Mine's a Pint - Autumn 2018

The Autumn 2018 Magazine of the Reading & Mid-Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The Autumn 2018 Magazine of the Reading & Mid-Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).


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ISSUE FORTY SEVEN AUTUMN <strong>2018</strong><br />


Shop and Taproom<br />

Opening Hours<br />

Shop Open Daily:<br />

10am to 6pm<br />

Taproom Open Daily:<br />

10am to 6pm,<br />

Weds - Sat until 11pm<br />

Kitchen Open:<br />

Tues - Sun 12pm to 3pm,<br />

Weds - Sat 6pm to 9pm<br />

Phone: 01635 767090<br />

Email: info@wbbrew.co.uk<br />

wbbtaproom<br />

Available for private tours<br />

Please call 01635 767090 or<br />

Email: taproomandkitchen@wbbrew.co.uk<br />

West Berkshire Brewery Shop, Taproom & Kitchen.<br />

The Old Dairy, Yattendon, Berkshire, RG18 0XT

Branch Diary<br />

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

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

meetings. Please check the website before setting out in case<br />

of any last-minute changes.<br />

September<br />

THURS 6: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social. Hop<br />

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

TUES 11: (20:00) Gala Awards Evening. Park House,<br />

Whiteknights Campus, Reading, RG6 6UR. Note that bar is<br />

cashless.<br />

SAT 15: (10:25) No. 127 Bus Pub Crawl. Bus at 10:25 from<br />

Reading, Friar Street (stop FC) to Shire Horse, Bath Road,<br />

Littlewick Green SL6 3QA. Then bus to Knowl Hill, lunch<br />

at Royal Oak, followed by other pubs on A4 and then bus<br />

to Twyford. Return to Reading on 16:55 from Twyford<br />

Crossroads, arrive Friar Street 17:27. Bus ticket Courtney<br />

Network All Zones ticket (£6.50).<br />

TUES 18: (20:00) Branch meeting. Castle Tap, 120 Castle<br />

Street, Reading, RG1 7RJ. CAMRA members only, please.<br />

October<br />

THURS 4: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social. Nags<br />

Head, 5 Russell Street, Reading, RG1 7XD.<br />

TUES 16: (20:00) Branch meeting. Park House, Whiteknights<br />

Campus, Reading, RG6 6UR. CAMRA members only, please.<br />

Note that bar is cashless.<br />

November<br />

THURS 1: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.<br />

Details TBC.<br />

SAT 24: (13:30) Branch AGM. Griffin, 10/12 Church Road,<br />

Caversham, RG4 7AD (upstairs). CAMRA members only,<br />

please.<br />

December<br />

THURS 6: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.<br />

Details TBC.<br />

This is a guide only and Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA cannot be<br />

held responsible for any loss due to the alteration or cancellation of<br />

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 CKN Print Ltd, 2 North<br />

Portway Close, Round Spinney,<br />

Northampton, NN3 8RQ<br />

01604 645555<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 />

citizensadvice.org.uk / 03454 040506<br />

West Berkshire Council:<br />

tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk / 03454<br />

040506<br />

Royal Borough of Windsor &<br />

Maidenhead:<br />

citizensadvice.org.uk / 03454 040506<br />

Wokingham Borough Council:<br />

tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk / 03454<br />

040506<br />

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

published in early December. Please<br />

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

by 1 st November.<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>.

great beers from<br />

oxfordshire since 2003<br />

visit<br />

us online<br />

loddonbrewery.com<br />

onb<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong>

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

5<br />

From The Editor<br />

I’m writing this in the middle of a heatwave so,<br />

by rights, it should be cold and raining when<br />

you read it! Luckily real ale, cider and perry<br />

are the natural drinks for all weathers – cool<br />

and refreshing in the sunshine, yet cheery and<br />

comforting when it’s colder.<br />

As the long hot summer slips away though,<br />

our thoughts turn to our great local pubs and<br />

breweries and celebrating what they do for us.<br />

Reading CAMRA’s Gala Awards Evening in<br />

September is a great way to say thank you to<br />

those in the industry that have helped us in the<br />

last twelve months, and everyone is welcome<br />

to attend. There’s more information about the<br />

event in the feature in this issue, so put Tuesday<br />

11th of September in your diary and get down<br />

to Park House at the University to help us<br />

celebrate.<br />

Berkshire breweries must be doing something<br />

right, as it’s the second time in three years that<br />

a local brewery has won CAMRA’s Champion<br />

Beer of Britain accolade. Following Binghams’<br />

win in 2016 with their Vanilla Stout, this year<br />

it was Siren Craft that came out on top in the<br />

prestigious contest with their Broken Dream<br />

Breakfast Stout. Berkshire certainly has a rich<br />

brewing tradition but it’s amazing to get such<br />

recognition at a national level.<br />

How about being a champion for your local<br />

pub? There are something like 150 real ale pubs<br />

in our branch area and we can’t get to them all,<br />

however much we’d like to try! So if you want<br />

to let us know any news or info about your<br />

local, contact us on contact@readingcamra.<br />

org.uk or send us comments through WhatPub<br />

on whatpub.com. If you could help deliver this<br />

magazine to a pub or pubs near where you<br />

live, that would also be great and we’d be very<br />

happy to hear from you.<br />

Have a pint at the same time and the publicans<br />

will be very happy to see you too. Cheers!<br />

Phil Gill<br />

Editor<br />

Contents<br />



PUB & BREWERY NEWS 6-13<br />

SMALL BEER 14-17<br />

JOIN CAMRA 18<br />



WORLD CUP OF PUBS 21-22<br />

PUBS IN WORLD WAR 1 23<br />


BAMBERG 27-29<br />


Pub & Brewery News<br />

Pub News<br />


The RED COW on Star Road has unexpectedly<br />

reopened. On an initial visit only keg<br />

Boddingtons and Guinness were available,<br />

together with some bottles including Black<br />

Sheep. The landlord is reportedly looking<br />

into getting some handpumps installed but we<br />

have no further news about that. Star Road<br />

was actually named after another pub, the<br />

Star, which stood at the northern end by the<br />

mini roundabout. It’s now a Co-Op, fulfilling<br />

community needs of a different kind.<br />

Hopfest 3 at the FOX AND HOUNDS in<br />

Gosbrook Road was a great success. Starting<br />

with a tap takeover by Siren Craft, it was a<br />

four day party featuring food, music and loads<br />

of lovely beers including Cloudwater, Wylam,<br />

Deya, Double-Barrelled and many more.<br />


The TURNERS ARMS has been reported to<br />

be open only sporadically. We’re told it’s often<br />

closed by 9pm, not open at all on Sunday<br />

evenings and keeping erratic hours on other<br />

days. If you have any other news or feedback<br />

on this pub then we’d like to hear it, so please<br />

get in touch.<br />


for the bar called Purple TurtAle, and other<br />

beers from the same brewery have also featured<br />

in this iconic venue. At over 25 years old the<br />

Turtle is one of Reading’s longest running<br />

independent bars and is famous for offering<br />

a wide choice of music events as well as very<br />

late opening! And as we found out last year,<br />

for being the destination of choice for people<br />

who’ve just been hit by a bus (youtube.com/<br />

watch?v=b2i4C1bG-8w).<br />

The university bar on Redlands Road – once<br />

the Cotton Club, now DAIRY – has taken out<br />

its cask beers. They were due to be replaced by<br />

a font of five craft keg beers – two regulars and<br />

three changing. The manager we spoke to didn’t<br />

know whether any would be real ale keykeg<br />

beers. In common with other university bars,<br />

this one has also gone cashless i.e. payment is<br />

by card only.<br />

PAVLOV’S DOG on St Mary’s Butts has<br />

launched a new menu that includes a range of<br />

vegan dishes as well as new burgers. There’s<br />

a Burger of the Month as well as daily deals<br />

including Tuesday pancake day and Wing<br />

Wednesdays.<br />

A planning application to demolish the RED<br />

LION in Southampton Street and replace it<br />

with flats has been withdrawn.<br />


on Gun Street now has<br />

a house beer and it’s a<br />

LocAle! Maidenhead<br />

brewery New Wharf<br />

has produced a 5%<br />

ABV hoppy, golden ale<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Fullers have bought the BEL & THE<br />

