Mine's a Pint Issue 45

Mine's a Pint Issue 45 - The Magazine for the Reading and Mid-Berkshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.

Mine's a Pint Issue 45 - The Magazine for the Reading and Mid-Berkshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.


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IN THIS ISSUE...<br />







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Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

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Branch Diary<br />

All meetings and social events are relaxed and friendly,<br />

and start at 20.00 unless specified. Non-members are<br />

welcome to all events except branch meetings. Please<br />

check the website before setting out in case of any<br />

last-minute changes.<br />

March<br />

WED 7: Branch meeting. Queens Head (garden<br />

room), 54 Christchurch Road, Reading, RG2 7AZ.<br />

SUN 25: Ale Trail walk (6 miles). Meet 11.00 at<br />

Henley Station Car Park. From Henley Station to<br />

Flower Pot via Little Angel (no drink stop), cross<br />

country to Remenham Wood and Aston Village<br />

(Flower Pot), arrival 12:30 (2.5 miles). Stop for a drink<br />

then at 13:15 walk back to Henley via Thames Path,<br />

arrival 15:00 (3.5 miles). Once back in Henley there<br />

are plenty of options for more pubs and food. Train<br />

times: Tilehurst 10:10, Reading 10:18, Twyford 10:<strong>45</strong><br />

arrival Henley 11:00. Return Henley 18:00, Twyford<br />

18:38 arrival Reading 18:<strong>45</strong>.<br />

April<br />

WED 4: Last Orders: Ale Trail ends. All entries must<br />

be received by 23.59 on this day.<br />

THU 5: First Thursday of the Month Social. Fox &<br />

Hounds, 116 City Road, Tilehurst, RG31 5SB.<br />

WED 11: Branch Meeting. Hop Leaf (back room),<br />

163-165 Southampton Street, Reading, RG1 2QZ.<br />

May<br />

THU 3 – SUN 6: Reading Beer and Cider Festival. See<br />

readingbeerfestival.org.uk for more details.<br />

SUN 13: Pub walk from Pangbourne.<br />

This is a guide only and Reading & Mid Berkshire<br />

CAMRA cannot be held responsible for any loss due to<br />

the alteration or cancellation of any of these events.<br />

See www.readingcamra.org.uk for more details of<br />

events.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

3<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 <strong>45</strong>5 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<br />

be published in early June. Please feel<br />

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

7 th May.<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 2018.

From The Editor<br />

There’s been so much happening lately<br />

but I need to start with a big thank you<br />

to Katrina for being guest editor for the<br />

December issue. It was a period of a lot<br />

of uncertainty for the branch and you<br />

did a superb job!<br />

Late last year we had a crisis where there<br />

weren’t enough CAMRA volunteers<br />

to keep the Reading & Mid Berkshire<br />

branch going. After our AGM we<br />

were lacking a chairman along with<br />

ten other important posts. That’s not<br />

a sustainable position for a CAMRA<br />

branch and, if drastic action hadn’t<br />

been taken, the branch would have been<br />

dissolved and the territory divided up<br />

among other neighbouring branches.<br />

Nobody wanted that, not least because<br />

it would mean an end to much of our<br />

local campaigning activity like the Ale<br />

Trail, LocAle scheme, Pub of the Year<br />

and Beer Festival, not to mention this<br />

magazine.<br />

So what was to be done? Basically send<br />

a plea for help to our branch members<br />

and hope that some would step up<br />

to help. And step up they did. At an<br />

emergency “Save the Branch” meeting in<br />

early December over 35 people attended<br />

and most of our vacant roles were filled.<br />

A few weeks later, and after a bit of<br />

behind the scenes activity, we had a full<br />

organising committee for the first time<br />

in many years.<br />

A massive thank you to everybody<br />

who stepped forward to volunteer.<br />

In particular to Arthur Pounder and<br />

Royce Longton who offered to co-chair<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

