Photos from last years Festival by Lewis J Brockway
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Marsh Mash Information Produced by the Ashford, Folkestone and Romney Marsh Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. (CAMRA) Circulation 1800 Editors: Bob Martin & Keith Johnson Email: email@example.com Telephone: 0845 388 1062 Contributors: Bob Martin, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Excel, Michael Line, Paul Meredith, Don Thake, Shirley Johnson & Keith Johnson Contributions, letters, pub reports and news are always welcome. Please write to Marsh Mash at: The Cottage, The Green, Saltwood, Hythe, Kent CT21 4PS, or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Views expressed are not necessary those of the editors, CAMRA Ltd. , or the Branch. The existence of this publication in a particular outlet does not imply an endorsement of it by AF&RM CAMRA.
Branch Contacts Chairman: Paul Meredith Treasurer: Stephen Rawlings Secretary: Bob Martin Membership Secretary: Virginia Hodge Branch Contact: Stephen Rawlings Telephone: 07885 218972 Branch Webmaster: Keith Johnson Pubs Officer: Justin Nelson Advertising: Bob Martin Website: www.camra-afrm.org.uk Yahoo Group : For all branch members http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/AFRM_Camra © Campaign for Real Ale 2012 CAMRA 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 4LW Telephone: 01727 867201 www.camra.org.uk
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Copy date for next issue is 3rd August 2012 Marsh Mash Spring 2012 Page 3
100 Years Not Out
The 21st September 1911 saw the Red Lion Snargate come into the hands of the Jemison family. In December to celebrate 100 years in the same family we presented Doris with an appropriate CAMRA certificate in commemoration of the event and for her continuing to serve cask ale in a climate where food appears to be replacing beer in the majority of our traditional pubs. The presentation by our chairman, Paul Meredith, was attended by other members of the branch, members from Maidstone and a good selection of other customers, which was well received by Doris and Kate, her daughter, who is continuing the family line in running this
historic and unspoilt pub. If you havenâ€™t visited the pub it is well worth a visit to enjoy the character of this unspoilt gem of a pub. The public bar with its white marble countertop only serves beer on stillage and the original tap room on the right, after a period as the village shop has been returned to the pub as an additional seating and drinking space. In addition there is a games room behind the public bar where one can enjoy a wide selection of traditional pub and board games. No music, jukebox, pool or lager but a fine example of a country pub thriving under the right family management
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Pub News two regular beers.
Ashford Area It has been reported that the Alfred South Ashford has closed with an uncertain future. The Swan in Tufton Street, Ashford seems to be selling real ales at very reasonable prices, recently Cottage Brewery Norman Conquest MM (5%) at £2.30 per pint. The Locomotive continues to offer Abigale Samphire, which is brewed locally in Ashford The George, Bethersden continues to serve excellent quality beer with Rudgate Battle Axe and Harvey’s Sussex bitter being recently available.
Folkestone Area The Black Horse Densole now provides changing beers from the Old Dairy Brewery alongside Bass when visiting just before Christmas,
The East Cliff Tavern has a changing selection from small breweries, recently Gadd’s 80/- from Ramsgate and Nailbourne best bitter from Abigale. Samuel Peto had three Scottish beers available during their Burn’s week, Orkney Red Macgregor, Caledonian 80/-, and Inveralmond Trippledouser together with excellent Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. Other guest ales to appear include Whitstable IPA In the harbour area the Lifeboat has continued to offer Cornish beers although Wells Eagle IPA, a one-time favourite of mine, and Greene King London glory have recently been available. The Mariner has also been changing its usual beers and offerings from both Harvey’s and Jennings have been observed.
Sandgate continues to have a large selection of traditional beer with four at the Earl of Clarendon, three at the Providence, Master Peter Laidlow, who was the original landlord Brew at the Royal Norfolk, Doombar at the when the Master Brewer opened in 1985 returned as landlord of the pub in January and Golden Arrow and Young’s Special at Bar has reintroduced Sunday Carvery and hopes to Vasa. The Ship has beers from Hopdaemon, be able to offer beers from Shepherd Neame’s Hopback, Greene King and Dark Star (plus two or three proper ciders). pilot Brewery in the future. The Pullman was reportedly serving Sopwith Camel, Exmoor Gold, Tribute and Doom Bar in early February in good condition. Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, Hop Back TEA and Westerham Double Stout have appeared in recent weeks.
Nikki left the Nailbox in March due to increased rents and the stagnant market which Shepherd Neame continue not to take into account when reviewing rents.
Ben at the White Hart continues to provide Kentish beers from either Hopdeamon, Old Dairy, Hop Fuzz, Gadd’s and occasionally beers from the Kent Brewery although Dark Star Hophead from Sussex a appeared during February.
The Mayfly, Hawkinge has a new manager, Christian Ender, who had previously run the Marston’s owned White Lion in Tenterden. Christian is reported to have increased the choice of ales that are available by adding a guest beer from the Marston’s stable to the
The Three Mariners continues to provide a good range of local and national beers alongside the regular Young’s Bitter, which was initially introduced to wean locals off Masterbrew but has become the house bitter.
