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Pub & Brewery News Pub Review The Grumpy Goat Beer and Football Reading Beer Festival







Branch Diary

Contact Us Useful contact details for this maga-

Events are open to all unless specified. zine, CAMRA and other important MARCH Thu 13: Branch meeting. 20.00 start at Eldon Arms, 19 Eldon Terrace, Reading, RG1 4DX. CAMRA members only, please. Sun 16: Caversham Ale Trail social. 16.00 at Gardeners Arms, 48 Surley Row, Emmer Green, RG4 8NA. Then move to Fox and Hounds, 51 Gosbrook Road, Caversham, RG4 8BN. Fri 28: Southall Curry Night. Meet 19.30 onwards for drinks at the Conservative Club, High Street, Southall, UB1 3HB, then Nagina Karahi restaurant at 20.45. Contact John Robinson on 0118 940 2787 / 0790 434 3187 / john.robinson@hotmail.co.uk

things… Mine's a Pint Circulation: 2,500. Outlets: Over 70 across the region.

Editor: Phil Gill editor@readingcamra.org.uk 0771 455 0293 81 Addison Road, Reading, RG1 8EG Magazine published on behalf of Reading and Mid Berkshire CAMRA by:

Orchard House Media Ltd daniel.speed@orchardhousemedia.co.uk

APRIL Thu 3: First Thursday of the Month Social. 20.00 at Greyfriar, 53 Greyfriars Road, Reading, RG1 1PA.

For advertising enquiries please contact Jane Michelson: 01733 211 410 jane@orchardhousemedia.co.uk

Tue 8: Branch meeting. 20.00 start. Venue TBC – check website. CAMRA members only, please.

Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA www.readingcamra.org.uk

MAY Thu 1 – Sun 4: 20th Reading Beer and Cider Festival at Kings Meadow, Reading. See the festival website www.readingbeerfestival.org.uk for full details.

Branch contact: Katrina Fletcher contact@readingcamra.org.uk 0779 401 9437

Mon 12: Branch meeting. 20.00 start at Park House, Whiteknights Campus, Reading University. CAMRA members only, please. See www.readingcamra.org.uk for updates.

Social Secretary: Jon Parish social@readingcamra.org.uk 07977 483 334

Local Trading Standards

For details of an event with no contact listed, to suggest an event Reading Borough Council: or to receive regular e-mail updates of the branch diary, contact www.reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3737 Jon Parish: social@readingcamra.org.uk / 07977 483 334.

Contents From the Editor Pub News Butchers Arms Pub Review Beer and Football Small Beer Reading Beer Festival Preview Grumpy Goat Supermarkets Community Pubs Month Then and Now Beer in Bahrain Join CAMRA

4 5-9 11 13 14 - 15 16 - 17 19 20-21 22 23 26-27 30

West Berkshire Council: www.westberks.gov.uk 01635 519930

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead: www.rbwm.gov.uk 01628 683800 Wokingham Borough Council: www.wokingham.gov.uk 0118 974 6400 The next issue of Mine's a Pint will be published in June. Please feel free to submit copy or ideas by 15 May. The opinions expressed in Mine's a Pint are not necessarily those of the editor or the Campaign for Real Ale. © Campaign for Real Ale 2014.

From the Editor

Opening night at the Greyfriar I make no apologies this time for trumpeting the opening of a new pub in Reading – the Greyfriar. Set on the corner of Greyfriars Road and Tudor Road, this is a pub that we thought had been lost forever. Its former incarnation as the gay pub the Malthouse ended a few years ago, since when the place had been boarded up and the upper floors refurbished as flats. Word was that the owners wanted to let the ground floor bar area as a shop. But that didn't happen. Instead, Ashleigh Harris, who used to work at the Nags Head, took over and set about turning it back into a pub. Much time and effort later, it reopened on 13 February as a real ale pub and was an instant success. Six handpumps give a choice of microbrewery beers and there's real cider available, as well as craft beers on keg. So far the beer quality has been excellent.

Late last year the Grumpy Goat off-licence opened to much acclaim – you can read more about it in this magazine. Local pubs are adding more handpumps and extending their real ale range. As Jody Oates from the Nags Head said on the Greyfriar's opening night: “The more pubs there are in a locality serving quality beers, the more reason there is for real ale drinkers to go there”. Another reason is that CAMRA members get a 20% discount at the Greyfriar. Just show your valid membership card at the bar. That's a developing theme as well, and you'll spot other CAMRA member discounts dotted throughout this issue. The Greyfriar is a success story that we should all be proud of. And it's a good reminder that we need to support all our local pubs by going and drinking in them. In our case, that just got a little easier!

