Posted by: The Prince of Whales | April 2, 2010

My Punch Epiphany

A group of unlikely angels did appear in The Prince last night. Punch, our landlord and the much maligned pubco that own the freehold, have received a great deal of criticism from myself in the past … not only are we forced to pay a massive premium (40% more than other pubs), but the range of cask beers on offer has been so small. With over 2500 ales brewed in the UK, only 47 were available to us from Punch.

Enter the Angels.

Roger's Angels

Sandi Tipton, our Punch BRM, agreed with me that the Punch range on cask ale was not good enough. She proposed to get around this by allowing us to use the Punch Beer Festival service on a regular, monthly basis. This allows us to use a specific wholesaler who can offer us more than 500 beers. A massive step forward. Prices are still high, but the range is much better.

So last night I was invited to the re-opening event for another Punch pub (The Station in Kings Heath) and as its only a 5 minute taxi away, Sandi invited her boss and her Boss’s boss to take a quick trip down the road to The Prince. Once in the pub, we did a quick tour, talked strategy, tactics and the upcoming refurb; then Sandi and Mike (her boss) proceeded to tell Giles (Regional Director) that for the business to succeed, we needed to get this wider, better quality, more micro orientated beer selection in. Giles didn’t need to be convinced but backed it straight away.

What’s more, whilst in the cellar, Mike and Giles suggested we ought to consider installing a microbrewery at the pub!

I was shocked. Indeed building a brewery at The Prince is something I have schemed from Day1, in fact from even before we arrived. Now instead of working out how to sell the idea to Punch, the senior Punch guys were suggesting this to me.

The approach of these 3 Punch managers is in such stark contrast to our treatment over our first two years, its hard to believe. I must conclude that Punch is changing; that things are getting better. If we can build on this through our refurbishment in May and create a deeper trust over the Summer, the future is looking good for my family and The Prince of Wales.



  1. I still prefer your idea of building a brewery on the vacant site at the top of Chantry Road, which I understand has strong support from the Residents’ Association.

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