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Beer Around ’Ere


bae ea






Issue 161 | October - November

Must be the Beer Fest!

photo diary inside....

Peterborough & District Branch of CAMRA |

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Chairman’s Corner

Chairman’s Corner | 3


ow that the 34th Peterborough Beer Festival has faded into history and the various criticisms and plaudits have emerged, we can settle down to analysing the outcome. One thing I can re-assure regular followers of the PBF is that some major changes will certainly take place before next year’s festival. With yet another fall in attendance numbers, we need to look at the main reasons why this is happening – and we are well aware of what they are! All the stats and results of the champion beers are in this edition so I do not have to ramble on any more about the event. I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who came along to support us this year.

Yet again our dopey politicians are penalising the minority so that they can be ‘seen to be doing something’ about alcohol abuse. HM Revenue & Customs will bring in another increase in beer duty for beers of over 7.5%. High Strength Beer Duty (HSBD) will mean an average rise of 25% in the cost of making beer. HSBD will for example see duty rise from 80p to £1 per pint for a 7.6% beer with higher strength beers even more. Many of these beers are high quality authentic traditional ales brewed by brewers who still wish to hold on to their roots from the 18th and 19th century when these beer styles were in fashion. Familiar names such as Parish Baz’s Bonce Blower (12%), Robinsons Old Tom (8.5%), Thornbridge St Petersburg (7.7%), Fullers Vintage Ale (8.5%), Woodfordes Norfolk Nip (8%) are but a few of the beers that will be victims of this unjust increase. These are not what one of our organisations leading lights Roger Protz labels ‘park bench’ beers, meaning the strong lagers that are one of the targets. So whilst the serious alcoholics will simply trade down to cheaper nasty alternatives, the more discerning enthusiast of old ales will still be clobbered for enjoying the delights of these beers in the comfort of our homes.

Most current brewers of high - strength beers seem reluctant to reduce their levels of alcohol in spite of the duty increases. Drinkers will have to pay higher prices. The concern is that HSBD will deter other brewers from producing barley wines, old ales and strong stouts. So next time you see somebody necking a can of Special Brew on a park bench remember that’s who our rulers are supposed to be stopping abusing themselves with drink. The rest of us acting in a responsible manner just get dragged along with them.

I would like to welcome as part of our branch committee the new editor of BAE. Jane Flew agreed some weeks ago to take on the task of the editor of our bi-monthly newsletter. Some of you may have met Jane this year at PBF, as she helped out on the Membership and Information stand. We wish Jane all the success in her new role, and hope you all give her the support she needs. Finally my ever grateful thanks go to our loyal group of unpaid volunteers who made this year’s PBF a great event again. Without them we would not be able to hold what is still one of the best festivals in the land. Cheers Folks David Murray - Branch Chairman.

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Pub News

espite the sullen mood of the nation, the ongoing recession and minor rioting elsewhere in the country, there is some good news on the pubs front.

They tell me there is less money about these days and people are tending to venture out less than they might have done a few years Elm Tree Tavern ago. This may be true but some pub owners are confident enough to refurbish their pubs or even reopen old ones. For starters The Elm Tree Tavern in Garton End Rd has undergone a bit of a transformation. Although I haven’t visited recently the new signage looks good and the overall persona of the pub is a tad more welcoming. Just in case you don’t know they have a quiz every week and a restaurant which is becoming very popular, so it must be worth a visit. Real ale is available but as to what breed it is I don’t know. The Burghley Square Club at the Park Rd end of Burghley Rd is about to reopen. I for one never thought it would open its doors again but never say never as the saying goes. The early suggestion is that it will be a private club upstairs and a regular pub for regular folks downstairs. We watch with interest. The Drum & Monkey in Stamford is undergoing a bit of building work to create a restaurant. New licensees Mark Bryan and Sarah Lount are bracing themselves for the official launch in September. The London Inn in Stamford continues to be worked upon and will be open by late September or early October. The Danish Invader, also in

Pub News| 5

Stamford continues to have builders attacking the place and we assume that this will also be finished in the near future.

