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Refreshment Department (Alcohol Sales)

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what steps the House took to mark English Wine Week. (76800)

The Refreshment Department would have been pleased to support English Wine Week, which ran from 29 May until 6 June. This coincided with the spring bank holiday recess, so that most of the restaurants and bars in the House were closed. It was not considered viable to run a special promotion for the two days the House was sitting during this period.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will take steps to ensure that a Sussex sparkling wine is added to the House of Commons wine lists. (76690)

The Refreshment Department is always pleased to consider new wines for addition to its wine lists. The Director of Catering Services is happy to advise any suppliers how to apply to have their wines included on the House of Commons wine lists.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will take steps to ensure that Harvey's beer is considered for stocking in House of Commons bars during Cask Beer Week in September 2006. (76686)

The Refreshment Department supports the small independent brewers of Britain by offering a guest ale, changed weekly, in two of the House of Commons bars. This scheme does not operate during parliamentary recesses, when the bars are very quiet. It would therefore not be economic to support Cask Beer Week in September 2006 by stocking Harvey’s or any other real ale. I have asked the Director of Catering Services to contact the hon. Member in relation to the prospects for offering Harvey's as a guest ale.