De Vere Village is to start offering local real ales in all of its 26 Victory pubs, as well as revamping the menu in March.
The hotel chain, where former Malmaison boss Robert Cook recently took over as chief executive, aims to reinforce the artisanal British feel of its pubs in 2012, a year when Britain stands to be in the international spotlight with the London 2012 Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, among other events.
Cook told Caterer: “The British pub industry is knocking itself for six by saying it is struggling and not doing as well as it should. We want to buck the trend and be a great British pub inside a hotel environment.”
Simon Bardsley, pubs director for De Vere Village, said the pubs were already successful and had a firm identity, attracting locals even if they were not using the hotel. They have all previously offered Bombardier as a real ale option too, but the new local ales will appear alongside Bombardier.
“2012 is a great year for Britain,” Bardsley said. “And it is about giving the customer that bit more in terms of the menu, while sticking with a lot of the old favourites.”
Keith Shearer, former executive chef at Malmaison, has also joined De Vere Village and has been instrumental in developing the new Victory, menu which will feature classic British staples such as steak and kidney pie, and fish and chips.
Shearer said: “My take on it is to bring more of an artisanal approach to it, whether it is real ales or great British classic dishes that everyone recognises done well.”
The next step will be to gain Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) LocAle accreditation for the local ales in the pubs.
By Neil Gerrard
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Published by: The Caterer