Chairmanâ€™s Welcome Welcome to our 40th edition of the Mad Cow. There have been times when it seemed that we would never reach that number. Ever since our previous editor, John Winkley stood down a year ago, we have been keeping our magazine going by the sheer hard work and goodwill of three of our branch members, but I am now very pleased indeed to be able to say that one of them, Mike Rathge, has offered to take on the role of Editor on a permanent basis. I wish him all the very best. Continuing his theme in the last edition, Mike is providing us with more articles on â€˜The Great Outdoorsâ€™ including a retrospective on his craft beer pilgrimage, another pub walk, our usual beer festival summary and a quiz on pub gardens. We have an interesting selection of branch socials to keep us entertained, including our first ever visit to the new â€˜micro-pubâ€™ in Newbury â€“ the Cow & Cask. They can all be found within these pages and if youâ€™d like to come along, please get in touch or just turn up. Cheers! David Richards (Branch Chairman)
The views expressed in the Mad Cow are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Campaign for Real Ale.
Email addresses are followed by seberkscamra.org.uk CHAIRMAN David Richards Chairman@
BSE BRANCH CONTACT David Richards contact@
MAD COW EDITOR Mike Rathge madcow@
Berkshire South-East CAMRA
MAD COW PRODUCTION Jeremy Barber madcow@ Mad Cow Circulation: 2,400 Copies
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
ÂŠ Berkshire South East CAMRA 2015
Trading Standards 0845 404 0506 www.consumerdirect.gov.
Pub News Bracknell
The Bull. One of Bracknell town centre’s
oldest buildings will be a “centrepiece” for the new shopping area, it has been revealed. Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP) has taken control of The Bull in the High Street. The town centre landlords will refurbish the Grade II listed building and hope to transform it into a key part of the new development. It is not known what form it will take, but it is has been a pub and restaurant in the past and it is hoped it will continue in that vein.
Simon Russian, development manager for Legal & General on behalf of Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, said: “Due to its listed status, we are constrained in what we can do to The Bull. What we’re hoping is that someone comes forward to take what is a great opportunity to be behind a centrepiece in the new Bracknell town centre. We really want to make the most of it, to have an example of Bracknell’s history prominent in the new town. There’s a real opportunity there.” The building is hundreds of years old, and legend has it there are secret passages within it once used by the famous highwayman Dick Turpin. It’s also rumoured to be haunted. It’s one of three listed buildings in Bracknell town centre. Thanks to GetReading.co.uk
The Green Man has reopened after be-
ing completely refurbished and is well worth a visit. Four real ales, real cider and a range of keg and bottle beers are available. Discount is offered to CAMRA Members. An excellent transformation! Find the Green Man pub on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pages/The-GreenMan-pub/1453611188244128
Sandhurst The Village Inn. Nathan and Sonia took over the Punch Taverns lease in April having previously run the Jolly Coopers in Epsom where they were awarded the local branch Pub of the Year (POTY) in 2011 and 2012. Nathan is a keen real ale supporter and hopes to increase their offering to three hand-pumps in the short term. Currently awaiting Cask Marque accreditation to enable them to use the full SIBA list for guest beers. They plan to introduce quiz nights and are currently refurbishing the kitchen. They have already made the bar into a nice comfortable place to visit with leather sofas and club chairs.
Winnersh The Wheelwrights Arms. We welcome Daryl and Katie, who took over at this friendly 19th century pub in early June. They previously ran the Fox & Hounds at Theale. A holder of the cask marque, there are always plenty of real ales to choose from, six Wadworth beers & two guests. Their menu offers a choice of traditional pub favourites. We look forward to seeing what changes Daryl & Katie make in due course
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
www.TheDukeOfEdinburgh.com Check out our website for all news, menus, events, local information, as well as info on our range of real ales, lagers & wines. The Duke also offers a spacious beer garden which boasts a large avery.
A Menu for all Occasions Bar & Light Lunch menu available lunchtimes & evenings. Evenings also offer our extensive A-la-Carte menu, with always a large selection of ‘Specials’ available.
Real Ales @ the Duke The Duke’s real ale collection is popular. Arkell’s of Swindon provide an excellent range of beers, with favourites offered such as: 2B, 3B, Wiltshire Gold ale, Moonlight and Kingsdown special ale, with others such as: Bee’s organic ale and Noël ale also offered in different seasons.
On Thursdays we have our ever popular ‘Hot & Spicy Night’ – a meal & drink for just £10.95. The Duke has free WiFi access (high speed compu-fix system) bit.ly/Qag3nQ
The Duke of Edinburgh, Woodside Road, Winkfield, SL4 2DP Tel: 01344-882736 Located in the hamlet of Woodside, just 1/2 mile from Ascot racecourse
Pub News (Cont.) Wokingham Queenâ€™s Head For the first time since our formation, a Berkshire South-East branch pub has been voted the best in the whole of Berkshire. The Queen's Head in Wokingham followed-up their branch Pub of the Year win to take the county-wide award. They beat their counterparts in the other Berkshire CAMRA branches - The Fox & Hounds, Caversham (Reading & Mid Berks branch), the White Horse, ad Hedgerley (Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead branch), and the Six Bells, Beenham (West Berks ks branch). The news broke, appropriately enough, on the eve of the first Queen's Head beer festival. When branch Chairman David Richards told landlady Carol Williams, she was visibly in shock, saying she was delighted. The beer festival featured 12 ales on stillage in the rear garden, alongside the usual 6 on hand pump in the bar. It was a great success, with the cask ales all but selling out over the weekend.
