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THe MAGAZINe OF WeST BerKSHIre CAMrA
CAMRA Award for the Catherine Wheel as Newbury’s pubs adapt On Monday 30 April, Branch Chairman Andy Pinkard presented the West Berkshire CAMRA 2018 Pub of the Year award to Warwick and Pauline Heskins.
Photo: Richard Lock
The Catherine Wheel had previously won the Branch’s Cider Pub of the Year award in 2015 and 2017. The new award confirms the successful adaptation of a pub that used to mainly serve lagers before 2014 into a lively destination for real ale and cider drinkers. The Catherine Wheel's appeal is enhanced by a large range of bottled beers, ciders and gins, an attractive courtyard and an immaculate new kitchen, for serving Pieminister pies. After four years as landlord, Warwick’s keen interest in finding the best new beers and ciders to stock, organising ale and cider festivals and arranging brewery trips contributed towards the Catherine Wheel’s latest award which also reflects the friendly service from the pub’s experienced team of staff. In recent months, other pubs in Newbury have adapted in different ways.
The Diamond Tap was rebranded as Walkabout (eat, drink, play) after Wetherspoon sold it to Stonegate Pubs. The colourful, Australian themed, transformation also introduced TV screens that appeal to sports fans. Thankfully, cask ale is still available. However, handpumps were removed when Stonegate Pubs rebranded Hogshead as Slug and Lettuce. The Dolphin, was reopened on 8 May by Buff and Bear Saloons. A sign by the front entrance calls it ‘A House for the parched, the hungry, the sleepy and the opinionated’! Just over a year since it closed, the pub has been remodelled and completely refurbished at great expense. The back garden includes three beach huts each providing shade and bench seats around a table. The relocated ‘cellar’ is now a ground floor feature. The bar has handpumps for three cask ales and one cider. See page 2 for more details and photos.
Community Pub of the Year
ON OTHER PAGES Swift Halves - Pub and brewery news Gig Guide Beer & Cider Festivals Kieran, The Lion's Quizmaster Pub Profile: Four Points, Aldworth Leuven, Belgium Cider Profile: Crazy Dave's Cider CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide Belgium Boak & Bailey + Curmudgeon columns Diary Dates, CAMRA Contacts & Festivals
Ullage June - August 2018
2,3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Nominate by 30 June - see page 3
Reading Beer & Cider Festival
AGM - The Branch's Annual General Meeting will be held upstairs at The Newbury, 137 Bartholomew Street, Newbury on Wednesday 27 June (8pm). Elections for committee posts follow brief reports from current officers. Please contact Chairman or Secretary (refer page 12) for details of volunteer opportunities and committee vacancies e.g. Social Secretary.
■ Enjoy a pint of real ale while watching cricket at the Bowler's Arms, Wash Common, Newbury. Berkshire play Devon in a three day match at the Falkland CC ground starting 11am on Sunday 5 August. www.thebowlersarms.co.uk ■ Pub quiz dates for the Cow & Cask, Newbury are Wednesday 20 June, 18 July and 15 August. Celebrate Beer Day Britain at the micropub and say 'Cheers to Beer' at 7pm on Friday 15 June.
■ Steve and Rebecca (Bex) of the management team at the Dolphin posed for a photo on its reopening day. Steve previously worked at Salisbury’s Old Ale & Coffee House, the first Buff and Bear Saloon which set the style for the second one, in Newbury. Open all day from 10am (12 noon Sundays), customers can order coffee, tea or one of the tempting non-alcoholic drinks if it’s too early for beer! More details and photos are available at whatpub.com/pubs/BEW/081/dolphin-newbury
■ The Nag’s Head, Reading goes forward to the Central Southern round of CAMRA’s Pub of the Year contest after winning the Berkshire round which also featured the Catherine Wheel, Newbury; the Old Manor, Bracknell and the Craufurd Arms, Maidenhead.
■ A group from CAMRA Berkshire South-East visited the West Berkshire Brewery Taproom & Kitchen on the sunny Early May Bank Holiday. On the upper level of the brewery, festival organiser Mike Smith (right) presented brewer Griff Maggs with the 2017 Ascot Racecourse beer of the festival award for Maggs’ Magnificent Mild. Mike first tasted this mild when the Bell, Aldworth, introduced it to replace Morrells Mild, after the closure of the Oxford brewery in 1998. ■ The West Berkshire Brewery website www.wbbrew.com has been upgraded. It now includes interactive pages for Brewery & Taproom, Our Beers, Blog, Events (eg 20 June Quiz, 18 August Ruby’s Vintage Fair), Get Involved (eg 7 July Brewery Tour) and Team (29 employees and counting).
■ In May, handpumps were installed at Document House, Wharf Street, Newbury. Fuller's London Pride and Gales HSB are now available. ■ A Loddon Brewery tap room will be opening during the summer at Dunsden Green, four miles from Reading. The revamped shop will have a bigger range of local products including Tutts Clump Cider. Summer Snowflake, 4.1% ABV, is the Loddon Brewery limited edition ale for the summer. Brewers Gold hops give fruity and spicy notes to this golden beer.