This is a real success and is just one part of the flourishing real ale scene in Reading.

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Phil Gill - Editor editor@readingcamra.org.uk

Pub and Brewery News Pub News

CAVERSHAM The GRIFFIN in Church Street suffered a serious fire on Christmas Eve. With this Chef and Brewer pub out of action for some weeks, landlord Anne-Marie McCarthy took the opportunity to have the bar refurbished while repairs were going on. The pub reopened at the start of February and was soon full of customers again, with the beer and food well up to standard. New flooring and decoration make the place seem a little lighter. It’s great to see the pub back open again and we wish Anne-Marie and her team every success. Chef and Brewer pubs are just finishing a month-long beer festival and offer a 10% discount for CAMRA members (see www.chefandbrewer.com/offers/camra). Apart from the Griffin, you should be able to get that discount at the GEORGE on Loddon Bridge Road, Earley, and the OLD BELL in Grazeley Green.

EARLEY The SPORTSMAN on Shinfield Road has been serving real cider from boxes. We believe it’s from Westons but don't know the name. At the MAIDEN OVER in Silverdale Road, landlord Warren Heskins is offering customers on the ale trail entry into a prize draw, plus 15% off the pie menu. The pies are getting good reviews, and the full range of Tutts Clump ciders is now available in bottles.

READING The NAGS HEAD on Russell Street celebrated its win in our branch Pub of the Year award by hosting the latest of its Tap Takeover nights. This time the beers were from Pixie Spring and Hopcraft breweries in Wales. A wonderful night was had by all. © Tim Thomas, West Berkshire CAMRA

Down the road at the FOX AND HOUNDS (Gosbrook Road), there are now eight handpumps dispensing a variety of local ales and beers from further afield. Real cider and perry is available too, and Kevin has introduced a Landlord’s Special: Beer of the Week. Quiz night on Thursday continues to be wellattended and fun.

BRIDGES Club by Caversham Bridge is closed until further notice owing to flooding. The bar appears intact but is seldom, if ever, seen to be open. We’d like further reports on this so please keep an eye out and let us know.

Ted and Jody from the Nags Head, with Tom and Gazza from Pixie Spring / Hopcraft CONTINUED OVERLEAF

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PUB NEWS CONTINUED Savills has sold the freehold of the closed WOODLEY ARMS on Waldeck Street to Oakmount Property Investments for £305,000. The buyer is a property development company and we expect a proposal for residential use of the site. With the area suffering from parking problems, it’s likely that there will be local objections. This former Greene King pub was a 1970s-built replacement for an earlier pub in the area that was demolished, and inside it was almost like a time capsule. If Sam Tyler from Life on Mars had had his car crash in Reading rather than Manchester, he’d probably have woken up in the Woodley Arms. Also for sale on behalf of Greene King is the QUEENS ARMS in Great Knollys Street. £695,000 was the asking price for the freehold at the time of writing. O'NEILLS on Friar Street has gained two handpumps. Doom Bar and Brakspear Oxford Gold were available on a recent visit. Both were served through sparklers and both a bit cold, but the quality was good: 3 on the National Beer Scoring System. This scale runs from 0-5 and consistent scores of 3 equate to “good enough for entry in the Good Beer Guide”.

Paul Gabbott has taken on the lease of the RETREAT in St Johns Street. 3-4 ales and normally a real cider are available. We hope that the future of this iconic pub is now more secure and wish Paul every success. The ELDON ARMS in Eldon Terrace has new beer lines and pumps, and is now offering a guest beer alongside the regular ales from Wadworth. CAMRA members get a 5% discount on real ale and cider.

SULHAMSTEAD The SPRING Inn on the A4 is reported as closed and boarded up.

TILEHURST Mark and Chrissie East are doing an excellent job at the BUTCHERS ARMS in Lower Armour Road. The place has been redecorated throughout, there’s a bar billiards table, they have just received Cask Marque accreditation, and Mark says that real ale now makes up 28.5% of sales. Three handpumps are in use – for Doom Bar, Good Old Boy and a guest ale.

Some of the previous ales on offer at the Royal Oak

The ALLIED ARMS on St Mary's Butts is holding its next real ale festival between 2831 May. 25 ales and ciders are promised over the course of the four days.

At the ROYAL OAK in Westwood Glen, building works have uncovered a fireplace that now takes pride of place in the upper bar. Four ales are available with often a local offering, and CAMRA members get a discount.

