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Popular publicans are stepping down
10:17am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in Lyme Regis
TWO popular publicans have decided to call time on their career behind the bar and will retire later this month.
Brian Jenkins, 62, and wife Denise Jenkins, 59, have been pulling pints at the New Inn at Kilmington, East Devon, for more than 21 years.
They have led the pub into being one of CAMRA’s Magnificent Seven, as they are in the select group of pubs mentioned in each of the 41 editions of the Good Beer Guide.
The couple’s success was made all the more satisfying after the pub was destroyed by a fire sparked in the thatched roof and was shut for nearly a year for rebuilding.
Mr Jenkins said: “We only had what we stood up in and that was it, everything else was gone. It was devastating, and it plays on my mind now when I start thinking about it.”
After the fire, the pub was rebuilt and reopened, and Mr Jenkins said he had seen a lot of changes to the industry in the two decades he had spent at the helm, including an increase in food and wine sales.
Mrs Jenkins said: “Pubs can’t be without food these days. When we first came here food was about 10 per cent of the turnover, it’s now nearly half and wine, I used to sell maybe a bottle a week, and I’m now doing thousands of bottles a year.”
After their retirement, they plan to spend time holidaying around the UK and the rest of Europe, before returning to their home in East Devon and making their former pub their local.
Mr Jenkins also passed on some words of wisdom he has acquired over the years.
He said: “Keep your beer lines clean, do them every week and do them properly, and make sure you’ve got the right-sized barrelage in for your turnover, it’s as simple as that.
“If you change a barrel every day, then your beer’s fresh every day.
“Always have the right glass for the right beer, and make sure they’re clean.”
Palmers brewery tenanted trade director Jayson Perfect described the couple as ‘fantastic tenants’.
He said: “It’s a great honour to own one of the Magnificent Seven pubs.
“Brian and Denise have been fantastic tenants and I hope they enjoy a happy retirement.
“Our new landlords, Chris and Becky, are committed to keeping up the listing and making the pub even better in the future.”