Wolverhampton CAMRA Beerwolf Winter 2018 / 19


The Winter 2018 / 19 edtion of the Wolverhampton branch of Campaign for Real Ale's award winning magazine, Beerwolf.


Issue 35 | Winter 2018

The Year Turns


Off the Chair

A catch up with the Branch



A look at local and

national pub & beer news

Brewery Update

A look at what’s going on at

local breweries

Pub Update

All the latest news on our

branch pubs

What’s On

Forthcoming events


A conversation with the

landlords of The Gunmakers

The Hungry Drinker’s

Snack Guide part 1

Event Recap

Social Side looks at recent

branch social events

Black Country Pubs Tour

Pics from our branch social

Cider City

Where can you get it?











Hello, welcome to Beerwolf #35.

Hello dark nights, hello dark beer. This

time of the year we have the opportunity

to seek out the best stouts. porters

and milds as brewers turn their hand to

producing rich dark beers to suit a

changing palate as the year turns. Constant

change is of course, part of life

and I hope you’ll be joining me and

Wolverhampton CAMRA members in getting out and

sampling some of the delicious elixirs that local brewers

in particular are cooking up.

This edition, we’re continuing our knowledge section,

this time looking at malt - the backbone of beer.

While hops could be compared to the celebrity in the

public eye, malt works away in the background, the

base from which a beer is built. Rob Taylor visited The

Gunmakers at Bradmore for a chat with long serving

landlords, Kevin & Debbie Benton, and we’ve included

a new feature, The Hungry Drinker’s Wolverhampton

Area Snack Guide.

We’ll also be bringing you all the local pub and brewery

news and a look at cider in our branch area.

Enjoy the magazine and have a great winter season.


Neil Hodgkiss

Email - beerwolf@wolverhampton.camra.org.uk


Up to date LocAle pubs list


Let’s get malty - what is





Beerwolf is published by the

Wolverhampton branch of the

Campaign for Real Ale Ltd.

(CAMRA). The views or opinions

expressed are not necessarily

those of CAMRA or the editor.


Want to access Wolverhampton CAMRA news

and information digitally? Follow us on social


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BEERWOLF | Winter 2018




Cover image - A wintery Codsall (March 2018)

Royalty free snowflakes with thanks to www.kisspng.com

Off the Chair

A word from the branch chairman

The shock closure and boarding-up of the Newhampton Inn,

much loved by its regulars, shows that no pub is safe. Over the

years the New H has been a venue for many Wolverhampton

CAMRA branch meetings and socials and was a pick-up point

for our coach trips. The locals have started a petition to get the

pub reopened, we hope they are successful and that EI Group

find someone to run it soon.

We presented our 2018 Beer of the Festival award to the brewer, Simon Yates

of Banks’s Brewery. We were lucky enough to get one of the two casks brewed

of the 4.7% ABV Guavageddon for the Wolverhampton CAMRA Beer and Cider

Festival in June. This very interesting hoppy beer was deservedly voted beer of

the festival by the festival goers. Banks’s/Marston’s have always supported our

festival and it’s our pleasure to give them this award for the first time in the 43

years of the festival. We will shortly be starting the meetings to organise the

44 th festival which will be held on the 6 th -8 th June 2019. If you would like to get

involved in organising or working at the festival, please come along to one of

our meetings.

Branch Chairman

Andy Parton

Email - chairman@wolverhampton.camra.org.uk

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Local and national pub & beer news


Welcome to the city

New pubs opening in Wolverhampton this

past couple of months include The Starting

Gate in Pennfields, a micropub boasting

a selection of cask ale, gin, whiskey,

rum and lager from ABK and the long

awaited opening of The Parisian on

Queen Square / Exchange Street in the

building that was previously Slater’s. Also,

the former Numa Bar on North St / Blossoms

Fold has undergone renovation and is

opening in December as Blossoms - a

cocktail and food venue. We wish all venues

every success and encourage local

CAMRA members to give them a try.

Branch AGM complete

The Wolverhampton CAMRA branch AGM

took place in November at the ECC Club on

Showell Road. Election of officers took

place, without too many changes. Mick

Young stepped down as Good Beer Guide

entries Co-ordinator; he has been replaced

by Amanda Hignett. We welcome Christopher

Evans as he takes over from Karen

Williams as the Young Persons’ Coordinator.

Thank you to Mick and Karen for

all your hard work. Following the AGM, the

branch was treated to a Q&A session with

Newbridge Brewery brewer, James McCann.

