The Carters Tap on Morrison Street in Edinburgh (formerly Carters) has become the first pub in Scotland to open under Greene King’s innovative Local Hero agreement. Run by multiple operator, Niall Middleton, The Carters Tap has become the first Belhaven leased pub north of the border to be adopted into the scheme, which champions local food and drink. Carters is a small, wet-led pub in the centre of Edinburgh and the change to Local Hero has given Niall the freedom to use local microbreweries, moving the business in a new direction.
Greene King Pub Partners, owners of Belhaven Pubs, recently celebrated launching 50 pubs operating in England under the innovative agreement since it was created in 2011.
The framework for the Local Hero agreement focuses on celebrating everything local, from microbreweries to the local farm shop. Pubs operating under the agreement are typically characterful with quirky features and are most often treated to a sympathetic refurbishment, with extra capacity for cask ale added at the bar and in the cellar.
The Carters Tap was no exception and received investment to improve and freshen the pub’s décor and furnishings, as well as tripling the number of ale pumps to six. A further eight wall-mounted taps have been installed with a real emphasis on Scottish craft keg. Initial offerings include brews from Edinburgh’s Stewart Brewing, Barney’s Beer and Pilot Beer.
Niall commented, “For me, Local Hero was an opportunity to really embrace the best of Edinburgh’s brewing industry. We have so many great breweries that actually it was difficult to know where to start! We ended up launching with cask ale from brewers no more than three miles down the road from us, so we have really taken the ethos of the agreement to heart. The agreement lends itself to flexibility, and Greene King has recognised where I have needed to be even more flexible to make the business work. I am pleased to be running the first Scottish Local Hero, as I think it will really work here.”
At the bar, licensees are expected to stock half of their cask ales from local microbreweries, with well-known brands and craft ales from Greene King or Belhaven forming the other half. For pubs with a food offer, local suppliers are used for as much as possible and typically licensees source meat, vegetables or bread from local quality providers.
Clive Chesser, managing director for Greene King Pub Partners, said, “Taking Local Hero into Scotland was the natural next step for the agreement after it enjoyed so much success south of the border. It is a popular model because it works, particularly for smaller, wet-led pubs that could benefit from the unique selling point of using local suppliers and the flexibility that this provides. We are incredibly proud to have reached 50 pubs in just four years and look forward to even more of our licensees in both England and Scotland achieving business success using this agreement.”