Search

Newington Green pub owner banned from selling punters’ favourite

PUBLISHED: 17:48 17 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:21 18 October 2013

Kirsty Valentine at the Alma Pub

Kirsty Valentine at the Alma Pub

Dieter Perry

Specialist ciders are off the menu at an award-winning pub after heavy-handed bosses banned them from serving their customer’s favoured tipple.

The Alma Pub in Newington Green recently received the accolade of North London’s cider pub of the year 2013 from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). But the company which owns the pub, Enterprise Inns, has said the pub cannot serve up their special ciders outside of their popular festival.

Landlady Kirsty Valentine, 46, who started running the pub in Newington Green Road 11 years ago, is frustrated at the company for sabotaging her profit-making efforts.

She said: “We’ve won an award for North London’s CAMRA cider pub of the year, and we’re being promoted as a great cider pub, but I’m not allowed to serve the ciders our customers want.”

During The Alma’s four-day festival, customers can sample around 20 different varieties of cider and perry from independent operators.

Mrs Valentine said: “This has brought great growth to our business, and has brought lots of new customers through the door. I’ve negotiated with Enterprise Inns so I can continue to offer the ciders during the festivals, but the rest of the year we have to sell the ciders they provide.

“There are hundreds of ciders out there, but they have only given me permission to serve two different varieties. It’s all very restrictive and short-sighted of them.

“They’re meant to be my business partner, and I’m not trying to take anything more then I’m allowed, I’m just trying to make my business a success.

“I would love the flexibility to offer my customers what they want, and at a reasonable price. But they’re making it very difficult for me to go down that path.

“A lot of pubs around the country are having similar problems – it’s a huge issue. People are losing their businesses and livelihoods because they can’t make money.”

Mick Lewis, from CAMRA’s National Cider Committee, said: “This is a nationwide problem for pubs – if customers want a certain drink, then the pub companies should be supplying it to them.

“Why should The Alma only be allowed to sell their selection of ciders once in a blue moon? As far as I can see there’s no logic to that at all. That sort of attitude from Enterprise Inns doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

“There’s a huge growing market for real cider in response to the growing demand. If enough pubs put enough pressure on the pub company, it might make a difference.”

Nobody from Enterprise Inns was available to comment.

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Inmates at Pentonville Prison shouted and complained they were “locked up like animals” as a judge and jury went behind bars to view the site where a 21-year-old new father was stabbed to death.

14:30

The name Lynn Alexander will strike fear into the hearts of music lovers around Islington.

A lorry driver was today being held on suspicion of drug driving after a collision that killed a woman in City Road yesterday.

Yesterday, 18:03

Islington Council is publishing all fire risk assessments (FRAs) for its high-rise tower blocks.

Yesterday, 15:13

Tube drivers are to stage a 24-hour strike next month after voting in favour of industrial action in a dispute over working conditions.

Yesterday, 13:12

A woman has died after being hit by a lorry in City Road near Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Yesterday, 12:51

Search engine optimisation (SEO), a process to make sure customers find your business online, is a key tool in a small business’s digital marketing arsenal.

Yesterday, 12:36

Angry parents slammed school chiefs over a hole in a fence which led a 13-year-old boy to his death.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now