Debbie at the Red Lion has started serving local beers again by re-instating the SIBA Scheme. On a visit in February Old Dairy Red Top and Gadd’s No 5 were on offer,
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The Marsh and the Hills It is rumoured that both the Plough (currently closed) and the Prince of Wales, New Romney are to have applications submitted to Shepway Council for conversion to residential use. If this is so then New Romney will be deprived of what were once two successful and profitable pubs. The Blue Anchor, Ruckinge has reopened as a pub at the end of October with Steve Lamb and Julia Nichols at the helm. Steve ran the Ocean in Dymchurch before leaving the pub trade but the pull was too strong so they have taken a tenancy on the pub. When I visited in December the offerings were Courage Best, Doombar and Black Sheep. The two pubs in Appledore are reported to be selling good quality beers. The Black Lion has been offering Goacher’s Light and Young’s Winter Warmer receiving excellent reports whilst the Railway Hotel has been selling good quality beers from some of the national
microbreweries, Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale receiving a special mention in the NBBS. It has been reported that Wink at the Bell Ivychurch has been offering Hopdaemon Golden Braid, is this his first offering from a local brewery? The Dolphin, Lydd a town that I don’t visit as regularly as perhaps I should being at the end of the 101-bus route has been offering Nelson’s Midshipman with good reports. The Broadacre Hotel, New Romney which is open to non-residents appears to have replaced their usual offering of “not Ind Coope" Burton Ale with Old Dairy Gold Top The Star, St Mary in the Marsh had a couple of barrels of McMullen County delivered in January, which I thoroughly enjoyed being on of my regular beers before I moved back to Kent I have not heard of it being available locally. Other beers that have appeared in the pub were Rother Valley
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The New Inn, Etchinghill, which does not usually feature in pub reports has been selling beers from the Ramsgate Brewery, Gadd’s No5 and Oatmeal Stout to name but two.
hoppers ale and Adnam’s Old
The County Members, Lympne was offering Brain’s “Fir King Good” as their Christmas Ale. Not sure that Shirley could or Tenterden area would have named this as one of the Twelve Ales for Christmas in the previous edition even The Woolpack, Warehorne has a new landlord Julian Oxborrow and we wish him well if she had known of its existence!! in this once popular GBG listed pub. Rother The Drum, Stanford continues to ring the Valley’s Level Best was reported to be in good change from beers from the Greene King condition and the food is reported to be very stable, when visiting in January Old Trip, good on a recent visit. All three beers available London glory and IPA were on offer, along with were priced at £2.70 pint. Holts Original. Unfortunately not at The Star, Rolvenden, nominally Old Dairy’s Manchester prices. brewery tap had been serving Greene King IPA A visit in February to the Tiger Stowting rewarded us with a couple of local ales, English ale from Hop Fuzz and Copper Top from Old Dairy alongside Master Brew, London Pride and a draught Biddenden Cider.
and Ruddles Best alongside Old Dairy Red Top and Blue Top in February. The Six Bells Woodchurch recently held a very successful beer festival, which was busy all weekend, with all the beers being brewed in Kent and were sold out by Sunday evening
The Half Way House at Challock has been voted one of the four destination dining pubs of The Vine Inn is currently having another make the year, as part of the A Taste of Kent over after Shepherd Neame converted it from competitions a typical town pub a few years ago. The front The Kings Arms, Elham continues with part of the main bar is being refurbished, but beers from Hopdaemon, Golden Braid and we don’t know what the end result will look Skrimshander being available together with like, and suspect it will be more wine bar (glass panel instead of a semi-glazed wall in the Harvey’s Sussex on a visit in December. interior side of the little lobby area, for After a couple of years Sally who had turned instance round the fortunes of the Shepherd Neame owned Plough Brabourne Lees has left. The pub had become the focal point in the village and she is now looking for a new freehold pub after the brewers were not prepared to negotiate a new rent based upon the current financial climate. A manager whose first action was to put the prices up by 20p per pint has replaced her. When I visited, this previously busy pub was empty, all but one customer, and only Late Red and Spitfire were available although I was told that Masterbrew was already to be served. The manager was not prepared to offer Masterbrew until the stronger and more expensive beers were sold first. Not very friendly for drivers who just want a quick drink before returning to work
The White Lion still cleans up in terms of beer sales in Tenterden with changing Marston’s beers. In April you can expect, Marston’s Meducky (3.6%), Jennings’s Slap & Tickle (3.8%), Wychwood’s Wychmyst (4.0%) and Banks’s Sunbeam (4.2%). In May the guest ales anticipated are Marston’s Merry Monk (4.5%), Jennings’s Tom Fool (4.0%) and Ringwood’s Bold Forester (4.2%).
