Berkshire South East Campaign for Real Ale
The Old haTcheT
PAGE 2 ADVERT OLD HATCHET, WINKFIELD FULL PAGE
Long popular with local gastronomes, The Old Hatchet enjoys a growing reputation for fine food. At the bar, youâ€™ll always find the perfect complement to your meal â€“ with cask ales, world wines, lagers and ciders all available. Becks, Guinness, Carlsberg, Stowford and Peroni are among our most popular drops. Peroni, Frontier, Fosters, Stowford and Guinness are all available on draught.
The Old Hatchet | Hatchet Lane | Cranbourne | Windsor | Berkshire | SL4 2EE T: 01344 899911 | E: email@example.com Page 2 Issue 46, Spring 2017 W: www.oldhatchet.co.uk
Editor’s Welcome Welcome to our 46th edition of the Mad Cow
…“When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils”… As we wave goodbye to those wintery blues it’s time again to face the joys of spring. Seasonal Golden Ales and the start of the outdoor Beer Festivals always marks a time of joy and vitality, and what better way to enjoy it than down your local pub with a pint of your favourite spring tipple and a copy of the latest Mad Cow. For those of you still wondering which direction CAMRA is heading, our Branch Chairman’s fourth update on the CAMRA Revitalisation Project can be found on pages 8 and 9, providing his own summary of the latest detailed report recently presented to the CAMRA National Executive. A round up of the LocAle scene in our branch area can be found on pages 1112. Our centre spread provides a handy pull-out for those of you looking to enjoy a pub crawl ‘with a twist’ through Wokingham. A full listing of the region’s upcoming Beer Festivals is on pages 25 and 26. And, for the adventurous amongst you, Dave Richardson joins a commemorative tour of five breweries marking a major milestone for the company that brought real ale and rail travel together – turn to pages 28 to 33 to read all about it. All the best Mike Rathge Mad Cow Editor
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.
CAMRA Berkshire South East Branch Contact List Email addresses are followed by seberkscamra.org.uk CHAIRMAN David Richards chairman@ BRANCH CONTACT Andy Ross contact@ MAD COW EDITOR Mike Rathge madcow@ MAD COW PRODUCTION Jeremy Barber madcow@ Mad Cow Circulation: 2,700 Copies
Issue 46, Spring 2017
@CamraBSE @Ascot_Beer_Fest Berkshire South-East CAMRA Trading Standards 0845 404 0506 www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
© Berkshire South East CAMRA 2017
A round-up of what is happening in the pubs in the Berkshire South East Region.
The Royal Foresters on the London Road between Bracknell and Ascot, which has been closed for some time, has just been bought by Oakman Inns, a small pub company of 16 pubs, founded in 2005 by Peter Borg-Neal. It will be fully refurbished, with an emphasis on food and is expected to open sometime in the autumn of 2017. Rose and Crown, Woodside First it was the Cameron’s then the Obama’s and now the Fielder’s are moving on! The Rose and Crown in Woodside closed on the 17th January 2017 for a few weeks for Greene King to redevelop the site. The outcome will be a larger attractive pub restaurant with new tenants.
The Queen’s Oak in Finchampstead closed suddenly at the beginning of December when Mike, the previous landlord, left due to health issues. Brakspear Pub Co managed to find a temporary landlord to re-open the pub in time for Christmas. We urge all of our readers to give this superb country pub their full support and we wish it well for it’s continued success.
The Wheelwrights Arms is a regular listing in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, including the 2017 edition. The pub in Davis Way, St Nicholas Hurst reopened last November after being refurbished including an extended dining area with new toilet facilities and re-landscaped gardens. It now has room for large parties of up to 60 guests. Wadworth & Co Ltd of Devizes has owned the pub since the early 1990s, but this charming building's history goes back to the 1850s when the former Wheelwright's shop started selling beer as the railways arrived. Now it has had a six figure investment to bring the beautiful historic features in keeping with a modern day pub and restaurant.
White Hart in Winkfield has recently enjoyed some updating to the outside, new pub sign in line with painted sign, completed this summer and bright white lighting has certainly improved the appearance at night.
The White Horse Tenants Peter and Natalie sadly left the White Horse in Wokingham Without at the end of November and went their separate ways. The new licensee is a local man from the Emmbrook Sports & Social Club.
Issue 46, Spring 2017
Pete and Michelle welcome you to
The Rose & Crown, Sandhurst Find us in CAMRA’s GOOD BEER GUIDE & WhatPub.com
- Real Ales, constantly changing on 7 pumps. -Real Ale Mondays. All @ £3.00/pint - Quality homemade meals: Tuesday - Sunday - Traditional Sunday roasts - CAMRA LocAle & members discount - Comfortable surroundings and Large garden area. - Family friendly and dogs welcome - Freshly ground coffees and other hot beverages - Live music most Saturdays. Plse see facebook - Open Mic night every Tuesday
Easter Beer Festival FRIDAY 14 - MONDAY 17
The Rose & Crown, 108 High Street, Sandhurst. GU47 8HA. www.roseandcrownsandhurst.info Catering for parties and special events available. Please call. 01252 878938
A Guide to Good Beer in Berkshire By Anthony Springall
Back in the early days of the Campaign, it was common for counties and cities to issue their own mini Good Beer Guides. Berkshire issued its very first guide in late 1975 when at the time the three CAMRA branches in the county pooled resources and issued a slim, pocket sized book for 40 pence. The guide highlighted the four local breweries, namely Morland of Abingdon, Brakspear of Henley-onThames, Courage in Reading and Wethereds in Marlow. It will not have escaped attention that all of these breweries have closed and we now have a raft of new brewers, although not on the same scale. One of the biggest changes since the first Berkshire guide was issued is that most pubs forty years ago were tied to a brewer with a Freehouse being a comparative rarity. This has now changed dramatically with the majority of pubs being owned by pub companies with the demise of the big brewers tied estates. The huge prevalence of Courage pubs is an indication of the size of Simonds Brewery estate which had been taken over 15 years previously. The pubs listed, along with the breweries they were tied to were:(Where it is known, the fate of pubs no longer in existence has been added) Ascot Horse & Groom, Courage (now Bar 1) Railway Arms, Courage (now The Swinley) Royal Hunt, Courage (Closed) Thatched Tavern, Courage Wells, Courage (now an oriental restaurant) Binfield Jack O'Newbury, Wethered Jolly Farmer, Morlands (Demolished) Shoulder of Mutton, Courage (Demolished) Victoria Arms, Courage Bracknell Bridge House, Wethered Bull, Courage (Being converted to a restaurant) Horse & Groom, Courage (Now a restaurant) Newtown Pippin, Wethered Royal Oak, Courage Running Horse, Morland Crowthorne Wellington Inn, Freehouse (Demolished) Eversley Tally Ho, Courage Finchampstead Greyhound, Wethered Queens Oak, Brakspear
Hurst Wheelwrights Arms, Wethered Sandhurst Rose & Crown, Courage Wellington Arms, Brakspear Sunningdale Nags Head, Courage Red Lion, Courage (Closed) Royal Oak, Courage Sunninghill Belverdere Arms, Freehouse Dog & Partridge, Courage Dukes Head, Courage Three Jays, Courage (Demolished) Warfield Cricketers, Courage New Leathern Bottle, Courage Three Legged Cross, Courage (now a restaurant) Winnersh Pheasant, Courage Winkfield Cottage Inn, Free House (now Winning Post) Crown & Anchor, Morland (now an Indian restaurant) Old Hatchet, Courage Queens Arms, Ind Coope (now The Winkfield) Royal Foresters, Bulmers (Demolished) Squirrels, Courage White Hart, Courage White Horse, Wethered (now an Italian restaurant) Wokingham Bull, Courage Crispin, Courage Crooked Billet, Brakspear Dog & Duck, Brakspear Dukes Head, Brakspear Hope & Anchor, Brakspear Lord Raglan, Morland Olde Leathern Bottel, Courage Pin & Bowl, Courage (Demolished) Red Lion, Brakspear Rifle Volunteer, Courage Ship, Courage Thatched Cottage, Courage (now Emmbrook Inn) Three Brewers, Courage (Demolished) Victoria Arms, Courage Warren House, Courage Wheatsheaf, Wethered (Closed) White Horse, Morland Who'd A Tho't It, Morland (Demolished)
Of the sixty pubs mentioned in the Berkshire South East area only forty two survive and this reflects the position elsewhere in the country. Pubs have been part of the landscape of the county for a few hundred years but recently have become a threatened species and can only survive with our patronage. CAMRA eventually issued six guides for Berkshire, the last one being long out of print but â€œWhatpub.comâ€? has done a tremendous job in ensuring up to date information is always available at your fingertips.