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Issue 40, Autumn 2015
Regional Roundup By Nick Boley
The end of June brings with it another NERDs (National Executive and Regional Directors) weekend. This year we met up in the town of Bury, Greater Manchester. Bury is famous for black pudding and for being the birthplace of Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the modern British Police Force. We didn’t manage to get any black pudding, and the nearest we got to Sir Robert Peel was the large Wetherspoon’s bearing his name. The meeting was held at the local Pub of the Year (POTY), the Hare & Hounds at Holcombe Brook, a short bus ride away. The pub was busy, with many diners, but we had a big room for our meeting. National Director Christine Cryne updated us on the training programme; branches can apply for any of the many courses, both face-to-face and online, across many subjects. These included beer judging, for those judging beers at festivals, and beer appreciation. These are less intensive than the beer tasting training some of us are more familiar with. Much other business was discussed, and we learned about some changes in CAMRA’s committee structure. A bus hop back to Bury took us to the Trackside Bar, on the old Bolton Street station, now home to the East Lancashire preserved railway. This old station refreshment room had an excellent range of beers, and the platform was a nice place to sit on a warm and muggy evening. Further meetings on Saturday took place in the Lancashire Fusilier Museum, an unusual venue but packed with things to see if you’re into military history. Much of the business of the day was concerned with Issue 40, Autumn 2015
the strategy for CAMRA going into the future. This is an important topic following a recent Strategy weekend for NERDs in Sheffield last month, and more information will be coming out soon on the subject. We also learned that there will be online voting at next year’s AGM on items including acceptance of the annual accounts, updates to the Internal and External Policy Documents and any special resolution. Oh, and the elections to the NE, which is of particular interest to me! The local RD had arranged an evening full of campaigning activities, and our own bus. We started with a branch POTY presentation at the Baum in Rochdale, CAMRA’s 2014 National POTY, and it was easy to see why. Some Rooster’s Wild Mule refreshed me whilst the presentation took place in the back garden. Back on the bus and off to the town of Atherton, a typical small northern town. Our first stop was the local Conservative Club where, alongside a pint of Firebrick Pagan Queen and some delicious local pasties, we had a talk from Dr James Sumner of Manchester University on beer adulteration in the early 19th century. It was both interesting and entertaining, and he even adulterated his own beer! The fact that National Chairman Colin Valentine had an earnest chat with him after the talk might indicate he is being lined up for a slot at next year’s Members Weekend in Liverpool. Three more pubs in Atherton, and two more POTY presentations. South East Lancashire branch POTY the Pendle Witch (a Moorhouse’s pub) followed, then a short walk to the Jolly Nailor, where my pint of Allgates Boston Plum Porter was near perfection, and only spoiled by a very loud heavy metal band striking up in quite a small pub. A rapid exit took us to the Atherton Arms, a Joseph Holt tied house, for the branch Community POTY award and some indulgence in karaoke from a few NE members and one RD!
A Pub Crawl Around Binfield By Trish and Terry Burrows
A personal account of a jolly afternoon spent exploring the exquisite pubs of Binfield and beyond. Any CAMRA member is more than welcome to join in with our planned socials (see details in our branch diary on page 32) We arrived at the Stag and Hounds at the same time Clive, Simon and Alex were getting off the bus. Those of us who hadn’t previously visited were very impressed with the old building, which had undergone some recent refurbishment. We had a look around the pub and there were lots of low beams and “Mind Your Head” signs, so much ducking and stooping was necessary. The bar was relatively small in comparison to the larger eating area and the beer is no longer on stillage but served from traditional hand-pumps. Among the beers available were Caledonian Deuchars IPA and Adnams Ghost Ship, which were in good condition but a little on the cool side in our opinion. We decided that as it was lunchtime we would go to the Binfield Social Club, as we had heard the food was good in there, and so it was. The five of us walking through the door caused some concern initially amongst the members, but fellow CAMRA member Phil Bowen was present to explain who we were and after producing our CAMRA Membership Cards, we all entered our names in the Visitors book. Next we visited the Jack o’ Newbury where Nick and Pauline were patiently waiting for us. The Youngs Special was very palatable here. It was the first time we had been to the pub since the
new landlord had taken over. There was a good comfortable atmosphere, and we all stayed a while to have a good natter. While Nick and Pauline walked to the Victoria Arms Trish drove the rest of us down to the pub. Here we tried the Gales HSB which was very acceptable, and we all went out into the garden as the sun had finally come out. After the Victoria Arms we all went on to the Roebuck, which we now understand is not closing as had previously been rumoured. Instead they are planning to build a conservatory around two sides of the pub, which will house an Indian restaurant. The beer was a little on the cool side again, but the flavour came through eventually. After saying goodbye to Nick and Pauline, the rest of us moved on to The Bridge on the outskirts of Binfield near Bracknell. We tried the Robinsons Dizzy Blonde, which again was very acceptable. As we all sat down to drink our beers the heavens opened and it bucketed down with rain for so long that we were trapped inside the pub (Ed. such a shame!) Trish braved the elements in between downpours to get the car, which was stranded in the middle of a huge puddle! The crawl ended at the Old Manor in Bracknell, where Clive, Simon and Alex finished off the day in the company of Barry and Karen who had just returned from Scotland.
