The group, which operates 540 pubs across the UK under brands such as Classic Inns, Great Traditional Pubs, Scream and Yates, joined forces with brewer Greene King to develop the training course for its general managers.
Conducted by Greene King’s head brewer John Bexon and laboratory manager Susan Chisolm, the one and a half-day course combines practical and theory elements.
Day one of the training course covers the brewing process and includes a brewery tour and discussion about different types of beer before participants get the chance to brew their own beer and take part in a tutored tasting session; the remainder of the course focuses on analysis of the market and its trends, including product news, ale consumers, beer brands and ranges, and how to deliver beer events.
Thirty of Stonegate’s managers have already completed the course, becoming ‘beer ambassadors’ across the estate; and around 700 Stonegate Pub Company employees are set to complete the BII-accredited Award in Beer and Cellar Quality (ABCQ) qualification in the coming months.
Lee Woolley, head of learning at Stonegate, said the introduction of the new training scheme “demonstrates that we are serious about cask ale and about training our managers so that they may lead from the front in creating quality cask ale experiences in their pubs for customers”.
“We are particularly pleased to have delivered this in collaboration with our ale partner Greene King whose beers and brewing processes are outstanding,” said Woolley.
John Bexon, head brewer at Greene King, said the firm is “delighted to be working with Stonegate”.
“Excellent cellar management is essential to ensure consistent beer quality and it is great to share our knowledge with the Stonegate team,” he said.