■ Peter Lumber has introduced further improvements at The Newbury. The bar has been remodelled with a copper surface and recycled boards, from a fire station. A new set of five wooden handpumps, with copper details, serve beers from Upham brewery, Timothy Taylor Landlord and ‘The Newbs’ 3.9% ABV house ale. St Austell Tribute is the latest addition. In April, plans were submitted for a ground floor rear extension to house a ‘private dining room within a gin distilling feature setting’. See page 1 for details of the Branch’s Annual General Meeting at The Newbury on 27 June. www.thenewburypub.co.uk
In May, landscaping began for a Taproom beer garden (panoramic photo above). Increasing demand for services and products at the new brewery has resulted in an order for further fermentation and conditioning tanks, to be delivered from Italy in June. The Old Suffolk Punch, Hammersmith and the Oxford Tavern, Kentish Town have joined The Depot near Claledonian Road, N7 as the brewery’s London showcase pubs. A recent limited edition beer is Spartacus, 5.1% ABV, an ESB brewed with Goldings hops for bitterness and some dried elderflowers. The latest
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The Campaign for Real Ale West Berkshire
Renegade beer is Whitness the Citrus, 4.5% ABV, a refreshing tangerine white beer.
2018 West Berkshire CAMRA Community Pub of the Year
■ Arkell's summer seasonal beer has a FIFA World Cup theme. Showboater, 3.7% ABV, is a hoppy pale ale with a light citrus aroma.
Photo: to Tony Girling
The Old Boot Inn, Stanford Dingley
■ Andre and Rebecca reopened the refurbished Old Boot Inn, Stanford Dingley in March. Four beers are served on handpump including West Berkshire Brewery Good Old Boy and Mr Chubb’s Lunchtime Bitter. There are extensive rural views from the large south-facing garden. www.oldbootinnstanforddingley.co.uk
■ The Hungerford Club has retained the West Berkshire CAMRA Club of the Year award. On Wednesday 21 March, Branch chairman Andy Pinkard presented the 2018 certificate to Club steward Marie McConnon and Club chairman Chris Ticehurst. The Club has bowls and tennis sections and the clubhouse faces the Croft - a quiet green surrounded by sweet chestnut trees. CAMRA members are welcome at the Hungerford Club. www.hungerford-club.co.uk
■ The Bull, Stanford Dingley, north of the bridge over the river Pang, closed in April. ■ The Complete History was brewed at Wild Weather Ales in collaboration with Slopes Game Room. The 5.5% ABV Jasmine Saison will be launched at Brewheadz taproom in Tottenham Hale on Saturday 16 June. Iain Clarke and Jamie Duffield represented Wild Weather for the brewery’s tap takeover at the Dog, Burton-upon-Trent on 17 May. Look out for Lightning Sombrero, an 8.5% ABV Gooseberry Double IPA, a collaboration with Liverpool’s Mad Hatter Brewing. Eight beers are available from Wild Weather's brewery tap where growlers can also be filled. See advert on page 6 for location and opening times. ■ The Hatchet Inn, Newbury, has invited Windsor & Eton Brewery to a Meet the Brewer and Ale Pub Quiz evening on Wednesday 13 June.
If you have noticed a pub making a difference in the local community then please nominate it and the pub could receive valuable publicity. Previous winners of this award include: Cottage Inn, Bucklebury (2017, 2016, 2013, 2012); Three Horseshoes, Brimpton (2015); Tally Ho, Hungerford Newtown (2014) and Castle Inn, Cold Ash (2010). Note that the branch is not looking for nominations simply based on good food, beer or service. Instead, consider factors like charity events, team games, noticeboards, space for local meetings and whether the pub hosts events like beer festivals, quizzes, trips, live music and performances. It’s easy to submit a nomination. Anyone, including the publican, can nominate one or more pubs. Please do this, by 30 June, by sending details to Mike Avery, Branch Secretary, whose contact details appear on the back page or by using the online form on our website www.westberkscamra.org.uk/nominate
King Charles Tavern
■ To provide the beer quality data on which to base the selection of pubs for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide, CAMRA members are encouraged to score each beer by logging into whatpub.com after every visit. On 28 March, in order to help CAMRA members benchmark their beer scores with the National Beer Scoring System ( www.camra.org/nbss ), Jeff Evans led beer tasting / scoring sessions in the Catherine Wheel and the King Charles Tavern, Newbury.
42 LocAle pubs in our branch serve beer from breweries within a 25 mile radius. See also the LocAle page on our website: www.westberkscamra.org.uk LocAle Pubs - EAST of A34 The Bell Inn The Bladebone Inn The Castle Inn The Castle
We are in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018 (10th year running)
Meals served evenings and lunch times (except Mondays) Closed Sunday evenings Traditional Sunday Roast lunches En Suite Guest Rooms & Function Room available Choice of 3 Cask Ales ‘Pie and Pudding Club’ every Wednesday!
The Catherine Wheel
BITtERS, WINTER WARMERS AND SUMmER BEST
West Berks CAMRA Pub of the Year 2008 and 2015 Visit our brewery and distillery or buy at ramsbury.com AA
The Six Bells, The Green, Beenham Reading RG7 5NX Tel: 0118 9713368 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thesixbells.co.uk
Ullage June - August 2018
Aldworth Chapel Row Cold Ash Donnington Newbury
The Coopers Arms
The Cow & Cask
The Cottage Inn
The Fox Inn
The Hatchet Inn
The King Charles Tavern
The Old Bell The Old Boot Inn The Old Waggon & Horses
Wash Common Stanford Dingley Newbury
The Pot Kiln
The Red House
The Royal Oak
The Six Bells
The Three Horseshoes
West Berkshire Brewery Taproom Yattendon The Woodpecker
Locally Brewed Real Ale 3
■ Kevin Brady (centre left) hosted a brewday at Indigenous Brewery, Chaddleworth on Saturday 19 May. CAMRA members attending decided to brew a 4.4% ABV amber Best Bitter with Eureka, Fuggles and Challenger hops. Look out for Special Edition, this beer brewed in recognition of Ullage achievements and the efforts of CAMRA volunteers who write, design and deliver the magazine. It will be available in bottles and on draught at the Cow & Cask, Newbury. ■ Fuller's 'Shakespeare in the Garden' brings Much Ado About Nothing, performed by Open Bar, to the Hind's Head, Aldermaston on Tuesday 31 July. Tickets: goo.gl/dcCnbe West Berkshire Good Old Boy and a CAMRA discount on cask ale are now offered at the Hind's Head. ■ Twenty two years after reopening the Swan Inn, Inkpen, Mary and Bernard Harris quietly closed the pub on Sunday 22 April, 2018. The Swan often had guests and visitors from around the world but the owners found it lacked adequate patronage from those nearby, who now lose a valuable community asset. Local breweries, Butts of Great Shefford and Indigenous of Chaddleworth, also lose a regular outlet for their beers. Mary and Bernard hope that a like-minded buyer will take on the substantial 17th century building with its ten ensuite rooms. Previous branch chairman Richard Scullion commented ‘This is really sad news. This rural pub is an institution, with walkers and cyclists making long detours to ensure a visit is on their itinerary.’
