Mine's a Pint Issue 44

Reading & Mid-Berkshire CAMRA's Branch Magazine, Mine's a Pint, Issue 44

Reading & Mid-Berkshire CAMRA's Branch Magazine, Mine's a Pint, Issue 44


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IN THIS ISSUE...<br />






AWARDS<br />

& MORE...<br />

FREE<br />







FREE - PLEASE TAKE A COPY Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong>

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong>

Branch Diary<br />

All events start at 20.00 and are open to everybody unless<br />

specified.<br />

December<br />

Thu 7: (20.00) Branch Meeting. Foresters Arms, 79-81<br />

Brunswick Street RG1 6NY. CAMRA members only, please.<br />

Sat 9: (13.00) Windsor pub crawl, meet at Carpenters Arms,<br />

4 Market Street, Windsor SL4 1PB and then visit 4 or 5<br />

other pubs in Windsor/Eton. This event is run by our friends<br />

at SWM branch. Trains from Reading 12:03, Slough 12:30<br />

arrival Windsor 12:36, return from Windsor 18:00, (or 18:20,<br />

18:40 & 19:00) Slough 18:11 arrival Reading 18:38.<br />

January<br />

Thu 11: (19:30 for 20:00) New year dinner at Sweeney &<br />

Todd, 10 Castle Street, Reading RG1 7RD. Please email<br />

social@readingcamra.org.uk to reserve a dining place.<br />

Sun 14: (12.05) First PotY Social. Meet at the Retreat, 4 St<br />

John’s Street RG1 4EH. Move on at 13.00 for 13.10 number<br />

10 bus to Bell & Bottle, 37 School Green, Shinfield, RG2 9EE,<br />

to arrive at 13.40. I have booked a table for 13.45. Please<br />

email social@readingcamra.org.uk if you would like to join<br />

our table for dinner.<br />

Sun 28: Social trip to Pewsey. Royal Oak, 35 North Street<br />

SN9 5ES, plus 4 or 5 other pubs. Train time TBC<br />

February<br />

Sat 10: Ale Trail Launch - Venue and Time TBC<br />

March<br />

Sat 3: East London Ale Trail. Meet at 11.30 Whitechapel<br />

station. A five mile crawl of East London pubs and taprooms,<br />

starting at Whitechapel station, and ending at Hackney Wick.<br />

For more details see www.ELAT18.eventbrite.co.uk<br />

Contact Us<br />

Useful contact details for this<br />

magazine, CAMRA and other<br />

important things…<br />

Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong> Circulation: 3,000.<br />

Outlets: Over 70 across the region.<br />

Editor: Phil Gill<br />

editor@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

0771 455 0293<br />

81 Addison Road, Reading, RG1 8EG<br />

Magazine published on behalf of<br />

Reading and Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

by:<br />

Neil Richards MBE at Matelot<br />

Marketing<br />

01536 358670 / 07710 281381<br />

n.richards@btinternet.com<br />

Printed by Portland Printers, Bartley<br />

Drive, Kettering,<br />

Northants, NN16 8UN.<br />

01536 511555<br />

Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

www.readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Social Secretary: Chris Hinton<br />

social@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Contact for all other branch matters:<br />

Katrina Fletcher<br />

contact@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

0779 401 9437<br />

Local Trading Standards<br />

Reading Borough Council:<br />

www.reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3737<br />

West Berkshire Council:<br />

www.westberks.gov.uk 01635 519930<br />

Royal Borough of Windsor &<br />

Maidenhead:<br />

www.rbwm.gov.uk 01628 683800<br />

Wokingham Borough Council:<br />

www.wokingham.gov.uk 0118 974<br />

6400<br />

The next issue of Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong> will be<br />

published in early March. Please<br />

feel free to submit any copy or ideas<br />

by 10 th February.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

3<br />

The opinions expressed in Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong><br />

are not necessarily those of the editor or<br />

the Campaign for Real Ale. © Campaign<br />

for Real Ale 2017.

From The (Guest) Editor<br />

Our stalwart editor, Phil, has handed the reins<br />

to me for this edition. Having edited every<br />

single one of 43 publications of “Mine’s A<br />

<strong>Pint</strong>” he is taking a much earned holiday, and<br />

we wish him and Sandie a wonderful time.<br />

43! That’s eleven years’ worth! After putting<br />

together just this one, I can assure you that<br />

he gets neither enough credit, nor thanks, so<br />

if you see him in the pub, buy him a pint; He<br />

particularly likes Stouts, Milds, and Porters.<br />

When I agreed to take on this edition, it was<br />

not with any inkling that it might be the final<br />

one;<br />







At the time of writing, a skeleton committee are<br />

putting together mailouts to branch members<br />

to appeal for volunteers to stand for committee<br />

positions, if you aren’t on the mailing list then<br />

you can find information and contact details<br />

in these pages.<br />

The situation is stark - We have 3 months from<br />

the date of the last AGM to turn things around,<br />

if this does not happen then the branch will<br />

be dissolved. For the beer festival to be viable<br />

however, progress needs to come much sooner;<br />

we must be able to commit to spending for<br />

infrastructure orders to go in.<br />

We don’t know what the future holds, but it’s<br />

in your hands.<br />

Katrina Fletcher<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

4<br />

Contents<br />




PUB & BREWERY NEWS 6-9<br />


BEHIND THE BAR 11-12<br />

PUB OF THE YEAR 13<br />



SIMONDS 17<br />


MORLANDS 20-21<br />

AWARDS EVENING 23-24<br />

WINTER ALES 25<br />



The future of Reading<br />

& Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

The Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA branch<br />

held its AGM on Saturday 11th November.<br />

Unfortunately, this resulted in several positions<br />

remaining unfilled, including some very key ones.<br />

These are as follows.<br />

Committee roles:<br />

• Chairman<br />

• Vice Chairman<br />

• Pub Campaign<br />

Other roles:<br />

• Cider<br />

• Clubs<br />

• Locale Coordinator<br />

• Press and Publicity<br />

• Public Affairs<br />


It is crucial that people step forward if we are<br />

to continue. Please make an effort to attend the<br />

meeting at the Foresters and please email contact@<br />

readingcamra.org.uk if you would be willing to<br />

stand for a role – we would be delighted to hear<br />

from you. You can also contact the outgoing<br />

Chair, Quinten Taylor, on 07887 424232.<br />

Without the three key committee roles filled, the<br />

branch cannot function and cannot spend any<br />

money.<br />








We have enough of a committee that we can<br />

rebuild but getting a Chairman is crucial. The<br />

Committee ultimately needs to consist of 8<br />

different individuals so there is a need for 3 extra<br />

members.<br />

The next branch meeting will be focused around<br />

“Saving the Branch”. It will be held at the<br />

Foresters Arms on Thursday 7 December at 8pm.<br />

Keep an eye on facebook and the branch website<br />

for latest updates.<br />











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Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Pub & Brewery News<br />