Issue 46, Spring 2017
CAMRA Revitalisation Update
By David Richards
A Quick Recap In the last three editions of the Mad Cow I have reported on CAMRA’s major review of its purpose and strategy, the Revitalisation Project. We have now arrived at the point where the project team have completed their report and presented it to CAMRA’s National Executive and Regional Directors at their meeting in December. That same report has now been circulated to all CAMRA members. As you would expect from a project that has run for almost a year, undertaken three separate surveys of its members, held consultation events across the country and consulted with professionals from all sectors of the brewing and pubs industry, the report is extremely thorough and covers every aspect of CAMRA’s activities. It makes a great many recommendations which I don’t have space to list here and you would probably get tired trying to read. So instead, I have picked out what I believe to be the key recommendations, but before I go further, I must emphasise that at this time these are still only recommendations and have not yet been discussed at length with the membership. They have certainly not been accepted yet and are nowhere near being implemented.
The Recommendations The key recommendations are as follows: v
CAMRA should promote the virtues of well produced, well kept, caskconditioned beer as the pinnacle of the brewer’s craft. CAMRA should campaign for real cider and perry to be more widely available, alongside real ale, for consumers to enjoy.
CAMRA should seek to promote awareness and understanding of the different factors that contribute to beer quality, to help consumers make an informed judgement about the relative merits of different types of beer. It should do this while advocating and promoting well-produced, well-kept cask-conditioned ale as the pinnacle of the brewer's craft and campaigning for traditional British beer styles to be safeguarded and celebrated. In practice, this means that CAMRA should:
Permit the stocking of British beers that do not meet the definition of real ale at CAMRA beer festivals. Display educational material alongside other beer types, explaining how these differ from real ale. This should also apply to foreign beers. Inform and educate members, other consumers and the trade about good beers of all types, while highlighting the comparative excellence of real ale.
CAMRA should celebrate well-run community pubs and clubs as unique British institutions capable of delivering vast social benefits and should, as a priority, battle to arrest the decline in their numbers. The special position held by pubs and clubs in community life, and their paramount importance at the heart of CAMRA’s objectives, should be upheld. Educating and informing its members, the trade and the wider public about beer should be core to CAMRA’s campaigning approach. This principle should be at the heart of CAMRA’s ethos and campaigning activity at branch, regional and national levels. CAMRA should explicitly promote and market itself as a campaigning organisation that represents the interests of all pub-goers, not just the specific interests of its members.
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www.seberkscamra.org.uk Key Differences So what are the main differences between CAMRA’s current activities and what is being proposed? I would boil it down to the following key points: v
First and foremost, the big one and the one that is likely to cause most debate – there is a shift in emphasis from supporting only real ale to a recognition that there are other types of beer that are also of high quality, namely craft beers. Whatever that term conjures up in your imagination, insert that image here, for it can mean virtually anything you want it to mean, since it cannot be defined. However, the emphasis here is on quality beers. Having said that, I particularly like the phrase being used to affirm that ”caskconditioned beer is the pinnacle of the brewer’s craft”. Second, there is much greater emphasis being put on the quality of real ales being served in pubs. We all know of examples of pubs where the real ale is, quite frankly, dire. There is already work being done by the National Executive to propose ways in which this problem can be tackled. There is also a much greater emphasis on the need to educate both our own members and the general public. We have started work on this within our own branch and you can expect to see some education sessions being organised soon. There is a greater recognition of the
Issue 46, Spring 2017
need to campaign for real cider and perry. Although this has been happening already to some extent, we need to give these fine products more emphasis in our campaigning. There is a reminder that we should campaign for pubs and clubs and give them equal support. Although this has also been happening already to some extent, we should do more to support clubs. And finally, CAMRA should represent the interests of all pub-goers, not just those that drink real ale.
Next Steps The report will be discussed and debated at the annual CAMRA Members’ Weekend in Bournemouth this April. The key issues that come out of that will be taken away to be addressed, worked on and for the full impact of the proposals to be understood in depth. The intention is for the Revitalisation Project recommendations to be honed into a set of specific proposals that will be taken to the 2018 conference in Coventry for approval. If you are a CAMRA member and feel passionately about this topic, I would strongly recommend that you register to attend the next Members’ Weekend (and then the one after that!).. If you are not a CAMRA member, but care about these issues, it is never too late to join us. You can do so now by going online at join.camra.org.uk Nothing is decided or set in stone yet, so I’ll end by repeating what I said last time – watch this space…
www.seberkscamra.org.uk LocAle. However, since my visit the licensees have moved on.
The CAMRA LocAle scheme helps to promote the pub as a place to enjoy a pint of quality, local real ale. One early December afternoon, our intrepid LocAle Coordinator, Graham Holt, went out and about in search of local brews in a selection of our local pubs. Here is a summary of what he found: On my visit, there was no LocAle being served at the Rose and Crown in Sandhurst, however, a customer sat at the bar was able to confirm that beers from local breweries were often on offer. On arrival at the Cannie Man in Bracknell there was again no LocAle being served, but it is understood from other CAMRA members who regularly visit that LocAle is usually available. The Green Man in Bracknell were not serving LocAle and I was informed that the new management had no particular interest in it. As a result, the Green Man has been removed from our LocAle listing. At the Atrium Bar in South Hill Park, two LocAles (and in total five beers) were on offer. A cask of real ale will only be at its best for two to three days and I suggested it would be better to sell fewer beers to ensure better quality. The barman agreed that making quality a priority was the right thing to do. At the Rose and Crown in Woodside, Hogs Back HBB was found to be in good condition. The barman told me that when the Batemans was finished Windsor & Eton Guardsman would be the next one on sale. We had a good chat about LocAle and LocAle breweries and it was clear that this pub is fully committed to always serving
Visits to the Squirrels and the White Hart in Winkfield, both of which were serving two Rebellion beers, assured me of their respective LocAle accreditations. Similarly, the Cricketers in Warfield were serving a nice Windsor & Eton Guardsman. The New Leathern Bottle in Jealott’s Hill were just finishing up a cask of Rebellion IPA when I arrived, and previous experience has shown that whenever I have been passing (and inevitably popped in), a LocAle was always available. The Walter Arms in Sindlesham was serving Rebellion Mutiny and Hogs Back Tea. Top marks! The Pinewood Bar & Café in Wokingham Without was serving Rebellion Smuggler which was very tasty but served from a mini-keg, so it’s not technically real ale. Also under review is the Molly Millar in Wokingham. Since being taken over by the Spirit Group, the manager reports that he is trying his best to get LocAle but is very restricted on what he can order. Whenever I see him he apologises if there is no LocAle available. The Olde Leathern Bottel in Wokingham had Twyford Tipple on sale, which tasted great. The staff were well aware of the LocAle scheme and told me they do try and keep a LocAle on a all times. Hogs Back TEA had also been on sale recently. The Tally Ho in Eversley were serving beers from Hammerpot and Vale Breweries as well as Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker. All good beers, but not LocAle. Other recent visits from CAMRA members have confirmed that a LocAle or two are usually available. Cheers! Graham Holt, LocAle Coordinator
Issue 46, Spring 2017
www.seberkscamra.org.uk v v v
The CAMRA LocAle scheme helps to promote the pub as a place to enjoy a pint of quality, local real ale.