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WARREN ROW The planning application to convert the SNOOTY FOX into a private house was refused by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, on the grounds of loss of the only pub in the village. We understand that an appeal is likely to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. BREWERY NEWS

ASCOT ALES Anastasia’s Exile Stout won Silver in the Stout category in the Champion Winter Beer of Britain contest, held at the National Winter Ales Festival. This means it’s been judged as the second best stout in the country. It came after Ascot swept the board at the regional South East judging round, where the 5% Exile Stout came first and the 8% Imperial Stout came second. The 1,000th brew at Ascot was Alligator Ale (4.6%). To celebrate, there's a limited stock available of a special dry hopped version of Golden Ale. In addition to the regular Cascade hops, 1 kg of Waimea were added to give an extra citrus aroma.

BINGHAMS The latest beer from Binghams of Ruscombe is a 5.0% porter – Bricks and Mortar. This is a malty, smooth-drinking porter with a deep tawny colour. The name is inspired by the fact that the brewery is built on the site of a former brickworks. Brewery tours are available on Saturdays at 3pm. For £10 per person you get a guided tour plus four pints of beer. These tours are very popular and so they need to be prebooked. See the advert in this issue for contact details.

LODDON The monthly special for March is a 4.0% golden ale, Hare Brained. You'll just have

missed the Spring Open Night but the date for the Summer event should be available soon. The price includes beer and hot food, and you can chat to the team about the brewery and brewing process. Plus the Kennet Morris Men should be dancing there.

SHERFIELD VILLAGE In the last issue we reported that students from the Reading University Real Ale Society had been collaborating with Sherfield Village Brewery to produce their own beer. The result was Extra Curricular at 5.4%. There's more about this excellent brew in the Small Beer section of this magazine.

SIREN CRAFT The “beer cellar” is home to some brews laying down in barrels re-used from elsewhere, that should add some amazing flavours to the already excellent ales. We’re told that among the barrels used are those infused with bourbon, armagnac, tequila and madeira. This is a brewery that, when they do a particular flavour, they do a fullon version of it. The beers have been more widely available in good free houses in Reading recently.

WEST BERKSHIRE Good Old Boy will be available as a trial at three Reading FC home games this season. See

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BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED elsewhere in this issue for more details. This year the monthly special beers are all named after old English insults. Coming up for April is Jargogle (one who is likely to confuse, jumble; jargogle your thoughts) – this is an espresso porter at 4.3%. May’s special is Cousin Betty (a deranged woman), which is a 3.4% mild – pale, low in hop character and with a gentle maltiness.

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every other month from 7pm to 9pm. As well as enjoying the beers and chatting, members are able to learn more about the brewery, plus listen to occasional guest speakers and enjoy guest ales. Look at www.webrew.co.uk/main/knight-club for more details. Zinzan’s drop (4.0%), an “all black” beer, has been available to celebrate the Six Nations rugby. 5p for every pint is donated to Windsor Youth Rugby.

On the bottled front, we’re told that a range of bottled special beers is in development, two of which are to be released in April: Maharaja’s IPA (5.9%) and Gold Star (a honey beer). The other big recent news is the brewery share offer which, unfortunately, has now closed.

WINDSOR AND ETON Membership of the brewery’s Knight Club is now available, offering special events, discounts and unique merchandise to members.

ZERO DEGREES Golden Ale is now available in 5 litre mini kegs alongside the brewery's other beers. This 5% ABV brew is dry hopped with hand selected German hops. They come from the Bavarian brewery of Schoenram and their famous brewmaster Eric Toft.

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The Butchers Arms, Tilehurst Mark and Chrissie have risen to the challenge of running a suburban local. Their increasing proportion of real ale sales is testament to the expertise and passion they brought with them. Their previous pub (the Rowbarge in Guildford) regularly featured in the Good Beer Guide and was Surrey’s Pub of the Year in 2012. Mark is determined that The Butchers Arms will get similar recognition and, from what I’ve seen, they’re well on the way. In conclusion, it’s well worth a visit – several visits in fact! The suburban local is becoming an endangered species and taking one on must be seen as a challenge. In November, Mark and Chrissie East accepted this challenge and took over The Butchers Arms in Tilehurst. Before the month was out, there were rumours of high quality ale to be found on Lower Armour Road. I decided to check out these stories for myself.