Pub News<br />


We understand that the Arborfield Green Garden<br />

Village has a new pub proposed as part of the<br />

planning application.<br />

After the reporting in the previous issue that the<br />

Bramshill Hunt had closed, we are pleased to say<br />

that it is re-opened under a holding company.<br />

Bingham’s Twyford Tipple is back on as a regular<br />

beer. Please pop in and show your support for this<br />

large family-friendly pub.<br />

The Swan is reported as closed. We understand<br />

that it was listed for auction but we don’t know<br />

if it was sold or if so, who has purchased it.<br />

With the huge new housing development nearby,<br />

surely there is scope for this to be a successful and<br />

popular local pub?<br />

Popular local food traders at the Georgian Feast<br />

have taken up a Sunday brunch residency at<br />

the Island. Filled ‘boats’ are available alongside<br />

wraps. Doors open at 11am.<br />


The Victoria has had a spruce-up but no longer<br />

appears to be selling real ale. However the other<br />

two pubs in the village both do – the Turners Arms<br />

has four from the Marston’s list, and the Horse &<br />

Groom were carrying two Wychwood beers when<br />

our reporter visited on Halloween.<br />


The Basingstoke Road HP site development will<br />

have a new pub/restaurant constructed – we<br />

understand this is to be a Beefeater, so unlikely to<br />

be somewhere to set the pulse racing if so – we<br />

don’t recall seeing many Beefeater outlets in the<br />

Good Beer Guide...<br />

The Castle Tap will be running its annual<br />

December Giving Tree campaign, in association<br />

with Launchpad, from the December 10 th to 22 nd ;<br />

Donations of nonperishable items - tins/packets<br />

etc, can be left at the bar, or under the tree, and will<br />

be collected for distribution on the 22 nd . Winter<br />

events include an evening decorating the tree on<br />

the 10 th December, and a mince pie competition to<br />

be judged on the 22 nd .<br />


The Fox & Hounds now has a permanently<br />

covered outdoor section, which also has its own<br />

bar. Ideal for those warm nights or to cool off<br />

from a warm evening inside the pub!<br />

The Autumn beer festival hangovers may have<br />

receded, but beer continues to flow, and the pub is<br />

planning a Belgian beer promotion for January<br />

to chase away your winter blues. There is also<br />

a return of the Wild Weather Beer and Music<br />

Takeover in planning for January.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

6<br />

The pub has also been making space for a variety<br />

of music from punk to blues over the last couple of<br />

months, and there is more planned, possibly<br />

including a 3 rd birthday gig, so keep your eyes<br />

online for band announcements.<br />

The long-closed Corn Stores has been purchased<br />

by Havisham Group and will re-open again as a<br />

pub with a dining emphasis. The new owners are<br />

also behind the Shurlock Inn at Shurlock Row,<br />

so there’s a real cause for optimism. The press

elease states “ The Corn Stores,<br />

a sizeable Victorian pub spread<br />

over four floors, will undergo<br />

extensive renovation work<br />

before it’s re-opening in 2018<br />

and will become part of the<br />

Rarebreed Dining operation.”<br />

A number of reporters are<br />

saying good things about<br />

the beer range and quality in<br />

the ‘new’ Eldon Arms. This<br />

is very encouraging as we<br />

thought a few months ago<br />

that we had lost the pub<br />

when it was sold by Wadworth. The<br />

pub also ran its first mini beer festival in October.<br />

At the time of writing, the in-house brewery at the<br />

Great Expectations had suspended brewing.<br />

The Greyfriar will be closed for a few days around<br />

20 th November for a bit of a refurb to increase the<br />

number of cask and keg ales they sell. We<br />

understand that handpumps will increase from six<br />

to eight.<br />

The Island Lounge on Kennet Island is reported as<br />

closed and its future uncertain.<br />

At the University of Reading, the Park House bar<br />

(formerly known as the SCR) stocks up to five cask<br />

beers and a large number of these are from local<br />

breweries. Quality and consistency is high. Do<br />

note that non-accredited vehicles are not allowed<br />

on campus until after 5pm - however there is a very<br />

regular bus service that drops off in the campus<br />

outside Whiteknights House and Park House is<br />

less than 5 mins on foot thereafter. Open from<br />

Midday during University term-time and 4pm<br />

during Christmas and Easter vacation periods.<br />

The Pitcher & Piano has had a refurbishment. We<br />

understand that two real ales from the Marston’s<br />

list continue to be available.<br />

There is a new quiz night at the Retreat on every<br />

2 nd Wednesday evening of the month.<br />

The Three Guineas (which, you will remember,<br />

was the subject of a massive refurbishment by<br />

Fullers a few months ago) always stocks that<br />

brewery’s seasonal and speciality beers.<br />

David and Clare Richards celebrated their 10-year<br />

anniversary of running the Hop Leaf on Friday<br />

25 th August. Congratulations from us here at<br />

Reading CAMRA, the Hop has been a Good Beer<br />

Guide stalwart for<br />

the last few years and<br />

hosts one of the finest<br />

bar billiards tables<br />

in the county. It also<br />

sells Westons cider<br />

and perry.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

7<br />

We’ve been asked to point out that the cover of<br />

last months issue was taken at the Allied Arms.

Look out for their Payday Beer Festival at the end<br />

of every month.<br />


Tom is the new licensee of the Shurlock Inn. With<br />

a reputation as a dining pub, he is keen to stress<br />

that he’s happy to welcome drinkers in irrespective<br />

of whether they are eating or not. At least three<br />

local ales are always available.<br />


Landlord Dave Kesterton who has been running<br />

the Victoria and overseen welcome improvement<br />

in that once-maligned pub, has now also taken the<br />

nearby Butchers Arms on Lower Armour Road.<br />

Doom Bar and – more importantly – West<br />

Berkshire Good Old Boy will be permanent plus a<br />

guest ale to be confirmed.<br />


Harveys Sussex Best – a rare beer to find in<br />

Berkshire – is regularly available at the Waggon &<br />

Horses. Quality has been reported as good by our<br />

reporter.<br />


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Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