Festival fun

If you’re a beer drinker, you’ll have had

difficulty avoiding one of the many beer

festivals in the city and beyond during the

last few months. Codsall Beer Festival

was a success as always in early October,

followed by festivals at the Lych Gate

Tavern and Cafe Metro between 25 - 28

October, the ECC Club which members

were lucky enough to try during the branch

AGM, and then the popular annual Great

War themed event at the Great Western

on Remembrance Weekend. If you were

thirsty for more, there was The Firs Club

Codsall’s Winter Ales Festival. We’d love to

hear about your experience of local beer

festivals - email us:


Slug & Lettuce arrives

Yates has been on the Wolverhampton

bar scene since the 90s - there aren’t

many chain venues that have lasted in

the city for that long, but it is no more

following closure in November, due to

reopen in December as Slug & Lettuce

Wolverhampton. Whether the bar will

have an increased real ale selection remains

to be seen, but CAMRA members

are looking forward to this latest change

to another city centre venue.

GBBF Winter is coming

The Great British Beer Festival

Winter will for the third and

final time be held in Norwich in

2019 - mark the dates in your

diary, 19 - 23 February 2019 at

The Halls in Norwich. Expect

lots of beer, cider and perry

and look out for fringe events

around the city.


Mass Lobby Day

CAMRA’s Mass Lobby Day took

place in November with the

day declared a “huge success”

by national chairman Jackie

Parker for giving members the

opportunity to speak to their

MPs about tackling the causes

of pub closures and to look

forward towards reform to

ensure that pubs remain at the

heart of communities.

AGM heads to Dundee

CAMRA’s 2019 Members’ Weekend

and AGM heads north of the

border to Caird Hall in Dundee,

Scotland, between 5 - 7 April.

For all information and guidance

on venue, travel and

accommodation, visit:


BEERWOLF | Winter 2018


Cooler cask ale?

...local & national news continued

Marston’s estate expands

The 2018 / 2019 Cask

Report, launched in late

September during Cask

Ale Week, has unearthed research into

cask ale’s popularity, demographic and

future. Despite people loving the idea

of real ale, pubs are still closing at a

rate of 18 a week and sales of cask ale

are declining. The reasons for declining

sales are numerous, but a lack of interest

from younger drinkers is up

there—the report has discovered that

two thirds of 18 - 24 year olds have

never tried a cask ale. Another reason

could be that two thirds of pubs are

selling cask ale at 13ºC or above during

the summer - despite recommendatrions

that real ale should be served

at a cool 11 - 13 degrees. For this reason,

Cask Marque are to launch a Making

Cask Cool campaign, to increase

beer temperature awareness amongst

licensees and bar staff. Cask Report

research has highlighted that the majority

of cask ale drinkers prefer their

real ale at cooler temperatures.

Marston’s is continuing its expansion

and has opened 14 pub restaurants /

bars and 7 lodges in the past year,

with a further 10 pub restaurants and

5 lodges due in the new year. Additionally,

Marston’s has reached an

agreement with Aprirose, a property

investment company, to acquire 15

former Mitchell’s & Butlers’ pubs which

it lists as being well located community


Save the Newhampton

Locals and regulars alike are banding

together to save the Newhampton Inn

on Riches Street, Whitmore Reans. The

closure of this Good Beer Guide regular

came as a shock to everyone and

pub users are starting a petition to

ensure that the much loved pub and

live music venue reopens.

The full report can be found online at:


Plan to save the pub

CAMRA launched a three point plan to

save the Great British pub at the Mass

Lobby Day in London in November, with

MPs encouraged to commit to:

1. Introducing a preferential rate of duty

for draught beer.

2. Reforming the business rates system to

address the unfair burden on pubs.

3. Conducting an urgent review of the

Pubs Code so that the Market Rent Only

option becomes a genuine choice for


For more information, to get involved

or simply to air your concerns, please

contact the Wolverhampton branch

pub protection officer, Mark Hewitt at:


BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

The Brewery at The Firs

Brewery update

Keep an eye out for beers from The Brewery At The Firs appearing

at The Firs Club in Codsall - most recently was Hopstar pale ale

(5.9% ABV) and Brown Porter (5.9% ABV) at the Winter Ales

Festival at the club, both going

down well. The Brewery has also

standardised its pump clip designs


The Firs Brewery can be found on

Instagram @thefirsbrewery

Marston’s Brewery / Banks’s

Keep an eye out for Banks’s guest ales, Blazin’ Fury, Brave

Old World and Park Life in addition to their core range.

Marston’s Year End Trading Update

in October has revealed that Marston’s

Beer Company has achieved

strong growth this year, in part

thanks to the acquisition of Charles

Wells brewery, good summer

weather and the World Cup. Marston’s

now distributes to one in four of the UK’s

46,000 pubs.

