2018 Annual General Meeting

This year’s AGM was once again held at The Victoria at Beeston, Nottingham. Miles Jenner was the guest speaker and he gave a splendid presentation of his life and experiences in the brewing industry.

A resolution was passed to increase the maximum annual contribution which can be made into the Club. This was increased from £2,000 to £5,000.

Once again members present enjoyed the wonderful buffet prepared and served by Neil Kelso and his staff from The Victoria.

Iain Loe (Committee member), Neil Kellett (Club founder), John Hattersley (Club chairman) and Miles Jenner (guest speaker)

Committee Meeting

A Committee Meeting was held at the The Architect in Chester on Saturday 1 December 2018. There were apologies from Iain Loe and Ann Mace. Mark Howarth was in attendance along with Martin Hilton.

The usual discussion and approval of the minutes and review of actions taken since the last meeting in Liverpool was conducted.

The accounts to 3st October 2018 had been pre-circulated by Howarth Associates. There were no specific questions and the accounts were approved. Mark Howarth suggested that the dates of meetings should be scheduled slightly after the end of the month so that the most recent accounts could be discussed.

Chris Excell had attended the Shepherd Neame AGM (report on Club web site). He had also attended the AGM of Wetherspoon. The Beer Consortium AGM had been attended by several members of the Committee.

Dave Goodwin updated the meeting on the recent events at Black Eagle and John Hattersley the same about Black Sheep.

After holding the necessary reserves for withdrawals and exceptional events, the usual “round the table” discussion followed regarding possible investments. As a result additional shares were to be purchased in Shaftesbury, Marston’s, NewRiver, Mitchells & Butler and Young’s.

It was agreed that, with effect from this coming April, there would be a charge of £10 for the issue of a duplicate Tax Certificate.

Future Committee meetings were confirmed for Saturday 2 February, Saturday 30 March, Saturday 8 June, Saturday 3 August, Saturday 21 September and Saturday 7 December.

2018 Shepherd Neame AGM

I attended the Annual General Meeting of Shepherd Neame & Co, which was held at the Parish Church of St. Mary of Charity , Faversham on 19 October 2018.

The company reported a strong set of results for the 53 week period ended 30 June 2018 with tenanted and managed pubs performing well, the brewing and brands division has been impacted by the loss of the Asahi contract which at one time accounted for 23% of brewing volume. The company intends to focus on creating demand for its own brands by developing distinctive good quality products.

During the year the company acquired two London pubs, the Samuel Pepys overlooking the River Thames and the Savoy Tap, they also opened Pier Five in the Chatham Dockyard area. Since the year end they have acquired the Wheatsheaf in Farnham. They have also purchased the Cheshire Cheese in Little Essex Street, London WC2. They have exchanged contracts on a site to build a pub/hotel with seventeen letting rooms in the rapidly expanding area between Ebbsfleet International Railway Station and Bluewater Shopping Centre. Investment in the brewery has included the installation of a new labelling machine.

The company’s heartland is set to benefit from Crossrail 3 which is proposed to link Ebbsfleet to the Elizabeth Line at Abbey Wood, the Lower Thames Crossing, developments around Ashford and improvements to rail services between Ashford, Canterbury and Margate, in total these developments are expected to increase the population in the area by 400,000 or 20%.

The subject of Brexit was mentioned, the company do not expect to have any staffing problems and do not foresee a return to booze cruises on the cross-channel ferries. Brexit does of course remain an uncertainty.

After the meeting a buffet luncheon was held at the brewery and shareholders had a chance to see new developments within the brewery, it was nice to see both steam engines in operation on the day although they no longer power the brewery.

Net asset value per share currently stands at £13.53 compared to £12.86 in 2017.

Chris Excell – CMIC Committee member

Committee Meeting

A Committee Meeting was held at the The Baltic Fleet in Liverpool on Saturday 22 September 2018. There were apologies from Bob Crumpton, Ann Mace and Iain Loe. Mark Howarth was in attendance.