For those unfamiliar with The Butchers Arms, it is a traditional two-bar back-street local. They have no issues with unfamiliar faces; I’ve visited a couple of times and been warmly greeted by the customers as if I was a regular. There are TVs for those who like to watch sports with their pint and darts and bar-billiards for those who prefer to participate. Three ales are on hand pump; Sharp’s Doom Bar and West Berkshire’s Good Old Boy are the regulars, with a guest from Enterprise’s list. Some wonderful news here is that they have permission to offer local ale as their guest once a month and real cider may feature in the future. I found that not only were the tales of great ale true, if anything, they didn’t do justice to the very high standards I experienced. The first Good Old Boy that Mark served me proved the excellent quality and also raised my opinion of West Berkshire’s beers!

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3 West Berkshire Ales 5 Guest Ales Real Cider, Perry and Mead Local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2014 Runner Up Local CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2013 Pub quiz first Monday of the month

2 Broad Street Reading, RG1 2BH

01189 508119 the-alehouse-reading.co.uk enquiries@thealehousereading.com

A Community pub in the e heart of Reading e

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Follow us on twitter @AlehouseReading

Sport and ale always go hand in hand, and here’s some exciting news for fans of both Reading FC and Bracknell Town FC.

READING Due to popular demand from supporters, a three match trial of West Berkshire beer will be in place for Reading FC’s home games against Yeovil, Huddersfield (29 March) and Burnley (3 May). Fans can find the pop-up brewery bar outside the East Stand at the Madejski from midday on these match days, and it will be open until half time if stocks last. Pints of Good Old Boy will be priced at £3.50. Royals Head of Commercial Sales Adam Benson said: “As a club we are proud of our strong links with the town, and this will be a local beer brewed using local products. Breweries have been part of our local area for hundreds of years, there was even a brewery sponsoring our shirts when we lifted the Simod Cup! We hope fans will enjoy sampling Good Old Boy and that this is something we can continue with in the long term.” Head of Sales at West Berkshire Brewery, James Tomlinson said: “As a Brewery we are very excited to supply the fans of Reading FC with our award winning beer, Good Old Boy, at these three games. Our fermentation tanks were purchased from the Old Courage site and we feel that we are bringing our beer back home. We are sure that you will enjoy the beer and the matches too!”.

BRACKNELL Bracknell Ale and Wine Festival, sponsored by Think Ford, returns for its fourth year on Sunday 25 May 2014 at Bracknell Town FC’s Larges Lane ground. This is not a CAMRA event – it's run by volunteers to raise money for the football club – but looks worth a visit. Over 20 beers from local breweries are promised, together with an expanded range of cider, and wine from Wokingham based TheWinePlace.co.uk . Windsor & Eton Brewery will brew a special festival beer named in honour of club secretary Darrell ‘Dudley’ Freeland who is waiting on a heart transplant. All money raised from its sale will go to a charity of his choice. For the first time, the festival will take place in marquees on the club's pitch, and live music will continue all day with a range of acts to suit all tastes. Tickets are priced at £5 adults, £2.50 for OAPs and FREE entry to CAMRA members with a valid membership card. Visit www.bracknellalefestival.co.uk for more details.

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Small Beer A roundup of news and information... NATIONAL PUB OF THE YEAR

that being named the overall Pub of the Year is a massive achievement: “The Swan with Two Necks really is the best of the best, having beaten rival pubs at every step. It is a wonderfully welcoming pub that serves a fantastic pint, and is popular with regulars and visiting tourists alike, in a quintessentially British, rural setting.”

Colin Valentine, CAMRA Chairman (left) presenting a plaque to celebrate the Swan with Two Necks winning National Pub of the Year. The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, Lancashire, has beaten off competition from over 57,000 pubs across the UK to be crowned CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year. Landlord Steve Dilworth said: “We’ve been at The Swan with Two Necks for twenty seven years and think of it as our hidden gem. This is a fantastic achievement not only for ourselves but our dedicated staff and a great boost for our community.” Pubs are judged by CAMRA on a variety of criteria such as atmosphere, level of service, value for money and community focus, with extra weighting of course given to the quality of their real ale, cider and perry. Any landlords looking to make their pub the best in Britain might want to take note of Steve’s somewhat unorthodox advice on getting the best out of his real ale, as he claims: “Talking to the barrels has finally paid off!". CAMRA’s Pubs Director Julian Hough said

To win the National Pub of the Year competition The Swan with Two Necks first had to win its local competition, then fight off tough competition at the regional stage, to finally be put forward as one of four finalists – and then of course be named overall winner. A process which takes a full 12 months and hundreds of hours of judging by dedicated CAMRA volunteers and competition judges. In our area, we're proud to say that Reading's Nags Head won the regional round of the contest and reached the final 16 in the country, a fantastic achievement.