The William Cecil in High St, St Martin’s in Stamford, formerly known as the Lady Anne’s Hotel has been reopened as a “quirky boutique hotel” whatever that means. The refurbishment is by the same company who masterminded the transformation of the nearby Bull & Swan so expect good things. The new Olympic Bar has two handpumps, at least one of which is in use but as to which beer it serves only a visit will tell. New people The King’s Head in Apethorpe now has new licensees Simon Forbes and Charlotte Bussey in charge. The village pub has had a lick of paint and will no doubt be popular with the villagers as well as with those from outside. The Five Horseshoes in Barholm now has Emma and Matt behind the bar and there are new people at the Collyweston Slater in Collyweston. The Slater is an Everard’s pub and has a guest ale on offer. My pub spy for that area tells me that the pub is a friendly one and the beer is worth trying. The closed pub guide Ideally the sign of work being done on a closed pub would be good news but in today's climate of pubs being put to other uses it can spell the end of the life of a once popular local. After what seems like a generation of disuse the appearance of builders at the once popular Dog in a Doublet on North Bank may mark the end of this landmark public house. There were rumours floating around recently that someone had purchased it and would be reopening before too long. I now Continued Overleaf

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suspect that the rumours were unfounded and that the pub will become housing of some kind. Meanwhile the White Hart in Fletton remains on the market. The pub has had difficulties in the past but there is no reason that with the right refurbishment and enthusiastic landlord the pub could be a winner. There are several reasons why the pub should be sought after by prospective purchasers not least the fact that there are no other pubs in the area. The Scotgate in Stamford has now closed its doors permanently. Unable to make a decent living out of the place the last incumbent threw in the towel a few months ago. The building will now become offices. To complete our brief guide I can add the Spade & Shovel in Eye, the Royal Oak in Walton, the Durham Ox in Star Rd and the Silver Jubilee in Bretton. All are boarded up and awaiting something to happen. A gong for a great pub When a couple work as hard as Dick and Fiona Morgan of Ye Olde Dun Cow in Cowbit do, it’s nice to see them receive an award for their efforts. The South Holland food and drinks awards for 2011 placed the pub as overall winner for the Best Public House. As many will already know the pub serves some superb ales and it was only a few years ago that we gave them a Gold Award. Dick and Fiona have only recently finished clearing up from their rather excellent beer festival

Ye Olde Dun Cow

and family day which proved to be the massive success it always is (quite where they find so many ‘big lads’ for the tug of war teams I’ll never know!). Food is one of the main attractions at the pub and most of the produce is sourced locally including the wide range of steaks. One dish that is guaranteed to waylay the most rabid meat eater will probably be the Dunnies Mega Mixed Grill which weighs in at a frightening 60 oz of meat. This probably accounts for the size of the tug of war teams! Smaller meals are of course available and if you happen to be in the area you should nip in and say hi, it’ll be worth it. See their website for more details Bass flowing well I seem to have neglected a few pubs recently so to make amends I’d like to mention the John Clare in Paston. This once troubled establishment has taken on a new lease of life over the last couple of years under the guidance of Simon King, a real ale fan if ever there was one. On my occasional visits the place has been busy with a good atmosphere which is a world away from its previous incarnation. The pub has three handpumps with Bass as a regular, complimented by an Oakham Ale and something else. I’ve heard comments that the Bass is probably the best around but you’ll have to visit to find out. A Rose by any other name Just a quick mention of the Rose pub in Burghley Rd. The Rose is not necessarily known for its wide range of real ales but there is usually one on the go most of the time. Trade is primarily food led and the pub caters for those who enjoy their life with a little spice in it. The pub has been chosen as the venue for the first beer and food pairing event which will see about 30 people sit down to a 5 course meal with 4 Hopshackle beers to compliment them. This is the brain child of our Membership Secretary Steve Saldana who believes that Afro-Caribbean food works well with Hopshackle’s superb range of bottled beers. Who am I to doubt him? Look out for similar events in the future.

