CAMPAIGN for REAL ALE
Pub & Brewery News Small Beer History of Lager Part Two Join CAMRA Behind the Bar… Swan Alcohol and Health
IN THIS ISSUE
CHAMPION BEER OF BRITAIN...
...AND IT'S A THE CAMRA MAGAZINE FOR READING AND MID BERKSHIRE ISSUE THIRTY NINE • AUTUMN 2016 • FREE - PLEASE TAKE A COPY
Branch Diary All events start at 20.00 and are open to everybody unless specified.
Thu 8: Gala Awards Night. Eldon Arms, 19 Eldon Terrace, Reading, RG1 4DX. Presentation of branch and beer festival awards. Sat 10: Regional Meeting. Griffin, 10/12 Church Road, Caversham, RG4 7AD. 12.00 start. CAMRA members only. Thu 22: Branch meeting. Bell and Bottle, 37 School Green, Shinfield, RG2 9EE. CAMRA members only, please. Fri 30 Sep – Sat 1 Oct: Ascot Beer Festival at Ascot Racecourse. See ascotbeerfest.org.uk for details. You’ll need a ticket for the racing to get in - use the code “CAMRA2016” for a 50% discount when booking in advance. October
Thu 6: First Thursday of the Month Social. Details TBC but it will involve cider to celebrate Cider Month.
Contact Us Useful contact details for this magazine, CAMRA and other important things… Mine’s a Pint Circulation: 3,000. Outlets: Over 70 across the region. Editor: Phil Gill firstname.lastname@example.org 0771 455 0293 81 Addison Road, Reading, RG1 8EG Magazine published on behalf of Reading and Mid Berkshire CAMRA by:
Orchard House Media Ltd email@example.com For advertising enquiries please contact Jane Michelson: 01778 382718 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat 15: Loddon Brewery Open Day for CAMRA members and Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA Ale Traillers. See our website for more details. www.readingcamra.org.uk
Wed 19: Branch Meeting. Fox and Hounds, 51 Gosbrook Road, Caversham, RG4 8BN. Meeting in games room to the right of the bar. CAMRA members only, please. November
Thu 3: First Thursday of the Month Social. Alehouse, 2 Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2BH. Thu 10: Branch AGM. Griffin, 10/12 Church Road, Caversham, RG4 7AD. CAMRA members only – please bring your membership card. See www.readingcamra.org.uk for details of these events as they come available. For details of an event with no contact listed, to suggest an event or to receive e-mail updates of the branch diary, contact Rich Croton: email@example.com
Revitalisation – Next Steps CAMRA’s revitalisation project moves on. Thank you to everyone who came along to our consultation event on 25 June at RISC in Reading, and to everyone who has contributed online towards the project. The staff from CAMRA HQ who acted as facilitators at the meeting did a great job and, with almost 70 people attending, there was a good variety of different opinions expressed.
Now until end September: Regional consultation meetings continue. October – November: CAMRA HQ develops proposals using members’ feedback. December: CAMRA National Executive considers proposals. January – March 2017: Proposals are published. April 2017: Proposals will go to the CAMRA AGM in Bournemouth where members will be able to vote on them. It’s currently planned to allow all members to take part in the voting even if they cannot physically attend the AGM. More information will be available soon on this.
Social Secretary: Rich Croton firstname.lastname@example.org Contact for all other branch matters: Katrina Fletcher email@example.com 0779 401 9437
Local Trading Standards Reading Borough Council: www.reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3737 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 early December. Please feel free to submit copy or ideas by 4 November. 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 2016.
From the Editor 9 August 2016. A day that one local brewery will remember for a very long time. The day that a Berkshire beer was named Supreme Champion in CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain contest.
Here’s to all our local breweries and their wonderful beers. Cheers! Phil Gill - Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Binghams Vanilla Stout was triumphant in CAMRA’s flagship contest that sees real ales from all over the country compete over a series of months in local tasting panels and regional heats. The final judging was held at the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, and it was there that Chris Bingham's 5% stout came out on top. It’s the first time ever that a speciality beer has won the competition. This one, infused with vanilla and dark malts to create a smooth and dark beer, certainly won over the judges. CAMRA national director responsible for the Champion Beer of Britain Competition Nik Antona said: “This year all the judges commented on how high quality all the beers were in the final stages of the competition and what a wide range of styles and beers they had to try and choose between. Bingham's Vanilla Stout is packed full of comforting flavours and I'm sure it will be a popular Champion Beer Choice. It's great to see a speciality beer win the award for the first time in the history of the competition and our congratulations go to the brewery.” There are around 1,300 breweries in Britain so it's something very special for Binghams to be named as the best. All of us at Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA echo Nik’s congratulations and we wish Chris and all the team at Binghams every success – it’s a richly deserved award and we hope that it's the start of a much higher profile for the brewery. With brewing now at full capacity to fulfil the flood of orders, there’s a good chance that you’ll find Vanilla Stout far and wide across the country by now.
Contents Branch Diary
From the Editor
Pub & Brewery News Cider like it used to be Small Beer Behind the Bar Alcohol and Health Join CAMRA History of Lager in the UK
5-13 15 16-19 21 22-25 24 26-28
Good Beer Guide 2017
Pubs Guide Ajudicator
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Pub & Brewery News
Biscuit Tin, Reading Pub News
pub as an Asset of Community Value but later removed it from the register following an appeal by the owner.
ARBORFIELD The SWAN on Eversley Road (A327) has reopened and was offering Sharps Doom Bar and Adnams Broadside when we visited. The Broadside had been replaced by Greene King’s Morland Old Speckled Hen on a later visit. Happy hour is 4.30 – 6.30 on weekdays. Food is also available 12-4 on Sunday and evenings other days (not Mondays), and there's a patio-style garden. Look out for a planned beer festival later this year. The no. 3 Leopard bus stops close by. Also served by the Leopard bus is the BRAMSHILL HUNT on Bramshill Close, where the pub is offering a 20% discount to CAMRA members. It's now SIBA accredited with LocAle often available – a recent visit found Binghams Twyford Tipple and Loddon Reading Best on sale.