Abbey Ford (Chertsey, Surrey) Andwell (Andwell, Hampshire) Ascot Ales (Camberley, Surrey) Bell Street (Henley, Oxon) Bingham’s (Ruscombe, Berks) Bond Brews (Wokingham, Berks) Brightwater (Claygate, Surrey) Crescent (Maidenhead, Berks) Decent (Addlestone, Surrey) Elusive Brewing (Finchampstead) Frensham (Frensham, Surrey) Hedgedog (Virginia Water, Surrey) Hogs Back (Tongham, Surrey) Hop Art (Blacknest, Hants) Little Beer Corp (Guildford, Surrey) Longdog (Basingstoke, Hants) Loddon (Dunsden Green, Oxon) Malt the Brewer (Prestwood, Bucks) MoogBrew (Taplow, Bucks) Park (Kingston Upon Thames) Rebellion (Marlow, Bucks) Sherfield Village (Sherfield, Hants) Siren Craft (Finchampstead, Berks) Thames Side (Staines, Middx) Thurston’s (Horsell, Surrey) Tillingbourne (Shere, Surrey) Twickenham (Twickenham, Middx) West Berkshire (Frilsham, Berks) Wild Weather (Silchester, Berks) Windsor & Eton (Windsor, Berks) Zero Degrees (Reading, Berks)
Accredited LocAle Outlets
LocAle Breweries (within 25 miles of Bracknell)
Stocking local real ales can increase visits to public houses Consumers get to enjoy greater beer choice and locally brewed beer Local brewers increase their sales and get better feedback from consumers More money spent and retained in the local economy Fewer ‘beer miles’ results in less road congestion and pollution, reducing impact on the environment
14 19 9 14 9 5 22 9 13 9 20 9 16 22 17 25 13 22 10 22 15 19 9 12 12 21 21 24 19 10 13
Barkham Binfield Bracknell Eversley Jealott's Hill Sandhurst Sindlesham Sunningdale Warfield Winkfield Wokingham
The Bull Jack o’Newbury Cannie Man Old Manor South Hill Park Tally Ho New Leathern Bottle Rose & Crown Walter Arms Royal Oak Cricketers Squirrels Bar White Hart Crispin Gig House Hope and Anchor Olde Leathern Bottel Queens Head Pinewood Bar & Cafe
Cover Story The Fox and Hounds pub in Hancombe Road, Little Sandhurst was closed late last year and put on the market for potential residential conversion, and possible development. The Fox and Hounds was a very welcoming village pub with a spacious interior and large garden outside. The bar served a variety of lagers and ciders as well as Real Ale. At present the future of this historic local pub is unclear.
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when you spend £15 or more at Binghams Brewery Shop binghams.co.uk (0118) 9344376
Terms and Conditions £1 off purchase price when you spend £15 or more in Binghams Brewery Shop. Not valid for use against home deliveries, online purchases or gift vouchers. Cannot be multipled or exchanged for cash. Void if copied or transferred. One voucher per person per transaction. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer including Binghams Beer Club. You must be over 18 years old.
Jealotts Hill, Warfield, Berkshire, RG42 6ET
Local Walks, Dogs welcome. Welcoming log fires on cold days. Real ales, CAMRA LocAle accredited Quality food includes homemade favourites. Steak nights every Friday night. Karaoke on the last Friday of every month. Brilliant kids play area, 01344 421 282 Facebook 'The New Leathern Bottle’ http://www.newleathernbottle.co.uk
North Street Winkfield SL4 4TF
- Welcoming family run, spacious pub. - Quality home made meals. - Free House with up to 3 LocAles. - Very large Garden and Car Parks - Closest Pub To Legoland™ Windsor. 01344 882205 http://www.thesquirrelspubwinkfield.com/
Rebellion Brewery In 2014 Rebellion began a major brewery redevelopment to increase their brewing capacity and improve the efficiency and consistency of the brewing process. They are now in the 3rd year of the work and have completed 3 out of 4 phases. Phase 3 was completed last summer. The new fermentation room is shown in the picture. The work included the installation of a new oil-based boiler and a larger mash-tun and copper. This allowed their brewing capacity to increase from 25 barrels (7200 pints) per brew, to 50 barrels (14400 pints). The final phase will see a renovation of the bright beer packaging area including installation of lager and craft beer filling lines. Rebellion shall also be installing a brand new bottling line. 2017 will see the return of the Rebellion biennial Charity Open Weekend on the 15th and 16th of July, where they will provide a selection of their beers and fire up their BBQ which will run all weekend selling great quality, local food. For entertainment, they've invited local bands along who are giving their time for free. They also run talks, giving an insight into the history of the brewery and how beer is made. While the weekend is first and foremost a free party, they do encourage donations on the door for Scannappeal, a local hospital charity. In 2017 Rebellion will be brewing 150,000 pints, using 20 tonnes of barley grown locally in fields surrounding the brewery in Marlow Bottom. In the future, they hope that 20% of all the barley they brew with will be sourced from the local area. This year's monthly beer range will be the â€œGreat Britons Seriesâ€?. The range will celebrate men and women from the British Isles who have made impressions on history. Look out for beers such as Quantum (Stephen Hawking), Slapstick (Charlie Chaplin) and Angel (Florence Nightingale). The Head Brewer has found three new hop varieties to include in the range. Two from America, Ekuanot (released 2014) which has a strong tropical fruit character and Cashmere (released 2013) which has a mild herbal character and smooth bitterness. The range will also include a new hop from Germany, Mandarina Bavaria (released 2012), which as the name suggests has a citrus character. This year Rebellion will also be releasing the long-awaited Rebellion Lager.
Ascot Ales A new hoppy Golden Ale called Aardvark Ale will be available from Ascot Ales in the Spring. It's a 5.0% heavily hopped golden ale brewed with Summit hops to give a citrusy piney aroma.
