18.06.2018 Views

Mine's a Pint - Summer 2018

The Summer 2018 issue of the magazine of the Reading & Mid-Berkshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The Summer 2018 issue of the magazine of the Reading & Mid-Berkshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

SHOW MORE
SHOW LESS

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

THE MAGAZINE FOR READING AND MID<br />

BERKSHIRE BRANCH OF THE CAMPAIGN<br />

FOR REAL ALE<br />

IN THIS ISSUE...<br />

PUB & BREWERY NEWS<br />

GOOD BEER GUIDE BELGIUM<br />

SMALL BEER<br />

FESTIVAL ROUNDUP<br />

REVITALISING CAMRA<br />

& MORE...<br />

CHEERS TO ANOTHER GREAT<br />

FESTIVAL!<br />

FREE<br />

ISSUE FORTY SIX SUMMER <strong>2018</strong><br />

FREE - PLEASE TAKE A COPY


Branch Diary<br />

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

Non-members are welcome to all events except branch meetings.<br />

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

last-minute changes.<br />

June<br />

THURS 7: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.<br />

Fisherman’s Cottage, 224 Kennet Side, Reading RG1<br />

3DW.<br />

SAT 9: (13:00) Twyford Beer Festival Social with<br />

Berkshire South East Branch. King George V Playing Field,<br />

Twyford, RG10 9JA. Social details www.seberkscamra.<br />

org.uk/diary.shtml<br />

THURS 14: (20:00) Branch meeting. The Swan (small<br />

window room at front of pub), Basingstoke Road, Three<br />

Mile Cross RG7 1AT. CAMRA members only, please.<br />

SAT 23: (11:00) Mid-<strong>Summer</strong> Social: Bermondsey Beer<br />

Mile. Meet outside Bermondsey Tube Station. Details and<br />

registration: https://fbb-bbm18.eventbrite.co.uk<br />

SAT 30: (11:00) Walk and Beer Festival. Meet at the<br />

Swan, Basingstoke Road, Three Mile Cross RG7 1AT. We<br />

will walk via Farriers Arms, Spencers Wood, RG7 1AE to<br />

Bell & Bottle, 37 School Green, Shinfield RG2 9EE (2.25<br />

miles walk). The plan is to arrive c. 13:30 for their beer<br />

festival and barbecue.<br />

July<br />

SAT 7: (11:30) East London Ale Trail (Fair Weather<br />

Rerun). Meet outside Whitechapel Station. Details and<br />

registration https://elat18rerun.eventbrite.co.uk<br />

TUES 17: (20:00) Branch meeting. Bell & Bottle, 37<br />

School Green, Shinfield RG2 9EE. CAMRA members<br />

only, please.<br />

August<br />

THURS 2: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.<br />

Park House, University of Reading, Whiteknights<br />

Campus, Reading, RG6 6UR. The bar is open to all.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

by 1 st August.<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 <strong>2018</strong>.


7TH GREAT YEAR!<br />

CRAFT ALES & CIDERS FROM<br />

TOP INDEPENDENT BREWERS<br />

GREAT LIVE MUSIC<br />

HOG ROAST AND BBQ<br />

01483 369350<br />

GLive.co.uk


From The Editor<br />

Welcome to the latest issue of Mine’s a<br />

<strong>Pint</strong>.<br />

If you’ve read any previous issues you’ll<br />

know that CAMRA has been going<br />

through a Revitalisation project, to<br />

decide its future role, direction and<br />

purpose. Those are pretty fundamental<br />

matters and people have rightly taken<br />

their time with the discussions. The final<br />

proposals were debated at CAMRA’s<br />

annual conference and AGM in April and<br />

the membership have spoken … and you<br />

can find out what was decided by reading<br />

the article inside.<br />

Contents<br />

BRANCH DIARY 3<br />

FROM THE EDITOR 5<br />

GOOD BEER GUIDE BELGIUM 6-7<br />

PUB & BREWERY NEWS 9-17<br />

FESTIVAL ROUNDUP 18-19<br />

REVITALISING CAMRA 21-23<br />

SMALL BEER 25-27<br />

REAL ALE TRAINING 28-30<br />

JOIN CAMRA 31<br />

Alongside the regular pub and brewery<br />

news and other features you’ll also find<br />

suggestions for pubs you can get to by<br />

train in the Thames Valley, and a review<br />

of the new Good Beer Guide Belgium, the<br />

ideal companion for anyone heading off<br />

on Eurostar to the continent.<br />

There’s also a roundup of the Reading<br />

Beer and Cider Festival with some<br />

great photos of the event. It was fun to<br />

volunteer this year and the excellent<br />

weather certainly helped.<br />

Next year will be the 25 th beer festival as<br />

well as its 25 th anniversary (if that makes<br />

no sense, it’s explained by the fact that<br />

we missed a year in the early days of<br />

the festival).So put 2 nd to 5 th May 2019<br />

in your calendars now and we’ll see you<br />

there!<br />

Cheers!<br />

Phil Gill<br />

Editor<br />

editor@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

5


Good Beer Guide<br />

Belgium<br />

Do you visit Belgium frequently? Do you<br />

enjoy trying out new bars and beers? Then<br />

the Good Beer Guide to Belgium is a must<br />

buy before your next trip.<br />

Now in its 8 th edition, it’s an indispensable<br />

companion for anyone visiting Belgium. Not<br />

only is it packed with information on the<br />

breweries and bars from around the country<br />

but it gives you the low down on the beers<br />

as well. It even gives you advice on what to<br />

eat, where to stay and what to bring home.<br />

A group of friends and I are just organising a<br />

trip for later in the year to Gent so I took the<br />

book along for ideas. It’s so well put together<br />

with separate areas for Breweries and Bars<br />

and information on Belgian bars in the UK.<br />

I love the fact that the pages in each section<br />

are a different colour of the Belgian flag!<br />

Nice touch.<br />

The book makes it easy to find your way<br />

around, giving you some general information<br />

on each province before listing the best bars.<br />

It definitely gave us some good ideas on bars<br />

for our hit list. The maps do let it down<br />

slightly as they aren’t that clear to help you<br />

easily find one of the bars but that’s easily<br />

solved with the smartphone in your pocket.<br />

You can tell it’s put together by enthusiasts<br />

who aren’t afraid to tell you what they really<br />

think.<br />

What better place to arrange a trip to<br />

Belgium than at a bar that serves Belgian<br />

beer – the Castle Tap. We thought we would<br />

put the book to the test. My choice was<br />

a St Bernardus Tripel. I’d describe it as a<br />

blond, hoppy beer with plenty of punch. The<br />

book’s words are “blond, ever evolving and<br />

bitterish” - that seems fair to me! Next I<br />

looked up one of my favourite bars in Gent,<br />

Trollekelder. “Trolls Cellar” is described as<br />

“equal parts kitsch and class, a jumble of<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

6


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

7<br />

lofts, beams and rafters”, and that’s difficult<br />

to argue with.<br />

Belgium is just two hours by train from the<br />

heart of London. Belgium is a mecca for beer<br />

aficionados looking to explore arguably the<br />

best beer destination in the world. Belgium<br />

is proud of its unique beer culture, not least<br />

the many diverse styles of beers, including<br />

Flemish Reds, saisons, lambics and gueuze<br />

beers. It’s a perfect place for a long weekend<br />

break. So buy the book and start planning<br />

yours today!<br />

Sandie Gill<br />

The Good Beer Guide Belgium is available<br />

from the CAMRA shop. Visit shop.camra.<br />

org.uk and search in the books section.


