• Written by Castle Rock Brewery
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What does your local mean to you? Our campaign to protect pubs is back, and with it, the chance to win a £50 gift card to spend in our pubs and two tickets to our annual Yard Party in May later this year.

Help us protect pubs this winter…

January is always a tough year for pubs. In December we feel frivolous and festive, in January we feel frugal and full of New Year’s resolutions: eat less, drink less, save more money. Waistbands are somewhat tighter, our purse strings even more so. For pubs, ‘Dry January’ has more than just one meaning, none of them very good.

This isn’t anything new though, and everyone in the industry knows that’s just how it goes. We rely on a jolly December to help see us through the New Year. However, add a pandemic to the mix and what is usually one of our busiest times of the year quickly becomes quite quiet. So this year’s call to protect pubs this winter feels particularly urgent.

Pubs Matter.

We’ve long known that pubs play a key role within our communities. They have always been a lot more than simply a place to drink beer. As one of our previous brewers used to say: you can’t order a conversation but you can order a pint, and that’s near enough the same thing.

Dr Thomas Thurnell-Read, a senior lecturer in sociology at Loughborough University, published a report on the role of pubs in tacking loneliness around this time last year. By then we were living in the midst of Covid-19 so it’s findings were even more poignant, but the research was conducted before, and is as relevant as ever now. Pub-goers reported that tea and coffee, soft drinks and well-priced food are just as (if not more) important than the alcohol on offer. However, the draw of pubs goes far deeper than just the products pouring at the bar. Open Arms found that the appeal of the pub for many is the offline, highly valued opportunities for traditional socialisation. We talk about the findings of the report in more detail here.

“I could drink anywhere but for some magical reason it always tastes better in the pub.” – Fiona 

My Local Is…

Previous responses to our #MyLocalIs campaign have rang to the same tune. Pubs are a place to celebrate, to commiserate; to meet new people or catch up with old friends; they’re for going out or getting away. They are safe havens. And although en masse visits tend to be seasonal (heatwaves, bank holidays, Christmas-time), as individuals we trust they will be there for us when we need them all year round.

So help us to protect pubs this winter. Be sure to keep an eye out for more blog posts coming soon, written by fellow Castle Rockians and customers alike, on the importance of the pub. If you would like to contribute, drop us an email. Use #MyLocalis to help raise the conversation around the importance of pubs. Love your local and visit it this January, and again in February. Don’t forget to sign up to the Castle Rock Collective if you haven’t already, and earn points as you spend in our pubs to redeem at a later date. And check out the details of our #MyLocalIs competition below!

“A place of comfort and sanctuary, where worldly troubles are left at the door.” – Daniel

Enter the prize draw:

To be in with the chance of winning £50 gift card to spend in any of our pubs* AND two free tickets to our Yard Party, just let us know what your local means to you using the form below.


*Gift cards are valid in all Castle Rock managed houses: Barley Twist, Bread and Bitter, Canalhouse, Cricketers Rest, The Embankment, Fox & Grapes, Horse & Plough, Kean’s Head, Lincolnshire Poacher, Poppy and Pint, Stratford Haven, The Swan in the Rushes, Vat and Fiddle, and the Willowbrook.

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