From our base in Newcastle Upon Tyne, overlooking the old Tyne Brewery site, useyourlocal.com is on a mission to get more people into pubs and bars more often.
We know that consumers want one single trusted source of information on the UK’s 50,000+ pubs and bars, and we’re here to help these pubs and bars connect with UK consumers in a digital world.
What we know:
(Source: Useyourlocal.com Pub & Bar Survey 2017, 874 respondents)
By encouraging Britain’s pub loving public to join us and “Follow” their favourite pubs & bars, we make sure that they’re always the first to know what’s happening, where and when. No one need miss a Quiz Night or Live Band ever again.
Live life to the local.
Useyourlocal Limited was formed in March 2008 in partnership with Scottish & Newcastle Plc, then the UK’s biggest brewer. In April 2008, we became part of Heineken, Europe’s largest brewer, following their acquisition of S&N.
On 3rd August 2009, Useyourlocal.com launched amidst a blaze of publicity, offering the unique service that allowed people to have parcels delivered to their local pub.
Fast forward to today and things are looking a little different over here at Useyourlocal HQ. Having expanded our capabilities and our team, we are now operating as the UK’s number 1 digital platform for pubs and bars attracting over 300,000 visitors every month and counting some of the world’s biggest brands and pub groups amongst our customers.
The parcels may have gone, but the innovation certainly hasn’t.
With a family history stretching back many generations in the brewing industry, Willie’s pub credentials take some beating. Having held numerous senior roles at Scottish & Newcastle plc, Bulmer’s and Heineken UK, Willie brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership to the team. His undying passion for pubs has brought him to useyourlocal.com where he works to keep us focussed, introduce us to key contacts and drive us towards achieving our goals for the benefit of the industry. Willie can often be found at the Countryman in Tasburgh. If you see him there, he might even buy you a pint!
My early career was spent in the cut a thrust world of media sales in my home county of North Yorkshire. From selling 3 by 1 boxes in the “Accommodation to Let” section of the Harrogate Herald, I moved onwards into the glamourous role of Display Sales on Personal Computer World, what was, back then, one of the UK’s biggest IT magazines, right in the heart of the Soho. The IT world was moving at breakneck speed and I took an opportunity to become part of the team that founded what grew into the UK’s biggest computer monitor supplier in the late 90’s. Having relocated to the North East to build a 120,000sq ft manufacturing site in Newcastle Upon Tyne, I looked for a complete change into an industry for which I had a real passion. Newcastle Breweries, the Northern trading arm of Scottish & Newcastle plc, became my new home in 2001. After several roles across sales, marketing & finance I secured their support to launch Useyourlocal in 2009. Our mission of getting more people into pubs, more often remains as true today as it was on the day we started. The rest, as they say, is history.
You simply can’t beat your own local. For the last 20 years that’s been the Black Bull in Matfen. However, The Wellington in Darley and the Bird in Hand, W14 London, will always hold an extra special place in my heart.
The first. Often a Kronenbourg 1664, sometimes a local cask ale like Tyneside Blonde. I’ve even been spotted with a Gin & Tonic once or twice!
Playing dominoes, with my mate JG, in The Shakespeare, Durham.
I started my first web development job in 2005 working for an IT consultancy with a focus on the travel industry, but my interest in programming goes much further back. I have always enjoyed tinkering with computers and code and from what I remember I built my first website in 1998 - fortunately it has been lost to the mists of time! Moving on from my first role I was lucky enough to work for two great creative agencies in Newcastle, covering a wide range of clients, sectors and projects and at the same time opening my eyes to the importance and possibilities of design. I joined Useyourlocal in 2016 and have been lucky enough to combine two of my favourite things into one job – web development and public houses!
BrewDog Newcastle. Great atmosphere, great people and most importantly great beer.
Can I only pick one?! Okay, Ruination IPA by Stone – but I might change my mind tomorrow.
Classic favourite has to be darts – or alternatively a game of Obama Llama at BrewDog Newcastle never fails to get some laughs.
