BrewDog Recognised as One of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in UK

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BrewDog, the Scottish craft brewery has been recognised as one of the fastest growing private companies in the UK. The company has also been included in the 2017 Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100. This Fast Track list is a league table that ranks the top 100 private companies in Britain with the sales that have been recorded over the course of the last three years.

The popular craft beer company’s appearance in this year’s table marks the sixth year that they have met the standard. This is a record for any company in the Fast Track table’s 21-year history. BrewDog has seen their sales go up by 93% year on year according to figures recorded at the end of September 2017. This exceptional amount of growth has followed the company’s banner year in 2016, which saw the brewery experience a 97% increase in sales.

BrewDog’s flagship beer, the punk IPA has also experienced its own success, being the best-selling craft beer in the UK off-trade for the past three years. The craft brewer also creates five of the top 10 best-selling craft beers in the UK.

October saw BrewDog launch their fifth round of crowdfunding, Equity for Punks with the intention of raising £10 million, and a longer term goal of raising up to £50 million in order to help the company expand globally. This long term, global expansion plan will see the company open new breweries in Australia and Asia as well as the opening of 15 new craft venues in the UK. This expansion will help to increase their production capacity at their UK breweries and also help to create a dedicated craft beer TV network.

In August this year the company announced that they would be giving 20% of their profits away as a part of their Unicorn Fund, with 10% being equally distributed to staff and the other 10% being given away to charitable causes that will be selected by BrewDog’s staff.

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Maven Capital Partners Announce Latest Manchester Hotel Development

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Maven Capital Partners has announced their latest hotel development. The company has started work on the creation of the first Hampton by Hilton to be located in central Manchester. Maven will be acting as the asset manager for this construction project on behalf of the Hong Kong based company, IP Investment Management. The construction of the 221-guest room will be carried out by Create Construction, who is also working on the delivery of a 130-guest room Hampton by Hilton which is taking place in Blackpool.

The new Manchester hotel will be located on Rochdale Road and Sharp Street which is in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The site of the new hotel will put future guests in close proximity of a number of attractions, including the 21,000 seat Manchester Arena and a range of bars, restaurants and shops. Redefine BDL Hotels has been appointed to operate the hotel. The hotel management company already works to manage three other properties in Maven’s hotel portfolio.

Hampton by Hilton is considered to be one of the UK’s fastest growing brands and has recently opened in a number of new locations including Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen. This current development is the first Hampton by Hilton to be located in Manchester and will help to bring an established hotel name into the city’s hotel sector. Manchester’s hotel sector has seen a strong level of occupancy over the course of the past few years, and the creation of a new hotel will surely help to boost this success.

Maven has seen their property portfolio expand significantly over recent years and the team now manages 19 different property investments which have a combined Gross Development value of more than £250 million. The development of the Hampton by Hilton hotel in Manchester will be the company’s eight hotel development and expands their hotel portfolio, which also includes Hotel Indigo, Ibis Styles and Travelodge hotels.

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FriPura Wins at The Caterer Product Excellence Awards

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The producers of an innovative filter that has been designed to reduce the number of calories and harmful chemicals that are produced in deep-fat frying processes has managed to come out on top at The Caterer Product Excellence Awards which took place on Tuesday. The nominees for the Technology: Hardware category was judged on innovation as well as the benefits that are offered by the company to the operator and the convenience and money saving credentials of the product.

FriPura, the Hull-based company, have developed the filter that has been proven to improve food quality as well as cut the number of calories and harmful chemicals that are present in the oil while also working to reduce costs to restaurants. The filter offers cost savings as it doubles the life of the oil.

The success of the FriPura filter has come during a time where there is an emphasis on health in the UK. There has been an increasing level of concern for the UK’s obesity levels and this has led to Public Health England being brought in to investigate the calorie consumption of the population while developing a plan that will reduce the number of calories that are found in food by 2018.

Also the levels of acrylamide, which is a harmful chemical created when starchy foods have been cooked for long periods at a high temperature are also being investigated. New EU legislation is being introduced in April 2018 that will require UK businesses to look to limit the levels of the chemical in their food.

The benefits that are offered by the FriPura filter and the fact that the life of the oil is doubled led to the company receiving such a prestigious accolade. The filter’s price is lower than the cost of the oil that is saved by using it, the installation of this new technology doesn’t cost anything, with the savings made by the company adding up at a significant pace.