Issue 46, Spring 2017
Brewery News (Continued)
A new brewery with a difference has emerged in Oxfordshire. Founded in 2016, ‘Tap Social Movement’ apparently grew out of a passion for good beer and social justice. They call themselves a ‘craft brewery’ and provide training courses for people serving prison sentences, offering courses in brewing and business start-up, and providing one-on-one support in securing permanent employment to assist in effective rehabilitation. The three founders all have experience in a range of positions across the criminal justice system and have all witnessed the difficulty people face when trying to turn their lives around after coming into contact with the law. The Head Brewer is Jason Bolger, who began his brewing career at Iron Hill Brewery in Phoenixville, USA, before moving to Northville Brewery. After arriving in the UK, Jason was head brewer at the Brewhouse and Kitchen in Portsmouth. It's a 1,000 litre (6-barrel) brewery, currently producing two bottle-conditioned beers which will be available from the brewery shop from January. You can find them at Curtis Industrial Estate, North Hinksey Lane, Oxford OX2 0LX. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.tapsocialmovement.com February 2017 will see some significant changes to Siren Craft Brewery with the installation of a complete new brew-house and other major expansions planned. The new brew-house will virtually double production rates at the brewery. Siren have also taken an opportunity to extend into another new unit on the Hogwood Lane Industrial Estate which, which they plan to occupy from April. This standalone unit is adjacent to the existing brewery and will add 14,000 square feet, effectively trebling the breweries floor space. This additional space will be used to add temperature-controlled storage for all packaged stock. Siren’s inventory of around 350 ageing barrels will be moved to its own dedicated room, and part of the new space will be used to house and staff a new retail shop, along with a tasting room. Vermont Tea Party will be added to Siren’s core range this year. They will be announcing the new name and artwork in due course. Siren also has a number of specials lined up for 2017, with Moment of Clarity making its debut in January. Siren have recently published their views on cask beer on their website, following other UK craft breweries making their views public, and in some cases stopping the use of casks all together. Thankfully Siren says that cask is still part of their plans for the foreseeable future. Visit their website www.sirencraftbrew.com for the full story.
Bond Brews has now been trading for a full year. Dean tells us that it’s been a tough journey but a successful one. As well as three core beers ‘Best of British’, ‘Goldi-Hops’ and ‘Railway Porter’, Bond Brews has been able to produce six limited edition beers; ‘Melo Velo’, ‘Golden Goal’, ‘Rio Rye’, ‘Thirsty Trotter’, ‘Night Screamer’ & ‘Festive Porter’. Festive Porter, a variation on Railway Porter with mulled spices, was in great demand in both bottle and cask over the Christmas season. A limited edition beer is also planned for 2017, in time for the Six Nations Rugby. This new best bitter called ‘Scrum 5’ will be a dark bitter using five different malts and five varieties of hop. STOP PRESS! Dean Bond tells us he has arranged a ‘Tap Takeover’ at The Crispin in Wokingham for Wednesday 15th February with 5 of his beers on tap and he’ll be there in the evening to talk about his brewery & beers.
Issue 46, Spring 2017
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: 3B, Wiltshire Gold ale, Hoperation IPA, 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
Campaign Focus By Barry Garber
Value your local: With the recent an-
nouncement that more beer is now bought in supermarkets and off licences than in pubs and bars, pubs really do need your business. The winter months can be particularly difficult for pubs following the Christmas period boost in trade. With over 20 pubs a week still closing it has never been more important to visit and value your local. Why not plan your next trip now?
and visiting your local pub is a great way to reach out to your local community and make friends. These excellent pub walks combine gentle exercise with an opportunity to relax and socialise in pubs serving some superb beers". These walks have been carefully researched and are available free of charge on the CAMRA website at www.camra.org.uk/pub-walks and by registering on the Ramblers website.
ACV’s: Over 2000 pubs are now listed as
Walk to the pub:
CAMRA and the Ramblers have joined forces and have recently published a number self guided pub walks. The walks not only detail the pubs along the way but give background and history of the area along with safety information. CAMRA Chairman, Colin Valentine said: "Pubs play a huge role in improving people's sense of enjoyment, relaxation and wellbeing. Particularly at this time of year, issues around loneliness come to the fore and going for group walks
There has been little change in the public transport arena in our branch area since my last report. Whilst daytime services are adequate, local bus companies continue to provide very poor or non-existent late evening services. Their argument is that the demand is not there to support these services but unless we actually have them how do the bus companies actually know! One development coming to fruition in September is the Lexicon shopping and
Assets of Community Value (ACV) and CAMRA is calling for further strengthening of the planning laws. Whereas an ACV affords a degree of protection against change of use the process is very cumbersome and many local authorities are misinterpreting the rules and declining to grant ACV status. CAMRA wants to see the removal of permitted development rights, which will require any ‘change of use’ application to be subject to the full planning process. Barry Garber Branch Campaigns Coordinator leisure centre in central Bracknell. Whilst the promised facilities do not at this stage look to be a destination for real ale and cider drinkers it is hoped that the bus companies will see merit in providing a service that actually allows people to at least catch an evening movie and to get home afterwards on a bus. We can only hope that later evening buses might even provide an opportunity to have a post movie drink as well. We wait to see the outcome over the next few months. Barry Garber Branch Public Transport Officer
Issue 46, Spring 2017
THE QUEENS HEAD 23 The Terrace ADVERT Wokingham RG40 1BP PAGE 19
QUEEN’S HEAD, WOKINGHAM Tel: 0118 9781221 Email: email@example.com HALF PAGE
Carol and Peter welcome you to this Historic Traditional Public House. Full range of beers including six hand-pumped real ales
(three Greene King and three LocAles)
Berkshire PUB OF THE YEAR 2015 & 2016 CAMRA Award
Rear part-covered garden
By David Richards, Branch Chairman It is with great sadness that I have to report that a long-standing branch member, Ian Mihell died on 22nd October after a long and very brave fight against cancer. He refused to give in until he simply couldn't go on any longer. Ian was a member of our branch from it's very beginning in 2003 and of Reading branch before that, where he was Branch Treasurer. Even further back, he was the Regional Organiser (the predecessor of what we now call the Regional Director) for the East Central area and Chairman of the Finance Committee on the National Executive for several years. He was an avid cyclist and even in his sixties he had a target of 200 miles per month. He was even seen at Members’’ Weekends in far-away towns with his bike. He was a keen Reading FC fan and since he went to school in Portsmouth, a keen Pompey fan at that time. He moved to Bournemouth with his wife Sandy a few years ago. One of the many things I admired about Ian was that despite his senior roles in the past, he never threw his weight around at branch meetings and never bragged about his past achievements. Whenever we got embroiled in some heated debate or a long drawn-out discussion, Ian would call out “Beer Break” and immediately diffuse the situation. Let’s have a beer break and raise a glass to him now.
Issue 46, Spring 2017
Beer and Gyms
Short guide to pubs & gyms in Wokingham By Andy Ross You are thinking to yourself “why mention beer and gyms together?” you then imagine yourself in tight fitting lycra, stop, and double check to make sure you are reading a CAMRA magazine… Luckily this is not about gyms that require lots of physical effort, it is about the gyms you find in ‘Pokemon-Go’, and even if augmented gaming is not your thing, read on, as this is also a guide to the pubs in Wokingham and gives one option for a crawl between them all. With the popularity of games like ‘Pokemon-Go’ and ‘Ingress’ on the rise more people are getting out and about waving their mobile phones around trying to find Pokemon Stops, Pokemon Gyms and Ingress Portals; this is thirsty work, so why not break up the hunt with a refreshing drink on the way… Pubs and Pokemon were made for each other. If you want to try all the pubs in Wokingham town centre, and also play PokemonGo or Ingress at the same time this guide takes the effort out of finding Pubs, Gyms, Stops and Portals, and also lets you know how long it takes to walk between pubs from Wokingham Train station; with 14 pubs including the winner of the CAMRA Branch and County Pub of the Year on route Wokingham is well worth a visit. Don't forget to use WhatPub on your phone for more information and to easily submit beer scores.