The Fat Ox tenants are, it is rumoured, about to leave, and be replaced by a manager. The Woolpack is still not open but Enterprise claim they have a tenant for when the work is complete. In February, there was an application for retrospective Listed Building Consent for “Internal alterations to first floor bathrooms
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and sandblasting to floorboards, panelling and staircase to ground floor. We await the reopening in anticipation of a good selection of cask ale at reasonable prices. The White Hart, Newenden in addition to the regular Rother Valley Level Best has recently been selling Oakham JHB in excellent condition. A pub well worth seeking out by walking to it from the K&ESR's Northiam station for lunch when spending a day out on the railway. If there is anything interesting, particularly in the Ashford Area, however small about your local pubs, please let us know. Thanks to all those who have sent me their local pub news or update NBSS (CAMRAâ€™s National Beer Scoring System), please keep it up, as it makes my life a lot easier and I wonâ€™t be chastised for not including it in the next Pub News. Bob the Beer
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Local Brewery News Abigale Brewery Ashford, Kent, TN24 8DE 01233 661310 07734 342278
Old Forge Brewery (Farriers Arms)
Leas Lift Bitter (3.8%), and Leas Lift Porter (4.7%) were brewed for the Leas Lift Beer Festival. The bitter was the same recipe as the beer brewed for last year's festival whilst the porter is a new brew combining six different malts, and using Fuggles and Northdown hops. This beer was very well received, and is still available in bottles or 5 litre mini kegs. The full range of regular cask beers is also now available in bottle-conditioned form, and can be purchased from the brewery, and it will be soon become available in shops www.abigalebrewing.co.uk
Hop Fuzz West Hythe, Kent, CT21 4NB 07850 441267
Mersham, Kent, TN25 6NU 01233 720444 The Farriers has brewed â€œSpring Aleâ€? - which they expect to be on the bar in during March, so far unnamed. The ingredients include Crystal & Dark Crystal Malts with Bramling Cross Hops being used for aroma www.thefarriersarms.com Old Dairy Brewery
Rolvenden, Kent, TN17 4JD 01580 243185
In addition to the established Continues to brew regular ales shown in the GBG, Czech Mate English Ale and Pilsner is planned to be a regular. This is 5% & American Pale Ale, uses SAAZ hops. They have employed another which have been seen in the White Hart, Hythe part time brewer to brew at weekends. Good Intent Aldington Frith, Star St Mary in the AK1911, Tsar Top (Imperial Russian Stout) Marsh and the Tiger Stowting occasional, but things may change. www.hopfuzz.co.uk www.olddairybrewery.com
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Parliament Unanimously Passes Fair Deal for Pubs Motion
Following the lively debate on the floor of the House of Commons, in January, during which the Government was heavily criticised for rejecting proposals by the Business Select Committee, MPs have unanimously passed a motion criticising Government's lack of action on pub companies as falling short of their own commitments and requiring the Government to commission an independent review of self regulation in the pub sector. The decision by Parliament follows over 5,000 CAMRA members nationally contacting their local MPs asking them to support this motion and extensive campaigning by organisations including Federation of Small Businesses, Forum for Private Business, licensee groups and the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group. Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive said: ‘CAMRA is delighted that MPs from all parties have highlighted the inadequacy of the Government’s attempts to tackle unfair business practices in the pub sector and that the Government are now obliged to commission an independent review into the matter. Following the success of this motion the Government now has a chance to think again and to consult on meaningful proposals to ensure the survival of many thousands of pubs. ‘The large pub companies must be encouraged to provide their lessees with free of tie and guest beer options accompanied by an open market rent review. These steps would effectively self regulate the operation of tie agreements. ‘The large pub companies have been living in the last chance saloon since 2004 during which time many thousands of valued community pubs have been lost forever while pub companies have failed to deliver meaningful self regulation.’
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AF&RM CAMRA ……………. What’s On Branch Meeting
All members welcome
Wednesday 18 April @ 19:30 Locomotive, Ashford Wednesday 16 May @19:30 William Caxton, Tenterden Thursday 14 June @ 19:30 Branch AGM, Tenterden Station For further details on meetings, socials and beer festivals check out WHAT’S BREWING, our the branch website or join our Yahoo Group (members only).
Saturday 31 March Maidstone Pub Crawl meet at the Rifle Volunteers 12:00 Saturday 5 May Mini Bus Trip Tour of remote Romney Marsh pubs, start at Ashford Domestic Station 11:30 Saturday 21April Trip to Ipswich to visit some Suffolk hospitality, 10:13 train from Ashford. Contact Nigel North for more details and registration, email@example.com
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Forthcoming Beer and Cider Festivals CAMRA Festivals
Friday 20 - Sunday 22 April The George Inn Beer Festival The Street, Bethersden, TN26 3AG
Friday 6 & Saturday 7 April 7th Planet Thanet Easter Beer Festival Winter Gardens - Margate, CT9 1HX
Friday 11 May - Sunday 13 May Railway Hotel Beer & Bike Festival Station Road, Appledore, TN26 2DF
Thursday 12 - Saturday14 April Bexley Beer Festival Sidcup Sports Club, DA14 6RA Wednesday 6 - Sunday 10 June CAMRA Cricket Tent Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5ES Friday 15 & Saturday 16 June 4th Kent & East Sussex Railway Real Ale & Cider Festival Tenterden Town Station, TN30 6HE Saturday 16 June Charity Beer Festival Mote Park, Maidstone, ME15 8EB Thursday 19 - Saturday 21 July Kent Beer Festival Off Nackington Lane, Canterbury, CT4 7BA Wednesday 8 - Sunday 12 August CAMRA Cricket Tent Canterbury, CT1 3NZ
Other Festivals Thursday 5 - Monday 9 April The Chambers Easter Ale & Cider Fest’ Cheriton Place, Folkestone, CT20 3BB Thursday 5 April - Tuesday 10 April Hoodeners Horse Beer Festival The Street, Great Chart, TN23 3AN
Friday 11 May - Sunday 13 May Six Bells Beer Festival Bethersden Road, Woodchurch, TN26 3QQ Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 May Ferry Inn Beer Festival Stone in Oxney, TN30 7JY Friday 1 - Wednesday 6 June Folkestone Rowing Club Beer Festival Granville Parade, Sandgate, CT20 3AN Saturday 23 June Red Lion Snargate Beer Festival Snargate, TN29 9UQ Friday 6 - Sunday 8 July Bell Inn Beer Festival Ivychurch, TN29 0AL Friday 13 - Sunday 15 July Bowl Inn Beer Festival Egg Hill Road, Charing, TN27 0HG Friday 27 - Sunday 29 July Farriers Arms Beer / Cider & Music Fest’ The Forstal, Mersham, TN25 6NU Saturday 4 - Sunday 5 August Cinque Ports Arms Beer Festival High Street, New Romney, TN28 8BU If you know of any event that might be of interest for the notice board, please contact the editorial team, details on page 3.
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Book Reviews CAMRA’S South East Pub Walks This is the latest edition in CAMRA’s hugely popular Pub Walks series is once again written by avid walker and pubs campaigner Bob Steel. The book, sponsored by Harvey’s & Son of Lewes, focuses on the South East of England and the 250 miles of walking routes included in the book range from short town trails to epic rambles across the South Downs.