Wolverhampton CAMRA visited the brewery to

present the Beer of the Festival 2018 award for

Guavageddon on 16 November, followed by a brewery tour where a

new 6% ABV beer was previewed.

Keep up to date online at www.facebook.com/bankssbeer

Hurst View Cider

Hurst View’s Ginger & Chilli sold well at

Codsall Beer Festival in October, alongside

Cyser, an Apple Mead.

Hurst View cider has been sold recently at The

Coracle Micropub in Ironbridge and the Platform

Alehouse, Albrighton as well as its regular

appearances at Hail to the Ale in Claregate,

where Pyder was available in November and

The Harrows, Coven. Hurst View can also be found on the third

Saturday of every month at Penkridge Fine Food & Craft Market.

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Newbridge Brewery

Brewer James McCann held a talk at the

Wolverhampton CAMRA branch AGM at the

ECC club in November, explaining how he got

into brewing and his troubles attempting to

establish a Newbridge brewery micropub.

James has brewed a new 4% ABV pale ale,

Searchlight, that was seen recently at Hogshead

in Wolverhampton centre and intends to

expand his range of ales as demand grows.

Morton Brewery

A lucky few calling in at the Hail to the Ale

will have had the chance to try Pendeford

Port Stout, now brewed under the Ales of

Essington banner in what is one of Morton’s

rarest brews. Ginger Glory has

made a recent reappearance as has


Gary and Angela report a constant demand for Irish

George following a recent petition from locals at the Hail -

the beer is now brewed on a more regular basis. Gary has

also brewed his third (and final?) music beer, Into The

Shadows for the band of the same name.

Punchline Brewery

Punchline beers are now available to buy from Tony’s Delicatessen

in Queen Square, Wolverhampton and the brewery

recently opened the doors on 17th November for their November

taproom event.

Punchline appeared at October’s Codsall Beer Festival,

with Loch Jaws, One’s A Little Otter and Why The

Long Face selling well. There has been good feedback on

the two Baboooom barrel aged specials, Baboooom Port

and Baboooom Whisky. Beers are now available at Lime

Tree Cafe in Tettenhall.

The next taproom day is 15 December from 1pm.

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Pub update

Our updated section on branch area pubs. We’ve seen pubs open and close, often

mirroring the national picture. If you have any news about your local pub, please

contact Mark Hewitt, pub preservation officer, or the editor (contact details on

page 31).

City Centre

The Parisian, Queen Square

Is open - a lot of

effort has gone into

getting the look and

feel just right.

There’s no cask ale,

but there is an extensive


menu, food and La

Trappe Blond from

Bierbrouwerij De

Koningshoeven on

tap alongside a few

bottled beers.

The Bohemian, Lichfield Street

The Bohemian has established itself as

one of Wolverhampton’s busiest nightspots,

regularly filling up on a weekend.

There are several ciders and a

wide ranging selection of bottled and

canned beer. Recently, Tiny Rebel and

Salopian keykeg beers have been


Lych Gate Tavern, Lich Gates

Has held a successful Armistice Beer

Festival in late October, with Great

War themed

beers, some of

which being

rare from the

likes of Cellar

Brewery and an

excellent Belgian


Menin Gate, from Brampton Brewery.


Blossoms, North Street

A little change from previous reports,

what was to be the Brass Giraffe is

now Blossoms (named after Blossoms

Fold which it sits on the corner of). At

the time of publication, Blossoms

should be open for business. Billed as

‘Liquor and Grind’, expect good food,

cocktails and a selection of beers.



Hogshead, Stafford Street

Has had a recent refurbishment which

saw a bar extension to cater for larger

crowds and allow quicker service and

had a fresh flooring laid. A Siren Craft

Brew tap takeover was very popular at

the end of November.

West Wolverhampton

The Chindit, Merridale

Good cask beer and live music from

country band Trouble & Strife on 1st

December alongside weekly open mic

on a Sunday and ukulele on a Monday

night at The Chindit.

Starting Gate, Pennfields

Now open and stocking a good range

of cask ales

alongside spirits

and lager.

Good use of

space has

been made in

this former

bank on

Birches Barn


BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Pub update

North Wolverhampton

Keg & Comfort Micropub,

Stafford Road, Three Tuns

Has an increased snack menu and is

holding regular open mic and acoustic

evenings. You’ll also find some great

artwork at the K&C to look at whilst

you enjoy your beer.