BURGHFIELD The latest in the saga of the BANTAM is that the appeal against refusal of planning permission was dismissed. This means that the pub can't be turned into housing. Oddly West Berkshire Council had registered the
CAVERSHAM The newest arrival on Caversham’s drinking scene is the TIPSY BEAN on Prospect Street. Two doors down from the Baron Cadogan, this is a cafe and wine bar that serves coffees until midday, and alcoholic drinks and food until 11pm. Craft beers are advertised, but the range when we visited was restricted to bottles from Brakspear, West Berkshire and a couple of others. The beer selection at the FOX AND HOUNDS on Gosbrook Road continues to impress, with 8 handpumps and 6 keg taps serving beers from microbreweries across the country.
PANGBOURNE Brent Guiblin has taken over the STAR with his business partners. It's open 12-11 every day and food is available all day. There's a pub garden at the back, and a meat raffle every Sunday. Sky Sports on two TVs show-
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PUB & BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED ing a range of sports including racing, and darts and pool are played. The great news is that real ale has been reintroduced for the first time in some years, with two changing beers from Greene King.
READING The BISCUIT TIN bar outside the station is up and running. On offer on a recent visit were West Berkshire Good Old Boy and Tutts Clump Reading Gold cider on cask, and two keykeg beers from Renegade – Craft Lager and West Coast Pale Ale. Both food and drink are sourced locally. The rooftop seating area is an interesting idea but suffers rather from a lack of seats! The performance and events area next door has so far been a viewing area for the Euros, a funfair and a beach, and is likely to change on a regular basis. There should be a new bar coming to town in the shape of the BOTANIST, which has permission to take over the long-closed Barclays Bank building in Market Place. Botantist is a small but growing chain with the nearest current outlets being in Marlow and Farnham. They advertise “a soon to be worldfamous selection of botanical cocktails, craft beers and ales, Champagne and wine. Food inspired by the deli, rotisserie and BBQ.” Live music in the evenings is also a feature of the current bars. No real ale is expected, with draft beers from the keg only.
The ALEHOUSE on Broad Street has some new branded glassware. Nine real ales are usually available (three from West Berkshire and six guests from microbreweries) along with a good range of cider and foreign bottled beers at this quirky pub. The THREE GUINEAS at Reading station is due to have a major facelift with a new “venue” bar in the basement and the main ground floor bar possibly reverting to an island arrangement like it was some years ago. Fullers are believed to want to change the clientele base and discourage sports fans from visiting. This is currently the regular pub for away football supporters and is also frequented by both home and away rugby fans on match days. The Second Autumn Beer Festival is coming up at the CASTLE TAP on Castle Street between 22-25 September. We expect a stillage in the back room with a great choice of real ales to enjoy, with doubtless some interesting but challenging flavours amongst them. There's also a special beer promised brewed in collaboration with Wild Weather Brewery. Coming up soon after on 30 September is “Cakes at the Castle”, an event in aid of the Macmillan Coffee Morning. The ROYAL ALBION on Oxford Road has been refurbished and we spotted a handpump that was serving (Greene King) Hardy & Hansons Olde Trip ale. The BUTLER on Chatham Street now carries two real ciders and the ale sales are reported to be going well. The old side room has been refurbished and is now incorporated into the main pub.
Excellent news came in July Photo © The Alehouse with the reopening of the FISH-
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PUB & BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED Three real ales are on offer at the SUN INN on Castle Street, with food (pizza and panini) available all day. There's also darts and a pool table, with opening hours being 12-12 Monday – Thursday, 12-1 Friday – Saturday and 12-11 on Sunday. RYND on Castle Street (no real ale) has closed although the businesses partners who run this bar and restaurant are looking to relocate to elsewhere in Reading. The premises look likely to become a games room PUBLIC READING. We expect beer, wine and cocktails to be available, accompanied by burgers, but don't hold out any hope for real ale.
ERMAN’S COTTAGE on Kennetside. Matthew Crook from the Greyfriar team has taken over the pub and is sticking with the previous successful formula with the quality and range just as good as before. Four handpumps serve a variety of beers from local breweries and a range of bottles is available, along with food. The place was packed on reopening night and we wish the new team all the best for the future. Latest plans to demolish the WOODLEY ARMS on Waldeck Street and replace it with student flats have been rejected by Reading Borough Council. The latest scheme was refused because of its height and size. The pub remains closed and has been for some time. The RISING SUN on Forbury Road is now for sale freehold via Fleurets. The owners Brakspear Pub Co have been trying to get a new tenant for the pub but have obviously now decided that they would rather sell it instead. The SPORTSMAN on Shinfield Road is offering a discount for CAMRA members of 25p off a pint of real ale. Since the Maidens opposite closed to become a Sainsbury's store, this is the only pub in the immediate area and plays an important role in local community life.
The COLLEGE ARMS on Wokingham Road has been renamed the PALMER TAVERN after nearby Palmer Park. A general refurbishment has seen redecoration, the raised area on the left as you go in removed, tables and chairs replaced and a kitchen area installed next to bar. One of the two pool tables has also been removed. Four ales were on sale on opening day: Greene King London Glory, Binghams Space Hoppy, Rebellion Smuggler and a House IPA which comes from Hardy and Hansons (one of Greene King's brands). Food comes in the form of burgers and hot dogs, which are cooked adjacent to the bar in full view. The lessees of the Palmer Tavern have also leased the THREE TUNS further down Wokingham Road. Following its refurbishment this feels clean and well presented, open and airy. The wall between the two original bars has been taken down and a lot of other improvements made. The pool table has gone and they have a revamped food menu.
SHINFIELD There’s a good range of ales available at the BELL AND BOTTLE including from some local breweries. A reader reported that Plain Ales Sheepdip (3.8%) at £3.20 was a great starter. He also found a “lovely garden, and Sky Sports at sensible volume”.