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
Brewery News West Berkshire Brewery has been chosen for the Strangers’ Bar at the House of Commons. From West Berkshire to Westminster, West Berkshire Brewery celebrated after local MP, Richard Benyon, chose their Mister Chubb’s Lunchtime Bitter to be the week’s guest ale in the Stranger’s Bar inside the House of Commons. Mister Chubb’s is one of their most popular beers, the award winning ale is a 3.7% bitter brewed with single variety English hops. Started in 1995, West Berkshire Brewery is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. To celebrate a double decade of brewing excellence Double Decadence 4.5% has been expertly crafted. It’s the perfect golden ale, a decadent brew, double hopped to provide a clean and assertive bitterness, which compliments the sweet malt caramel flavours. For the second year running West Berkshire Brewery, have been selected as the Official Ale of Henley Royal Regatta. Available from both the Stewards' Enclosure and the Regatta Bar, West Berkshire Brewery showcased Good Old Boy along with a special beer brewed exclusively for the event, Henley Pale at 4%. th
Look out for our branch social on Saturday 19 September to the West Berkshire Brewery OktoberWest beer festival, a celebration of real ale and craft beer with an emphasis on Bavarian beers. We are promised a German bakery and street food, as well as live music from a traditional “oompah” band. The festival starts at midday and is scheduled to finish at 11:30pm. Tickets at £15 are reduced to £12.50 for CAMRA members.
Siren Craft Brew threw a summer “sessions and sours” party on the th 11 of July, showcasing the finest in summer session beers and thirstquenching sours. Sour beers have existed since brewing first commenced, before refrigeration and advances in brewing technology prevented the bacteria and yeast which would have found their way into almost anything that was brewed, particularly when aged or stored in wooden barrels. The three words that will always crop up when discussing ssours are Lactobacillus (more commonly known as the sour milk bacteria), Brettanomyces and Pediococcus. These organisms produce the complexity and acidic characteristics of sour beer (also synonymous with natural cider). Ascot Ales
The Single Hop 4.6 % IPA series continues with a new experimental Slovenian hop designated 214/61. There are approximately 40kgs available in the UK, so at most they're one of 8 breweries that will have this hop. It has a grassy aroma with a pleasant rounded bitterness.
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
Brewery News (contd.) Rebellion Brewery
Rebellion’s Pirate range for 2015 continues in August with Jolly Roger which is 4.2% chestnut coloured and hoppy. In September, Rebellion will be brewing Sea Legs which will be pale and citrus. Blonde has arrived for the summer, 4.3% light golden, with a citrusy hop character. Red will be available from September. 4.7%, rich and malty with a balancing bittersweet hop. The final phase of Rebellion’s upgrade to their 50 barrel brewery and new fermentation area is now drawing to completion, both hard-standings and shop have all seen vast improvements. Zebedee won the prestigious gold award at the Reading Beer Festival 2015 for the 4.24.9% beer category.
Windsor & Eton Brewery
The seasonal beer for the next four months is Eton Boatman and special beers available over the next three months are: July to Aug, “Corker” to be brewed for the Ashes in collaboration with Australian brewery 4-Pines; August, “Maracana” the Brazilian blonde beer is back; September, “Zinan’s Golden Drop” which is being brewed especially for the World Rugby Cup, and of course all the core beers will be available: Parklife, Knight of the Garter, Guardsman, Windsor Knot, Conqueror and Republika. Currently Windsor & Eton are looking to bottle condition Uprising’s (WEbrew's sister craft brewery run by Paddy's son in their premises) Treason, a West Coast IPA. Windsor & Eton were chosen by Marks & Spencer to provide a hoppy beer in their national specialist range, called Island Hopper, which uses Nelson Sauvin hops. Windsor & Eton are going to hold their first ever beer festival at the brewery on the 4th to 6th September. This will showcase National award winning beers as well as their own. And finally on Tuesday 31st March, Windsor & Eton brewed their 1000th brew! It was Knight of the Garter.
Binghams are very proud to announce that Macchiato stout (infused with vanilla and coffee) won the ‘5.0% and above’ category for LocAle of the Festival at Reading Beer Festival. The ever popular Royal Ascent Mild was back in this May and the new hop being used in the craft hop series is CF145, a brand new British hop that is so new it doesn’t even have a name yet! This hop has a herbal hop character, with hints of spicy orange. Very refreshing!