Ascot Ales has become Ascot Brewing company.<br />

Ascot Brewing has been busy since the new owners<br />

took over in the summer. Chris Davies and Mike<br />

Neame are joined by John Willatts, formerly Head<br />

Brewer at Binghams Brewery in Twyford, who will<br />

assume day-to-day responsibility for the Brewery.<br />

They have undertaken a review of the overall<br />

branding, drawing from the company’s existing<br />

provenance. Pumpclips and labels have been redesigned,<br />

and beers re-named, drawing from the<br />

company’s origin.<br />

They now produce:<br />

Anastasia’s Exile Stout. 5/4 Favourite (was<br />

Alligator Ale), Final Furlong (was Posh Pooch),<br />

Gold Cup, On the Rails, as well as a continuing<br />

range of seasonal specials such as Winter Reserve<br />

and Oktoberfest.<br />


Binghams had a tap takeover at the Greyfriar on<br />

Thursday 16 th November where there was the<br />

launch of a brand new beer Chocolate Orange<br />

Stout.<br />

The brewery have also taken on a temporary<br />

brewer to help with the seasonal increase in<br />

production. The aptly named Pete Brew was<br />

a founding member of Big Smoke brewery in<br />

London, he will be with Bingham’s until January.<br />


The Chiltern Brewery have won 3 top awards<br />

from the highly respected Society of Independent<br />

Brewers (Siba) at their Midlands awards. Bottled<br />

300s Dark Old Ale, which is certified gluten free,<br />

won Gold in the Small Pack, Strong Bitters & Pale<br />

Ales category, draught Chiltern Pale Ale ‘Bronze’<br />

in the Cask Standard Bitters & Pale Ales and<br />

draught porter Chiltern Black ‘Bronze’ in the Cask<br />

Speciality Mid to Dark Beers section.<br />

The awards are judged mostly by brewers, industry<br />

experts and beer journalists, so are very much seen<br />

as the ‘Brewers’ Choice Awards’ by the industry.<br />

The Brewery has also released a range of new<br />

limited-edition bottle-conditioned authentic<br />

Imperial Stouts. There are 3 to choose from –<br />

Tudor Spiced 6.8%, Dark Coffee 7% and Export<br />

Original 10% - all in 375ml Champagne style<br />

bottles with detailed historical and tasting notes<br />

on the labels.<br />

Seasonal draught beers on now include award<br />

winning 300s Dark Old Ale 4.9% - until January.<br />

A brand-new beer, Oatmeal Stout 4.1%, will be<br />

available in December.<br />

The ales can be ordered for delivery online from<br />

www.chilternbrewery.co.uk or collected from<br />

the Brewery Shop in Terrick. There is a special<br />

Christmas Brewery Shop there too with unique<br />

beer gift ideas and free tasters.<br />


Hook Norton Brewery opened a new Malthouse<br />

Kitchen restaurant on Thursday 9 th November.<br />

Located in the original Maltings building, which<br />

has been restored back to its period look with red<br />

brick walls, ironwork, and wooden floors, The<br />

Malthouse Kitchen guests can enjoy a café style<br />

menu featuring freshly prepared local food over<br />

the breakfast and lunchtime periods.<br />

Many of the dishes will include Hook Norton’s<br />

award-winning ale – e.g., Old Hooky Steak & Ale<br />

Pie, Buttered Toast & Hooky Gold Marmalade.<br />

A full range of teas and hand ground coffee will<br />

be available along with homemade cakes and<br />

pastries. There will, of course, be a bar, serving the<br />

latest range of Hook Norton ales.<br />

The Malthouse Kitchen will be open seven days<br />

a week and will also be available for private hire.<br />

LODDON<br />

Hocus Pocus Old Ale (4.6%) is now available in<br />

draught and bottles. Available from the brewery in<br />

3.6, 9, 18, 36, and 72-pints.<br />


September saw Moog Brew’s application for a<br />

premises licence for the brewery taproom/bottle<br />

shop (aka #moogBAR) approved. The premises<br />

licence allows you to buy and collect beers from<br />

the brewery, by prior appointment, any day of the<br />

week. It will also allow them to hold up to 52 open<br />

days each year, (previously restricted to 21 days).<br />

Mine’s A A <strong>Pint</strong> <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

10<br />

Seventy Years after George<br />

Orwell and the Perfect Pub<br />

It is now over<br />

seventy years since<br />

the author George<br />

Orwell (Animal<br />

Farm, 1984 etc)<br />

wrote about his<br />

ideal pub calling it<br />

“The Moon Under<br />

Water”. It is no<br />

coincidence that<br />

there are now at<br />

least 14 pubs with<br />

this name in the<br />

Wetherspoons chain<br />

but in Orwell’s<br />

mind it summed up<br />

his view of a pub<br />

customers nirvana.<br />

as he said “if anyone knows of a pub that has<br />

draught stout, open fires, cheap meals, a garden,<br />

motherly barmaids and no radio, I should be glad<br />

to hear of it, even though its name were something<br />

as prosaic as the Red Lion or the Railway Arms”.<br />

(Evening Standard, 9 February 1946)<br />

With the publication of “The Good Beer Guide”<br />

in September it is an interesting exercise to see that<br />

what makes a great pub has not changed much in<br />

three generations!<br />

Tony Springall<br />

The key points can be summed up as follows:<br />

• The architecture should be solid (Orwell<br />

wanted Victorian).<br />

• An open fire in winter.<br />

• Different bars to enable everyone to enjoy<br />

the evening.<br />

• Games such as darts to be played only in the<br />

public bar so there was no danger to life and<br />

limb whilst walking.<br />

• The pub is quiet enough to talk without a<br />

radio or piano (or Sky tv !!)<br />

• Staff are friendly and know customers names<br />

and where they don’t, will call them “dear”<br />

irrespective of age or gender.<br />

• It takes pride in its drinks and serves them<br />

well in decent glasses.<br />

• A good draught stout is served (Orwell’s<br />

favourite)<br />

• It may not serve full dinners but you can<br />

always get something to eat albeit sandwiches<br />

or cheese and pickles.<br />

• The pub has a decent garden where it is a<br />

pleasure to drink on a warm summer evening<br />

and where children can happily play.<br />

Orwell finished his article by saying that there<br />

were no pubs he knew with all these qualities<br />

although he knew of one with the majority and

Behind the Bar<br />

Nick Willson, licensee and co-owner of The Flowing Spring<br />

Hazel and I have run The Flowing Spring for seven<br />

years. In June we managed to buy the freehold<br />

from Fuller’s giving us the freedom to operate it to<br />

its full potential. Exciting times.<br />

This article describes some of our thoughts about<br />

the trade having been both tenants and now<br />

owners.<br />

To start with, anyone who runs a pub or is<br />

considering it needs at least one screw loose.<br />

Ideally more.<br />

Swilling a pint with your mates as a customer has<br />

always been a fine tradition. Even clocking on<br />

for occasional bar shifts is rather fun. But to take<br />

on a pub, hook, line and sinker, you need to be<br />

committed. Literally.<br />

Working the longest of hours, turning your hands<br />

to everything from finances and bookkeeping to<br />

marketing, cellar management, food, cleaning,<br />

maintenance, gardening, supplier relations,<br />

staffing, health and safety, legal responsibilities,<br />

customer management (yes, they need managing!),<br />

media relations and so on. Madness.<br />

To be fair, my only work experience is in country<br />

pubs so I can’t speak for the many townies where<br />

with greater footfall and an attractive offer the<br />

business should stand a reasonable chance. In<br />

the villages and out in the sticks it’s somewhat<br />

different. It has to suit the small community of<br />

which it becomes an intrinsic part and, crucially, it<br />

needs to offer something special and attractive to<br />

entice punters from further afield and keep them<br />

returning, getting them hooked. The locals alone,<br />

bless them, aren’t enough these days.<br />

Many of us will recall the days when we’d pub<br />

crawl by car into the wilderness and ever wonder<br />

how we got home. Of course that’s all changed<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