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

8


Pub & Brewery News<br />

Pub News<br />

ARBORFIELD<br />

It now looks like we have lost THE SWAN<br />

as a public house as the planning application<br />

for conversion to housing will have been<br />

decided by the time you read this and the<br />

view appears to be that most parties involved<br />

were in favour of conversion. It does seem a<br />

shame that this fine old pub could not survive<br />

especially when you see the numbers of new<br />

houses being built just down the road on the<br />

old army garrison site. It now leaves just The<br />

Bramshill Hunt and The Bull – with the latter<br />

being very food orientated (although there is<br />

a small bar area and a couple of beers on tap)<br />

BURGHFIELD COMMON<br />

Plans have been submitted which could see<br />

Burghfield Common’s last pub demolished<br />

and turned into flats. Developer The Keen<br />

Partnership has applied to West Berkshire<br />

Council to demolish THE BANTAM in<br />

Omer’s Rise and replace it with eight flats<br />

and 14 parking spaces. This is the latest in a<br />

series of planning applications for change of<br />

use or redevelopment, all of which have been<br />

rejected so far.<br />

KNOWL HILL<br />

THE NEW INN is on the market (leasehold)<br />

with an asking price of £199,950. The pub<br />

has been run by its current owners since<br />

2013 and offers bar / restaurant and B&B<br />

facilities. The bar offers real ales from<br />

Rebellion Brewery. There are 2 other pubs in<br />

the village both offering real ale (The Royal<br />

Oak and The Bird in Hand)<br />

PLAYHATCH<br />

Just outside our branch area but definitely a<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

9<br />

friend of Reading CAMRA is the FLOWING<br />

SPRING on the Henley Road. This<br />

independent freehouse has been crowned<br />

Pub of the Year by our neighbours at South<br />

Oxfordshire CAMRA, and it’s a worthy<br />

winner. Check out their range of six real ales<br />

plus gluten-free and alcohol-free options,<br />

together with a great range of home-cooked<br />

food that includes meat, vegetarian, vegan<br />

and gluten-free offerings.<br />

READING<br />

We start with some good news concerning<br />

the long-closed CORN STORES on Forbury<br />

Road. This was once a Fuller’s pub and<br />

restaurant but after they gave up on it, the<br />

premises were shut and despite a few rumours<br />

about new owners taking it on as a bar again,<br />

nothing happened and it looked like it was<br />

destined to become a derelict building or be<br />

converted into offices or flats.<br />

Well, it now appears that the property<br />

has been bought by the people behind the<br />

Shurlock Inn at Shurlock Row and they plan<br />

to re-open it as a bar and restaurant once<br />

more. This company – Rarebreed Dining


– part of The Havisham Group - have built<br />

the Shurlock Inn into a well-respected bar<br />

and restaurant with locally-sourced food and<br />

beer, so this bodes well for The Corn Stores.<br />

Renovation works have not yet started<br />

and we don’t know when they will but we<br />

understand that all trading areas will be<br />

refurbished and an outside area at the rear<br />

is being planned. We look forward to seeing<br />

this lovely old building brought back to life<br />

again and to being able to sup a pint or two<br />

in one of its new bars.<br />

Down at Cemetery Junction, what was until<br />

recently The Abbot Cook, has now become<br />

THE HOPE & BEAR. This large prominent<br />

pub has had a bit of a makeover and the main<br />

entrance has moved to the Kings Road side of<br />

the building where there is also an enhanced<br />

patio/garden area. Up to 5 cask ales should<br />

be available and manageress Rachael Langley<br />

told us that Doom Bar and St. Austell Proper<br />

Job will be permanent. Oakham Inferno and<br />

Purity Mad Goose were also available on a<br />

recent visit with the 5 th pump not yet in use.<br />

Cider in a box is also on sale and the pub<br />

will feature an ever-changing selection of<br />

craft beers as well. Children are welcome<br />

up to 9 pm and the pub offers full disabled<br />

facilities. Food is available every day from 12<br />

– 10 (9 on Sundays) and the bar is open until<br />

midnight on Thursday/Friday and Saturday.<br />

Heading back into Reading town centre but<br />

still on the Kings Road and another change of<br />

name for one of our local pubs. This time it is<br />

the old Bali Lounge (previously The Warwick<br />

Arms) which now goes by the name of THE<br />

BISCUIT & BARREL.<br />

New owners have reverted to more of a pub<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

10<br />

with food than an Eastern style restaurant<br />

with beer, so the Thai furniture and<br />

decorations have gone and it looks more like<br />

a proper bar again. There are boxed games<br />

and a TV (terrestrial only), wifi, piped music<br />

and a small patio area at the side. Kids are<br />

welcome and the pub does food from 12 – 9<br />

Monday – Saturday. On the beer side there<br />

are two handpumps with Doom Bar being<br />

a regular offering (£3.00 a pint Monday-<br />

Friday 4-7) plus a regularly changing guest<br />

ale (Bonds of Wokingham and Tring Brewery<br />

beers have been noted). Nice to see this bar<br />

open again and we wish them well.<br />

Another place with a new name but seemingly<br />

little else changed is the BROAD STREET<br />

BAR AND KITCHEN, which is what used<br />

to be Artigiano’s. There’s no real ale but a<br />

range of bottled beers is available.<br />

BREWDOG has opened on Castle Street and<br />

seems to be attracting plenty of customers. It<br />

extends the range of drinking establishments<br />

in town and that has to be a good thing.<br />

Twenty taps showcase Brewdog’s own beer<br />

plus that of guest breweries and there have<br />

already been special events including a<br />

tap takeover that featured two Berkshire<br />

breweries – Uprising and New Wharf.<br />

The owners of THE BUTLER in Chatham<br />

Street have submitted a planning application<br />

to demolish the old outbuildings and tyre<br />

centre and to create a number of new letting<br />

rooms at the rear of the pub. The existing<br />

toilets will then be moved upstairs inside the<br />

pub but the main structure and layout of the<br />

bar areas will not change so this Good Beer<br />

guide listed pub will continue with its beer<br />

and music.