DRAGON chain. It’s made up of six properties<br />

across Berkshire and Surrey including the bar<br />

and restaurant in Gas Works Road, on the<br />

Kennet. Presumably this will mean the local<br />

breweries that have featured on the bar will<br />

be replaced by Fullers brands, so expect to see<br />

London Pride, Gales and Dark Star making an<br />

appearance.<br />

The LYNDHURST on Watlington Street has<br />

been rebranded as a bar and kitchen, with a<br />

more upmarket “casual fine dining” food offer<br />

to try and compete with town centre chain<br />

restaurants. It’s now only open Wednesday to<br />

Sunday with a set lunch from noon to 6pm<br />

and an a la carte evening offer. Sandwiches and<br />

Ploughman’s boards will also be served during<br />

the day. Landlord and chef Kris Dorward is<br />

aiming to serve food that customers can’t make<br />

at home. Local suppliers like the Grumpy<br />

Goat (cheese), Dudman’s (fruit and veg) and<br />

Tilehurst Village Butchers will feature.<br />

The regular <strong>Autumn</strong> beer festival returns to<br />

the CASTLE TAP on Castle Street. Opening at<br />

6pm on Thursday 20 th September and running<br />

till 11pm on Sunday 23 rd . Expect stillage and<br />

a bar in the back room, interesting casks and<br />

kegs plus extra cider. Also featuring a quiz,<br />

live music and food, although possibly not all<br />

at once. Other events coming up include the<br />

Halloween party on Saturday 27 th October<br />

– this year’s theme is Fur & Fangs – and the<br />

Travelling Talesman will be telling stories of<br />

werewolves and other things that go bite in the<br />

night on Wednesday 31 st October.<br />

The 3Bs is set to make a reappearance as part<br />

of refurbishment works to the Town Hall.<br />

We expect it to reopen with a new look this<br />

autumn, although there are no details about<br />

whether real ale – or even any ale at all – will<br />

feature. The cafe bar closed in 2011 and has<br />

been open only occasionally for special events<br />

since, including in April 2016 when BBC<br />

Radio Berkshire hosted an evening to celebrate<br />

the local brewing family Simonds. Raymond<br />

Simonds has compiled a fascinating archive of<br />

information about the history and times of H.<br />

& G. Simonds Ltd. Brewery, which you can see<br />

if you visit simondsfamily.me.uk.<br />

There’s an intriguing planning application<br />

for the old Lloyds Bank building in Market<br />

Place. The proposal is to change the use of the<br />

ground floor to a food hall with bars, the first<br />

and second floors to be a hotel and the third<br />

floor to provide a rooftop bar. The application<br />

describes it in more detail:<br />

“The intention is to create a permanent internal<br />

food market with a modern twist. The venue<br />

will feature a permanent, artisanal bakery, café,<br />

and pizza stall (all one stall), plus three further<br />

stalls that will rotate regularly to allow an everchanging<br />

range of Streetfood-style food offers<br />

… There will be a main bar featuring a range<br />

of independent cask and craft beers, a carefully<br />

curated wine list, a wide range of premium<br />

spirits and cocktails, and healthy smoothies<br />

and juices. In addition, there will be a second<br />

satellite bar that can be changed and which will<br />

be focussed on a particular product (e.g. gin bar<br />

or cocktail bar) … The rear of the ground floor<br />

will see the former bank vault transformed into<br />

a secret garden with a retractable roof, a small<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