■ The Old London Apprentice, Newbury will be showing all FIFA World Cup matches. Outdoor seating is available in the rear garden and on the new decking at the front of the Hambridge Road pub. Events at the pub include Northern Soul with Gilo (7 July) and support for Guide Dogs with a Charity Day (25 Aug) and Karaoke Night (26 Aug). For live music events see Gig Guide. The pub has introduced a 10p / pint discount on real ales when showing your CAMRA membership card. See box on page 11 for a full list of pubs with discounts.
■ New beers from Ramsbury brewery are Mango Lassi made with fresh fruit, 4.7% ABV and Tea IPA made with Earl Grey from Ramsbury Tea Co. 6.5% ABV. New designs for labels and pumpclips are being introduced.
Gig Guide ■ The White Hart Inn, Hamstead Marshall, an Asset of Community Value, closed in September 2015. On 24 April 2018 a Planning Inspectorate hearing followed West Berkshire Council's refusal of planning applications for change of use to dwellings in 2016 and 2017. Emphasising its community value as a hub for the spread out village, the committed Save the White Hart campaign group also argued that mismanagement led to the failure of the historic and viable pub. For much of the remaining hearing it was hard to identify consistent or effective arguments from the Council. Their weak defence against the appeal was disappointing to the campaign group which has since written to the local authority expressing dissatisfaction about this. The decision of the Inspector is due by June. Whatever the result, there is a call for planning authorities to offer active support for valuable pubs when under threat from developers. For more information and resources visit www.savethewhitehart.org & www.camra.org.uk/pubs E Se stab r cli ving lishe en d ts ove 20 na r 1 06 tio ,0 nw 00 ide
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■ INNformal Brewery VSB (Very Strong Bitter) 7.4% ABV and Not So Innocent 6.3% ABV, 'turbo-charged' versions of core beers Innhouse Best Bitter and Innocence Golden Ale respectively, proved popular with customers at the Five Bells, Wickham.
Several of our customers are featured in the 2018 CAMRA Good Beer Guide
Ace Space, St. Nicolas Road, Newbury. Tickets: Hogan Music, Newbury. www.acespace.org.uk 30 Jun - Klezmer-ish 21 Jul - Tel Tale Tusk Also Unplugged Open Mic on 1st Friday of month (not August) Chequers Hotel, Newbury – 3pm Sundays Jazz - Pay at the door on the day 1 Jul, 5 Aug, 2 Sep Pete Allen & his band Enquiries: 01635 44806 The Monument, Newbury - Fridays & Saturdays 29 Jun - Bottle Kids 14 Jul - Syn City Rockers Open Mic night with Oli Hill on Thursdays Canal Bar, Newbury – Fridays Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury 23 Jun - Cover Brothers 28 Jul - Subzero 11 Aug - Paper Houses 1 Sep - The Soultones Lion, Newbury 7 Jul - Ilkley Lads 14 Jul - Beatle Juice 8 Sep - MASH The Newbury, Newbury Weekly on Thursdays - Sion Whiley presents Open Mic night on the roof terrace Old London Apprentice, Newbury 16 Jun - Iron Lotus 30 Jun - Jimmy Rocket 11 Aug - Father and Son Also 2nd Friday of each month is Folk Night The Swan, Thatcham 23 Jun 2-9pm Summer Festival Also Open Mic on 1st Saturday of month White Hart, Thatcham – Saturdays 23 Jun - MASH 7 Jul - Ray Jones Band 14 & 28 Jul - Stealer 4 Aug - No Way Out
More pubs with live music: Hermitage: Fox Inn Hungerford area: Railway Tavern, Wheatsheaf Newbury: Document House, Hare & Hounds, Starting Gate Thatcham area: Taste of England Woolhampton: Angel
The Campaign for Real Ale West Berkshire
■ Local Summer Beer and Cider Festivals: 9 June
Boxford Beer & Music Festival www.boxfordmasques.org.uk
PeaseFest, Peasemore www.peasefest.co.uk
White Hart, Hampstead Norreys Beer Festival with entertainment
Butt Inn, Aldermaston Family Beer Festival
Newbury Racecourse – Evening Racing Cider Festival
17-19 August Rowbarge Summer Festival, Woolhampton Fox & Hounds, Donnington – Cider and Sausage Festival
■ See the Beer Festival Diary on page 12 for more details of CAMRA beer and cider festivals: 11-14 July
Woodcote Festival of Ale
Maidenhead (advert page 4)
GBBF, Olympia (advert page 9)
■ The winners of CAMRA’s national real cider and perry competition judged at Reading Beer and Cider Festival were: Harry’s Cider Scrummage and Nempnett Cider - Piglet’s Choice Perry. Meon Valley Cider Dragonfly was the South of England winner. New Wharf Brewing Breakfast Stout won the beer of the festival award with places for
Undercurrent and Soundwave from Siren Craft Brew. Judging for Speciality and Bitter categories selected Binghams Brewery Vanilla Stout and West Berkshire Brewery Good Old Boy as regional entrants for the final stage of the 2019 Champion Beer of Britain contest. An innovation at this year’s festival was a 20 tap Key Cask bar in the northwest corner. Gas pressure is applied to ‘squeeze’ beer out of an internal bag within a plastic container but no gas touches the beer. Elusive, Tap Social, Siren and Wild Weather supplied several of the 75 beers for this popular bar during the festival. ■ The Hungerford Club hosts its seventh annual Real Ale Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend (25 - 27 August). Twelve real ales and two real ciders will be served daily. A variety of hot and cold snacks will be available. A curry night and live music session is planned for the Saturday evening and there will be a lunchtime barbecue and meat draw on the Sunday. On Bank Holiday Monday there will be a lunchtime barbecue and prize draw with music by the Hungerford Jazz Forum in the afternoon. Entry to the Festival and entertainment is free and open to all. ■ ‘Celtic Connections’ is the theme for distant beers at the Newbury Real Ale Festival on Saturday 8 September. There will also be a cider tent and a stage for live music. See advertisement below for more details. Tokens for two free pints benefit new members joining at the CAMRA stand and all members can enter a free draw to win the 2019 Good Beer Guide.