11<br />

and rightly so; Therefore anyone making the<br />

decision to grab their car or bike keys and make<br />

that journey for a pint needs good reason.<br />

Mywife,Hazel,hasbeeninthetradeformanyyears,<br />

cheffing for the widest range of establishments<br />

from chains to high-end independent restaurants.<br />

And she has a great knowledge of real ale. My<br />

background is marketing: corporate for many<br />

years, then freelancing to small firms for many<br />

more. Working from home can be a solitary<br />

existence so I began part-time work in the local<br />

pub. With the help of Stefano the landlord, I<br />

learned cellar management, grew to understand<br />

the mechanics of a busy pub and kitchen in full<br />

swing and together we looked at marketing his<br />

business in new ways, all valuable experience. Stef<br />

also taught me one unforgettable lesson: When<br />

you have your own pub and the money’s rolling<br />

in, remember, it’s not yours! How true. Once the<br />

brewery, suppliers, council, utilities, staff and the<br />

lovely taxman have collectively wrenched their<br />

funds from your hard-earned, there’s not much<br />

left.<br />

It was at that pub that Hazel and I got together.<br />

Over many beers we decided to pool our<br />

professional skills and seek out the ideal pub for<br />

us. The Flowing Spring was right under our noses<br />

and it fitted our hefty business plan. It’s been a<br />

fine, traditional country pub since the late 1700s<br />

with excellent ales, a charming quirkiness, almost<br />

an acre of land to exploit and a decent location on<br />

the main road between Reading and Henley. So<br />

Fuller’s took us on as tenants in December 2010<br />

and we set to work giving it some much needed<br />

TLC. We wanted its inherent charm to thoroughly<br />

shine so we enhanced its cosiness and quirkiness.<br />

We launched menus for people with dietary<br />

needs which have gone from strength to strength,<br />

winning national awards. We set to work putting<br />

on all sorts of events including astronomy nights,





Mondays closed. Tuesday to Friday open 12:00<br />

till 2:30pm and 5:30pm till 11pm. Saturday and<br />

Sunday open midday till 11:00.<br />

Homemade food including gluten-free, dairy-free,<br />

vegetarian, and vegan served Tuesday to Saturday<br />

noon to 2:15pm and 6pm to 9pm, Sundays noon<br />

to 2:15pm only.<br />

live music, charity fundraising weekends and<br />

auctions, beer festivals, classic car and bike meets,<br />

stand-up comedy nights, unplugged nights and<br />

lots more. Each event was designed to attract new<br />

customers from far and wide. And, importantly,<br />

we gained Camra’s and Cask Marque’s recognition<br />

for our range and quality of ales. We’re proud to<br />

have been South Oxfordshire Camra Pub of the<br />

Season twice and we’re in the Good Beer Guide for<br />

the sixth consecutive year.<br />

We purchased the freehold from the brewery in<br />

June 2017 and set about giving the pub it’s own<br />

identity and expanding the drinks offer. We now<br />

have a choice of six real ales. London Pride and<br />

ESB remain (they have their fan clubs), but now<br />

we’re like children in a sweet shop, selecting<br />

staggeringly good beers every week. We tend to go<br />

for big, robust flavours with great balances of malt<br />

and hops rather than the perfumed, citrusy hopped<br />

ales with scents of plug-in air fresheners. But that’s<br />

the traditionalist in us – and in our customers.<br />

We’ve also expanded our range of gluten-free<br />

beers, vegan beers and wines and, unusually, offer<br />

a large range of really good alcohol-free beers.<br />


• Unplugged Night - Any music, any style, any<br />

level but just acoustic. First Tuesday of the<br />

month at 7:45pm except January.<br />

• Quiz Night - Every Sunday 8pm to 9:30pm<br />

(please call to book). £1 per person, winning<br />

team takes the money.<br />

• Classic Car and Bike Breakfast Meet: Every<br />

second Sunday of the month in the car park<br />

and gardens from April to October, 9:30am<br />

to 11:30am. Bacon rolls, tea, coffee etc..<br />

available<br />

• Autojumble: Starting 15 April 2018 and every<br />

third Sunday of the month to October in the<br />

garden (subject to weather and demand)<br />

We’re all aware of the stranglehold tenants suffer<br />

on tied contracts, paying well over the wholesale<br />

price for drinks and the disproportionate<br />

rents solicited. But if tenants can survive these<br />

impositions and turn a small profit, it proves the<br />

business model has merit. Having proved it works,<br />

then look for a freehold and enjoy! It’s a great<br />

feeling.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Pub of the Year<br />