South Staffordshire

The Firs Club, Codsall

November’s Winter Ales Festival was a

success, with a good selection of ale

from varied breweries including Bewdley

Brewery, Boss Brewing and Welbeck

Abbey alongside two beers with

zero beer miles from The Brewery at

The Firs - brewed through the door

behind the festival bar!

South & East


Great Western, Corn Hill

Recently held its

popular World

War Rememberance

themed beer

festival with monies

raised going to

the Poppy Appeal.

Regular beers appearing

at the pub

include those

from Neepsend,

Bristol Beer Factory and Batham’s


The Fox at Shipley,

South Staffs

The Fox at Shipley was one of three

pubs selling a 5%

IPA, “The Pack is

Back”, a special

charity beer from

Three Tuns Brewery.

All proceeds from

this beer went to

Birmingham Children’s


BEERWOLF | Winter 2018


What’s On

Branch Events

8 Dec Branch Christmas Trip - a visit to Shrewsbury by train. Meet at 10am at Wolverhampton

Railway Station.

12 Dec Branch Christmas Quiz - the annual Christmas quiz at Hail to the Ale, Claregate.

Arrive at 7:30pm for a prompt 8pm start.

5 Jan 2019 Jewellery Quarter visit, with calls in at Burning Soul and Rock & Roll Brewery

along with various bars and pubs. Meet at Wolverhampton St George’s Metro Station

at midday.

6 - 8 June 2019 44th Wolverhampton Beer & Cider Festival at the Newhampton Arts

Centre, Dunkley Street, WV1 4AN is booked for this date (subject to change).

Branch Meetings

Are you a CAMRA member? Why not attend a branch meeting? You’ll be made welcome

and there is no obligation to get involved - but it is the first place for all the latest pub,

club, ale, cider and perry news! We vary location, forthcoming meetings are as follows:

6 Dec @ 8pm - The Vine Inn, Wednesfield

3 Jan @ 8pm - The Ashmore, Wednesfield (TBC)

7 Feb @ 8pm - The Claregate, Codsall Rd (TBC)

Note - venues subject to change, see branch social media or contact us - page 30.

Other Events

5 - 7 April 2019 - CAMRA Members’ Weekend

and AGM, Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1


Get yourself booked up for 2019 and get all information

at agm.camra.org.uk

15 - 16 March 2019 - Coventry Beer Festival

Coventry Rugby Football Ground, Butts Park Arena, Butts Road, CV1 3GE

Open Friday and Saturday noon - 11pm with 75+ beers, ciders, perries and country


The Royal Oak

Compton Road



01902 422845


Well kept cask ales

Bar snacks

Heated patio area

Weekly live music

BEERWOLF | Autumn 2018


Local Legends

When the Wolverhampton branch of CAMRA heard that Kevin and Debbie Benton had

been in charge of the Gunmakers Arms, Bradmore for over 21 years we thought it

would be interesting to talk to them about their impressive tenure at the Marston’s pub.

It was then discovered that Kevin Benton had worked at the pub as a barman before that

and in all has been serving pints there for an incredible 33 years! Wolverhampton

CAMRA’s Rob Taylor popped in to try to discover the secret of Kevin and Debbie’s



Rob Taylor (RT): When and how did you first get involved with the Gunmakers?

Kevin Benton (KB): I was between jobs in February 1985, I popped into the

Gunmakers for a quick drink and after a chat with the bloke behind the bar, he offered

me a job.

Debbie Benton (DB): We first met when I was working at the Roebuck (Penn Road)

as a barmaid and I had gone to the Gunmakers to see a friend who worked there.

When we later got married the licensees at the Roebuck and Gunmakers were like

proud parents.

RT: How did you become licensees of the Gunmakers?

KB & DB: We had shown an interest in having

our own pub and so Banks’s sent us on a manager

training course, we had been asked to pack

ready to move into a pub at the end of it, but

they wouldn’t tell us which one. When we returned

from the training course we were told that

they wanted us to manage the Gunmakers Arms.

It was all a big surprise. Banks’s originally told us

it would be for a maximum of 5 years . . .

that was in December 1996!

RT: How is it that you managed to stay here

beyond the planned 5 years?

KB & DB: After 2 years we started a family, we had history with the pub and liked the

people also we were local ourselves so we thought it was a good place to raise a family

rather than an unknown pub somewhere that may be far away from our families. Our

son and daughter both work at the pub now.

RT: Having been at the Gunmakers for such a long time you must have some good

stories, are there any that you would like to share with us?

KB: Many years ago a group of regulars started bringing unusual foods into the pub

and daring each other to eat them, but it got out of hand when one of them brought a

box of live crickets in. I said no way were they opening the box in the pub. Then we

heard that they had taken the crickets to another pub where lots of the insects had

escaped. The other pub had to be closed and fumigated as you could hear the insects

chirping everywhere.