open area for al-fresco drinks and dining …<br />

Within the small third floor level it is proposed<br />

to create an intimate cocktail bar, opening out<br />

onto an external roof terrace which is furnished<br />

with seating booths.”<br />

Taylor’s Champion Club. The brewery awards<br />

Champion Club status to their loyal, permanent<br />

stockists who continue to go the extra mile it<br />

takes to serve their beer in perfect condition.<br />

At the time of writing the application had not<br />

been determined.<br />

Meanwhile a separate application to develop a<br />

container market to the south of Broad Street<br />

Mall, which would have featured a rooftop<br />

bar, has been refused. One reason was that<br />

the Council believed it would increase crime,<br />

or the perception of crime. The area still seems<br />

to be suffering from the reputation of Eva’s<br />

nightclub, which closed down last year after<br />

a series of major incidents, drug problems and<br />

breaches of its licensing conditions.<br />

Further news on the LOWER SHIP in Duke<br />

Street, which we featured in the last issue as<br />

having been closed since the 1980s. We noticed<br />

over the summer that the hoardings had been<br />

brought out to the edge of the pavement, which<br />

we assume is an attempt to stop homeless<br />

people sleeping there. So the owners Samuel<br />

Smiths Brewery from Yorkshire do seem to be<br />

keeping an eye on the place, which makes it<br />

even more puzzling why they’ve kept it closed<br />

for 30 years.<br />


Nigel Lamb has left the BELL AND BOTTLE<br />

and moved to Bournemouth for family care<br />

responsibilities. At the time of writing we didn’t<br />

know who would be taking over the pub but<br />

we hope they continue to build on the good<br />

reputation that Nigel, and before him Mark<br />

and Chrissie East, had build up for real ale.<br />


The SWAN is a member of the Timothy<br />

Two Timothy Taylor ales are usually stocked<br />

at the Swan – the well-known Landlord and<br />

the more rarely seen Boltmaker – alongside<br />

offerings from four other breweries. The<br />

BUTLER in Reading is also a member of the<br />

Champion Club.<br />


The GOLDEN CROSS in Station Road sells<br />

Upham beers – and normally only Upham beers<br />

– the only such pub in our branch area. Carl,<br />

the licensee, has told us that he’s negotiated<br />

a deal with Upham to produce a unique (not<br />

rebadged) beer for his pub. It will be a short<br />

run brew to be sold for about two months<br />

and called Umpire’s Finger. The cricket link is<br />

because of the pub’s sponsorship of Twyford &<br />

Ruscombe Cricket Club. It will be followed by<br />

another special, the details of which are yet to<br />

be decided.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



The BULL & CHEQUERS in Church Road is a<br />

Greene King pub, but can order from SIBA (the<br />

Society of Independent Brewers). The person<br />

who orders the beers tells us that he rotates<br />

his third handpump with local breweries –<br />

Andwell, Loddon and Rebellion. On a visit<br />

over the summer the guest beer was Andell’s<br />

King John.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

10<br />

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

otherwise stated.<br />


Binghams have listened<br />

to their customers<br />

requesting they open a<br />

little earlier on Saturdays<br />

and so they are now<br />

open 11am to 5pm<br />

on Saturdays (was 12<br />

to 6pm). Binghams<br />

have responded to<br />

comments from their<br />

shop customers and so to<br />

reduce the use of single<br />

use plastics, they now have Stainless Steel 2 litre,<br />

double walled growlers available in their brewery<br />

shop. The first batch sold out very quickly but<br />

a new batch is now in stock! The growlers are<br />

double walled so help to keep your beer cool for<br />

longer when you’re out and about. Just wash them<br />

out by hand after drinking the beer and bring them<br />

in for a refill - with a discount compared to the 2<br />

litre plastic bottles!<br />

The latest monthly special is RyePA, which is a<br />

golden IPA with Rye malt and US hops. The<br />

Ricochet special is an Oatmeal Pale which is<br />

unfined, unfiltered and brewed with oats and<br />

lactose for a creamy, smooth, hoppy pale ale.<br />


The brewery celebrated its third birthday over<br />

the summer with a beer festival. Music, food and<br />

plenty of beer, including the World Cup special<br />

Moore Beer (4.0% ABV), were on offer and the<br />

event raised nearly £300 for Prostate Cancer UK.<br />


The Chiltern Brewery are extremely proud to have<br />

picked up a number of awards at the recent SIBA<br />

Midlands Independent Beer Awards, including a<br />

gold medal for Bodger’s Barley Wine (8.5% ABV).<br />

Available in 330ml bottles, this vegan beer is a<br />

strong bottle conditioned barley wine described<br />

as “heavenly nectar”. A golden chestnut ale<br />

with citrus fruits, juicy malt and spicy hops, it’s<br />

brewed with 100% pale Maris Otter malt and<br />

large quantities of Fuggles and Goldings hops for<br />

aroma.<br />

Head Brewer, Tom Jenkinson, said on the day of<br />

the awards that he was:<br />

”Extremely proud that Bodger’s Barley Wine has<br />

won gold at the SIBA awards, building on the<br />

success of winning three stars at last year’s Great<br />

Taste Awards. It is also great to see more awards<br />

for two of our most popular beers, Monument<br />

Gold & Beechwood Bitter, and we must thank all<br />

of our loyal customers for their ongoing support<br />

to make this possible.”<br />


Luci and Mike have just moved into their new<br />

unit on Stadium Way Industrial Estate and work<br />

has begun on fitting out the brewery installations.<br />

They’re looking at getting the first batches out<br />

from the new site by the end of September. It’s<br />

a move from the old 150 litre brew kit in their<br />

garage to a new 2,500 litre kit (about 15 brewers’<br />

barrels) with 4 fermenters, so you can hopefully<br />

expect to see the beer popping up more regularly<br />

from then onwards. The next step after that will<br />

be to get some small pack cans available too.<br />

They’ve also applied for planning and licensing<br />

to open a tap room on Friday evening and<br />

Saturdays so, if that’s approved, you’ll be able<br />

to come and drink straight from the brewery –

in the end. So they relocated the office elsewhere<br />

in the brewery and the new taproom has three<br />

lines of Loddon cask, one line of experimental keg<br />

– where the plan is to try some new ideas – and<br />

bottles and ciders in the fridge. It’s the first stage<br />

in an ongoing project to make the brewery into a<br />

venue for events / parties / birthdays / weddings<br />

etc., with a host of new events and open evenings<br />

planned over the next few months.<br />



hopefully by the end of the year. In advance of that<br />

the plan is to provide tasting from the brewery,<br />

tours and to offer take home beers to drink off<br />

site. So lots of fingers crossed and hope for the<br />

next few months ahead!<br />

LODDON<br />

The big news from Loddon is that they’ve had<br />

the builders in! The old office and shop have<br />

been transformed into a new tap room that was<br />

launched at the end of July.<br />

There are great, locally-roasted coffees to drink<br />

in or take away, and the revamped shop has a<br />

much bigger range of local products, from honey<br />

to gin as well as beer. Work is due to start soon<br />

on decking the outside area and it should be done<br />

in time for the next appearance in Midsomer<br />

Murders and the inevitable influx of tourists that<br />

will come with it.<br />


As mentioned elsewhere, Purple TurtAle, a 5%<br />

ABV hoppy, unfiltered and unpasteurised beer is<br />

being brewed especially for the Purple Turtle in<br />

Reading. New Wharf have also become a sponsor<br />

of Maidenhead Football Club and New Wharf<br />

beer will be available in all of their bars.<br />


The special beer for autumn on cask is planned to<br />

be the simply-named Red, a 4.7% ABV warming,<br />

autumnal red ale. Rich and malty with a balancing<br />

bittersweet hop character, it’s available from<br />

September to November.<br />

In bottles, the autumn offering is 24 Carat (5.0%<br />

ABV). New World hops dominate the character of<br />

this golden beer and a blend of traditional, home<br />

grown malted barley gives it an intense, tropical<br />

aroma and a distinctive bittersweet flavour,<br />

typical of a contemporary American Pale Ale. It’s<br />

available in September and October.<br />

Since opening the shop they’ve been delighted with<br />

how popular it’s been, but it just proved too small<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

11<br />


A huge congratulations to our friends at Siren<br />

for winning CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain<br />

Contest. In a blind tasting held at the Great British<br />

Beer Festival, Broken Dream Breakfast Stout was<br />

declared the Supreme Champion for <strong>2018</strong>. This<br />

6% ABV stout has a gentle touch of smoke, coffee<br />

and chocolate. Now the problem comes of how to<br />

brew enough of it to keep up with demand.