WHAT IS IT?<br />

Every year, the Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

branch awards its Pub of the Year (PotY) title to<br />

the pub voted for by branch members. It’s the<br />

most prestigious prize we can bestow and the<br />

more people voting, the better.<br />

Our winner plays off against the other three<br />

Berkshire branches in order to decide who is<br />

Berkshire PotY. It can then proceed through a<br />

number of larger inter-regional rounds and, if it’s<br />

judged best in class all the way through, end up as<br />

the National Pub of the Year. In 2017, the Nags<br />

Head made it through to the last 16 nationally!<br />

After much deliberation in our October branch<br />

meeting, the 2018 Pub of the Year six finalists are:<br />

Bell, Waltham St. Lawrence<br />

Bell & Bottle, Shinfield<br />

Castle Tap, Reading<br />

Fox & Hounds, Caversham<br />

Nags Head, Reading<br />

Retreat, Reading<br />

CAN I JOIN IN?<br />

Yes! If you’re a member of CAMRA or an<br />

affiliated organisation (e.g. Reading University<br />

Real Ale Society). A form will be circulated to take<br />

to the nominated pubs, score, and return (and<br />

online form will also be available). We only insist<br />

on two things:<br />

• That all listed pubs are visited<br />

• That you score fairly and honestly<br />


Voting is now open and runs until 28th February<br />

2018 – that’s three months to visit six of our finest<br />

pubs! How about planning some weekend trips?<br />

We like as many people as possible to vote, so<br />

we’re giving you a lot more time in which to<br />

complete your surveys and have also tried to make<br />

it as simple as possible to vote.<br />


• Via the normal paper PoTY 2018 Form<br />

which should can be obtained from (and<br />

returned to) whatpub@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

• Via our online form link at www.bit.ly/<br />

rdgpoty<br />

• If you decide to vote via our online form<br />

you can submit more than one form per<br />

pub as the scores will be condensed after the<br />

deadline has passed.<br />

You must be a CAMRA member, and need to visit<br />

and score every pub for your votes to count.<br />

You are welcome to score any of the pubs<br />

more than once – particularly if you ratings are<br />

significantly different on different visits. Multiple<br />

votes will be compressed to form an average once<br />

the voting has closed.<br />

Quinten Taylor<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


We’re on the Trail Again<br />

Since its start in 2002, our Real Ale Trail has<br />

showcased over a hundred pubs from within our<br />

branch, and a few from just outside. We have been<br />

told by our regional and national contacts, that<br />

it is the most successful CAMRA Ale Trail in the<br />

country.<br />

The number of pubs per trail has varied from<br />

twelve in 2004 to 28 in the 2010 to 2012 period.<br />

At its height, we printed 2,000 leaflets and had<br />

seven to eight hundred of them returned for their<br />

prizes. Of course, the most popular prize was<br />

when completing the trail guaranteed you free<br />

priority entry to the Beer & Cider Festival. Since<br />

the festival regularly went to capacity and operated<br />

a one-in-one-out policy, it was a very popular<br />

benefit. We even had a group of beer-lovers travel<br />

up from Wales to complete enough pubs to qualify<br />

so that when they came to the festival, they were<br />

guaranteed quick entry.<br />

The original objective of the trail was to promote<br />

the festival. In the first year you only had to visit<br />

five of the fifteen pubs to get a free ticket to the<br />

festival, drinking a pint – not a half – in each.<br />

Ten pubs gave you a ticket, plus a glass and beer<br />

tokens; while all fifteen gave you a weekend pass,<br />

beer glass, and beer tokens! In 2003 the number<br />

of pubs increased to eighteen, but with similar<br />

rewards.<br />

After many years of debate about the policy and<br />

the practicalities of advance tickets, the festival<br />

succeeded in engaging a suitable system, and the<br />

unique benefit of completing the trail disappeared.<br />

As was to be expected, the numbers completing<br />

the trail dropped substantially, but it was so<br />

well established in many people’s calendar, that<br />

it continued to flourish. It was, after all, still a<br />

good way of publicising the festival. It was also<br />

recognised as a good way to encourage people<br />

to visit pubs they might not otherwise go to, and<br />

it does, of course, raise awareness of the need<br />

to support pubs along with CAMRA’s other<br />

objectives.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

14<br />

Organising the trail does take a considerable<br />

amount of volunteers’ time and CAMRA’s money.<br />

The printing of the leaflets and the coloured<br />

stickers costs us nearly £500. The cost of the beer<br />

tokens and t-shirts runs up a four-figure bill. We<br />

have the draw prizes sponsored, but no income<br />

other than where the deposit on leaflets goes<br />

uncollected.<br />

Now it’s onwards! The plans for the 2018 trail are<br />

well underway. The format will be the same as last<br />

year, though, after a couple of successful years of<br />

including one pub just across our branch border,<br />

we plan to up it to two. As always we will include<br />

around a third to a half of pubs that weren’t on<br />

the previous trail and a few that have never been<br />

on the trail. Which pubs are in – well you’ll have<br />

to wait and see. Check out our Facebook page -<br />

Reading Ale Trail - and for more information<br />

about the trail, the rules, and the reasons, go to<br />

the branch webpage - www.readingcamra.org.uk/<br />

aletrail There’s much to be done before it starts on<br />

Saturday 10th February. So put that date in your<br />

diary and be ready to hit the trail.<br />

Brian Jones



Last summer at XT we brewed<br />

a Belgian Wit Beer, the ‘Animal<br />

Donkey’, with innovative and eccentric Italian<br />

Brewery BBBirra from Bosa. The beer was made<br />

with wheat and loads of potent Sardinian orange<br />

zest brought over by our brewing friend Carl<br />

Fitzpatrick.<br />

This year I headed out to the idyllic Sardinian<br />

coastal town of Bosa to join Carl again and get<br />

our brewing heads together for round two of our<br />

international collaboration. Carl runs his brewery<br />

and farm in the medieval town of Bosa on the<br />

banks of the river Temo in NW Sardinia. The<br />

two ventures are built on solid environmental and<br />

sustainable principles close to Carl’s heart. The<br />

farm grows all the barley, wheat and hops for the<br />

beers, and his well provides all the brewing liquor;<br />

the yeast even comes from the local wine producers.<br />

Both ancient and contemporary varieties of grains<br />

are grown to ensure a diverse culture on the farm<br />

and remove the need for chemical assistance.<br />

The by-products of brewing are fed to the farm<br />

animals. Unusual these days – even the used beer<br />

bottles are returned by Carl’s drinkers and refilled.<br />

The locals are so used to this now; he doesn’t<br />

even need to charge a deposit! The whole process<br />

from field to glass takes place all within walking<br />

distance of the farm. The first beer we worked<br />

on in the four storey brewery, tucked away in the<br />

narrow, winding streets of old town Bosa, was<br />

based on an Italian speciality – “Doppio Malto.”<br />

This very high gravity beer is made with a unique<br />

double mashing process. The super-strong wort<br />

is then munched away by yeast which had been<br />

cropped from actively fermenting Malvasia wine.<br />

To balance the massively chewy malt flavours,<br />

high alpha hops are added for a citrus bite.<br />

If the beers travel further than Bosa, Carl takes<br />

them in his mobile pub – an amazing converted<br />

German fire engine. With hand pumps, a bar, and<br />

a bespoke chilled cellar; the beers are enjoyed in<br />

perfect condition while drinkers rest on old wine<br />

barrels. One day, between brews, we collected an<br />

old oak foeder from an ancient and crumbling<br />

wine cellar. The cellar tucked away in a tiny<br />

narrow street was an Aladdin’s cave of fantastic<br />

old wine casks, resting unused for many years, I<br />

wish I could have brought one home for a bit of<br />


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

15<br />

whacky fermentation of my own. As a balance to<br />

the Doppio, we turned our attention to a beverage<br />

made from the oldest strain of grain grown by man<br />

– Einkorn wheat which was originally cultivated<br />

in ancient Egypt. It’s a tough little grain and takes<br />

a lot to get it to give up its sugars for brewing. To<br />

help the process, our grist needed to be blended<br />

with some contemporary malted wheat.<br />

The flavours of this hazy, refreshing “Pharaoh’s<br />

Ale” perfectly matched the heat of the Sardinian<br />

sun. Sardinia has a hot, Mediterranean climate<br />

and the beer culture has grown accordingly – with<br />

the locals and visitors<br />

preferring lighter and<br />

fruity beers, softer<br />

IPAs, wheat beers<br />

and lagers. The craft<br />

beer craze has swept<br />

across the whole of<br />

Italy, and now even<br />

Sardinia has over two<br />

dozen local breweries.<br />

The beer market is<br />

still dominated by<br />

Ichnusa – a classic Euro fizz lager. As with many<br />

similar brands, this brewer is now a part of the<br />

giant Heineken, but a raft of small independent<br />

producers are making many inroads.<br />

My pick of these new kids on the island include:<br />

Marduk from Orosei on the east coast – this is<br />

one of the more commercial of the independent<br />

producers, and their beers include American style<br />

IPAs, Czech Lagers, and a Munich Alt Bier. But<br />

as with BBBirra they also follow a sustainability<br />

field to grain principle and have their own farm<br />

and maltings. Birrificio Cagliari, based in the<br />

capital, produce an extensive range of styles –and<br />

all packaged in beautiful bottles with very stylish<br />

labels. Worth it just to enjoy the Italian designer<br />

look. Birra Lara from Tertenia on the southeastern<br />

coast is a very modern brewery creating beers<br />

using barley grown on their own farm. The owners<br />

enthusiastically support the traceability of their<br />

ingredients throughout the process. Sambrinus<br />

from Sassari in the north is the oldest craft brewer,<br />

operating since 1999. Beers follow a more classical<br />

style of traditional brews.