4<br />

the branch, and to Martin Hoare who<br />

volunteered as vice-Chairman. This was<br />

a massive step and we looked forward<br />

to a much more positive 2018.<br />

Fast forward to the end of January and<br />

we were shocked to learn that Arthur,<br />

our new co-chairman, had passed<br />

away in a tragic accident. In the short<br />

time that Arfs had been in post he had<br />

shown a keenness to learn about branch<br />

activities and a desire to move things<br />

forward. Those actions will now be<br />

taken forward by Royce, Martin and<br />

the rest of the branch committee. We’ve<br />

also recently welcomed James Moore as<br />

co-chairman.<br />

So there’s been a huge amount going<br />

on at a local level, and that’s before<br />

we’ve even started to think about<br />

CAMRA nationally. It’s a crucial time<br />

for CAMRA, one of the most important<br />

and pivotal points since the campaign<br />

was formed in 1971.<br />

Contents<br />




PUB & BREWERY NEWS 8-17<br />

SMALL BEER 19-22<br />




ALE TRAIL NOW ON 26-27<br />


The proposals from the Revitalisation<br />

Project have recently been published<br />

and will be voted on at the Members’<br />

Weekend in April, which will set the<br />

focus and direction for the campaign<br />

for many years to come. It’s the chance<br />

for all CAMRA members to think about<br />

“What is CAMRA for?” and vote for<br />

the direction they want the campaign to<br />

take. Every member has a vote and you<br />

can read more about the proposals in<br />

this magazine.<br />

Just a few days after the Members’<br />

Weekend is the May Day Bank Holiday<br />

weekend, the traditional time to enjoy<br />

the Reading Beer and Cider Festival. It’s<br />

no secret that the festival lost money last<br />

year and, as a result, CAMRA HQ are<br />

rightly taking a much keener interest in<br />

the finances this time. There are a number<br />

of measures that have been put in place<br />

to de-risk the festival and we hope that<br />

they will be successful. Budget approval<br />

was received from HQ just before we<br />

went to press so make sure you head to<br />

Christchurch Meadows in Caversham<br />

on 3 – 6 May to show your support for<br />

what is one of the premier beer festivals<br />

in the country. It’s run entirely by<br />

volunteers and yet many people say that<br />

it looks more professional than many<br />

commercial events.<br />

Katrina said in the last issue “We don’t<br />

know what the future holds, but it’s in<br />

your hands.” That’s as true now as it has<br />

been at any point in CAMRA’s lifetime.<br />

I think we’ve all earned a beer! Cheers!<br />

Phil Gill - Editor<br />

editor@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


CAMRA Revitalisation<br />

CAMRA’s Revitalisation Project is the<br />

biggest review into the organisation’s<br />

purpose, vision and mission conducted<br />

in its 47 year history. Now it’s time for<br />

members to take the decision on the<br />

changes recommended by CAMRA’s<br />

volunteer leadership.<br />

This review of CAMRA’s function<br />

and purpose has been going on since<br />

2016 and the proposals from the<br />

Revitalisation working group have now<br />

been published. This root and branch<br />

review of the organisation’s purpose and<br />

objectives has now culminated in the<br />

National Executive proposing changes<br />

to CAMRA’s Articles of Association.<br />

They will be voted on at the CAMRA<br />

Members’ Weekend to be held in<br />

Coventry from 20 - 22 April.<br />

Because of the importance of the<br />

proposals – they will set the future<br />

direction of CAMRA for many years to<br />

come – they are being proposed as Special<br />

Resolutions rather than as Conference<br />

Resolutions. The distinctions are subtle<br />

but very important.<br />

In short:<br />

• Special Resolutions are binding on<br />

the National Executive whereas<br />

Conference Resolutions are not.<br />

• Proxy voting is enabled for Special<br />

Resolutions, meaning that every<br />

CAMRA member has an equal<br />

voice in the decision.<br />

• Special Resolutions requite 75%<br />

of those voting to be in favour in<br />

order to be carried – it’s not just a<br />

simple majority like for Conference<br />

Resolutions.<br />

The wording for the Special Resolutions<br />

is being published following the deadline<br />

for submission on February 16. All<br />

Special Resolutions are also published<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

6<br />

in the March issue of What’s Brewing,<br />

CAMRA’s newspaper.<br />



Full details are available at www.<br />

revitalisationdecision.camra.org.uk<br />

and I’d strongly encourage all CAMRA<br />

members to have a thorough read of<br />

the proposals there. A series of regional<br />

briefing meetings have been held –<br />

locally there was one held in Henley in<br />

February – and in summary what’s being<br />

proposed falls under several headings:<br />

BEER<br />

• Real ale remains core to CAMRA’s<br />

campaigning.<br />

• CAMRA’s representation widens to<br />

include all pub goers and drinkers<br />

of quality beer.<br />

• CAMRA’s scope widens to include<br />

quality beer of all types.<br />


• Real cider and perry remains core to<br />

CAMRA’s activities.<br />

• Cider and perry are explicitly<br />

mentioned in CAMRA’s Articles of<br />

Association.<br />


ON-TRADE<br />

• The definition of the on-trade outlets<br />

CAMRA supports is widened.<br />

• CAMRA will campaign for and<br />

promote all on-trade venues where<br />

quality beer, cider and perry is sold,<br />

not just traditional pubs and clubs.<br />

• CAMRA will not extend its current<br />

support of the off-trade.



• Education and knowledge will<br />

be put at the heart of CAMRA’s<br />

membership benefits.<br />

• Positive alcohol and health<br />

campaigning will be added into the<br />

organisation’s objectives.<br />

• Objectives will be added to recruit<br />

discerning beer, cider and perry<br />

drinkers into membership and give<br />

them access to information and<br />

education resources to introduce<br />

them to the best quality beers,<br />

including real ale, cider and perry.<br />


• Increasing the quality of real ale,<br />

cider and perry, not just promoting<br />

their consumption.<br />


• Promote the benefits of moderate<br />

social drinking.<br />

• Build positive alcohol and health<br />

campaigning into objectives.<br />

HOW DO I VOTE?<br />

Voting as part of CAMRA’s AGM can be<br />

carried out remotely – via proxy voting<br />

– which allows members who cannot<br />

attend the meeting to make their views<br />

known. You will be able to register for<br />

a proxy vote at the start of March, with<br />

reminders and a proxy voting form sent<br />

out to all members ahead of the voting<br />

opening. Members who attend the<br />

meeting in Coventry in April will also be<br />

able to vote on the Special Resolutions<br />

and if they have already registered a<br />

proxy vote, will have the opportunity to<br />

change their vote if required.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

7<br />

We all care for the future of CAMRA<br />

but there’s a wide divergence of opinion<br />

about what direction the campaign<br />

should take in future. Some believe the<br />

battle for real ale has been won and the<br />

focus should move to pub protection.<br />

Others feel that real ale in cask should<br />

remain the absolute focus of the<br />

campaign and should not be diluted.<br />

Others yet think that the campaign<br />

should embrace good quality craft beers<br />

to avoid being seen as irrelevant in the<br />

future.<br />

Consultation with the membership<br />

as part of the process suggests that<br />

some members may choose to leave<br />

the campaign if it changes, but equally<br />

that other members may also choose to<br />

leave the campaign if it doesn’t change.<br />

Whether the proposals are accepted or<br />

rejected it seems certain that there will<br />

be a re-focus of CAMRA’s membership<br />

and activities, with a much greater<br />

clarity over CAMRA’s purpose and<br />

direction of travel.<br />

Whatever you think, it’s really important<br />

that you make your views known and<br />

register to vote.<br />

Phil Gill

Pub & Brewery News<br />

Pub News<br />

CALCOT<br />

Marstons have applied for planning<br />

permission to build a new pubrestaurant<br />

on the junction of the A4<br />

and Dorking Way, directly opposite<br />

the IKEA retail park. The plans for this<br />

food-led pub also include 28 homes, as<br />

the land is listed as a housing site in West<br />

Berkshire Council’s plan. If approved<br />

this development will be a big boost for<br />

the area and provide a much-needed<br />

community focus, after the closure of all<br />

the other pubs in the local area over the<br />

last few years.<br />

a great way to buy and sell all your<br />

motoring spare parts hoarded away in<br />

your shed! Gates will open at 8am to<br />

set up stalls, finishing up at 11:30am.<br />

If the Autojumble is successful it will be<br />

repeated through the summer.<br />


The monthly pub quiz returns to the<br />

ALEHOUSE in Broad Street after a long<br />

hiatus. Starting at 8pm on the second<br />

Monday of each month and benefiting<br />

the pub’s favourite charities. The<br />

winning team set the next quiz.<br />


The FLOWING SPRING is going to host<br />

its first outdoor hippy music festival.<br />

Inspired by the classic Woodstock of<br />

1969, “Springstock” will have live music<br />

all afternoon and evening plus outdoor<br />

food, an outside bar and various stalls<br />

– all hippy style, so they encourage you<br />

to dress up! The festival will be held on<br />

Saturday 2 June with camping available<br />

on the Saturday night. The line-up of<br />

live bands is currently being finalised<br />

and, once that’s done, tickets will be<br />

available from the pub and online.<br />

The pub garden is also hosting several<br />

other events this year. The Classic Car<br />

and Bike Breakfast Club returns for<br />

its third year on the second Sunday of<br />

each month from 8 April, running from<br />

9:30 to 11:30am. And, for all motor<br />

enthusiasts, there’s an Autojumble on<br />

Sunday 15 April. The Autojumble is<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