Leaving Wokingham train station station, you will see the Molly Millar Pub opposite the station exit, there is Poke Gym and two Portals at the station exit. Pub 1 - Molly Millar: The pub offers 20% CAMRA discount on beer, buy 6 pints get your next pint free, pub food, sports on TV, 3 regular and 2 guest pumps. The pub is also a Poke Stop and Portal. For the next pub walk up Station Road for 3 minutes from the Molly Millar to the Hope and Anchor. Pub 2 - Hope and Anchor: Recently awarded LocAle status, 3 regular and 1 guest pump. The pub is also a Poke Stop and Portal. For the next pub it takes 2 minutes to cross over the road and up the steps in the grass embankment to the Queens Head Pub 3 - Queens Head: CAMRA Branch and County Pub of the Year 2015 and 2016, 3 regular and 3 guest pumps. The pub is also a Poke Stop and Portal. For the next pub leave and turn left, head down Broad Street (don't go left at the traffic lights) for 4 minutes, you will pass a Poke Stop and 2 Portals on route. Pub 4 - Broad Street Tavern: Serves food, 5 regular and 1 guest pumps. The pub is also a Poke Stop and Portal. For the next pub leave and turn left, turn left down Rose Street the next pub is on the left after a 5 minute walk. You will pass 3 Poke Stops and 4 Portals on the way.
The start: This guide starts from Wokingham train station (as a pointer, if you come in by bus your first pub will be the Broad Street Tavern).
Issue 46, Spring 2017
www.seberkscamra.org.uk Pub 5 - Metropolitan: 3 regular pumps. The pub is also a Poke Stop and Portal. For the next pub leave and turn left, at the end of Rose Street turn right, this is a 3 minute walk. Pub 6 - The Ship Inn: Food, sports on TV, 4 regular pumps. The pub is also a Poke Gym and Portal. For the next pub leave the Ship Inn and turn right, walk down Peach Street, cross over near “Anytime fitness” (a real gym!) walk down Easthampstead Road, the pub is on the right, this is a 4 minute walk; you will pass 1 Poke Stop and Portal on route. (Editor’s comment: It is at this point you realise you should have been drinking halves at each pub, not pints!) Pub 7 - Victoria Arms: 2 regular pumps. The pub is also a Poke Stop and Portal. For the next pub head back to Peach Street, turn left, at the crossing you will see the Redan on the other side of the road, this is a 3 minute walk. Pub 8 - The Redan: Opens late in the afternoon and only serves cocktails and lager, no real ale. The pub is also a Portal. For the next pub turn right out of the Redan and follow the road as it bears right and cross over when you see HSBC bank on the other side of the road, the next pub is in the pedestrian area 4 shops down from the bank, this will be a 4 minute walk; there are 2 Poke Stops and 4 Portals on route.
Pub 9 – Roebuck: 1 guest pump, sports on TV, part of the “Sultan Balti Palace” next door, so serves Indian food. For the next pub walk 2 minutes across the pedestrian area to Denmark Street opposite, there is one Poke Stop nearby. Pub 10 - Red Lion: 2 Regular pumps (front of the pub), cocktail bar (rear of the pub), serves Pad Thai food at the bar (or in the restaurant upstairs). The pub is also a Portal. For the next pub turn left out of the Red Lion and walk down Denmark Street, look out for Argos over the road, the Gig House is behind Argos, this will take about 3 minutes, you will pass 1 Portal on route. Pub 11 - Gig House: Wetherspoons Pub, 3 regular and 3 guest pumps. The Gig House is a Poke Stop and Portal. For the next pub head back to Denmark Street, walk down the road, and pub is on the other side of the road after 3 minutes. Pub 12 – Raglan: 1 regular pump and serves food. The pub is also a Portal. For the next pub leave and turn left, the Crispin is over the road and only a short walk. Pub 13 – Crispin: Good Beer Guide 2017, free of tie, 4 guest pumps. The pub is also a Portal. For the last pub leave and turn right, you will see the Dukes Head on the mini roundabout after 2 minutes, you will pass 1 Poke Stop and Portal on route. Pub 14 - Dukes Head: Serves food, 2 regular and 2 guest pumps. The Pub is a Poke Stop and Portal. And the tour of Pubs, Gyms, Stops and Portals in Wokingham town centre ends here, unless you want to go back the way you came! The shortest route back to Wokingham train station is to turn left out of the pub, and at the large roundabout turn right and follow Wellington Road, this is a 10 minute walk, or longer depending on how much you have had to drink!, there is 1 final Poke Stop and Portal on the way back. Happy quaffing and gaming!
Issue 46, Spring 2017
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Issue 46, Spring 2017
Real Cider in the South East Berkshire Area. During February 2017 CAMRA members in the South-East Berks branch area will be able to vote for their favourite pub that sells real cider and perry. The following pubs regularly sell real cider and perry throughout the year: • • • • • • •
Broad Street Tavern, Wokingham The Crispin, Wokingham New Leathern Bottle, Warfield Old Manor, Bracknell Plough and Harrow, Warfield The Tally Ho, Eversley Wheelwright’s Arms, Hurst
If you enjoy drinking real cider and perry and appreciate the pubs that sell it, please join us in voting for your Cider Pub of the Year for 2017. If you have any questions or comments about Real Cider in our area, please contact me, Mike Lee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE OLD MANOR
Grenville Place, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1BP Tel: 01344 304490
Featuring guest ales such as
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Issue 46, Spring 2017
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PLOUGH AND HARROW
Newell Green, WARFIELD. Up to Five cask ales on. Good food available every day. Destination for Sunday Roasts Free Parking inc. for Horses!. Dogs Welcome Open Log Fire Free WiFi Beer Garden Heated Smoking Area Monday Quiz night Six Nations Rugby Wildlife Photographer Talk by Tom Way. Wednesday 1st February 19:30 www.tomwayphotography.co.uk
Plough & Harrow , Newell Green Warfield, Berks RG42 6AE Tel: 01344300701 Email: email@example.com
The Beer Festival Guide By Simon Grist
Updates will be put on our website at seberkscamra.org.uk/localfestivals th
24 – 25 February 2017: Alton Winter Beer Festival altonbeerfestival.co.uk The Winter beer festival at Alton College is a sign that Spring is just around the corner. Expect around 70 ales, plus ciders and perries. In an environmental initiative, customers are requested to bring their own lined half pint beer glass. th
8 – 10 March 2017: London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival tinyurl.com/LDbeerfest Held in the Camden Centre opposite St Pancras station this is a very popular CAMRA festival with Londoners. Expect around 120 real ales, ciders & perries, plus an extensive foreign beer bar. Reduced entry for CAMRA members. th
17 – 18 March 2017: Wantage Beer Festival whitehorsecamra.org.uk/wantage-beer-festival A welcome return to the calendar for White Horse CAMRA branch’s beer festival. Expect a selection of 28 real ales and around 4 ciders/perries. There is free entry to all sessions for CAMRA members. 17 – 18 March 2017: Winchester Real Ale & Cider Festival winchesterbeerfestival.org.uk Winchester is only 35 minutes by train from Reading, making this CAMRA organised festival surprisingly accessible. It is held in the elegant surroundings of the Guildhall, where there should be around 70 real ales and 30 ciders & perries, plus foreign beers. Entry is by advance ticket only. 17 – 19 March 2017: The Perseverance, Wraysbury thepercy.co.uk Another Spring beer festival from this friendly local Grade II listed pub. Landlord Nick promises around 16 carefully selected real ales over the course if the weekend. Stamp cards for 6 pints (or 12 halves) available on the day for just £20. th
8 April 2017: Reading Craft Theory Festival crafttheoryfestival.co.uk Something a little different to our usual real ale festivals, this festival will instead exhibit “craft” beers. Organised by our friends at the Grumpy Goat beer and cheese shop, it will be structured on the European beer festival model of brewers each having a stand to sell their own beers. Breweries invited range from local favourites like Siren Craft and Wild Weather to Butcher’s Tears of Amsterdam.
