All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group has celebrated its 3rd anniversary in style by holding a celebration in the world famous Strangers' bar in the Houses of Parliament, welcoming a specially brewed 'Save the Pub Ale' by local brewers, Ilkley Brewery, who brewed the beer in recognition of the work of the Save the Pub Group over the past three years in preserving and protecting the Great British pub.
A number of the Save the Pub Groups 128 members, from both the Lords and Commons, descended upon strangers bar to sample a pint of the specially brewed ale and to toast the Groups success over the past three years.
The Save the Pub Group, Chaired by MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, have campaigned vigorously and effectively on a variety of issues since the groups formation back in 2009, such as the beer tie, planning issues and beer duty.
Chair of the Group, Greg Mulholland MP commented:
"The Save the Pub Group have worked tirelessly over the past 3 years, seeking to preserve and protect the Great British pub, which play such an important part of this country's history and heritage and hugely important to the communities they serve. It is great to get together and toast our success and have the group's hard work recognised
"I was delighted to welcome Ilkley Brewery down to Westminster to join the Save the Pub Group in celebrating our 3rd anniversary with a pint of their specially brewed Save the Pub Ale. I hope my colleagues will take the opportunity, whilst the Save the Pub ale is on, to get down to Strangers' and enjoy a pint and show their support for the Great British Pub!"
"The Save the Pub Group will, however, not be resting of our laurels and will continue being a strong voice for the British pub in Westminster and nationally for years to come."
Stewart Ross, one of Ilkley Brewery's directors, said:
"As a small brewery in a thriving town, we are continually reminded of the value local pubs bring to communities. Not only do they provide employment and support local food and drink producers, they offer a communal hub for people who live in the area and help build stronger and closer communities.
"We hope our 'Save the Pub' beer helps to raise awareness of some of the issues the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub group is addressing and that we start to see an upturn in pubs' prosperity across the land."
Vice-chair of the Save the Pub Group, Grahame Morris commented further:
"Local pubs and brewers are an important part of social life and community cohesion in any local area. The Save The Pub Group is an important part of the campaign to promote and protect pubs across the country, and for that reason I'm sure the group will thrive for many decades to come.
Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins said:
"As an unashamed pub regular, I am very pleased to support the Save the Pub Group's campaign and was particularly thrilled to celebrate its 3rd anniversary with my friends from Ilkley Brewery. Local pubs are at the heart of many small communities and play a hugely important role in bringing and keeping people together. They must be protected."
Jonathan Mail, CAMRA's Head of Public Affairs said:
"CAMRA is delighted to toast the many successes of the Save the Pub Group over the last three years. The Group has repeatedly pressed the Government to give proper regard to the pubs and has robustly challenged the large pub companies over unfair business practices. The Group has been instrumental in securing improved planning protection for pubs; Government backing for an end to below cost alcohol sales and also in winning a Parliamentary vote to require Ministers to review the self regulation package intended to protect tied pub licensees."