The usual approval of the minutes and review of actions taken since the last meeting in Wolverhampton was conducted.

The accounts to 31st August 2018 had been pre-circulated by Howarth Associates. There were no specific questions and the accounts were approved. Mark Howarth presented the usual update regarding new members and leavers together with total contributions and withdrawals to date.

There had been no AGMs attended since the last meeting.

Dave Goodwin updated the meeting on the recent events at Black Eagle.

After holding the necessary reserves for withdrawals and exceptional events, the usual full “round the table” discussion followed regarding possible investments. It was decided to purchase additional shares in Shaftesbury, NewRiver and City Pub Group.

Future Committee meetings were confirmed for Saturday 1 December, Saturday 2 February, Saturday 30 March and Saturday 8 June.

Visit to McMullens Brewery

A trip to McMullens in Hertfordshire took place on Friday 24 August – here is Iain Loe’s report.

18 members of the Club visited McMullens Brewery, Hertfordshire on Friday 24th August. The Club has almost 62,000 preferred ordinary shares in the Company, but unfortunately voting shares in the Brewery are restricted to Family members!

The group was shown round the “Whole Hop Brewery” the new, downsized, brewery which Macs built in 2004 to replace their magnificent tower brewery, which dates from 1897, by Head Brewer Chris Evans.

Chris was in fact responsible for helping design this new brewery when Macs decided to downsize their brewery operation to take advantage of the new excise duty rules which gave a duty reduction for brewers below a certain level of production.

Whist the brewery is new it still uses traditional brewing methods including the use of whole leaf hops rather than pellets, hence the brewery’s name!

The brewery currently uses malt from the barley variety Flagon, supplied by two maltsters, Simpsons and Crisp. Coloured malts come from French and Jupp who have supplied the brewery for over a100 years. Charles Faram supplies the hops.

As well as the 2004 brewing plant Chris has also brought back into operation a mini brewery that the Company acquired several years ago when they bought the then brewpub The Fishery in Elstree.

As the company who made the plant were no longer in existence Chris had to find local engineers to manufacture replacement parts which had been cannibalised for use on the existing brewery; Chris had been instructed by brewery directors to get the plant in operation “at no extra cost.”

Chris now brews not only the traditional McMullns beers such as AK and Country but a range of specials and seasonal often under the name of The Riverside Brewery. The aim being to attract new drinkers who might have steered away from drinking beers badged McMullens! And when they drink them they seem to enjoy them!

The trip was very interesting especially with Chris’s wealth of knowledge and information about the brewery and brewing in general. He originally thought he would be staying a few months when he first joined McMullens but has found he has now stayed for most of his brewing life.

The one disappointment of the trip was that it had to be curtailed early with no chance to sample Macs range of traditional and seasonal brews. The reason? McMullens had to prepare their brewery yard for Hertford’s Sunday music extravaganza when the whole town, pubs, cafes and (brewery yards!) are filled with entertainers and the ale flows freely. Macs were setting up a bar and stage in the yard as we left.

Fortunately Macs BLO, and South Herts chairman, Les Middlewood, was on hand to guide members round Hertford’s pubs and had produced a simple map and guide to nearby hostelries.

Some members also visited the nearby Sainsburys which had been built on the original brewery site. The original tower brewery is still untouched (it is listed!) but next to the supermarket’s cafeteria there is a small brewery museum containing many artefacts from the old McMullen brewery.

Hopefully in the not to distant future members will be able to have a return visit to the Mc Mullens brewery and this time have a chance to sample Macs beers which these days do not often get out into the free trade. And hopefully that trip will not clash with preparations for a Hertford Festival Day or other such events.

CMIC members being shown round McMullens

Committee Meeting

A Committee Meeting was held at the The Clarendon in Wolverhampton on Saturday 28 July 2018. There were apologies from Chris Holmes, Sean Murphy and Iain Loe. Mark Howarth was in attendance.