Elite Stainless Fabrications, based in Swindon, custom built a special edition 60 litre micro brewery unit to offer as a charity raffle prize. All proceeds will be split between Phab Kids and Swindon Down's Syndrome Group. The prize will be drawn at the Crown Inn, Stratton on 25 August. £5 tickets can be purchased from www.esfabrications.co.uk/news
T HE O LD L ONDON A PPRENTICE
We pride ourselves on being a traditional community pub where there’s always a warm welcome from Ken & Caroline Open 12 noon - 11pm (later Fri & Sat) try our New Summer Menu Good value traditional pub grub served 12-2.30pm (Tue-Sat), 6-8.30pm (Tue-Fri) Sunday roasts 12-3pm Bingo - Thursday Live bands - Saturday Karaoke - Sunday Four real ales including Harvey’s Sussex Best, Fuller’s London Pride & Wadworth 6X CAMRA discount
Saturday 8th September 2018 NORTHCROFT FIELDS 12 noon ONWARDS • LIVE MUSIC • DELICIOUS FOOD • OVER 100 BEERS & CIDERS • A GREAT LOCAL DAY OUT
#nraf18 BUYR YOUETS TICK NE ONLI oken
t ra drink t x e e E l E n R F ry o in with evepurchased ticket T & C’s t to Subjec
Function room available 2 Hambridge Road, Newbury, RG14 5SS | Tel: 01635 41483 www.oldlondonapprentice.co.uk
Ullage June - August 2018
www.newburyrealale.co.uk /NewburyRealAleFestival /NewburyAleFest /NewburyAleFest
Kieran - The Lion’s Quizmaster
beer : cider : gin : pie ‘It’s always beer o’clock at The Catherine Wheel’ WEST BERKSHIRE CAMRA CIDER PUB OF THE YEAR WEST BERKSHIRE CAMRA 2017OF THE YEAR 2015 / 2017 PUB OF THE YEAR 2018 &2015 CIDER/ PUB
6 cask ales with at least 4 local 18 boxed ciders 120+ gins in our ‘Gin Yard’ bar Craft British & international keg beers Local bottled ciders 130 bottled craft and continental beers CAMRA discount available Quality pies by Pieminister 35 Cheap Street, Newbury. RG14 5DB
If you visit the Lion, Newbury, on a Thursday evening, you will find the pub filling up with teams before the 8.30pm start of Kieran’s quiz. Kirsty and her staff will be pulling pints of Wadworth 6X or Horizon and Kieran will be going round the tables collecting £1 from entrants and handing out answer sheets. Previously, when Tony and Sarah ran the pub and the quiz, Kieran was part of the Scribblenauts quiz team for about five years. At the end of each section, he was notorious for dashing to get his team’s answer sheet back to the bar first for marking. Kieran began a monthly quizmaster spot in 2016 and he became the sole weekly presenter at the start of 2017. The quiz always starts with a picture round, includes a music intros round in the middle section and finishes with a general knowledge ‘wipeout’ round. The subjects for the other four rounds vary from week to week. Kieran said ‘The quiz is tricky, but I assume people like that, as they keep coming back. I enjoy doing it because whilst each quiz follows the same formula, each one is unique from the others which is challenging to write. The pub definitely benefits from getting a larger number of customers in on what would otherwise be a regular weeknight.’ Revealing that ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Blade Runner’ are among his favourite films, it is no surprise to find that Kieran’s eyes are set on the future with a keen interest in commercial space companies like SpaceX. He is also excited that a 1000 mph world land speed record may soon be set by (British) Bloodhound SSC or Aussie Invader ‘cars’. Look out for quiz questions on topics like these! The autumn issue of Ullage will include a listing of local pub quizzes.. Please send details of regular quizzes to email@example.com
Come and enjoy our award winning pub featuring a delicious menu and wide selection of ales & wines. Also try our weekly quiz night held every Tuesday. West Berkshire Pub of the Year 2016
For more information or to make a booking call 01635 36695
54 Cheap St, Newbury, West Berkshire, RG14 5BX • 01635 36695 kctavern.com /KingCharlesTavernNewbury /@kctavern
The Campaign for Real Ale West Berkshire
Pub Profile #62
The Four Points Inn Aldworth The Berkshire Downland village of Aldworth lies to the north east of Newbury on the B4009, which is one of the longest B roads in England. This part of the road was labelled the B4009 in 1935 as part of a country wide review of road numbers.