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To coin a phrase…

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Today we’re returning to our series looking at curious English phrases and expressions – things we might say and understand the meaning of, without really knowing where they come from.

Our language is peppered with odd idioms like these. Sometimes their origin is straightforward and obvious, but other times it could be more obscure or simply lost in the mists of time. Today we look at phrases beginning with the letter ‘W’:

Whole nine yards: If someone gets ‘the whole nine yards’, they get the full measure of something, all of it and nothing less. As to the origin of this phrase, there is perhaps no other with so many competing theories and so little solid evidence to support any of them as being correct! Some of the explanations put forward include that nine yards is the length of cloth needed to make a traditional highland kilt, or an Indian sari, or a man’s three-piece suit, or even a shroud for a corpse. Any less than the whole nine yards and you will end up with an inferior product. Other theories suggest the correct number of ‘yards’ (spars or masts from which sails are hung) on a sailing ship, a term from American football, or the capacity (in cubic yards) of concrete wagons ­– if you ordered a full load you got the whole nine yards. There are serious flaws in all these theories. Probably the most popular is that the phrase originated among Second World War American aircrew, whose.50 calibre machine guns were fed by ammunition belts that were 27 feet long. If the guns ran out of ammunition, the pilot or gunner had given the enemy the whole nine yards. Sadly, since the phrase is found in newspapers as early as 1907, this theory is also suspect.

Whipping boy: Another term for this would be a scapegoat; someone who takes the blame, and the punishment, for another person’s misdemeanours. In Tudor and Stuart England (15th and 16th centuries), royal princes and even lesser members of aristocratic families could literally do no wrong, or at last if they did, they couldn’t be punished for it. The solution was that another boy would take the punishment, or ‘whipping’, on behalf of the errant royal boy. ‘Whipping Boy’ was an established position within the royal court, and a very sought after one at that! Whoever got the job would spend almost all their time at the Prince’s side, enjoying many of the benefits such as good food, fine clothes and an education. The occasional whipping was seen as a small price to pay, if not by the whipping boy himself, then at least by his family! The idea was that if the prince became friends with his whipping boy, he would behave well in order to spare his friend a whipping.

Warts and all: If you want something ‘warts and all’, you want the whole thing, including the less appealing parts. This phrase is widely attributed to Oliver Cromwell in his instructions to artist Sir Peter Lely, who was commissioned to paint his portrait. Lely’s painting style, in common with almost all portrait painters at the time, was to flatter their subject, making him or her appear more attractive than they really were by leaving out any blemishes, pimples or other imperfections. (Interestingly, modern smartphones cameras have filters which do the same!) However, as a staunch Puritan, Cromwell (Lord Protector of Britain and the Commonwealth from 1653 to 1658) was opposed to all forms of personal vanity. He reportedly told the artist: “Mr Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts and everything as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.” In other words, paint me warts and all or I won’t pay you. Mr Lely clearly did as he was told, as his finished portrait shows Cromwell with a number of facial moles, pimples and imperfections, in stark contrast to the artist’s other works.

Where there’s muck, there’s brass: Originating in Yorkshire in the late 19th or early 20th century, this phrase means that where there is dirty work to be done, there is money to be made. The many towns that sprang up across the north during the industrial revolution, whether centred on textiles, mining, steel or other industries, were indeed ‘mucky’ places, blighted by pollution from the mills, foundries and pits. Yet the industrialists behind those ventures became very wealthy indeed, often outstripping the ‘old money’ of England’s landed gentry and aristocracy. It’s easy to imagine a pampered and perfumed aristocrat turning up his nose at the sight and smell of a dirty industrial town, and the prosperous self-made man telling him: “Aye lad, but where there’s muck there’s brass!”. The term ‘brass’ is still used as slang for money in the north, and countless scriptwriters have used the full phrase to establish a character as a blunt-speaking Yorkshireman.

WYSIWYG: Not so much a phrase as an abbreviation, standing for ‘what you see is what you get’. The full phrase was being used by advertisers as early as the 1940s to indicate a straightforward honest deal with no frills or hidden extras. The acronym WYSIWYG (pronounced whizzywig) began appearing in computer terminology around the 1970s. It was used to indicate that what you saw on the computer display screen was an accurate depiction of the printed page. Since then the acronym has become widely used and even appears in the ‘lonely hearts columns’ where abbreviations like GSOH (good sense of humour) and WLTM (would like to meet) abound, to limit the cost per line of the advertisement.

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