9<br />

As many of you have noticed, the<br />

Castle Street bar formerly known<br />

as Public Reading (and before that<br />

Rynd, The Litten Tree, Dogma, Evissa,<br />

French’s, Applejacks, Holy Rumes,<br />

Whispers and quite possibly some other<br />

incarnations that we’ve overlooked)<br />

has been acquired by Scottish craft beer

ehemoths BREWDOG, who promptly<br />

draped a mega-banner over the front of<br />

the building advising Reading that there<br />

was “hope for the hopless”. Certain<br />

other local pubs may disagree with<br />

that statement, but there’s no doubt<br />

there’s a sizeable audience locally for<br />

the BrewDog style of offering. Brewdog<br />

Reading will feature 20 taps of their own<br />

and guest beers, with burgers and wings<br />

on the food menu. The photo shows the<br />

bar under refurbishment and it’s due to<br />

open on 16 March.<br />

Fans of live music should make sure<br />

they check out the BUTLER’s listings, as<br />

live music is scheduled every Friday and<br />

Saturday night at this Chatham Street<br />

pub. facebook.com/thebutlerpub<br />

Local drinkers have been enjoying<br />

some great meet the brewer and tap<br />

takeover evenings in recent weeks. On<br />

8 February the CASTLE TAP in Castle<br />

Street played host to the brewers from<br />

the Tap Social Movement in Oxford,<br />

while the following week Bath’s Electric<br />

Bear brewery took over the handpumps<br />

in Greyfriars Road at the GREYFRIAR.<br />

Pete Lea is the new manager of the<br />

PHEASANT at the top of Southampton<br />

Street. He has no real ale but has bottled<br />

ale (Doom Bar, Pride and Bombardier).<br />

The long-term intention is to put on<br />

some real ale. Why not pop in and say<br />

hello? This is an area that has lost many<br />

pubs over the last few years (Cambridge<br />

Arms, Woodley Arms, Wellington Arms,<br />

Red Lion, Red Cow) so this one is quite<br />

the survivor.<br />

Talking of the RED COW, planning<br />

applications have been submitted for<br />

extensions and change of use to allow<br />

for a restaurant on the ground floor and<br />

three flats on the upper floor. It’s been<br />

closed for years and appears to be in a<br />

poor state so this is probably a positive<br />

move.<br />

The BALI LOUNGE in Kings Road<br />

appears to have closed. Formerly the<br />

Warwick, this Greene King pub morphed<br />

over time into a Thai restaurant with<br />

a small bar. Earlier this year a notice<br />

on the door simply read “Closed unto<br />

further notices, Bye Bye Bali Lounge.”<br />


The BULL has been under new<br />

management since early October 2017<br />

– Borislav Minkov manages the pub<br />

as well as the Red Lion at Peppard<br />

Common. On offer are Shepherd Neame<br />

beers (Whitstable Bay and Master Brew)<br />

and there’s also a new menu. This is<br />

now the only pub in the village after the<br />

loss of the Dog & Partridge a few years<br />

back and is the only Sheps pub in our<br />

branch area.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



All change at the BELL AND BOTTLE.<br />

It’s a fond farewell from us to Mark and<br />

Chrissie East, who really pushed this pub<br />

forward during their tenure and made it<br />

a finalist in our last two Pub of the Year<br />

competitions. The new landlord is Nigel<br />

Lamb, a local CAMRA member who<br />

has previously run a pub in Bracknell<br />

and is promising to keep building on the<br />

good work at the Bell and Bottle.<br />

THEALE<br />

From our correspondent: “I visited the<br />

FALCON but the new owner still has a<br />

full-time job so I spoke with Alex, the<br />

manager. What a good change to this<br />

pub. It feels much brighter and they are<br />

certainly upping the ante on the beer<br />

side.<br />

They are now Cask Marque accredited.<br />

Sales have improved since they got rid<br />

of the two old stagers one of which<br />

was Courage Best (I think the other<br />

was Doom Bar). When I visited I was<br />

very pleased to see Harveys Best Bitter;<br />

Spitfire and Upham Punter on sale.<br />

Alex said that a fourth handpump is<br />

to be installed allowing them to have 4<br />

rotating beers from the Enterprise list.<br />

A nice idea is that when you buy a pint<br />

you get to see this list and can vote for<br />

which beer you want on next. One cider<br />

in a box will be available when they<br />

can find the shelf space for it (it will be<br />

cooled). They do Pieminister pies and<br />

Chinese dumplings; have a games room<br />

and a real fire. I was impressed.”<br />

The VOLUNTEER is still up for a new<br />

lease-holder but there have been no<br />

takers (apart from an interest shown by<br />

a certain local developer). Fuller’s may<br />

decide to sell if they can’t get a new<br />

landlord and then there’s no guarantee<br />

it would remain as a pub.<br />

Most of the pub news was collated by<br />

Quinten Taylor<br />


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Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



Here at Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong> we’d like to offer<br />

our congratulations to Chris Bingham<br />

and Michelle Joyce on their recent<br />

marriage. It was a fantastic day with<br />

plenty of Binghams beer flowing, and<br />

Stout the brewery labradoodle (after<br />

whom Doodle Stout is named) made<br />

for an excellent ring-bearer! Pictured<br />

are Michelle and Chris with Stout on<br />

their big day. We all wish them every<br />

happiness.<br />

On the beer side, the latest 4.5% Hop<br />

Project to hit the shelves and pubs is<br />

Simco Columbus and is made with<br />

citrus and spicy hops from the USA.<br />

Also, V Old Ale is back. This lovely 5%<br />

ABV (hence the “V”) ale is dark, malty<br />

and fruity. To help those of you who<br />

are unfamiliar with Old Ale, here is<br />

CAMRA’s description:<br />

Old Ale recalls the type of beer brewed<br />

before the Industrial Revolution, stored<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

