 10 million people in desperate need during the worst food crisis of the century.


2011 has seen elbow cement their status as one of the UK’s most important bands, with their first sell out UK arena tour, an amazing set on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury and a third nomination for the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize for the ‘build a rocket boys!’ album.  With Leeds Festival on Friday 26th August and Reading Festival on Sunday 28th August, after touring across Europe, the band are looking forward to ending a great 2011 with a pint of ‘build’ and hopefully another Mercury Music Prize for their collection!

Countdown to the launch in October, at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, is underway with the brewing of ’build’ set to start in the next few weeks.

‘build a rocket boys!’ beer website is coming soon…fans will soon be able to keep up to date with latest news, stockists and shop to buy ‘build a rocket boys!’ beer.  Follow elbow beer on facebook to be the first to hear when the website is launched.

A unique CD shaped pump clip will be created for ‘build’ for great standout on the bar. Pubs and bars interested in stocking the cask or bottled beer should contact Claire Middleton at Robinsons Brewery on 0161 480 6571/ 07896 198 240.


Photograph:  ‘All bottled up! Preview of ‘build a rocket boys!’ bottle and pump clip

Stockist enquiries

Clare Middleton


Robinsons PR enquiries

Carmen Byrne 07814 394 965


elbow PR enquiries

Lewis Jamieson 07718 653582

T: 020 8254 7875

Twitter – @LewJam


Chris Smith – Renegade 020 8563 7788


Liz Goodwin – Fiction/Universal 020 471 5000


Davenport Arms celebrate 80 years with Robinsons

The Davenport Arms, or ‘The Thief’s Neck’ as known to friends, has reached an impressive milestone – it has been the pumping heart of a running relationship between the Hallworth family and Cheshire family brewers, Robinsons, for over 80 years.

In February 1932, the Hallworth family pulled their first pint of Robinsons bitter and since then they have never looked back. Yvonne Hallworth is now the fourth generation of her family to steer the wheel of the long-established Davenport Arms – the longest serving family of the 360-strong estate to still manage a Robinsons pub – and the 5th generation is already helping at the helm.

“My family and Robinsons have been making decisions together and working hand-in-hand for many years now,” enthuses Yvonne. “My late Father was always very proud of the way he kept and served his beer and that was passed on to me.”

Mr. William Robinson, Director of Robinsons, commented: “The entire family are extremely proud of the long association we share with the Hallworth family. Our two families have had a strong, successful working relationship for many years now and the Davenport Arms has become a real treasure. Tenants like the Hallworth family are indeed few and far between.”

The Robinson family acquired the Davenport Arms, Woodford, in 1922 but this historic hostelry – once part of the famed Capesthorne Estate – dates back to the 18th Century in which the Davenport family were the game wardens to the King’s hunting preserves.

As hereditary foresters of the King, the Davenports had the authorized power to put poachers to death without trial. Hence, the crest of the Davenport coat of arms originally was a serf’s head with a rope around its neck, signifying that the Davenports had the power to hang without appeal to the King. This same crest can still be seen today from the pub’s pictorial.

The legend has it that the tree which stands outside the Davenport Arms was used to hang wrongdoers, hence the nickname ‘The Thief’s Neck’ – since then best behaviour has prevailed!

“Our pub has an atmosphere second to none,” says Yvonne. “We have very loyal regulars who have stuck by us through some very difficult and trying times; including the fire we suffered five years ago when I lost everything of any sentimental value to myself.”

To celebrate the ongoing success that the Hallworth family have seen during their time at The Davenport Arms, they are having a timely jamboree this Saturday 24th March 2012. They will be joined in the day by Robinsons traditional dray Shire horses, there will be face painting for children (and adults on request) 12.30-2.30, vocalist, Karyn Mack, will cover all the classics from 8.30pm onwards, oh – and Robinsons have provided a celebratory beer, aptly titled ‘4th Generation Ale’, to be served throughout this special weekend.

Join the Hallworth family at The Davenport Arms this Saturday 24th March 2012 for a well-earned drink, a great day out, and no doubt a night to remember.

Manchester’s Most Famous Pudding Club Chooses Stockport for its New Home

Life’s sweet at The Red Lion in Stockport right now, with new puddings on the menu co-created with 2 of Manchester’s most revered dessert experts.

