The brewery was founded by Benjamin Greene in Bury St. Edmunds in 1799. In Wilson’s biographical analysis of the Greenes, he credits members of their family for being able to achieve distinction in the worlds of business and banking, literature and broadcasting in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.’
In 1836 Edward Greene took over the business and in 1887 it merged with Frederick William King's brewing business to create Greene King.
The Spirit acquisition, where Greene King bought Spirit for £773.6m, took the total number of Greene King sites to 3,116, brought 14 brands together and made Greene King the largest managed pub company in the UK. It was completed on 23 June 2015.
It was announced in November 2018 that Rooney Anand will be stepping down from his role as CEO after 14 years in the position.
The Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds produces beers branded in the names of breweries now closed, including Morland (Old Speckled Hen), Ruddles, Hardys & Hanson and Tolly Cobbold. The Belhaven brewery in Dunbar continues to operate in Scotland.
The group operates 3,100 pubs, restaurants and hotels:
Its retail division is split between its destination pubs and restaurants (with brands including Hungry Horse, Loch Fyne and Metropolitan Pub Company) and its local pubs. Its strategy is to open further retail outlets.
Its pub partners division has leased, tenanted and franchised pubs. Its strategy is to reduce the numbers of these outlets.
Greene King's Brewery Museum, shown in 2006
The Greene King main brewery, seen from Westgate Street.
The Greene King main brewery
There is a visitor centre next to the brewery, and tours are run regularly throughout the week. The brewery has an exhibition of pub sign artwork by George Taylor, who designed over 250 such signs for Greene King pubs.
Greene King has been supporting apprenticeships since 2011 through its award winning Greene King Apprenticeship Programme. Since launch, the scheme has welcomed some 9,000 apprentices.
In 2016, Greene King launched the Get Into Hospitality Programme in partnership with The Prince’s Trust. The aim of the programme is to address the skills and experience gaps that prevent unemployed people from getting into work. Those who successfully complete and graduate from the programme are offered a role onto the Greene King Apprenticeship Programme.
In 2017, Greene King launched the Craft Academy, an 18 month brewing venture led by apprentices. Through the programme, apprentices earn while they learn about brewing, design and marketing. Through the scheme, they will gain a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sales. The first five beers from the Craft Academy was launched at Craft Beer Rising Festival in London and include; Over Easy (3.8% session IPA), Big Bang IPA (5.6% bold and citrusy IPA), Bitter Sweet (6% black IPA), Desert Ryeder (4.8% rye beer) and High & Dry (5% dry hop lager).
Greene King's ongoing business expansion has sometimes been the subject of criticism. As a result of its active acquisition policy, it has come to be known by beer protesters as Greedy King. The growing consumer reaction to Greene King buying out smaller breweries was demonstrated towards the end of 2006 when a pub in Lewes, East Sussex started a well-publicised protest against Greene King for removing the locally produced Harveys Sussex Best Bitter from sale, while continuing to sell other guest beers.
In January 2014, popular Manchester pub The Lass O'Gowrie, voted "Best Pub in Britain" at the Great British Pub Awards in 2012, closed after landlord Gareth Kavanagh was forced out in an argument over rent. Having lost 40% of their trade after the BBC moved to Salford, Kavanagh had won a rent reduction at an independent tribunal before being forced out by the brewery.
Greene King has also been criticised for removing many traditional and historic pub signs as part of rebranding schemes.
A pint of Greene King IPA
Abbot Ale - A premium bitter (5.0% abv) first brewed in the 1950s. The ingredients are pale, crystal and amber malts; with First Gold, Challenger and Fuggles hops - the Fuggles being late-hopped. In 2007 Abbot Reserve (6.5% abv) was introduced as a winter special in the cask, with year-round availability in the bottle.
Greene King IPA - A cask bitter (3.6% abv) served in pubs and cans available from supermarkets and off-licences nationally. It is made using Challenger and First Gold hops and using pale and crystal malt. Greene King IPA controversially won the Gold award at the 2004 Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Great British Beer Festival in the Bitter category and runner-up in the Champion Beer of Britain category. In 2009, Greene King began to roll out a new form of dispense which allows customers to choose either a "Northern" or a "Southern" head on their beer. In 2012, two extensions of the brand were launched: Gold and Reserve.
