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26th April 2023

Big Hug Brewing and Greene King pave the way for beer with purpose

Socially conscious beer brand Big Hug Brewing has partnered with leading pub company and brewer Greene King on the launch of a collaboration version of their Pave The Way (4.6%) pale ale for its seasonal cask calendar. The Pave The Way ale aims to raise funds and awareness for industry charity Only A Pavement Away, this summer.

Unveiled as the latest addition to Greene King’s nationwide Fresh Cask Releases calendar, the easy drinking pale ale is available for customers to order, ahead of the beer’s launch this May. Not only does Pave the Way taste good, it does good, with 50% of Big Hug’s profits going to Only A Pavement Away via the work For Good Scheme. The donations will be used to support the charity in its mission to help people facing homelessness, veterans and prison leavers find stability through employment, with roles in the hospitality industry.

Matt Williams, Big Hug Brewing founder hopes that the new partnership with Greene King will help raise the profile of the charity even further, not only amongst the trade, but also with consumers, while bringing in funds for Only A Pavement Away. Also available in keg and can, and listed with retailers including Co-op Local in Sussex, Pave the Way was initially created in late 2019 to help drive donations for Only A Pavement Away after Matt had reached out to the charity earlier that year.

Matt Williams, said “It’s amazing to be collaborating with Greene King on the launch of Pave The Way into its guest cask programme. As a small, single person operator, to be able to achieve something of this scale and work with one of the largest and most established brewers in the country to get our beer out there and support such an amazing charity is phenomenal. Since it first dropped in keg and cans in 2019, Pave The Way has been one of our most consistent, best performing beers. Not only because it’s a beer that is mellow, easy drinking and a little more traditional in its flavour profile but also because it’s a beer people really buy into. They want to drink it not only because it’s a great beer but because they feel like they can do their little bit to help and in recognition of the important work undertaken by Only A Pavement Away.

“This will be the largest on-trade distribution the beer has ever received, available to almost 4,000 pubs if they want it. It’s perfect for the start of summer and supports such an incredible charity so please help us to help them – try a pint when you see it on the bar. Our aim is to try and raise £20,000 for the charity this year through sales of the beer and Greene King will be a massive part of that so I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at Greene King involved in this and hopefully we can all raise a glass to helping those less fortunate, pave a way to a brighter future”

Jack Palmer, Head Brewer at Greene King, said: “It has been an honour to work with the Big Hug Brewing team and Matt to raise further awareness for such an important cause. At Greene King, we have been working with Only Pavement Away for a number of years now through our social mobility scheme, Releasing Potential, and it’s great to be able to support the charity in a different way.

The Pave The Way ale has been a welcome addition to our Fresh Cask Releases calendar and as the warmer temperatures start to show this beer will be the perfect refreshing choice for customers, so definitely one to have on the bar.”

Ongoing support from forward thinking businesses such as Big Hug Brewing and Greene King has been vital in Only A Pavement Away placing over 300 members into meaningful employment to date, and will be fundamental in the charity achieving its long term goal of dramatically ramping up over the next 5 years and placing 5,000 people into hospitality roles over this timeframe.

-ENDS-

To find out more or enquire about becoming an Only A Pavement Away Charity Partner, please contact Karen Wallin Head of Marketing & Fundraising karenwallin@onlyapavementaway.co.uk

 Notes to editors:

About Only A Pavement Away:

Only A Pavement Away was established by hospitality industry consultant, Greg Mangham & his wife Gill, on World Homeless Day, 10th October 2018, to help those facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans, find employment in the hospitality industry.  Its bespoke hospitality Jobs Board – which is free of charge – has been developed to help streamline and alleviate the burden of the processes that employers go through in employing people who are struggling to reconnect with society.  To date, the charity has placed 300 people into work, adding an approximate value of £5m to the economy through reduced government support, financial independence and household expenditure. It has ambitious plans in place to support a further 5,000 people – who are either experiencing or at risk of homelessness – into work over the next 5 years. www.onlyapavementaway.co.uk

 About Big Hug Brewing:

Big Hug Brewing was founded by Matt Williams and 2 other partners in 2014 after 9 years in the drinks industry with the likes of Bacardi, Pernod Ricard and several start up soft drinks brands. A business with a social conscience, it was important to give a little something back from day one.

A self funding business and run independently by Matt on a day-to-day basis, Big Hug Brewing are ‘hobo’ brewers –a homeless brewery who work with some of the best in the industry to offer a range of beers that are accessible, flavoursome and easy drinking.

For more information please visit www.bighugbrewing.com. For samples or if you might be interested in stocking any of the big hug range please contact Matt Williams on 07870679725 or matt@bighugbrewing.com

About the Beer

Pave The Way is our easy drinking pale ale to support our charity partners Only A Pavement Away. Made using the finest English Maris Otter Pale ale malt, with a distinctive copper pale colour it has a rich malty base to showcase the finest American hops. Smooth notes of honey and caramel from the malt combine with Simcoe to give a light and balanced bitterness whilst Eldorado and Amarillo give a light aroma and flavour of watermelon, peach and stone fruit. The beer is filtered and in keg brewed as gluten free

 About Greene King

Greene King is the country’s leading pub company and brewer with c.2,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland.

At Greene King we are passionate about delivering our purpose to ‘pour happiness into lives’. That’s for our customers, our team, our pub partners, our suppliers and the communities in which we live, operate and serve. Founded in 1799 with offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and Burton on Trent in Staffordshire we employ around 39,000 people across the group with four divisions: Greene King pubs, Destination Brands, Partnership and Ventures, and Brewing & Brands.

  • Greene King pubs are located where people and communities come together; pubs enjoyed in cities, towns and villages throughout the country
  • Destination Brands is a mixture of food and drink-led brands including Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer, Wacky Warehouse, and Pub & Carvery, Pub & Dining and Pub & Grill
  • Partnerships & Ventures includes Pub Partners, which runs our tenanted and leased pubs business and Hive Franchise pubs, and our Ventures Brands which is made up of Metropolitan Pub Company, Hickory’s, Hotels Group and Crafted Pubs

Brewing & Brands covers the brewing sides of the business. Quality ales are brewed at the Westgate brewery in Bury St Edmunds and the Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar. Our industry-leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Ice Breaker and Belhaven Best and our premium beers, Level Head and Flint Eye, brewed for the modern-day drinker.


Contact: Danielle Cross, Fleet Street, danielle@fsc.uk.com