The FISHERMAN’S COTTAGE on<br />

Kennetside have also submitted a planning<br />

application, this time to create a two storey<br />

extension for 6 bedrooms on the top floor<br />

of the pub. Works will include alterations<br />

to the car park and some of the interior and<br />

exterior sections of the building affected by<br />

the works. We think that these would be<br />

letting rooms.<br />

Photo courtesy of the Allied Arms<br />

We’ve been getting good reports about the<br />

beer quality at GREAT EXPECTATIONS<br />

in London Street. The in-house brewing has<br />

stopped (many of our reporters didn’t rate it<br />

very highly anyway) and the beer range has<br />

been reduced to 4 cask ales plus cider but<br />

the quality had improved. The range of ales<br />

was quite interesting on a recent visit with<br />

the likes of Slaters of Staffordshire and Milk<br />

Street from Frome being available. This bar /<br />

restaurant / hotel is just across the IDR from<br />

the Oracle – a short walk from the town<br />

centre.<br />

Launched in mid-April <strong>2018</strong>, the ALLIED<br />

ARMS now has 10 cask ales available on<br />

a regular basis. Dating from late Georgian<br />

times, the pub has built up a reputation for<br />

having excellent quality cask ales available<br />

at all times. The popularity of the monthly<br />

Payday festivals has prompted the team to<br />

bring us a wider choice on a more frequent<br />

basis, so we can enjoy up to 10 different ales<br />

from near and far every day. In addition, a<br />

new range of craft beers has been introduced<br />

which are available in bottles or cans.<br />

Alongside the ales up to six real ciders are<br />

served. So why not treat yourself to a beer or<br />

two after work or enjoy the award-winning<br />

garden – described as Reading’s best kept<br />

secret!<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

11<br />

The multi-award winning NAGS HEAD in<br />

Russell Street has had a refurbishment: the<br />

old lino flooring has been ripped up and new<br />

timber flooring laid throughout the single<br />

bar area. All very smart. You probably didn’t<br />

notice it because the pub is usually so busy<br />

you can’t see the floor!<br />

SONNING<br />

By the time you read this, renovation works<br />

should have been completed at THE BULL<br />

in Sonning. This is a Fuller’s pub (although<br />

owned by the church) and hopefully the<br />

very pleasant interior areas will not have<br />

been spoilt – it’s the kind of pub that foreign<br />

tourists adore. Nearby – right by Sonning<br />

Bridge – is the COPPA bar which is a great<br />

place to be on a warm summer’s day as they<br />

have a large riverside garden with seating<br />

booths, deckchairs and its own bar (keg<br />

only). There is also a patio area for drinking<br />

or dining as well as the extensive indoor<br />

areas. Beers at the main bar are Doom Bar<br />

and Loddon Ferryman’s Gold and on a recent<br />

visit were in good nick and nice and cool.<br />

Pub news collated by Dave McKerchar


All images are courtesy of the breweries.<br />

BINGHAMS<br />

The big news from Binghams is the launch of<br />

Ricochet – a new label created to brew exciting<br />

and unusual beers that don’t have much in<br />

common with the core range offered by Binghams.<br />

The first beer was called American Amber and<br />

was launched at the Alehouse in Broad Street in<br />

April. The brewery team plus Stout the brewery<br />

dog were in attendance and, although Stout spent<br />

large parts of the evening asleep under a table, the<br />

beer was very well received.<br />

revamped Station Tap in Wokingham. Formerly<br />

the Molly Millar, the Station Tap has seen a<br />

£400,000 investment and features local and craft<br />

beers as well as a keg wall, a sports zone (pool,<br />

darts and screens) and a more low-key dining area.<br />

CHILTERN<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> is often the time to enjoy a golden ale,<br />

so watch out for two great examples coming up<br />

from Chiltern. First off in June is a limited edition<br />

Session IPA at 3.9% ABV. Tastes of mango and<br />

passionfruit combine with aromas of grapefruit<br />

and rich malt. Then in July and August it’s the turn<br />

of the appropriately named Gold, a balanced and<br />

refreshing citrussy ale also at 3.9% ABV. Here’s<br />

hoping for a summer in which we can enjoy them!<br />

If you’re looking for a gluten-free beer, it’s worth<br />

knowing that four of the range from Chiltern<br />

have been certified as gluten-free. These are<br />

John Hampden’s Golden Harvest Ale, Battle of<br />

Britain Old Ale, Monument Gold Pale Ale and<br />

Three Hundreds Dark Old Ale. All are available<br />

in bottles from the shop at chilternbrewery.co.uk<br />

and from the brewery itself at Terrick, south of<br />

Aylesbury.<br />

At 5.5% ABV, American Amber is (of course)<br />

red-amber in colour. A complex combination of<br />

coloured malts and a healthy dose of American<br />

hops both in the boil and dry hopped in the<br />

fermenter make for a balanced finish. As is<br />

increasingly common today, it’s unfined and<br />

unfiltered. The full range of Binghams ales<br />

continues to be available from the brewery shop in<br />

Ruscombe, online at binghams.co.uk and in good<br />

local pubs.<br />

BOND BREWS<br />

Mellow Velo, a 3.6% ABV dark mild, saw a<br />

welcome return for Mild Month in May. Bond<br />

beers can often be found on handpump at the<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

13<br />

DOUBLE BARRELLED<br />

Reading has a new brewery! Double Barrelled<br />

Brewery was first launched at Craft Beer Rising<br />

in London in March. Set up by Mike and Luci<br />

Clayton-Jones – hence the Double Barrelled name<br />

– it’s inspired by the best of the world’s craft<br />

brewing scene.<br />

They’re in the process of moving to a unit on<br />

the Stadium Way Industrial Estate in Tilehurst in<br />

advance of a full launch in the summer and are<br />

only producing a limited range of beers as yet.<br />

But those beers have already been spotted in local<br />

pubs, with a collaboration with Elusive Brewing<br />

of Finchampstead called Diamonds on your<br />

Timepiece being available at The Nag’s Head,<br />

Castle Tap and Fox and Hounds in Caversham for<br />

a limited time earlier in the year.