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Pub News Shorts I am reliably informed that the Star Inn on Star Road has reopened. I haven’t had chance to visit yet but I’m told they are keeping a real ale on at all times. The Woolpack Inn Stanground deserve a big well done for their charity day held in July. Stalls, games, tombolas and the landlady in the stocks! They managed to raise an impressive £1940 for Air Ambulance and Magpas. And finally I was casually reading a few lines about the way other countries celebrate their innate patriotism. I then considered that we tend not to bother in this country because it’s probably too much trouble or we’re unsure of our roots. I suppose we're quite happy to go along with other cultures and join in with gusto during St Patrick’s Day. A day when many a pub in the city will be flowing with socially confused and dribbling blokes downing Guinness as if it was going out of fashion, but St George’s Day? With the exception of the Hand & Heart and its St George’s Weekend Beer Festival I saw little or no action in local boozers. Are we afraid to exert our patriotism for fear of offending others? Do we need to take a leaf out of other countries’ books? How about the French, they have Bastille Day on 14th July and take to the streets in celebration. I think it’s fair to say that some drinking would occur during the festivities. The Americans tend to do things in a big way and Independence Day is one of the biggest. Is it fair to say that the bars from New York to San Francisco will be full to overflowing with patriotic citizens celebrating the fact that they aren’t part of Dear Old Blighty anymore? Do bars and restaurants offer deals on a big pitcher of wishy washy Bud, a hot dog wrapped in the Stars & Stripes with a complimentary red, white and blue waffle? You betcha! So what are we going to do? I know it’s a bit premature for St George’s Day but we probably need a good 9 months to gain a groundswell of support. For starters local pubs should be more pro-active. Sometimes our local pubs don’t push

themselves where they should with many claiming that ‘trade has been a bit slow since we opened’, despite them not actually letting anyone know that they were open in the first place (a tip here would be to let me know so I can mention it in this column!). Secondly, we as CAMRA can do a bit of a campaign and encourage pubs to promote St George’s Day in style. How about themed food? Make the most of English cuisine and promote local beers along with it. How about a St George’s Pub Trail? I'm sure there are many other ideas out there and I know of a few local pubs who will be staging beer festivals around this time but we need to do more to celebrate our patron saint and his day. Better still, lets make it a week long celebration. I’ll be having a chat with the Committee at the next meeting to see if we can start the ball rolling but in the meantime watch this space. Steve Williams Pubs Officer


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Peterborough CAMRA Cricket Team

Pub News | 9


s another drunken and mixed success season draws to a close the CAMRA cricket team makes a new record by using only 60 players in the first XI. By the end of August 31 fixtures had been played with 17 wins, one draw and 13 losses. As usual skipper Nick Bradbury leads the batting, bowling, catches and making the best tea! In the race for the leading run scorer Nick leads Alan McLean 836 to 537. In the race for leading wicket taker Nick leads Peter Jex, 35 to 24. Alan is leading the race for the most runs. In the bowling 35 wickets compared with next best Peter Jex with 24. Alan McLean is leading the race for the duck bat with three 0’s so far and Matt Mace is leading the dropped catches with seven. This season ends with a trip to Bourne to play Motley Crew and a possible visit to the Smiths pub for a couple!! You can keep up to date with the latest developments on the Peterborough CAMRA Cricket group on ECB’s Play Cricket website. If you want to join us please call Matt Mace on 07809629241.

Peterborough CAMRA Cricket Club – Leeds Tour 2011 Arguably Peterborough’s best pub team descended on Leeds for this year’s tour between 1st and 4th July. The fifteen members left our sponsors (Coalheavers Arms) early on Friday minus bacon rolls so we had to stop off at McDonalds half way up the A1. Once in Leeds we located our hotel in the most desolate and run down of areas with recently demolished factories all around. Our first game was an afternoon 20Twenty game against Kirkstall Educational, who won the toss and elected to bat. Their professional batting line up punished our bowlers recording 165 for 5. Although McLean, Bradbury and Owens all retired on 30 CAMRA fell 16 short on 149 for 4.

Photo of Matt Mace Celebrating his four wicket haul against Kirkstall.

On Saturday CAMRA played out at Silcoates School against Bradford Telegraph & Argus for the PACT Cup. The toss was won by Bradford who elected to bowl. CAMRA put on 194 for 4 with skipper Nick Bradbury retiring on 50. In reply Bradford started well with 60 coming off the first ten overs without a wicket. However, good bowling (including a hat-trick for Pete Jex) reduced the side to 125 all out. Next year Bradford will be visiting Peterborough in an attempt to win the PACT Cup back. On the Sunday the home team Ledsham fielded first and restricted CAMRA to 185 for 9 off 40 overs. In reply the home side easily reached the required 186 losing only two wickets with opener with A Baron retiring on 101. The team are now preparing for next year’s tour to Prague!!!