RT: What have been the biggest changes to the pub industry during your time here

and what impact have they had on your business?

KB: The smoking ban initially had a big impact on us, especially in the colder months

when people would rather drink at home and have a smoke than stand out in the cold,

also the number of people who didn’t like the smokey atmosphere that started to come

to the pub was less than the number of smoking regulars we were losing.

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Another big change for us was the brewery deciding to convert us from metred

beer dispense and over sized lined pint glasses to free flow hand pulls and standard

sized pint glasses. Many of our regulars weren’t happy with this and they started

drinking at a club nearby which was still using the over sized glasses.

RT: What are the biggest difficulties with running a pub currently?

KB & DB: We struggle to compete with

other licensed premises that can chose

to sell a wider variety, as a managed

pub we have to buy our stock from the

brewery that we are tied to, so we are

more restricted on what we can offer

the customer. We have recently had to

throw beer away that has not sold and

therefore has gone past its best, this is

because of a reduction in turnover due

to the increase in local competition. We

refuse to sell beer past its best as our quality is important to us and our business.

RT: What advice would you give to an aspiring licensee?

DB: Don’t do it! But seriously it is a big commitment, it isn’t like a 9 to 5 job, it’s

more a way of life than simply a job. As a managed pub we are salaried by the

brewery and they also pay our staff but they give us a budget to spend on running

the business which can be a balancing act.

RT: A lot of pubs are closing for good across Britain, is there anything in particular

that CAMRA can do to help pubs in your opinion?

KB & DB: More and more people are drinking at home who in the past would have

been going to the pub, the supermarkets are able to sell alcohol a lot cheaper than

pubs as they treat it as a loss leader to attract shoppers in who also buy other

products that they make money on. It would help pubs if there was a more level

playing field and we could offer a competitive price for drinks. A combination of

minimum pricing in the supermarkets and less tax on the beer in pubs would help.

RT: The Gunmakers is CAMRA LocAle accredited (see page 26). How do you ensure

the consistent quality of your ale?

KB: First of all we order the casks a week in advance of when we intend to serve

them, this ensures that the ale has conditioned properly in our cellar, sometimes

ale comes from the breweries and it isn’t quite ready to be served straight away. If

a cask is moved in the cellar then it is left to settle for at least 24 hours before it is

served. I sample the ales to make sure they taste as they should and we keep

track of how long the casks have been on as ale should be drank within 4 to 5 days

of being tapped. Also we listen to our customers feedback.

RT: What is your favourite ale and what is your best-selling/most popular ale?

KB: I like Banks’s Amber Bitter myself and it is our best-selling ale. We alternate

Banks’s Sunbeam and Wainwright as guest beers which also sell very well. We are

one of the few pubs that still sell Banks’s Mild and we have many dedicated mild

drinkers. (RT: the Mild was in very good condition on my visit).

RT: What do you like to do when you aren’t working in the pub?

DB: On the rare occasions that we get some significant time off, I enjoy a trip to

the theatre and Kevin likes to go fishing.

KB: We do like to visit other pubs together and relax with a drink, a favourite of

ours is the Swan at Compton.

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018 15













8 11


1 a,b,c - ECC Club, branch AGM (Nov ‘18)

2 a, b - Firs Club, Codsall (Nov ‘18)

3 - Union flag at The Wheatsheaf (Nov ‘18)

4 - Lych Gate Tavern beer festival (Oct ‘18)

5 - Great Western beer festival (Nov ‘18)

6 - Hooded Ram (Nov ‘18)

7 - Giffard Arms in the snow (early 2018)

8 - The Starting Gate micropub (Nov ‘18)

9 - Holden’s Codsall Station pub (Nov ‘18)

10 - The Bohemian (Nov ‘18)

11 - Combermere Arms (early 2018)

12 - The Parisian (Nov ‘18)





Branch member, Keeli-Mari Hodgkiss, looks at the snacks available in

our branch area pubs in the first part of a new feature.

Holden’s Codsall Station

The Station has a top selection of snacks available.

A longtime favourite at the pub, pork pies - lovely

crumbly pastry with a succulent meaty interior. If

you're anything like myself, pork pie must come with

English mustard, and you can have this in abundance

along with a serving of Branston Pickle.

The Station has a variety of cobs available on a daily

basis for a satisfying lunch. Tyrells crisps (sweet chilli

flavour wow!) and Walker’s crisps add a crunch alongside

your beverage of choice. Mini Cheddars - plain

and crinkly, are there if you want to stray away from

the norm of crisps.