THE LAUNCH AT CRAFT BEER RISING<br />

VP of EMEA & APAC – a super refreshing<br />

kumquat Berliner Weisse at 5.3% ABV – and the<br />

intriguingly named Two Storey Bungalow (6.3%<br />

ABV) also featured on the keycask bar at Reading<br />

Beer and Cider Festival this year. Tasting notes<br />

told the lucky drinkers of this exclusive beer “An<br />

increased oat and wheat profile brings a super<br />

soft mouthfeel to this IPA that has been liberally<br />

dry-hopped with a blend of Mosaic, Galaxy and<br />

Ekuanot hops.”<br />

Visit doublebarrelled.co.uk to find out more about<br />

the brewery, and read about Mike and Luci’s epic<br />

research trip to beer hotspots around the globe!<br />

Art the time of writing we were in need of a<br />

Brewery Liaison Officer for Double Barrelled.<br />

This is a CAMRA member who acts as the liaison<br />

point between CAMRA and a brewery, maintains<br />

a database of the beers produced and reports on<br />

brewery news. It’s a fun job and you might get to<br />

sample the new releases before they hit the streets!<br />

If it sounds like the job for you, please get in touch<br />

using the contact details on page 3.<br />

James Clarke, Managing Director said:<br />

“I would never have thought we would have been<br />

brewing a lager, a real departure for us. But then<br />

when I joined Hook Norton Brewery we didn’t<br />

have mobile telephones, the internet, brewed<br />

three different beers, records were handwritten,<br />

and 90% of beer drunk in the UK was drunk in<br />

pubs. Times and tastes change and we like to think<br />

down here at Hooky we can do the same.<br />

We are very pleased with our first brew and hope<br />

you are too. What would our forebears say? I<br />

think they would chuckle, and acknowledge that<br />

we are in a different world today and when it<br />

comes down to it, it’s usually the occasion more<br />

than the drink you’ll remember.”<br />

LODDON<br />

Loddon have been returning to some old favourite<br />

recipes for their recent seasonals with Gorgeous<br />

George (April – a 4.3% ABV traditional English<br />

bitter brewed to mark St George’s Day) and<br />

Wilfred’s Mild (May – a 3.6% mild). Wilfred’s<br />

Mild is named after Wilfred Owen, the war<br />

poet who lived in Dunsden where the brewery is<br />

based, and commemorates the centenary of his<br />

death. 10p from every pint sold was donated to<br />

the Dunsden Owen Association. This group has<br />

the aim of honouring Wilfred Owen, recognising<br />

the importance of the years he spent in Dunsden,<br />

and raising the profile of this Great War poet both<br />

locally and nationally.<br />

NEW WHARF<br />

Breakfast Stout (7.5% ABV) was crowned<br />

Champion LocAle at the Reading Beer and Cider<br />

Festival. See the Small Beer section for the full<br />

competition results. Breakfast Stout is made with<br />

six malts and three hops. The creaminess of the<br />

HOOK NORTON<br />

Established in 1849 in a small village deep in the<br />

Oxfordshire countryside, Hook Norton is one of<br />

the country’s oldest and most traditional breweries.<br />

Perhaps not the most obvious choice of place to<br />

brew a lager. Yet that’s just what’s happened with<br />

the launch of Trial #1. The brewery were looking<br />

for a beer style that would compliment their<br />

existing award winning range of both cask and<br />

keg beers, and this trial was brewed in their pilot<br />

plant using a special lager yeast. At 4.0% ABV It<br />

delivers a crisp clean continental style – not overhoppy,<br />

but very drinkable.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

14


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

15<br />

oats and cacao nibs coat the inside of the palate,<br />

leaving way for a light coffee bittersweet bourbon<br />

finish. As with all the brewery’s products it’s<br />

unfiltered, unfined and unpasteurised.<br />

You can now buy this and other award-winning<br />

New Wharf beers direct from the brewery or via<br />

their website at newwharfbrewing.co.uk. New<br />

beers launched just after the festival included<br />

Vanilla Sky (4.0% ABV American Cream Ale with<br />

Vanilla), Transatlantic (6.3% ABV New England<br />

Black IPA) and the limited edition Raspberry<br />

Cream Ale (4.0%, and available in six casks and<br />

six keykegs only).<br />

REBELLION<br />

As well as real ale, Rebellion also offer weekly<br />

wine tastings at the brewery. Every Saturday from<br />

10 to 5pm they select wines from their range<br />

for you to discover. It’s a casual tasting with no<br />

pressure and not guided so you can sample whilst<br />

browsing the shop. If you needed to know more,<br />

the staff are on hand to offer advice. Why not pick<br />

up some beer for the weekend while you’re there?<br />

SHERFIELD VILLAGE<br />

SVB beers have featured at local festivals including<br />

the Bracknell Ale and Cider Festival at the end of<br />

May, and also our own Reading Beer and Cider<br />

Festival at the start. Two bank holidays, two<br />

great events. Sandy’s IPA was particularly lovely<br />

at Reading – a 5.8% ABV full-bodied and fruity<br />

IPA made with English and German hops. This is<br />

a brewery that’s good for vegans, with all beers<br />

unfined.<br />

SIREN CRAFT<br />

White Tips, the 4.5% ABV White IPA is back for<br />

another spring / summer season, and available<br />

in cask, keg and bottles. Mixing the haziness of<br />

a witbier with the fruity punch of an IPA, it’s<br />

brewed with grapefruit, lime and orange peel. A<br />

traditional wit yeast works in harmony with the<br />

citrus peel and a healthy hop dosing of Centennial,<br />

Cascade, Motueka and Simcoe to create a<br />

balanced IPA. White Tips is refreshing, hazy, zesty<br />

and is described as the perfect accompaniment to<br />

barbecues.<br />

Following on from a hugely successful and much<br />

appreciated 2017, the “Barista Project” has<br />

returned, bringing four more coffee beers to the<br />

party. They’ve been available to the trade from late<br />

May, following a launch at the Tap Yard tasting<br />

room. The Tap Yard – now with extended opening<br />

hours of Thursday to Sunday 12 to 8 pm – has an<br />

event with interesting street food every week, and<br />

plenty of outdoor seating.<br />

Here are the Barista beers:<br />

Cold Brew: 5% Cold-Steeped Coffee Schwarzbier<br />

Breakfast Shake: 9.5% Imperial Wheat Stout<br />

with Coffee and Cacao<br />

CapHeine: 6.2% Coffee Sour with Hibiscus<br />

Affogato: 6% Coffee & Ice Cream Ale<br />

Talking of coffee beers, Home from Home Coffee<br />

IPA is a collaboration between Siren Craft and<br />

Reubens Brews of Seattle. Following a US-brewed<br />

version in 2017, Reuben’s UK-born founder<br />

Adam Robbings visited Berkshire this spring to<br />

join up with Kyle Larsen of Siren to brew a UK<br />

batch. A true collaboration, Home from Home<br />

combines ingredients and ideas from both sides of<br />

the Atlantic, including unique house yeast strains<br />

and favoured grain combinations. The partnership<br />

sourced Ethiopian Biftu Gudina coffee for sweet,<br />

fruity and almost hoppy notes for the UK version,<br />

complemented by Mosaic, Galaxy, Motueka and<br />

Citra hops.<br />

From coffee to tea, yet still not leaving beer … Yulu,<br />

the loose leaf pale ale brewed with Earl Grey tea,<br />

can now be found in more Waitrose stores across<br />

the UK. Together with stablemates Undercurrent,<br />

Sound Wave and Calypso, it’s part of an exciting<br />

expansion of the supermarket’s speciality beer


ange. Sarah Hammond of Waitrose says:<br />

“This new range reflects the changing tastes of our<br />

customers. We’ve got sour beers, innovative fruit<br />

beers, new emerging cider brands and a whole<br />

host of exciting breweries changing the way we<br />

enjoy beer and cider in the UK.”<br />

WEST BERKSHIRE<br />

The brewery has launched a quality cellaring<br />

scheme to help educate landlords in the importance<br />

of keeping and serving cask and keg beer in perfect<br />

condition.<br />

As part of a new partnership with Day One<br />

Training, WBB are offering the scheme to<br />

permanent stockists of their beer which includes<br />

Good Old Boy Best Bitter and the Renegade keg<br />

range with a view to extending to other customers<br />

in the future. The one-day course includes topics<br />

such as line cleaning, the workings of a cellar, glass<br />

care, dispense and product presentation. After<br />

successful completion of the course, publicans will<br />

be awarded the recognised industry BIIAB Award<br />

in Beer and Cellar Quality (ABCQ) certificate.<br />

The training will take place at the brewery in<br />

Yattendon. Attendees will be able to experience<br />

a tour of the new state of-the-art brewery and<br />

packaging line as well as a tasting of WBB beers<br />

and lunch in their taproom. If you’d like more<br />

information about the course then email Clare<br />

Candy, Marketing Manager, on clare.candy@<br />

wbbrew.com.<br />

WINDSOR & ETON<br />

The full title is “Royal Warrant of Appointment<br />

as Brewer to Her Majesty the Queen.” The award<br />

allows the brewery to display a designated Royal<br />