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An Evening Out At Elgoods

Brewery Visit | 11


pleasant summer evening at the Elgoods brewery in Wisbech was the perfect setting for a joint group of visitors from the Peterborough branch of CAMRA and members of Kettering football club. The visit, which took place on Friday 15 July, was a sold out event, an indication of just how strong the historic North Brink Brewery is held in local affection. Upon arrival we were greeted by Alan Pateman, Paul Marshall and Marcus Beecher. Judging by the smiles all round it was evident that many of the group had been here before! To begin with we were first invited to enjoy a drink at the brewery bar with choices from the usual array of regulars including Cambridge, Golden Newt and Black Dog. Shortly afterwards head brewer Alan offered a guided tour of the brewhouse which, I thought, after the recent outings at Fullers and Oakham, might help to satisfy my growing quest for knowledge of the brewing process. Fair to say Alan did not disappoint. An excellent tutor of hops and master of malts he gave a great entertaining tour and I certainly learnt a thing or two along the way. Given the grandeur of the imposing exterior of the Elgoods frontage I was struck by the rather diminutive size of the inner brewhouse. However looks can be deceiving and the productivity of the operation as a whole cannot be denied. Along the route of the tour we were accompanied by the two friendly cats that

are a feature of the Elgoods family. In a metaphorical sense that is. Employed to reside in the brewhouse and keep a watchful eye out for any pesky rodents that may infiltrate the all important ingredients (save the water I would expect) they kept our group entertained with their feline antics along the way. After the tour and back at the bar area we were treated to a fine BBQ and buffet courtesy of Paul Marshall whom, I gather, has catered for several previous group visits to cap his culinary career! Of course no visit to Elgoods would be complete without a walk around the fantastic gardens. I took the opportunity to top up my glass and go for a stroll, taking in the landscaped scenery, an impressive 100 year old stag’s horn fern plant and, obviously, the maze which I couldn’t resist getting myself lost in. The conclusion to the evening was a few words of thanks from John Hunt, social secretary of Peterborough CAMRA, followed by appreciation on behalf of Kettering FC. We were reminded of the forthcoming Elgoods Beer Festival taking place during 22– 24 September and indeed a couple of tonight’s guests kindly volunteered for the event. All in all another enjoyable social and its not hard to see why the Elgoods events are always a popular feature in the CAMRA tour diary.

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Food Around Ere


ou know how it is. You have a few beers, then a few more....and before you know it a kebab is called for! This may be the standard mantra in cities all around the country on any given Saturday night but the idea of food with a beer as a main event and not as an afterthought is something gaining popularity all over the beer drinking world. The United States is probably leading the way in this area with tutored ‘beer and food pairing’ events occurring in craft beer circles all over America. In the UK we’ve not really given it much thought, after all the usual conversation is what wine will go with which food, but this is slowly changing. It was some months ago that a small contingent of Peterborough beer drinkers signed themselves up for a beer and food pairing event in London. The beers were all from Brew Dog and the various ales were matched with a variety of foods. The day was apparently a success and a couple of our participants thought, if London can do it, so can we!

A series of discussions with a local restaurant, a friendly chat with a local brewer and a few arguments amongst themselves and an idea was born (or more correctly stolen!). On a fairly busy Tuesday at the Rose pub in Burghley Rd, three intrepid beer enthusiasts gathered to decide on which combinations of beer and food would make a good base for Peterborough's First Beer and Food Pairing event. The brewery of choice was Hopshackle of Market Deeping whose extensive range of bottled conditioned beers would form the backbone of the tasting. Hopshackle was founded back in 2006 and the beers have created a bit of a following ever since. Nigel bottles many of his beers and they range from the fairly pleasant and light Hopshackle Golden Ale at 4.3% to the respectably lethal VF at 9.8%. There are many in

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between which would give our adventurers a wide spectrum to choose from. The Rose pub is a bit of an anomaly in Peterborough in as much it offers real ale and Afro-Caribbean food, a complex combination in anyone’s books. The Rose is also known as the Embe Restaurant as it was this name that gained the chef, Nick Rutta a loyal fan base at the previous venue of the Thorpe Lodge Hotel in Thorpe Rd. When the opportunity of taking over the old Glass Onion came along, Nick decided that the move was one he couldn’t afford to miss. With a bigger kitchen, a more spacious venue and a beer garden to die for he could expand and develop the business. The beer and food pairing is just another step in this process. Our tasters gathered at the bar and the anticipation was obvious on their faces. A couple of quick halves of Digfield Fool’s Nook to clear the dust were ordered and a brief chat with Nick to finalize the evening’s three courses and it was full steam ahead. As this was just a testing the beers had already been arranged and the 3 ales and a Bohemian Lager fresh from the fridge had been brought to their table. The first course was a spicy prawn salad and the beer that had been chosen was the Shackler’s Best. Was it going to compliment the salad? No… but the second choice of Shackler’s Gold proved a perfect match. It wasn’t long before course number two arrived, Ramiro Peppers. It is a superb combination of a pepper stuffed with meat and Scotch Bonnet chilies and is one of Nick’s better known dishes. The beer choice here was the Bohemian Lager mainly because it was thought that the sharpness of the lager would cut through the spiciness of the dish. As it turned out a Bohemian Lager has less sharpness to it than what might be thought and a fuller malty overtone was present. This did however prove to be an excellent choice but for the wrong reasons! The third course was the Jambalaya, a classic dish from the southern United States. For those who are not familiar it is a combination of rice, chicken, chorizo and a