101 Beer Days Out 101 Beer Days Out, has been painstakingly compiled by Chairman of the Guild of Beer Writers and What’s Brewing journalist Tim Hampson. The book brings together a variety of alethemed days out that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Tim Hampson’s recommendations range far and wide to highlighting venues, events and activities from England, Scotland & Wales. Coming out just in time for the summer the book is bound to be packed in many a suitcase for the holiday season. The listings are arranged geographically and take in everything from the Museum of Kent Life to Edinburgh’s historic pubs and Scottish Ale Festival to the Llangollen Railway’s Ale trail in Wales. Every entry is illustrated with fabulous full-colour photography and include full details of attraction opening times, contact details, the best ways of getting there, what to see, what to do and, of course, what to drink.
The pub listings feature the best places to stop for a pint of real ale on route as well as many ‘Try Also’ recommendations for those eager to prolong their outing. Thirty walks take you from Eastbourne and Beachy Head on the south coast as far North as CAMRA’s home town of St Alban’s via the famous golf links of Sandwich in the East and the Hog’s Back and Upper Thames in the west. Full information on each pub’s location, opening hours and contact details make the book an excellent investment for those eager to plan their outing ahead of time. All of the features that have made the rest of the Pub Walks series so popular are present in the book, including:Easy-to-use Ordnance Survey mapping and concise route information Detailed pub listings for the area's finest realale watering holes Feature boxes giving detailed insights into fascinating local attractions Full-colour photographs illustrating the outstanding natural beauty in the area
Other publications by Tim Hampson include Great Beers, London’s Best Pubs and The Beer The brand-new guide book will be published on Book Monday, 30th April 2012. RRP £9.99/CAMRA Member Price £7.99 The brand-new guide book will be published on ISBN: 978-1-85249-287-8, Paperback Monday, 28th May 2012 Available from www.camra.org.uk/shop or RRP £12.99/CAMRA Member Price £10.99 featured pubs ISBN: 978-1-85249-288-5, Paperback Available from www.camra.org.uk/shop Marsh Mash Spring 2012 Page 14
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Spring Competition We thought that it would be good to exercise the brain in a different manner for the summer months. One of our members has therefore produced a quiz for this edition. See how many answers you can get without reference to “Google” or the Good Beer Guide. 1. Which British brewery has a Unicorn as its trademark? 2. In what town is draught Courage Directors Bitter brewed? 3. What was the first trademark to be registered under U.K.'s Trade Mark Registration Act of 1875 as Trade Mark Number One? 4. What do the letters ABV stand for in relation to beer? 5. In the brewing industry how many pints are there in a Hogshead? 6. What company owns the Löwenbräu brewery in Munich? 7. What German town is famous for its Alt beer? 8. Which beer was said to work wonders? 9. In which town is Moorhouse’s Pendle Witch brewed? 10. What do the letters IPA stand for in relation to beer?
Answer the above ten questions and Email your 10 answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to: CAMRA AF&RM Spring Competition, The Cottage, The Green, Saltwood, Kent CT21 4PS by 25th May 2012 and the first drawn correct entry will receive a mystery prize. The lucky winner of the Winter Wordsearch competition was Geoffrey Beer from Ashford Kent who won the CAMRA National inventory book. Marsh Mash Spring 2012 Page 16
Point to Ponder
The Breweries, Pubs and CAMRA have been lobbying MPs and the Chancellor to scrap the duty escalator on beer in an attempt to keep beer in the pub competitive, but I’ve noticed the odd 5p or 10p a pint being added to the price of a pint in pubs since January. Who’s pulling who’s wire and who’s to blame the breweries or the pubs?? Please send your views to the editor. Email: email@example.com
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A Day at the Foundry Yes a day at the foundry, not hot, sweat and toil, but a pleasant Thursday afternoon in Canterbury. Branch members, their wives or partners and members from other Kent Branches enjoyed a Christmas celebration at the Foundry brew pub on the site of the old Drury & Biggleston’s foundry just off the High Street in White Horse Lane which opened in June 2011. The brewery was founded, initially to provide good quality ales to the Stoneset Group of Inns in Canterbury, namely, the Foundry, City Arms and Beercart Arms. The four-barrel brewery is situated behind glass windows, which enables drinkers and diners to observe the beer being produced. Jon Mills and Tom Starkey the joint
Street Light Porter, 5.8%, a dark malty porter, strong toffee-chocolate flavour with a liquorish finish. Canterbury Haka, 4.1%, brewed to a New Zealand recipe producing pale ale with a deep fleeting bitterness. Biggleston’s Brown Ale, 3.8% a traditional beer made from East Kent Goldings and Kentish Challenger hops grown in Kent, a true LocAle. Foundry Black, 4.9%, a dark stout brewed with roasted and chocolate malts and green bullet hops to provide a smooth freshly roasted coffee and cocoa flavour. Foundry Helles, 4.1%, a traditional craft lager that is unfiltered and unpasteurised providing a delicate pils with a German noble hop aroma. Other beers brewed, but were not available on the day are: Foundry Man’s Gold, 4.0%, a golden ale with strong aromas of citrus and elderflower with a subtle lingering bitterness. Canterbury Wheat, 4.4%, an American style wheat beer brewed with 50% wheat and 50% barley.