A top-secret ‘pudding consultation’ has taken place with Mary-Rose (Su-Su) Edgecombe (formerly Manchester’s “Queen of Puddings”) and Peter O’Grady – founders of Manchester’s iconic Market Restaurant in the Northern Quarter, and its famous Pudding Club.

Peter and Su-Su have come out of retirement to join the “Research and Development team for Puddings” at the Red Lion in Stockport; having recognised the area’s culinary credentials after visiting Steve Pilling and Simon Stanley’s acclaimed Frederic Robinson’s food pub recently.

Finely crafted food made with expertly sourced local and artisan ingredients is the Red Lion’s signature style – its slow cooked gravy has been proclaimed the best in the North, the Charolais beef is aged 28 days and butchered in-house, and the bread is baked across the road by an artisan baker.

Now Steve and Simon are honing their pudding collection to perfection too – with a cracking team of pastry chefs whose mission is to produce ‘Perfect Proper Puddings’, with skill and care.

The team in charge of ‘Operation Perfect Pudding’ are Kate Torville, The Red Lion’s pastry Chef (who has come all the way from Australia to work with The Red Lion!), as well as Peter O’Grady, Su-Su Edgecombe and Steve and Simon themselves.

The first development session saw the creation of a classic – ‘Steamed Seville Marmalade Sponge with Grand Mariner Custard and Seville orange sauce’. This, alongside other puddings all created by the Pudding Team, are now available on the menu at the Red Lion.

As well as delicious new puddings, served all day every day, the Red Lion Pudding Club will be the region’s new ‘Pudding HQ’ – relaxed evenings staged in the spirit of the original Pudding Club at The Market Restaurant. Sweet treat devotees will try the very best puddings in the North, created to the Red Lion’s meticulous standards, as part of a 4 course sweet meal including a savoury starter. Plus guests will meet other pudding lovers over a glass of dessert wine.

Customers should email with the subject heading ‘Puddings!’ to express interest in joining!

For more information call 01663 765227

Peter O’Grady said: “Not many places devote the care, time and skill set that the last dish of the meal deserves. I have been amazed at the attention to detail in everything they do at the Red Lion and so I’m delighted to make Stockport the new home for the Pudding Club. I’ve just tasted the excellent “Steamed Seville Marmalade Sponge with Grand Mariner Custard and Seville orange sauce”. This dish gets a big thumbs up from us – it’s in the best Pudding Club tradition and tastes delicious. We’re absolutely delighted to be involved and are looking forward to the first Pudding Club”.


Regional brewers, Frederic Robinson Ltd, have made an unprecedented deal with Lake District craft brewery Hawkshead, to sell its beer in Robinsons pubs.

This is the first such deal by the Cheshire family brewers with any small brewer.

Hawkshead Brewery’s “Lakeland Lager” will be sold, initially, in some of Robinsons 55 Cumbrian outlets, and by Robinsons into the free trade, from April. Outside Hawkshead’s own direct delivery, Robinsons will be the exclusive supplier of Lakeland Lager.

Oliver Robinson, Commercial Director of Robinsons, said he was delighted with the deal: “Following our great success with 8 new keg lagers at the end of 2011 and more recently with a dozen new crafted bottled beers this was too good an opportunity to miss.  Some of our Cumbrian pubs, like those in Ambleside and Bowness, in the heart of the Lake District, are among our best. Hawkshead Brewery is a very successful Lake District brewery and its Lakeland Lager is the perfect partner in these pubs to our Hartleys beers.”

Alex Brodie, Managing Director of Hawkshead said: “People told me I was mad to try to get a guest beer into Robinsons, but the beer and the time were clearly right. Robinsons know the lager, they keg it for us, and their feedback about it has always been good.”

“Hawkshead is primarily a cask ale brewery, “said Brodie. “Lakeland Lager is our first keg beer; we brewed it so that lager drinkers as well as ale drinkers could have a local alternative. This deal will help get it more widely sold.”

Robinsons plan to offer “Lakeland Lager” to selected outlets, as a premium niche product. “In tough trading times the public are looking for authentic local products,” said David Bremner, Robinsons Director of Marketing. “This beer is certainly that – brewed in The Lake District with Lakeland water and distributed locally. We are having success with premium products at the moment and – in the right pubs – partnerships like this can only be good for everyone.”

“Lakeland Lager” in its first brewing industry competition took a silver medal – at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) keg competition 2012.

