Mine's a Pint - Winter 2018

The Winter 2018 edition of Mine's a Pint, the magazine of the Reading & Mid-Berkshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The Winter 2018 edition of Mine's a Pint, the magazine of the Reading & Mid-Berkshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).


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ISSUE FORTY EIGHT WINTER <strong>2018</strong><br />


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 />

December <strong>2018</strong><br />

FRI 7: (14:00) Social, SWM CAMRA The Pig’s Ear Beer<br />

& Cider Festival. Meet at the Round Chapel in Hackney<br />

at 2pm. www.swm.camra.org.uk/viewnode.php?id=36068<br />

SAT 8: Reading Ramble – North Hants CAMRA pub<br />

crawl of Reading. Start Hope Tap, 99-105 Friar Street,<br />

Reading, RG1 1EP (11:00) for breakfast, moving on at<br />

12:30.<br />

January 2019<br />

THURS 10: (20:00) First Social of the Year. Back of<br />

Beyond, 104-108 King’s Road, Reading RG1 3BY. Follow<br />

by pub crawl of “The Village” pubs.<br />

WED 16: (20:00) Branch meeting. Eldon Arms, 19 Eldon<br />

Terrace, Reading RG1 4DX. CAMRA members only,<br />

please.<br />

SAT 19: (12:00) Regional Pub Crawl of London. Meet in<br />

Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street Station, EC2M 7PY.<br />

SUN 27: (12:00) Social starting at the Alehouse, 2 Broad<br />

Street, Reading, RG1 2BH.<br />

February 2019<br />

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

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

SAT 9: Ale Trail starts.<br />

SUN 17: Walk from Henley to the Flower Pot, Ferry Lane,<br />

Aston, RG9 3DG for Sunday lunch (lunch must be prebooked).<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 />

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 />

From time to time, drinkers receiving<br />

poor standards of service or poor<br />

quality products may wish to raise<br />

the matter with Trading Standards.<br />

You now need to do this through<br />

Citizens Advice, an organisation<br />

which provides free, confidential and<br />

impartial advice on consumer issues.<br />

To contact Citizens Advice Consumer<br />

Service call 03454 04 05 06 or visit<br />

www.citizensadvice.org.uk and click<br />

on Consumer.<br />

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

published in early March. Please feel<br />

free to submit any copy or ideas by 1 st<br />

February.<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>.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