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

12<br />

great drinking cities, Siren will be at the Bristol<br />

Craft Beer Festival between 14-16 September, and<br />

Craft Beer Calling at Wylam Brewery in Newcastle<br />

between 18-20 October.<br />




The brewers from Finchampstead continue the<br />

innovation for which they have become renowned<br />

with Spin Botany, a Gin and Tonic Gose (a<br />

German style of slightly sour, slightly salty beer<br />

with minimal bitterness) made in association with<br />

the East London Liquor Company. Not only is it<br />

infused with massive amounts of juniper for that<br />

authentic gin experience, it’s also brewed without<br />

hops which makes it a “gruit”. Technically it also<br />

makes it an ale as opposed to a beer, but in the<br />

UK that would confuse things too much so let’s<br />

stick with the continental term! Initially on the<br />

bar in keg form, the plan is to make Spin Botany<br />

available in bottles too.<br />

This summer the brewers have been busy keeping<br />

hopheads supplied with a number of variations<br />

of their flagship West Coast IPA, Sound Wave.<br />

Normally 5.6% ABV, all the new versions<br />

are all lower ABV Session IPAs, each with an<br />

individual twist. The first was a standard Session<br />

IPA, followed by the excellent Double Citra and<br />

Milkshake. Double Simcoe, due for release in late<br />

August, rounds out the list.<br />

If you fancy a trip further afield to one of our<br />


This year there’s not an Oktoberwest Beer<br />

Festival at the brewery. Instead there’s a “Not<br />

Oktoberwest” beer festival, and it’s on Saturday<br />

22nd September between 12 – 10pm. Real ale,<br />

other craft beers and gin are on offer, alongside live<br />

music, street food and pizza. Confirmed breweries<br />

and cider makers at the time of writing, alongside<br />

West Berkshire Brewery, were Buxton, Burnt Mill,<br />

Wild Card, Pohjala, Sandford Orchards and Tutts<br />

Clump, with more to be announced. Visit wbbrew.<br />

com for more details and tickets.<br />


Knight of the Garter won bronze in the Golden<br />

Ales category of Champion Beer of Britain. At<br />

3.8% ABV this is a straw coloured golden session<br />

ale with Amarillo as the lead hop. An initial hit of<br />

cut grapefruit zest gives way to a deliciously sharp<br />

sherbet finish.<br />

XT / ANIMAL<br />

Hop Cat, the 3.9% ABV hoppy beer that we<br />

featured a couple of issues ago, has had to be<br />

renamed Hop Kitty following a legal battle with<br />

a bar company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA<br />

who claim worldwide ownership of the name. The<br />

beer itself remains the same and has been joined<br />

by two stronger limited edition versions: the street<br />

fighting alley cat Bad Kitty at 5.9% and the utterly<br />

feral Evil Kitty, which is 7.2% and was only<br />

available to a limited number of pubs and at the<br />

Great British Beer Festival.<br />

Other new beers available at GBBF and beyond<br />

are:<br />

• Burton IPA, a proper old school IPA – brewed<br />

strong at 7.1% and aged for three months in<br />

full sized oak barrels.<br />

• Animal Rhino, a quad hop amber ale – filled<br />

with Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra and Sorachi<br />

Ace hops.<br />

• Collaboration Red, The Siamese Fighting<br />

Fish (4.6%) – brewed with a leading malt<br />

supplier who joined XT in the brewing<br />

process, gave technical help and provided

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

13<br />

the trendy new Red-X malt. The beer also<br />

uses liquid nitrogen frozen hops: Cryo-Hops<br />

– a new technique for cracking out more<br />

flavours.<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 />





Small Beer<br />

A round up of news and information<br />


SCHEME<br />

(from 30 miles) for both beer and cider / perry.<br />

This is consistent with most other CAMRA<br />

branches in the region. That’s still over 50<br />

breweries brewing close-by, though!<br />

You can find out more, including a list of<br />

LocAle breweries and pubs, on our website<br />

www.readingcamra.org.uk under the “LocAle<br />

Breweries, Pubs & Shops” section.<br />

The new LocAle radius of 25 miles<br />

LocAle is an initiative that promotes pubs<br />

stocking locally brewed real ale. The scheme<br />

builds on a growing consumer demand<br />

for quality local produce and an increased<br />

awareness of “green” issues. Everyone benefits<br />

from local pubs stocking locally-brewed real<br />

ale:<br />

• Public houses as stocking local real ales<br />

can increase pub visits.<br />

• Consumers who enjoy greater beer choice<br />

and diversity.<br />

• Local brewers who gain from increased<br />

sales<br />

• The local economy because more money is<br />

spent and retained locally.<br />

• The environment due to fewer “beer<br />

miles” resulting in less road congestion<br />

and pollution.<br />

• Tourism due to an increased sense of local<br />

identity and pride - let’s celebrate what<br />

makes our locality different.<br />

As we were getting close to 90 LocAle<br />

breweries, the branch has decided to reduce its<br />

LocAle radius to 25 miles from central Reading<br />

GOOD BEER GUIDE 2019<br />

Britain’s premier pub<br />

and brewery guide,<br />

the Good Beer Guide,<br />

celebrates the release<br />

of its 46 th edition<br />

on 13 September.<br />

The Good Beer<br />

Guide is completely<br />

independent, with<br />

every one of its<br />

4,500 pub listings<br />

recommended and<br />

evaluated by people<br />

who know a thing<br />

or two about good<br />

beer – CAMRA volunteers. The Guide is the<br />

result of thousands of volunteers’ hard work<br />

over the past year; scoring beers, surveying<br />

pubs, surveying breweries and making difficult<br />

choices. These entries have been curated and<br />

checked by regional teams and finally brought<br />

together by staff at CAMRA’s HQ in St Albans.<br />

All should be justifiably proud of their hard<br />

work.<br />

Visit the CAMRA shop at shop.camra.org.uk<br />

to secure your copy. The Good Beer Guide App<br />

is also available to download, allowing users<br />

to find thousands of pubs, beers and breweries<br />

at their fingertips. The app is available in both<br />

Apple stores and Google Play and can be<br />

downloaded at gbgapp.camra.org.uk.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



Tim Page, CAMRA’s Chief Executive, has<br />

decided to leave the campaign. During the past<br />

three and a half years, Tim was instrumental in<br />

executing a major strategic review of CAMRA,<br />

which aroused strong passions among the<br />

membership. The decisions taken at this year’s<br />

AGM and Members’ Weekend mean that<br />

the Campaign will be in a stronger position<br />

to recruit active members and to continue to<br />

campaign effectively for real ale, cider and<br />

perry, and pubs. Tim’s previous two roles prior<br />

to joining CAMRA were with charities and he<br />

has decided to return to the charitable sector<br />

for the last few years of his career.<br />

CAMRA’s Chief Campaigns Officer, Jonathan<br />

Mail, will also be leaving the staff team in<br />

October after almost 20 years of service to<br />

the campaign. He is going to fulfil a long-held<br />

ambition to spend six months travelling in India<br />

– a country he has a great affection for and<br />

has travelled to on many occasions previously.<br />

The campaigns team will continue effective<br />

campaigning until a new Chief Campaigns<br />

Officer is in post.<br />

Meanwhile the Minister for Small Business,<br />

Andrew Griffiths, has resigned from government<br />

after a newspaper revealed that he had sent<br />

2,000 sex texts to two women. Griffiths,<br />

who was formerly chair of the All-Party<br />

Parliamentary Beer Group had controversially<br />

been awarded CAMRA’s Parliamentarian of<br />

the Year Award in 2015. The award was for<br />

his contribution to scrapping the beer duty<br />

escalator and cutting beer duty, but many<br />

people both inside and outside of CAMRA<br />

were angry as they believed he had consistently<br />

opposed CAMRA’s campaign to strengthen<br />

the planning process to protect pubs and had<br />

fought against industry reform which would<br />

have redressed the balance between pubcos and<br />

their tenants. Few in the campaign will be sorry<br />

to see him go.<br />


Monks at Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in<br />

Leicestershire have become the first in the<br />

UK to be awarded Trappist accreditation for<br />

brewing their own beer.<br />

The abbey, near Coalville,<br />

is only the 12 th in the world<br />

to receive the accolade,<br />

joining six in Belgium, two<br />

in the Netherlands, and one<br />

each in the USA, Austria<br />

and Italy.<br />

The monks started to look<br />

at the idea of brewing in<br />

2013 after they had to<br />

close down their dairy farm<br />

when it became economically unviable. After<br />

much research they settled on a 7.4% dubbel<br />

style, quite sweet and extremely smooth, and<br />

reminiscent of other Trappist beers such as<br />

Rochefort.<br />

It marks a return to a 19 th century tradition of<br />

brewing in Mount Saint Bernard abbey. When<br />

the brethren first arrived in 1835 they settled<br />

in a poor cottage on Tynt Meadow, now an<br />

extension of the monastic enclosure.<br />

To receive the rare Trappist accreditation, beer<br />

must be brewed within an abbey directly by the<br />

monks or under their supervision. The brewery’s<br />

activities must be secondary in importance to<br />

the monastery’s work and way of life. It should<br />

not be run as a profit-making venture, with<br />

funds going to fund the monks’ living expenses<br />

and grounds and to help charitable causes.<br />

Dom Erik Varden, the abbot of Mount Saint<br />

Bernard, hopes that the brewery will help them<br />

extend their community work. “Beer is a good,<br />

honest, nurturing drink - our Belgian friends<br />

said more than once it should be liquid bread<br />

and not coloured water, and that’s what we’re<br />

aiming to live up to,” he said.<br />

Many abbeys licence their name to commercial<br />

operations but these are called “abbey beers”<br />

and cannot receive the Trappist seal of approval.<br />


CAMRA will be holding a Mass Lobby Day in<br />

Westminster on Tuesday 30 October. This will<br />

be our opportunity to bring pressing campaign<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