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PUB & BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED
STREATLEY On a visit to the BULL we found a special offer on Tuesday evenings, when all cask ale is £2.20 per pint after 8pm.
think that it's not worth asking! Read the feature in this issue to find out more about this historic village free house. Brewery News
ANDWELL King John Green Hop seasonal ale will be available at the end of September. The regular King John ale has been blended with fresh, local green hops to create a rich malty amber ale at 4.2%.
SWALLOWFIELD The CROWN has reopened under new licensees and we wish them well. Three beers were available when we first visited – Timothy Taylor Landlord, Fullers London Pride and (Greene King) Morland Old Speckled Hen – although the last of those had disappeared on a subsequent report. Food is available, and buses 7 (daytime) and 82 (evenings) stop outside. A map on the wall dated 1856 shows land close by being owned by Mrs John Simonds, presumably from the famous Reading brewing family. Interestingly, the Landlord in 1928 rejoiced in the name Nimrod Arthur Sharp.
Oktoberfest and Rhino Rye will be available during September and October. A 4.8% German festbier, Oktoberfest is brewed with German speciality malts and German hops. Rhino Rye at 5% is a Rye IPA, brewed with Rye malts to give a slightly spicy note. A good clean bitterness comes from the Chinook hops.
BINGHAMS The brewery is naturally at full capacity brewing the Champion Beer of Britain. You can expect to see Vanilla Stout at a pub near you as a number of wholesalers from across the country are placing orders.
The latest planning application for residential use of the RED LION on Church Street has been refused. The reasons were a shortfall in parking spaces and no provision for affordable housing. By our reckoning that makes four failed applications. The pub remains closed.
THREE MILE CROSS The SWAN is now offering real cider from Tutts Clump. This is mainly down to many requests that they received during this year's Ale Trail so, if you want something, never
The victorious team from Binghams, with Head Brewer Chris Bingham holding the trophy
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BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED
Rio Rye is a 3.8% golden ale that was released for 2016 Rio Olympics, and should still be available. This American style pale ale is brewed using three types of malted barley and wheat to provide a subtle toffee flavour balanced with the American influence of Chinook hops to provide a spicy and mild citrus aroma.
CHILTERN The brewery has done really well in the annual food and drink Great Taste Awards. Every one of their bottled beers currently holds a Great Taste Award, with the total number of stars won over the years being 27. This year 300’s Dark Old Ale (5.0%) won two Gold Stars, with Gold Stars for Glad Tidings Winter Stout (4.6% - available from October with well balanced aromas of orange and spice), John Hampden’s Golden Harvest Ale (4.8%), Lord-Lieutenant’s Cream Porter (6.0%) and Monument Gold Pale Ale (3.8%). On the draught side, special ales in September are the seasonal Copper Beech Autumn Ale at 4.4% and limited edition Kop Hill Ale at 3.7%, brewed to celebrate this famous sporting car event. In October it’s award-winning 300’s Old Ale at 4.9% and a brand new claret red ale, Red Rye Beer at 4.0%, with gentle roast and hop aromas.
ELUSIVE BREWING The Fleet Lions 10th Anniversary Beerfest in August voted Elusive Brewing as their “Beer of the Festival”
An exclusive opportunity for CAMRA members and Ale Trailers is coming up. On Saturday 15 October Loddon Brewery are throwing open their doors for a special open afternoon. It's an opportunity to visit the brewery and chat with the staff, enjoy a good range of beer at £2 a pint, see the brewkit, buy some bottles to take away and generally chill in (hopefully) the sunshine. Arriva run an hourly bus service to Dunsden Green (catch the 800 from Reading and get off at “The Green” stop – last bus back is at 18.30) or there's free parking if you have a designated driver. Look at readingcamra.org.uk for more details. The brewery has become a collection point for the CookCurryClub. Based in Berkshire, near to the brewery, the CookCurry Club was started by Kran in 2012 to bring freshly prepared home-cooked Indian food for takeaways and dinner parties. She makes the food that most Indian people eat in the comfort of their own homes, with all meals prepared freshly that day using locally sourced ingredients. If you fancy ale and curry – and it's certainly a good combination – then visit www.thecookcurryclub.com, select Loddon Brewery as your collection point, choose what you fancy and then pick up your curry and some beers from the brewery.
REBELLION 24 Carat is the latest seasonal from Rebellion, and should be available by the time you read this. The beer is packed full of new world hops which deliver a bittersweet flavour and fruity aroma, typical of American Pale Ale. It's an ideal beer to serve with food, especially spicy dishes. Once available it should be around until Roasted Nuts Extra arrives in time for Winter and Christmas.
SHERFIELD VILLAGE The brewery are supplying beers to the Sherfield Beer Festival on 24 September.
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BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED Open from 11.30am to 11pm in the village hall in Sherfield on Loddon, the festival features more than 40 beers and ciders, mainly from local breweries with a few from further afield. Hot and cold food is available, and there’s live music all day.
SIREN CRAFT The launch party for the Rainbow Project 2016 is being held at the brewery in Finchampstead on 17 September. This is a collaboration project between British and New Zealand breweries. From the UK this time out Siren Craft are joined by Beavertown, Burning Sky (making their Rainbow Project debut), Hawkshead, Partizan, Magic Rock and Wild Beer Co. Their New Zealand counterparts are 8 Wired, Fork & Brewer, Garage Project, Liberty Brewing, Panhead, ParrotDog and Yeastie Boys. All seven Rainbow Project beers will be on tap along with special beers from all the breweries involved, and Rainbow Project mixed cases available to purchase.
VALE On 18 August some of the volunteer helpers from the Reading Beer and Cider Festival visited the Hop Pole in Aylesbury, to present Vale Brewery with one of the Local Beer of
A charming country pub. The friendly & relaxed atmosphere welcomes locals, families, walkers, dogs & cyclists alike • Cosy seating area with wood burner • Ideal for walks & to hack to, very near the Knowl Hill bridle path • Home-made food served Mon - Fri 12-3pm & 6 - 9pm, Sat - Sun 12-9pm • Sunday Roast from 12 noon to 3pm
Left: Dave, the brewer from Vale and right: Ian, the landlord of the Hop Pole Inn, receiving their award from Brian Jones. Picture by Peter de Courcy.