From The Editor<br />

A pub is for life, not just for Christmas.<br />

That’s the message from Sarah Crawford,<br />

CAMRA’s regional director for Scotland<br />

and Northern Ireland. It’s just as true for<br />

England and Wales as the latest data shows<br />

pubs still closing at an alarming rate – a net<br />

loss of 18 per week across the UK. You can<br />

read Sarah’s thoughts in this magazine about<br />

Christmas drinkers and how we can support<br />

our pubs into the new year.<br />

Yes, that’s how “we” can support them.<br />

Don’t sit back and think that it’s somebody<br />

else’s problem. It’s yours, it’s mine, and it’s<br />

all our responsibility to do something about<br />

it. CAMRA has always been about customer<br />

choice and promoting good quality, with real<br />

ale and pubs at its heart. Without pubs we<br />

lose that choice, and we lose the best outlet<br />

there is for cask beer.<br />

January is often the leanest month for pubs,<br />

with various charities bizarrely encouraging<br />

people to boycott their local businesses by<br />

dressing it up as a health benefit. Yet we<br />

can all act to support our pubs through this<br />

tough time. It needs us to make a conscious<br />

effort to go out and spend money there, even<br />

if it’s cold and raining. If you don’t want to<br />

drink alcohol then that’s a shame, but you<br />

can still have a pub meal or support your<br />

local in other ways. If we don’t, when the<br />

sunshine and longer days come back, our<br />

local may not be there to share them with us.<br />

Here’s to the great British pub. Long may it<br />

prosper!<br />

Cheers!<br />

Phil Gill<br />

Editor<br />

editor@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

5<br />

Contents<br />



PUB NEWS 6-8<br />

BREWERY NEWS 9-13<br />

SMALL BEER 14-16<br />

GRUMPY GOAT 17-18<br />

GBBF WINTER 19<br />



127 ROUTE PUB CRAWL 25-27<br />

A PUB IS FOR LIFE 29<br />


Pub News<br />


A local group is campaigning to save the<br />

BRAMSHILL HUNT which is at risk of closure.<br />

The owners Greene King are advertising it for<br />

sale – on Rightmove of all places – and the price<br />

plus the advertising details suggest that they see<br />

its future as a house or a restaurant rather than<br />

a pub. We understand that Greene King are<br />

interested in a new pub site in the new housing<br />

area.<br />


The latest in a long line of planning applications<br />

to demolish the BANTAM in Omers Rise and<br />

replace it with flats was awaiting decision as we<br />

went to press.<br />



The STAR on Reading Road has closed. Your<br />

viewpoint about this Greene King pub tended<br />

to depend on whether or not you were a regular<br />

there.<br />


Nick and Hazel are celebrating eight years at the<br />

FLOWING SPRING with a party on Saturday<br />

8 December, featuring music from Three Bar<br />

Fire. Looking ahead, this year’s Springstock<br />

festival was such a success that they’re already<br />

planning the next. Saturday 1 June 2019 is the<br />

date for “Springstock 2” and you can expect a<br />

music festival with six bands plus an outside<br />

bar, food and stalls.<br />


The PURPLE TURTLE has taken out its<br />

handpumps but New Wharf beer is still<br />

available in bottles and on keg. A Turtle Ale<br />

sequel, a 6% ABV pale ale, is coming soon.<br />

Image by Brian Jones<br />

The Lands End has been refurbished including<br />

a new flagstone floor and renamed the HERON<br />

ON THE FORD. The beer range has increased<br />

from two to three, with Brakspear Bitter and<br />

Oxford Gold as regulars and a guest from the<br />

Marstons range. This spacious rural pub has a<br />

good sized garden with children’s play area and<br />

is dog-friendly. Don’t try and drive through the<br />

adjacent ford, especially in winter! The local<br />

fire brigade are regular visitors to rescue people<br />

who’ve got stuck in their cars in the middle of<br />

the river.<br />

The QUEENS HEAD on Christchurch Road<br />

is up for lease from Ei publican partnerships<br />

(what used to be called Enterprise). This is<br />

currently the sister pub to the MODERATION<br />

on Caversham Road. According to Ei, “An<br />

experienced operator who can build on the<br />

dry offer whilst maintaining the good levels of<br />

wet trade, is now being sought” for the Queens<br />

Head.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


After five or more years of closure, the old<br />

WELLINGTON ARMS on Whitley Street<br />

looks set to become a branch of Greggs.<br />

Building work has been going on for a while<br />

at the CORN STORES on Forbury Road and<br />

we’re eagerly awaiting its reopening, which<br />

should happen before Christmas.<br />

The JOLLY ANGLERS was closed at the time<br />

of writing and the ACV moratorium had been<br />

triggered. That means that when the owner of<br />

an Asset of Community Value wishes to sell it,<br />

they have to tell the Council who then ask if<br />

any community groups want to be considered<br />

as a potential purchaser. If the moratorium is<br />

triggered, as in this case, there is a six month<br />

period during which the owner can only sell the<br />

pub to a community group, or sell it as a going<br />

concern. There’s active community interest in<br />

the pub so we’re hoping for a happy outcome.<br />

The RETREAT in St John’s Road has had its<br />

cellar refurbished and other works undertaken.<br />

Best (Loddon), Inspector Morse IPA (Greene<br />

King) and Sheep Dip (Plain Ales) were available<br />

on a recent visit. You may find that sparklers<br />

are used on the pumps.<br />

There’s a planning application for a new<br />

pub on land opposite the BLACK BOY. The<br />

proposal is on behalf of Marstons and is likely<br />

to be food-led if it gets the go-ahead. The full<br />

description is “Erection of a part single storey<br />

and part two storey building for use as a<br />

restaurant and public house and three bedroom<br />

flat with associated parking and landscaping<br />

and creation of new access.”<br />

Down the road on Church Lane, the SIX BELLS<br />

is reported to have closed. We understand<br />

there’s interest in the building from a restaurant<br />

operator, although that would likely need<br />

planning permission so we’re keeping an eye on<br />

events.<br />


The BISCUIT AND BARREL on Kings Road<br />

(what used to be the Warwick) was being run<br />

by a holding manager at the time of writing,<br />

with its future uncertain.<br />

Meat eaters will enjoy the New Year’s Eve<br />

menu at the LYNDHURST on Watlington<br />

Street. A five course game tasting menu with<br />

every course paired with a different drink starts<br />

at 8pm, with live music from 10pm. The pub<br />

was recently a finalist in the restaurant category<br />

of the Reading Retail Awards.<br />


Stuart is the new landlord at the BELL AND<br />

BOTTLE – welcome! Red Kite (Vale), Reading<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

7<br />

The Snooty Fox in its time as a pub<br />

There was an interesting planning appeal<br />

recently on the old Snooty Fox, which has<br />

been closed for some time. In 2014 permission<br />

was refused to turn the pub into a house and<br />

in recent times it’s been trading as a “bicycle<br />

cafe” alongside various other uses including<br />

a meeting place for groups of cyclists. The<br />

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead<br />

had issued an enforcement notice against the<br />

unauthorised conversion to a mixed use, and<br />

in November the result of the owner’s appeal<br />

against that notice was received.

The inspector issued a split decision, approving<br />

the cafe and cycle repair elements of the use but<br />

refusing the retail and meeting aspects. This<br />

means that the loss of the pub has been accepted<br />

in planning terms. The inspector considered the<br />

cafe an “acceptable alternative” community<br />

facility. In providing a food and drink facility<br />

and a place for social interaction, she added, it<br />

had a positive effect on the community.<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 />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


