No, we haven’t taken leave of our senses by recommending you get washed away with beer this summer. But we are having a bit of a themed issue because this is the time when drink and holidays, or after work tipples, get serious.
What we have tried to do is show that beer and pubs can work well together in creating wellbeing, work and sociability.
Social enterprises are looking at how you can combine what people do and give it a social twist. If you are going to drink, drink responsibly. But also if you are going to drink give it a social echo so that people in need of work and opportunity might get a look-in.
But if the drink doesn’t work for you, and you have to jump ship from its temptations, then ClubSoda will certainly be a good option. It is an alternative for those who can’t imagine themselves using the present support options.
Hope you enjoy what in some way is our most challenging issue. We certainly enjoyed the challenge of putting a positive foot forward on drink – without putting our foot in it.
(Come in summer! You’re looking a bit autumnal at times!)
Here’s a new start we should all welcome to the fold: a craft beer company that has a novel approach to the older worker.
The clever people at Hophurst Brewery, in Wigan, take clever ingredients, put them cleverly together, knock them about cleverly, and then cleverly package them and sell them to you.
But Hophurst adds another layer of cleverness. Based in the centre of Wigan it employs and trains people aged 50 and over to be brewers. And so doing, the company adds that lovely ingredient of a social echo to its clever, crafty and incredibly imaginative products.
With names like Cosmati, using American mosaic hops, and Joust, a citrus blonde beer, these are beers designed to challenge and grow your palette.
Hophurst’s plan is to take a sector of the workforce and train and mentor them. The neglected 50+’s will be given the chance of employment either within the brewery, or at other businesses which view putting the skills of the overlooked to good use as a godsend.
We know that B&Q has been doing it commercially for a few decades, but Hophurst, a social enterprise first and foremost, is bringing it into a bright new area.
Surely there is hardly an area of commercial life that can’t also be developed as a social enterprise, where developing skills and getting rewarding work is as important as the business of it all?
But as usual the proof of the pudding is in the eating. With professional brewers and brilliant use of design, Hophurst is well on the road. It’s all down to who buys the beer and in what quantity.
All the signs are encouraging. Hophurst’s beers are being snapped up and downed. But the company is fully aware of the need for drink-awareness and doesn’t want to solve one problem by creating another. That defeats the point of a social enterprise.
Soon you’ll be able to visit the Hophurst brewery centre and see for yourself. And as the company spreads its marketing tentacles out from Wigan this socially conscious, but eminently drinkable beer, should soon be in a boozer or shop near you.
Hophurst challenges us all to drink sensibly, but also with panache; and that added clever – and necessary – social echo.
If you want to know more about Hophurst and its hoppy journey towards social good, do track it down. Mollycoddle it by getting someone in your local area supply chain to take a punt on it.
But remember crafts beers were invented to be savoured and enjoyed, and not wasted on rat-facing your night away.