And speaking of choice, they also have pork crunch,

scratchings, pretzels and peanuts (my personal favourite!)

to choose from. Also of course, Maltesers!

Hail to the Ale, Claregate

The Hail offers cheese and black pudding and cheese and red onion crusty

cobs. As if normal scratchings weren't delicious enough, they also have sweet

chilli, curry, bbq and fiery chilli. Heaven! That’s not to mention speciality

scratchings without salt or additives for our four legged friends.

Schnyders pretzel pieces are available too, you can choose

from the very mild honey mustard or mouth warming


Gourmet sausage rolls and pork pies such as ploughman's

and game are just some of the varieties on the menu. There

are also scotch eggs with many filling twists

on the original - and of course the famous

‘chicken in a basket’ - it’s not what you think

it is - try pickled egg in a packet of crisps..

There are some tasty pickled onions too.

A wide range of speciality cheeses can be paired with the crackers

and chutneys provided.

Dips, guest crisps and a rotation of Pickled Onion, Roast Beef

and Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch (because we know they're for adults really!)

are there for the taking alongside Walkers Ready crisps.

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Lych Gate Tavern, City Centre

Along with a friendly, cosy atmosphere, the Lych

Gate provides a choice of freshly made cobs every


Their sausage rolls, scotch eggs and pork pies are

always on hand if you want something a bit more


If you are attending a beer festival or a tap takeover,

you will often find a selection of Polish sausage

on the bar for those who want to try.

The popular brand, Pipers Crisps are the crisp of the

day along with Schnyders pretzel pieces. There are also

scratchings and assorted nuts available. Keep a look out

for the Lych’s cider and cheese festivals - the cheese is

always delicious.

You can also bring your own food and they will provide

the cutlery to eat. If this isn't hospitality at its finest in Wolverhampton, then

I don't know what is.

Keg & Comfort, Three Tuns

I've had a few trips to this cosy establishment, and their sandwiches are definitely

competing with door slabs (we're talking real thick bread here - ideal for

mopping up a few choice beverages)!

Assorted flavoured scratchings and Walkers crisps, including

many flavours of snack size Pringles (try the Hot

& Spicy) and everybodies favourite - Quavers! Look out

for some delicious pork pies and sausage rolls too.

For the many of you with a sweet tooth, the Keg does a

mouth watering, tooth tingling range of muffins from

Food Connections.

All are a wonderful compliment to

the diverse range of ales, real ciders

and fruit wines in store.


BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Event recap

No winter blues here..

What a busy summer we have had. The

branch has done a quiz against Bridgnorth

and Telford CAMRA, had a beer festival

thank you trip to Derby. A mini bus crawl

of South Staffs pubs, a vinyl night, a trip

to Shrewsbury beer festival, a visit to

Fixed Wheels August bank holiday festival,

joined in with the National cider trip to

Worcester and had a very successful pub

crawl round the Black Country pubs.

We will be hosting the Cheese and Jazz

night at the Trumpet, Bilston on Wed 21 st

November, 8.00pm Do come along, everyone

is welcome. Just bring a piece of

cheese, everything else is provided.

Friday 30 th November sees the branch

visit to Dudley Winter Ales Festival

(DWAF). Meet in The Posada at 7.00pm or

just turn up to the festival.

It is the branch Christmas trip on Saturday

8 th December We will be going to

Shrewsbury by train. Again all are welcome.

Meeting at 10.00am at Wolverhampton

train station.

Wednesday 12 th December is the annual

Christmas quiz at Hail to the Ale . Come

along for 7.30pm with prompt 8.00pm


Branch Christmas social this year is at The

Great Western, Corn Hill / Sun Street.

Starts at 6.00pm Please bring a plate of

food . All welcome to come along .

First outing of the year will be Saturday

5 th January. Meet at metro station at midday

to go to The Jewellery Quarter, visiting

Burning Soul and Rock and Roll breweries

as well as Jewellery quarter pubs.

As social secretary I am always looking for

new ideas and places to go so if you have

any suggestions please get in touch with

me. social@wolverhampton.camra.org.uk

Hope you have a great social winter





8 Dec Branch Christmas Trip - a visit to

Shrewsbury by train. Meet at 10am at Wolverhampton

Railway Station.

12 Dec Branch Christmas Quiz - the annual

Christmas quiz at Hail to the Ale, Claregate.

Arrive at 7:30pm for a prompt 8pm start.

27 Dec Branch Christmas Social - 6pm at

the Great Western - all members welcome,

please bring a plate of food to add to the


29 Dec West Midlands CAMRA Regional

Awards Extravaganza at The Bartons Arms,

Birmingham, B6 4UP.

