Skip to main content
23rd September 2018

‘Pubs: evolving or dying’ seminar in Birmingham

Forty members of the Guild of Beer Writers and Brewery History Society gathered at the Button Factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter for a seminar called, ‘The British Pub: evolving or dying?’

The session, chaired by Robyn Black, a Guild member and editor of Inapub, saw six speakers present different facets of the pub and its role in society, both historical and contemporary.

Kicking off the seminar, Dr Mark Hailwood spoke about Early Modern Pubs and Alehouses, and the importance of ‘good fellowship’ at the time. David Bruce entertained and inspired with his account of creating and building the hugely successful Firkin pubs – despite advice from ‘experts’ that the concept would surely fail! Back to a historical perspective, Geoff Brandwood spoke about the ‘Golden Age’ of pub building, and highlighted some fascinated regional variations in pub design.

After lunch – with beer generously provided by West Berkshire Brewery – Karl Chessell of CGA outlined some current trends in the pub/out of home drinking and dining markets; Susan Martindale, group HR Director at Mitchells & Butlers highlighted the ‘people factor’ and finally, Charlie Rawlings, licensee of the Priors Oven micropub in Spalding, spoke about the development of micropubs.