• Beer garden overlooking fields
01628 822 010 Knowl Hill Common, Berkshire, RG10 9YE
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BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED the Festival Awards. Their beer Gravitas came out on top in the judging for the category of beers of between 4.2% and 4.9% ABV. At 4.8%, Gravitas is a strong pale ale with hop and citrus flavours, rounded off with a dry, biscuity finish, and has a pronounced hop aroma.
WEST BERKSHIRE West Berkshire Brewery have added three new awards to their ever expanding trophy cabinet. Two gold awards were won at the Society of Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) South East competition in July where Tamesis Extra Stout and Maggs’ Magnificent Mild both came out on top in the small pack category. The competition was judged by over 90 beer experts made up of fellow brewers, supplier
associates, members of the press, local CAMRA members and beer enthusiasts. Will Twomey, West Berks Head Brewer, said: “We are very proud of our range of beers and this achievement is a testament to the teams’ hard work and dedication.” Also successful is the new 4.2% wheat beer Wheaty McWheatface, which has won the Imbibe Live Wheat Beer Challenge. Held at London Olympia – the home of the Great British Beer Festival – over 34 contestants from up and down the country had been whittled down to five by an expert judging panel in the first round. It was then up to the audience at Imbibe Live to pick the overall winner. “He nailed the wheat style”, said the chair of judges Mark Dorber, the show’s beer and cider ambassador. He added: “The balance was exemplary. It was crisp, fresh
3 West Berkshire Ales 6 Guest Ales German & Belgian Beers Real Cider, Perry and Mead Local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2014 Runner Up Local CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2013 & 2014
2 Broad Street Reading, RG1 2BH
A Community pub in the e heart of Reading e
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Follow us on twitter @AlehouseReading
BREWERY NEWS CONTINUED and spoke of English material.” The beer was named in a competition by James Moore, our very own branch web officer.
which had to settle for silver. Both beers won gold in their respective categories. There were also medals for Kohinoor in bottle (bronze) and cask Conqueror 1075 (silver).
XT The next open day at the brewery in Long Crendon, Bucks, is on Saturday 1 October, featuring family fun, music, food and of course lots of beer – free entry. The new XT IPA 4.2% hoppy pale ale is now available in 330ml cans. The brewery say: “Cans have slowly been growing in popularity with smaller brewers. Some people may associate the container with low brow fizzy lagers or as a high strength tipple for your local park bench – but the facts are that cans are really the perfect way to transport decent beer: light weight, compact, easily recycled, zero light damage, and totally flavour neutral .. so put any prejudice aside and give the cans a try.”
Image © West Berkshire Brewery This year’s Oktoberwest Bierfest is being held on 24 September. Open from midday to 11.30pm, the event features some of the best local bands and some of Bavaria’s finest brews alongside the host brewery's awardwinning real ales and craft beers. Visit www.wbbrew.com/oktoberwest for info and tickets.
WILD WEATHER Foxy Goat Head is the latest collaboration brew from this experimental brewery in Silchester. The Fox and Hounds, Grumpy Goat and Nags Head have got together and had a great day out at the brewery helping to make this golden hoppy ale. The 4.8% beer is based on Golden Cygnet from the old Two Bridges Brewery in Caversham. It's good to see Kevin from the Fox and Hounds still keeping his hand in with the brewkit!
WINDSOR AND ETON / UPRISING Both arms of the brewery saw success at the regional SIBA awards in July where Treason won its latest gold medal by being named best in show for bottled beer. It pipped Republika
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Good Cider as it used to Be Believe it or not, it is nearly 30 years since CAMRA published its first edition of the Good Cider Guide. This book first came out in October 1987, compiled, almost singlehanded, by cider enthusiast David Kitton. He had originally produced an earlier version, published by Virgin, but this was the first time that CAMRA had seriously promoted real cider and perry to the outside world, and it is interesting today to see how the cider industry has changed, by looking at the producers and outlets that were around in those days. There were around 80 producers listed in the Guide, although there were a lot more that were not included, but nothing like the hundreds of producers that you can find today, and only about a third of them are still going, with some areas having changed dramatically. One of the most remarkable changes has been in Wales. This country was traditionally a big cider and perry area, but when the Guide came out there were no known producers at all. Look how that has changed today, where there has been a big revival in cider and perry production and now several dozen makers.
But this meant little to Bulmers, who eventually bought them and closed them down, while still making a keg cider called Symonds Scrumpy Jack. Likewise, Bulmers did the same with Inchâ€™s in Devon, who had been making cider since the beginning of the 1900s. Once again, bought up and closed down. See, it isnâ€™t just breweries that do it. Those of you who have heard of Brogdale in Kent, who have the national collection of apple and pear trees, may not know that the cider apples and perry pears were originally at the Government-funded Long Ashton research Station in Bristol, and they made their own cider as well. In the East of England there was James White Suffolk Cider, no longer producing. When this Guide came out, it seemed that every other pub in East Anglia was selling it. And in Herefordshire, Westons was still producing and seen in many pubs throughout the country. But by far the largest number of outlets with cider (including a lot of off-licenses) were stocking Bulmers, so some things never change! Indeed, in those days Bulmers had even owned a small number of their own cider houses, which were sold off. The one at Quatt in Shropshire is the only one still open, although now independent.
Similarly Dorset, another traditional cider area, has taken off again recently, with a whole range of new producers. When the Guide was published, there were only two, and neither of them are still producing. Mill House at Overmoigne is now a museum, and has one of the most amazing collections of cider presses to be found anywhere. Likewise, Captain Thimbleby at Wolfeton House no longer produces, but the eccentric medieval and Elizabethan house is open to the public (at least it was the last time I checked).
But the list of producers who are no more is a long one. A lot of cidermakers were also farmers, and cider had been made for generations, and when they retired or died there was often no-one to take over the business. But luckily, as well as the hundreds of new producers, some of the family businesses are still there. So you can still say hello to makers like Roger Wilkins and Derek Hartland, both cidermakers in the old tradition, while welcoming all of the new ones as well.