few other secret ingredients including christophene, a rarely encountered squash. Nick's version is a spicy revelation apparently and is one of the most popular dishes on his menu. A beer that would go with this just had to be full of flavour, heavy in alcohol and with a punch that would make Mike Tyson cry like a baby. Hopshackle's Double Momentum at 7% turned out to be just the job. A big awkward bloke of a beer loaded with malt, fruit and hops which proved to be the perfect drinking companion for the spicy third course. As the evening wore on and Nick had finished for the evening he took his place amongst our diners and commented that the Double Momentum was a beer that could quite possibly be part of his range of beers. No doubt suitable wordage would find its way onto the menu ‘Jambalaya, perfect with a Hopshackle Double Momentum’. The goal of the event is to open the eyes of the Peterborian beer drinkers to the gastronomic delights that can occur while pairing food and ale. With this event being the first of its kind, nerves are high, but so are the expectations! Hopshackle Brewery and Embe restaurant is a match made in heaven, and for this one night, we hope to have a little heaven on earth. By the time this goes to print the official event will have taken place on the 15th of September. Make sure you pick up the next edition of BAE for the full review on how our new venture went.

Good Beer Guide 2012

Steve Williams

The new 2012 Good Beer Guide is now available from the chairman David Murray. To order your copy at considerable discount contact him on 01733 560453. or see the contacts page.

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Mixed Reviews


he Peterborough CAMRA Beer Festival is over for another year and it’s time to start planning the 35th event for 2012. We made a loss in 2010 mainly due to 38 hours of continuous rainfall that would put anybody off the idea of going to a beer festival in the middle of a field. However, attendances have never recovered from the horrendous year of 2004 when rain almost meant we didn’t open. If you were there you will remember it as the year when we brought in tonnes of straw in an attempt to mop up the “lakes” which were appearing all over the Embankment. As a result of last year’s loss we had to increase entry prices in order to get our budget approved and this has almost certainly caused some of the reduction in the number of visitors this year, particularly at lunch times. It is also clear that the new layout is still unpopular, even in a relatively dry festival, and so we will be looking at whether we can revert to something like the old layout while still enabling us to get vehicles on and off site without risk to you, our visitors. Unlike pub beer festivals, we have to build the pub before we can open and while I’m not allowed to tell you what that costs, I would be very happy to win that much in the national lottery. Also we have to buy all the beer at commercial prices, just like any pub.

So, here’s the problem! If we are going to let everyone in for less, how do we pay for the site build? Do we charge more for the beer? That doesn’t sound popular. Fewer toilets, fewer chairs, less music? Higher rents for the food vendors – who will then put up the price of burgers? Please write in and let us know what you think is good and bad and where we can save money so that we can reduce entry prices. You can contact us at or any of the email addresses listed on the contacts page. Enough doom and gloom. The festival was a success with many happy people enjoying the beer and cider, meeting old friends and listening to the many bands. Hopefully, we will have made a small profit that will go to CAMRA HQ. This will help campaign for pubs to be allowed to buy beer outside of the tie so that you get more choice and lower prices, to try to get the government to reduce duty on beer and to remove much of the red tape that is so frustrating for licensees. Raising funds for such activities is the main purpose of the festival together with encouraging more people to enjoy real ale. And if you’re still annoyed at the cost of entry to the festival, why not join CAMRA? It costs just £20 (£25 for a couple and less for OAPs and young people) and you get £20 worth of vouchers to use on beer in Wetherspoons pubs. As a member you would have paid just £1 on Tuesday and Wednesday and just £2 on Thursday to Saturday to get into the festival.

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The 34th Peterborough Beer Festival photo diary

Thanks to John Moores, Susan Brammer and Marcus Simms for these great photos from The Peterborough Beer Festival 2011. Can you spot yourself or anyone you know in these pages?