issues to the attention of up to 650 Members<br />

of Parliament. The purpose of the Lobby Day<br />

will be to ask MPs to commit to these CAMRA<br />

campaigns:<br />

• Axeing plans to increase beer duty in the<br />

upcoming <strong>Autumn</strong> Budget.<br />

• A permanent business rate relief for pubs<br />

in England in the <strong>Autumn</strong> Budget.<br />

• An urgent review of the Pubs Code so that<br />

the Market Rent Only option becomes a<br />

genuine choice for tenants in England and<br />

Wales.<br />

A Mass Lobby Day is an effective way to<br />

communicate to MPs and the Government<br />

about a cause which needs legislative change in<br />

a short time period, creating a sense of urgency.<br />

Meetings with multiple MPs on one single day<br />

encourages them to discuss our campaigns with<br />

Ministers, among each other within Parliament,<br />

and outline their support for our campaigns on<br />

social media.<br />

CAMRA branches are taking the lead on<br />

finding volunteers to contact their local MPs.<br />

Activity will begin with registration at a<br />

Westminster venue and will finish after a rally<br />

with high profile speakers at 5.30pm. The exact<br />

start time will depend on what time (and how<br />

many) CAMRA members arrange to meet their<br />

MP.<br />



CAMRA’s Essential Home Brewing, the musthave<br />

new pocket guide book for both old hands<br />

and novice homebrewers, is now available to<br />

purchase from the CAMRA shop.<br />

Ever since real ale captured the nation’s<br />

imagination in the 1970s, dedicated beer lovers<br />

have been trying to brew their own to replicate<br />

some of the fantastic recipes and flavours out<br />

there. Even if you have never brewed before or<br />

your brewing kit is gathering dust up on the<br />

shelf, CAMRA’s Essential Home Brewing can<br />

help you get started on a new, exciting hobby.<br />

For old hands at brewing, you can expand your<br />

brewing repertoire with over 30 recipes from<br />

leading British and international craft brewers.<br />

Easy-to-follow instructions and a variety of<br />

beer styles and recipes make this the perfect<br />

companion to suit everyone’s taste. Written<br />

by Andy Parker, brewer and owner of Elusive<br />

Brewing of Finchampstead, and Graham<br />

Wheeler, internationally-renowned authority<br />

on home brewing, CAMRA’s Essential<br />

Home Brewing provides an introduction<br />

to homebrewing in a way that is easy to<br />

understand and follow.<br />

CAMRA’s latest title retails for for £11.99<br />

(£7.99 with the CAMRA members’ discount).<br />

For more information, or to order your copy,<br />

visit shop.camra.org.uk<br />


September: Sherfield on Loddon<br />

Beer Festival<br />

Saturday 15 September: Held in Sherfield<br />

Village Hall and its garden, just off the A33.<br />

Featuring 40+ real ales (mostly local with<br />

some from further afield) and cider, hot food,<br />

live bands, face painting and a free evening<br />

minibus service to and from Bramley Station.<br />

Tickets £5 on the door or £4 in advance, and<br />

under 18s get in free when accompanied by an<br />

adult. Open 11.30am – 11pm. More details at<br />

sherfieldbeerfestival.org.uk.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


October: Ascot Beer Festival<br />

Friday 5 – Saturday 6 October: This year’s<br />

festival organised by the Berkshire South East<br />

CAMRA branch at Ascot racecourse will, as<br />

usual, exhibit around 200 different real ales<br />

and over 30 real ciders and perries. As well as<br />

a fabulous selection of drinks, the festival will<br />

also offer some top class flat racing and the<br />

chance to have a flutter if you fancy, plus live<br />

music.<br />

To get in you need to buy a ticket for the race<br />

meeting. As the festival is in the concourse of<br />

the main grandstand any class of ticket will<br />

get you to the beer, but the cheapest option<br />

(and with no dress code) is to go for a “Queen<br />

Anne Enclosure” ticket, available from tickets.<br />

ascot.co.uk. Don’t forget to use the code<br />

CAMRA<strong>2018</strong> to get 50% off a Queen Anne<br />

Enclosure ticket when you book in advance,<br />

and remember that under 18s get in free when<br />

accompanied by an adult. More info available<br />

on ascotbeerfest.org.uk.<br />

November: Oxford Beer and Cider<br />

Festival<br />

Thursday 8 – Saturday 10 November: The<br />

Oxford branch of CAMRA has a provisional<br />

booking to hold its 21 st Beer and Cider Festival<br />

in Oxford Town Hall. It’s expected to follow a<br />

very similar format to last year’s festival, which<br />

featured 140 different real ales and 40 more<br />

held over to the Saturday, and 50 ciders and<br />

perries. Hot and cold food will be on sale and<br />

some seating available in the old library. Open<br />

to the public from 5pm on the Thursday, entry<br />

on the day (no advance ticket sales) is £10, or<br />

£8 to card-carrying CAMRA members. Entry<br />

includes a commemorative glass and drink<br />

tokens, and more tokens can be purchased once<br />

inside. Head to oxfordbeerfestival.camra.org.<br />

uk for more details as they’re confirmed.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Join up, join in,<br />

join the campaign<br />

From<br />

as little as<br />

£25 †<br />

a year. That’s less<br />

than a pint a<br />

month!<br />

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 />


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.