Just south of the village, the Four Points Inn is actually a free house pub not an Inn, and takes its name from the crossroads that it faces. The old direction fingerposts can still be seen, directly opposite the pub, on the grass bank. When first built in the 17th Century it was only the right end of the thatched building, which has a log fire, that was used for serving beer, the rest of the building was cottages.
Chantelle & Ian with their Team
Nowadays the pub takes up the whole building and has four different sections; the bar area with comfy seats, a few tables in front of the fireplace, the main dining area at the front of the building, and a smaller dining room at the rear. Private functions for up to 40 people can be catered for. The Four Points Inn is owned by Ian Cowie and Chantelle O’Connor. Ian and Chantelle first took over the tenancy in 2005, but then bought the freehold in 2008. Their hard work, with the help of their Team, has made the pub into a very popular choice for good value home cooked meals.
Ullage June - August 2018
One of the biggest attractions is Sunday lunch, but if you want to indulge you’ll probably need to book a couple of weeks in advance. All of the meats used throughout the menu come from Vicars Game, including those used to make the very popular home cooked pies. There is also a Specials board, and deals on Light Lunches (Monday to Friday) if your appetite can’t cope with the usual generous portions. Ian and Chantelle offer two ales on hand pump, Loose Cannon’s Abingdon Bridge and Wadworth’s 6X. They have found over the years that these go down well with their regular customers. The Four Points Inn is well placed for use by walkers and cyclists. The Ridgeway is less than two miles away and there are several other byways and bridle paths around Aldworth. Dogs are welcome inside as long as they are kept within the tiled floor area, and they even have their own bar snacks! If you prefer to sit outside then there is a fenced garden to the side of the pub with a children’s play area, or there are also benches and tables on the raised grass area directly across the road. Parking is easy as there is a large car park across from the pub, and a few spaces to the side.
During summer The Four Points Inn boasts a stunning display of hanging baskets. These are a labour of love by Carol and Dick, from Curridge, and have been the subject of many photographs taken by passers-by over the years. If you fancy joining a folk jam session, then Irish band Mo Cairde use the pub for practice from 8.30pm on the first Sunday of the month. The Four Points Inn has had several famous patrons over the years. However you don’t need to be a celebrity to receive a very warm welcome from Ian and Chantelle and their Team. You can expect a comfortable and pleasant visit regardless of the time of year. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm and 5.30pm-10.30pm Sat & Sun all day 12pm-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm and 6pm-9pm Sat & Sun all day 12pm-9pm The Four Points Inn, Haw Lane, Aldworth, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9RL Phone: 01635 578 367 www.thefourpointsinn.co.uk Alison Chetwynd
Main dining area with Specials board
Leuven, Belgium Leuven (Louvain) lies 16 miles east of Brussels. The city is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant and the global HQ of AB InBev - the brewer of Stella Artois. Arriving on Thursday 22 March, Tim Thomas and Simon Grist spent three days in Leuven without drinking a drop of the local pilsner lager. However they did seek out quality beers from the best bars and breweries!
At M-Cafe, with its own entrance from Savoyestraat as well as an internal entrance from M-Museum (during opening hours), where 14 beers are available on tap, they were lucky to get involved with a presentation by Palm Breweries. Simon particularly enjoyed a sample of Rodenbach Alexander, a mixed fermentation beer made from two thirds beer that was matured in oak casks for 24 months and one third young beer, subjected to maceration with sour cherries.
Later in the evening at M-Cafe, Koen and Steven offered samples of Spacelord, with coffee and vanilla flavours, from a 75cl bottle brewed by ‘Maltefakker’ at nearby Brouwerij de Vlier. On Saturday, Tim and Simon took advantage of the Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal Tasting Room weekly opening from 2pm-6pm. Several 33cl bottles were shared, starting with Saison and ending with Frambuesa y Chocolate, a 7% ABV beer made with raspberries that was quite sour and fruity. This is a family run brewery on a farm with Swiss cows and a hop garden. It was a pleasure to meet Andre Janssens and his son Jef, the brewer. A complimentary tour included a look inside an oak Foeder that Jef opened up, to show us the internal heating element. For more information on the places visited, read Tim’s five Leuven blog posts on beereurope.blogspot.co.uk which tie in with the map above. Hof ten Dormaal Kriek and Zure von Tildonk are available at the Catherine Wheel, Newbury.