There were, of course, a number of producers who were subsequently bought up and closed down by the big companies. One of them was Symonds in Herefordshire, whose family had been making cider since 1727.
And I hope that they donâ€™t mind me saying this, but thank goodness that a lot of the newer producers are just as eccentric as the old ones! Mick Lewis
Small Beer A roundup of news and information. ASSETS OF COMMUNITY VALUE
please ask them why as we honestly haven’t a clue why the council is being so antagonistic.
The Spread Eagle is the latest of our local pubs to be nominated as an Asset of Community Value. After it was put up for sale by owners Greene King for £550,000, we moved quickly to safeguard this Norfolk Road pub by putting in an ACV nomination. It's famous as the unofficial home of Robin Friday, former Reading FC star, who was often to be found in the bar just before and after games at the nearby Elm Park ground.
Last year we reported the sad case of the Carlton Tavern in London where, after being refused planning permission for redevelopment, a development company “CLTX” illegally demolished the pub. Luckily Westminster Council were on the case and enforced against the action, requiring the pub to be rebuilt in its original form brick by brick. The council said the demolition of the Carlton Tavern took place with no prior warning to the council, no approval and no proper health and safety procedures in place. At the time, the pub was being considered for listing by English Heritage.
The pub will continue to trade until any sale is complete and staff are keen to stress it’s business as normal while the pub is up for sale. Hopefully the ACV nomination will help to make sure that's the case. At the time of writing it was waiting to be determined by Reading Borough Council. Wokingham Borough Council continue to demonstrate their hostility towards the ACV process and towards community facilities in general and have refused applications to register the Castle in Hurst and the Thatchers in Woodley as ACVs. If you live in the borough and your councillor comes round,
The Carlton Tavern before its illegal demolition. Image © Geoff Brandwood The owners appealed of course, and a public inquiry was held in May this year. The result has now come through and the appeal was dismissed, with the Inspector saying “I see no reason from the information available
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why a detailed and accurate reconstruction could not be undertaken.” The company now has two years to rebuild the pub. Robert Davis, a councillor in Westminster, said the decision is a “just reward” for the work of all the local campaigners who fought to have the pub rebuilt. “Our planning officers and residents made a strong case in May at the public inquiry. I am pleased that we have won the battle and I look forward to seeing the Carlton Tavern turned back into a thriving community pub,” he said. “This sends a clear message to developers across the country that they cannot ride roughshod over the views of local communities.”
PUBS CODE The Government’s Pubs Code was finally introduced on 21 July. It governs the relationship between tied tenants and pub companies with more than 500 tied pubs and seeks to ensure fair and lawful dealing between pub companies and tenants. There are more details and information in an article in this issue.
OAKLEAF BREWERY This popular brewery from Gosport, Hampshire has gone into administration. The good news is that the brewery plans to continue to
LOCALE UPDATE Three more pubs and clubs are now accredited LocAle outlets for 2016. The Elephant and the Working Men's Club in Pangbourne, plus the Greyhound in Wargrave, have received the status as they sell local beer brewed within 30 miles of Reading. See www.readingcamra.org.uk for more details of the scheme, qualifying breweries and the other pubs that have been accredited for 2016.
trade for as long as possible or until a buyer is found. Their beers including Hole Hearted and Oakleaf Bitter have often been seen in Reading pubs and their loss will be keenly felt if a buyer isn't found. Local reports had attributed the closure in part to the rise in the number of microbreweries and it will be interesting to see whether any more of the longer-established micros suffer as yet more competition comes along. CONTINUED OVERLEAF
CROWD FUND YOUR CIDER Local cider producer Tutts Clump is looking for investment through the crowdfunding site Seedrs. The popular cidermaker from Bradfield uses 100% fresh pressed apple juice and the cider is sugar and gluten free.
Investor perks are: ► Invest £50 – get 10% off for one year ► Invest £150 – get 15% off for one year ► Invest £250 – get 20% off for one year ► Invest £1,000 – get 20% off for five years ► Invest £5,000 – get 20% off for life (whilst you remain a shareholder) Visit www.seedrs.com/tutts-clump-cider for more information.
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SMALL BEER - CONTINUED
GOOD BEER GUIDE 2017 Now in its 44th edition, the beer-lovers’ bible is fully revised and updated each year to feature recommended pubs across the United Kingdom that serve the best real ale. The GBG is completely independent, with listings based entirely on evaluation by CAMRA members. The unique breweries section lists every brewery – micro, regional and national – that produces real ale in the UK, and their beers. Tasting notes for the beers, compiled by CAMRA-trained tasting teams, are also included. This is the complete book for beer lovers and for anyone wanting to experience the UK’s finest pubs.
A UNIQUE, TRADITIONAL BAR
Serving London Pride permanently with weekly changing guest ales
Bar Food Served Monday - Friday noon until 2pm
Hog Roast Specialists Ring for details
Regular Jazz Nights 22nd Sept, 13th Oct, 3rd and 24th Nov Marquee available for events Arborfield Road,Shinfield, Reading,Berkshire,RG2 9EA Tel: 0118 9884130
RIVERMEAD ALE AND CIDER FESTIVAL A new beer festival is coming to Reading. The organisers of the Bracknell Beer Festival are branching out and hosting a new event at Rivermead. Coming up on the 24th and 25th September this is an event featuring local and national ales and ciders from independent breweries. Also featured are great music and a good choice of food. For more details and tickets visit their website www.rivermeadalefestival.co.uk.