Issue 46, Spring 2017
13 – 16 April 2017: Egham Beer Festival eghambeerfestival.co.uk Another charity beer festival at Egham United Services Club. Organiser Bob Inman will no doubt once again discover some new breweries and new brews from old favourite brewers. Expect around 60 ales, plus around a dozen ciders & perries. Reduced entry for CAMRA members. 13 – 17 April 2017: Rose & Crown, Sandhurst roseandcrownsandhurst.info An Easter beer festival from Peter and Michelle at this popular Sandhurst pub. Expect around 20 real ales, both local and national, plus a few real ciders. 21 – 22 April 2017: Newbury Racecourse Beer & Cider Festival newburyracecourse.co.uk Like our own festival at Ascot, this one takes places during a race meeting. Expect around 40 real ales and ciders. CAMRA members can book half price ‘Grandstand’ tickets in advance either by phone on 01635 40015 or online using promo code CAMRA17. th
27 - 29 April 2017: Farnham Beer Exhibition (“Beerex”) farnhamlions.org.uk/farnhambeerex.html The Beerex is run jointly by Farnham Lions and Surrey Hants Borders CAMRA at the Farnham Maltings. Expect around 70 ales, ciders & perries. Tickets will go on general sale between 8am and 10am on Sunday th 5 March, with demand so high that some people queue throughout the night. th
27 – 30 April 2017: Reading Beer & Cider Festival readingbeerfestival.org.uk This festival is organised by our neighbours in Reading & Mid Berks CAMRA. Based upon previous years it should feature around 500 real ales and over 100 ciders & perries plus an extensive selection of foreign beers. Reduced entry for CAMRA members.
28 May 2017: Bracknell Ale & Cider Festival festival.bracknaleevents.co.uk This local event has been running for five years as the town’s only outdoor beer festival. In 2016, Bracknell Ale & Wine Festival made its debut at Bracknell Rugby Club after moving from it’s traditional home just up the road at Larges Lane. Now known as Bracknell Ale & Cider Festival, the event will return in 2017 at the Rugby Club location.
Issue 46, Spring 2017
THE VICTORIA ARMS CAMRA SE Berks Pub of the Year 2009 Fuller’s Village Pub of the Year 2009
TRADITIONAL ENGLISH PUB • Award Winning Fuller’s Real Ales • Fuller’s Master Cellarman • Traditional Home Cooked Food • Comfortable Surroundings • Friendly Atmosphere
HEATED COVERED PATIO • Regular Hog Roasts and BBQs • Catering For Parties and Special Occasions
SECLUDED GARDEN • Family Friendly • Dogs Welcome
FUN & ENTERTAINMENT • Major Sporting Events on 2 Screens • Sunday Quiz Nights • Regular Live Music
THE VICTORIA ARMS BINFIELD
Terrace Road North, Binfield, Bracknell, Berkshire RG42 5JA 01344 483856 firstname.lastname@example.org /victoriaarmsbinfield @thevicbinfield
40 Years of Rail Ale Rambles By Dave Richardson
Dave Richardson joins a commemorative tour of five breweries marking a major milestone for the company that brought real ale and rail travel together
Hyde’s Jolly Angler– which is, amazingly, still going strong today – as is Hyde’s. I wrote up the trip for my then employer, Travel Trade Gazette, noting that there were lots of empty seats on the train home. The ale was so good that many passengers were never seen again! I didn’t know it then, but my trip to Manchester was number three in a series of Rail Ale Rambles (RARs) devised by a CAMRA member called Gerald Daniels. Gerald was a British Rail manager at the time, who knew there were plenty of spare trains to charter at weekends at a very attractive price. RAR number one operated in October 1977 to Bath and Oxford, taking no fewer than 596 people on a drinking spree. These two cities may have coped with the crowds quite well, but when RARs visited smaller places such as Weymouth, they literally drank the town dry of real ale as sometimes reported in local newspapers! The idea proved an instant hit, as the numbers going, all recorded in Gerald’s archive, prove. Operated by Crookham Travel, the Hampshire village where he lived, RARs soon started to visit breweries at a time when few of them welcomed visitors. The first brewery visit was to Buckley’s in South Wales in 1978, and in 1980 visits were made to Ruddle’s and Oxfordshire’s own Hook Norton.
In April 1978, while living in London, I spent £4.50 (£25 in today’s money) and enjoyed a day out with a difference. I joined 419 other people on a specially chartered train heading for Macclesfield, Stockport and Manchester, where at each stop we took our pub maps and descended on all kinds of boozers to drink real ale. Why did we do this? Real ale was in danger of extinction in the 1970s, which is why CAMRA was formed in 1971. London in particular was a real ale desert unless you lived in the south-west suburbs around the Fuller’s and Young’s breweries, but there was more to be enjoyed in provincial towns and cities. The day was a great success. I discovered a back street pub in Ancoats, Manchester –
The logistics were sometimes very challenging, but Gerald is a great organiser. Transporting no fewer than 579 people from Banbury railway station to Hook Norton, and getting them all round the historic brewery safely, is a case in point – with a fleet of coaches called into action. Hook Norton is in fact the brewery that RARs have visited most often, with 10 visits taking nearly 3,500 participants to rural north Oxfordshire over the last 36 years. So it was appropriate that for a commemorative tour to start Crookham Travel’s 40th anniversary celebrations, Hook Norton was one of the five breweries visited. Its managing director James Clarke and his mother Paula welcomed a party of 79 one Sunday in October, James recalling how, as a boy, he had gone down to Banbury station to greet the special train from London. Fortunately, 79 was a rather more manageable visitor number than 579. RARs soon expanded to cover the whole country, including overnight trips as far afield as Scotland. Nearly 900 brewery visits have been made
Issue 46, Spring 2017
www.seberkscamra.org.uk over the years to 788 breweries, and there are very few that have failed to welcome one of Gerald’s tours. Over the years the style of operation changed. Real ale became more widely available by the 1990s and the numbers going on each tour fell away, while privatisation of British Rail meant that there were soon very few spare trains to charter even if there were enough people to fill them. Crookham Travel started using regular service trains instead, but even into the 21st century, some tours were attracting over 100 people. To date there have been 177 RARs, with trains normally used for the longer sections of a journey and coach travel to visit breweries, with a railway or industrial heritage attraction often included. Weekend Explorers including overnight accommodation started in 1979 and in 1986 came the first overseas tour, to Lyon in France. Crookham Travel has now taken beer enthusiasts to no fewer than 38 countries as far afield as Hong Kong and Australia, although most of its foreign tours are by rail into Europe. Every RAR or longer tour is researched meticulously by Gerald. Although long retired from British Rail and a hale and hearty 78, he has no plans to hang up the whistle summoning people together which is a familiar sound on his tours. “I research, book, organise and act as courier on every tour, and research is paramount,” he says. “I will carry on as long as I enjoy doing it, and the support is there. We have managed to arrange tours to some breweries never normally open to visitors such as Donnington in Gloucestershire, which is often considered the ‘the holy grail of unvisited breweries’. Timothy Taylor in Keighley and Lees in Manchester are among those we still want to visit, as in March 1979 a full train of 420 people had to be repeated as another 420 souls wanted to go to Keighley to try the ‘Timothy Taylor Taste’ in local pubs. Hopefully, these breweries will agree to a visit soon.” Gerald founded Crookham Travel with Sheridan Hughes, who is no longer involved, but is now assisted by Tony Fox-Griffith who became a customer in the 1980s and now helps run the tours. “I first read about Rail Ale Rambles in What’s Brewing, and they seemed a great way of visit-
Issue 46, Spring 2017
ing pubs and breweries,” recalls Tony. “My first trip was an overnight tour to Wigan and Edinburgh, where we had the same compartment out and back. There were six in the compartment going up but the other four never made it back – there was often a high attrition rate! Sheridan was good company and had a knack of getting back just in time for the train, but once we left him behind on the platform with arms full of fish and chips as the train pulled out”. I have now been on 109 RARs and also some weekend tours, and seen a lot of changes. Some people did used to get totally wrecked in the old days, but over the years our clientele have aged and mellowed. People now fall asleep rather than get rowdy, but it can be difficult attracting new customers and the best way is by word of mouth. “Crookham Travel is less of a business, more of a club. There’s great camaraderie, and going on a tour is like being part of an extended and very welcoming family.” The 2017 programme has not been finalised but will include several RARs, which usually start in London but can often be joined at other places. Longer Explorer holidays will operate to Slovakia, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and weekends to South West Wales and Nurnberg in Germany, for the Christmas market. CAMRA members will be made most welcome and full details are at www.crookhamtravel.co.uk
Continued on page 31…
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
40 Years of Rail Ale Rambles Continued from page 29…
the special train arriving at Wainfleet station was welcomed with a handshake.