CAMRA Gala<br />

Presentation <strong>2018</strong><br />


The Reading & Mid Berks branch of CAMRA is<br />

blessed with a wonderful selection of great pubs,<br />

a multitude of local breweries and cider makers<br />

supplying them and a great array of people<br />

making, serving and drinking their produce.<br />

Some of these worthies regularly qualified for<br />

the nationally recognised awards of branch Pub<br />

/ Club of the Year and winners of the Reading<br />

Beer & Cider Festival awards. This meant various<br />

certificates would be presented to the winners, but<br />

at fairly low key events.<br />

In 2015 that all changed. That year, one of the<br />

key objectives for the branch that year was to<br />

“Reward and recognise a wider group of the best<br />

pubs in the branch”. This was soon developed to<br />

include people, not just pubs.<br />

To get to be in the running to be a Pub of the<br />

Year (POTY) is quite an achievement, so we<br />

decided to award certificates to the finalists<br />

as well as the winner and runner-up. We also<br />

agreed to look to make one-off awards for any<br />

outstanding developments or contributions in<br />

the field. We started with a Best Newcomer<br />

(licensee) and the Phoenix award for bring a pub<br />

back from the dead. Moreover the presentations<br />

were all combined into one grand event – a Gala<br />

Presentation Evening. Since then there have been<br />

an outstanding volunteer award, an award for<br />

pubs collaborating to put on a community music<br />

festival, licensee long service awards and several<br />

others.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

19<br />

The Gala Presentation Evening is a public event,<br />

open to all members of the beer and cider drinking<br />

public. This year it will be held on Tuesday<br />

11 th September at Park House on the Reading<br />

University Whiteknights campus – please note that<br />

the bar is cashless and only accepts card payments.<br />

Park House will be receiving an award for their<br />

Outstanding Support and Promotion of LocAle.<br />

There will be a certificate to commemorate the<br />

long service of Carole Headland as licensee of the<br />

Magpie & Parrot and Vic & Jenny Harrison at<br />

the Swan, Three Mile Cross – both having started<br />

35 years ago. The Outstanding Expansion at the<br />

Shurlock Inn and the Outstanding Development<br />

at the Black Boy will be celebrated. For only the<br />

second time in four years, there was one pub which<br />

received outstanding positive public feedback on<br />

the Ale Trail and the Flower Pot at Aston will<br />

be receiving a certificate to commemorate that.<br />

The Royal Oak at Ruscombe will also receive a<br />

certificate for its long term practical support to the<br />

work of the branch.<br />

The branch committee were unanimous in<br />

agreeing a unique, though possibly undesirable<br />

award to Samuel Smiths brewery. Over 30 years<br />

ago they purchased the Lower Ship Inn in Duke<br />

Street, Reading. It has remained closed since then.<br />

The award goes to them for “The longest closed<br />

pub for no good reason”. It remains to be seen<br />

if anyone from Sam Smiths comes to receive the<br />

certificate.<br />

Brian Jones

Behind the Bar -<br />

Allied Arms<br />

This is the part of the magazine where we turn<br />

things over to a local landlord to tell us about their<br />

pub. This time it’s Moya Rolls of the Allied Arms.<br />

The Allied Arms has been run by the Rolls family<br />

since 2002. Steve and I were both working in the<br />

corporate sales sector and decided that a change of<br />

pace was required. Despite having no experience<br />

of the pub trade, we took on the Allied Arms in<br />

2002 and have been there ever since.<br />

The building dates from the 16 th century but<br />

according to records has been a pub since 1828.<br />

In 2002 the range consisted of Courage Bitter and<br />

London Pride (sometimes) on tap with a mixture<br />

of fairly standard lagers and ciders on offer. Today<br />

much has improved with ten ever-changing cask<br />

ales (with one exception), a choice of bottled craft<br />

beer, a unique wine selection and of course the<br />

various lagers and ciders. The “exception” being<br />

Steve’s favourite tipple, Hullaballoo from Loddon<br />

Brewery, which has been served at the Allied Arms<br />

non-stop since 2003.<br />

Slowly changing the pub from what it was to<br />

what you see today, proved to be hard work, but<br />

it has been the most enjoyable and rewarding task.<br />

The Allied Arms is a “tied” pub, originally with<br />

Unique Pub Company, which was taken over by<br />

Enterprise Inns (now rebranded as EI Group). This<br />

has its challenges, the most critical of which is the<br />

prices they charge for product, which have to be<br />

reflected in the Allied Arms price list. However,<br />

this has not prevented improvements to the pub<br />

and expanding the business over the years. It was<br />

decided that the pub should be kept as original as<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

20<br />

possible and retain its quaint old-fashioned town<br />

pub feel, whilst maintaining high standards of<br />

product care.<br />

One of the most obvious improvements that<br />

has been made is to the garden. Originally very<br />

overgrown and run down, there is now seating for<br />

over 100 people. The garden is a true oasis in the<br />

centre of Reading – who would believe that you<br />

were in the town centre when you are sitting in<br />

the sun in a garden, enjoying a nice pint of ale or<br />

a chilled glass of wine? Efforts have been made to<br />

make it a real garden with beautiful scented roses<br />

and colourful plants and shrubs.<br />

Since introducing ten ales and a craft beer<br />

selection in mid-April, customer response has<br />

been overwhelming in its support. At least 50%<br />

of the beers are from local breweries, via the<br />

SIBA scheme, and this is proving popular with<br />

customers.<br />

Although the Allied Arms does not serve meals,<br />

customers may bring in their own food to enjoy<br />

with their drinks. Neighbouring establishments<br />

such as Pizza Express and Pierre’s Baguettes are<br />

both more than happy to oblige!<br />

The bi-monthly pub quiz has proved popular over<br />

the years with quiz teams taking it in turns to host<br />

the quiz. This results in a wide style of quizzes as<br />

each team comes with their own ideas and it keeps<br />

it fresh. Anyone who fancies hosting a quiz can<br />

add their name to the quiz calendar.<br />

Recently the pub has been managed by resident<br />

Ale Guru, Dom Humphries who has been with us<br />

since 2013 and has proved to be more than equal<br />

to the task.<br />

It has been said that the Allied Arms is a Country<br />

Pub in Town – an epithet well earned!<br />

Moya Rolls<br />

Allied Arms<br />

57 St Mary’s Butts<br />

Reading<br />

RG1 2LG<br />

Tel: 0118 958 3323

World Cup<br />

of Reading Pubs<br />

Following on from the very successful World<br />

Cup of Reading Restaurants voting tournament<br />

held earlier in the year by Edible Reading,<br />

I thought I’d do something similar with<br />

Reading’s best pubs, just in time to tie in with<br />

the FIFA World Cup <strong>2018</strong>. We launched it on<br />

the Explore Reading Twitter feed (twitter.com/<br />

explorerdg) on 14 th June as a bit of fun that<br />

would promote the thriving Reading pub scene.<br />

Shortlisting 32 of the top pubs in Reading and<br />

using a random knockout generator, we placed<br />

them in draws that played out over a series of<br />

Twitter polls across the duration of the football<br />

World Cup.<br />

We ran one Twitter poll per day between two<br />

pubs: no group stages, so you voted for your<br />

favourite pub of the two, and the one with the<br />

least votes got knocked out at each stage until<br />

we reached the nail biting final. We even had<br />

a wall chart which was updated regularly, you<br />

can see the final version here.<br />

At first it was slow going but soon people picked<br />

up on it and a lot of games were very closely<br />

fought and hundreds of people got involved<br />

in many of the polls. There were, of course,<br />

detractors and arguments about the definition<br />

of a pub, that the votes were rigged, that the<br />

draw had been staged and so on, but overall<br />

it was well received and got a lot of people<br />

talking. There were also plenty of comments<br />

about people saying that they needed to re-visit<br />

various pubs in the running as they hadn’t been<br />

in a while.<br />

The pubs with active Twitter presences got<br />

involved too, with playful competitive repartee<br />

between opposing sides and encouraging their<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


A big thank you to Explore Reading who<br />

allowed me to pursue and host the idea on<br />

their website and Twitter account. They do a<br />

fantastic job of promoting all things Reading<br />

and pubs and beer are no exception. You can<br />

check them out at explorerdg.com or over on<br />

Twitter at twitter.com/explorerdg<br />

James Moore<br />

various fans to get involved and vote for them.<br />

Particular shout-outs to the semi-finalists Allied<br />

Arms and Purple Turtle who got very involved<br />

in encouraging people to vote on Twitter. The<br />

Greyfriar also is worth a mention for doing the<br />

same in earlier rounds.<br />

After 30 days, 32 pubs and scores of votes, our<br />

final poll was between The Fox & Hounds and<br />

The Nag’s Head on Sunday 15 July, the same<br />

day as the big football final. It was very tightly<br />

fought with 588 votes and fans of both pubs<br />

being very vocal in their support. But in the<br />

end, it was Caversham’s Fox & Hounds which<br />

emerged as Reading’s favourite pub in a 52/48<br />

percent split.<br />

The extra interest that the competition<br />

drummed up made all the pubs winners, and<br />

just goes to show how lucky we are in Reading<br />

to have so many excellent boozers of all shapes<br />

and sizes that people can visit.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Pubs in<br />