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

otherwise stated.<br />


The current beer in the Hop Project series is the<br />

dangerously drinkable Summit Melon, at 4.5%<br />

ABV. Summit and Melon hops are used to give<br />

a subtle melon character. The next beer in the<br />

series will be Comet Blanc.<br />

Hitting the pubs for<br />

autumn is Woodsmoke<br />

Porter, 5% ABV,<br />

brewed using a<br />

German beech-smoked<br />

malt and double the<br />

amount of chocolate<br />

malt used last year, to<br />

give a subtle smokiness<br />

and a chocolate<br />

flavour.<br />

V Old Ale is being<br />

brewed in early<br />

November, followed by The Warmer <strong>Winter</strong><br />

Ale for December.<br />

All Binghams cask stouts and porters are now<br />

vegan friendly. The bottled Vanilla Stout isn’t<br />

(yet) but they’re working on that!<br />

And if you want to find somewhere to drink<br />

them – Twyford’s first micropub, “Binghams<br />

Tap Room” is now open at 2b High Street,<br />

Fridays and Saturdays only until Christmas.<br />

See the separate article in this issue for more<br />

information about this welcome addition to the<br />

local pub scene.<br />


Foxtrot, a 3.9% ABV winter ale should be<br />

available from mid December, just in time for<br />

Christmas. Described as dark,<br />

mellow, fruity and complex,<br />

it’s bristling with malt and hop<br />

character. The warming flavours<br />

of rich chocolate and crystal<br />

malts and the brewer’s selection<br />

of choice English Pioneer,<br />

Fuggles and Admiral hops come<br />

together to form this rich claret<br />

coloured dark ale. It’s said to be<br />

the perfect brew for cold winter evenings and<br />

the ideal accompaniment to winter stews and<br />

broths, sausages, pork pie, red meats and full<br />

fat hard cheeses.<br />

Looking ahead to the new year, Earl Grey IPA<br />

at 3.9% ABV is planned to be available in<br />

February.<br />

The online brewery shop has plenty of<br />

Christmas gift ideas and offers free delivery<br />

on orders over £50. Alongside the full range<br />

of Chiltern ales you’ll find spirits and liqueurs,<br />

as well as a range of foods including cheeses,<br />

fudge, mustard and chutney, plus unusual gifts<br />

such as wool fat bath soap and shaving soap.<br />



The on-site shop in Heathlands Road,<br />

Wokingham is open for the sale of bottles<br />

and collection of pre-ordered polypins. Go to<br />

bondbrews.co.uk/contact-us for the full address<br />

and to find out how to order your favourite<br />

Bond Brews beer.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

9<br />

Mike in the new brewery<br />

Works to the new brewery have hit some delays<br />

so the initial target of having beers available

from September wasn’t met, but Luci and Mike<br />

have been busy and finally released their first<br />

commercial batch in November. There are<br />

three: Red Jungle Fowl, a 5% raspberry and<br />

beetroot gose; Parka, a 4.5% pale ale; and<br />

Seven Dollar Saturday, a 5.6% milk stout.<br />

Initial deliveries were to the Fox and Hounds<br />

in Caversham and the Nags Head in Reading.<br />

They were on track to launch some cans of the<br />

stout and gose in November and opened the<br />

brewery taproom in Tilehurst at the start of<br />

December. It’s planned to be open on Fridays<br />

and Saturdays and you can find it at 20 Stadium<br />

Way, near the Oxford Road just off Norcot<br />

Junction roundabout. Card payments only.<br />


Subject to licensing approval, Elusive plan to<br />

open to the public on Saturdays in December<br />

(8th/15th/22nd) at their site in Finchampstead.<br />

They’ll have brand new beers in bottle and,<br />

finally, some merchandise! Check on Twitter<br />

nearer the time for final confirmation and more<br />

details.<br />

LODDON<br />

The taproom at the brewery in Dunsden has<br />

really taken off with lots of drinkers over the<br />

weekends – a combination of locals, tourists,<br />

walkers and cyclists. Taproom opening times<br />

are Thursday – 10am to 6pm, Friday – 10am to<br />

7pm and Saturday – 10am to 6pm. But with the<br />

licence running until 11pm, they offer to stay<br />

open all the time that there are people in.<br />

Dan Hearn, the Marketing Manager of Loddon<br />

Brewery, says:<br />

“We’re delighted to have got a brewer of<br />

Jake’s calibre. Formerly of Bradford Brewery<br />

and Nightjar Brewery, he’s brimming with<br />

great ideas and will be part of a big change in<br />

direction for us, including a complete set of new<br />

beers which will be announced in the new year.<br />

The old classics won’t be going anywhere, but<br />

expect to see some very different beers from us.<br />

“It’s also bittersweet for us as we’re saying<br />

goodbye to Steve, after 15 years, who’s sailing<br />

off into a thoroughly well-deserved retirement.<br />

We couldn’t have asked for a better brewer than<br />

Steve, who has won us more than 60 awards<br />

and produced consistently great beers that have<br />

become firm favourites. He’s been an integral<br />

part of everything we’ve done and we’re hugely<br />

grateful to him, and wish him a long and happy<br />

retirement.”<br />


The brewery has increased capacity by a fifth,<br />

taking the capacity up to 20,000 litres at any<br />

one time. Alongside that there’s a vacancy for<br />

an Assistant Brewer and also a Head of Sales<br />

and Marketing. All details can be seen at www.<br />

newwharfbrewing.co.uk<br />

They supply the University of Reading and in<br />

early December will be brewing a collaboration<br />

beer with them. Looking ahead to the new year,<br />

New Wharf will have a bar at Craft Beer Rising<br />

in February showcasing eight different beers.<br />

Loddon’s biggest news at the moment is the<br />

appointment of their new Head Brewer Jake<br />

Bartleet-Perry, who joined on November 5<br />

and officially took over from Steve Brown on<br />

November 27.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

10<br />


Rebellion have brewed <strong>Winter</strong> Royal for a<br />

few years now as a special brew just before<br />

Christmas. Originally brewed by the Wethereds<br />

Brewery in Marlow, it became one of their<br />

flagship beers until the brewery closed in<br />

1988. In December 2016 Rebellion got hold<br />

of the recipe and brewed a batch, reviving this<br />

famous beer after a 28 year hiatus. Traditional<br />

Fuggles and Goldings hop varieties add to the<br />

authenticity of this classic English beer. The<br />

result is a deep, ruby winter warmer at 5.4%

ABV, with a rich maltiness, soft bitterness and<br />

a fantastic late and dry hop aroma.<br />

This year they’re brewing twice the amount and<br />

it will be available in pubs and bars and from<br />

the brewery shop. Release date should be at the<br />

beginning of December and they think they’ll<br />

have stock for a few weeks, though they predict<br />

it’ll run out sometime in the week commencing<br />

17 December.<br />

Available for rather longer is the winter<br />

seasonal Gold, which should be out now and<br />

last until February. As you might expect, this<br />

4.4% ABV beer is a rich golden ale with an<br />

intensely hoppy aroma. American Mosaic hops<br />

give the beer a huge aroma of tropical fruits,<br />

citrus fruits and red berry. The malt used is<br />

Crystal and Munich. The bitterness is relatively<br />

low despite the huge dose of late hops, so Gold<br />

retains its drinkability and balance.<br />


meet current bottling quality standards<br />

and future-proof packaging options. This<br />

would allow them to tap into the growing<br />

demand for drinking at home in this<br />

format.<br />

• Strategically expand. This is investment<br />

in new equipment, more capacity and<br />

improvements to systems and processes.<br />

• Open new bars. Any overfunding will<br />

allow for increased capacity and improve<br />

efficiencies. If they raise over £1.5m, the<br />

intention is to fast-track plans to bring<br />

the Tap Yard experience to two city centre<br />

locations.<br />

One of the latest beers out of this prolific<br />

brewery is Fable, a 4.2% ABV session pale<br />

ale brewed with American hops. Interestingly<br />

this was the subject of a naming competition<br />

on Facebook and Twitter, with 497 suggestions<br />

being received. The suggestions went off to<br />

Siren’s collaborators Market Halls (a new<br />

London-based food hall business) who chose<br />

the winning name. Coincidentally it turned out<br />

to be the suggestion from Siren’s neighbours<br />

Elusive Brewing!<br />



Siren have been crowdfunding. They want to<br />

raise finance to accelerate the next phase of<br />

their growth. People will be investing for equity<br />

in the business, along with some rewards<br />

including discounts, exclusive events, brewery<br />

tours and more. In their own words “This is<br />

your opportunity to own equity in Siren Craft<br />

Brew and access exclusive investor rewards.”<br />

Initially they were seeking £750,000 and made<br />

it with five days to spare. The deadline for<br />

investment has now been extended to Sunday<br />

9 December.<br />

The three main objectives are:<br />

• Package Siren into cans. They want to<br />

install a top-rate canning line that will<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

11<br />

Dave Ball from Soft Cell enjoying a pint of Say Hello<br />

Wave Goodbye at the West Berks Brewery Taproom<br />

The latest of many beer and music collaborations<br />

saw West Berkshire Brewery hook up with 80s<br />

synth-pop duo Soft Cell to create a limitededition<br />

new beer. Named “Say Hello Wave<br />

Goodbye”, it was available exclusively in<br />

Mitchells & Butlers pubs (Nicholson’s, Ember<br />

Inns and Castle Pubs) in cask from September.

