If you want to save your local pub, a good way is to get on board with the new types of ethics and offer sustainable and plant-based options, from plastic-free beer cans to vegan food. If you don’t, then you’ll likely lose more customers as pubs veer into more foodie establishments, with younger populations who are concerned with how their food and drink is sourced. Also compost your food waste and make your pub garden safe for pets to know plants and other items to avoid near visiting dogs.
Boycott Beers in Plastic Rings
As a pub, you likely already recycle glass and cardboard. But go further and don’t buy beers that are wrapped in plastic rings (many brands are now packed in cardboard including Stella Artois). E6PR makes compostable edible six-pack rings for beer, made from wheat and barley (by-products of the brewing method). Currently expensive, but the more that people buy them, the sooner the price will be more affordable.
Conventional plastic rings get caught around wildlife necks or beaks like this duck with a plastic ring stuck in its feathers). Peanut the turtle had her shell warp around the plastic rings she was caught in. Although rescued, she now has to spend her life in captivity, because her organs did not develop properly, poor little love.
Offer Artisan (vegan) Booze
Up your profits by offering vegan-friendly drinks (free from fish bladder and animal insides filtering). Many people simply won’t buy an alcoholic drink, if they have to go through asking lots of questions. Just look up the tipples you sell at Barnivore to see which brands qualify. Switch to vegan Worcestershire sauce for your tomato juice and bloody Marys.
For people who don’t drink alcohol, Lucky Saint is a Bavarian-brewed Pilsner-styled lager that uses quality ingredients including Hallertau hops, and follows German purity laws. Brewed the same way as full-strength beer then fermented for 6 weeks, it has a biscuity malt taste and smooth citrus hop finish. Left unfiltered. This one is available on draught.
Toast Ale is a non-profit that donates to the founder’s own food waste charity. It replaces some malted barley with leftover bread (including a ‘crumpet beer’ made from Warburton’s leftover food). It can also supply you with branded beer mats etc.
Serve Plant-Based Pub Grub
You don’t have to be vegan, to offer good food to millions who are (many pubs and restaurants wrongly serve ‘vegetarian meals’ with Parmesan cheese, which by law contains calf rennet). If you are stilling offering ‘vegetable curry’ and ‘fruit salad’ for veggie diners, you’re missing out on extra profits (most pubs make lots of profits these days from food, rather than beer). This Vegan Ploughmans Lunch Platter (The Veg Space) includes traditional fresh bread, cheese, pickles and chutney.
The Spread Eagle is London’s first vegan pub, and is also zero waste. The seasonal menu includes free foraged foods and the meals replicate pub classics and British desserts. Popular on the menu is the East End classic pie & mash, plus there is a Ploughman’s Board and sticky toffee pudding for afters. Served with 14 draught vegan beers, small batch wines and a tequila sour (using aquafaba ‘vegan meringue’ made from the leftover brine water from canned chickpeas!)
Another popular vegan pub is Brighton’s The Roundhill Pub. Choose from the tender minted ‘seitan lamb loin’ with dauphinoise potatoes, chantenay carrots, spinach puree and mint salsa. Or a Glazed ‘Gammon’ with treacle and mustard glaze, garlic buttered kale, celeriac puree, fondant potato, shredded baby leeks and vegan crackling. This pub has designed the space in open plan, so women can feel safe on a night out, and anyone behaving inappropriately is noticed. They actively encourage anyone to report anytime they don’t feel safe, which has understandably led to them being one of Brighton’s favourite pubs for women.
Pig-friendly Porkless Scratchings!
Pork scratchings are made by frying skin taken from the top of a pig’s hind leg. Two good plant-based versions are Vegan Pig and Sunshine Deli Pork Scratchings (Sheffield). Avoid for children and swallowing difficulties as they could be a choking hazard. Keep away from pets, as they taste and smell like meat, but contain toxic ingredients like onion, garlic, mushrooms and faux meats. Set up a crisp packet recycling program to raise money for your community.