I pulled my first pint of ale in the Tap & Spile, Morpeth, when I was around 10 years old (with the help of my sister who held the glass while I dangled from the pump). I went on to work there for 7 years (without assistance) from the age of 20. During this time, I graduated from Northumbria University with a BSc in Communications and Public Relations. In early 2016, I worked my last* shift behind the bar before moving on to Procter & Gamble’s Newcastle Innovation Centre where I managed consumer research projects for the Global Dry Laundry Platform within the UK market. In June 2017, I joined Useyourlocal, where I am lucky enough to merge my love of writing with my fondness for the pub industry in my role as Contents & Communications Manager.
*Not my last shift – I’m still partial to the odd one, even now. Once a barmaid…
Has to be the Tap & Spile, given that it’s been my second home for the better part of 20 years. On match days, The Forth (Newcastle) is my favourite for pre-gamers.
I’m a big fan of dark ales - Moorhouse’s Halloween beer Ruby Witch is one I look forward to every year. Dark rum and diet coke is my party starter.
Man walks into a bar with a giraffe, they get drunk and the giraffe passes out. As the man leaves the barman shouts, “You can’t leave that lyin’ there” and the man says, “It’s not a lion, it’s a giraffe.” (Forgive me)
I started my career as a marketing graduate with Unilever, then joined Scottish & Newcastle as Beck’s Brand Manager. I held a wide range of senior Marketing, Sales and HR roles with S&N, and then when Heineken bought the UK business I worked as HR Director and then Marketing Director. In 2010 I was sent by Heineken to Mexico to lead the integration of Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma from FEMSA, and once complete I stayed on as Marketing Director. In 2013 I was appointed as Managing Director of Carlsberg Singapore, and in April 2014 also became Chairman of MayBev Pte Ltd following the acquisition of a controlling stake in the company. I returned to Edinburgh in June 2015, since when I have been involved in a variety of start-up businesses, ranging from sugar substitutes (Calo) to a strategy consultancy (Spirit-Level Associates). I also mentor some young tech entrepreneurs who are developing a neighbourhood App offering for SMEs.
I’ve always liked the Bow Bar in Edinburgh – it’s a proper boozer with a great selection of cask ales and malt whiskies.
Bloke walks into a pub with some jump leads around his neck. The barman looks at him and says “Listen, I’ll serve you a drink, but don’t go starting anything.”
My post-education life began in property in London in the late 1980’s, selling houses for and to the rich and famous in Knightsbridge, South Kensington and Pimlico. Having started as a trainee sales negotiator, I was running my own branch within 2 years and assumed life was only going to get better – then the property crash arrived and recession hit! So, whilst property was crashing in the south, I moved back home to Yorkshire and staying in the industry, I ran branches in North Yorkshire before turning my hand to property development, enabling me to bring up my children. I went back to agency briefly before moving to Newcastle in 2014 and joining Useyourlocal in March 2016, a new industry to me but, hey, what fun, who wouldn’t want to work with pubs?
Well I have to stay true to my roots and say The Windmill in Linton, near Wetherby
Proper gin girl – loving all the new brands!
I started my career at Waverley Vinters Ltd in a Youth Training Scheme 6-month contract assisting with general office duties and administrative work. I then took a side step to Eagle Star Insurance/Zurich where I spent 14 years working in Telesales. In 2004, having missed the pub connection so much, I returned to Waverley Wine and Spirits, again working in Telesales. I remained there until 2012 when I was made redundant, after which I decided to go back into insurance for another 4 years. Then, in October 2016, I gladly assumed my role as Digital Marketing Executive at Useyourlocal, feeling at home speaking to my publicans once again.
Has to be The Lord Nelson Pub in Jarrow, with Live bands on nearly every weekend. I am spoilt for choice to stay in or go to the pub!
Has to be a nice cold Peroni, or I have now discovered Rhubarb Gin & Lemonade.
Keith Lemon – Don’t show your teeth game.