Foundry Steam, 5.4%, a Californian style ale brewed with northern Brewer and Hallertauer hops which brewers normally brew three times a week. was inspired by the gold rush in the Wilds Jon and Tom have developed their unique style West and is an amber lager which was light and of beers all of which were extremely drinkable. Most those present sampled those available in fruity. full measures, whilst the ladies consumed either Foundry Red Eye, 5.6% a reddish golden good wine or excellent coffee one of which I coloured beer brewed with American rye malt and the Citra and Chinook hops which am extremely grateful for driving me home. produces a very quaffable beer with an The beers available on the day were explosion of hops. Foundry Torpedo, 4.5%, amber ale with an Since the object of the visit was for a explosive, crisp finish. Marsh Mash Spring 2012 Page 18
Christmas celebration, food was also the order of the day. The Foundry offers a good selection of options including vegetarian meals. The food offered includes doorstop sandwiches, grills, pies and interesting starters including deep fried pigs ears, homemade deserts, not for the light eaters, and a comprehensive Kentish cheese board. We all had hearty portions from the full menu range and I did not hear of any complaints. In fact we were all pleasantly surprised after a hearty lunch and sampling, by the pint, most of the beers on offer that those who remembered to have their CAMRA Membership card on their person were given a 10% discount on the beers and the food. A day to remember, and to be repeated in the not too distant future, even if just passing the time away whilst waiting for the other person to complete the shopping using your flexible friend !!!
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84 miles, 10 pubs, 20 plus beers and 3 blisters With 14 rooms and a long day of passing trade, the choice of ales was rarely the same two Not all CAMRA members are bearded, beer nights running. These were a mix of local brews bellied and wear sandals, some are fairly slim (Consett Ale Works, Yates) and beers on a and have other interests but still drink a glass of Roman Theme from Hadrian and Border. cask ale or two. For the keen walkers who like There was a wide choice of high quality food a drink or two, but not necessarily the singing, with plenty of space for eating and a non-eating and are looking for a change of scenery, Peter’s lounge for that after dinner pint or two on a diary of his trip may be useful to you when comfy sofa. Time for a short walk to the planning your next holiday. National Park Centre for bus updates, then to Vindolanda – one of the Roman towns just The Cunning Plan I’d been planning to do the Hadrian’s Wall Long South of the Wall, which is still being excavated Distance Path for some years and the summer Day 3 of 2010 brought all of the requirements The idea of staying at Twice Brewed was that I together. Our choir was due to sing in Carlisle could use the bus to get to the start of each Cathedral for a week so the preceding week section and back to base camp afterwards. would be ideal. The route was divided into six Busses are not invincible so for this day I had to 12 – 15 mile sections so the week should be drive to Heddon-on-the-Wall and take the bus ample and allow a day or two off for bad and Metro to the start of the walk at Wallsend. weather – The Carlisle to Bowness section The route takes you from the Eastern outskirts could be done on our day off from singing. As of Newcastle, through the centre of the city my car is a little on the elderly side and I’d had under several bridges and out into the my fill of motorway driving whilst working, I countryside to the West – all the time on or decided to take two days for the journey there near the North bank of the Tyne. Not much to and took the pretty route up through Suffolk, be seen of the Wall so far – either hidden or Norfolk and Lincolnshire staying on the first built on. Fairly flat except for the last mile, night at the Thornton Hunt Inn, in Thornton which climbed up from the Tyne to Heddon Curtis. Splendid locally sourced food and Tom where the first signs of the wall can be seen. I’d Wood Harvest Bitter from nearby Grimsby. left my car at the Three Tuns in Heddon – so it Noted a quaint Lincolnshire custom – the would have been rude not to have a pint of family on the next table insisted on taking their Wylam Bitter made in a farm just up the photo’s of each member with their untouched road. Back to base camp for a meal and a tad meal before they were allowed to eat it. Perhaps they don’t eat very often – or perhaps more beer. have a very strict expenses or diet regime. Day 4 Diary of a walk along Hadrian’s Wall
Day 2 Base Camp Reached Base camp about midday on the second day. My home for the week was the Twice Brewed Inn, near Bardon Mill in Northumberland. Ideally situated for walkers and campers, and also for the AD122 bus that was to be my transport for the week. They have a house beer – Twice Brewed Bitter – brewed by Yates in Cumbria, plus six or so hand-pumped bitters and at least two ciders.
The route from Heddon to Chollerford follows the line of the Wall although not much can be seen. The main reason for this goes back to Bonny Prince Charlie’s “visit” to Carlisle while the English army was at Newcastle. A military road was then built along the Wall, sometimes on top of it and always using the Wall as a source of hardcore. This is today the B6318 and is the main route for the AD122 bus service. More hilly today but the upside was
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that most of it was on grass in fields bordering the road and sometimes in the Vallum – a deep ditch to the South of the Wall, which even the road builders, could not spoil. Just in time for the bus at Chollerford so no time for much needed pint – still, knowing what was on offer at base camp. Day 5 Now we come to the craggy bits – the best views along the wall and a fair bit rougher terrain than yesterday. Mostly in open country with only the occasional farm, the route is either in the ditches to the North or the South of the wall and where the path dips and climbs steeply, stone steps are provided. Nothing spurs a walker on more than the site of their destination pub in the distance. The Twice brewed, a white-painted building, can be seen from just that point where a spur is needed – and the last half-mile is downhill – what more do you need?
Bus back to Lanercost and nearly all downhill to Carlisle. Clear now of the crags, the route takes in a mixture of farmland and riverside paths ending with a path by the River Eden into Carlisle. Time for a quick recce of Carlisle before our singing week at the cathedral. I’d already asked the local CAMRA group about the City pubs so had something to build on. A couple of pints of Black Sheep at the Sportsman – greatly improved since our last visit, then the bus back to the Twice Brewed for a final feed and a nightcap.