World War One<br />

The 100 th anniversary of the end of the 1 st<br />

World War leads us to enquire what effect the<br />

war had on pubs. The main effect was a severe<br />

limitation on licensing hours which were cut to<br />

six hours per day under the 1914 Defence of<br />

the Realm Act, affectionately known as DORA,<br />

and the Intoxicating Liquor (Temporary<br />

Restriction) Act, also of 1914. This proved to<br />

be anything but temporary as the spirit of Dora<br />

survived, despite some extension of permitted<br />

hours, through to the late 20 th century.<br />

James Wyeth, landlord of The Barley Mow,<br />

London Street, was one who fell foul of the law<br />

when he was fined £3 for allowing drinking to<br />

take place after 9pm in contravention of the<br />

Act. At the Reading Borough Police Court in<br />

June 1915, two customers were fined 10s (50p)<br />

or seven days behind bars for consuming beer<br />

after hours. Happily, when the police objected<br />

to the renewal of Wyeth’s licence, when next<br />

up for renewal, he escaped with a caution and<br />

carried on running the pub until his death in<br />

1938.<br />

copper informed the landlord that not only was<br />

Walter a soldier fighting for King and Country<br />

but a local as well. He was duly served but was<br />

so incensed by the treatment he had received<br />

that he poured the entire contents of the pint<br />

mug over the bar and walked out!<br />

Most pubs, however, were keen to support the<br />

war effort. In 1917 and 1918 we read of what<br />

almost seems friendly rivalry between such<br />

pubs as the Sun and the Horn in raising money<br />

for the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Comforts<br />

for Wounded Soldiers appeal and the War<br />

Hospitals Supplies Depot.<br />

John Dearing<br />

“I went into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,<br />

The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no redcoats<br />

here.” – wrote Kipling.<br />

Unfortunately, this attitude seems to have<br />

infected the landlord of the Rising Sun, Henry<br />

Mainman, when a soldier in the Guards, Walter<br />

Lush, came home on leave and on his way back<br />

to Newtown from the station popped into the<br />

Rising Sun for a pint. He was informed that<br />

beer was in short supply and was kept for<br />

the locals only. On emerging from the pub he<br />

encountered a policeman of his acquaintance to<br />

whom he told his woes. They re-entered and the<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


The Further History of<br />

Lager in the UK<br />


By the 1980s it was increasingly apparent<br />

that UK-brewed lagers were almost all being<br />

pasteurised, akin to keg beers, whether<br />

produced in the new megakeggeries established<br />

by the Big Six combines in places such as<br />

Luton, Magor, Northampton, Samlesbury and<br />

Worton Grange or in the surviving ‘traditional’<br />

lager breweries such as Alloa, Moss Side and<br />

Wrexham.<br />

CAMRA, having been formed in response to<br />

the artificial carbonation of traditional British<br />

ale a decade earlier, began to direct its ire<br />

towards the mock lagers that brewers, stung<br />

by the hostility that had been generated against<br />

fizz beer, had started to aggressively market<br />

instead. Lagers such as Hofmeister (Courage)<br />

and Fosters (Watneys) had become not only<br />

weak and overpriced replacement products but<br />

were being foisted on the undiscerning populace<br />

by masquerading as genuinely continental (or<br />

other foreign) beers when none were actually<br />

being brewed abroad.<br />

In 1959 lager had accounted for just 2% of all<br />

beer sales. By 1990 it accounted for 50%, this<br />

exponential growth partly stimulated by the<br />

1961 Licensing Act which removed restrictions<br />

on off-licences and the sales of alcohol in<br />

grocers and the newly-fangled supermarkets.<br />

Lager, too, seemed to suffer fewer detrimental<br />

effects when being canned/kegged as compared<br />

to traditional bitter which canning/kegging<br />

only appeared to exacerbate.<br />

Classic lager beers are characterised as having<br />

a dry, hoppy, palate. They would be stored<br />

(i.e. “lagered”) for a minimum of a month<br />

to cold-condition in the brewery and would<br />

have a strength of c.1040. In sharp contrast,<br />

the new wave of lagers were low in gravity –<br />

in the low to mid-1030s – and were lucky to<br />

even experience three weeks’ maturation before<br />

being despatched to pubs, clubs and other<br />

retailers but were more likely to be released<br />

for sale as quickly as keg (or even traditional)<br />

beers were (i.e. “running beers” in brewers’<br />

terminology). However, unlike real ales, having<br />

no time in the pub cellar to develop any finesse<br />

and, being served so chilled, what little taste<br />

they may have had was completely lost. The<br />

nadir of lager production in the UK probably<br />

came with the advent of diet, or “lite” (sic),<br />

versions; despite being even lower in alcohol<br />

(some below 1030 were not, technically,<br />

alcoholic products at all!) and also low in<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


carbohydrates, they were often no less fattening<br />

than other, stronger, brews.<br />

Just like the keg beers which preceded them,<br />

the pasteurisation of British lagers involved<br />

a process frowned upon by top continental<br />

brewers because of the cloying, off-taste,<br />

imparted by a technique more appropriate for<br />

a dairy to employ than a brewery. In Europe,<br />

the serving of lagers either used the natural<br />

carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation<br />

process or strictly-controlled levels of applied<br />

gas pressure to deliver the beer to the taps.<br />

In the UK, there were no restraints on the levels<br />

of gas pressure that could be applied in order to<br />

pump lagers up from cellars – or to artificially<br />

maintain shelf-life when invariably canned<br />

rather than bottled – where, to add insult to<br />

injury, they were wickedly overpriced as well,<br />

presumably to help pay for the huge advertising<br />

budgets that created, admittedly sometimes<br />

memorable, TV and billboard commercials. No<br />

stronger than most milds of that era, yet costing<br />

as much as 6-10p per pint more than beers of<br />

an equivalent strength (when a pint was about<br />

50p!), it was little wonder that the public, with<br />

CAMRA’s help, eventually saw through the<br />

advertising hype.<br />

Meanwhile, many of the extant family brewers<br />

had felt compelled to jump on the bandwagon<br />

either with their own creations or lagers brewed<br />

under licence from continental breweries to<br />

pseudo-authentic recipes. Fuller’s invested<br />

heavily in conical fermenters to produce their<br />

K2 lager, named after the second-highest peak<br />

in the Himalayan mountain range. By contrast,<br />

Young’s used a top-fermenting yeast for their<br />

Saxon Lager so it was little more than an<br />

insipid pale ale!<br />

Inevitably, most of these disappeared under<br />

reciprocal deals with the Big Six producers to<br />

take their heavilyadvertised<br />

ersatz<br />

lagers in exchange<br />

for access to the<br />

pub estates of the<br />

larger companies<br />

with their real ales<br />

as guests. Notably,<br />

a few persisted<br />

with their more<br />

genuine products<br />

such as McMullens of Hertford who, until<br />

comparatively recently, had two brands,<br />

Steingold and Hartsman, and Samuel Smith<br />

in Tadcaster who continue with Ayinger Bräu<br />

under licence, this at least being brewed to<br />

German beer purity law (or Reinheitsgebot)<br />

standards.<br />

It was not all doom and gloom for mainstream<br />

UK-brewed lager as Allied (with probably<br />

the best lager brewing heritage to squander<br />

of any of the Big Six) had even nationally<br />

promoted a real lager in 1983, served through<br />

handpumps, as Ind Coope’s Gold Cross (a<br />

briefly revived recipe and brand from 80<br />

years earlier) but it was only with the advent<br />

of new, sustained, micro-breweries being<br />

established, such as Harviestoun, that Britishbrewed<br />

lager finally started to regain some<br />

credibility. Their Schiehallion has stood as a<br />

beacon for real ale lager for around a quarter<br />

of a century since it was first brewed in 1995<br />

and has been emulated by some other small<br />

breweries. However it remained a fact that,<br />

until the emergence of new-wave artisanal<br />

breweries in the 21st century, the only way to<br />

have sampled excellent, lagered, beer had been<br />

to buy imported products from Europe and<br />

countries beyond.<br />

Despite the closure of the Wrexham Lager<br />

brewery in 2000, it is still Britain’s oldest lager<br />

as, from 2011, it was again being produced in<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