Coat of Arms on its products, stationery, premises<br />

and vehicles. To become a Royal Warrant Holder<br />

a business must have supplied goods or services to<br />

a Royal Household over a period of at least five<br />

years. Windsor & Eton Brewery, which celebrated<br />

its eighth birthday on St. George’s Day on 23 rd<br />

April, brews beer using barley grown on the<br />

Windsor Farm – and the spent grains are returned<br />

to the farm to feed their cattle.<br />

Director Will Calvert said:<br />

“We’re a very fortunate business. To be Windsor’s<br />

community brewery working with all our local<br />

suppliers and customers including the Royal<br />

Household is a real privilege. With this award<br />

comes responsibility – and we’ll never forget how<br />

we serve Windsor & Eton, and that we’re only<br />

ever as good as the quality of our last pint of beer<br />

and how we treated our last customer.”<br />

Harry & Meghan’s Windsor Knot was the perfect<br />

beer to mark the wedding. Weighing in at 4%<br />

ABV in cask and 4.5% in bottles, the design on<br />

the bottle and pump clip featured a tie made out<br />

of the Union Jack and the Star & Stripes, with two<br />

interlocking male and female symbols. It generated<br />

a huge amount of media coverage for the brewery,<br />

including on BBC’s The Travel Show and ABC’s<br />

Good Morning America.<br />

Windsor Know also showcased the brewery’s new<br />

branding. The new logo focuses on both the Round<br />

Tower and Eton Bridge – two key landmarks of<br />

Windsor and Eton. For the same reason, the “&”<br />

is bigger and a different font to the other letters.<br />

Both these things draw attention that one of the<br />

things that makes Windsor & Eton special is that<br />

they are very much two joined towns.<br />

They’ve also moved away from gold in the<br />

branding and instead are using copper. Copper<br />

is traditionally a beer colour and by using copper<br />

the brewery hope to emphasise that they are “beer<br />

led”.<br />

With the eyes of the world on Windsor for the<br />

wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in<br />

May, it was perfect timing for Windsor & Eton<br />

to announce they are now the proud holders of a<br />

royal warrant.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

16<br />

XT / ANIMAL<br />

Another brewery to unveil their new branding<br />

recently has been XT. The new designs for the<br />

pumpclips and bottles across the range gives a<br />

fresh new look on the bar, while keeping with the<br />

colour themes and graphical designs that have<br />

become the signature of the XT brand. It shows


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

17<br />

the solid commitment XT have to the long term<br />

future of cask beer whilst also wanting to promote<br />

their beer in keg, bottle and can – reflecting the<br />

brewery’s support of CAMRA’s own revitalisation<br />

proposals.<br />

There will be a new semi-permanent summer ale<br />

available from XT – named XT-18 it’s a 4.2%<br />

ABV golden beer that’s freshly and generously<br />

hopped with mellow English and American hops<br />

for a perfect summer refresher. The Animal beers<br />

are joined by the latest creation Animal Stag. This<br />

is a 4.6% ABV pale ale filled with multi layered<br />

New Zealand hops.


Festival Roundup<br />

All images are courtesy of our official photographer<br />

Nick Alexander, except where noted.<br />

Where to start with this year’s Reading<br />

Beer and Cider Festival? Why not begin<br />

with the weather – it was glorious! Some<br />

rain during setup but then sunshine<br />

every day the festival was open, and it<br />

certainly drew the crowds. The people<br />

of Reading obviously like a party and<br />

a massive 12,220 people came through<br />

the gates over the four days.<br />

Thursday kicked off with the trade<br />

session with local brewers, cider makers<br />

and suppliers showing their wares to<br />

the trade. Then from 4.30 the gates<br />

were opened and the first of our visitors<br />

eagerly made their way towards the<br />

beer. First task – to decide which of the<br />

552 available to try first!<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

18<br />

So what else was on offer across the four<br />

days? A pub quiz, facepainting, games<br />

traditional and new, over 160 ciders and<br />

perries, singers and bands, a brand new<br />

keycask bar, cosplay Disney princesses,<br />

foreign beer, a Scottish pipe band, a<br />

sunny beer garden, English country<br />

wines, Morris dancers, a fine array of<br />

food … oh, and a man with a parrot.<br />

Innovations this year included:<br />

• The keycask bar (or keykeg as<br />

just about everyone called it) that<br />

offered 80 real ales over 20 rotating<br />

taps.<br />

• Two new games - Shaky hand / beat<br />

the buzzer built by Paul Wynn, and<br />

a shooting gallery designed and<br />

engineered by Keegan Neave.


Image courtesy of Kath Lilley<br />

• A new tent with the Reading branch<br />

of the National Childbirth Trust,<br />

for feeding and changing babies, or<br />

just collapsing on a beanbag.<br />

Many thanks to our sponsors including<br />

the support we received from Reading<br />

Buses and a plethora of local breweries,<br />

cidermakers, pubs and other businesses.<br />

In particular thanks go to Wild Weather<br />

Ales for sponsoring the glasses and to<br />

the Alehouse, Allied Arms, Castle Tap,<br />

Fisherman’s Cottage, Greyfriar and<br />

New Wharf Brewing for sponsoring the<br />

staff T shirts.<br />

And above all, thanks to the volunteers<br />

who made it all possible!<br />

Phil Gill<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

19


Revitalising CAMRA<br />

Images from CAMRA AGM via Twitter @<br />

CAMRA_AGM<br />

For the last two years CAMRA members<br />

have been debating what the campaign is for,<br />

and what it should focus on going forward.<br />

It’s been called the Revitalisation Project,<br />

which references CAMRA’s original name<br />

of “the Campaign for the Revitalisation of<br />

Ale”.<br />

CAMRA undertook a huge consultation<br />

exercise involving a series of surveys,<br />

meetings and proposals, all with the<br />

intention of finding out from its members<br />

what they thought the priorities for the<br />

campaign should be. Of course, a huge<br />

variety of opinions were expressed, which<br />

is only to be expected in an organisation of<br />

190,000 people.<br />

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

but we all have different reasons and think<br />

that different things are the most important.<br />

Should the priority be to support and<br />

campaign for:<br />

• Real ale served from the cask, because<br />

that’s what CAMRA fought to save<br />

when it was first formed?<br />

• Cider and perry, because they’re<br />

traditional drinks served in a similar<br />

manner to beer?<br />

• Good beer of any type, because driving<br />

up quality is what’s most important?<br />

• Consumer choice, because CAMRA<br />

is a consumer organisation and we<br />

want people to be able to choose for<br />

themselves?<br />

• Pubs, because without them we won’t<br />

be able to enjoy our favourite drinks?<br />

• Clubs, because they can provide a social<br />

environment for communities that have<br />

lost their other facilities?<br />

• All breweries, because without them we<br />

won’t have any real ale?<br />

• Small breweries, because otherwise we<br />

will see restricted choice?<br />

• Or maybe some of these can co-exist in<br />

a diverse campaign?<br />

The Revitalisation Project team analysed all<br />

the consultation responses and presented<br />

proposals to CAMRA’s National Executive<br />

(12 people who are like a board of directors,<br />

except that they’re all volunteer members<br />

and are elected by the wider membership).<br />

They considered the proposals and took most<br />

– although not all – forward to CAMRA’s<br />

Members’ Weekend, held in Coventry this<br />

April. The weekend included the AGM and<br />

Conference, as well as a bar, events and trips<br />

to local pubs and breweries.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

21


AGM<br />

At the AGM the membership as a whole,<br />

either in person or by proxy, could vote<br />

on the changes. The technical bit is that<br />

this needed a series of votes on Special<br />

Resolutions to change CAMRA’s Articles of<br />

Association, which set out what its role and<br />

powers are. Under company law, 75% of<br />

those voting needed to vote in favour for any<br />

given change to take effect. After a series of<br />

heated debates the results were in.<br />

The first resolution was to delete the part of<br />

the Articles of Association that sets out what<br />

CAMRA is for, so that they could then be<br />

rebuilt in a new form.<br />

1. Delete Article 2 other than the following<br />

wording: “2. The objects for which<br />

CAMRA is established are:” – 84.1% in<br />

favour – PASSED<br />

The next six resolutions were to add things<br />

to the new Articles of Association.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