LOCAL PUB OF THE YEAR And now the process starts all over again! Earlier this year local CAMRA members visited the contenders for our Branch Pub of the Year award 2014. After all the scores were added up They’re going to need a new sign the winner emerged as … the Nags Head. This is a perennial favourite and well-deserving of the award. Pushing the Nags close in runner-up spot was the Alehouse. It's nice to see some good

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SMALL BEER competition for this award and the scores reflect the continual improvements Katrina has made to her pub since taking over. Other pubs in the running but who missed out this year were (in no particular order): the Swan in Three Mile Cross; the Royal Oak in Tilehurst; the Hop Leaf in Reading and the Bell in Waltham St Lawrence. All six are well worth a visit.

The criterion for accreditation as defined by the local CAMRA group is “Real ale brewed within 30 miles of Kings Meadow is ordinarily on sale at all times”. Outlets wanting promotional information should get it soon, if they haven't already. We will be refining and adding to the list as they year goes on so, if you know of somewhere that meets the criterion above, and isn't on the list, please let us know.

The Nags, as before, now goes through to the regional round of the competition.

LOCALE UPDATE The initial list of accredited LocAle outlets for 2014 in our branch area is:

Caversham Caversham Earley Hurst Knowl Hill Pangbourne Reading Reading Reading Reading Reading Reading Reading Reading Ruscombe Streatley Theale Three Mile Cross Upper Basildon Waltham St Lawrance Wargrave Woodley

Baron Cadogan Fox and Hounds Maiden Over Castle New Inn Elephant Alehouse Allied Arms Bel and the Dragon Greyfriar Grumpy Goat Monks Retreat Nags Head Zerodegrees Royal Oak Swan Hotel Crown Swan Red Lion Bell Greyhound Good Companions

STUDENTS As reported in Pub and Brewery News, the Reading University Real Ale Society (RURAS) has been busy working with Sherfield Village Brewery to produce their own beer. Extra Curricular at 5.4% was the result, and word soon spread that this was the first time that a beer brewed by students had been on sale at a university. Such was its fame that BBC South Today broadcast live from the university Senior Common Room. JD from RURAS, Pete Cook from the brewery and Brian Jones from CAMRA tasted the beer on air, pronouncing it to be “the intelligent drinker's pint”. The rest of us got to try it a few days later in pubs in town. As an unfined beer it can be a bit cloudy, and that may put some people off, but on the flip side it does make it suitable for vegetarians. Experience shows that it's a beer that benefits from being laid down for a while – beer from a cask tried a few weeks later had a much more smooth and mellow taste. We're looking forward to RURAS’s next collaboration.

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20th Reading Beer and Cider Festival 2014

The Reading Beer and Cider Festival will be returning to King’s Meadow from Thursday 1st May to Sunday 4th May, for our 20th festival! This year we hope to have a range of over 500 real ales and 150 real ciders from across the UK, including a good selection of locally produced products. An impressive selection of Foreign Beers from across Europe and Great British Wine, including locally produced Stanlake Park will also be available. A pub quiz will be running on Thursday with a range of great prizes to be won. On Friday and Saturday sessions a full line-up of local live music and entertainment will be provided. Festival games and the Tombola stall will be running throughout the duration of the festival.

younger children, entertainment for children is provided through the “half pints” club. Although we have a more family focus on Sunday, anyone of course is welcome to attend.

OPENING HOURS This year we have no split sessions on Friday 2nd May, however due to demand the split sessions on Saturday will remain. Thursday: 4.30pm to 11pm Friday: 11am to 11pm Saturday: 11am to 4.30pm and 6pm to 11pm Sunday: 12pm to 8pm Please note that under 18s are not allowed into the festival without an accompanying adult and must vacate the festival by 8pm.

Sunday is family day with a more relaxed environment suitable for families with

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TICKETS PACKAGES Two types of ticket can be purchased for the festival. On the door tickets can only be purchased on the day at the festival entrance. The ticket package includes entry, a complimentary festival glass and programme. Prices are £7.50 on Thursday, £10 on Friday and Saturday sessions, and £7 on Sunday. Advance Tickets are available to purchase through the festival website www.readingbeerfestival.org.uk . The advance package includes entry, a complimentary festival glass, programme and vouchers totalling two pints of real ale or cider. Prices are £14.30 on Friday, £17.30 on Friday and Saturday sessions, and £18.80 on Sunday. Vouchers can be used towards real ales of up to 6.0% or towards the cost of higher priced beer over 6.1%, foreign beer and Great British wine. CAMRA, EBCU and RURAS members will be entitled to an extra ½ pint upon producing their valid membership card at the entrance. A special offer this year will allow up to 250 members of the groups listed, an © Alison Cros


upgrade from a free ½ pint to one full pint. The total number will be split over the five trading sessions. Full details can be found on our website.