The 4.2% ABV pale ale was inspired by the<br />

classic English Bitters that the band enjoyed<br />

during their early years in Leeds, with the<br />

addition of New World hops to reflect their time<br />

in America. The beer has flavours of digestive<br />

biscuit, toffee, grapefruit and orange. A 5.2%<br />

bottled version of the beer is also planned to be<br />

available as an extremely limited-edition oneoff<br />

brew.<br />

The name Say Hello Wave Goodbye is a<br />

tribute to one of Soft Cell’s best-known songs<br />

from their 1981 debut album Non-Stop Erotic<br />

Cabaret. The classic Number One Tainted Love<br />

also comes from the same album.<br />

Dave Ball of Soft Cell commented “A pint is<br />

a game of two halves, and I can confirm that<br />

no synthesisers were used in the making of this<br />

product.”<br />

more substantial, there are Christmas packages<br />

on offer that include a brewery tour and three<br />

pints of beer plus, with other options, a festive<br />

buffet, gift box and tasting session. Contact the<br />

brewery for details and bookings.<br />


Mandarin (4.7% ABV) is back in bottles for<br />

December. It’s a light orange-coloured, hoppy<br />

ale with a citrus aroma and the distinctive<br />

and refreshing seasonal flavour of mandarin<br />

oranges. Available in 330ml bottles – bottled<br />

conditioned – for £2.50 from the brewery shop.<br />

Paddy’s Christmas Pub Crawl of Windsor is on<br />

Friday 21 December. It starts in the brewery tap<br />

on the Vansittart Estate (Duke Street) at 5pm<br />

and finishes in the George on Eton High Street<br />

in time for last orders. Santa hats, Christmas<br />

jumpers and singing may be involved and all<br />

are welcome!<br />

XT / ANIMAL<br />

Available under the Renegade brand now and in<br />

the run-up to Christmas is Smoke on the Porter,<br />

a 6% ABV smoked rye porter. Bold smoky<br />

flavours combine with an intensely smooth<br />

mouthfeel and great complexity. Expect roasted<br />

malt, caramel and spice with a hint of umami.<br />

It’s available on draught and in 440ml cans.<br />

Over at the brewery tap room in Yattendon,<br />

every Thursday from 6pm you can get a free<br />

pint with every burger. Shaun the chef makes<br />

pizzas and burgers and has also added pies,<br />

salads, bar snacks and a brand new sandwich<br />

menu. And if you’re looking for something<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

12<br />

XT have released no less than three winter<br />

beers, and three new Animal specials.<br />

Animal Ermine – The Pale Milk Stoat Stout<br />

4.6% ABV. Pale but with a smoky smooth<br />

richness. A subtle sweetness from the lactose

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

13<br />

balances hints of beech, chocolate and liquorice<br />

from a variety of malts. Wheat bulks up the<br />

beer for plenty of mouthfeel and a satisfying<br />

silky finish. Pleasant citrus and peppery notes<br />

round off this beer, courtesy of high alpha<br />

American hops.<br />

Animal Snow Owl – Bottle only <strong>Winter</strong> Ale<br />

4.6% ABV. A clean <strong>Winter</strong> Pale Ale stuffed with<br />

Simcoe, Rakau and Wakatu hops. Flavours of<br />

fig, passion fruit, citrus and fresh pine on a bed<br />

of crisp pale malt. A little winter warmth and<br />

spice creeps into the background.<br />

XT-25 – Christmas Ale 4.7% ABV. A festive<br />

rosey red ale, with English Golding and<br />

New Zealand Wakatu hops for a top to<br />

bottom winter warmer. Uses a very slow cold<br />

fermentation technique in the German Altbier<br />

tradition.<br />

Animal White Lion - Collaboration Special<br />

4.6% ABV. Brewed in collaboration with<br />

the White Lion pub in St Albans. Dr Rudi,<br />

Motueka and Green Bullet hops deliver big<br />

lemon/lime, floral and bitter pine flavours with<br />

a subtle nutty note from the caramalt. Generous<br />

Motueka dry-hopping further enhances the<br />

lemon/lime notes for a citrus farewell.<br />

Animal Spaniel - Homebrew Competition<br />

Winner Collaboration Special 4.6% ABV. A<br />

collaboration with the “Friends of the Shed”<br />

homebrew group – this is an American IPA<br />

based on the recipe from their competition<br />

winning beer.<br />

Animal Jack Rabbit – American Amber 5.5%<br />

ABV. A heavily hopped American amber ale,<br />

packed with Summit, Columbus, Cascade,<br />

Citra and Chinook hops, “with a character to<br />

match the bouncy, big eared Yankee.”<br />

Several of our<br />

customers are<br />

featured in the<br />

2019 CAMRA<br />

Good Beer Guide<br />

THE<br />


4 Real Ales Available<br />

Food 12-2.30 daily, 6.30-9 Mon-Sat Evenings<br />

All types of dietry food covered<br />

Largest collection of cased fish, local focal point for<br />

fishermen<br />

Warm welcome to all old and new customers<br />



RG9 3DG<br />

TEL: 01491 574721

Small Beer<br />

A round up of news and information<br />


final for the first time. A popular pub in the<br />

heart of the village, it serves four real ales from<br />

local breweries and is home to jazz sessions,<br />

quizzes and regular visits from food providers.<br />

The fourth and final pub in the top four is the<br />

current CAMRA National Pub of the Year -<br />

The Cricketers in St Helens. A friendly local<br />

community pub also saved from closure, the<br />

pub boasts 13 handpumps on the bar and<br />

offers brews from newer regional brewers and<br />

local microbreweries.<br />

The Cricketers Arms in St Helens (top left), Volunteer<br />

Arms (Staggs) in Musselburgh (top right), the Wonston<br />

Arms in Wonston (bottom left) and the Chequers in<br />

Little Gransden (bottom right)<br />

All of the pubs in the competition are selected<br />

by CAMRA volunteers and judged on their<br />

atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for<br />

money, customer mix and, most importantly,<br />

quality of beer. The four finalists will now<br />

have a chance to win the National Pub of the<br />

Year title for <strong>2018</strong>, which will be announced in<br />

February 2019.<br />

CAMRA has named the best four pubs in the<br />

country as part of its Pub of the Year <strong>2018</strong><br />

competition, one of the most respected and wellknown<br />

pub awards in the UK. Unfortunately<br />

our own Nags Head didn’t progress from the<br />

final 16 but they can be very proud of having<br />

won the regional stage of the contest.<br />

Among the final four is the Volunteer Arms<br />

(Staggs) in Musselburgh, a traditional local<br />

decorated with wooden floors, wood panelling<br />

and mirrors from defunct local breweries.<br />

Run by the same family since 1858, it offers a<br />

regularly changing range of real ale.<br />

Also in the running is the Chequers in Little<br />

Gransden, a village pub with wooden benches<br />

and a roaring fire, which has been run by the<br />

same family for over 60 years. It is also the<br />

home of Son of Sid Brewery and the pub offers<br />

a selection of their beers.<br />

Saved from closure and now run by a<br />

persevering community group, the Wonston<br />

Arms in Wonston has made it through to the<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