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
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Craft Beer Pilgrimage
How far would you walk for a pint? In the last edition we introduced you to Mike Rathge, our member who will go to any lengths to find the true meaning of craft beer. Well, he has made it back to tell the tale and here is part one of his two part report I sat on the 7:33 Reading to Penzance train looking out of the window watching the miles of green fields pass me by. Could I really walk the entire length of England, some 900 miles, in the next eight weeks? It seemed unimaginable but that was exactly what I was going to do, and not only that, I was going to visit 66 breweries along the way. “Why?” I hear you ask. Well the answer is simple, to discover the true meaning of “craft beer”. I departed the train at Exeter and made my way to the small airport for my flight to the Scilly Isles to visit the Southernmost brewery in England, the “Ales of Scilly”. Arriving in St Mary's, the Mermaid Inn in Hugh Town caught my attention, and a young man who was sat outside puffing a cigarette said “hello”. I asked him if they were serving Ales of Scilly beer, and a smile indicated it was a silly question (unintentional pun). "We got a cask of Golden Ball on today sir". I was through the door like a ferret up a drain pipe, and soon enjoying a refreshing crisp golden ale. The barman didn't know Mark the Brewer at the Ales of Scilly, but he gave me directions to the brewery, saying he had been told that Mark was in Australia. This wasn't news to me as I had already exchanged a number of emails with Mark and he had explained how his daughter had moved to Australia and that he would be visiting her on the day of my arrival. I found the closed brewery tucked away in a small industrial estate on the northern side of St Mary’s. I felt a bit daft with my selfiestick taking a couple of snaps of myself in Page 14
the doorway, especially when a young lad turned up on his bike, parked up, and stood staring at me. I gave him a smile but he didn't flinch as I packed away my selfiestick, threw my rucksack on my back and made my way up the hill. I only spent 24 hours on the islands before heading off by boat to the mainland to start my walk from Lands End. I walked down to the famous Lands End sign which points tauntingly to John O’Groats 874 miles (as the crow flies). I would be walking further than that jjust to g get across England. g
I used my selfie-stick again to take the obligatory cheesy photo. A pair of cyclists saw me struggling with this operation, and offered to take my picture, and I reciprocated their offer. After our friendly photo shoot, we were all on our way with just 900 miles of open countryside between me and my final destination. My first day of walking along the Cornish coastline was a voyage of discovery, with continuous adjustments to my rucksack straps and clothing, and relocating my various gadgets for ease of access. It was clearly going to take a couple of days to settle in to a routine. After a night in Penzance I was on my way to Helston, home of the oldest brewery in England. I headed up the hill with eager anticipation to the The Blue Anchor where the brewery is based. The place was dark and foreboding, but once I had settled in the bar area, it took on a cosiness typical of Issue 40, Autumn 2015
www.seberkscamra.org.uk the traditional English pub. The dark wood bar had seven hand pumps, all serving various Spingo's. After a half of Middle Spingo at 5%, the kind bar lady offered me a sample of “half and half”, which was half Middle and half Extra Special Spingo at 7.4%. With a drink in hand I was then offered a personal tour of the brewery. It was incredible to be inside a place that had started as a Monks Meadery and had since been brewing beer for 600 years, some of the equipment was definitely showing its signs of age. Back in the bar I was introduced to Tony who had worked in the Blue Anchor for thirty years and he had so many interesting stories to tell me. The next day I crossed Cornwall from the southern coast to the northern coast at St Agnes, which I then followed for the next few days, meeting up with a number of the Cornish Brewers, as well as a beer drinking cow at Tintagel brewery! A common theme I heard from the Cornish Brewers was that there were too many breweries in Cornwall, supplying too few pubs, and that times were hard. Demand is high for Golden Ales in Cornwall, with darker beers being virtually non existent. As for craft beer, well it seemed that most of the Cornish Brewers felt it was simply kegged or bottled beer. I wasn't convinced. The sun had shone everyday through Cornwall, allowing me to bound along in shorts and T shirt and get quite a suntan, and this continued all the way through Devon. The first rain I saw was for a couple of hours one afternoon when crossing the Somerset levels with my friend Alan who had joined me for a few days. After a rest day in Bath I headed Issue 40, Autumn 2015
North along the Cotswold Way, taking delight in the beauty of the quintessential sandstone villages, and enjoying the company of the many Brewers I met along the way. Arriving in Stretton on Fosse I made my way to the Plough Inn for lunch. They were serving Moreton Mild from the North Cotswold Brewery, so I ordered a pint with my Sunday Roast. I mentioned to the bar girl that I was on my way to North Cotswold Brewery, and she laughed saying "no need, he's here" pointing to a rather surprised looking chap at the end of the bar. "I'm not here!" He exclaimed, causing a round of laughter from those at the bar. Turns out it was Guy, the owner of the brewery, so I complimented him on his Moreton Mild and we struck up a conversation. His wife (and business partner) was unaware of his unscheduled pub visit so it he looked me in the eye and tapped the side of his nose, saying “don't mention this to my wife when you meet her, and behave as if we have never met”. The brewery was only a couple of miles up the road and Guy had already made it back by the time I arrived. I met Guy's wife Sandra, and I was hopeful that Guy had done the honest thing to prevent any embarrassment, but alas no, we really did need to go through a first time meeting ritual to cover his tracks. I took advantage though, by reciting the precise ingredients used in his Moreton Mild when he gave me a taster (which he had previously told me at the pub). Sandra was really impressed at my ability to distinguish all of the malts and hops accurately and
www.seberkscamra.org.uk Guy just gave me a wry smile. My trek through Warwickshire took me to some wonderful breweries and I met so many nice people along the way, including Rich at the new Stratford Upon Avon Brewery, Alex at the Slaughterhouse Brewery, and Jerry and Keith at the Warwickshire Beer Co, all of whom were so hospitable and happy to while away the hours talking with me about the complications of defining craft beer. I arrived at my half way point, Burton upon Trent, on Saturday 9th May, and walked straight in to the start of the Beer and Sausage Festival at the Burton Bridge Brewery. Some of you will have heard the great news that Burton Bridge Brewery has recently started brewing their version of Draught Burton Ale using the original
recipe for the first time since it was axed by Carlsberg last year. I was fortunate to try not one, but two of these at the Brewery and I must say it was very, very good. I met up with our Branch Chairman David Richards at Buxton as he joined me for a couple of days walking up to the start of the Pennine Way at Edale. After a delightful evening at the Buxton Tap, we both met with Geoff at the Buxton Brewery, considered to be one of the top craft breweries in the country. When I asked Geoff what craft beer was, he felt that there was too much emotion on the subject, adding "There is no definition for craft beer, it is just a case of those who are doing it, know they're doing it", and these guys certainly seemed to be doing it! TO BE CONTINUED
Be Berkshire South East branch met E erks and up with the West Berks North Hampshire branches ranches at the Wild Weather er Brewth ery on Saturday 4 July to join the party laid on by Mike Tempest and his Team. Te The beers from Wild Weather just keep getting more interesting. As well as their core six, they are promising at least one new seasonal every month. 'Khareef' a 2.4% full bodied big hopped session IPA was well received and 'Automatically Sunshine' an oatmeal pale IPA really hit the spot. Lots more joy to come from the Wild Weather crew! The sun shone all afternoon and a good time was had by all.