GROUP BOOKINGS Arrangements can be made for group bookings of 15 or more people. Please e-mail publicity@readingbeerfestival.org.uk to make an enquiry.

VOLUNTEERING A number of volunteers will be required to help staff the festival. If you are a CAMRA member and are interested in helping us out this year please take a look at the festival website for more information, or alternatively e-mail: staffing@readingbeerfestival.org.uk

FOR MORE INFORMATION Website – www.readingbeerfestival.org.uk Facebook – readingbeerfest Twitter - @readingbeerfest

ylor ©Mike Ta

Mark Johnston light.co.uk www.catch

The Grumpy Goat

Christmas saw the opening of a new ale and cheese shop at the Anne-Marie and Charlie Harris Arcade in in the shop Reading, which was greeted enthusiastically by locals, with punters at one point queueing outside to get in! The Grumpy Goat is the brainchild of AnneMarie Whitehouse and Charlie Beatty, who saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market: “Reading has an up-and-coming beer scene,” says Ann-Marie. “There are loads of new breweries opened over the last few years who brew tremendous beers but they don’t have much of an outlet for permanent off-sales in the area. Plenty of people would love to drink the beers but can’t find them stocked locally, so it made sense to give this a try”. Pairing it with fine cheese “seemed like an obvious combination, as the two go together so well!” Since opening, the Grumpy Goat has expanded its range to over 100 different beers and continues to grow. “We’ve got most of the local breweries now, there aren’t many left to source”, she says. Whilst most breweries are able to deliver direct, the ladies are happy to go the extra mile to source rarer brews “I was in touch with Adkins brewery the other day, and they said they were very small and didn’t

have the capacity to deliver bottles to us regularly. But the brewer did mention that he would be going to catch the game at the Madjeski on the coming Saturday and he would bring a case of beer down in his car which he’d hand over in the car park!” Shop stock won’t end up being static though, as the ladies are keen to source new brews as they appear, as well as having regional theme months (the Midlands was first to be honoured). There are also plans to hold tasting sessions, with the beardy boys at Siren Craft being signed up to help host the first. So, the obvious question; why call it the Grumpy Goat? “It was something that popped up early on and stuck! It's good because people seem to remember it!” We wish them well with the venture, and we’re sure that most local CAMRA members will be delighted to visit – often! Address: 8 Harris Arcade, Reading, RG1 1DN Phone: 0118 958 1765 E-mail: thegrumpygoat@live.com Web: www.facebook.com/TheGrumpyGoat Open: Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 18:00

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Quinten Taylor


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More than 200 pubs across England, Wales and Scotland have been converted into supermarkets during the past two years. Tesco has been responsible for more than half of the 208 conversions identified since January 2012. In that period, Tesco has converted 110 pubs into convenience stores. Sainsbury has taken 29 and the Co-op 23, with smaller chains and independent operators making up the rest. The trend of about two conversions per week has remained steady for around four years. Two conversions a week – that means that, every week, two communities lose their pub for ever. In the Reading area we're not immune from this trend. Three recent conversions are shown in the pictures. Also the Rising Sun at Burghfield Common has recently been converted to a Tesco store, and Reading's Kings Tavern is now Davina’s corner shop. CAMRA is lobbying the government to tighten planning restrictions that currently allow pubs to be converted into restaurant, financial services or shop use without needing planning permission.

d, Reading Tilehurst Roa tside PH es W WAS: The o sc Te NOW:

Chief executive Mike Benner said: “Allowing pubs to be converted to supermarkets without planning permission is ludicrous, and something which the government need to address as a matter of urgency. The big supermarket chains appear to be targeting pubs for conversion despite the fact that these pubs are often profitable and popular. This behaviour shows a remarkable disregard for the wellbeing of communities that face losing their valued pubs – leaving local people powerless to step in." This isn’t the first time that CAMRA has called on the government to tighten planning restrictions. So far the government appears not to be listening, instead pointing towards other powers that it says local authorities can use to stop conversions, but which in practice are weak and ineffective. We need to keep up the pressure on this issue. One useful step a community group can take is to register its local pub as an Asset of Community Value. More than 300 pubs have been registered so far, including the Retreat and the Foresters in Reading. The ACV regulations offer local people a sixweek window to lodge an expression of interest if a pub is ever put on the market,

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community needs, wants and values its pub – and any decent council will be looking for evidence like that if it has to determine a planning application for pub loss.