Hof ten Dormaal Tasting Room
@WBCAMRAcider @WBCAMRA @UllageBeer @BerkshirePubs @insidebeer
West Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale @WBCAMRA CAMRA @campaignforrealale
The John O’ Gaunt Inn, Hungerford Proud To Be Part Of The Award Winning INNformal Pub Co & Brewery • Beautiful newly refurbished pub • Hungerford’s finest selection of real ales & cider • Over 50 bottled beers around the world • Boasts its very own micro brewery on site • Serving locally sourced, lovingly prepared and superbly cooked food every day John O’ Gaunt, Bridge Street, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0EG +44 1488 683535
About us Since 2006 we’ve been lovingly crafting award-winning, bottle conditioned cider in West Berkshire. We make it the old fashioned way – by hand. That’s why we call it – ‘Proper Cider’ Available in Waitrose
Get in touch Tel. 0118 974 4649 Tweet. @tuttsclumpcider facebook.com/tuttsclumpcider www.tuttsclumpcider.co.uk
A beautiful, authentic country pub with rooms offering: Award winning real ales from West Berks brewery in the village Stunning, Michelin rated, home cooked food Delicious Sunday roasts Fixed price lunch menu Monday to Friday 10 luxurious guest bedrooms Glorious walled beer garden Al fresco dining under leafy vine terrace 3 roaring log fires 3 private dining rooms for up to 70 guests
Accreditations include : Muddy Stilettos – Best Boutique Stay 2017 Alistair Sawday’s Special Places To Stay 2017 The Michelin Guide 2017 The AA Good Pub Guide 2017 Country & Town House - Great British & Irish Hotels 2017 THE SQUARE, YATTENDON, BERKSHIRE RG18 0UG TELEPHONE: 01635 201 325 EMAIL: INFO@ROYALOAKYATTENDON.COM WWW.ROYALOAKYATTENDON.COM
The Campaign for Real Ale West Berkshire
Cider Profile #3
Crazy Dave’s Cider I think the first thing that needs to be asked is: Why Crazy Dave's Cider? Well, you can ask Dave Snowden (a.k.a. Crazy Dave) himself and he will give you the answer, a Yorkshireman in the Royal County of Berkshire making cider, you have to be crazy! Now, the story begins in 2013 with Dave noticing the amount of windfall apples that he was seeing on a daily basis during the autumn. So off he went and bought his first press (now destined for Crazy Dave's Cider Museum) and collected apples. After milling and pressing the apples he laid down his first vintage which went down well with family and friends the following late spring. After leafleting the area in 2014, asking for unwanted apples (in exchange for a few bottles of the finished product), Dave officially started Crazy Dave's Cider. Following the takeover of Dave's house with fermenting cider, it was time (as advised by Mrs CD) to move on. So equipment was moved to the Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) at Burchetts Green where the scale of production could be increased. Sourcing Berkshire apples has become a bit of a detective game for Dave, from scouring the countryside looking for rogue trees to studying old Tithe maps to spot where orchards were many years ago. Dave would then visit the area to see if any trees were still standing. It didn't take long to outgrow the premises at the BCA. A move was made to the current site at Holyport, just south of Maidenhead, where full production continues to this day.
Dave still gives presentations and lectures at the BCA. He also contributes articles to the Slough, Maidenhead & Windsor CAMRA branch magazine - CAMRA Angle. Crazy Dave's ciders are all of the Eastern Counties style and currently he produces Berkshire Medium, Berkshire Dry and Berkshire Rebel. A new cider Berkshire Angel is due to be released in June 2018. Dave can be found at various farmers' markets in the area, including Newbury where he attends the first Sunday of every month. His ciders can be found in some local pubs in the area including the Catherine Wheel, Newbury.
The Castle Inn· Cold Ash 䡲 West Berkshire CAMRA Community Pub of the Year 2010
䡲 Good Beer Guide 2011-14 & 2016-18 䡲 Cask Marque accredited since 2002 䡲 Five real ales including one from West Berkshire Brewery
䡲 Open all day - every day Hot soup and a roll 2.30-5.30pm 䡲 Family and dog friendly 䡲 Good value food
䡲 Quiz Mondays at 8.30pm
Cold Ash Hill ·Cold Ash ·Thatcham ·Berkshire RG18 9PS Tel: 01635 863232 ·www.thecastleatcoldash.co.uk Follow us on Facebook
CAMRA member Chris Reynolds is also Membership Secretary of West Berks Ramblers and will be leading the following walks: Newbury Farmers' Market, 4 February 2018]
You can keep up to date with Crazy Dave's Cider via Twitter @crazydavescider and the website www.crazydavescider.co.uk Wassail!
Rod Holmes West Berkshire CAMRA Cider Liaison Officer Twitter @WBCAMRAcider
Thu 28 Jun 9.30am: Park in Station Road, Great Shefford. 10.4 miles. Lunch at Five Bells, Wickham. Sun 26 Aug 9.30am: Park at Hurst Community College layby, Baughurst. 11 miles. Lunch at Rowbarge, Woolhampton. Contact Chris on 01635 226826 or 07979 804637 about a trial ramble.
NEWBURY’S FIRST MICRO PUB
West Berkshire CAMRA member Jeff Evans is the beer writer behind the Inside Beer website. Updated daily, www.insidebeer.com includes The Beer Buzz (news), Events & Festival listings and exclusive features. There are archives for Pub of the Month / Beer of the Month, including those below.
Mar: The royal Oak, Borough, London Samuel Smith Old Brewery Bitter Apr: The Fox & Hounds, Caversham Greene King Abbot Ale May: Small Bar, Bristol St Stefanus Blonde
Ullage June - August 2018
Cow & Cask is available for private hire, and given enough notice we will try very hard to have “Your Favourite Micro Brewery Ale” on the stillage. Although we are a “Micro Pub” we can Squeeze, Jimmie, Squash or Shoehorn 20-25 persons in and make them comfortable. We can also provide a few seats!!!