12<br />

for months or even years in unlined<br />

wooden vessels known as tuns. The beer<br />

would pick up some lactic sourness as<br />

a result of wild yeasts, lactobacilli and<br />

tannins in the wood. The result was a<br />

beer dubbed ‘stale’ by drinkers: it was<br />

one of the components of the early,<br />

blended Porters. The style has reemerged<br />

in recent years, due primarily<br />

to the fame of Theakston’s Old Peculier,<br />

Gale’s Prize Old Ale and Thomas<br />

Hardy’s Ale, the last saved from oblivion<br />

by O’Hanlon’s Brewery in Devon. Old<br />

Ales, contrary to expectation, do not<br />

have to be especially strong: they can<br />

be no more than 4% alcohol, though<br />

the Gale’s and O’Hanlon’s versions<br />

are considerably stronger. Neither do<br />

they have to be dark: Old Ale can be<br />

pale and burst with lush sappy malt,<br />

tart fruit and spicy hop notes. Darker<br />

versions will have a more profound malt<br />

character with powerful hints of roasted<br />

grain, dark fruit, polished leather and<br />

fresh tobacco.<br />


The limited edition Scrum Five returned<br />

to mark the 6 Nations rugby. This 4%<br />

ABV beer is an English Style Best Bitter,<br />

brewed using a pack of 5 types of malted<br />

barley and wheat whilst 5 hops bind to<br />

provide the bitterness and aroma.<br />


After 12 months of research, Chiltern<br />

have launched their first ever Low

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

13<br />

Alcohol Beer. Codenamed<br />

Chiltern 1630, it’s 1.9% alcohol<br />

by volume and only brewed as a<br />

small trial batch. Using a precise<br />

blend of UK grown malt and<br />

hops, the beer combines a low<br />

alcohol content and the usual<br />

award winning flavour and<br />

quality that comes with Chiltern<br />

Brewery beers. It’s also the first<br />

beer in the Chiltern range to use<br />

their new pump clip design that will be<br />

used for limited run, trial brews.<br />

Head Brewer, Tom Jenkinson, described<br />

the ale as having “a lovely mellow, nutty<br />

aroma. The flavours that come through<br />

are those of honey and marmalade – a<br />

rather splendid drop if I may say so!”<br />

The ale has initially been successfully<br />

trialled at a few select pubs and is now in<br />

the process of being made more widely<br />

available.<br />

In January, the brewery were chosen<br />

to represent their home county of<br />

Buckinghamshire as a “Tryanuary<br />

Champion”. Tryanuary is a nationwide<br />

event which was launched four years<br />

ago to support the independent beer<br />

industry during the traditionally<br />

difficult period of January, with its focus<br />

being on trying new beers. On the 25th<br />

of January, Chiltern Brewery joined<br />

forces with West Berkshire Brewery to<br />

showcase the best of local, independent<br />

breweries across Bucks, Berkshire and<br />

Oxfordshire on social media.<br />

Throughout spring, Chiltern have an<br />

exciting range of their award-winning<br />

beers lined up for CAMRA members<br />

to enjoy. Their first beer of the season,<br />

called Pride of Bucks & Berks, is a charity<br />

beer with smooth roasted malt flavours.<br />

Chiltern then plan to release their Nut<br />

Brown Mild (smooth & chocolatey)<br />

and Colombian Coffee Porter (dark<br />

mocha flavours) beers in April, with<br />

the CAMRA favourite Cobblestones<br />

(golden with hints of blackcurrant)<br />

featuring in May. Full details of the<br />

beers, including release dates, can be<br />

found at www.chilternbrewery.co.uk .<br />

You can also keep up to date by liking<br />

them on Facebook, “chilternbrewery”,<br />

or following their Twitter account, @<br />

ChilternBrewery.<br />

Chiltern have asked us to pass on their<br />

express thanks for CAMRA’s support<br />

to date, and look forward to enjoying a<br />

glass of real ale with CAMRA members<br />

throughout 2018. Tom said: “without<br />

the invaluable ongoing support we<br />

experience from both CAMRA and<br />

CAMRA members, particularly their<br />

enthusiastic and knowledgeable<br />

feedback, we would have struggled<br />

to have achieved so much as a small<br />

independent brewery”.<br />


Towards the end of last year this historic<br />

Oxfordshire brewery attained global<br />

status when its Red Rye beer was named<br />

as the World’s Best Speciality Beer at<br />

the World Beer Awards 2017. Across<br />

all rounds of the contest, Red Rye beat<br />

almost 2,000 others ales from across the<br />

world to achieve the title.<br />

A special blend of hops and malts go<br />

into this 4.7% ABV rich, red and fruity<br />

ale. A combination of Maris Otter, Pale<br />

Ale Malt, Crystal Malt, Crystal Rye,<br />

Enzymic Malt and Wheat Malt, working

with the fruitiness from Willamette,<br />

Sovereign, Citra, Amarillo and Chinook<br />

hops. Sweet, dark fruits and a hint of<br />

citrus are on the nose with rich fruit,<br />

dates and raisins balanced with citrus in<br />

the taste. It’s available in cask, keg and<br />

330ml bottles.<br />

James Clarke, Managing Director and<br />

brewer said:<br />

“We work incredibly hard each day to<br />

produce the finest quality beer and to be<br />

recognised on a global scale is a fantastic<br />

achievement for everyone involved. Red<br />

Rye was one of the first brews that we<br />

did in our pilot plant which allows us to<br />

experiment and push the boundaries so<br />

to see it recognised in this way is great.”<br />

Hook Norton has also launched a<br />

partnership with Warwick Racecourse<br />

that will see racegoers able to enjoy a<br />

range of the brewery’s ales during race<br />

meetings. There will also be “Meet<br />

the Brewer” and other events such<br />

as product launches and hospitality<br />

functions at the racecourse, as part of<br />

the agreement. Racing takes place on<br />

weekdays and weekends, and afternoons<br />

and evenings, from September to May.<br />

If you fancy visiting<br />

the brewery itself, you<br />

can now enjoy the new<br />

Malthouse Kitchen<br />

restaurant which is in the<br />

original maltings building.<br />

It’s been restored back to<br />

its original look with red<br />

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

and offers a café style menu featuring<br />

freshly prepared local, traditional food<br />

at breakfast and lunchtime.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

14<br />

Many of the dishes include Hook<br />

Norton’s award winning ale – e.g Old<br />

Hooky Steak & Ale Pie, Buttered Toast<br />

and Hooky Gold Marmalade. There’s<br />

a full range of teas and hand ground<br />

coffee along with homemade cakes and<br />

pastries. Plus, of course, a bar serving a<br />

good range of Hook Norton ales from<br />

cask, keg and bottles.<br />

Customers can also visit the free<br />

brewery museum, browse around the<br />

expanded brewery shop or pop round to<br />

the stables and visit the shire horses.<br />

LODDON<br />

NOTUS American Pale Ale has proven<br />

so popular as a seasonal that it will<br />

now be available all year long. Packed<br />

with Citra hops, this 4.7% ABV beer is<br />

tropical and perfectly balanced. It has

already won<br />

a number of<br />

awards and<br />

looks set to<br />

become a firm<br />

favourite with<br />

drinkers.<br />

The brewery are<br />

big supporters of<br />

rugby and this year they celebrated the<br />

Six Nations championship with 6 Pack.<br />

Returning for its second year, this best<br />

bitter is packed with 6 hop varieties and<br />

6 malts. At 4.2% ABV, 6 Pack makes<br />

a great session ale and offers drinkers<br />

a complex, nutty taste with a smooth,<br />

balanced hoppiness.<br />

specials on tap, along with a full range<br />

of bottles that you can drink-in or take<br />

away. In addition there’s a range of<br />

“specially curated” spirits, wines, soft<br />

drinks and snacks. It’s advertised as<br />

family friendly and dog friendly, and open<br />

12-8 on Fridays and 12-7 on Saturdays.<br />

The no. 3 (Reading to Wokingham) and<br />

3b (Reading to Bracknell) buses run past<br />

the site – you’ll need the Hogwood Lane<br />

Industrial Estate stop.<br />


The popular Open Nights at the<br />

brewery are held on the first Tuesday<br />

of every month (public) and on the<br />

second Tuesday for members only. See<br />

rebellionbeer.co.uk/brewery-tours for<br />

more details. Barbecue specials for the<br />

year have been announced with each<br />

month offering a different special in<br />

addition to the regular menu. In March<br />

there’s a lamb Yorkshire pudding wrap<br />

and in April chicken fajitas, while May<br />

sees lamb koftas on offer.<br />


With last year’s expansion under their<br />

belt, the tasting room and bottle shop<br />

are now open at Siren Craft, and<br />

brewery tours are on offer.<br />

The Tap Yard is the brewery bar,<br />

showcasing a selection of core beers and<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