22<br />

2. Add “2(a) to secure the long term future<br />

of real ale, real cider and real perry by<br />

increasing their quality, availability<br />

and popularity;” – 88.8% in favour –<br />

PASSED<br />

3. Add “2(b) to promote and protect pubs<br />

and clubs as social centres and part of<br />

the UK’s cultural heritage;” – 92.1% in<br />

favour – PASSED<br />

4. Add “2(c) to increase recognition of the<br />

benefits of responsible, moderate social<br />

drinking;” – 89.3% in favour – PASSED<br />

5. Add “2(d) to play a leading role in the<br />

provision of information, education and<br />

training to all those with an interest in<br />

beer, cider and perry of any type;” –<br />

78.2% in favour – PASSED<br />

6. Add “2(e) to act as the voice and<br />

represent the interests of all pub-goers<br />

and beer, cider and perry drinkers;” –<br />

72.6% in favour – FAILED<br />

7. Add “2(f) to ensure where possible that<br />

producers and retailers of beer, cider<br />

and perry act in the best interests of<br />

the consumer.” – 88.4 % in favour –<br />

PASSED<br />

Finally three other resolutions set out new<br />

details of how CAMRA operates and the<br />

powers that allow that to happen.<br />

8. Delete Article 3 and replace it with “3(a)<br />

CAMRA is formed as an independent,<br />

volunteer led, non-party political body<br />

to pursue its objectives. 3(b) CAMRA<br />

will operate in a transparent, inclusive,<br />

enthusiastic and welcoming manner, at<br />

all levels.” – 92.4% in favour – PASSED<br />

9. Delete Article 4 and replace it with<br />

extensive text to set out the legal<br />

powers of CAMRA – 87.5% in favour<br />

– PASSED


10. Add the following at the end of Article<br />

25 “…, and such written notice of<br />

intent has been signed by not less than<br />

50 Members.” – 89.1% in favour –<br />

PASSED<br />

a pub cellar that allows beer drawn<br />

from the cask to be replaced with the<br />

equivalent amount of sterile gas at<br />

atmospheric pressure), instead adopting<br />

a neutral position<br />

So the only one of the Special Resolutions<br />

not to be passed was the one that would<br />

have widened CAMRA’s remit to represent<br />

all pub-goers and all beer, cider and perry<br />

drinkers. The intention of this was to<br />

allow support for all pubs and drinkers of<br />

long drinks in general. But members were<br />

concerned that this would mean having to<br />

campaign for pubs and drinks that didn’t fit<br />

with CAMRA’s ethos. While the resolution<br />

was rejected, it didn’t miss the 75% cutoff<br />

by much and indicates that many CAMRA<br />

members have a desire for further change.<br />

CONFERENCE<br />

Following the AGM was the Conference,<br />

where CAMRA members could propose<br />

motions for debate. Here only the people in<br />

the hall could vote. Motions are designed to<br />

set a direction for CAMRA policy or instruct<br />

that certain activities are – or are not –<br />

carried out.<br />

This year’s highlights included that members<br />

attending Conference:<br />

NATIONAL EXECUTIVE<br />

Finally, the Members’ Weekend also featured<br />

the elections for the National Executive. All<br />

members could vote in person or by proxy<br />

and four people were elected to fill the<br />

vacant spots:<br />

• Lynn Atack – 8,491 votes<br />

• Gillian Hough – 6,608 votes<br />

• Ash Corbett-Collins – 6,083 votes<br />

• Nik Antona – 6,054 votes<br />

Overall the fact that all but one of the<br />

Special Resolutions was passed indicates a<br />

desire for change and modernisation among<br />

the (voting) membership as a whole. But<br />

the elections to the National Executive are<br />

particularly interesting as the successful<br />

candidates are a mixture of traditionalists<br />

and progressives with diverse interests. It<br />

illustrates the difference of opinions that<br />

still exist between CAMRA members and<br />

it’s likely to lead to some fiery meetings<br />

of the National Executive in future, with<br />

some fighting for change and others fighting<br />

equally hard to stop it.<br />

• agreed that beer festivals wishing to<br />

offer types of beer other than real ale can<br />

do so but should reinforce CAMRA’s<br />

belief in the superiority of real ale, and<br />

provide educational material about all<br />

beer types on sale<br />

• called for new diversity and equality<br />

policies within CAMRA<br />

• overwhelmingly defeated a motion to<br />

reduce tax relief for small breweries<br />

• agreed a policy that CAMRA members<br />

should not demand or expect discounts<br />

from pubs and breweries<br />

• removed CAMRA’s former opposition<br />

to “cask breathers” (a device used in<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

23<br />

Whatever your views about the Revitalisation<br />

Project, the membership has now set the<br />

future direction of the campaign. If you want<br />

to be part of that, it’s time to unite and move<br />

forward.<br />

Phil Gill<br />

(all opinions are the author’s own)


us travel for night owls<br />

loads of our buses run late into the night<br />

and some routes are 24/7<br />

the perfect way to get home<br />

all night<br />

adult after 6pm<br />

all<br />

£3<br />

all night<br />

group after 6pm<br />

£6<br />

up to<br />

4 people<br />

travelling<br />

together<br />

after 6pm<br />

Readingbuses<br />

reading-buses.co.uk/night-buses<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

24


Small Beer<br />

A round up of news and information<br />

PUB OF THE YEAR<br />

NATIONAL CIDER AND<br />

PERRY CHAMPIONSHIP<br />

Reading’s Nags Head is already a multiple<br />

award winner and this year it’s continued its<br />

success with a clean sweep of branch awards.<br />

Last year it won both Pub of the Year and<br />

Cider Pub of the Year for the Reading &<br />

Mid Berkshire CAMRA branch. This year<br />

it’s achieved an unprecedented “double<br />

double”, winning both awards again.<br />

Local CAMRA members visit pubs and score<br />

them against factors including the quality of<br />

real ale, cider and perry, the atmosphere,<br />

service and welcome received and value for<br />

money. After all the results were added up the<br />

Nags emerged victorious, with Caversham’s<br />

Fox and Hounds as a worthy runner-up in<br />

both categories.<br />

In the equivalent Club of the Year contest,<br />

the Wargrave and District Snooker Club was<br />

once again named branch champion. If you<br />

think your local club would give the Snooker<br />

Club a run for its money next year, please let<br />

us know!<br />

Watch out for our gala awards night in<br />

September, where you can meet the team<br />

behind the Nags, Fox and Snooker Club,<br />

enjoy some great real ales and see these plus<br />

many other worthy winners receive their<br />

awards. More details once available will be<br />

on our website.<br />

Reading Beer and Cider Festival is proud to<br />

host CAMRA’s National Cider and Perry<br />

Championship, and to offer one of the best<br />

ranges of cider and perry available anywhere<br />

in the country. This year we raised a glass<br />

to the supreme champions Nempnett Piglet’s<br />

Choice Perry (left) and Harry’s Scrummage<br />

Cider (right), both from Somerset. If you<br />

didn’t share the judge’s tastes, there were<br />

about 200 others to choose from! Full<br />

results:<br />

Cider<br />

1ST: Harry’s – Scrummage (Somerset)<br />

2ND: Whin Hill – Brown’s (Norfolk)<br />

3RD: Orgasmic – White Jersey<br />

(Herefordshire)<br />

Perry<br />

1ST: Nempnett – Piglet’s Choice (Somerset)<br />

2ND: Oliver’s – Perry (Herefordshire)<br />

3RD: Whin Hill – Perry (Norfolk)<br />

LocAle Beer of the Festival<br />

LocAle Beer of the Festival at Reading this<br />

year was judged by CAMRA volunteers and<br />

invited guests. The results of the categories<br />

and the overall champions were:<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