Birrificio 4 Mori based in the southwestern town<br />

of Guspini, the brewery is housed in old mine<br />

workings and uses an excellent numbering system<br />

for their beers. Most of the beers are available<br />

in bottles – generally I found these to be bottle<br />

conditioned, the locals expect ‘craft’ to be cloudy<br />

and preferably with lots of foam. Finding the beers<br />

on draught was a little tricky, but when you do<br />

find them, they are often ‘keg conditioned’ in keykeg<br />

or other bag type disposable systems. Many of<br />

the beers I tried were unfiltered and unpasteurised.<br />

In order to enjoy a really good range look out for<br />

one of the many beer festivals around the island.<br />

These tend to be laid out in the ‘market street’<br />

style where you can meet and talk to the brewery<br />

teams on their own stalls.<br />

It was a pleasure to work with Carl again this year,<br />

and get an insight into beer and brewing in Italy.<br />

Travelling for beer – what could be better?<br />





Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



Anyone of a certain age will remember local pubs<br />

bearing the red hop leaf trademark which adorned<br />

every other pub around Reading in the 1950’s<br />

and which seemed to die out immediately after<br />

takeover by Courage in 1960 when the golden<br />

cockerel on a red background became ubiquitous<br />

everywhere in the Thames Valley.<br />


William Blackall Simonds was the<br />

son of a yeoman farmer from the<br />

Arborfield / Wokingham area who<br />

started to develop the malting and<br />

brewing interests of his father and<br />

when he died in 1782 left the business<br />

to his son WB Simonds together with<br />

a legacy from grandfather of £1000.<br />

At this time he was about to marry the daughter<br />

of Thomas May, a brewer from Basingstoke who<br />

gave a dowry of £2000 and this set the young<br />

man on the course to develop the most modern<br />

brewery possible in the early part of the industrial<br />

revolution.<br />

He acquired a site in Bridge Street, Reading (next<br />

to the Kennet and Avon Canal, which would be<br />

used to bring in raw materials and take out the<br />

finished product) and arranged for his friend Sir<br />

John Soane who had just finished the designs<br />

for The Bank of England to create a magnificent<br />

Georgian edifice. It would be the centre of brewing<br />

in Reading for the next 185 years and gave the<br />

town its reputation for producing the “3B’s”, Beer,<br />

Bulbs and Biscuits (Simonds, Suttons and Huntley<br />

& Palmers) respectively.<br />


WB Simonds son,<br />

Blackall took<br />

over in 1815 in<br />

difficult times<br />

with the ending<br />

of the Napoleonic<br />

wars at a time of a<br />

large agricultural<br />

slump but the<br />

company weathered these difficult times and by<br />

1839 were producing 15,000 barrels per annum.<br />

In 1834 they started to brew a beer specifically<br />

for export, Pale Ale which would be sent to all<br />

corners of the world and particularly to the army<br />

as the brewery created ties with the military which<br />

A very local brewer<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

17<br />

would see their beers being drunk in Sandhurst by<br />

officers, Aldershot by soldiers and all points east<br />

in the burgeoning empire. A branch of the business<br />

was set up in Malta (still in existence but no longer<br />

connected in any way), Gibraltar, as well as where<br />

large army garrisons were based.<br />

Growth was rapid throughout the 19th Century<br />

and by 1871 output was at 58,000 barrels and<br />

this doubled in the next 25 years. The brewery<br />

had seen the advantages early on of rail travel and<br />

as well as sending their beers across the country<br />

by rail also created refreshment rooms from Kent<br />

to Devon on principal stations, all selling Simonds<br />

beer.<br />

By 1914 the brewery was producing 200,000<br />

barrels pa and had become a significant player<br />

in the country but it was in the post war period<br />

that Simonds went on the expansion trail, buying<br />

up 11 breweries between 1919 and 1939. These<br />

breweries included the South Berks Brewery,<br />

Newbury in 1920, Ashbys of Staines in 1930 and<br />

Adnams of Newbury in 1936. It was a branch of<br />

the latter family that had moved to Southwold<br />

to take on the Sole Bay Brewery in 1870 and<br />

which still bears their name today. Just before the<br />

outbreak of war Simonds was producing well over<br />

a quarter of a million barrels of beer per annum.<br />

As soon as the Second World War was over<br />

it continued its expansion with Bowlys of<br />

Swindon in 1945 and ironically John May &<br />

Co of Basingstoke in 1947. It was the dowry<br />

from an earlier generation that had allowed WB<br />

Simonds to build the Bridge Street Brewery. Other<br />

breweries were bought up and by the mid 1950’s<br />

it had 1200 pubs and was producing over 1%<br />

of all beer consumed in the UK. This made the<br />

brewery ripe for takeover and in 1959 the brewery<br />

entered into a short lived trading agreement with<br />

Courage, Barclay Perkins however by 1960 this<br />

had developed into full blown takeover.<br />

Brewing continued in Bridge Street until 1979<br />

when production moved to Worton Grange and<br />

by 1983 the brewery had been demolished and<br />

the site was ripe for development. It is ironic that<br />

whereas the Bridge Street site had brewed for<br />

almost two centuries the latter brewed for a mere<br />

30 years before it was closed.

A Time of Giving<br />

“It’s not yet Christmas!” I hear you cry, (or just<br />

after, depending on when you’re reading this)<br />

“The Beer Festival is months away!” Well, yes, it’s<br />

still a few months off, but behind the scenes, work<br />

for the 2018 festival started back in June.<br />

The Reading CAMRA Beer & Cider festival is the<br />

biggest event in our branch calendar, attracting<br />

thousands of customers, and taking hundreds of<br />

volunteers to put together.<br />

As well as general volunteer roles during setup and<br />

open hours - which will be available for sign-up<br />

nearer the time, and do please consider it, because<br />

it’s very rare that we have enough volunteer staff,<br />

we still have some managerial and deputy roles to<br />

fill:<br />

Bar, and particularly, Deputy Bar Managers;<br />

Deputy Concessions Manager; Finance Deputy;<br />

Products and Membership Manager; Traffic<br />

Management - to control and supervise the many<br />

many vehicle movements during the setup and<br />

takedown process.<br />

If you think that you’d suit any of these roles, or<br />

you’d like more information, please drop a line to<br />

Contact@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

With 15 “Reading’s” under my belt I can honestly<br />

say that it isn’t all a walk in the park, but it is<br />

immensely rewarding, and we need people with<br />

passion, enthusiasm, and commitment. One of<br />

those people might be you.<br />

If volunteering isn’t for you, or you’re just too<br />

committed a customer, then there are other ways<br />

that you can help - Who do you work for? Would<br />

they be interested in sponsorship or advertising?<br />

Do you visit a pub just outside our branch border<br />

who might not be on our radar to ask?<br />

Sponsorship is vital to the viability of the festival.<br />

In order to build a functioning festival from an<br />

empty field safely, and without any damage to the<br />

grounds, we have huge infrastructure costs for<br />

the temporary roadway, fencing, stillage, lighting<br />

- and all this before we buy any beer.<br />

It’s a fantastic and much loved event, but it does<br />

cost to put on. Sponsorship is a great way for local<br />

businesses to advertise with us, our footfall is<br />

thousands. We have options to suit every budget,<br />

again, drop an email to Contact@readingcamra.<br />

org.uk and we’ll put you in touch with the right<br />

people.<br />

Katrina Fletcher<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Reading Beer & Cider Festival<br />