5 Jan 2019 Jewellery Quarter visit, with

calls in at Burning Soul and Rock & Roll

Brewery along with various bars and pubs.

Meet at Wolverhampton St George’s Metro

Station at midday.

6 - 8 June 2019 44th Wolverhampton

Beer & Cider Festival at the Newhampton

Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, WV1 4AN is

booked for this date (subject to change).

Contact the below email for more



BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Catch the Nº.3

or Nº.4 bus from

the city centre

Have a smartphone, tablet or computer? Find us on the net. You can keep up to date with all

branch meetings, socials and other events,

as well as news & pictures.

Take a look at the below:










BEERWOLF | Winter 2018


Sometimes, you haven't got to travel too far to find great pubs.

Branch members visited pubs in Gornal, Tividale, Rowley Regis, Causeway Green,

Blackheath and Netherton during an October social.




1. Tivi-Ale

2. Old Dispensary

3. Britt Pub & Brewery

4. Fixed Wheel




5. Shell-ter


6. The Swan

7. Plough &


8. The


7 8


BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Our handcrafted ciders and

perry are supplied in boxes,

kegs & bottles.

Cider City

If you’re looking for cider or perry in our branch area, you don’t need

to look far. Wolverhampton and the area of South Staffordshire we

cover is blessed with a large amount of landlords stocking both, with

an impressive selection travelling from the south of the country.

On a local level, we have a couple of

cider producers within branch. The most

well known, Hurst View, is based at

Wheaton Aston, South Staffordshire.

We also have a small producer within

the city, Oxley Orchards. Cider from

Oxley Orchards has been available recently

at Keg & Comfort and previously

at Hail to the Ale and Slater’s.

Hurst View can be found at Hail to the Ale, Keg

& Comfort and The Harrows on a regular basis.

It’s also regularly available just over the border

(5 minutes from Codsall by train) at the

Platform Ale House in Albrighton. Hurst View

also produces a perry and a cider perry blend

known as a ‘pyder’.

Oxley Orchard’s Ooh Missus

and Organic

Aside from local cider and perry, a large selection

of Lilley’s can be found at Hogshead and

the Royal London in Wolverhampton City Centre

and The Harrows at Coven is a veritable oasis

for lovers of the drink, where cider and perry

from Celtic Marches, Thistly Cross and

Gwynt y Ddraig regularly rub shoulders.

Branch Cider Officer, Dawn

Doughty awards Angela and

Gary Morton with the Wolverhampton

Cider Pub of

the Year award in August.

The extensive selection at

The Harrows in Coven

Real cider and perry can pop

up in all sorts of

places - the Golden Looking for real cider or

Lion, Fallings Park perry near you? Use

held a cider whatpub.com and look

festival in September for this symbol -

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Two pubs have recently been LocAle accredited by the Wolverhampton CAMRA branch.

These are the Duke of York, Princess Street, Wolverhampton and the Oakley Arms, Kiddemore

Green Road near Brewood in South Staffordshire. Read on for more information on

what this accreditation means and how it is attained.

What is CAMRA LocAle?

CAMRA LocAle is an initiative where a CAMRA branch encourages licensees in its area to

stock at least one locally brewed real ale (for details see Wolverhampton.camra.org.uk)

and awards them with free publicity and acknowledgement of their beer quality. The

scheme also builds on a growing consumer demand concerning the provenance of produce

and an increased awareness of 'green' environmental issues.

LocAle Accreditation

Due to the different geographical circumstances

of the 200+ CAMRA branches around

Britain, LocAle accreditation is at the sole

discretion of each individual branch, but is

always subject to the licensee understanding

and agreeing the following requirements:

That they will endeavour to ensure at least one locally

brewed real ale, as defined by the local branch, is on sale at all times.

Only real ale, as defined by CAMRA, can be promoted as a CAMRA LocAle.

Where the standard of real ale sold falls below an acceptable quality, accreditation

will be withdrawn.

That accreditation can be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the local branch.

That should accreditation be withdrawn, or should the licensee withdraw from the scheme,

all LocAle publicity material must be removed from the pub and the licensee cease using

the CAMRA LocAle logo.

To be considered for LocAle accreditation the pub/club will first of all be nominated by a

CAMRA member, members of the branch will then visit the premises over a month or two

in order to assess its suitability for accreditation. A vote will then be held at one of the

subsequent monthly branch meetings to finally decide if it should be included in the

scheme. It is important that the branch is confident that the pub/club consistently serves

well-kept locally brewed beer before it will recommend it to the public.