Robinsons of Stockport, was founded in 1838, brews 37,000 barrels a year, is installing a state-of-the-art new brew house at a cost of £5million, and has a 360-strong pub estate.

Hawkshead Brewery, was founded in 2002, brews 5,000 barrels a year, has spent £800,000 on expansion since it moved from Hawkshead to Staveley, and has one tied outlet, The Beer Hall, at the brewery.

6th Generation take the helm at Robinsons

With over 150 years in the business between them, Chairman Peter Robinson and his brothers Dennis and David have announced they will be reducing their involvement with the business, allowing for some changes to the Board.

Peter Robinson stated that from 1st March, Oliver and William Robinson will become joint managing directors.  He went on to say that this year, with the completion of a number of our investments in the brew house, new training and visitors facilities and a new depot in Cumbria, we feel it is the right time for the transition of the day to day management of the business from one generation to the next.”

Oliver will head up the Beer Division whilst William takes responsibility for the Pub Division.

Commenting on their new appointment, William and Oliver said:-

“We would like on behalf of all our generation to thank our fathers and uncle for their on-going commitment to the Company and the hard work they have put into making it the robust business it is today.  It is the clear principles and values they have instilled in all of us that we will use to develop the Company.”

Robinsons’ investments this year include a new brew house featuring the biggest Hopnik in the world. “As I’m sure people have noticed, from the new website and initiatives such as the beer with the band elbow, we are evolving.  The next noticeable sign of change will be the complete re-branding of our beer portfolio this spring”, said Oliver.

We are proud of the support we give our licensees.  William identified “This year we have plans to further enhance this with the creation of a website for each pub, an industry-leading training platform, a self-help marketing website and a mystery customer programme, in addition to the new training facilities at the Brewery.”

To find out more about what is happening at Robinsons or for information about our pubs, please visit our website and follow us on facebook or twitter.

Choice is key to growth at Robinsons

Cheshire family brewers, Robinsons, are driving beer growth in their 360+ tenanted pubs by – wait for it – giving the customers what they want!

“I’m not sure that this should be a surprise to us, but having listed nine new lagers last summer we are now seeing like for like sales in growth.  January alone saw sales of lager up 4%” commented David Bremner, Director of Marketing.  Key to this was a detailed segmentation in which Robinsons created a ‘traffic light’ system for each brand against each segment.

“Again, this is common sense.  Big brands like Carling or Fosters have a very important role to play but they aren’t right for every pub.  In Beer Shrines perhaps Amstel is better with Budvar or Veltins as a premium lager” David continued. “We’ve also found that the number of brands on offer has a great impact on the performance of lager in pubs.  Those offering four brands or more are showing the best results as a group and so, as we go forward, we are making stronger and stronger recommendations to our licensees based on the simple fact – demonstrated in other pubs just like theirs – that choice is key.  This is no different to what some of the best managed companies like Mitchells & Butlers have been doing for a while.”

“The Business Development Managers are pivotal to the success of this as licensees are often lead by personal preferences and their regulars.  So we created a business tool to plan various scenarios and show the impact on licensee profit from adding new brands and growing business.  The average increase in cash gross profit is over £3,500 per year and for doing what?  Giving the customer what they want!”

This success in the face of a struggling market has lead to further developments.  “Once we could see the way this was going, we quickly turned our attention towards the bottled beers.  We listed a range of around 12 new products alongside home favourites like Old Tom and Ginger Tom.  Not the usual Belgian suspects but innovative craft beers from Chicago and San Francisco too.  With our help we now have beer menus on trial in a dozen sites and the early signs suggest that these could be real crowd pullers.”

David concluded, “We have some other key conversations underway with a great local partner to take this one step further, but we can’t say too much at this stage.”  Robinsons also report strong cask sales for the start of the year driven by new product development.  Long Kiss Goodnight, a new-fangled 2012 seasonal ale, is driving a 2% growth on like-for-like tenanted cask sales.  In addition, with a brand new £5 million brew house about to open things aren’t looking too grim ‘up north’.


Cheshire based family brewers – Frederic Robinsons – are officially serving some of best Real Ale in Britain, according to the results of an independent quality assessment.

The Blossoms in Heaviley is the 35th Robinsons owned pub to be awarded Cask Marque accreditation; which recognises quality of presentation and service for traditional, hand-pulled and cask conditioned beer.

