‘A huge sarcastic thank you’ - pub landlord hits out at real ale drinkers after failing to make beer guide

PUBLISHED: 08:02 13 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:50 13 September 2019

The Eaton Cottage whose Landlord is Philip Birchall. Photo: Sonya Duncan

The Eaton Cottage whose Landlord is Philip Birchall. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A Norwich landlord has bit back at real ale drinkers for not supporting his pub after it failed to make it into the Campaign for Real Ales’s 2020 Good Beer Guide.

The Eaton Cottage whose Landlord is Philip Birchall. Photo: Sonya DuncanThe Eaton Cottage whose Landlord is Philip Birchall. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Billed as a comprehensive list of the UK's best breweries, ales and pubs, the latest instalment of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2020 was published this week.

The guide features dozens of Norfolk pubs but after discovering the Eaton Cottage on Unthank Road was not one of them the pub's landlord Philip Birchall has issued a notice to "all the CAMRA card carrying regulars" for their lack of support.

In a notice printed on the bar and posted around the pub, Mr Birchall said: "A huge sarcastic 'thank you' to all the CAMRA card regulars who drink in the Eaton Cottage for either not submitting us for inclusion in this guide or not voting for us to be in it."

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Mr Birchall said following the Eaton Cottage's omission from the 2020 guide he had decided to abandon plans to refurbish the pub's beer engines, a move which would have increased the venue's capacity to serve real ales.

He said: "I'm afraid I will gradually be reducing the number and variety of real ale pumps available in my pub and the quantity of real ales available in future.

"Although this may be a disappointment for a few people, which believe me, I deeply regret, it will be much better generally regarding my trading margins and profitability, which from now on have to be and are going to be my only prime concern."

Inviting anyone who had been left disappointed or unhappy with his decision to go and enjoy any of the county's "fabulous real ale pubs which did get the CAMRA vote", Mr Birchall thanked his regulars: "Thank you to all my regulars who are genuinely and 100pc supportive of our attempts to keep one of Norwich's last community beer-only local proper pubs from disappearing forever," he said.

Ian Stamp, chairman of the Norwich and Norfolk CAMRA branch said he felt Mr Birchall's reaction to not making it into the guide was an over reaction, he said: "The Eaton Cottage was nominated and scored but didn't quite make the guide."

Mr Stamp said the branch was able to put forward 57 pubs for inclusion in the guide: "The main thing is that competition in Norwich is pretty fierce, he's not the only one there are plenty of other pubs who some times don't make the guide."

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