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Great British Pub Debate

The future of the great British pub was debated by an audience of around 50 brewers, licensees, writers, marketeers and drinkers at an event staged recently in Leeds by the Guild.

The debate was chaired by John Grogan, former chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and opened with a context-setting presentation on the eating and drinking out market by Peter Martin of CGA Peach. Dan Murray of Leeds-List.com proposed the motion: “This house believes that coffee shops, café bars, restaurant chains and take-aways are making the traditional pub less relevant.

Andy Shaw, CAMRA national director, spoke in opposition, seconders for both sides – Anja Madhvani of Northern Monk for the motion and Imogen Bennett of the Fox & Newt against it – put their case, and the audience then engaged in lively debate.

The final result was a 56% to 44% defeat of the motion.

Guild chairman Tim Hampson said, “This debate was a first for the Guild, but such was its success that I’m sure we’ll stage others in future.”

The event was organised jointly by Frances Brace, Guild committee member, and Simon Jenkins, a Guild member and former Beer Writer of the Year, based in Leeds.