The 40th anniversary tour Five breweries were visited on the “Looking Forward to Forty” tour in October, three of these being very much “old friends” as they had been visited on RARs many times before. All the breweries presented commemorative bottles of beer to everyone on the tour, with snacks, meals and plenty of draught ale included in the tour price. The party of 79 met at King’s Cross station on a Saturday morning to travel to Downham Market in Norfolk where two coaches awaited. First stop was at Elgood’s in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, which was staging a Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) festival on the same day. Brewing started on this riverside site in 1795, with the Elgood family taking over in 1878. Nigel Elgood and head brewer Alan Pateman were on hand to tell us about its range of 12 real ales, although it also produces kegs and owns about 30 pubs in East Anglia. The party got stuck in early, although one poor soul regretted (or maybe didn’t!) ordering a pint of Winter Warmer when he discovered the ABV was 9% -- it was only 11am. My choices were the best bitter Russet Gold at 3.9% and Black Dog mild at 3.6%, which I enjoyed rather more than the bottle of sour fruit beer we were given to take home. Elgood’s is unusual in claiming to be the only brewery still using a pair of giant copper cooling trays, essential for producing Lambic-style Belgian beers. These were duly inspected on the tour, as Alan explained the process. Real ale still accounts for 60% of Elgood’s production, and I got the impression that he didn’t fully approve of some of the more gimmicky developments in brewing. Elgood’s has had its own microbrewery equipment for 25 years, long before this became fashionable. We now drove around The Wash and into Lincolnshire to visit Bateman’s brewery in Wainfleet, near Skegness, passing pubs along the A52 with the brewery’s “good honest ales” slogan. Some participants on this tour – including a few who went on that first trip to Bath and Oxford nearly 40 years ago – recalled previous visits to Bateman’s, when every passenger on
Issue 46, Spring 2017
Stuart Bateman from the fourth generation of the family is now in charge and welcomed us in the old windmill where the visitor centre is located, tracing its history back to 1874. His great grandfather started brewing mainly to supply local farmers who often paid their workers partly in ale – hence the expression “harvest beers”. More than 6,000 bottles decorate the premises, thought to be the largest collection in the world, and we had a ploughman’s lunch before touring the brewery, which still uses some of the original equipment. Stuart told us that Bateman’s had been lucky to survive in the 1980s due to a family dispute that nearly saw it taken over, but as a result it had to sell off many of its pubs. Its bestknown beers today are XB and XXXB, both tried with great enthusiasm. Bateman’s still has 68 pubs, but Stuart told us that middle-ranking breweries such as this sometimes had to cut production – in this case from 16,000 barrels last year to 8,000 for 2017 – to avoid punitive taxes. He hoped his son and daughter would continue in the family tradition, but clearly there are many challenges. We departed with commemorative bottles of a 7.5% Vintage Ale brewed to a 50-year-old recipe, and quite a few passengers were asleep as we crossed into Leicestershire for our final brewery visit, to Belvoir at Old Dalby. We didn’t tour this modern brewery but could view it from the visitor centre and dining room where we enjoyed a much appreciated steak pie dinner.
Belvoir brewery started in 1995 in other premises, but moved to the present site nine years ago. Manageress Di Login explained that its beers were now available in nearly 300 pubs and retail outlets, but had a cautionary tale about a certain well-known supermarket which welcomed its beers at first but then “made life difficult”. The beers we tried were a rather puny tasting Whippling at 3.6%, and the much more palatable Beaver Bitter at 4.3% and Old Dalby ruby ale at 5.1%.
the band with all their instruments came to our final stop a few miles away, Clouded Minds brewery just over the border in Warwickshire, in Lower Brailes village. The band was superb but I found the small brewery, in a modern industrial
By the time we reached our hotel in Leicester it was nearly 9pm, and there were few takers for more beer despite the undoubted delights of the city’s pubs. We enjoyed a good breakfast in the morning prior to two more brewery visits as we headed towards my home territory. First stop however was at Toddington in Gloucestershire, for the usual railway or industrial heritage attraction included on most tours. Here we travelled on the narrow gauge North Gloucestershire Light Railway rather than the standard gauge Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway which also operates here. After our “fix” of steam we headed to the only pub we would visit all weekend, the Pheasant Inn at Toddington, run by Donnington Brewery which had been visited for the first time on tour (it doesn’t usually accept visitors) only in 2016. It was then on to the highlight for many visitors, Hook Norton, for a sandwich and pork pie lunch before touring the “tower” brewery, claimed to be the finest example of this Victorian design still extant. Brewing started on a farm here in 1856, the tower brewery being built in 1872, and the original chimney was restored in 2014 with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Originally it was powered by steam, and the 1899-built steam engine still works on special occasions, such as our visit. An integral part of the tour is a visit to the stables where the giant shire horses can be admired – they still deliver beer to pubs in the village once a week. The principle of a tower brewery is that all the ingredients are hoisted or pumped to the top and then come down by gravity – an ecological and cost-effective method. According to English Heritage, the mill for processing malted barley is the last of its kind. There had been plans for a Hook Norton Brass Band concert at the Pear Tree pub in the village, but apparently the pub didn’t want to host this so
unit, rather a disappointment after the glory of Hook Norton. Clouded Minds moved here from London to premises previously occupied by Whale Ale, and a brewer called Oddly also makes beers here. I didn’t particularly like the Clouded Minds beers I tried, these being Hazelnutter (5%) and Luppol (4.2%), the former flavoured with Italian hazelnuts. But I daresay these quirky drinks are popular with some younger drinkers, and local free houses including the Chester may offer them. Gerald’s whistle sounded announcing it was time to head to the station for the trip home, leaving us all to reflect on a very enjoyable and indeed historic weekend. Do give Crookham Travel a try – the combination of great ales, good company and rail travel will appeal to many as it certainly did to me. This article first appeared in the December 2016 edition of CAMRA publication the Oxford Drinker. oxford.camra.org.uk/oxford-drinker
Issue 46, Spring 2017
Free House Quiet Village Location Cosy and Friendly Traditional Pub Award Winning Cask Ales Good Selection of Guest Ales Great Home Cooked Food Patio and Beer Garden Large Car Park
JackoNewbMadCow39 page 1
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 11:33 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black
Phil & Jean Welcome you
The WHITE HART Winkfield A Stylish 16th Century Pub and Restaurant directly opposite St Mary's Church This historic property was once a parish courthouse, still retaining a few original features.
