There is a great community spirit in our town, and with some reluctance I pitched up at the event to show some support for the altruistic outlook of the organisers. I doubted if the event would provide return on investment for the time, and free beer that was provided although I do like the people involved. As it happened I had a couple of hours free and pitched up.
It was fun, I even convinced one notary attendee that despite her assurance that she didn't like beer, barley wine in the form of Granite, was indeed worthy of her 800 year lineage.
However, this local Cumbrian excellence is all very well, but is barely relevant to my business. When the local paper phoned me to ask my views on the event I didn't want to miss the opportunity for some local exposure. I thought quickly and, perhaps rather rashly, decided to challenge the barriers to my operation in the town as more than 50% of our sales are out of the county. More than 95% of our deliveries are over 20 miles away from our base.
I pointed out transport is a big issue to us and that local government has no intention of improving road structures which could encourage economic growth and employment. I also pointed out that there was effectively saturation of a locally stale traditional market that is suffering due to the number of breweries, and an inability to accept more progressive flavours in beer.
The result of the interview made the front page of the local paper.
I didn't expect this to hit the front page of our edition, but it did. The attention grabbing headline doesn't quite match my sentiments, but getting our name on the front page is well worth it. The quotes really are what I said, but it is interesting the way it has been embellished by the reporter.
Incidentally, a local CAMRA active member, Steven Walker is also quoted. It could be assumed from this that I'm at odds with local CAMRA. Steven is a grand guy and it would certainly be untrue to suggest that I find the majority of the Cumbrian branch members at odds with us.