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
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THE ALE EXPERIENCE Come and try our extensive ‘home cooked’ LUNCHTIME MENU Monday to Saturday 12 till 2pm Try our Succulent SUNDAY ROAST 12 to 4pm This year
OUR ANNUAL AUTUMN BEER FESTIVAL 16th, 17th and 18th October 2015 Ales from SO U T H ER N EN G LA N D microbreweries will be featured!
Excitement on Tap By Mike Smith, Festival Organiser The county’s premier racecourse at Ascot plays host to the ninth CAMRA Beer Festind rd val on the 2 and 3 October where you can watch some fantastic flat racing whilst enjoying over 250 real ales and 30 ciders and perries.
to form by a LocAle brewery, in fact it was none other than the closest brewery to the racecourse, Windsor & Eton Brewery, with their 5% black IPA, Conqueror. This year we expect fierce competition from our other local brewers to bring home the title which has been won in the past by the likes of Ascot Ales and the Longdog Brewery. We have already been promised a few Festival Special brews, so keep an eye on our website for further details of these. If you are a cider lover we will again feature our local producers including Salt Hill, Ciderniks and Tutts Clump but also a handpicked selection from the orchards of the West Country and beyond. And if that’s not enough, hot and cold food will be available all day, a quiz and live music to entertain you, plus a collection of traditional pub games for what promises to be a truly memorable day out.
All of our beers are carefully selected and delivered directly by our favourite local breweries from Berkshire and surrounding counties. Our special Regional Bar will feature the beers from the Greater Manchester area this year and we hope to have a few ciders from that way too. Last year’s Beer of the Festival title (as voted by the public) saw a welcome return
Putting on a beer festival is only possible with the help of our volunteer members, particularly those serving behind the bar. So if you fancy giving it a go please contact us, no experience is necessary and full training will be given.
ascotbeerfest.org.uk ascot.co.uk to order your tickets.
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
A 3.2 Mile circular pub walk, from the White Horse pub, Easthampstead Road, South
The White Horse is well known in the area for its freshly cooked homemade food and quality b This walk explores the fields, paths, lanes and sights of the area. Sadly much of the area is dest
The walk is relatively flat, one particular path towards the end (7 and 8) can become muddy ve ground is sodden. There are a few sections of walking on roads without pavements so take car Walk time 1 to 1.5 hours Bookings recommended (0118) 979 7402. Please be courteous and park as far back in the pub car park as you can. Turn left out of the White Horse Car Park, use the footpath towards Wokingham then (1) First turn on left into the Private Road leading to Ludgrove School. You soon pass the pheasant farm pens, a small pond dedicated as a nature reserve and before long the school entrance. Another 50 yards further and youâ€™ll see the small Footpath with remains of an old iron kissing gate. (2) Take this narrow path under a canopy of branches. Follow the path, it is straight and climbs gently. Continue straight for about 100 yds further the path merges with a track. Youâ€™ve entered Grays farm. Keep to the foot-path until a tall metal gate and fence is reached. (3) Left towards the Farmhouse and Pick-YourOwn shop. Journey time approx. 25 minutes. Take the concrete farm entrance/exit to Heathlands Road and turn right (4). After 60 yards, cross the road taking the Holme Grange Crafts entrance. This is an excellent shortcut through to the Crooked Billett pub as well as stopping of for a cuppa in the Craft Village. (This is not a public right of way, and if closed continue down Heathlands Road and left onto Honey Hill.) Exit from Heathlands via the lane onto Honey Hill by The Crooked Billet (food and beer here is very good too) then continue, left into Redlake Lane, down the slope to the ford.
ad, South of Wokingham.RG40 3AF
d quality beers and wines. rea is destined for Housing development.
muddy verging on impassable when the o take care of traffic at these points.