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Mineâ€™s a Pint 20
Behind the Bar “33 not out” but thinking of declaring the innings. Chris Hinton talked to Vic and Jenny Harrison of the Swan at Three Mile Cross, to find out more about this historic pub and the changes that it’s seen over the years. Vic and Jenny Harrison have been at The Swan, Three Mile Cross, for the last 33 years and have seen the village grow dramatically in that time. In the last year alone, over 300 new dwellings have been completed and a further 100 houses are currently under construction, with another 243 to follow. Being the only pub in the village this is, of course, providing ever increasing turnover, but with it a much greater workload. The quiet village they came to has, in fact, become urbanised! Vic is already well past the normal retirement age, so perhaps now could be the time to consider selling. The Swan is believed to have been constructed in the early seventeenth century, started life as three timber framed artisans' cottages. Some fifty years later, two of the dwellings became used as an ale house, in those days known as “The Globe Inn”. In 1760 the property was sold for the princely sum of £24 and 10 shillings and renamed “The Three Sugar Loaves”. At that time it was used as a changing station for horses on the stagecoach route from London to Portsmouth. Mary Russell Mitford, the celebrated authoress and dramatist, came to live next door in 1820. In her famous book “Our Village” she referred to the pub as “The Rose Inn” although by that time it was actually known as “The Swan”.
This lovely old building, retaining many of its original features, sits proudly amongst the new development, providing a traditional environment in which to enjoy the wide range of beers, wines and home cooking on offer. Five real ales are always available including Timothy Taylor Landlord and Boltmaker, Fullers London Pride and Loddon Hoppit, together with the recently installed Tutts Clump Traditional Farmhouse cider. The Swan has received many awards for the large ornamental beer garden at the rear, with an outside bar and covered patio, used for alfresco dining and with a private barbecue area that’s open on request. Many motor and motorcycle clubs take advantage of the extensive car parking facilities. The pub is also the home of the Irish wolfhound who is the official mascot of London Irish Rugby Club, and a regular meeting place of their supporters. It’s Vic and Jenny’s desire that they will eventually be able to pass on “The Swan” to a new owner, who will in turn maintain the traditional pub atmosphere and the personal service they have provided for so many years.
Local Landlords Do you have a story to tell and want to promote your pub? Get in touch – the details are on page 3 – and you could feature in a coming issue of Mine’s a Pint.
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Alcohol and Health Some more thoughts on the Revitalisation project
I am convinced that CAMRA is missing a trick. Those in a position of influence seem to think (and it is easy to see why) that the medical profession is dead against all alcohol consumption and therefore our sworn enemy. I don’t believe this to be the case at all and over the years have met many doctors who have enjoyed the odd tipple, shall we say. What they actually object to is the health aspect of drinking to excess and the effect that binge drinking, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, has on hospital A&E departments. We have all seen TV programmes about frazzled livers, legless girls in the gutter and assaults on hospital staff, etc. But I am pretty sure that the vast majority of CAMRA members would actually agree with the views of the medics. Now there’s a bit of a coincidence, don’t you think? I believe that CAMRA should make this position know and indeed shout it from the roof tops. I see a lot to be gained by making peace with the medical profession and, better still, having them on our side. Maybe at the moment they are not in the Government’s
good books but under normal conditions they have an enormous lobbying influence on government – almost as much as the all-powerful supermarkets. Shouldn’t we get them round to our way of thinking that drinking in the controlled environment of the public house is far preferable to knocking back cheap supermarket booze at home slobbed-out on the sofa in front of the telly or, worse still, preloading and then going out on the town already well oiled? Recent changes in legislation have relaxed things, but until not that many years ago when almost all alcohol was consumed in the pub, it really was a controlled environment where the landlord or landlady had the absolute right to refuse to serve someone without giving any reason. More than that they had a legal obligation to refuse service to someone who they believed had already had too much. And even worse, they could lose the pub’s licence (and their livelihood) if the police had found that they habitually served drunks.
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ALCOHOL AND HEALTH All the same, although few people are aware of it, even today a licensee could be fined £1,000 for “Knowingly selling or attempting to sell or supply alcohol to, or allowing alcohol to be sold to, someone who is drunk” or “Knowingly allowing disorderly conduct on relevant premises”. Even more interesting, a customer could be fined £1,000 for “On relevant premises, knowingly obtain alcohol for consumption on those premises for a person who is drunk” and £200 for “When drunk or disorderly, failing to leave relevant premises when asked by a constable or other relevant person, or attempting to enter or re-enter having been asked not to”. So, yes, it still is a controlled environment. What I would dearly love to see would be a two-tier duty system where all alcohol not for consumption on the premises (from wherever bought) carries a higher rate of duty; let’s say the equivalent of at least £1.50 for a pint at 4%. The justification would be the “controlled environment” argument although to be effective the rules would have to be properly enforced particularly in the large late-night establishments where, these days, it seems, anything goes. The big problem is I can already hear the uproar from the supermarkets and, no doubt the Eurocrats would declare it anti-competitive and contrary to the Treaty of Rome. I can see a way round this, however. Instead of the surcharge being in the form of “duty”, it should be collected at the point of sale and go straight to the A&E department of the local hospital. A fancy name for the surcharge could easily be invented such as The Alcohol Health Levy or some suchlike. The medical profession from top to bottom would love it and it would be very hard to argue against as it would raise a huge amount of money for where it is desperately needed. The supermarkets could even, through gritted teeth, bask in the glory of having collected so much for “their” NHS.
The gain from CAMRA’s, that is to say our, point of view is that by cutting the pub / supermarket differential by £1.50 a pint there would be significantly less incentive for drinking at home which should increase footfall in our pubs. This would improve their viability and, I would like to think, reduce the rate at which they are being closed as well as maybe getting people back into the habit of pub going. Who knows, increased turnover might even allow pubs to bring down their beer prices! Of course there would be one heck of a reaction from the supermarkets, the “bargain booze” chains and all the corner shops. Well, my reply is that they were only able to get into their dominant position by exploiting changes in legislation. It’s tough luck if the legislation changes again; these things happen all the time in business and new opportunities open up. How about the more enterprising shops re-inventing themselves as micro-pubs? Laurence Hansford
Laurence’s thoughts fit well with recent figures released by CAMRA, that show that more than half the public disagree with official health guidelines on alcohol consumption. Of 2,040 people surveyed by YouGov, 61% agreed that moderate alcohol consumption could be part of a healthy lifestyle. 51% disagreed with the Chief Medical Officers’ decision that alcohol guidelines should be the same for men and women. CAMRA is calling for the Department of Health to launch a new public consultation into whether alcohol guidelines are fit for purpose and evidence based. Chairman Colin Valentine said that the figures show that government advice on drinking is at odds with common sense.