Trade Session<br />

1PM THURSDAY 3RD MAY 2018<br />

In the six years that we, (Scott & I), have been<br />

running the event it has evolved into a showcase<br />

where 30+ producers (beer, cider, perry, mead,<br />

wine & support services) will present their<br />

products to members of the licensed trade. In fact<br />

with an established attendance of over 550 people;<br />

I believe that the Trade Session at Reading is one<br />

of the largest in the country.<br />

This year we would like to welcome John Newick<br />

& Alex Taylor to the team, may they realise the<br />

workload they have taken on!<br />

If you are running a licensed premise, (pub, club,<br />

hotel, social club, theatre), or you are a retailer, or<br />

maybe a newsagent and would like to attend the<br />

Trade Session, then please drop an e-mail to<br />

trade@readingbeerfestival.org.uk, and we will<br />

include you in our guest list.<br />

Should you happen to be a producer, and are<br />

within 70 miles of RG1 8BN and wish to display<br />

your product to members of the licensed trade,<br />

then please contact us, and we will try to fit you<br />

into the event.<br />

Arthur Pounder<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />




In the early 1700s the<br />

Morland family in West<br />

Ilsey, Berkshire were<br />

brewing commercially<br />

at Hodcott Farm<br />

and over succeeding<br />

generations the business<br />

prospered and grew.<br />

In 1854 the business<br />

passed to a cousin<br />

Edward Henry Morland<br />

who purchased the<br />

bankrupt Eagle<br />

Brewery in Abingdon in<br />

1861 in order to expand<br />

operations. This was<br />

the site for the next 140 years of brewing until its<br />

closure following the Greene King takeover.<br />

the company as he had studied brewing abroad and<br />

had a very astute business brain. Over the course<br />

of the next 50 years he oversaw rapid expansion<br />

as well as creating a number of subsidiaries such<br />

as malt extract production, soft drinks and built a<br />

new brewhouse for the business.<br />


Prior to Edward Henry Morland taking on the<br />

business, in the late 18th century, Susannah<br />

Morland, a daughter of the family was married off<br />

to John Spenlove, the owner of the Abbey Brewery<br />

in Abingdon. This business also flourished with<br />

Abingdon being a centre for malting and brewing<br />

and as part of the marriage settlement, a sum<br />

of £5000 (almost £¾ million in modern terms)<br />

was given which enabled rapid expansion and it<br />

started to produce a strong porter.<br />

In 1866, on the death of Susannah’s spinster<br />

daughter, the brewing operation passed to Edward<br />

Henry Morland who by 1887 had combined the<br />

businesses as well as taking over the Ilsey Brewery<br />

to create United Breweries and in the same year he<br />

closed West Ilsey to centre everything in Abingdon.<br />

Edward Henry died the following year and having<br />

no direct descendents the breweries passed to a<br />

nephew Edward Morland, whose father was a<br />

solicitor in the town.<br />

The young Edward followed his uncle’s philosophy<br />

of expansion and in the same year took over Saxbys<br />

of Abingdon and the following year Field and Sons<br />

of Shillingford was absorbed along with their tied<br />

houses and the brewing operation closed down. As<br />

the business grew it was necessary to seek outside<br />

expertise and Thomas Skurray was invited to join<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

20<br />

The inter war years saw the takeover of many<br />

local breweries with the Wantage Brewery in<br />

1920 then in 1927 J Dymore-Brown and Sons and<br />

Ferguson’s, both of Reading, and Hewett and Co<br />

of Shurlock Row, near Reading, were all purchased<br />

and closed down, the trade being supplied from<br />

the main brewery in Abingdon. The former<br />

Dymore-Brown site was then used as a depot to<br />

supply the large number of tied pubs in South<br />

Berkshire which had been aquired with with these<br />

purchases.The company had doubled its pubs and<br />

production had grown similarly making Morlands<br />

a significant regional brewer and it consolidated<br />

its position in Abingdon by purchasing The Tower<br />

Steam Brewery and in 1928Wantage’s Lewis Rock<br />

Well Brewery.<br />

In 19<strong>44</strong>, Morland became a public company and<br />

all the other company names with the exception<br />

of Fergusons were withdrawn. At the same time,<br />

a new trademark was introduced. It showed a<br />

man in a red frock coat and tricorn hat, holding<br />

an artist’s palette in one hand and admiring a glass<br />

of beer held in the other hand. It is this symbol<br />

(shown above) which is still visible on many of<br />

the former pubs in our area. The drawing is a<br />

depiction of the artist George Morland (1763-

1804), a relative of the original Morland brewing<br />

family, who became famous for his landscape and<br />

rustic agricultural scenes.<br />

By the mid-1950s, the Company had an estate<br />

consisting of approximately three hundred tied<br />

houses, all within a 40 mile radius of Abingdon.<br />

This trading area extended from Bicester in the<br />

north to Basingstoke in the south; in the east a<br />

line from Windsor up through Princes Risborough<br />

and westwards to Lechlade. In 1956 Whitbread<br />

purchased a large block of shares (39%) and<br />

whilst this may have been seen as a predatory<br />

approach it proved useful to both companies as<br />

Abingdon was an ideal training ground for many<br />

young brewers who would go on to other parts of<br />

the Whitbread empire and for Morlands it could<br />

call on the technical expertise of the much larger<br />

company.<br />

The businesses co-existed for the next 25 years<br />

quite happily and in 1979 Morlands launched its<br />

most iconic beer of Old Speckled Hen to celebrate<br />

50 years of MG car production in its home town<br />

of Abingdon. It was an immediate success and the<br />

high gravity strong bitter was then produced in<br />

cask form to much acclaim. The demand for this<br />

beer became so great that additional brewhouse<br />

capacity was required, with the result that the<br />

decision was taken to withdraw from lager<br />

production in order to make additional capacity<br />

available for brewing Old Speckled Hen.<br />

The business was continuing to grow. Changes<br />

in the industry meant that public houses were<br />

coming on to the market in large numbers. During<br />

the 1990s more than two hundred were acquired<br />

from other brewers. Most of these were in areas<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

