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Published on April 6th, 2016 | by Alastair Gilmour

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Head of Steam takes the train route

Particularly well-trained staff make a visit to any pub an extra delight. Customers feel good, they feel valued – and, crucially, they’ll come back. With this in mind, a North East brewery has identified training as one of the key investment plans for its business in 2016.  

Hartlepool-based Camerons has invested a substantial five figure sum in training staff in its pub group to become beer sommeliers. The brewery, working in partnership with the Beer Academy, has started running the various assessment courses at its visitor centre with its first fully accredited beer sommeliers being announced in the summer.

Chris Soley, director and general manager at Camerons, said: “With the addition of the Head of Steam to our managed group two years ago it was always our intention to use this a catalyst to develop an innovative and exciting pub group.

“Key to this are the people who work in our venues so we are always looking for opportunities to develop their skills. To show our commitment to the best beer standards, quality and knowledge, we set a target that each of our managed venues would have its own, on-site beer sommelier.

“The investment in this training is significant but we believe it is essential to offer customers a truly unique experience when they enter one of
our pubs.”

Alex Barlow, The Beer Academy’s director of training, said: “We are delighted to be working with Camerons with the objective of training a group of passionate Head of Steam bar managers up to beer sommelier level – the first time such a program has been approached on this scale.

“There are only 107 accredited beer sommeliers in the world and it’s great to see a brewery like Camerons looking to further enhance the customer experience.”

Camerons plans to continue to work with the Beer Academy on an annual basis.


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Alastair Gilmour



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