Royce Longton followed by a four-and-a-half-month period for a full bid to be prepared. It only comes into play if a pub is to be sold, and it doesn’t override the planning system. But it does provide powerful evidence that the

Royce Longton (pictured left), who is a councillor in West Berkshire, has recently put a motion to his council in favour of protecting pubs. All bar one of the points was approved. This strengthens the position of any community wanting to save its pub in the West Berkshire Council area – can we hope for something similar in other council areas? Phil Gill

A charming 14th Century Country Inn between Maidenhead and Reading. The Inn serves a host of regularly changing Real Ales.

Join us for our Quiz Nights Winning team get a free round of drinks. No charge just a bit of fun! 8pm start

16th March, 6th & 27th April, 18th May, 8th & 29th June.

The beautifully refurbished Restaurant overlooks the garden and the Inglenook fire provides a warm and cosy setting. The Inn has 22 en-suite bedrooms - standard, superior and suites. One room is adapted for the disabled. Free wifi available throughout.

The Bird in Hand, Bath Road, Knowl Hill, Twyford, Berks RG10 9UP

Call: 01628 826622 / 2781 Email: info@birdinhand.co.uk Visit: www.birdinhand.co.uk

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Community Pubs Month - April 2014

Elephant & Castle 01189 340886 CAMRA will again be organising Community Pubs Month in April following the success of 2013’s event. This month of action gives pubs a campaign to focus promotions around and try some new marketing initiatives to attract more custom. We would like all pubs to take part by organising some fun events for the local community to enjoy in April and encourage pubs to try a variety of different communication methods of informing the locals of what is planned including press releases, social media such as Facebook & twitter, website, collecting local email addresses and sending regular e-newsletters, leaflet drops, adverts in other local amenities etc 26 pubs close every week. We do not want this situation getting any worse, so please encourage your friends (especially those that do not visit pubs regularly) to have a night out in one of your local pubs in April to show your support. Imagine if your local was one of the 26 to close next month! How will CAMRA support this event? We have produced some free promotional packs for pubs to use that will remind people how great pubs are. All pubs that feature in the Good Beer Guide 2014 will automatically be sent a promotional pack. Other pubs can order one by visiting communitypubsmonth.org.uk.

Completely refurbished inside and out.

Children Eat

FREE with any main meal order Monday to Thurs lunchtimes*


Serving two permanent ales alongside two changing guests on handpull. Freshly prepared home made meals served all week. See our website for serving times. Family friendly with patio, decked area and children’s garden.

2 meals for £9.95 with any meal order Monmain - Sat* Monday to Thurs *excl Banklunchtimes Hols

Dogs welcome in the bar and gardens.

Lodge Road, Hurst, Reading, Berkshire RG10 0EH



Serving London Pride permanently with weekly changing guest ales Bar Food Served Monday - Friday noon until 2pm

Hog Roast Specialists

Friday Fish Supp er



Ring for details

Regular Jazz Nights

The promotional packs will be sent out in February and March. CAMRA’s national press office will also issue a number of press releases to raise the profile of pub-going.

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27th March, 17th April and 8th May Marquee available for events Arborfield Road,Shinfield, Reading,Berkshire,RG2 9EA Tel: 0118 9884130

In January, CAMRA members from across the region made their way to London for a pub crawl. Organised exceptionally well by John and Sue Thirlaway, this is an annual event and always features some fantastic pubs as well as letting us see parts of London that most people don’t normally think about. This year’s destination was Bermondsey and the first stop was the Kernel Brewery. It's set in railway arches and there is a definite feeling of the “good and bad side of the tracks”. The walk from Bermondsey tube was though a 1980s council estate but, as soon as you crossed under the railway viaduct, it was full of smart types buying

16 December 1972

© Karen Sc utter

Then and Now - A Visit to Bermondsey artisanal goods and carrying them away in jute bags.

Seating was on trestle tables and there’s no way the brewery could be described as warm and cosy, but the beers made up for that and we found it difficult to drag ourselves away for the pub crawl proper! Plenty of good pubs and beer ensued, all within a small area just south of Tower Bridge. It’s interesting to contrast our experience with a visit made over 40 years ago. John Dearing takes up the story here, using his original notes made at the time:The former had a pianist, “The Castle” (Ind Coope). er and Peter Promises III also the latter with drumm er in Bournemouth during (a would-be pub entertain the writer’s youth).