14<br />

Now we turn our thoughts to next year’s<br />

contest, which starts all over again very soon.<br />

For details of the shortlist for Reading & Mid<br />

Berkshire Pub of the Year visit readingcamra.<br />

org.uk where you can also find an online voting<br />

form.<br />


Michael Hardman has resigned from CAMRA’s<br />

National Executive.<br />

Michael was one of the four original founders<br />

of CAMRA and was elected to CAMRA’s<br />

ruling body (essentially its board of directors)<br />

18 months ago, becoming Chairman of the<br />

Communications Committee. A journalist<br />

on national newspapers and BBC radio, he<br />

served as the Campaign’s national chairman<br />

for two years from its foundation in 1971 and<br />

later joined the fledgling organisation’s staff<br />

in St Albans, editing the Good Beer Guide<br />

and What’s Brewing, both of which he had<br />

created. After leaving St Albans, he worked<br />

in the brewing industry as a public relations<br />


In 2015 Michael was invited to chair the<br />

Revitalisation Project, whose recommendations<br />

for CAMRA’s future policy and activities<br />

were, with one exception, accepted by the<br />

membership at the <strong>2018</strong> members’ weekend.<br />

He said: “I have enjoyed being back in the<br />

CAMRA fold and particularly helping to shape<br />

future policy but I now need to focus on other<br />

projects. I wish the Campaign the very best for<br />

the future.”<br />



2019<br />

Volunteers are needed for next year’s event<br />

- taking place in the great city of Dundee.<br />

Opportunities are available: during set up, with<br />

vote counting, on the Members’ Bar, at the<br />

Information Stand and with the CAMRA shop.<br />

Find out more at agm.camra.org.uk or email<br />

volunteer.services@camra.org.uk<br />


A CAMRA Gift membership is the ideal<br />

Christmas gift for anyone who loves real ale,<br />

cider, perry and pubs. This year there are a<br />

number of great membership offers which<br />

give a selection of gift choices and save money<br />

too. One in particular that’s fun is the offer<br />

of membership combined with a “My point<br />

of brew” T shirt – they simply say “Bitter”,<br />

“Mild”, “Sour” or “Stout” and are available in<br />

a range of colours and sizes. See the advert in<br />

this issue for more details.<br />


Jackie Parker, CAMRA National Chairman (centre) and<br />

members of the National Executive at the lobby day<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

15<br />

Hundreds of CAMRA members descended on<br />

Westminster at the end of October for a Mass<br />

Lobby Day to send a message to MPs about<br />

the very serious threats facing pubs. All agreed<br />

there must be urgent reform to business rates,<br />

Beer Duty and the Pubs Code to save the Great<br />

British pub from extinction.<br />

The Lobby Day day saw the launch of CAMRA’s<br />

three point plan to save the Great British pub,<br />

and encouraged MPs to commit to:<br />

1. Introducing a preferential rate of duty for<br />

draught beer.<br />

2. Reforming the business rates system to<br />

address the unfair burden on pubs.<br />

3. Conducting an urgent review of the Pubs<br />

Code so that the Market Rent Only option<br />

becomes a genuine choice for tenants.<br />

CAMRA members held meetings with MPs<br />

throughout the day, which culminated in a rally<br />

with speeches from the Chairman of the All<br />

Party Parliamentary Beer Group, Mike Wood<br />

MP, as well as Ruth Smeeth MP and Alan<br />

Brown MP.<br />

The Lobby came the day after the Budget, which<br />

contained the very welcome decision to freeze<br />

duty on beer and cider, and the announcement<br />

of a new package of business rate relief that will<br />

help smaller pubs. While this change will see<br />

annual savings of up to £8,000 for some pubs,<br />

CAMRA is extremely disappointed that pubspecific<br />

rate relief has been scrapped, meaning<br />

that pubs with a rateable value of over £51,000<br />

will lose out. Many of these pubs saw the<br />

largest rates increases after the last revaluation,<br />

and are struggling under sky-high bills that<br />

threaten them with extinction.<br />

CAMRA’s National Chairman, Jackie Parker,<br />

said:<br />

“While welcome, the Budget measures are just<br />

a sticking plaster which doesn’t tackle the root<br />

issue. There must be long-term change and<br />

reform to business rates, Beer Duty and the<br />

Pubs Code to stop the decline of pubs closing<br />

which is currently 18 per week. The Lobby<br />

Day has been a huge success. It gave members<br />

an opportunity to speak to their MPs direct<br />

about tackling the root causes of pub closures,<br />

need for fundamental reform to ensure that

pubs remain at the heart of communities and<br />

continue to make a valuable contribution to<br />

our society, culture and economy.”<br />

Speaking at the Members’ Rally, Mike Wood<br />

MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary<br />

Beer Group added:<br />

“We need to make sure that we have a proper<br />

review of local business taxation which goes<br />

beyond what was announced (in the Budget)<br />

on business rates, so that pubs of all sizes are<br />

actually taxed at a fair rate and we have a<br />

taxation system fit for the 21st century rather<br />

than the 1950s, and one that recognises the<br />

economy as it is now rather than one that was<br />

based solely on land values.”<br />

award winning beers and I personally could not<br />

have done it without my Amigo. We have lost<br />

an amazing part of New Wharf Brewing Co<br />

and, in Stewart’s honour, we will brew a beer in<br />

his memory; “Amigo”.<br />


Flying Monk Brewery from Wiltshire are<br />

looking for sales representatives in our area. If<br />

you’re interested or for more details, see their<br />

advert.<br />


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Kevin Black has asked us to include this tribute<br />

to his friend Stewart who passed away in<br />

October, and we’re happy to do so.<br />

Amigo, Amigo, where are you Amigo? In<br />

October <strong>2018</strong> we celebrated the life of a<br />

friend and work colleague who gave so much<br />

to making sure every day ran smoothly in<br />

the brewery at New Wharf. Stewart wasn’t<br />

shy of hard work and always embraced the<br />

challenging environment that we faced. Many<br />

people around the world have enjoyed our<br />

Stewart and Kevin in the brewery<br />

The last couple of months have been hard but<br />

we must celebrate the life of a man who has<br />

touched many people’s lives. Stewart was funny<br />

and always laughed and joked about everything.<br />

Everyday at around 11am his mobile would go<br />

ping and he would say “ that’s my Sarah up” -<br />

this always brought a smile to his face.<br />

His other love in life was his daily packet of<br />

digestive biscuits and wine gums. These became<br />

a staple part of the brewery diet. Stewart was<br />

also fond of his Breakfast Stout and always<br />

got excited when we brewed it. Of course he<br />

sampled it most days in the brewery for quality<br />

control purposes. He treasured his son Dan<br />

and daughter Georgi and was always telling me<br />

about what they were up to.<br />

I say goodbye to my Amigo but his memory<br />

will live on in every beer I brew at the New<br />

Wharf. On behalf of New Wharf Brewing Co<br />

we would like to send our deepest condolences<br />

to Dan, Georgie and Sarah.<br />

Kevin Black<br />

Head Brewer, New Wharf Brewing Co<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