15<br />

Image from Siren Craft Brew<br />

Brewery tours run on the first Saturday<br />

of each month. In their words: “We’re<br />

delighted to invite you to our brewery<br />

for some scheduled tours and tastings.<br />

We’ll show you around our modest home<br />

in Finchampstead and introduce the<br />

brewing process, some of the equipment<br />

we use and the stories behind some of<br />

our most loved beers. The tour is split<br />

over two sites on the industrial estate,<br />

before finishing up in the Tap Yard – our<br />

brand new tasting room. Here you’ll<br />

sample 4 fresh beers, straight from the<br />

source.” Go to sirencraftbrew.com for<br />

details and to book tickets.<br />

The Tap Yard was host to a Barrel<br />

Aged Beer and Cheese Tasting event<br />

in February, where beers from the<br />

extensive barrel store were paired with a

great selection of cheeses from Reading’s<br />

very own Grumpy Goat. The beers were<br />

planned to include:<br />

Old Fashioned – Bourbon Barrel Aged<br />

Barley Wine<br />

Odyssey 008 – Dark Belgian Inspired<br />

Blend<br />

Summer Encore – Double IPA aged in<br />

Gin Barrels<br />

Barrel Aged Shattered Dream – Imperial<br />

Breakfast Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.<br />

Old Fashioned is Siren’s take on the the<br />

Bourbon whiskey cocktail originally<br />

mixed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1881.<br />

The 11% ABV beer ages Barley Wine in<br />

bourbon barrels for 12 months. During<br />

the year’s ageing, Old Fashioned picks<br />

up a well-rounded bourbon profile, with<br />

some vanilla and caramel sweetness.<br />

Siren suggest a classic zest to serve, with<br />

Bitters optional! The RRP is £4.80 per<br />

330ml bottle.<br />

From the start of February, Siren Craft<br />

beers have been permanently available<br />

on cask across all Draft House bars<br />

in London. The nearest one to us is at<br />

Paddington Basin (near Edgeware Road<br />

tube stations). There will always be at<br />

least one rotating Siren cask available<br />

at each of the 13 Draft House venues,<br />

together with keg and bottle offerings.<br />

Finally, look out for an anniversary party<br />

on Saturday 17 March. Go to www.<br />

sirencraftbrew.com for more details.<br />


As the closest brewery to Windsor Castle,<br />

it’s natural that Windsor and Eton<br />

should brew a royal beer to celebrate<br />

Harry & Meghan<br />

tying the knot.<br />

Called Harry<br />

& Meghan’s<br />

Windsor Knot,<br />

the new beer is<br />

a special limited<br />

edition of the<br />

best-selling Windsor Knot which was<br />

first brewed for the marriage of Harry’s<br />

brother, William. Just like the original<br />

Windsor Knot, this pale ale will be<br />

the only royal wedding beer brewed in<br />

Windsor.<br />

The new beer was inspired by the couple’s<br />

first public appearance together at the<br />

Invictus Games in Toronto last year.<br />

It uses a special blend of British hops<br />

called Invicta in recognition of Prince<br />

Harry’s role in creating the Invictus<br />

Games, combined with some great<br />

American West Coast hops. As with all<br />

the brewery’s beers it uses barley grown<br />

locally on the Royal Farms in Windsor<br />

and, as a finishing touch, champagne<br />

yeast. Marrying these ingredients creates<br />

a new pale ale that is young, fresh and<br />

full of character.<br />

The beer will be available in both 330ml<br />

bottles at 4.5% ABV and in cask at<br />

4% ABV. The design on the bottle and<br />

pumpclip features a tie made out of the<br />

Union Jack and the Stars & Stripes,<br />

and also has two interlocking male and<br />

female symbols.<br />

Launch date for the new beer is w/c<br />

26 March with the first orders being<br />

shipped from 3 April.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


XT / ANIMAL<br />

After 6 years and<br />

brewing over 3 million<br />

pints, XT Brewery have<br />

announced a rebranding<br />

of their cask beer range<br />

from March. Following<br />

a very busy 2017 with<br />

significant investment in<br />

new brewing equipment<br />

and the new brewery tap<br />

room – XT have clearly<br />

shown a commitment<br />

to producing quality<br />

cask beer. The new look<br />

brings the beers bang up<br />

to date and will ensure the brand will<br />

continue to grow and appeal to both<br />

existing and new beer drinkers well into<br />

the future.<br />

For the real beer<br />

connoisseur, in limited<br />

availability is the XT<br />

Oak Aged Imperial<br />

Stout at 8.6% ABV<br />

– available in bottle<br />

conditioned, keg or<br />

cask form – with<br />

characteristics carried<br />

over from the sherry,<br />

brandy, whisky or rum<br />

casks in which they<br />

have been ageing for<br />

over 12 months. The<br />

casks will next be put<br />

to work storing a new<br />

strong Burton IPA, which will be kept<br />

for 12 months and develop some of the<br />

character of a true nineteenth century<br />

beer headed for the tables of the Raj.<br />

The Animal beers have continued to<br />

grow in popularity over the years and<br />

the first ever permanent Animal beer<br />

now joins the stable: Hopcat, a hyper<br />

hoppy pale ale at only 3.9% ABV has<br />

been selling fast. Packed with Citra and<br />

Cascade New World hops to excite your<br />

taste buds but with a low strength, it’s<br />

described as being “gentle on the head.”<br />

More Animals are still to come with<br />

the first being Tarsier. This 4.6% ABV<br />

Pacific Amber is packed with sweet<br />

malts and rye and crammed full of<br />

Rakau, Casade and Chinook, layered<br />

throughout the boil and during dry<br />

hopping. Malty, biscuity, toffee and<br />

raisin flavours are blended with bold<br />

passionfruit, grapefruit and citrus from<br />

the generous amount of hops. A slight<br />

roasty hint with a splash of tropical<br />

notes leaves a pleasant sweet and hoppy<br />

finish.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Small Beer<br />

A round up of news and information<br />



award is a huge testament to the hard<br />

work of our brewing and bottling teams<br />

which are very dedicated to producing<br />

fantastic beers.”<br />

CAMRA’s National Director responsible<br />

for the competition Nick Boley said:<br />

“Congratulations to St Austell for<br />

winning the Champion Bottled Beer<br />

of Britain award, one of the highest<br />

accolades in the beer world.”<br />

Big Job from St Austell Brewery has<br />

been crowned the Champion Bottled<br />