The usual approval of the minutes and review of actions taken since the last meeting in Beeston was conducted.

The accounts to 30th June 2018 had been pre-circulated by Howarth Associates. There were no specific questions and the accounts were approved. Mark Howarth presented the usual update regarding new members and leavers.

John Westlake reported on his attendance at the Young’s AGM, Ian Brindley had been to the AGM held by Fuller’s and Chris Excell reported on the Thwaites AGM.

Dave Goodwin updated the meeting on the recent events at Black Eagle.

After holding the necessary reserves for withdrawals and exceptional events, a full “round the table” discussion followed regarding possible investments. As a result it was decided to make no purchases at this time. It was however agreed to continue to monitor any crowdfunding put in place by the various microbreweries.

Future Committee meetings were confirmed for Saturday 22 September, Saturday 1 December and Saturday 2 February.

Committee Meeting

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A Committee Meeting was held at the The Victoria in Beeston on Saturday 9 June 2018. There were no apologies. Mark Howarth was in attendance.

The usual approval of the minutes and review of actions taken since the last meeting in Manchester was conducted.

The accounts to 31st May 2018 had been pre-circulated by Howarth Associates. There were no specific questions and the accounts were approved. Mark Howarth presented the usual update regarding new members and leavers.

Colin Bodimeade reported on his attendance at the Joseph Holt AGM.

John Hattersley updated the meeting with recent events at Black Sheep and Dave Goodwin gave an update on the current position at Black Eagle.

After holding the necessary reserves for withdrawals and exceptional events, a full discussion followed regarding possible investments. As a result it was decided to make no purchases.A sub-committee was to look at the possibility of investing in Nethergate.

Mark Howarth presented the administration report, including an update on numbers of new members.

Future Committee meetings were confirmed for Saturday 28th July 2018, Saturday 22 September and Saturday 1 December.

Committee Meeting

A Committee Meeting was held at the The Sultan in Wimbledon on Saturday 14 April 2018. Neil Kellett,Dave Goodwin, Bob Crumpton and Ann Mace presented their apologies. Mark Howarth was in attendance.

The usual approval of the minutes and review of actions taken since the last meeting in Manchester was conducted.

The accounts to 31st March 2018 had been pre-circulated by Howarth Associates. There were no specific questions and the accounts were approved. Mark Howarth also presented copies of the year end accounts which were to be distributed to members in the next couple of weeks.

Chris Excel reported on his attendance at the Hop Back AGM.

John Hattersley updated the meeting with recent events at Black Sheep.

After holding the necessary reserves for withdrawals and exceptional events, a full discussion followed regarding possible investments. As a result it was decided to make no purchases.

Mark Howarth presented the administration report, including an update on numbers of new members.

Future Committee meetings were confirmed for Saturday 9th June, Saturday 28th July 2018 and Saturday 22 September.

Committee Meeting

A Committee Meeting was held at the The Ape and Apple in Manchester on Saturday 10 February 2018. Chris Holmes, Iain Loe, Sean Murphy and Colin Bodimeade presented their apologies. Mark Howarth was in attendance.

The usual approval of the minutes and review of actions taken since the last meeting was conducted.

The accounts to 31st January 2018 had been pre-circulated by Howarth Associates. There were no specific questions and the accounts were approved.

Chris Excel and Ian Brindley reported on their attendance at the Marstons AGM.

Dave Goodwin gave a report on progress at the Black Eagle Brewery while John Hattersley updated the meeting with events at Black Sheep.

After holding the necessary reserves for withdrawals and exceptional events, a full discussion followed regarding possible investments. As a result it was decided to purchase shares in Marstons, Greene King and City Pub Group. A small initial investment in Brasserie Renard was also approved.

Mark Howarth presented the administration report, including an update on numbers of new members.

Future Committee meetings were confirmed for Saturday 14th April, Saturday 9th June and Saturday 28th July 2018.