(5) At the ford, the footpath is raised well above the level of the stream, so no need to go wading. Continue to the end of Redlake Lane. (6), Turn left onto Easthampstead Road. Cross to the verge as soon as safe, take the first lane on the Right, as the road takes a sharp left hand bend.. (7) Continue on this private unmade access road that soon becomes a rutted muddy Bridle path. The beauty of this lane is you get a taste of rural Berkshire as it used to be. For a short period there is no sign of humankind and looking to your right, South East towards Bracknell, all you can see is fields and trees. So peaceful. Before long the path finishes by The Barn on Waterloo Road. (8) Turn left. Once you’ve negotiated the nearby bend you can see almost to the levelcrossing, but surprisingly trees completely block out any sign of Wokingham. After 300 yards turn first left at the Footpath sign into Brittons Farm (9) Take this Farm lane, past the barns and house, you’ll see a stile. Beyond it you’ll see The White Horse. Hedges obscure the road making it seem remote and again there is no sign of Wokingham – the trees along the railway line doing a great job of screening. Walk around the left side of the field, then one more stile to cross. Cross Easthampstead Road and enter the car park. Change your footwear, then into the White Horse for a well-earned thirst-quencher. This walk is equally accessible from the Two Poplar’s and Tesco’s via Luckley Road. Plus from the town centre, Library car park, off Gypsy Lane, cross over the railway at a footbridge at point ‘A’. joining the route at point (2)
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Issue 40, Autumn 2015
Real Cider in the South East Berks area. By Mike Lee
If you like Real Cider and Perry (Pear Cider) you will know it is often difficult to find a good pub that serves it in our South East Berks Area. There are only five Pubs that serve Real Cider and Perry in our area throughout the year, but they are all worth seeking out, as they tend to serve a good selection of real ales too. There are a few pubs that serve Real Cider as a summer only drink so now is a great the time to enquire after Real Cider. If your pub landlord gets enough enquiries for a Real Cider then they might start stocking one over the summer and then it could become a permanent fixture. There are a few Real Ale festivals in our area that also serve Real Cider. The Wokingham Festival in August sells a few Real Ciders and the Bracknell Real Ales festival sells a few on their Cider bar. However, the best place to find a great selection of Real Ciders and nd rd Perrys in our area is in early October (2 and 3 in 2015) when the CAMRA festival is on at Ascot Racecourse. Here we have a selection of over 30 Real Ciders and Perrys including some locally produced Berkshire Ciders. Please come and join us at the Ascot Racecourse CAMRA festival in early October to savour the best selection of national and local Ciders and Perrys available.
THE OLD MANOR
Grenville Place, Bracknell. Tel: 01344 304 490
PAGE 24 ADVERT THE OLD MANOR BRACKNELL HALF PAGE
QUALITY REAL ALES AND CIDERS FROM ÂŁ2.35 PER PINT
Subject to local licensing restrictions and availabilty at participating free houses
Page 24 J11483_P65_Half page advert_V2.indd 1
Issue 40, Autumn 2015 07/04/2015 17:11
Bank Holiday Weekend
Fri 28th - Sun 30th August 2015
. . .
Food & Drink Exhibitors Craft Beer Bar Product Sampling Restaurant Demonstrations Kids Entertainment Live Music
Venue: Elms Field, Wokingham RG40 2LD (3 minute walk from train station)
Discounted weekend tickets also available from Town Hall
Book Disco Your Ticke unted ts On line N
For opening times and the latest news, visit:
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
Pete and Michelle welcome you to
The Rose & Crown, Sandhurst Find us in CAMRAâ€™s GOOD BEER GUIDE & WhatPub.com
- Real Ales, constantly changing on 7 pumps. - Quality homemade meals: Tuesday - Sunday - Traditional Sunday roasts - CAMRA LocAle accredited, & members discount - Comfortable surroundings and Large garden area. - Family friendly and dogs welcome - Freshly ground coffees and other hot beverages - Live music most Fri. & Sat. Plse see facebook
Beer Festival Halloween
Oct 29th-Nov 1st Around 22 ales and 4 ciders. Plenty of local + some regional ales.
The Rose & Crown, 108 High Street, Sandhurst. GU47 8HA. www.roseandcrownsandhurst.info Catering for parties and special events available. Please call. 01252 878938
Campaign Focus Continued.
With a few summer months ahead of us what better than a visit to your local pub. Sitting in a pub garden drinking a fine real ale conjures up all sorts of pleasant thoughts but vitally this could well be the difference between the pub you are drinking in remaining viable or not. You may think that the price of a pint would be enough for most pubs to be little goldmines but nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst undoubtedly there are some pubs doing very well many are just scraping by. With the expense of staff, business rates and utility bills the costs of running a pub are high even before you buy the drinks to sell. Many pubs are prof itable just because of their food sales and a trend to gastro pubs is evidence of this. If you want to see a strong viable pubs industry then the best thing you can do is make sure you visit and enjoy a pub on a regular basis and what better time of the year to do so than in the summer. Did you know that every pub in the Berkshire South-East CAMRA area is listed on the national whatpub.com website. This is a great resource to locate and find out a host of information about pubs in the local area. You can also submit updates to enable us to make sure the website is up to date. If you are a CAMRA member you can log in to the site and submit beer scores, which is a great way to let us know what you thought of the real ale you drank at a particular pub. Why not give it a try and if you have any comments please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org First Bus Thames Valley announced on 29 June 2015 that it will be closing its bus depot in Bracknell and withdrawing from operating services in the area on 29 August 2015 due to it being unprofitable to continue and the loss of council support after a tendering process. This will leave Courtney buses as the major bus operator in the area. You may wonder why this item is here and what this has to do with CAMRA. The answer is that any reduction in bus services has a direct impact on the ability to visit pubs without the need to drive. If you do still have a bus after the changes, fewer bus operators often means higher fares as can be demonstrated by Courtney buses increasing the cost of the weekly bus pass for Bracknell by 40% from 13 July 2015! Evening and weekend services are also likely to be hit as council budgets are squeezed and council supported bus services are reduced as a consequence. The implications for the pub-goer are immense. At a time when pub closures continue at an alarming rate this is another backward step in securing pub viability. Barry Garber is the Campaigns officer for Berkshire South East CAMRA
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
Visit our branch website for the latest diary updates. We welcome your suggestions for a future social visit. Contact our social secretary, Clive Doran at: email@example.com
AUGUST Thursday 6th August CAMRA Open Meeting at the Victoria Arms, Terrace Road North, Binfield. Saturday 8th August Joint Social with Reading & West Berks branches - Pub Crawl of Newbury. Meet at Cow & Cask, 1 Inch's Yard at 12:30pm. Thursday 13th August Great British Beer Festival, Olympia, London. Meet up at the Membership Stand at around 12:15pm. Saturday 15th August Beer Festival / 3 mile Ramble at the Bull, Barkham Road, Barkham. RG41 4TL. Meet in front of Wokingham Station at 10:45am. Saturday 22nd August Joint Social with Reading branch - Bermondsey Beer Mile Brewery crawl. Meet at Bermondsey tube station at 11.00 am Thursday 27th August Social at the Queens Oak, Church Lane, Finchampstead, RG40 4LP. at 8pm. Saturday 29th August Wokingham Food and Drink Festival. Elm Field, Wokingham. Meet at 12 noon.