The Grumpy Goat is Five<br />

All images courtesy of the Grumpy Goat<br />

Tucked away in Reading’s quirky Harris<br />

Arcade you’ll find The Grumpy Goat, a<br />

multi award-winning independent retailer<br />

of bottled beers, artisan cheese and small<br />

batch spirits. This winning combination<br />

has brought Anne-Marie and Charlie Beatty<br />

many successes over the years – most recently<br />

Reading Retail Award’s “Independent<br />

Retailer of the Year <strong>2018</strong>”. They’re just<br />

on the brink of their fifth birthday so we<br />

thought we’d say a few words about their<br />

fantastic little shop which has become a<br />

Reading treasure.<br />

The beer and cheese shop was set up in late<br />

2013 and quickly became a success with<br />

people buying Christmas presents and treats<br />

for themselves. Over the years Anne-Marie<br />

and Charlie have built upon their Grumpy<br />

Goat brand to bring customers tastings, pop<br />

up events, wedding cheese cakes, an annual<br />

Home Brew competition and even their own<br />

craft beer and music festival “Craft Theory”<br />

www.crafttheoryfestival.co.uk which will be<br />

in its third year in 2019.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


When talking to Anne-Marie and Charlie you<br />

can see how passionate they are about their<br />

shop and brand. They seem to have hit on a<br />

niche market but, with that combination in<br />

mind, who doesn’t like beer and cheese when<br />

there are so many combinations to try? They<br />

now stock in the region of 450 different types<br />

of beer from around the world, 50 different<br />

cheeses from the UK and the continent and<br />

around 70 different types of gin, rum, vodka,<br />

whisky and liqueurs.<br />

share a glass with them at the shop on Sunday<br />

9 December (2pm-4pm). The Grumpy Goat<br />

team will be brewing a special beer for the<br />

event with Reading’s newest brewery Double<br />

Barrelled, and there will be canapés from We<br />

Are Friends (a local vegetarian and vegan<br />

pop up). So, head down and raise a glass to<br />

their continued success. See you there!<br />

Phil Gill<br />

Over the years you can see that Anne-Marie<br />

and Charlie have invested more money where<br />

they can to ensure that customers are happy.<br />

For instance the addition of new fridges to<br />

keep the beer cold in summer, and the wide<br />

selection of spirits and liqueurs which is<br />

probably bigger than any other selection in<br />

an independent store in Reading.<br />

They’ve introduced a loyalty card system<br />

this year (to find out more about this take a<br />

look at their website thegrumpygoat.co.uk).<br />

Other ways they’ve developed the shopping<br />

experience include the fact that they’re<br />

happy to take beer recommendations and,<br />

at Christmas, they have a pre-order service<br />

for their cheese so customers can just drop<br />

in and collect their Christmas cheese boards.<br />

Anne-Marie and Charlie pride themselves<br />

on their customer service and say they feel<br />

privileged to employ such fantastic staff<br />

who are also very knowledgeable and keen<br />

to make a good impression on everyone<br />

who steps through the door. When I asked<br />

the pair about their plans for the future they<br />

shared with me a couple of ideas. In the near<br />

future they will be introducing a growler<br />

fill system to enable customers to purchase<br />

fresh beer straight from the taps and they<br />

also have plans to set up a monthly beer box<br />

which you can purchase online.<br />

But the real reason for this article is to mark<br />

their big fifth birthday! To celebrate, Anne-<br />

Marie and Charlie are inviting everyone to<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Offering a wide range of real ale in all styles<br />

Plus World Beers - Cider - Perry<br />


19 - 23 FEBRUARY<br />

Tuesday 19 th Members Preview 17:30 - 22:30<br />

Wednesday 20 th - Saturday 23 rd 12:00 - 22:30<br />

Free Entry For CAMRA Members<br />


winter.gbbf.org.uk/tickets<br />

The Halls, St Andrews Plain, Norwich NR3 1AU<br />

GBBF<strong>Winter</strong> GreatBritishBeerFestival<strong>Winter</strong>

Reading CAMRA<br />

Gala Awards<br />

and dedicated the award to him. There’s a tribute<br />

to Stewart elsewhere in this magazine.<br />

We also paid tribute to a couple of long-serving<br />

licensees, Carole from the Magpie & Parrot,<br />

Shinfield and to Jenny & Vic from the Swan at<br />

Three Mile Cross, all of whom have been inpost<br />

for more than 30 years, a very impressive<br />

achievement in this day and age.<br />

Every year, Reading &<br />

Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

hold an annual “gala<br />

awards” ceremony to<br />

promote and celebrate<br />

the best, the longest and<br />

sometimes the unusual.<br />

Recipients of awards<br />

from local pubs and<br />

breweries are invited<br />

for an evening of fun,<br />

networking… and the<br />

odd pint or three!<br />

This year, we hosted our<br />

event at Park House, at<br />

the University of Reading; a very apt location, as it<br />

had just learnt that it was celebrating its first-ever<br />

entry into the Good Beer Guide!<br />

And to prove we aren’t a bunch of stick-in-the-mud<br />

traditionalists, we marked a couple of pubs which<br />

have been refurbished / extended / remodelled in<br />

an exceptionally impressive way – the Black Boy<br />

in Shinfield and the Shurlock Inn at Shurlock Row.<br />

Also this year we did an award as a one-off<br />

“longest closed pub for no good reason”. Not<br />

really an award as such, but to mark the sad fact<br />

that the Lower Ship on Duke Street was purchased<br />

by Samuel Smith Brewery over 30 years ago but<br />

has never opened. A fine building going to waste<br />

as well as local drinkers being deprived of an<br />

outlet for traditional Yorkshire brews! The photo<br />

for this is on the cover.<br />

A fine evening was had by all, with a number of<br />

people hanging round until closing time (that’s a<br />

Awards were presented for various “of the year”<br />

or “OTY” awards. The Nags Head celebrated yet<br />

another win as overall Reading CAMRA Pub of<br />

the Year, voted for by local CAMRA members and<br />

judged over a variety of different factors, ideally<br />

looking for an excellent quality all-rounder with<br />

top quality beer as the most important aspect, of<br />

course.<br />

Awards from the Reading Beer and Cider Festival<br />

were also presented, for various style winners and<br />

of course Beer of the Festival, as selected by two<br />

rounds of rigorous blind judging. Congratulations<br />

were in order to New Wharf who won with<br />

their Breakfast Stout. The award was especially<br />

poignant as Kevin Black, who collected the award,<br />

revealed that his co-brewer and best friend Stewart<br />

had passed away just a couple of days previously,<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


sign of a good night!). We’d like to extend our<br />

gratitude to Matt and Kathy of the University’s<br />

bar team, who helped host this event and laid on<br />

an excellent spread of food and local beer.<br />

We’ll be having this event again next year, so if<br />

you can think of pubs, publicans or breweries who<br />

deserve a special award, why not contact us and<br />

let us know?<br />

Quinten Taylor<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Binghams Tap Room -<br />