21<br />

adjoining the original Morland distribution<br />

territory which now extended to the south coast<br />

and eastwards into the Greater London area, with<br />

a further group in Kent. As a result, there had<br />

to be further reorganistion and expansion of the<br />

Abingdon facilities.<br />

This expansion did not go unnoticed and in<br />

1992 Greene King bought a large block of the<br />

Whitbread shares on the understanding that the<br />

rest would also be sold if they could acquire a<br />

controlling interest. This hostile approach was<br />

fended off following a local outcry but in its bid<br />

to become too big a target, Morlands bought<br />

Ruddles of Oakham with its brands of Ruddles<br />

Best and Ruddles County and moved production<br />

to Abingdon.<br />

Partly due to mismanagement and cash flow<br />

problems the business became a suitable target<br />

again for Greene King and in 1999 they purchased<br />

sufficient shares to gain control and they took<br />

over the whole Morland business, including the<br />

beer brands. The great market success enjoyed by<br />

‘Old Speckled Hen’ was an important part of the<br />

attraction. Production in Abingdon ceased almost<br />

immediately with the brewery site being sold for<br />

housing and all beers were now produced in Bury<br />

St Edmunds ending over 250 years of brewing<br />

heritage in this part of Berkshire (Oxfordshire<br />

after the 1974 Local Government changes).<br />

I am indebted to Bill Mellor, former Head Brewer<br />

at Morlands for the majority of this article with<br />

additional material from Britains Lost Breweries<br />

by Chris Arnott and The Berkshire Pub Guide<br />

edited.<br />

Tony Springall

Awards Evening<br />

Our branch Gala Presentation Evening was held<br />

on on Thursday 21 st September at the Bell &<br />

Bottle, Shinfield.<br />

Presentations were made to various award winners<br />

including:<br />

• The breweries of the winners of the local<br />

beers of the Reading Beer & Cider Festival<br />

awards<br />

• The finalists in the branch Club of the Year<br />

competition<br />

• The winners of the branch Pub of the Year,<br />

Cider Pub of the Year and Club of the Year<br />

• Those who the branch consider have made<br />

an outstanding contribution to supporting<br />

the aims and objectives of CAMRA<br />

In addition we were pleased to host the award to<br />

the Regional Pub of the Year and the Regional<br />

Cider Pub of the Year.<br />


Nag’s Head - Berkshire POTY Winner<br />

Nag’s Head - Regional CPOTY winner<br />

Nag’s Head - Regional POTY winner<br />




Nag’s Head - POTY winner<br />

Fox & Hounds, Caversham -POTY runner-up<br />

Greyfriar -POTY finalist<br />

Alehouse - POTY finalist<br />

Bell & Bottle - POTY finalist<br />

Eldon Arms - POTY finalist<br />

Nag’s Head - Cider POTY winner<br />

Bell, Waltham St Lawrence - Cider POTY runnerup<br />


Wargrave Snooker Club<br />



Loose Cannon, Abingdon Gold - Overall Gold<br />

XT, XT13 - Overall Silver<br />

Twickenham Fine Ales, Wolf of the Woods -<br />

Overall Bronze<br />

Siren Craft, YuLu - Beers under 4.2%<br />

Twickenham Fine Ales - Beers between 4.2% &<br />

4.9%<br />

Ascot Ales, Anastasia Exile Stout - Beers 5.0% and<br />

above<br />




Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Winter Ales<br />

The medieval City of Norwich hosts the Great<br />

British Beer Festival Winter 2018. From popular<br />

light ales to ruby and dark ales, foreign beers,<br />

ciders and perry, all served in magnificent medieval<br />

friary halls in the heart of Norwich, where pubs<br />

also host The Fringe, with special events 1st-24th<br />

February.<br />

The festival offers all this plus fantastic street food<br />

and an exciting array of entertainment. Tickets for<br />

the Great British Beer Festival Winter are available<br />

now, but do note – we only have limited advanced<br />

tickets available!<br />

But not to worry! If you miss out on our advanced<br />

tickets you can still get in on the door!<br />

Opening Times<br />

• 20th February 17:30–22:30 (CAMRA<br />

Members Preview only)<br />

• 21st February 12:00 – 22:30<br />

• 22nd February 12:00 – 22:30<br />

• 23rd February 12:00 – 22:30<br />

• 24th February 12:00 – 22:30<br />

Last Admission: half hour before close. No passouts<br />

will be allowed.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


You Need Your Glasses!<br />

There can be no referee in the land that has not<br />

had this insult thrown at them but glasses in the<br />

pub trade are a very serious business and I am sure<br />

we all have our favourites. When you enter a pub<br />

and ask for a pint in the UK you receive 20oz or<br />

568 ml. The size of a pint glass is just the right size<br />

to slake the thirst and not require a too frequent<br />

return to the bar but it is still a manageable size.<br />

One only has to think of huge German steins<br />

holding at least a litre to realise how ideal a pint<br />

glass is.<br />

Glass is an ideal material for a drinking vessel as<br />

it is inert and introduces no “off flavours” to a<br />

beer unlike earlier vessels such as leather jacks or<br />

pewter tankards. All pub glasses will be marked<br />

with a crown to indicate a guarantee of capacity<br />

and this has been the case for over 300 years.<br />

Since 2007 pint glasses have been produced with<br />

a CE mark, which shows the glass conforms to<br />

European law. A popular alternative to the CE to<br />

brim pint glass is the LCE pint glass, which is an<br />

oversized glass which is lined and CE marked at<br />

a pint, allowing extra room for a head. It is this<br />

style favoured by CAMRA as it allows a full pint<br />

with a head.<br />

DIMPLE<br />

The archetypal beer glass must<br />

be the dimple jug but it was<br />

fairly late on the scene being<br />

introduced in the 1930’s and<br />

when the Ravenhead Glass<br />

factory in St Helens closed in<br />

2001 the last manufacturer was<br />

gone. The dimple glass then went<br />

out of fashion however there<br />

has been a recent revival in fortunes although all<br />

new glasses are now imported from places as far<br />

away as Turkey. They were not loved by publicans<br />

as they did not stack easily, took up more space<br />

in the glass washer and could cost up to three<br />

times as much as a straight glass. In a number<br />

of fashionable pubs and bars however they have<br />

made a comeback as people say the handle stops<br />

body heat warming the beer although there is a<br />

counter argument that the wide mouth causes a<br />

loss of aroma.<br />

10 SIDED MUG<br />

The predecessor of the dimple glass,<br />

this was introduced in 1928 and was<br />

viewed as a more substantial glass<br />

than the common conical. It quickly<br />

fell out of favour to the dimple when<br />

it became available.<br />


One of the earliest<br />

designs for a beer glass and<br />

popular in the early part of<br />

the 20th century but it had the<br />

disadvantage of having the rim<br />

easily chipped when glasses rubbed<br />

up against one another although in<br />

design terms it is still a favourite<br />

drinking vessel and the style found<br />

at most beer festivals.<br />


The answer for publicans who<br />

were having to replace chipped or<br />

“nicked” glasses was the nonic.<br />

The bulge about 1/3 of the way<br />

down ensured that the rims did<br />

not touch and hence the name,<br />

short for no-nick. It was invented<br />

by Hugo Pick of Albert Pick & Co<br />

of Chicago, Illinois as long ago<br />

as 1914 and had a 40% greater<br />

strength than a conical glass, reducing breakages,<br />

ensuring it was easy to hold and facilitating easy<br />

cleaning. It was introduced to the UK in 1948 by<br />

Ravenhead and is a firm favourite amongst the<br />

licensed trade as it is cheap to replace when it does<br />

eventually require it.<br />

TULIP<br />

The Tulip is a more modern glass having<br />

a taller shape, usually flaring out towards<br />

the top; these designs are more commonly<br />

associated with promotional campaigns<br />

by breweries, and are frequently etched or<br />

marked with the beer’s label.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



The stemmed glass is often seen as<br />

something of a connoisseurs choice<br />

as it allows a beer to be swirled<br />

around (providing it has not been<br />

over-filled), releasing the aromas.<br />

It is not often found in the licensed<br />

trade as it is significantly more<br />

expensive.<br />


AFIELD<br />


If this article was being written for<br />

Belgium it would have about 50<br />

chapters as each beer has its own<br />

distinctive glass with a myriad<br />

of shapes and styles. They have<br />

the most impractical glass of all<br />

with that for Kwak (shown to the<br />

left) being unable to rest on a flat<br />

surface as it has a bulbous rounded<br />

bottom. Each of the Trappist Breweries has an<br />

individual style of their own to highlight their<br />

individuality.<br />


Germany, like Belgium has a proliferation of<br />

glasses for each individual beer and style. A kolsch<br />

from Cologne would not be served in a glass for<br />

pilsner and likewise a bock or doppelbock from<br />

Hanover would not be served from a Berliner<br />

weissbier glass. This is also the home of the highly<br />

decorated ceramic beer stein with a metal top but<br />

these are more often bought as tourist souvenirs<br />

rather than used as serious drinking vessels.<br />

To sum up, we may look upon glasses as fairly<br />

utilitarian articles but where would we be without<br />

them and woe betide the person who uses someone<br />

else’s favourite glass without realising it, wars<br />

have been fought over less.<br />

Tony Springall<br />





FRIDAY 10AM - 7PM<br />

& SATURDAY 12 - 6PM<br />


£1 OFF<br />

WHEN<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

27<br />



VALID UNTIL 31/12/17<br />

T&Cs: Valid for £1 off any £15 purchase in the Brewery Shop. Not valid for home deliveries, online purchases, gift vouchers or in conjunction<br />

with any other offer or voucher. No cash value. Void if copied or transferred. You must be 18+ to purchase alchohol

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Join up, join in,<br />

join the campaign<br />

From<br />

as little as<br />

£25 *<br />

a year. That’s less<br />

than a pint a<br />

month!<br />

Discover<br />

why we joined.<br />

camra.org.uk/<br />

members<br />

Join us, and together we can protect the traditions of great<br />

British pubs and everything that goes with them.<br />

Become part of the CAMRA community today – enjoy<br />

discounted entry to beer festivals and exclusive member<br />

offers. Learn about brewing and beer and join like-minded<br />

people supporting our campaigns to save pubs, clubs,<br />

your pint and more.<br />

Join the campaign today at<br />

www.camra.org.uk/joinup<br />

*Price for paying by Direct Debit and correct at April 2017. Concessionary rates available.<br />

Please visit camra.org.uk/membership-rates<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong>

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong>

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong>

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