SEPTEMBER Saturday 5th September Windsor & Eton Brewery Beer Festival, Windsor & Eton Brewery, 1 Vansittart Estate, Windsor, Berks, Meet at 1pm. Thursday 10th September Social at the Village Inn, 21 Yorktown Road, Sandhurst, GU47 9DX at 8pm.
Saturday 12th September Newbury Beer Festival, Northcroft Playing Field, Northcroft Lane, Newbury. RG14 1RS. Meet at 12:40pm Saturday 19th September Minibus Social to West Berkshire Brewery OktoberWest, West Berkshire Brewery, Frilsham Home Farm, Yattendon, Berks, RG18 0XT. Details TBC. Monday 21st September Good Beer Guide Launch – Details TBC.
OCTOBER Friday 2nd / Sat 3rd October
Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival (See previous page)
Saturday 10th October Annual Charity Steam Fair, The New Leathern Bottle, Jealotts Hill, Warfield, Berks. RG42 6ET. Meet at 6pm. Thursday 15th October Social at the Green Man, Crowthorne Rd, Bracknell, Berks. RG12 7DL at 8pm. Thursday 29th October Social and Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival Wash Up Meeting at the Crispin Wokingham at 8pm. Advertising Rates Quarter page £30* Half page £60* Full page £120* Full page premium £135* * Discounts available for annual subscription (four editions) paid in advance. For all Mad Cow enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org Next Edition Deadline (Nov–Jan Edition)
5 October th 9 October
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
The Working Beer Garden By Simon Grist
These days, the design of pub beer gardens has become rather formulaic: Bench tables, a covered area, perhaps a bar-bque, plus plant-life to bring as much colour as possible. Simple, right?
On closer inspection, those colourful plants and flowers have been cleverly interspersed with a virtual market garden of fruit and veg! Those aren’t red flowers as the context and a fleeting glance might suggest, they are chillies. In fact there are no less than 11 varieties of chilli growing in the pub garden. There are also tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, leeks, artichokes, corn-cobs, olives, squash, gherkins and something called rainbow chard that I must confess to being ignorant of. Then there are herbs such as coriander, thyme and mint, not to mention lemon and quince trees. It all comes down to the garden being a working beer garden, not just a visual one.
Incredible Edible But it is easy to overlook how much effort publicans put into beer garden design. Take Hattie Gutzman and Ian Manson of the Hope and Anchor in Wokingham, our 2012 Branch Pub of the Year runner-up. At first glance theirs might look pretty typical, but look a little closer and a vision behind the design becomes apparent. The pub was originally built using timbers from a dismantled ship, so one section of the garden has been given a nautical theme as a mark of respect to the pub’s history. Pebbles give a feeling of a beach, alongside grasses that are more often found on sand dunes, with a ship’s anchor in the corner to reinforce the message. There is a small vegetable patch, which gives away that Ian and Hattie like to grow their own produce, and various seedlings in pots surround the bar-b-que. But the beds and borders are all filled with the typical colourful plants and flowers that you would expect to find in a traditional British beer garden Or are they?
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
In fact, the concept of working unlikely pieces of land is becoming increasingly popular in our area at the moment. A lady called Victoria Stanborough has setup a branch of Incredible Edible in Wokingham. Incredible Edible are a voluntary organisation who run projects to create fruit and vegetable gardens on previously unutilised land areas with the aim to give away the produce grown to the neediest and worthiest members of the local community. So far, they have planted fruit trees on land near the bowling alley,setup a fruit and vegetable garden for elderly residents of Alderman Willey Close and involved local children in various projects on a section of Elms Field. The children’s activities include setting-up a “bug house” and growing herbs in old wellington boots.
Hops Now you may think that this article has been rather horticultural for a CAMRA magazine so far, but I’m pleased to report that there is a connection to our favourite subject Beer!
Committee member Annie Neil describes Incredible Edible’s work as being “for the community, whilst involving the community.” Anybody interested in finding out more or getting involved should checkout: www.facebook.com/IncredibleEdibleWokingham
Harvest Festivals As the summer progresses both the Hope & Anchor and Incredible Edible with have fruit and vegetable produce to harvest, so both are planning Harvest Festivals. Incredible Edible plan to hold theirs at Elms Field on Saturday September 5th.
Whilst Ian and Hattie are to hold a “Family Farewell to Summer” Harvest Festival at the Hope & Anchor on Sunday 6th September with local/home-grown produce, live music and more. There will be a bar-bque (including vegetarian & vegan options), naturally with a selection of homegrown / home-made relishes and accompaniments.