1 Inches Yard Market Street Newbury RG14 5DP
Opening Hours Mon Closed Tue 5-9 Wed 5-9 Thu 12-2, 5-9 Fri 12-2, 5-10 Sat All Day 12-10 Sun Closed Discount for CAMRA card holders
Tel: 07517 658071
One of Newbury’s oldest and finest Inns Enjoy West Berkshire‘s Good Old Boy And our weekly guest beers from some of the areas finest producers Great Fresh Food served daily Bath Road, Speen, RG14 1QY (01635) 521152 www.hareandhoundshotel.net 9
CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide Belgium Joe Stange & Tim Webb
In an introductory section ‘As we grow older’, Tim Webb reminisces about being on the first overseas trip by the British Guild of Beer Writers to Belgium with Michael Jackson and Roger Protz in October 1988. One evening at Brugs Beertje cafe in Bruges, the idea to publish a guide for beer travellers arose. Thirty years later, with publication of this edition, Tim has passed the project on to its joint author, since the seventh edition, Joe Stange (@Thirsty_Pilgrim on Twitter). The book is split into three main sections. The top of each page is coded using the colours of the Belgian flag - yellow for beers and brewing, red for details of 800 places to find beer and black for Beer Tourism. There is one chapter you may need to save for later. The subtitle for ‘Beer in the Belgian Way(s) is ‘To those who are new to Belgian beer: do not read this chapter. Not yet. Go and drink.’ The considerable length of this chapter is explained by the (edited) sentence ‘The attraction of Belgian beer is ... its diversity’. There are sections on Lagers, Holy Beers, Blond Ales, Pale and Amber Ales (including Saisons), Brown Ales (including Dubbels), Black Beers, White Beers, Barley Wines, Seasonal Varieties and ‘But we save the best for last’ Wild Beers. These last five pages explain Lambic brewing involving ‘spontaneous fermentation’. This section covers lambic, Faro, gueuze, kriek and mixed feermentation beers extensively. Brewery and blendery details are split across two sections. As an illustration, Proef (De Proefbrouwerij Andelot) brews its own Reinaert range and is listed under ‘Belgian Breweries A to Z’ but also operates as a ‘brewery for hire’. Musketeers - ‘Brewing engineers who have taken the designs of their Troubadour beers to Proef since 2000’ - is listed in the smaller ‘Brands without Breweries’ section. The authors write ‘We are bold enough to grade breweries on a five-points scale for excellence across their portfolio’. Breweries awarded ‘Among the world’s best breweries’ include Authentic Trappist breweries eg Orval, Westmalle and Westvleteren and two Brussels breweries: Cantillon, ‘one of the most influential breweries on the international beer scene’, is the last surviving Brussels lambic brewer and blender ‘The thumbprint of Cantillon lambics is a musty lemon backtaste and touch of grapefruit’. Senne (Brasserie de la Senne) has ‘built a reputation for distinctive, robustly hopped beers of great consistency ...’ like Taras Boulba (4.5% ABV) and Zinnebir (6%). The comprehensive ‘Where to find beer’ chapter has sections for Brussels and Belgium’s ten provinces split across Dutch speaking Flanders in the north and French speaking Wallonia in the south. Each regional section starts with a general introduction to the area followed by brewery 10
destinations and then towns listed alphabetically with useful information, bars, cafes, beer stores and hotel tips where applicable. Recommended bars mentioned in the Belgian beer around the World chapter include Bristol’s The Strawberry Thief and Cambridge’s Elm Tree. A final chapter on the Belgian beer year is useful if you like visiting beer festivals. Highlights include Leuven’s Zythos Bierfestival in late April, Leuven Innovation Beer Festival in May and Antwerp’s Bierpassie Weekend in late June. This is an excellent guide for dipping into, perhaps on the Eurostar train to Brussels! It is well illustrated with plenty of maps and photographs to break up the text. There is a general index and a useful Beer Brands index with over 700 entries. The book can be obtained from shop.camra.org.uk/books (with a discount for CAMRA members who login to the site).
A range of Belgian beers can be found at the John O'Gaunt Inn, Hungerford; Five Bells, Wickham and the Catherine Wheel, Newbury.
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There are more beers, breweries and beer cafes to feature since the seventh edition of the Guide was published in 2014 and the authors commitment is to ‘point you at the very best’.
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The Campaign for Real Ale West Berkshire
A good beer garden is a kind of fairy tale that allows you to wallow in summer, and to imagine yourself above or outside the modern world.
Asking for tasters of beer is an affectation that is of little real value to the customer Thirty years ago, when most pubs just offered a fixed beer range, the idea of asking for a taster would have been greeted with derision. More recently, though, as ever-changing guest beers have increasingly become the norm, it has become much more common. If you’re confronted with an array of ten beers you’ve never heard of before, it’s not unreasonable to ask for a sample before committing yourself to spending what now can often be approaching a couple of quid just for a half.
Explore more than 30 bars under one roof! Real Ale • Craft Beer Cider • Perry • Wine Gin • Entertainment Street Food • Music
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a discounts uat CAMRA Memberseenjoy beer festivals, Wetherspoon pubs ( * with voucher) and pubs below: Aldermaston: Hind's Head Brimpton: Three Horseshoes per pint
per half pint
However, the range of flavours encompassed by the great majority of beers is fairly limited and predictable, so you’re unlikely to end up with something that really frightens the horses. If it doesn’t suit your palate, then just don’t buy it again. It’s also doubtful whether a small sample really gives a fair impression of what a beer is like. It’s said that you don’t fully appreciate a beer until you reach the bottom of the glass. It’s also something likely to incur the wrath of both bar staff and other customers if you do it when they’re three deep at the bar. You can imagine the cartoon of ‘The man who asked for a taster in Wetherspoon’s at 10.30 on Friday night’. And it does seem to appeal to a certain type of person who specialises in making a nuisance of himself. With sufficient chutzpah, it can easily be exploited to get a significant quantity of beer for free. It’s sometimes argued that offering tasters is a good way of encouraging people to try cask beer. But surely it just adds a layer of mystique to the subject, and the best way of promoting cask must be to keep it in good condition and offer beers that people actually want to drink and are likely to make repeat purchases. And nobody should be asking for tasters to check whether the beer’s in good condition. You have a reasonable expectation in any pub of not getting a duff pint and, if you do, the remedy is to take it back and ask for it to be changed. Yes, if a beer has an unusual or challenging flavour, then offering tasters makes sense. But, for the great majority of beers, it’s just an affectation on a par with putting little jam jars of beer alongside the pumps to indicate the colour. And you never see people ask for tasters of lager, do you?