the town in a micro-brew plant utilising the<br />

same name as the original company. Having<br />

been originally launched by homesick German<br />

emigrées from Saxony in 1882, the brand had<br />

thrived with the introduction of mechanical<br />

refrigeration.<br />

When founded, the Wrexham site for the<br />

original “Little Pilsen Brewery” had been<br />

chosen for the quality of its water considered<br />

eminently suitable for the production of the<br />

particular continental style envisaged, that of<br />

a dark Munich-type, soon supplemented by a<br />

light lager and one in the Pilsner-style. It was<br />

stocked by the White Star Line on ships such<br />

as The Titanic, as well as the Cunard and Elder<br />

Dempster shipping lines, despatched via both<br />

Liverpool and Southampton Docks by the Great<br />

Central and Great Western Railways and, from<br />

the 1930s onwards, was the only lager available<br />

on GWR trains and in their refreshment rooms<br />

and hotels. It was also supplied to Clubs such<br />

as the Carlton and Constitutional and there<br />

is evidence of it having been drunk by British<br />

soldiers at the siege of Khartoum in 1885. With<br />

the demise of this lucrative liner trade in the<br />

1970s, the original Wrexham Brewery had also<br />

produced Sköl before closure.<br />

supermarket chains had started to ditch their<br />

volume, mainstream, lagers in favour of “craft”<br />

beer products instead – Tesco removing as<br />

many as 30 individual lines – and, as a result,<br />

the likes of Heineken and Krœnenberg were no<br />

longer heavily discounting their ersatz products<br />

where they were still available. It has thus<br />

been interesting to see how Ramsbury’s real<br />

Red Ram lager, Rebellion’s new keykeg lager,<br />

Truman’s tank lager, Raw, and XT’s “craft”<br />

lager, Eisbar, (all from 2017) were received by<br />

aficionados of the style.<br />

Paul Dabrowski<br />

with acknowledgements to: CAMRA, 1983 &<br />

1984 Good Beer Guides; Peter Haydon, Beer<br />

& Britannia; Where Have All the Breweries<br />

Gone?, Norman Barber, Brewery History<br />

Society<br />

CAMAL (The Campaign for Authentic Lager)<br />

may be of interest. Please visit www.camal.org.<br />

uk for more details.<br />

Amongst the proliferation of “craft” breweries<br />

of the new millennium, a renewed interest<br />

in lager as a beer style has also come to be<br />

exemplified by Calvor’s, near Needham Market<br />

in Suffolk, that pre-empted – by three years<br />

– the revival of Wrexham in being lager-only.<br />

But other concerns such as London’s Orbit<br />

Beers, in SE17, and the Six O’Clock Beer Co.<br />

in Manchester have both majored in producing<br />

many foreign beer styles as well, brewed to<br />

authentic recipes and strengths, rather than just<br />

lagers and pilsners.<br />

An equally welcome development in 2017<br />

perhaps was the news that many major<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Bamberg - An Adventure in<br />

Brewing, Malt, Smoke and Beer<br />

The air was heavy with the aroma of gently<br />

roasting malt as we disembarked from our<br />

train. Standing on the platform we were taken<br />

with the smell of the Weyermann maltings,<br />

its majestic brick facade towering over the<br />

beautiful Bavarian town of Bamberg.<br />

We had travelled here to take part in a<br />

collaboration brew at the brewery attached<br />

to the 140 year old malting company.<br />

Weyermann make some highly specialist<br />

malts, many of which we use in our XT<br />

and Animal beers. They have an amazing<br />

no-expense-spared, high tech brewery to<br />

test their malts and experiment with a wide<br />

variety of beer styles, and we had been<br />

invited here to play on it.<br />

Bamberg must be one of the world’s top<br />

places for beer and it is well known for the<br />

local smoked Rauchbiers. As with much of<br />

Germany the locals are very loyal to their<br />

local breweries and the styles particular to<br />

the region. Generally I will always search out<br />

the local beers in my travels, but to only see<br />

local beer and no national or multinational<br />

brews at all was a revelation. The Germans<br />

see beer as a highly valued part of their<br />

culture; it’s not just a “drink” and somehow<br />

inferior to wine. The brewing and serving of<br />

beer here is a respected career choice.<br />



The old town of Bamberg is beautifully<br />

preserved, and it’s a pleasure to wander<br />

around its old timbered houses, grand<br />

churches and cobbled streets. The locals<br />

get about on bikes on the many cycle paths<br />

and somehow they manage to ride normal<br />

looking machines without the need for lycra<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

27<br />




or carbon fibre. Most importantly however,<br />

Bamberg is blessed with nine breweries, all<br />

of which are within the old town environs.<br />

The breweries all have their own traditional<br />

bars attached, plus there are numerous pubs<br />

to tempt you, it’s actually quite hard to find<br />

a bad one.<br />

Here is a short list of some of our favourite<br />

breweries and bars:<br />

Spezial - A traditional brewery which still<br />

smokes its own malts for the house speciality<br />

Rauchbier. We stayed here during our time<br />

in Bamberg, and it is well worth seeking out<br />

these characterful places – take a look on<br />

www.braugasthoefe.de for similar brewery<br />

guest houses across Germany.<br />

Zum Sternla – Thanks to our hosts<br />

Weyermann, who are almost the Bamberg<br />

royal family, we had the honour of sitting<br />

at the “top table”. This is a bit of tradition<br />

where the landlord has his own reserved<br />

table and holds his beery court. It’s a great<br />

way to meet a wide variety of the locals and<br />

get to understand the traditions and enjoy<br />

the respect that Germans have for their<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

28<br />

beer and the well trained staff that serve it<br />

with such reverence. We sampled some very<br />

fine Weissbier (wheat beer) here, which has<br />

a deep rich flavour that’s missing in many<br />

more commercial versions.<br />

Keesmann – Famous for its Herren-<br />

Pils and Helles, but for me it was most<br />

memorable for the huge food portions which<br />

actually defeated my companion who is<br />

not normally the loser in man vs. food. On<br />

investigating the extensive brewery behind<br />

the bar I spotted a huge machine which at<br />

first I could not identify, after enquiring<br />

I learned it was for the cleaning of beer<br />

bottles. In Germany the regional breweries<br />

use standardised bottles and they regularly<br />

collect and refill them. This was eye opening<br />

and a radically different way of thinking to<br />

our own throw-away culture.<br />

Mahr’s Bräu – Opposite Kessmann,<br />

we really enjoyed the biergarten here and,<br />

after the night closed in, the convivial<br />

conversation on long benches in the dark<br />

wood panelled bar inside. The shared<br />

tables in the bars are very much part of<br />

the drinking culture. Everyone sits together<br />

and, if you arouse their interest, you will<br />

inevitably be drawn into the conversation of<br />

your neighbours. This bar also introduced<br />

us to the delights of “Ungespundet” which<br />

literally means “unbunged”. It’s a process<br />

for maturing beers with open vented vessels<br />

leading to much less gassy beer. The age-old<br />

Reinheitsgebot or purity law has far reaching<br />

influence over the beers here. Interestingly it<br />

also forbids the use of extraneous gas in the<br />

beer, only gas from the fermentation can be<br />

in the beer. So there is a little puzzler for you<br />

real ale purists: is German keg beer real ale?<br />

Klosterbräu – Attractive riverside<br />

brewery here for over 450 years. The oldest<br />

in Bamberg.

Schlenkerla – Probably the most famous<br />

Rauchbier: Aecht Schlenkerla. The extensive<br />

bar with several panelled rooms and covered<br />

yards serves only one beer: it is black and it<br />

is very smoky. Served directly from wooden<br />

casks behind the bar, it’s a very special beer<br />

and special bar that encapsulates Bamberg<br />

and its deep beer traditions. If heaven forbid<br />

you want a different beer, you can buy the<br />

bottled helles. And yes, that is smoky too!<br />

I would definitely suggest a beer adventure<br />

in Bamberg with its great beers and great<br />

bars plus the added bonus that it’s actually a<br />

very attractive town. Bamberg is certainly up<br />

there in the top ten beer cities of the world.<br />

Russell Taylor<br />

XT Brewing Co<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


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