Beer of Britain in CAMRA’s prestigious<br />

annual award which recognises the<br />

best bottle-conditioned real ale in the<br />

country. Runners up included Fullers’<br />

Vintage Ale which took home silver, and<br />

Oakham’s Green Devil IPA which won<br />

Bronze.<br />

Big Job is the big brother of the brewery’s<br />

popular ale Proper Job. At 7.2% ABV<br />

it’s powerfully hoppy with both citra<br />

and centennial hops, and is jammed full<br />

of Cornish barley. With a smooth, citrus<br />

fruit taste and a hoppy, lemon smell, it’s<br />

anything but subtle.<br />

Roger Ryman, Head Brewer at St Austell<br />

said:<br />

“In a market where there are so many<br />

fantastic beers available it is a huge<br />

honour to take home the crown. This<br />

Christine Cryne, master beer trainer and<br />

judge added:<br />

“The standard of competition was<br />

fantastically high. Big Job is a moreish,<br />

golden beer with honey caramelised<br />

citrus notes, refreshingly smooth with a<br />

warming finish with increasing spicy dry<br />

bitter notes and a soft fruity nose. We<br />

were particularly impressed with how<br />

well balanced it was – we were looking<br />

for a beer which showed the brewer’s art<br />

of complexity, and that just gave it the<br />

edge.”<br />




LOCAL?<br />

by Paul Ainsworth<br />

CAMRA is investigating the impact<br />

of changes to our pubs as the big pub<br />

owning companies react to the Pubs<br />

Code, put into force in 2016 after years<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


of campaigning by licensee groups and<br />

CAMRA.<br />

In the last two years, the number of pubs<br />

run on traditional long-term tenancies<br />

has fallen, as some tenants are replaced<br />

by managers. Licensee campaigners<br />

are concerned that this may encourage<br />

management turnover, all to avoid pubs<br />

being covered by the Code. The impact<br />

on customers is less clear.<br />

Our Pub Campaigns Committee is<br />

looking, confidentially, for information.<br />

It is particularly interested to see if<br />

changes in management to pub company<br />

pubs result in more or less choice for<br />

pub-goers. Has your local pub increased<br />

or reduced its range of real ale and cider<br />

after a change of tenant? Or do you work<br />

in a pubco pub and have seen changes?<br />

The Committee would also like to know<br />

about any changes in prices and in the<br />

quality of the beer being served.<br />

Please send information to the<br />

Committee’s Chair, Paul Ainsworth –<br />

paul.ainsworth@camra.org.uk<br />



The 8th edition of the Good Beer Guide<br />

Belgium is now available to pre-order<br />

through the CAMRA shop at a special<br />

advance price of £11.99.<br />

This book is an indispensible companion<br />

for anyone visiting or living in Belgium.<br />

A complete guide to the world of<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

20<br />

Belgian beer,<br />

it’s packed with<br />

information<br />

on breweries,<br />

beers and bars<br />

from around<br />

the country. It<br />

also features<br />

comprehensive<br />

advice on<br />

getting there,<br />

what to eat,<br />

where to stay<br />

and how to bring the best of Belgium’s<br />

beer offering back home with you.<br />

The guide contains full-colour provinceby-province<br />

maps and detailed city maps<br />

with bar locations and includes details<br />

of over 800 bars, cafés and beer shops.<br />

Tim Webb and Joe Stange are the coauthors.<br />

Tim has written the seven<br />

previous editions of the Good Beer<br />

Guide Belgium and is one of the world’s<br />

best-known beer writers. His “World<br />

Atlas of Beer” and “Pocket Beer Book”,<br />

co-authored with Stephen Beaumont,<br />

has appeared in more than a dozen<br />

editions worldwide. Joe is a freelance<br />

journalist whose writing has appeared<br />

in the New York Times and All About<br />

Beer magazine, among others. He cowrote<br />

the last edition of the Good<br />

Beer Guide Belgium with Tim Webb. A<br />

former resident of Belgium, he now lives<br />

in Germany.<br />

Publication date is 16 April and preorder<br />

copies will be dispatched hot off<br />

the press. Visit shop.camra.org.uk to<br />

secure your copy today.

2018 MEMBERS’<br />



CAMRA’s annual members’ weekend<br />

assumes even greater importance this<br />

year because it will see key decisions<br />

made about the proposals from the<br />

Revitalisation Project. This will set the<br />

future direction of the campaign and<br />

there are strongly-held views on both<br />

sides.<br />

The event will be held at Warwick<br />

University next April. For those not<br />

familiar with the area, Warwick<br />

University is not in Warwick at all, but<br />

on the south side of Coventry (and not to<br />

be confused with Coventry University).<br />

It is easily reached by a frequent bus<br />

service from Pool Meadow bus station,<br />

or the railway station. The conference<br />

itself will be in Butterworth Hall, a<br />

world-class concert hall. The Members’<br />

Bar will be in the nearby Students Union<br />

building.<br />

An event like this requires quite a few<br />

volunteer staff. The organisers need<br />

people to work in the bar area, as<br />

“Meeters & Greeters” and tellers. If<br />

you’re interested in helping out, please<br />

see the advert in this issue.<br />

And if you can’t attend, make sure<br />

that you register your proxy vote in<br />

advance. There are more details of the<br />

Revitalisation proposals elsewhere in<br />

this magazine and it’s really important<br />

that as many members as possible have<br />

their say.<br />

Please see agm.camra.org.uk.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Beer with food,<br />

or food with beer?<br />

Pubs serving food is, of course, not a<br />

new idea – they have been doing it for<br />

centuries. There were the coaching inns<br />

which provided refreshment for weary<br />

travellers; there were the larger pubs<br />

which had restaurants and then there<br />

were the simple boozers which offered<br />

a sandwich or a pie. However, with the<br />

recent changes in our drinking habits<br />

many more pubs are now concentrating<br />

on food over beer and it is not unusual<br />

to see what was once a little country<br />

pub being transformed into a gastro<br />

experience with high quality menus and<br />

quite often celebrity chefs. There are<br />

several within the Thames Valley and<br />

quite a few with Michelin ratings.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