Scrupulous assessors from Cask Marque carried out two unannounced inspections at each of the 35 sites to check all of the beers on sale for the quality of their appearance, temperature, aroma and taste.

Annabel Smith, National Account Manager for Cask Marque, said: “Robinsons should feel proud of this excellent achievement, which not only recognises the effort put into serving great beer but also acts as an independent guarantee of quality for their customers.”

“Achieving Cask Marque accreditation in one pub is a challenge in itself.  But to repeat those high standards across a number of outlets without exception is simply outstanding.”

Cask beer in general is enjoying a resurgence.  In 2010 it found its way into 2,500 new pubs and its share of the beer category grew from 14.6% to 15%, outperforming lager & keg ale by 6%.  With huge growth in the number of 18-24s drinking cask ale, it is clear that young people are searching for a new drinking experience – different to that of the traditional cheapest pint of lager – and in doing so they are driving the evolution of cask ale.

In addition, during a recession, consumers tend to support local producers which can often be brewers.  46% in fact actively try to support local producers and businesses and use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to discuss such products with their friends.  There are now more than 30 million Facebook users in the UK and a billion tweets every 5 days with 70% of tweeters recommending brands they use.

Paul Nunny, Director of Cask Marque Trust, explains how “Robinsons have in the last 18 months invested heavily in beer quality – both in the brewery and their pubs. Their technical support team audit their estate twice a year and those tenants achieving top marks are put forward for the Cask Marque Award at the brewery’s expense.”

Paul Nunny goes on to highlight the fact that “with over 110,000 beer drinkers using the Caskfinder App in the last 9 months to find Cask Marque pubs, successful Robinson tenants will gain a direct benefit.”

David Bremner, Marketing Director at Robinsons, said “There were a package of reasons why we chose to invest in Cask Marque accreditation. The award carries good recognition from within the trade and customers. It is a fair reflection on the licensee’s commitment and skill in keeping high quality cask ale. Finally, we knew that the feedback would be professional, accurate and useful in identifying weak areas which we could address.”

As attested to by Mark McConachie – a CAMRA representative and ale-house aficionado who recently completed a 300 pub-crawl of Robinsons estate – people enjoy tasting different beers in different places but one thing that remains constant is the quality of Robinsons Real Cask Ale.

David Bremner enthuses: “The cask ale customer will travel to a pub with recognised beer quality. There can never be enough emphasis on getting the quality excellent and consistent.”

Cask Marque has awarded quality standards to 7,500 pubs across the country.  To find your nearest outlet, visit or download the free app Caskfinder to your smartphone.

The Frozen North

Frederic Robinsons, the Cheshire-based family brewers, have announced a price-freeze on the majority of the beers supplied to its 360-strong tenanted estate.  All of their cask beers and the majority of the lagers they sell will not go up in price for their tied estate in 2012, other than via duty increases.

In testing times this may appear to be a daring move by Robinsons, however, the move can be justified in two ways according to Director William Robinson.  “First and foremost – it’s tough out there.  We have just completed a full estates review and what we are continually hearing is how hard things are for our tenants.  We don’t want people to leave us and equally we want to be an attractive place for the best operators in the industry.  Secondly, our new £5m brew house means that we are 70% more energy efficient and so we are able to pass some of this on to our extended family.”

This is despite increases felt across the brewing sector to energy, malt and hop prices forcing some brand owners to increase prices by as much as 8%.

But the good news didn’t stop there as Director of Marketing, David Bremner pointed out, “we’ve had much success with eight new lager brands towards the end of 2011 and whilst they are still in their infancy we took this opportunity to make them even more attractive to our licensees.  This has caused a noticeable shift towards beers like Carlsberg, San Miguel, Amstel and Becks Vier which are amongst those we have chosen to freeze.”

It would appear that this strategy is paying dividends too with vacancies for pubs at a 3-year low and like for like lager and cask ale sales in growth at the start of 2012.

Robinsons licensees are amongst the tens of thousands being hit by rising fixed costs whilst sales are under pressure.  “We’re doing our bit”, concluded William, “it would be nice to see a ray of sunshine that the government were prepared to join in and bring life back to our struggling industry.”  Robinsons are amongst many family brewers throughout Britain who have contributed a total of £240K towards a £379K fighting fund to help persuade the government that a cut in VAT to 5% for the hospitality sector would generate up to 320,000 new jobs.