Days 9 - 16 Singing is thirsty work. We were rehearsing during the mornings and afternoons with an adequate lunch break in which to recover. Nearest the Cathedral was the King’s Head, Yates bitter at £2-20 a pint plus others from the Yates list. The Boardroom had Jennings Cumberland but threatened us with Shep’s Spitfire for the end of the week. The Woodrow Wilson (Weatherspoon) had a couple of the Day 6 Dent Brewery beers – Aviator and Bitter. Our With the weather not at it’s best today, had a digs were in the Old Brewery Building – “sandal” day to give the blisters a rest. Bought a university accommodation and used by YHA. bus day rover ticket and started at Hexham Just down the road from there we found the with a pint of Black Sheep at the Tap and Spile. Joiners Arms where we spent several evenings Then on to the Black Bull at Haltwhistle (the and used as our meeting point. Theaksons Best geographical centre of Britain) for a couple of and a strangely flavoured Theaksons called pints and a spot of late lunch. Once one of the Grouse Beater (4.2%). It contained essence of locals found I had a Reiver name, the “couple” Moorland Berry a Scottish delicacy eaten by the increased to three causing me to miss the bus Grouse (particularly in a fermented version and return for number four. Planned trip to which they happily consume in the evening) it Carlisle postponed. (The Reivers were crossborder raiders active in the 16th / 17th centuries) must be an acquired taste that I didn’t acquire. I remember that the first two were from Our brewery trip was to the Old Crown at Hesket Newmarket. This is a community-run Theaksons but… brewery and pub in a splendid little village at the Day 7 North end of the Lakes National Park. Included Back to the Wall and some more craggy bits but in the fee for the brewery tour was a substantial the Wall is much more visible now that it is meal and this, with a choice of six of the on-site further away from the route of the military beers made for a most successful evening out. A road. A good mixture of crag and open bit far for the AFRM branch outing but worth farmland today with the best preserved bits of the Wall and the mile castle forts visible. Route considering if you are in Lakeland. goes through a couple of villages but – perhaps luckily - the pubs therein had not yet opened. Still, a cuppa at Birdoswald and a sticky bun at Lanercost Priory saw me through the day. Day 8
Our day off from singing and the chance to finish the Wall walk. Out through parkland and the industrial outskirts of Carlisle, through farmland and by the River Eden then the Solway Continued on page 22
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Continued from page 21 Firth. Being slightly ahead of schedule, stopped for a pint of Jennings Cumberland at the Highland Laddie at Glasson then on to Bowness -on-Solway and the end of the Walk. I’d arranged to meet a choir friend there and found her in the pub talking to a South African lady who had just done the whole walk in four days! She was drinking tea, which could explain a lot. Another pint of Cumberland then back to Carlisle Day 17 Homeward bound More details on most of the pubs and beers will be found in the GBG, which was the basis of my plans. If you want to walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path, contact me for the required maps, books and timetables. ©Peter Chamberlain firstname.lastname@example.org
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One Pot Rabbit in Cider With the ever growing interest in local ales there is also an interest in craft ciders which can be found in quite a few of our local pubs, see elsewhere for those pubs known to provide real cider and recognised by the “Apple” window sticker. To add to the cider experience during the summer one of our members has provided the following recipe. Ingredients
1 whole rabbit jointed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
½ cup good chicken Stock
Potatoes enough to 2 of 4 portions
½ lb brussel sprouts
1 chopped onion
Cider enough to cover
Brown off the rabbit in a large pan with a little olive oil, remove and set aside. Fry the onion in the oil until soft and golden then add paprika and ground coriander, then pour in a little chicken stock. Add in the mushrooms, potatoes, brussel sprouts and finally the browned rabbit. Cover with the cider and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until all components are tender and the sauce is reduced.
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Pub Of The Year 2012 In November a well-attended meeting took place in the County Hotel to select the potential pubs for the GBG 2013 and the Pub of the Year (POTY) for 2012 This year 5 pubs were nominated for POTY and a coach trip was arranged to enable those members to visit them, as they were not readily accessible on bus routes from either Ashford or Folkestone.
Farriers Arms, Mersham Another pub that was permitted to fail and close before being purchased by the local community. The pub which is now food led also has it’s own brewery, “The Old Forge Brewery”. Its house beer Farriers 1606 was nominated for the 2012 “Taste of Kent” awards.
Thirteen worthy drinkers joined the coach armed with score sheets to assess five criteria:
Quality of the beer/cider/perry
Sympathy to CAMRA Aims and Good Value
They then submitted their score sheets along with other CAMRA members who had visited the pubs independently for the voting which was counted in February. The five pubs were the; Bowl, Hastingleigh, a pub that was seriously run down before being renovated by the current owner and now serves 3 Kentish cask ales, draught cider. Wholesome sandwiches and baguettes are available at weekends.
Ship, Sandgate This pub has recently been extended with a restaurant and decking area overlooking the sea. The pub has been a regular in the Good Beer Guide, on and off, under the same landlord for many years and serves a wide range of draught beers and ciders.
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Three Mariners, Hythe
Bell Inn, Ivychurch
A back street locals pub that does not provide The Branch Pub of The Year winner for the last any food, only good beer, friendly company and 2 years, the Bell offers a choice of five national good conversation. beers and draught cider. There is a good selection of wholesome pub food at meal times Sold by Shepherd Neame in 2009, it has been and hot snacks during the afternoon. renovated and become a Mecca for cask ale with a choice of up to 8 cask beers and draught cider. The pub is constantly in the GBG and our branch runner up Pub of The Year in 2010 and 2011.
