Drink Warehouse UK Blogs

Published on March 7th, 2024.

British Pie Week is here!

How you can celebrate?

British Pie Week originated in 2007 as a marketing initiative by a pastry company aimed at boosting sales and promoting homemade pie-making. Over the years, it has evolved into a widely celebrated event embraced by restaurants, pubs, and food suppliers throughout the UK. The focus has shifted from home baking to honouring the diverse array of pies available across the country, as well as celebrating all things pie related. From a traditional lunchtime staple to a favoured snack at sporting events, and from classic interpretations to modern and extravagant variations found in gastropubs and restaurants, pies have become an integral part of British culinary culture, beloved by pie enthusiasts nationwide. The culmination of British Pie Week is marked by the prestigious British Pie Awards held at its conclusion.

History of Pies

Now, onto a topic that sparks debate among many pie enthusiasts: the origin of the word ‘pie’ and its evolution as a culinary dish. Dating back to the Medieval era, the term ‘pie’ is believed to have been inspired by the magpie bird, known for collecting an assortment of objects in its nest. In medieval times, pies were crafted as a means of utilizing a diverse range of ingredients, often including various meats, and the practice of baking ingredients together in pastry can be traced back to Ancient Greek and Roman cuisines.


In medieval Britain, where ovens were not always readily accessible, pies were commonly prepared over an open flame. Those with an open top were dubbed ‘traps,’ while those with a lid were referred to as ‘coffyns,’ meaning a box. Unlike modern pies where the pastry is typically consumed, in medieval times, it primarily served as a vessel to hold the ingredients together.


The emergence of sweet pies during this period, often referred to as tarts, introduced a new dimension to pie-making, with flavours primarily derived from fruits due to the scarcity and expense of sugar. By the 13th century, mince pies became a staple of festival celebrations, blending a mixture of meats, fruits, and spices.


Today, the definition of a pie varies widely, sparking debates on whether it must be fully enclosed, made with pastry, or even savoury or sweet. The inclusion of mashed potato as a topping, as seen in dishes like fish pie or shepherd’s pie, further blurs the lines. With questions surrounding shape and the inclusion of fillings, the debate continues.

How to Celebrate British Pie Week

Businesses can celebrate British Pie Week in a variety of creative ways to engage customers and showcase their culinary offerings:


  1. Pie Specials: Create special pie menus featuring a variety of traditional and innovative pie flavours. Offer discounts or promotions to encourage customers to try different pies throughout the week.


  1. Pie Tasting Events: Host pie tasting events where customers can sample a selection of pies from your menu. Provide tasting notes and pairings with beverages to enhance the experience.


  1. Pie-Making Workshops: Offer pie-making workshops or cooking classes where customers can learn to make their own pies. Provide tips and techniques for perfecting pastry and filling combinations.


  1. Pie Competitions: Hold pie-making competitions for customers or staff members. Encourage participants to get creative with their pie recipes and offer prizes for the most innovative or delicious pies.


  1. Pie Giveaways: Run social media contests or promotions offering free pies or pie vouchers to lucky winners. Encourage customers to share their pie experiences online using a designated hashtag.


  1. Pie Charity Fundraisers: Organize pie-themed charity events or fundraisers, with a portion of proceeds going to a local charity or community organization. This allows businesses to give back while celebrating British Pie Week.


By incorporating these ideas, businesses can celebrate British Pie Week in a memorable and engaging way, attracting customers, and fostering a sense of community around this beloved culinary tradition.

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