IPA Export - A stronger cask bitter (5.0% abv) IPA available from off-licences in bottles, also made using Challenger and English First Gold hops.
Olde Suffolk/Strong Suffolk Vintage - A strong old ale (6% abv) that is a blend of two ales, one being aged in oak for two years. It is available in bottles.
St Edmunds - A crisp golden ale (4.2% abv) available in both bottles and cask nationally.
Greene King XX Mild (3% ABV). A dark mild ale available on cask. Black and Crystal malts, Northdown hops.
Hardy's and Hansons
Olde Trip - A 4.3% Premium Ale. Named in honour of the Nottingham inn Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, which claims to be the oldest inn in Britain. As of September 2007 this was for sale in the Brewery Museum in 500ml bottles.
Can of Old Speckled Hen
Old Speckled Hen is a popular bitter, available both as a cask ale and pasteurised in bottles. First brewed in 1979 by Morland Brewery in Abingdon, Oxfordshire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car company setting up in Abingdon, and named after the MG factory's MG car - the paint splattered Owld' Speckled 'Un. Brewed since 1999 by Greene King. Greene King has retained the strain of yeast first used in 1896. Old Golden Hen has received a coveted Monde Selection Award at the 2012 World Quality Selections. By receiving this award, the Old Golden Hen became the third and final member of the Old Speckled Hen family to win a Monde Selection quality award. In 2008, Greene King released a vintage oaked, super premium version of Old Speckled Hen, named Old Crafty Hen (6.5%).
In March 2016, Greene King won Best Managed Pub Company (51+ sites) at the 2016 Publican Awards. Greene King's chief executive, Rooney Anand, also won Business of the Year Award at the Publican Awards 2016. In March 2017, Greene King Pub Partners won Best Tenanted & Leased Pub Company (201+ sites) at the 2017 Publican Awards.
A chef is a trained professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on a particular cuisine. The word "chef" is derived from the term chef de cuisine (French pronunciation: [ʃɛf.də.kɥi.zin]), the director or head of a kitchen. Chefs can receive formal training from an institution, as well as by apprenticing with an experienced chef.
There are different terms that use the word chef in their titles, and deal with specific areas of food preparation, such as the sous-chef, who acts as the second-in-command in a kitchen, or the chef de partie, who handles a specific area of production. The kitchen brigade system is a hierarchy found in restaurants and hotels employing extensive staff, many of which use the word "chef" in their titles. Underneath the chefs are the kitchen assistants. A chef's standard uniform includes a hat (called a toque), neckerchief, double-breasted jacket, apron and sturdy shoes (that may include steel or plastic toe-caps).
Eastern Counties 1 is an English level 9 Rugby Union League. From the 2017-18 promoted teams move up to the newly created London 3 Eastern Counties with the league champions going up automatically, while relegated teams drop down to Eastern Counties 2. Teams in this league tend to be based in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk or Suffolk. In the past teams from Essex used to take part until the 2003-04 season when they formed a new league - with Essex 1 being the top division. Each year some of the 1st XV clubs in this division also take part in the RFU Junior Vase - a level 9-12 national competition.
The division was split across three geographic areas (North, South & West) for the 2017-18 as part of an RFU reorganization of the London & South East regional league. The top two teams from each Area Division shall enter the Championship Phase to determine the final rankings for promotion to London 3 Eastern Counties.
The RFU Championship, known for sponsorship reasons as the Greene King IPA Championship from 2013–14, is the second tier of the English rugby union league system and was founded in September 1987. The twelve-side league was known as National Division One and in 2009 changed from semi-professional clubs to fully professional. The 2018 champions were Bristol Bears as they won the league. They won automatic promotion to Premiership Rugby.
Originally the league required an end-of-season round of two-legged play-offs in which the top eight, from 2012-13 until 2016-17 revised to top four, clubs at the end of the main phase of the season played each other.
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