The winner of our 2012 Pub of The Year was the Bowl and the runner up The Bell, details of both presentations will be available on our website, www.camra-afrm.org.uk
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Kent & East Sussex Railway Beer & Cider Festival 15th & 16th June 2012 The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Ashford, Folkestone & Romney Marsh Branch in conjunction with the Kent & East Sussex Railway are proud to announce the annual Beer and Cider Festival to be held at Tenterden Town Station on 15th and 16th June 2012. Beers and a cider will be available on some trains departing Tenterden Town Station from 10.40am on Saturday 16th June.
CAMRA Members also receive discounted rail travel on Saturday. Food Available on Friday evening and on Saturday afternoon and into the evening
Date and Time Friday 15th June 6pm to 10.30pm Saturday 16th June 11am to 10.30pm (or until the beer runs out) Admission Friday - Numbers limited â€“ For advance tickets to ensure entry send cheque for ÂŁ2.00 (made out to CAMRA AFRM) with stamped SAE to Beer Festival Tickets, 177 Lynwood, Folkestone Kent CT19 5DF by 8th June. (CAMRA Members can reclaim the Friday advance ticket cost by presentation of Membership card upon entry). Saturday - Beer Festival only by purchasing a K&ESR Platform Ticket. (CAMRA Members by presentation of Membership card).
Entertainment Friday - quiet evening, no music Saturday - Live music Saturday afternoon and into the evening along with Morris Dancers.
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Accommodation Camping - Pre booked limited camping facilities available £5.00 per pitch per night (no fires) from K&ESR 01580 765155 Hotels and B&B - Lists available from Tenterden Tourist Information Office or via usual on-line booking agencies. Public Transport To & from Ashford - routes 400 and 295 (for connection with rail services) To & from Maidstone - route 12 To & from Tunbridge Wells - route 297 To & from Hastings - route 340 To & from Headcorn - route 12 (for connection with rail services) Late services operate to Ashford (400) and Maidstone (12). Full bus timetables available on www.traveline.org.uk Helping at the Festival CAMRA members, if you can help, please complete the form on page 26, you can also download a form from our website where further information is available. www.camra-afrm.org.uk Email: email@example.com
Wye Beer Festival What is believed to have been the first beer festival to focus totally on the English hops was held during September in Wye. All but three varieties of hop (Fuggles, East Kent and Whitbread Goldings) were developed at Wye College of Agriculture and Horticulture that was founded in 1911 and closed in 2008. The hops included such stirring names as
Admiral, Boadicea, Bramling Cross, Brewer’s Gold, Bullion, First Gold, Northdown, Northern Brewer, Pilot, Pilgrim, Pioneer, Progress, Sovereign, Challenger and Target. Local brewer, James Wraith of Abigale in Ashford brought along all his Wye hopped beers. The Foundry Brewery in Canterbury used one of Wye College’s most recent accomplishments, the dwarf organic hop Boadicea, to brew Boadicea’s Uprising especially for the occasion. Andrew Morgan of the Bottle Shop in Canterbury commissioned Brodies of North London to brew a bottled beer, Wye Oh Wye, containing seven of the Wye developed hops. The beers on offer having been selected during a mammoth tasting session by the festival organiser, Don Thake, included Adnam’s Gunhill, Otter Amber, Skinner’s Betty Stoggs, Dorset Chesil, Harvey’s Best, Titanic Stout, and from Rudgate Ruby Mild, Jorvik Blonde and Tryst’s Raj IPA, Inveralmond Ossian from Scotland and Purple Moose Snowdonia from Wales. Kentish brews included Hopdaemon’s Skrimshander, Westerham British Bulldog, Gadd’s No 5, Old Dairy Copper Top and Shepherd Neame gave a tutored beer tasting to demonstrate how hops make the difference. There were also Kentish ciders and wines and locally sourced food available with entertainment being provided by local musicians and students from Christ Church University in Canterbury. There was also an exhibition on the history and influence of hops, including a large display setting out the lasting achievements of Wye College’s hops research department When the college was closed in 2008, hop development moved to China Farm, Upper Harbledown where the National Hop Collection is now housed. It is the only research centre in the UK, which continues to develop new varieties of English hop and to maintain the health of those we already have. Without English hops, there would be no real ale and no CAMRA.
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Dark Beer for the Red Blooded If you are in need of iron, the mineral that is necessary for red corpuscles, and so makes your blood rich and red, and staves off anaemia, then an answer is to drink more dark beer (not of course that we need any excuse). Researchers at the Spanish University of Valladolid analysed some forty brands of beer from various countries and found that dark beers have 121ppm (parts per million), compared with 92ppm for pale beers and 63ppm for non-alcoholic beers. This may seem small but the difference is significant. As well as being essential to our diet, the level of minerals such as iron in beer is important to its quality. So note this is another reason to visit the pub and drink dark beers. “Beer is Good for You”. Do you remember the advert? Edited from “The Beer and Ragged Staff” CAMRA’s Heart of Warwickshire’s newsletter.