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Peterborough CAMRA Beer Festival 2011Awards 18 | PBF11 Awards

Overall Champion GOLD - Flowerpots Flowerpots IPA SILVER - Dark Star Victorian Ruby Mild BRONZE - Leeds Samba Bitter (below 4%abv) GOLD - Leeds Samba SILVER - Milton Justinian BRONZE - Dark Star Hophead Best Bitter (4%abv to 4.5%abv) GOLD - Salopian Oracle SILVER - Iceni Sorachi BRONZE - Rudgate Slynn’s Way Strong Bitter/Ale (4.6%abv to 6.4%abv) GOLD - Flowerpots Flowerpots IPA SILVER - OakhamDreamcatcher BRONZE - Blue Monkey Ape (Dry Hopped) Light and Dark Mild (under 4.3%abv) GOLD - Dark Star Victorian Ruby Mild SILVER - Summer Wine Resistance Mild BRONZE - North Riding Fat Lads Mild Speciality Beer GOLD - Slaters Maravilla Raspberry Beer SILVER - Downton Chocolate Orange Delight BRONZE - Mauldons Blackberry Porter Stout & Porter GOLD - Magic Rock Dark Arts SILVER - Fyne Ales Sublime Stout BRONZE - Elgoods Black eagle Imperial Stout

Barley Wine and Strong Old Ales GOLD - Fullers Brewers Reserve No 3 SILVER - Green Jack Ripper BRONZE - Woodfordes Headcracker Best Beer from a New Brewery GOLD - Dancing Duck Nice Weather for Ducks SILVER - Knops California Common BRONZE - Redwillow Smokeless Cider and Perry GOLD - Broadoak Moonshine SILVER - Double Vision Cider BRONZE - Whin Hill Perry

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Steam trains, fried bread and the Sheringham beer festival


s a short respite from the drudgery of everyday life, we should all try and get away at least a couple of times a year. For some, only the tropical delights of Bali will do; others may adopt a more pedestrian view of holidays and spend a melancholy weekend in a caravan in Rhyl. For myself, a weekend away with family and friends taking in a beer festival and a ride on a steam train will suffice, until the tickets for Bali arrive that is. The opportunity for a camping expedition to Sheringham, the home of the North Norfolk Railway and their annual beer festival, came my way back in July. Too good a chance to miss, I thought, so we bundled the daughter, her mate, a neighbour, brother Andrew and young nephew Tom into a couple of cars and journeyed to the mysterious East.



“So, we have the seaside, we have beer and we have a steam train ready to take us on an adventure - what more could we ask for?�

This was the 10th annual festival and, judging by the crowds that had gathered, a popular one. I have to assume that many of the gathered throng had settled for camping on the nearby site about a half a mile away, as we were relegated to Cromer a couple of stops away by train.

Saturday morning was the first opportunity we had to visit the festival, so a 10 minute ride on the 10.32 got us to Sheringham, breakfast and the festival. Sampling beers at a festival brings with it a certain amount of hazard and this is why a suitably large

and late breakfast is recommended. I can think of nowhere better than Brown's Cafe just a few hundred yards from the station for stoking the boiler with pre-beer ballast. Brown's, it must be said, knock together a fairly decent Full English complete with legendary fried bread, so a perfect first stop when in town.

The beer fest was a showcase of over 100 ales with a dozen and a half varieties of cider and perries. A respectable assortment of beers from far and wide greeted us, from Great Yarmouth to wild Welsh Wales, from deepest Devon to Bonnie Scotland, with most of the country being represented in one way or other. So, we have the seaside, we have beer and we have a steam train ready to take us on an adventure what more could we ask for? Well, some decent weather would have been nice. Sadly for us the elements had got out of bed on the wrong side today and were awkward from the very start having to wear the wrong slippers. Today was going to be wet and windy, and not a gentle summer zephyr with a 20% chance of precipitation, but a deluge of Old Testament proportions. If any more water could have been wrung out of those clouds,

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animals would have started turning up in pairs. So we took refuge and clung to our pints under gazebos and oversized cagoules and spoke of the weather, like true Englishmen do. One of the afflictions that beer festivals tend to suffer from is the lack of seating, and I include our local gig on the Embankment amongst them. This being the North Norfolk Railway, a plan had been devised to accommodate drinkers who needed to take the weight off their beer guides. The solution to the problem here was to take yourself a train of coaches and park them on Platform 2. This way all can be accommodated on a train that goes nowhere. Some of us took up residence in a parcel wagon, others chose the relative comfort of individual compartments which reminded me of my days out in pre decimal Britain. Of course our train to nowhere didn’t just accommodate drinkers, it also provided a convenient place for the BBQ and hog roast. A pity BR didn’t come up with this idea years ago instead of the dubious delights that languished in buffet cars in the days before Best Before!

