Westminster drinks to Skinners


A champion beer from Cornwall has been quenching the thirst of MPs and their guests at the heart of British Government.

Betty Stogs, top-selling ale from Truro-based Skinners Brewery, has been selected as the beer for the Strangers Bar in the House of Commons, as part of Westcountry Food Week (April 20-24, 2009) in Parliament.

Together with the traditional dish from the West Cornwall Pasty Company, MPs and their guests have had the opportunity to enjoy a “taste of the west” with a pint ‘n’ a pasty.

It was a sequel to last year’s successful Tall Ships event at Falmouth, when Skinners were lead sponsor and retired Falmouth businessman John Hick led the local organising committee.

Hick’s daughter, Sarah Newton, is prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Falmouth and Truro and recalled:  “Skinners did such a great job of sponsoring the event and it set me thinking that there must be more that could be done to promote Cornwall’s fantastic food and drink sector at a higher level.

“I put the idea to Mark Prisk, the Shadow Minister for Cornwall, and he approached the House of Commons Refreshments Authority with a Cornish Food Week proposal.  

“They said no to that but agreed to the next best thing, on a Westcountry level.  Mark  discussed it with all the prospective Parliamentary candidates in Cornwall, with the result that a whole range of Cornish products have been served in all the House of Commons bars, restaurants and rest rooms throughout the special week.”

Prisk confirmed: “The Strangers Bar is the most important and most popular bar in the House of Commons and as such is a wonderful showcase opportunity for Betty Stogs and Skinners Brewery.”

Brewery chief executive Steve Skinner said he was delighted to be involved in “a great opportunity to help promote the best of Cornish to a highly influential clientele,” and hoped it might lead to a more permanent supply to the House of Commons.

He added:  “It’s yet another great accolade for the Betty Stogs name, which has consistently been our best-seller since we launched 11 years ago and which last year won the ultimate national prize.”

Betty Stogs clinched the Champion Best Bitter of Great Britain award in the 2008 Great British Beer Festival at Earl’s Court, London.  Betty has won more awards nationally and locally than any other Cornish beer.