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A Day In Sheffield Continuing with the idea of days out I obtained a copy of a visit made by a CAMRA member from Leeds, Graham, who described his day out in Sheffield in the local newsletter, Half Pint. Upon reading the article, and the ease of getting to Sheffield from Ashford and Folkestone by train, with only one simple change at St Pancras I thought readers might like to know what Sheffield has to offer for the day out enjoying the delights of Northern beers. His first pub of the day was The Old Queens Head, the oldest pub in Sheffield and dating from 1505. It is a Thwaite's house and had Tavern Porter, Bomber and Wainwrights on the pumps. A walk to the Sheffield Taps, far too many beers to list and that goes for just about all the pubs visited, and chose a beer from one of the fonts, Magic Rock brewery Magic 8 Ball Porter at 7%. It made no suggestion on the clip if it was cask or keg but it tasted fantastic although at £2.50 a half it needed to. It was pleasing to see that at only just turned noon the place was packed full of drinkers.
busy road to the Millstone, now more of a restaurant and wine bar, which was very busy. There are now three hand pumps on the bar, two in use on this visit with Wentworth Imperial and Sheffield Blanco Blonde being the beers. The Imperial was excellent and the staff were swift and polite in serving, even though not wanting to dine. A short walk up the road it the Fat Cat the pub that almost certainly started the real ale revolution in Sheffield way back in 1981. It is pleasing to see little has changed in that time other than even more beer choice and a new bigger brewery and visitor centre now built next door, following the flooding of the old brewery a few years ago. Spoilt for choice the Roosters Astro was very good indeed as was the pork pie made with beer from the brewery. Just over the road is the Kelham Island Tavern. A pub with more awards than you can count and deservedly so. A fine choice of ales awaits the constant stream of drinkers. A few halves were all in excellent condition. Just a short walk to the latest real ale pub in the area Shakespears that had been shut for ages and re-opened last July. The pub has many rooms and an upstairs bar and music room, plenty of hand pumps and lots of bottles to choose from. The Raw and Offbeat Hop Chick was simply stunning and at 6.2% punched its weight and the Brightside Maverick IPA 4.8%, very good as was the Pizza cooked on a wood-burning oven outside. Last pub of the day was the Harlequin another top pub with about ten beers on and to be honest he couldn’t remember what was available or what he drank.
Catching the tram to Shalesmoor for The Wellington. This fine traditional pub is also the home of Little Ale Cart brewery and a few of these beers featured on the bar, sampling some Old Git Little and Pictish Dana, both in tip top condition and most enjoyable. Crossing the
It’s interesting to note that almost all of the pubs offer beer in lined glasses to guarantee full pints. If they can do it in Sheffield and not have to overcharge for the beer it shows it can be done in Kent.
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The Ashford, Folkestone and Romney Marsh LocAle scheme recognises pubs which regularly stock at least one real ale brewed by a local brewery that is within 30 miles â€˜driving distanceâ€™. Landlords who wish to be included in the LocAle scheme should contact the Branch Secretary. The following are the current pubs that have been accredited :Ashford
Cinque Port Arms
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A View on LocAle Whilst most of us agree that purchasing locally produced goods, including beers brewed in Kent, reduce fuel usage and hence do a minor part in reducing pollution and global warming together with maintaining local flavours and traditions an imbiber from Kent has a different view in one of our sister magazines. He commented on the promotion of local beers at the expense of our national brands and the growth of microbrewers in Kent and nationally and the preponderance of Kentish beers at last years Kent Beer Festival, 59 against 50 national beers. He was concerned that if the CAMRA LocAle incentive continues to gain ground he will be denied access to his favourite beers. He even produces a list of his 10 favourite beers that he would like to be marooned with on a desert island with. These were Dark Star American Pale Ale, Batemans Best Bitter, Goacher’s Gold Star, Crouch Vale Brewers Extra Gold, RCH Double Header, Kelham Island Pale Rider, Adnam’s Broadside, and Hawkeshead Brodies Prime. It is interesting that all of these are from small or family brewers who specifically brew for their local customer base and whilst I agree with some of his choice I prefer to drink them on my travels and enjoy the freshness of them being delivered from the local brewery and not been standing in distribution depots across the country for days. A landlord from a Shepherd Neame pub responded in the following vain. The article bemoaning the promotion of local beers is bound to have provoked some keen debate. If I understood it correctly, he suggested pubs are unfairly promoting local beers and therefore ignoring the wide variety of beers found nationally. He wrote, "I would like to think that I will not be denied my favourite beers because of the impact of the "locale" campaign". If I might be permitted to counter this argument I should like to suggest completely the opposite. I
think he is wrong. Local beer is good, and not just on environmental grounds. It is the nature of any consumer organisation to demand what they want, where they want it, when they want it at a price they want it. That’s why supermarkets abound with Kenyan french beans, Australian apples, New Zealand lamb and so forth. Beer, he might argue, is just the same. But beer is a local product, brewed for a local market, consumed by locals and our Kentish ale is unique. It has it's own EU protection because of it's distinctive hoppy characteristic, no other beer has this. It’s found in Hopdaemon, Larkin’s, Wantsum and any of the 21 local brewers in Kent. It is a characteristic we, in the hop country, enjoy. In Lewes it's Harvey’s. In Southwold it’s Adnam’s. In Cornwall it’s St Austell. Their beers are distinctive. But Kentish beers are even more so. I suspect I'm not alone when I say I enjoy visiting other areas of the country because their beers are different. (Tell me you aren't disappointed when you walk into a Cumbrian bar and discover Spitfire?) So why am I against his suggestion? Well, two reasons. Firstly there is a risk that local brewers, seeking to develop national brands, might find themselves inclined towards 'safe' beers. Those beers that readily fit the national category are often indistinctive. Secondly, because you can doesn't mean it's right. Local cherries, from Kentish orchards, are a spring treat I really look forward to, but if I got them every day they would lose the magic. I like the pride associated with Kentish beer ~ all of them. If I want other beers I'll go elsewhere. In Southwold there is a passion for Adnam’s. It's almost impossible to buy anything else. Why is it every pub in Lewes, Sussex that is listed in the GBG sell Harvey’s? Is it because they all praise their local brews? Are they proud of what they've got? Yes. He may be right to celebrate the diversity of beers nationally, but I believe it should be enjoyed in context. Kentish beer in a Kentish pub with Kentish hops. Perfect.
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