If it is reported to the branch that a pub/club stops serving any beers that are considered

local by the branch, or the quality of the beer becomes regularly poor, then the branch

shall investigate over the course of a month or two and if the report is proven to be correct

then the branch reserves the right to cease promoting the pub as somewhere to find

LocAle. If a pub on the list changes hands then it shall be reassessed as beer choice and

quality may be affected.

How do I find a LocAle Pub?

If you would like to visit a LocAle accredited pub or club in the Wolverhampton CAMRA

branch area then these are listed here in Beerwolf, our quarterly branch magazine and on

the WhatPub.com website. On the website search for “Wolverhampton (CAMRA)” then use

the list of filters to display pubs that are “LocAle Accredited”.

Pubs and clubs which have been awarded LocAle accreditation by the Wolverhampton

CAMRA branch can display the LocAle sticker on their windows or doors. The stickers have

the year for which they have been accredited as LocAle by the branch. They may also

have posters up in the pub and there may be LocAle pump clip crowners displayed on the

pumps that are serving locally brewed beers.

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018


BEERWOLF | Winter 2018


Let’s get malty

Just what is malt?

Image - Hans Linde, pixabay.com

Malt is underated. We wouldn’t have

beer without it, but it’s not seen as being

as fashionable as hops.

Malt, it’s just barley from a field?

Well yes, malt is germinated dried grain,

usually barley (wheat if you’re brewing

wheat beer). The process of soaking the

grain in water then halting midgermination

by use of hot air (usually

kiln drying) is called ‘malting’.

So why is this malt used in brewing?

To keep things simple, beer is made

using the sugars (primarily maltose)

produced during the malting process.

Malting releases sugars and amino acids

from the proteins and starch which,

when the malt is boiled reactivating the

germination process alongside hops and

fermented by yeast, makes beer.

Ooh, interesting. So no malt, no


That’s right. Without malt, you’re not

drinking a true beer (gluten-free usually

means millet, rice or sorghum malt replacing

barley). There are many malt

varieties and these affect colour, aroma,

flavour and body - so you can imagine

the fun brewers have combining malt

with varying hops, yeast strains and

water to create different beers. Varieties

of what brewers call ‘base malt’, grain

with enough of its own starch converting

enzyme includes pale, pilsener, Vienna

and Munich malts. ‘Speciality malt’ has

little of this diastatic power, but will provide

added colour, flavour and mouthfeel

to the beer when added. These include

caramel, crystal and chocolate


So malt has more than one use?

Yes. You need base malt, the backbone

of the beer. This is what is mashed to

release the starches that convert to sugars

and will feed the yeast. Temperatures

are important here, a warmer

mash results in a sweet beer, cooler will

give you a dry beer. Speciality malts can

be added to the mash to add characteristics

to the beer or can be steeped and

added to the wort if you are doing an

extract brew (ie not mashing).

Malt. I keep thinking of Horlicks and


Believe it or not, some home brewers

have attempted a brew with these

malted milk drinks. Yes, there’s powdered

malted barley, but the dried skim

milk, hydrogenated palm oil etc tend to

get in the way..

Right, I want to find out more about


Good! Visit the Malsters’ Association of

Great Britain for in depth information at


Also, you won’t go wrong by visiting the

CAMRA webpage about different styles

of real ale, including malt information:



BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

Branch Contacts


Consumer Information

Secretary / Branch Contact

John Nightingale



Andy Parton


Vice Chairman

Rob Taylor


Membership Secretary

Paul Foxall


Social Secretary

Amanda Hignett


Pub Preservation Officer

Mark Hewitt


Branch Treasurer

Sue Rostance


Beerwolf Magazine Editor

Neil Hodgkiss


Cider Officer

Dawn Doughty

Young Persons’ Co-ordinator

Christopher Evans

If you have any complaints over matters

such as short measures etc, and have no

satisfaction from the pub in question, please


Wolverhampton Trading Standards

Initial advice directly from Citizens


Tel - 03454 04 05 06 (Monday -

Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm)


Staffordshire Trading Standards

Initial advice directly from Citizens


Tel - 03454 040506



Advertising Information

Beerwolf is funded entirely by advertisements.

Many thanks to everyone who has

contributed to this issue.

To advertise in the Spring 2019 edition,

please contact Neil by email -


Prices are as follows, subject to


Quarter page £60

Half page £80

Full page £120

Inside front £130

Back cover £150

All images and content is copyright of the Wolverhampton

branch of Campaign for Real Ale unless stated otherwise.

Printed by - Warwick Printing Company Limited,

Caswell Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1QD

BEERWOLF | Winter 2018

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