25


Beers below 4.2% ABV<br />

WINNER<br />

RUNNER UP<br />

Ascot Ales, Gold Cup<br />

Elusive, Sunset Rider<br />

Beers from 4.2% to 4.9% ABV<br />

WINNER<br />

RUNNER UP<br />

Siren Craft, Undercurrent<br />

Wild Weather, King St<br />

Pale<br />

Beers 5.0% ABV and above<br />

WINNER<br />

RUNNER UP<br />

New Wharf, Breakfast<br />

Stout<br />

Siren Craft, Sound Wave<br />

Overall LocAle Beer of the<br />

Festival<br />

GOLD<br />

SILVER<br />

BRONZE<br />

New Wharf, Breakfast<br />

Stout<br />

Siren Craft, Undercurrent<br />

Siren Craft, Sound Wave<br />

Congratulations to New Wharf from near<br />

Maidenhead for their win, and to Siren<br />

Craft for scooping second and third place<br />

overall. In fact, well done and thank you to<br />

all our local breweries for the excellent ales<br />

produced in this area.<br />

THE LONGEST-CLOSED<br />

PUB?<br />

Have you ever looked at the boarded up<br />

building on Duke Street in Reading, just over<br />

the bridge from the London Street Brasserie?<br />

Have you ever wondered why such a piece<br />

of prime real estate right next to the Oracle<br />

has been out of use for so long? So have we.<br />

The Lower Ship<br />

It might surprise you, then, to know that the<br />

building used to be a pub called the Lower<br />

Ship, built in 1889 to replace a previous pub<br />

on the site. It might surprise you even more<br />

to know that it’s owned by the secretive<br />

Yorkshire Brewery Samuel Smiths, who have<br />

owned it since 1988 following its closure a<br />

few years previously. We wonder if it’s the<br />

longest-closed pub where no other use has<br />

been adopted in the meantime.<br />

Astonishingly it’s not the only historic<br />

building that Sam Smiths have acquired<br />

and then left to rot. In Bath the former<br />

King Edward’s School building on Broad<br />

Street has been empty since 1986 when<br />

the school closed. Sam Smiths bought the<br />

building in 1989 and, a mere 21 years later<br />

in 2010, obtained listed building consent and<br />

planning permission to convert the upper<br />

floors into hotel rooms. That permission<br />

was renewed in 2013 but, almost 30 years<br />

after they bought the building, there has still<br />

been almost no progress in transforming the<br />

former school into a pub and hotel.<br />

The photo shows the Lower Ship in 2010.<br />

There’s not much point getting a more up to<br />

date picture because it looks pretty much the<br />

same year on year; just the graffiti changes.<br />

Will it ever reopen as a pub?<br />

UPCOMING FESTIVALS<br />

June: Twyford Beer Festival<br />

Now in its 9 th year, Twyford Beer Festival<br />

is an independent event but with strong<br />

support from local CAMRA members, that<br />

raises money for Orchid, the male cancer<br />

charity. It’s open Friday 8 th June (5 to 11pm)<br />

and Saturday 9th June (12 to 10pm). Head<br />

down to King George V Playing Field in<br />

Twyford and expect to find a tent full of beer<br />

and cider plus plenty of outdoor seating,<br />

food and live music.<br />

July: Maidenhead Beer and Cider<br />

Festival<br />

Our friends at Slough, Windsor and<br />

Maidenhead CAMRA have one of the<br />

highlights of their year coming up, as the<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

26


Maidenhead Beer and Cider Festival returns<br />

to Desborough College. This is a return<br />

to the previous venue and should be more<br />

comfortable than last year, as well as being<br />

more accessible – close to the station – and<br />

hopefully good weather too! Over 100 real<br />

ales and 20 ciders are promised, and it’s open<br />

all day from Thursday 26 th to Saturday 28 th<br />

July. See the advert in this issue or mbcf.<br />

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

August: Great British Beer<br />

Festival<br />

The Great British Beer Festival is returning<br />

to London this summer - 7 th to 11 th August<br />

at London Olympia - and tickets are now on<br />

sale. Organised and run by the Campaign for<br />

Real Ale, the Great British Beer Festival is<br />

one of the biggest, most exciting and wellknown<br />

events on the beer and cider calendar.<br />

With over 900 real ales, ciders and perries<br />

and one-off speciality brews, this year’s<br />

festival is not to be missed. Get your tickets<br />

at gbbf.org.uk.<br />

PUB QUALITY<br />

BEER<br />

...AT HOME<br />

Drink Rebellion cask ale<br />

at home, fresh from the<br />

brewery shop<br />

Fresh beer, ready to drink<br />

1 litre bottles up to 72 pint barrels<br />

<br />

including 10% OFF beer<br />

Fresh cider<br />

Local produce<br />

Over 300 worldwide wines<br />

Free glass hire<br />

Call 01628 476594<br />

Shop opening hours:<br />

Mon-Sat 8am-7pm<br />

Or visit our website:<br />

www.rebellionbeer.co.uk<br />

@RebellionBeer<br />

RebellionBeerCo<br />

Rebellion Beer Co. Ltd. Bencombe Farm, Marlow Bottom, SL7 3LT<br />

A GOLDEN WONDER<br />

FRESH MIX OF HOPS FOR A DELICIOUS ALE<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

27


TIME FOR SOME REAL ALE<br />

TRAINING!<br />

Reading is one of the South’s major<br />

railway centres with trains arriving<br />

and departing every few minutes<br />

for destinations right across the country as<br />

well as more local towns and villages. Years<br />

ago most larger stations would have had<br />

a buffet or refreshment room which often<br />

would have sold draught beer. Today many<br />

of these old rooms have been or are being<br />

renovated and returned as real ale bars and<br />

where not, there is usually a decent pub close<br />

by.<br />

So, let’s take a look at a few local stations<br />

and the Real Ale pubs which still serve<br />

them. We will start, as you might expect<br />

at READING station itself, where we find<br />

the recently renovated THREE GUINEAS.<br />

Three Guineas, Reading<br />

This is a Fuller’s pub but does offer a good<br />

range of guest ales as well as food and an<br />

underground function room. They have TV<br />

screens showing departures and there are<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

28<br />

seating areas at the front next to<br />

the ticket barriers. The pub has a<br />

modern feel to it, but it once was<br />

the main ticket office for the entire station<br />

and the station clock still survives (this used<br />

to be cared for by local CAMRA members<br />

until recently). Nearby you may also like to<br />

try the excellent GREYFRIAR which has 8<br />

beers available or the unusual BISCUIT TIN<br />

which sells West Berkshire beers.<br />

From Reading we head east on a stopping<br />

service using one of the new Class 387 electric<br />

trains and our first stop is TWYFORD. Turn<br />

right out of the main entrance and at the top<br />

of the road you will find THE GOLDEN<br />

CROSS. This mock-tudor frontage pub<br />

dated back only to the 19th century and<br />

offers a couple of beers from Hampshire<br />

brewer Upham. There are a couple of bar<br />

areas and a garden/patio as well as a darts<br />

board and sports TV. It is open all day and is<br />

family and dog friendly.<br />

Our next stop is MAIDENHEAD which<br />

was once the home of Nicholson’s Brewery<br />

whose name lives on in the shopping centre.<br />

The nearest pub to the station is THE BELL<br />

which serves Doom Bar and/or Greene King<br />

IPA. You may, however, wish to walk a little<br />

bit further (about 5 minutes) along King<br />

Street and try the ROSE (one Rebellion beer<br />

plus Fuller’s London Pride) or the relatively<br />

new OFF THE TAP which offers pizzas and<br />

a selection of craft bottles and cans as well as<br />

two cask beers from Rebellion.