23<br />

The first thing to say about this style of<br />

pub is that it is still open and trading<br />

even though it has changed dramatically<br />

from its original persona. Some of these<br />

establishments have gone over to food<br />

almost in total and it is really quite hard<br />

to get a beer in many of them. Others<br />

have, thankfully, kept a small bar area<br />

for drinkers who can either pop in for<br />

a pint or have a drink before heading to<br />

the restaurant for lunch or dinner.<br />

Other old pubs have been converted to<br />

specialist dining venues such as Thai or<br />

Indian restaurants and those pubs are<br />

now considered as lost although it has<br />

to be said that there are a large number<br />

of pubs which now offer oriental style<br />

food in the bar alongside the real ale.<br />

This is fine as long as the drinker is not<br />

discriminated against and has trouble<br />

finding a table which is not set out for<br />

dining.<br />

Then there are the large pub chains<br />

which these days offer an extensive<br />

menu which tries to cater for all tastes<br />

and are geared up for families (a huge<br />

growth market since the days when kids<br />

were not allowed in pubs). The food is<br />

generally provided by national catering<br />

suppliers and the menus often appear<br />

to mimic each other (curry nights / fish<br />

nights / steak nights etc.).<br />

However, these pubs do have their place<br />

and most of them will offer a cask ale<br />

or two. Many of these new outlets are<br />

being built from scratch and often have

accommodation alongside and they are<br />

springing up all over the land at a steady<br />

rate, while we note the closure of many<br />

traditional pubs often owned by the<br />

same companies.<br />

Food advertising for pubs is often a<br />

source of amusement or sometimes<br />

bewilderment! “Home-cooked food”<br />

– does that simply mean that somebody<br />

has opened the catering pack and<br />

followed the cooking instructions, or<br />

does it actually mean that each dish is<br />

carefully sourced, prepared and freshly<br />

cooked to order? “Pub Grub” used<br />

to be a common term but again what<br />

does it mean? Have you ever driven or<br />

walked past a pub which has an “A”<br />

board outside advertising for a chef?<br />

Well, no point in trying to eat in there if<br />

they haven’t got a cook! Quite often, in<br />

days past, the husband would look after<br />

the bar and cellar while the wife did the<br />

cooking. Today, it would appear that<br />

there are a greater number of male chefs<br />

in the pub kitchen than ever before.<br />

substantial meals or snacks. You can’t<br />

beat a good pub with great beer and a<br />

selection of rolls or sarnies! You often<br />

don’t want a four-course dinner, but a<br />

cheese and onion bap will help soak up<br />

the ale and keep you going for a while!<br />

So, while it is always sad to see so many<br />

pubs closing down we have to give credit<br />

to the ones which have changed their<br />

trading style; kept a bar for drinkers and<br />

provided good quality food and beer for<br />

all to enjoy. They will, of course, not be<br />

to everyone’s taste but many of them<br />

have brought new trade to the pub and<br />

as long as the locals are not pushed out<br />

then this may well be the way forward<br />

for many Great British Pubs.<br />

Dave McKerchar<br />

Looking at the beer side, well it does<br />

seem to be a general rule that if you<br />

have good quality dining, then there’s<br />

a good chance that the beer will be<br />

good as well. In the Reading area there<br />

are fine examples of pubs which may<br />

otherwise have closed, being converted<br />

into restaurants with bars where there<br />

is a very good selection of ales kept in<br />

excellent condition.<br />

As for the old style boozers which often<br />

provided a bar snack or “Pub Grub<br />

/ ”Inn Food” as it was often called –<br />

there are still a good number of these<br />

still going strong and many do offer<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Reading Beer & Cider<br />

Festival<br />

Thursday 3 May to Sunday 6 May 2018,<br />

Christchurch Meadows<br />

Here’s what to expect<br />

from this year’s festival.<br />

First of all it’s easy to find, and simple<br />

to get to from the station. The new<br />

pedestrian and cycle bridge over the<br />

Thames makes things simple and,<br />

for those of you using the mapping<br />

directions on a smartphone, the magic<br />

numbers for Christchurch Meadows are<br />

RG4 8DH.<br />

wines. All served from the longest bar<br />

in the county (and possibly the country).<br />

There will be traditional pub games,<br />

tombola, a quiz on Thursday evening,<br />

live music Friday and Saturday, and<br />

children’s entertainments and Morris<br />

Dancers on the Sunday.<br />

The format will be largely unchanged<br />

from last year with a huge range of real<br />

ale, cider and perry, a good selection of<br />

foreign bottled beers, English white and<br />

fizzy wines, mead and British country<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

25<br />

Food is available at all times. There are<br />

never any guarantees about the weather<br />

of course, but should the delivery of<br />

sunshine go as planned you can enjoy it<br />

in our massive beer garden.<br />

The beer festival is run entirely by unpaid<br />

volunteers. It’s a great deal of fun, and<br />

if you’re a CAMRA member and fancy<br />

popping along to help out (and get free<br />

entry!) volunteering forms are available<br />

on the website: readingbeerfestival.org.<br />


Friday 4 May<br />

11:00 to 23:00<br />

Saturday 5 May (afternoon)<br />

11:00 to 16:30<br />

Saturday 5 May (evening)<br />

18:00 to 23:00<br />

Sunday 6 May<br />

12:00 to 20:00<br />

Tickets will be on sale via our website.<br />

For prices, details of the ticket packages<br />

and any other information please check<br />

the website.<br />

Once again the Saturday will be split<br />

into two sessions and opening times are<br />

planned to be:<br />

Thursday 3 May<br />

16:30 to 23:00<br />

We look forward to having a pint (or<br />

maybe two) with you all. Cheers!<br />

Adapted from an original article by<br />

Dave Scott, Festival Organiser<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Arthur Pounder<br />

It is with great sadness that the committee<br />

of Reading and Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

announce that Arthur Pounder, our<br />

recently elected co-chairman, suddenly<br />

passed away in January 2018.<br />

Arthur stepped up to the plate to fill a<br />

key committee role at our recent “Save<br />

the Branch” emergency meeting. In<br />

the short time he was co-chairman<br />

he showed energy and leadership.<br />

He started to revitalise the branch<br />

and worked to remove procedural<br />

obstacles to the Reading Beer Festival.<br />

The really high attendance at the last<br />

branch meeting – some 35 people – is<br />

a testament to this.<br />

As well as his branch work Arfs worked<br />

at many beer festivals. With Scott Nichol<br />

he had been joint organiser of the trade<br />

session at Reading for six years. He<br />

was chief steward at Maidenhead and<br />

Ealing. He also worked on many other<br />

festivals including the annual charity<br />

beer festival at Twyford.<br />

We offer our condolences to his family<br />

and friends. We will miss him.<br />

Martin Hoare<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Ale Trail, Now On<br />