Twyford’s First Micropub<br />

All images courtesy of Sue Thirlaway<br />

Binghams Brewery has opened a pop-up tap<br />

room in the heart of Twyford. The venture,<br />

which unfortunately is temporary as the<br />

unit is only available until Christmas, will<br />

be open every Friday and Saturday until<br />

Christmas from 11am until 10pm.<br />

Tucked away in a corner but easily<br />

identifiable by the striking red signage, it’s<br />

located at Twyford Crossroads, at 2b High<br />

Street, and in the past has been a bridal wear<br />

shop (hence the chandelier!), an antique<br />

shop and, before that, a pub called The Bell.<br />

The brewery team received the keys to the<br />

premises only the day before the tap room<br />

was due to open and worked into the night<br />

to be ready to welcome customers on Friday<br />

2 November. On the opening day there were<br />

four cask beers available to drink on site or<br />

take home:<br />

• Twyford Tipple, a 3.7% tawny bitter<br />

with a citrus hop finish<br />

• Hop Project Summit Melon, 4.5%<br />

with a refreshing, subtle melon hop<br />

character<br />

• Space Hoppy IPA, 5% with citrus hops<br />

• Vanilla Stout, 5%, deservedly<br />

Champion Beer of Britain for 2016<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Expect to find changes on each visit. Bottled<br />

beers from Binghams, and wine and cider are<br />

also on sale.<br />

As the brewery is located just down the<br />

road in Ruscombe, the tap room qualifies<br />

for CAMRA’s LocAle scheme, designed to<br />

promote local breweries and reduce beer<br />

miles. An impromptu presentation of a<br />

Locale sticker was made on the opening day<br />

and it now takes pride of place on the front<br />

door.<br />

There’s no music, sport, TVs or WiFi: this is<br />

somewhere to come for a friendly welcome<br />

and to sit and chat with friends over a beer.<br />

Sue Thirlaway<br />

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Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />



Back in the day, Fuller’s beers were transported<br />

through the city using horse and wagon. The horses<br />

would get thirsty and the drivers would give them a<br />

bottle or two. Soon the horses developed a fondness<br />

<br />

refused to drink water. So, in effect the wagons were<br />

powered by Fuller’s beer. These days we use vans<br />

for those narrow London streets, but no one’s tried<br />

Fuller’s beer in the fuel tanks, yet. Is that possible?<br />

D R I N K AWA R E . C O . U K

127 Route Pub Crawl<br />

There’s a rover ticket that lets you get on and<br />

off the bus as much as you like during the day.<br />

With Sonning, Twyford, Hare Hatch, Knowl<br />

Hill and many other places on the route we<br />

couldn’t cover everywhere. So we decided to<br />

start at Littlewick Green with the Shire Horse,<br />

one of many pubs that lend their names to the<br />

bus stops on the route.<br />

Our group at Binghams Brewery<br />

When you’re a beer drinker and you think of<br />

a day out, where springs to mind? London<br />

perhaps? Bath? Oxford? Maybe even a part of<br />

Reading that you haven’t visited for a while.<br />

Perhaps “the A4” wouldn’t be high on your list.<br />

But think about it for a while – an old coaching<br />

road will have a great selection of pubs and,<br />

while some will have closed in recent years,<br />

there’s still a good number along the road and<br />

in the villages that it bypasses.<br />

But how to get to those pubs without driving?<br />

Luckily Courtney Buses run a route 127 on<br />

Saturdays between Reading and Maidenhead.<br />

So, back in September, a group of us met up on<br />

Friar Street one sunny morning for a pub crawl.<br />

This is a Chef & Brewer pub, a lovely 18 th<br />

century building that used to be one of the<br />

coaching inns, and has been modernised while<br />

still retaining many period features. Like all<br />

in the chain it offers a discount on real ale to<br />

CAMRA members. The menu looked good but<br />

it was a bit early for food so we enjoyed a few<br />

beers from Rebellion Brewery and chatted with<br />

a couple from Maidenhead branch who had<br />

cycled out to meet us.<br />

A quick check on the timetable, then it was<br />

outside to catch the next bus. The same bus<br />

driver that had driven us there in the morning<br />

then realised what we were up to. “Pub lunch,<br />

is it?” “No, a pub crawl.” “Ah, good stuff.” It<br />

was only a five minute journey to our next stop,<br />

Knowl Hill, and we met two other CAMRA<br />

members on board who were joining us for the<br />

rest of the crawl.<br />

The Royal Oak in Knowl Hill was our next<br />

choice and, although the pub sign is prominent<br />

on the A4, if you’re driving past at speed you<br />

could easily miss the pub itself – it’s actually<br />

a short walk up the road called Knowl Hill<br />

Common. It’s a free house that’s popular with<br />

locals and welcoming to visitors, and offers<br />

two regular beers plus a guest. Most of us went<br />

for the guest mild but unfortunately it died as<br />

soon as it was poured. After a few minutes<br />

the replacement guest from the local Stardust<br />

Brewery of White Waltham came on, and was<br />

in much better condition. This was our planned<br />

food stop and we all enjoyed the generous<br />

portions of home-cooked lunches.<br />

The Shire Horse, Littlewick Green<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


The Royal Oak, Knowl Hill<br />

After that we split up to cover the two other<br />

remaining pubs in the village. Both are largely<br />

food-based but both are also happy for people<br />

to come in just for a drink. Those who visited<br />

the New Inn reported an unexceptional pint of<br />

Rebellion IPA while, further down the road,<br />

the Bird in Hand offered a range of Wadworth<br />

beers.<br />

The Bird in Hand, Knowl Hill<br />

Back on the bus, then, for another short hop to<br />

Ruscombe. Here we split up again, some having<br />

a quick drink in the Royal Oak (Buratta’s) – the<br />

bus arrived about 15 minutes before afternoon<br />

closing time! – while others went straight to<br />

Binghams Brewery. We’d phoned ahead and<br />

found there were a few spaces on the brewery<br />

tour that afternoon so we settled in.<br />

New Inn, Knowl Hill<br />

When the Bird in Hand was a family-owned<br />

free house it offered a wide selection of real<br />

ales from microbreweries and was a proper<br />

destination venue, being regularly in contention<br />

for our branch Pub of the Year award. Since<br />

being taken over by Wadworth a couple of<br />

years ago it’s been refurbished and seen major<br />

investment, but the beer range is now restricted<br />

to the owners’ products and there seems less<br />

of a reason to make a special journey to go<br />

there. The first beer we chose was off but it<br />

was replaced with a much better example and –<br />

after a brief bit of miscommunication between<br />

the bar staff – the first one appeared to be taken<br />

off sale.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

26<br />

The Royal Oak, Ruscombe<br />

Chris Bingham was hosting the tour that day<br />

and he gave an entertaining talk about how<br />

he got into brewing as a student, the long and<br />

involved process of setting up his own brewery,<br />

the brewing process and the ingredients used in<br />

the recipes, alongside tasting several glasses of<br />

the beers. Stout, the brewery dog, even made an<br />

appearance at the end and of course received<br />

plenty of fuss. Beers from Binghams and their<br />

new craft label Ricochet (unfined, unfiltered<br />

and suitable for vegans) were available for<br />

purchase and the shop was doing a steady<br />

trade from locals while we were there. Look at<br />

binghams.co.uk for tour details and to book<br />


The brewery was the end of our organised pub<br />

crawl as the buses only run in the daytime, but<br />

some of the group walked on into Twyford and<br />

had some very good quality beer at the Golden<br />

Cross before getting the train back to Reading.<br />

Others headed back to the Royal Oak once it<br />

reopened for the evening and had an excellent<br />

meal. It was a fine day out.<br />

If you’ve been inspired to check out the A4,<br />

visit courtneybuses.com for details of the 127<br />

timetable and fares. Also, looking in the other<br />

direction, the Reading Buses (reading-buses.<br />

co.uk) Jet Black route no. 1 takes you west<br />

along the A4 from Reading to Newbury and is<br />

also a great way to visit a wide range of pubs.<br />

Both the pubs and the buses will be grateful<br />

for your custom and the two complement each<br />

other perfectly, so get planning your day out!<br />

Phil Gill<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</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<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


