Virgin Trains’ Hop on Board beer is proving to be an important ingredient in the rise of a bread-baking business in the North East.
Claire Bowes Fairless was inspired to bake with the Yorkshire-brewed tipple when she tasted it after visiting one of Virgin Trains’ popular monthly Pop Up Shop events for small businesses at Darlington station on the east coast route.
Family-run business, Jar House, which sells bread and bread-baking kits say that their beer-inspired loaves are now best sellers and have attracted orders from across the UK.
They will be teaming up with Virgin Trains for the latest Pop-Up Shop event tomorrow at Darlington station where customers buying her beer-inspired bread can get a free bottle of Hop on Board ale as part of a special promotion.
Claire, who is from Middlesbrough, said: “There has been a boom in hand crafted beers and micro pubs while the British public love baking bread, not least following the phenomenal success of the TV show The Great British Bake-off.
“I’ve always liked to buy a beer from the places I visit – and I’ve found that bread tastes best when you bake it with a bottle of beer!
“When Virgin Trains’ staff at Darlington told me that the company serves its own Hop on Board beer on-board its trains, I thought I would see how this tasted when baking a loaf – and they’ve proved so popular that I’m now going to launch a range of ‘beer biscuits’ and cookie-making kits.
“The Pop Up Shop events are very popular with my customers and it’s great that a big company like Virgin Trains is helping small companies like mine. It’s even helped by sending orders on its trains as far as London and Edinburgh.”
Jennie Pitt, Employee Engagement & Corporate Responsibility Manager for Virgin Trains on its east coast route , said: “Since launching our Pop Up shops last year, we’ve helped support dozens of local independent retailers by offering them a market stall environment within busy train stations, such as Darlington and York, where they can interact with thousands of potential customers.
“We’re delighted that our Hop on Board beer has risen to the challenge of helping Claire’s business grow.”
Notes to Editors
The next Virgin Trains Pop Up shop event will take place in Darlington station concourse on Friday 28 October from 10.00-16.00, and on Saturday 29 October from 09.00-14.00.
Hop on Board is a Golden Ale which is brewed for Virgin Trains by the Rudgate Brewery near York. For more information on Hop on Board ale visit: www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/ale.
About Virgin Trains:
Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.
The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.
Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested £21m to completely revamp our existing fleet and customers can now benefit from 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.
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