Every spring sees hundreds of people<br />

getting out and about and enjoying the<br />

pubs on the Reading & Mid Berkshire<br />

Ale Trail. Helpfully starting just after<br />

the end of Dry January – although<br />

unless you really want your local pub<br />

to close down, we suggest you steer<br />

well clear of that and aim for Tryanuary<br />

instead – the trail consists of 24 pubs<br />

and appeals to anybody who enjoys<br />

a drink, anybody who likes exploring<br />

the area and anybody that just likes to<br />

“collect the full set”.<br />

Late last year there was a strong<br />

possibility of our CAMRA branch being<br />

dissolved owing to a lack of volunteers<br />

and, if that had happened, the Ale Trail<br />

would have been the first high profile<br />

casualty. Thankfully several CAMRA<br />

members stepped up to fill vacant roles<br />

and to save the branch, and the Ale Trail<br />

is now very much in full swing.<br />

The idea is simple. Pick up a booklet<br />

for a pound from either the Nags Head<br />

or Retreat in Reading, or the Fox and<br />

Hounds in Caversham. Enjoy a load of<br />

great trips out to the participating pubs<br />

– you have until 4 April to complete it –<br />

and collect a sticker for every pint or half<br />

or real ale or real cider that you have.<br />

Then send in your completed booklet<br />

for the chance to win prizes including<br />

beer vouchers for the Reading Beer and<br />

Cider Festival, exclusive T shirts and<br />

entry to various prize draws.<br />

The 24 pubs are chosen to be a good<br />

mix of urban, suburban and rural<br />

destinations and to provide a good deal<br />

of variety from year to year. It’s not<br />

supposed to be our idea of the 24 best<br />

pubs in the area – that’s what the Good<br />

Beer Guide is for – but instead to give<br />

people the chance to experience a wide<br />

range of pubs that they might not have<br />

had the chance to visit before. You will<br />

always find our current branch Pub of<br />

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

the list though. If you’re interested in the<br />

full selection criteria you can read them<br />

at readingcamra.org.uk/aletrail<br />



BELL, Waltham St Lawrence<br />

BELL & BOTTLE, Shinfield<br />

BIRD IN HAND, Henley<br />

BISCUIT TIN, Reading<br />

BLACK BOY, Shinfield<br />

BLACK HORSE, Emmer Green<br />

BULL, Theale<br />

CASTLE TAP, Reading<br />

ELDON ARMS, Reading<br />

FLOWER POT, Aston<br />

FORESTERS ARMS, Reading<br />

FOX & HOUNDS, Caversham<br />

FOX & HOUNDS, Theale<br />

FOX & HOUNDS, Tilehurst<br />

GOOD COMPANIONS, Woodley<br />

GREYFRIAR, Reading<br />

NAGS HEAD, Reading<br />

PACKHORSE, Mapledurham<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



READING), Reading<br />

PRINCE OF WALES, Caversham<br />

RETREAT, Reading<br />

SHURLOCK INN, Shurlock Row<br />

VICTORIA, Tilehurst<br />

WAGGON & HORSES, Twyford<br />

Yes, there are three Fox and Houndses,<br />

so make sure that you put the right<br />

sticker on the right pub in your booklet!<br />

Have an excellent time on the trail, and<br />

please take the opportunity to send in<br />

your beer scores by visiting whatpub.<br />

com - this helps us gather more data<br />

about pubs and might even mean that<br />

your favourite pub gets into the Good<br />

Beer Guide next time.<br />

Phil Gill<br />

T: 01984 623798 • E: info@exmoorales.co.uk • www.exmoorales.co.uk<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong>

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 201. oncessionary rates available.<br />

Please visit camra.org.uk/membership-rates

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 />

Partner’s Details (if Joint Membership)<br />

Protect the traditions of great<br />

British pubs and everything that<br />

goes with them by joining today<br />

at www.camra.org.uk/joinup<br />

Or enter your details and complete the Direct Debit form below and you will receive<br />

15 months membership for the price of 12 and save £2 on your membership subscription<br />

Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to CAMRA Ltd with your completed form,<br />

visit www.camra.org.uk/joinus, or call 01727 798440.* All forms should be addressed to<br />

Membership Department, CAMRA, 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 4LW.<br />

Your details:<br />

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For concessionary rates please visit<br />

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agree to abide by the Memorandum and<br />

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Signed ........................................................................<br />

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<br />

To the Manager<br />

Address<br />

Instruction to your Bank or<br />

Building Society to pay by Direct Debit<br />

Please fill in the whole form using a ball point pen and send to:<br />

Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. 230 Hatfield Road St. Albans, Herts AL1 4LW<br />

Name and full postal address of your Bank or Building Society<br />

Postcode<br />

Name(s) of Account Holder<br />

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Bank or Building Society<br />

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9 2 6 1 2 9<br />


This is not part of the instruction to your Bank or Building Society<br />

Membership Number<br />

Name<br />

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Please pay Campaign For Real Ale Limited Direct Debits<br />

from the account detailed on this instruction subject to<br />

the safeguards assured by the Direct Debit Guarantee. I<br />

understand that this instruction may remain with Campaign<br />

For Real Ale Limited and, if so, will be passed electronically<br />

to my Bank/Building Society.<br />

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This Guarantee is offered by all banks<br />

and building societies that accept<br />

instructions to pay by Direct Debits<br />

If there are any changes to the amount,<br />

date or frequency of your Direct Debit<br />

The Campaign for Real Ale Ltd will notify<br />

you 10 working days in advance of your<br />

account being debited or as otherwise<br />

agreed. If you request The Campaign<br />

for Real Ale Ltd to collect a payment,<br />

confirmation of the amount and date<br />

will be given to you at the time of<br />

the request<br />

If an error is made in the payment of<br />

your Direct Debit by The Campaign<br />

for Real Ale Ltd or your bank or<br />

building society, you are entitled to<br />

a full and immediate refund of the<br />

amount paid from your bank or<br />

building society<br />

If you receive a refund you are not<br />

entitled to, you must pay it back<br />

when The Campaign Real Ale Ltd<br />

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You can cancel a Direct Debit at any<br />

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or building society. Written confirmation<br />

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†Price of single membership when paying by Direct Debit. *Calls from landlines charged at local rates, cost may vary from mobile phones.<br />

New Direct Debit members will receive a 12 month supply of vouchers in their first 15 months of membership.

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