This is because Hattie, Ian and others have a vision for Wokingham (and who knows, maybe far beyond) – A vision of hops! – Hops growing across the town: in pub beer gardens; in domestic gardens; and on pockets of currently underutilised council land just like the pieces of land Incredible Edible are reinvigorating. And when these hops are established in sufficient number they can be harvested and given to local brewers to create a Wokingham beer. What a fine vision! Lobbying of local councillors to release some land for the hops project has already started, but the more local people that express their support the more likely it is to be able to move forward. So do drop into
the Hope & Anchor for a chat if you would like to contribute time, money, expertise, a section of your beer garden, or anything else to the scheme. I look forward to the day that we can toast the success of the hops project (and Incredible Edible too) with a pint of Wokingham.
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
The ROYAL OAK, Sunningdale 19 Station Road Sunningdale Nr. Ascot, SL5 0QL.
01344 623625 twitter
- Local Heroes pub serving up to six quality Real Ales - Good Beer Guide 2015 - Local Real Ales inc. Windsor & Eton + Rebellion ranges - Large enclosed rear Garden - Simple Lunch time food - Open all day. Noon-11pm - Nr. Ascot & Wentworth
Jealotts Hill, Warfield, Berkshire, RG42 6ET
STEAM FAIR Sat 10th October Local Walks, Dogs welcome. Real ales, CAMRA LocAle accredited Quality food includes homemade favourites. Steak nights every Friday night. Welcoming log fires on cold days. Brilliant kids play area, Bouncy castle Karaoke on the last Friday of every month. 01344 421 282 Facebook 'The New Leathern Bottle’ http://www.newleathernbottle.co.uk
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Landlord’s Witter By Barry Fenton
An Interview with a Landlord from a local Pub.
This time we welcome Tim Stoyles from the Royal Oak in Sunningdale. Q. How long have you been in the pub business and at the Royal Oak? A. I have been here since last November. Prior to this I was at the British Legion in Cranbourne for 3yrs and before that at the BL in Crowthorne for 6yrs. Q. What do you most like about the pub trade? A. Meeting people. Talking to them. People watching. I like being involved with the local community including the local church. They all got involved with my successful beer festival, with 17 ales. The scouts did the BBQ. Q. And the least? A. Indecisive customers! I call them the “and ers” when they can’t make up their minds what to drink when ordering. Q. What real ales are you selling today? A. Greene King IPA. Our house beer, Tim & the Dragon at 3.9% abv. Rebellion Smuggler, 4.1%. Twickenham Red Head, 4.1%. Binghams Vanilla Stout, 5.0% and G/K Old Golden Hen, 4.1% Q. And how will these change over the coming weeks and months? A. As a Greene King Local Heroes pub I am free of tie on half my handpumps. So I rotate the G/K beers and the others with our house beer and Smugglers being constants. Next on will be Theakstons Bitter and a Windsor & Eton beer, yet to be decided Q. How important are real ales to your Pub? A. Very important. I have a lot of real ale drinkers as customers. I won’t sell any
beer until it is in prime condition. They all have to pass the “Timmy Test”. I sell no keg bitter at all. Q. What are your impressions of CAMRA in the area? A. I’m disappointed that nobody from CAMRA came to support my beer festival in May. Also that they seem to dislike all things Greene King. There’s a challenge for me there! But as individuals they are OK! Q. What plans have you got for your pub in the next year? A. Some garden improvements, including more lighting. I want to encourage lunchtime trade to sell more of my curries and chillis which are my speciality, and my toasted sandwiches which are much admired! Q. What would you like to get over to our readers to encourage them to come into your pub? A. The quality & range of the ales, obviously. The rear, enclosed garden, from which the kids cannot escape! Also the monthly live music. Sometimes it’s me singing & on guitar! Sky & BTSport; tell me what you want to see. Pub games: Darts, Dominos & Scrabble. I’m a local community pub. I sell local sausages etc. Q. What wrong would you most like to put right in the pub trade? A. Badly run pubs, with poorly trained & disinterested staff and with bad standards. They put people off pubs in general and can damage the brand. eg one Greene King pub can leave a bad impression for all of them. Q. Which celebrity would you most like to work behind your bar and why? A. Jenny Agutter. It goes back to the Railway Children. Watch the film “Walkabout”.
Issue 40, Autumn 2015
Andy and Pauline welcome you to the
Pinewood bar and café All day breakfast, Good selection of Freshly cooked food, Baguettes, Sandwiches, Tea, coffee, and cakes.
Decked Patio Area Function room available for hire Ideal for weddings, parties, wakes etc. Party’s catered for all ages Real Ales, Licensed bar & Catering www.pinewoodbarandcafe.co.uk email@example.com 01344 778543
- Home to many clubs - Darts /pool - Tuesday night is Bike night MX5 & VW campers - Ballroom dancing to Burlesque - New skittle alley for hire Unit 8, Pinewood Leisure Old Wokingham Road, Wokingham, RG40 3AQ
THE ASCOT CAMRA BEER FESTIVAL AND RACING WEEKEND
E XC I T E M E N T O N TA P Friday 2 nd - Saturday 3 rd October 2015
Ascot’s annual CAMRA Beer Festival returns for its ninth year accompanied by two days of dramatic Flat racing. With over 280 real ales, ciders and perries to sample including a regional bar from Greater Manchester, as well as traditional pub games, a quiz and live music, Ascot will transform into the ultimate local. Grandstand Admission from £18 pp | Premier Admission from £25 pp | Fine Dining from £150 pp +VAT Exclusive discount available for CAMRA members using discount code BEER2015 CAMPAIGN FO R RE AL ALE