A Pub is for Life<br />

A pub is for life … not just for<br />

Christmas!<br />

Christmas is the time of year where people like<br />

to socialise more with friends, family and some<br />

are even forced to socialise with colleagues! The<br />

pubs are bursting at the seams with “Seasonal<br />

Drinkers”. Seasoned drinkers lose their favourite<br />

spot at the bar as their chairs are moved to<br />

accommodate the swathes of new customers.<br />

Regulars get annoyed as their local is taken over<br />

by the new celebrating clientele. Publicans are<br />

rubbing their hands, counting the money ringing<br />

into their tills.<br />

But, with the final bars of Auld Lang Syne still<br />

echoing in our ears, when the New Year bells<br />

have fallen silent, so do the tills. The chairs are<br />

moved back in front of the bar and usual service<br />

resumes. What happened to the Christmas<br />

drinkers, people ask? All licensees can do is<br />

shrug their shoulders and hope their December<br />

windfall can last them through the new year.<br />

According to official figures, every week 18<br />

pubs close their doors forever. The high cost of<br />

drinking is usually cited as a reason for people to<br />

drink at home. While CAMRA still continues to<br />

campaign on behalf of pubs and breweries these<br />

said tax rises add extra pressure on the industry.<br />

Pubs are struggling under a triple whammy of<br />

high beer duty, rapidly rising business rates and<br />

VAT. As a result, a third of the cost of a pint is<br />

now made up of various taxes.<br />

So what’s your New Year’s resolution? I’ll let<br />

you into a secret and tell you what mine is. I’m<br />

going to make sure I visit at least one new pub a<br />

month. Why don’t you do the same? I promise<br />

you, it’ll be loads of fun!<br />

Sarah Crawford<br />

(adapted from an article originally written for<br />

Scottish CAMRA magazines)<br />





Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


The ultimate<br />

Christmas Gift<br />

for the beer<br />

lover in your life<br />

Give your beer or pub lover a whole year’s<br />

worth of enjoyment ent with CAMRA membership<br />

£27 *<br />

Single Gift<br />

Membership<br />

A full year’s<br />

membership<br />

subscription<br />

£38 *<br />

£38 *<br />

*Joint and under 26 prices are also available.<br />

Gift Membership + T-Shirt<br />

available in bitter, mild,<br />

sour or stout<br />

Gift Membership<br />

+ Good Beer<br />

Guide 2019<br />

Visit www.camra.org.uk/gift-memberships<br />

for fantastic Christmas gift ideas<br />

Please visit www.camra.org.uk/membership-rates for more information

Merry Christmas and<br />

Happy New Beer!<br />

Order your Gift Membership online<br />

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

Alternatively you can send this form to:<br />

CAMRA, 230 Hatfield Road,<br />

St Albans, Herts, AL1 4LW<br />

Please complete the following details<br />

and tick the membership you would like<br />

to buy for a friend or family member.<br />

Your Details (please print all information)<br />

Name<br />

Address<br />

Town<br />

Post Code<br />

Mobile Number<br />

Email<br />

Are you a CAMRA member (please tick as appropriate)?<br />

Yes No<br />

If Yes, please state your CAMRA membership number:<br />

Payment<br />

There are two ways you can pay for your gift:<br />

• Cheque - please make payable to CAMRA Ltd<br />

• Complete the following to pay by credit/debit card<br />

Name as it appears on the card<br />

Address (if different to above)<br />

Total Cost £<br />

Please charge my (delete as appropriate)<br />

Mastercard/Visa**<br />

Card<br />

Number:<br />

Start Date:<br />

Expiry Date:<br />

Signature<br />

Details of the person you are buying<br />

the gift for (please print all information)<br />

Name<br />

Address<br />

Town<br />

Post Code<br />

Mobile Number<br />

Email<br />

Date of birth (DD-MM-YYYY)<br />

Please confirm which address you would like the<br />

gift to be sent to:<br />

My address Address of the person you<br />

are buying the gift for<br />

Gift Memberships (please tick the appropriate box)<br />

Gift Membership £27***<br />

Gift Membership with Good Beer Guide £38***<br />

Gift Membership with T-Shirt £38***<br />

Choose brew: bitter / mild / sour / stout<br />

Choose size: S / M / L / XL / XXL<br />

Visit www.camra.org.uk/gift-memberships<br />

for your perfect Christmas gifts<br />

Find out more about membership at www.camra.org.uk/benefits<br />

**We don't store personal details so our Membership Team will<br />

contact you for your 3 digit security code.<br />

***All gifts listed on this page are valid until 31st December <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Please note all Gift Membership orders need to be received on<br />

or before Monday 17th December for dispatch before Christmas<br />

<strong>2018</strong>. Gift Memberships are only available for residents of the<br />

UK & Channel Islands. All membership prices are based upon<br />

standard full single membership rates. Offer only open to new<br />

members and not renewals. Only one book or t-shirt included in<br />

a Joint Membership Christmas Gift. Only one membership can<br />

be ordered per form.<br />

Postage and packing (p&p) included for all Gift Membership<br />

Gifts. All other shop items include p&p.


MENUE<br />


WED 14 NOV – MON 24 DEC<br />


104–108 KINGS ROAD<br />



TEL: 0118 959 5906<br />





TEL: 0118 948 1078<br />


99–105 FRIAR STREET<br />



TEL: 0118 958 2266<br />


Featuring ales such as<br />


3.7% ABV pint<br />

FROM £1.99<br />


Various ABVs pint<br />

FROM £2.59<br />


5.0% ABV pint<br />

FROM £2.69<br />

Available on<br />

iOS and Android<br />

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Subject to local licensing restrictions and availability at participating free houses. Photography is for guidance only. J D Wetherspoon plc reserves the right<br />

to withdraw/change offers (without notice), at any time. See main menu for additional details of our terms and conditions.

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