7-11 August • Olympia London
We first became aware of how magical a German beer garden could be after Jessica went to the World Cup in 2006 and came back in love with the Englischer Garten in Munich where she saw thousands of football fans served litre after litre of Helles with unruffled efficiency. German beer gardens work because they are given space to breathe even in big cities, because of at-seat service, and because the weather is fairly reliable from spring through to autumn which means you can set them up and pack them away to some sort of schedule. In Britain, beer gardens don’t work quite so well. Here it can be warm and bright on Christmas Day, but rain from May to September. Few pubs have the space for a real garden — you’re lucky to find a yard in most cases — and when they do, rarely find it worthwhile keeping them maintained. You’ll often find mildewed picnic tables, plastic patio furniture, or concrete tables designed to stay put during gales, but rarely any trees or birdsong. Smokers, with nowhere else to go, own British pub gardens and the infrastructure of bolt-on ashtrays and lean-to shelters reflects that. Or, alternatively, they are the domain of children, so you’ll find yourself drinking next to a bouncy castles or fibreglass tree slides. Country and coastal pubs sometimes pull it off, taking advantage of the landscape to make a small garden feel endless, placing tables on cliffsides, woodsides and riversides. Urban pubs can sometimes do it, too, with enough potted palms and fairy lights, as our old London local, The Nags Head in Walthamstow. British beer gardens rarely achieve the laid-back mellowness of the Continental variety because we don’t get to practice using them enough. They’re either desolate, or overcrowded and chaotic, with seagulls smashing stacks of wasp-filled glasses as they swoop on half-eaten burgers, watched by rapidly reddening drinkers squinting into the sun. Still, that first outside pint of the year is a wonderful thing — a celebration of having survived the winter, a toast to the summer yet to come. We’ll be out there on the bare lawn next to the wheelie bins the first chance we get.
A Matter of Taste
Th Be e U lti er Fe ma te st iv al
Hungerford: John O’Gaunt Inn This pub offers CAMRA members a discount Newbury: Catherine Wheel Cow & Cask Gun, Wash Common Hatchet Inn* King Charles Tavern Old London Apprentice Terms and conditions
Wickham: Five Bells
Real Ales Dog & Family Friendly
We’re Boak and Bailey We’re geeks in general, but especially about beer and pubs. We write under the names Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey. We live in Bristol in the UK. We’ve been blogging about beer since 2007. www.boakandbailey.com
Ullage June - August 2018
The Curmudgeon column appears in Opening Times, Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA’s bimonthly magazine. Comments on his articles can be left on the website curmudgeoncolumns.blogspot.com
01672 541224 www.redlionbaydon.co.uk 11
West Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale Chairman/ Andy Pinkard Membership: Tel 07989 382676 (M) firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Mike Avery Tel 01635 820481 (H) firstname.lastname@example.org 2 Sutton Road, Speen, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1UN
Alison Chetwynd email@example.com
Press Officer: Karen Bowen firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Girling email@example.com
Pubs Officer: Paul Worsley firstname.lastname@example.org
Pubs DB/ Kevin Brady Beer Surveys: email@example.com Cider & Perry Rod Holmes Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop and Taproom Opening Hours
Shop Open Daily: 10am to 6pm
Taproom Open Daily: 10am to 6pm, Thurs - Sat until 11pm
Phone: 01635 767090 Email: email@example.com wbbtaproom
Beer Festival Diary
Available for private tours Please call 01635 767090 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
West Berkshire Brewery Shop, Taproom & Kitchen. The Old Dairy, Yattendon, Berkshire, RG18 0XT
Diary Dates 2018 The following is a list of all forthcoming meetings of the West Berkshire branch of CAMRA. Some are ‘social’ meetings, lively and friendly occasions where we enjoy a few beers; others are ‘branch’ meetings, which are slightly more formal and where we discuss beer and pubs issues. Unless stated, our meetings are open to all-comers – and new members are particularly welcome!
Friday 15 June Beer Day Britain #CheersToBeer 7pm Cow & Cask, Newbury Wednesday 27 June Branch Annual General Meeting The Newbury (upstairs), Newbury Details: page 1
Saturday 21 July Two Cocks Brewery lunchtime visit for CAMRA members (with CAMRA Berkshire South-East) Check www.westberkscamra.org.uk for details Friday 10 August Great British Beer Festival social 1pm Olympia. Meet CAMRA bookstall Saturday 18 August Afternoon Social The Rowbarge Summer Festival, Woolhampton
All meetings start at 8pm unless otherwise stated. Check our website for further details: www.westberkscamra.org.uk Ullage is published by the West Berkshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale and is copyright of CAMRA. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the contributor and are not necessarily endorsed by the Production Team or The Campaign for Real Ale. Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in Ullage is correct, but the publishers accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions.
Local Trading Standards office: Tel 01635 519930 Facebook: West Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale
Kitchen Open: Tues - Sun 12pm to 3pm, Thurs - Sat 6pm to 9pm
Tuesday 5 June Branch meeting Old London Apprentice, Newbury
CAMRA run or supported beer festivals provide excellent opportunities for sampling a wide range of real ales, from all over the UK and overseas. Here are some of the major and most accessible festivals for West Berkshire drinkers. See page 5 for more festival details. 11-14 July 29th Ealing Beer Festival Walpole Park, Mattock Lane W5 5BG www.ebf.camra.org.uk 14-15 July Woodcote Festival of Ale Woodcote Rally 8 miles NW of Reading on A4074 www.woodcoterally.org.uk 26-28 July Maidenhead Beer & Cider Festival Desborough College SL6 2QB www.maidenheadbeerfest.camra.org.uk 7-11 August Great British Beer Festival London Olympia W14 8UX www.gbbf.org.uk
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