By the time we returned to Sheringham the music had begun and the damp crowds were enjoying the musical stylings of the Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo. Quite how you create that sound with a washboard and a spoon I’ll never know but all good fun anyway! The festival carried on into the evening and on Sunday they did it all over again. We didn’t plan on visiting the festival on the Sunday as tents have to be dried out and put away, and we had the journey home to consider. We did call in on Sheringham for a bit of shopping though, and of course, another breakfast! A great festival in a great location. Our thanks to the organisers and the staff for making it a great weekend.

Steve Williams

To visit a steam railway and not ride on a steam train seems to defeat the object a little. So with tickets in hand we all boarded the 12 o’clock to Holt, calling at Weybourne and Kelling Heath. There may be some amongst you whose only experience of train travel are journeys on the insular and clinical trains of today, where once sealed into your multiple unit, you are whisked off to your destination in a fast and efficient way (engineering works permitting). To venture on a steam train and stick your head out of the window and experience the full force of the wind, rain and soot on your face is a joy that modern day commuters can only dream of. So we sat and drank our beer while passing Kelling Heath besmirched with hints of Nutty Slack and returned half hour an later with empty glasses ready to be filled with more beer. A quick dab with a baby wipe, a short stand at the bar and then back on the 3 o’clock to Holt again. I could do this all day.

BAE 161 Prog_Layout 1 19/09/2011 09:56 Page 24 24 | Please support our advertisers

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Diary Dates SEPTEMBER September Saturday 24th Castle Rock Brewery, Nottingham Meet in the Vat and Fiddle, 12-14 Queensbridge Road, Nottingham at 10.30am. The tour is free and will be followed by a sampling of beers and some light refreshments. Make your own way there. Currently advance fares one way are available from £6.00. The Off-Peak fare is £19.80 return.

OCTOBER October Saturday 15th Railway at Ramsey and the Letter B at Whittlesey to present HOP awards. Depart the Brewery tap at 5pm and return by 11pm. Cost is £7.00 for the minibus. The Letter B will be featuring live music later during the evening. Please support these pubs and come along for the presentations.

NOVEMBER November Saturday 19th Duck or Grouse Day. We will be visiting several country pubs in the Northamptonshire / Cambridgeshire border area of the branch. All the pubs have bird themed names, no further clues. This trip replaces the Mystery tour cancelled earlier in the year. Depart the Brewery tap at Mid-day and return by 9pm. Cost is £10.00 for the minibus. No food is being provided but there will be ample opportunity to purchase your own during the day.

DECEMBER December Saturday 10th Festive pub crawl of Melton Mowbray travelling by train. Meet at Peterborough Rail Station at 10.30 to catch the 10.52 train. Currently the Off-Peak return fare is £14.00.

Selected Beer Festivals SEPTEMBER

Wed 28th – Sat 1st Oct St Albans Beer Festival, Alban Arean, Civic Centre

OCTOBER 5th - 8th Oct (Wed-Sat) 34th Bedford Beer & Cider Festival 110 power-cooled real ales, 35 ciders + perries. More details call 01234 822698 or see

Diary Dates | 27

6th - 9th Oct (Thurs - Sun) Crown, Uppingham Beer Festival - 20 beers, 5 ciders and perries

12th - 15th Oct (Wed-Sat) 18th Concrete Pint (Milton Keynes) Beer Festival The Buszy, Elder Gate, Central Milton Keynes MK9 1LR. 60+ real ales plus cider/Perry.

13th - 15th Oct (Thurs - Sat) Nottingham Robin Hood Beer Festival - over1,000 different beers, ciders and perries!