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ALCOHOL AND HEALTH - CONTINUED “If the government wants people to take the guidance seriously then it needs to present people with realistic and believable advice, which they can use to judge their own risk when it comes to responsible drinking”, he said. “If the public feels, as our figures suggest, that the guidelines are not credible and lack evidence, the danger is they will increasingly just ignore them. There are decades of international scientific evidence showing that moderate drinking can play an important part in a healthy and happy lifestyle. We'd like to see that research reflected in a more grown-up approach to help adults understand the risks and benefits associated with drinking.” There are numerous scientific studies showing that moderate drinking can have a protective effect against various health problems including cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and certain forms of cancer. However, this is ignored in the new alcohol guidelines, which focus solely on the harmful aspects of alcohol.
Also ignored are the social and community benefits of responsible drinking. This year the Friends on Tap report from Oxford University found that those who frequented a pub were happier, healthier and felt more integrated in their communities than those who didn't have a local. The latest figures chime with research released by CAMRA in May which showed the majority of GPs also disagree with the Chief Medical Officers' statement that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. A poll conducted by medeConnect showed 60% of GPs surveyed disagreed with the statement made by the CMOs and two thirds considered that moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Phil Gill
A charming 14th Century Country Inn between Maidenhead and Reading. The Inn serves a host of regularly changing Real Ales.
The beautifully refurbished Restaurant overlooks the garden and the Inglenook fire provides a warm and cosy setting.
25th September, 16th October, 6th & 27th November and 18th December
The Inn has 22 en-suite bedrooms - standard, superior and suites. One room is adapted for the disabled. Free wifi available throughout.
Free entry. Winning team get a round of drinks.
The Bird in Hand, Bath Road, Knowl Hill, Twyford, Berks RG10 9UP
Call: 01628 826622 / 2781 Email: email@example.com Visit: www.birdinhand.co.uk
The Early History of Lager in the UK PART TWO: CONSUMPTION Paul Dabrowski concludes his look at the early history of lager in the UK with a focus on the consumption side. Lager initially gained a foothold in the UK after the 1867 Exposition Universalle in Paris where the Austrian brewer, Anton Dreher (pictured right), had erected a temporary beer hall. He had earlier perfected a successful combination between a bottom-fermenting yeast and English-style pale malt to create an amber-coloured beer, served cold in what became known as ‘Vienna’-style, and it proved so popular that eight-coach trainloads were reputedly bringing in fresh supplies on an almost daily basis. As a result, through an exclusive deal to import Dreher lager with a firm of London wine merchants, the demand for lager-style beers had become established, mainly to restaurants in the capital, with ‘Vienna beer’ thus having been first sold in London from 1868. Under various names, notably Darmstätters, the first dedicated lager
saloon opened on The Strand a year later, soon accompanied by another opposite soon afterwards, called The Tivoli, which, between them, supplied the brand over the next three decades. Other bars began to cluster around Piccadilly Circus with, notably, The Gambrinus, having two entrances on both Regent and Glasshouse Streets, opening prior to 1890. However, the first Bierkeller was later opened by the Bavarian brewery, Spaten of Munich, at Piccadilly Circus in the basement of the London Pavilion during one of the seminal years for UK lager brewing, 1891. Unsurprisingly, with the onset of World War I, the remaining ventures all disappeared. A further recreation of a German lager outlet, the Schlöss Keller, opened in The Strand in the 1960s serving genuine Bavarian lager. Spawning a dozen or so siblings during its
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LAGER PART TWO: CONSUMPTION - CONTINUED 1970s peak in the West End and surrounding districts of the capital, similar outlets also opened during that decade in other locations such as Leeds and Manchester. The latter city’s Löwenbräu Keller, in Piccadilly, was especially recommended. This resurgence probably marked a high point in the consumption of German-style lagers, the demise of which, no doubt, ultimately contributed to the formation of the Campaign for Authentic Lager in 1986. Amongst the many notable pubs in Scotland’s capital city is Bennet’s Bar at 8, Leven Street, Tolcross. It dates from 1891 and has, arguably, the second finest internal features of any after the Café Royal. Amazingly, one of the magnificent double entrance doorways from its 1906 refit still exhibits an intact pair of stained glass panels depicting flip-top bottles for ‘Jeffrey’s Lager’. This was brewed by John Jeffrey & Co., Heriot Brewery, Edinburgh (18371960). Bennet’s Bar is Scottish Grade B listed (equivalent to between Grade II & II* in England & Wales) and is also on CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. A pair of glazed doors to the extant ‘Bottle & Jug’ has similar panels for ‘W & J Jenkinson’s Bottled Beers & Aerated Waters, Leith’, a brewery of which little is known. The decline in traditional brewing of both beer and lager can be traced, in part due to heavy taxation, to the late-1940s when, at the height of the Government-sponsored post-Second World War export drive, the Hope & Anchor Breweries of Sheffield attempted to generate new markets for its products overseas.
Their exhibit at the Toronto Trade Fair even included the construction of a replica Rose & Crown pub which was based on the original at Hoylandswaine, near Penistone. The recreation involved the shipping of 15 tons of building materials across the Atlantic and, in attracting 50,000 visitors per day, supplies of their Royal Jubilee Stout soon ran out and more had to be hurriedly shipped in. The dubious fruit of this enterprise was a reciprocal trade agreement with Canada Breweries whereby H&A’s Jubilee Stout would be brewed under licence in Canada and the Sheffield brewery would produce Carling Black Label lager. And, whilst sales of their flavoursome stout soon waned, its fizzy counterpart gained popularity in the UK to such an extent that, even into the 21st century, Carling had become Britain’s top selling, albeit ersatz, lager. Prior to this trade deal, other foreign breweries (such as Carlsberg and Heineken), had periodically attempted to enter the British market but without diluting their indigenous strengths so that lager had become perceived as a niche product, particularly for women. Only once H&A (later to become a Bass Charrington subsidiary) had introduced their Carling derivative that matched the lower original gravities endemic in the UK since the First World War, did these and other producers start to gain the larger market share they’d always aspired to. This was achieved by compromising on both the periods allowed for maturation (or ‘lagering’) as well as their own lager strengths though, of course, latterly, there has been a trend to revert to original ABVs albeit marketed as ‘Export Strength’ when, in reality, they’re nothing of the kind.