Bridge, over the river, “…Thence to Blackfriars the echoful eerie subway under the railway bridge by to the Anchor. An attracand by way of Bankside at the Elephant and Finally… the Charlie Chaplin ch whi e rag Cou the re whe tively olde-worldified pub can say is ghastly – if Castle was visited – all I m the fro e com not did ly bab in his grave; some appeared [to] but pro were dead he’d be stirring plin Cha nce The th. soo pleasant for sound of his voice wood was drinkable, quite uld-be comic in love with the wo ous fam , pub old re genuine to the George, a much mo We saw a peculiar pub shouting jokes into a mike. r, bee the d; tro we ch whi nds, but of course for its gallery on ine and Orson on our rou se on name, the Valent Ro the to t Nex hy. ort Trophy, was less praisew did not venture in.” rrington house. Beer fair, Weston Street, a Bass Cha ” as Dewi put it being Orson has been a “hand operated juke box n adds: The Valentine and Joh m Far sley Bo that old operated by the bar staff; uld seem. Named after a boarded up for years it wo d. lude inc g bein k” the boo favourite “Every trick in e as a recently graduated mediaeval French romanc e known! BA in Eng Lit ought to hav ad, Ro t Ken Old the in s Next to two musical pub Down” (Watneys) and “The World Turned upside

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Life in the Middle East – all Camels and no real ale?

When I said farewell to my brother at Reading Moat House and headed off to work in Bahrain, I wondered what I was letting myself in for. Would I ever visit a pub again or drink real ale that I had so got used to in the UK as a CAMRA member? Would I ever get to read “Mine’s a Pint” or attend a Beer Festival like those I enjoyed so often as I worked around the UK? How would I cope without bacon, pork sausages, and carved ham at Christmas and snow and log fires? Well if any readers are wondering or considering a move to the Middle East the answer is that it is not as depicted in the Western media. From the start I have been made very welcome here by the Bahrainis and the expat community. We do have shops selling pork, and real ale to non-Muslims, and when my brother visited from Reading for my 50th birthday I organised GBBF1 – the first Great Bahrain Beer Festival! We had tee shirts with our logo designed by local artist Seana Mallen, beer glasses and even our own programme. As we raised funds for a local dog charity the suppliers all donated beer and the local Chinese restaurant donated the food at a discounted price. My colleagues set up bars in our Car and Sailing club, our company restaurant provided ice and some old baths mysteriously appeared to hold the beer bottles (we were unable to get draft real ale

sadly). The football and tennis club joined in with different beers sold at each. One of our suppliers, BMMI, provided a variety of raffle prizes and turned up on the day with their banners and promotional team, to let everyone know about their home delivery service of bottled real ale (London Pride, Abbot, Old Speckled Hen, Ruddles County and so on). Advertising was a little tricky as we have to be careful not to upset the locals and so we set up a website www.greatbbf1.com to advertise and a series of teaser posters were made by my colleague John with the website address on.

Artwork, beermats and more were dispatched by a good friend of mine and a staunch CAMRA supporter, Mark Johns (who also saves “Mine’s a Pint” and sends me a year's worth every Christmas, thanks

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Mark!). Overall it was a great night and my colleague John, who was in the UK at the time of the event held a simultaneous pub crawl with former real ale publican friends of mine, Dave and Lynda Green and gave them all our tee shirts to wear.

news from the UK. Cheers guys. I will buy you a pint when I get back! Neil Porter

Sadly we never got round to repeating the event but it certainly created an interest in real ale here. As for the pubs and the snow – they are in short supply here – but I really enjoy the sun and warmth, good working hours (7- 3.30 pm 5 days a week) and my free house and, best of all, working for two petroleum companies … free fuel! In fact bottled water is more expensive than petrol here. What more of an excuse do you need to drink real ale than that? So all in all expat life has a lot going for it and of course I am able to channel money back to the UK for my brother to invest so I can retire when I return to the UK in 2020. You can rest assured I will be visiting any remaining real ale pubs in your area then and attending your Beer Festivals. Finally I would just like to use your magazine to thank two people who make my life here so rewarding and keep me up to date with the real ale world. They are my brother Richard who lives in Reading, for looking after my investments so well, and Mark Johns for sending me the latest CAMRA

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Award-winning, family Cider makers since 2006 sales@tuttsclumpcider.co.uk www.tuttsclumpcider.co.uk Tel: 0118 974 4649 or 07836 296996

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