24th - 29th Oct (Mon-Sat) 34th Norwich Beer Festival 200 + real ales (many local ales + specials), 30+ ciders + perries.Further info see: /festival/fest2011.htm

NOVEMBER 10th - 12th Nov (Thu-Sat) 21st Wakefield Beer Festival 120+ cooled real ales, cider, perry, fruit wines, foreign and British bottled beers. See website for more details /wakefield

BAE 161 Prog_Layout 1 19/09/2011 09:56 Page 28 28 | Brewery Update

Local Brewery Update Blue Bell Brewery

Sales to the trade are average at the moment; however there has been some growth in sales to private customers for parties, weddings etc. Bottleconditioned Old Honesty is now on sale in the Food Court of the Red Lion Quarter in Spalding. This is a prestigious new commercial development designed to showcase the best of Lincolnshire produce. Bottle-conditioned Old Honesty is also now available in Lincolnshire Co-Operative Stores.

Melbourn Brothers

The brewery produces three fruit beers which are sent to Sam Smith’s (the parent company) for bottling. There are not plans to change this.

Stamford Brewing Company - Ufford Ales

Over the summer Ufford Ales Brewery will be preparing to move into a new thirty-barrel plant on St Leonards Street in Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2HN. To reflect the change of location they will also be changing their name to the Stamford Brewing Company and the range of beers. It is hoped production will start at the new brewery sometime in early autumn 2011. Brewing will continue at Ufford until the New Year giving the brewer time to get used to the new plant and formulate the new beers.


New 15-barrel brew plant to be installed at their new premise on Lilford Lodge Farm in October. Demand for their beers is at record levels.

Nene Valley

New owner Rupert Farnsworth reports, “Cherwell Valley stopped brewing a while ago and their 2.5 bbl plant lay resting in a garage. We bought the plant from the CVB owners, moved it in July this year and established Nene Valley Brewery on the banks of the Nene in Oundle, Northants. Our first batch

is ready to drink and we are moving on with the next. I will be in touch again to let you know how we’re getting on.” We will be looking for a BLO for this brewery.

Rockingham Ales

Brian was pleased to be awarded Silver in the Champion Beer of the Festival at Cambridge in May with Fruits of the Forest (4.4%). Two new beers brewed in June/July - Vortex (3.8%) and Helix (3.9%). The next new beer which featured at the Peterborough Beer Festival was Super Citra (4.8%), brewed and dry hopped with Citra.


No change apart from new bottled beer called Warrior 5.5% The process of updating all the breweries vehicles to the new livery is now complete. Production very busy with own beers and also contract brewing.

Tydd Steam

Tydd Steam are trading very well. The new cask washer is now operational and is proving to be very labour saving. The latest beers have been Stargazer, a mellow beer with a restrained hoppiness. This beer is OG1041 and 4.2 ABV. It has become part of the occasional portfolio. Quench was launced recently and is flavoured with Chinese root Ginger. The beer is 1044 OG and 4.4 ABV. The beer sold out on it’s first outing and will probably join the occasional portfolio also. A new 5.0 ABV beer called Sandman is just about to be brewed for the Peterborough Beer Festival. I do not have any further details of this beer at the moment. Finally, sales growth is so positive that Will is already considering further expansion of the brewery with added fermentation capacity top of his wish list.

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Traditional East Anglian cider Handcrafted cider, perry and apple juices made locally using only local apples Available from selected local retailers and pubs, St Ives and Ely farmers’ markets and local country fairs and events voted Best East A rs Choice’ nglian ‘Olive ider by CAMRA 200 9- 2010

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For more information or sales please contact:

Telephone Tony Hobbs on 07713 166713 Email: Website:

See us at: Sat Oct 8th - Apple Day, Burwash Manor Barns, Cambridge Sun Oct 30th - Flower and Food Market, Ely 12th & 13th Nov - Christmas gift fair, Woodgreen Animal Shelter, Godmanchester 27th Nov - St Ives Christmas Market, St.Ives 3rd Dec - Mill Road Winter Fair (at Bacchanalia), Cambridge

BAE 161 Prog_Layout 1 19/09/2011 09:56 Page 30 30 | Contact Details

The next issue of BAE will be available on: 24th November We must have your stories, news and advertisements by: 1st November Late copy cannot be guaranteed entry. Please contact Chris Shilling 01778 421550 Mobile: 07736 635 916 or Jane Michelson 01778 420888 for all of your advertising needs. Steve Williams steve.williams@beeraroundere. or 0775 6066 503 is always looking for pub news. Please send stories and other copy to Beer Around ‘Ere is published by Peterborough & District Branch of CAMRA Copyright Š 2011, The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. Views or comments expressed in this publication may not necessarily be those of the Editor or of CAMRA.


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BAE 161  

Magazine of Peterborough & District Branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale

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