From Maidenhead we can now catch the<br />

branch-line diesel train to Bourne End and<br />

Marlow. The first stop on this pleasant little<br />

line is FURZE PLATT (I always thought that<br />

would be a great name for a rock band or a<br />

character from Harry Potter) but the nearest<br />

pub shut recently so (happily) we have to<br />

head up Harrow Lane and down Gringer Hill<br />

to the community run CRAUFURD ARMS<br />

which sells a selection of local brewery beers<br />

and is open all day – worth missing a train<br />

for. It was saved from closure by the locals<br />

and is a fine example of how pubs can survive<br />

when the will and the enthusiasm are there.<br />

Craufurd Arms, Maidenhead<br />

Next stop is COOKHAM where we have<br />

a short stroll down to THE OLD SWAN<br />

UPPERS – so named after the ancient activity<br />

of “Swan Upping” (or marking) of Swans<br />

on the Thames. The pub opens at 11.30<br />

but there is no food on Mondays. Beers are<br />

mainly well-known brands but often with a<br />

local guest ale.<br />

Onwards to BOURNE END which is now<br />

a sort of terminus station. Trains used to<br />

carry on to High Wycombe but they now<br />

reverse down another branch and follow<br />

the river to Marlow – sometimes you may<br />

have to change trains here. There’s a couple<br />

of options at Bourne End – turn left and go<br />

KEG, Bourne End<br />

up The Parade, past the shops and into<br />

Oakfield Road where you will find KEG (the<br />

owners initials!). This little micro-pub serves<br />

two cask ales and several keg/craft beers. It<br />

shuts between 9pm and 11 pm depending on<br />

the day and 6 pm on Sundays. If you turn<br />

right from the station you will find THE<br />

WALNUT TREE – a little pub with Greene<br />

King beers, a large garden and kids’ play<br />

facilities. It has the feel of a country pub<br />

and has a strong emphasis on good food.<br />

The final option is to walk over the railway<br />

bridge and then down onto the Thames<br />

towpath to find THE BOUNTY which can<br />

only be reached by foot or boat! Rebellion<br />

beers and a quirky riverside aspect (nautical<br />

theme; daft jokes and 60s music).<br />

From Bourne End the train heads along<br />

the Thames Valley until it terminates at<br />

MARLOW where the station has been cut<br />

back some distance from its origins. You<br />

will easily spot the nearest pub – THE<br />

MARLOW DONKEY – which was named<br />

after the little steam train that pushed and<br />

pulled along the branch in days gone by.<br />

This imposing street-corner pub is run by<br />

Greene King but does usually offer some<br />

guest ales apart from the brewer’s own beer.<br />

It does food, has a modern interior and a<br />

large garden and conservatory. Between the<br />

pub and the station is the RBL CLUB (Royal<br />

British Legion) which serves a range of guest<br />

ales – opening hours are restricted and you<br />

will need to show a CAMRA Membership<br />

Card to gain entry.<br />

From Bourne End we travel back to<br />

Maidenhead and catch a train back to<br />

Twyford so that we can visit the Henley<br />

branch. Upon leaving Twyford our first<br />

station stop is WARGRAVE where a short<br />

walk will bring us into the village centre<br />

and THE BULL and THE GREYHOUND.<br />

The Bull is a 15th century Brakspear’s pub<br />

with beams and brick & flint; brasses and<br />

an ingle nook fire in winter. Lots of dining<br />

but drinking areas are available and there is<br />

a secure garden at the back. Prices reflect the<br />

local house prices! The Bull shuts between<br />

2.30 and 6 pm Mon-Fri. Directly across<br />

the crossroads is The Greyhound which is a<br />

cosy and relaxed two-bar pub with a large<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

29


collection of jugs in the Lounge and TV and<br />

games in the “Public” bar. One Rebellion<br />

beer plus a guest ale. Serves pizzas and the<br />

loos are still outside! If you fancy another<br />

short walk you could try THE SAINT<br />

GEORGE & DRAGON which is mainly<br />

a dining pub but does sell Doom Bar and<br />

one guest ale. There are areas for drinking<br />

including the garden which overlooks the<br />

Thames. This is the only so-named pub to<br />

use the full SAINT in its title.<br />

The penultimate stop on this little<br />

tour is SHIPLAKE where the imposing<br />

BASKERVILLE sits just a few yards from<br />

the single platform station. This a foodorientated<br />

establishment although the small<br />

wood-panelled bar is very popular with<br />

drinkers – both local and those who come<br />

for Henley Regatta. There are usually 4 beers<br />

available often featuring the local Loddon<br />

and Rebellion breweries. Dogs are welcome<br />

and there is a kids’ play area. B&B (4 rooms)<br />

is available.<br />

We eventually arrive at HENLEY station –<br />

much reduced since its heyday but still with<br />

a good, regular train service. You may want<br />

to spend some time in the town and explore<br />

the riverside etc. There are several pubs in<br />

the town centre - mostly Brakspear although<br />

the beer is no longer brewed here with one<br />

exception! – THE BULL in Bell Street is<br />

home to The Bell Street brewery at the back<br />

of the pub. It brews the likes of Brakspear’s<br />

Special and seasonal and individual beers as<br />

required. Worth a visit to see what’s on. To<br />

find the nearest pub then come out of the<br />

station and turn right at the end and follow<br />

the river round to Friday Street and THE<br />

ANCHOR. This a very pleasant little two<br />

roomed pub with a garden at the rear. It has<br />

Brakspear beers often including seasonals or<br />

guests from Ringwood.<br />

If you fancy a choice of beers you could<br />

head for the large CATHERINE WHEEL<br />

(Wetherspoons) or carry on up Friday Street<br />

and cross over into Greys Road where you<br />

will find THE BIRD IN HAND. This is a<br />

little Free house with a nice selection of local<br />

beers including Brakspear (the local still love<br />

it) and Hook Norton Mild as well as Fullers<br />

London Pride and a couple of guests. There<br />

is a very nice garden with a pond and aviary<br />

out the back, but note the pub shuts between<br />

2pm and 5pm Mon-Fri.<br />

So there’s a day or two’s outings with some<br />

train travel; some riverside vistas and some<br />

decent beer (local and not so local). You<br />

might find some pubs you didn’t know about<br />

or maybe some old favourites but this way<br />

you can enjoy a pint without the hassle of<br />

driving.<br />

Rover tickets for these lines are now available<br />

at very reasonable prices. Ask for a Thames<br />

Branches Day Ranger.<br />

Cheers!<br />

Dave McKerchar<br />

Baskerville, Shiplake<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

30


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 />

Direct Debit<br />

Single Membership £25<br />

Title ................................ Surname ...............................................................<br />

(UK)<br />

Forename(s) ..................................................................................................<br />

Joint Membership £3<br />

Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy) .....................................................................<br />

(Partner at the same address)<br />

Address ............................................................................................................<br />

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

................................................................ Postcode ......................................<br />

Email address ................................................................................................<br />

Daytime Tel ....................................................................................................<br />

Title ................................ Surname ................................................................<br />

Forename(s) ....................................................................................................<br />

Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy) ......................................................................<br />

Non DD<br />

£27<br />

£32<br />

For concessionary rates please visit<br />

www.camra.org.uk or call 01727 798440.<br />

I wish to join the Campaign for Real Ale, and<br />

agree to abide by the Memorandum and<br />

Articles of Association which can be found<br />

on our website.<br />

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

Date ............................................................................<br />

Applications will be processed within 21 days.<br />

<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 />

Bank or Building Society Account Number<br />

Branch Sort Code<br />

Reference<br />

Bank or Building Society<br />

Service User Number<br />

9 2 6 1 2 9<br />

FOR CAMRA OFFICIAL USE ONLY<br />

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

Membership Number<br />

Name<br />

Postcode<br />

Instructions to your Bank or Building Society<br />

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 />

Signature(s)<br />

Banks and Building Societies may not accept Direct Debit Instructions for some types of account.<br />

Date<br />

This Guarantee should be detached<br />

and retained by the payer.<br />

The Direct Debit Guarantee<br />

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 />

asks you to<br />

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

time by simply contacting your bank<br />

or building society. Written confirmation<br />

may be required. Please also notify us.<br />

†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.

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!