- Recently extensively refurbished - Large Bar & Restaurant Dining. - Open Noon-11pm Mon-Sat & Sunday 7pm - Food Served 12-2.30 & 6-9 Sunday 12-3.30 - Large garden, car park. - Ideal venue for Events, & Weddings. - Quiz night - Wednesdays 8.30pm. - Real Ales - Rebellion IPA & Sharps Doombar. - Fish & Chips Special on Fridays.
The White Hart Church Road Winkfield Nr Ascot. SL4 4SE 01344 882415 www.thewhitehartwinkfield.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Wednesday 8 February Open Meeting and Good Beer Guide 2018 Selection Meeting at the Old Manor, Grenville Place, Bracknell. RG12 1BP. Commences at 8pm (Members Only). th
Saturday 18 February CAMRA Central Southern Regional Meeting at the Bear Hotel, Wantage. Commences at 12 Noon (Members Only). th
Sunday 19 February CAMRA Reading Branch Social at the The Nag’s Head 10th Birthday. 5 Russell Street, Reading. RG1 7XD. Commences at 12 Noon. rd
Thursday 23 February CAMRA Social at the Royal Oak, Station Road, Sunningdale. SL5 0QL. We also plan to visit the Nag’s Head, High Street, Sunningdale. SL5 0NG.
Thursday 2 March Open Meeting and Social. Venue and details to be confirmed (Members Only). th
Wednesday 8 March CAMRA Social to Twickenham Fine Ales Brewery. Details to be confirmed. th
Saturday 11 March CAMRA Social Surrey Branches Day Out in Oxford. Details to be confirmed.
Thursday 16 March CAMRA Social with a planned talk from a local brewer. Venue and details to be confirmed (check website). rd
Thursday 23 March CAMRA Social at the New Leathern Bottle, Jealotts Hill, Warfield. RG42 6ET. Commences at 8pm.
Friday 7 April to Sunday 9 April Members’ Weekend and National CAMRA AGM at the Bournemouth International Centre. th
Thursday 13 April CAMRA Social at the Easter Beer Festival, Rose and Crown, 108 High Street, Sandhurst. GU47 8HA. Commences at 8pm. th
Friday 14 April CAMRA Social at the Egham United Services Club Beer Festival, 111 Spring Rise, Egham. TW20 9PE. Commences at 1pm. nd
Saturday 22 April CAMRA Social Surrey Branches London Pub Crawl. Details to be confirmed. th
Thursday 27 April CAMRA Social at the Reading Beer & Cider Festival, Christchurch Meadow, George Street, Reading. RG4 8BY. Advertising Rates Quarter page £20 (new adverts) 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
No. 47 (May–July Edition) 7 April ‘17
Issue 46, Spring 2017
The Ship Inn Wokingham
A historic pub in Wokingham, The Ship Inn is a wonderful grade-II-listed coaching inn dating back 400 years. It might be old, but itâ€™s never been left behind - and a respectful refurbishment in 2015 means the pub feels every bit as fresh as the fabulous food and beer it serves. A large, very popular venue for all age groups, a number of eating and drinking areas, including an enclosed, sheltered outside patio area, including a covered heated area. Full range of Fullers Real & Craft Ales along with a wide range of other drinks. Barn room available for hire, ideal for parties and groups. Extensive food Menu.
The Ship Inn, 104 Peach Street, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1XH 01189 780389 E: email@example.com Facebook & Twitter
Fai r on dea tax beer l now !
of Two Halves
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Partner’s Details (if Joint Membership) Title
I wish to join the Campaign for Real Ale, and agree to abide by the Memorandum and Articles of Association I enclose a cheque for Signed
Applications will be processed within 21 days
Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy) Email address (if different from main member)
Campaigning for Pub Goers & Beer Drinkers
Enjoying Real Ale & Pubs
Join CAMRA today – www.camra.org.uk/joinus Instruction to your Bank or Building Society to pay by Direct Debit Please fill in the whole form using a ball point pen and send to: Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. 230 Hatfield Road, St.Albans, Herts AL1 4LW Name and full postal address of your Bank or Building Society Service User Number To the Manager
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Bank or Building Society
FOR CAMPAIGN FOR REAL ALE LTD OFFICIAL USE ONLY
This is not part of the instruction to your Bank or Building Society Membership Number Postcode Name
Name(s) of Account Holder
Instructions to your Bank or Building Society
Bank or Building Society Account Number Branch Sort Code
Please pay Campaign For Real Ale Limited Direct Debits from the account detailed on this instruction subject to the safeguards assured by the Direct Debit Guarantee. I understand that this instruction may remain with Campaign For Real Ale Limited and, if so will be passed electronically to my Bank/Building Society.
Banks and Building Societies may not accept Direct Debit Instructions for some types of account.
This Guarantee should be detached and retained by the payer.
The Direct Debit Guarantee
This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay by Direct Debits. If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd will notify you 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit by The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society - If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when The Campaign For Real Ale Ltd asks you to You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society.Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.
National Beer Scoring System
Have you ever wondered how pubs are selected for the CAMRA Good Beer Guide? Scoring beer in pubs is really easy!
The National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) is a 0-5 point scale for judging beer quality in pubs. It is an easy to use system that has been designed to assist CAMRA branches in selecting pubs for the Good Beer Guide and also monitor beer quality by encouraging CAMRA members from any part of the world to report beer quality on any pub in the UK. If you are a CAMRA member, we want you to tell us about the quality of beer in the pubs you visit. If you are not a member, why not join Europe's most successful consumer organisation? As an incentive, when you score a beer you get entered into a prize draw to win free CAMRA books!
How do I score my beer?
You can score your beer online at home or if you have a smart phone in the pub! To submit your scores just visit whatpub.com. Log into the site using your CAMRA membership number and password. Once you have agreed to the terms and conditions and found a pub on the site, you can start scoring. You can find out more here whatpub.com/beerscoring
What do I need to record? • • • • •
The location and name of the pub (WhatPub mobile can work this out!). The date you visited the pub. A score out of 5. The name of the beer. We will also need your name and membership number but once you have registered these are recorded automatically in WhatPub.
What do the scores mean?
0. No cask ale available. 1. Poor. Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment. 2. Average. Competently kept, drinkable pint but doesn't inspire in any way, not worth moving to another pub but you drink the beer without really noticing. 3. Good. Good beer in good form. You may cancel plans to move to the next pub. You want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again. 4. Very Good. Excellent beer in excellent condition. 5. Perfect. Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.
What if I can't decide on a score?
The NBSS allows you to enter half scores
How do I edit my scores?
To edit your scores go to data.beerscoring.org.uk.
How is the information being collated?
Once beer scores have been submitted online, CAMRA branches can download them and use them to help in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide selection process. For more information, go to members.camra.org.uk/group/branch-nbss-coordinator/dashboard
Issue 46, Spring 2017
NEWBURY RACECOURSE PRESENTS
FRIDAY 21 & SATURDAY 22 APRIL 2017
BEERS • ALES • CIDERS • LIVE MUSIC
CAMRA DISCOUNT HALF PRICE GRANDSTAND TICKETS FOR CAMRA MEMBERS. CALL OR INSERT PROMO CODE CAMRA17 ONLINE*
newburyracecourse.co.uk *Applies to full price ‘Grandstand’ tickets only. Discount not available with any other offer. Offer ends 5pm (telephone bookings) or midnight (online) on 20 April.
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Bracknell Ale & Cider Festival is back at Bracknell Rugby Club on Sunday 28th May 2017
For all the latest news, venue info and tickets visit
bracknellalefestival.co.uk FIND US ON SOCIAL
facebook.com/bracknellalefestival twitter.com/bracknellalefst Presented by
and Bracknell Rugby Club