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LAGER PART TWO: CONSUMPTION - CONTINUED Somewhat akin to two supreme ironies, that Canadian brand’s founder, Thomas Carling, had emigrated from Etton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, less than 12 miles north-east of the H&A brewery site at Wadsley Bridge, to Ontario in 1818 where, apparently, his brewing skills were soon put to good use. And then, John Jeffrey & Co. itself was subsumed by a company formed in 1959 to amalgamate their operations with those of Hammond’s United Breweries Ltd., Bradford, and those of the Hope & Anchor Breweries Ltd. in Sheffield. It was thus H & A’s bold sales mission of 1949 that had inadvertently paved the way
for the lager that crossed the pond all those years ago which, along with other breweries jumping onto the bandwagon with their less than genuine, adulterated, imitations, managed to transform the drinking habits of many Britons for decades thereafter to the detriment of the availability of the more genuine brew. Paul Dabrowski with acknowledgements to: Beer, Boak&Bailey, CAMRA; Built to Brew, Lynn Pearson, English Heritage; British Film Institute; Brewery Railways, Ian Peatty; and Where Have All the Breweries Gone?, Norman Barber, Brewery History Society CAMAL (The Campaign for Authentic Lager) may be of interest. Please visit www.camal.org.uk for more details.
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Pubs Code Adjudicator The Pubs Code came into force in England and Wales this year. The Code governs the relationship between tied tenants and pub companies with more than 500 tied pubs (currently Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns, Marston’s, Greene King and Star Pubs and Bars) and seeks to ensure fair and lawful dealing between pub companies and tenants. An Adjudicator is also in place to ensure that the Code is applied properly and to arbitrate on disputes between tied tenants and their pub companies. Referrals can now be made to the Adjudicator to resolve individual disputes under the Code.
BACKGROUND TO THE CODE AND ADJUDICATOR
KEY FEATURES OF THE CODE
The short term business practices of large pub companies have been damaging to the pub sector. This has severely impacted on the 13,000 tenants in England and Wales who are “tied” for the supply of beer and other products to their pub companies. In July 2015, The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act enshrined the introduction of a Pubs Code and Adjudicator in law. This marked the achievement of many years of campaigning by CAMRA and a range of licensee organisations to give tied licensees a fair deal.
Access to a Market Rent Only Option The Market Rent Only Option (MRO) allows tied tenants to request a free-of-tie offer from their pub company in certain circumstances, which if they accept will allow them to buy beer and other products and services on the open market. The ability for many tied tenants to have access to the MRO process ensures that within the Code, tenants will be able to obtain a free-of-tie rent comparison by requesting an MRO offer, and using that figure to re-negotiate their tied rent. This is the primary instrument by which the Code will achieve the principle that a tied tenant should be “no worse off” than a free of tie tenant. CONTINUED OVERLEAF
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PUBS CODE ADJUDICATOR - CONTINUED Access to a frequent and fair rent assessment Under the Code a tenant has a right to a rent assessment at least every five years or when their contract is up for renewal whichever is sooner - at which point they will be able to request a MRO offer. The pub company is required to provide detail and evidence setting out how the rent has been calculated. Significant increases for tied goods and services triggering the MRO process In the event of a pub company significantly increasing the price of a tied product or service, which they have previously been able to do arbitrarily, a tied tenant will be able to trigger the MRO process. This will ensure that pub companies cannot seek to quickly increase the prices of tied beer and other goods to extract money from tied tenants without triggering the tenant’s right to request a MRO option. Waiver from MRO in return for significant investment A waiver for tenants from the MRO process in exchange for significant investment in their pub is included in the Code. The Adjudicator and their Powers The Pubs Code Adjudicator has responsibility for enforcing the Code and has the power to arbitrate individual disputes between tenants and pub companies – including on rent disputes and MRO offers. This is an important form of redress for tenants. The Adjudicator also has the powerful and necessary power to impose fines of up to 1% of annual turnover on pub companies who are found to be in widespread breach of the Code – a vital deterrent to address previous attempts by pub companies to circumvent regulation. Paul Newby was appointed to the post of Pubs Code Adjudicator in May. Paul Ainsworth Chair, CAMRA Pub Campaigns Group
Please note: Referrals to the Adjudicator can only be made by a tied tenant or someone authorised to act on their behalf. If you are in contact with a tied tenant who may have been affected by a breach of the Code, urge them to contact the Adjudicator themselves or instruct representation to do so. Be aware that strict deadlines apply for referrals to the Adjudicator in relation to breaches of the Code and rent assessments / MRO offers, and that a £200 fee is required to be paid by the tenant at the time of the referral. The Adjudicator is only able to arbitrate on matters arising since 21 July 2016 the date that the Code came into force. The Adjudicator suggests reading the relevant factsheet from their website before making a referral: https://www.gov.uk/ government/collections/ pubs-code-factsheets
The opinion pieces regarding the Revitalisation Project in the last issue drew a response from John Robinson, who wrote in to give his thoughts: “I would like to give my full support to Laurence with his article regarding craft ales. Our original aim in CAMRA when I joined around the same time as Laurence, was to support real and live ale, not fizzy keg beers that were taking over at the bars in our pubs in the 1970s. Real ale should be a living ale continuing to condition in and served from a cask by hand pump or gravity, not out of a tap with CO2. If people wish and prefer to drink craft beers that is up to them but we and CAMRA should make our feelings clear. It is not real ale.”
The Autumn issue of the Reading and Mid-Berks Branch of CAMRA magazine.