Mine's a Pint - Autumn 2019


The Autumn 2019 edition of the magazine of the Reading & Mid-Berkshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).











& MORE...


Time for

a Cider!


Branch Diary

All meetings and social events are relaxed and friendly. Nonmembers

are welcome to all events except branch meetings.

Please check the website before setting out in case of any

last-minute changes.


Thursday 5th: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.

Crown Inn, 2 Church Street, Theale, RG7 5BT. We will

move on c20:45 to visit 2 more Theale pubs.

Tuesday 10th: (20:00) Branch meeting. Castle Tap, 120

Castle Street, Reading, RG1 7RJ. CAMRA members only,


Saturday 14th: (c12:00) Regional Meeting in the upstairs

room of The Griffin, 10/12 Church Road, Caversham, RG4

7AD. CAMRA members only, please.

Wednesday 18th: (20:00) Gala Awards Night, at Castle

Tap, 120 Castle Street, Reading, RG1 7RJ.

Friday 20th: (19:00) Southall Curry Night. Southall

Conservative Club followed by (20:30) curry at Al-Sultan

(formerly Nagina Karahi/Lahori 786). Trains ex-Reading

at 18:07, Maidenhead 18:21 & Slough 18:29. Return at

22:04 or 22:42. Journey time 40-45 mins to/from Reading.

Contact: pauldabrowski0159@gmail.com

Wednesday 25th: (20:00) New Members Night, Tutored

Beer tasting for new CAMRA members. Nags Head, 5

Russell Street, Reading, RG1 7XD.


Thursday 3rd: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.

Alehouse, 2 Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2BH. Cider night!

Tuesday 8th: (20:00) Branch meeting. Queens Head, back

room, 54 Christchurch Road, Reading, RG2 7AZ. CAMRA

members only, please.


Saturday 16th: (14:00) Branch AGM in the upstairs room

of The Griffin, 10/12 Church Road, Caversham, RG4 7AD.

Followed by a tour of local pubs. CAMRA members only,

please. ALL DETAILS TBC – any changes will be shown on


This is a guide only and Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA

cannot be held responsible for any loss due to the alteration

or cancellation of any of these events.

See www.readingcamra.org.uk for more details of events.

Mine’s A Pint


Contact Us

Useful contact details for this magazine,

CAMRA and other important things…

Mine’s a Pint Circulation: 3,000.

Outlets: Over 70 across the region.

Editor: Phil Gill


0771 455 0293

81 Addison Road, Reading, RG1 8EG

Magazine published on behalf of

Reading and Mid Berkshire CAMRA

by: Neil Richards MBE at Matelot


01536 358670 / 07710 281381


Printed by CKN Print Ltd, 2 North

Portway Close, Round Spinney,

Northampton, NN3 8RQ

01604 645555

Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA


Social Secretary: Chris Hinton


Contact for all other branch matters:

Katrina Fletcher


0779 401 9437

Local Trading Standards

From time to time, drinkers receiving

poor standards of service or poor

quality products may wish to raise the

matter with Trading Standards. You

now need to do this through Citizens

Advice, an organisation which provides

free, confidential and impartial advice

on consumer issues.

To contact Citizens Advice Consumer

Service call 03454 04 05 06 or visit

www.citizensadvice.org.uk and click on


The next issue of Mine’s a Pint will be

published in early December. Please

feel free to submit any copy or ideas by

1 st November and you could see your

name in print!

The opinions expressed in Mine’s a Pint

are not necessarily those of the editor or

the Campaign for Real Ale. © Campaign

for Real Ale 2019.








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From the Editor

Welcome to the latest issue of Mine’s a Pint.

This month we celebrate CAMRA’s Cider

Month by taking a look at real cider – what it

is, where it comes from and how it’s made. If

you normally only drink beer when you go to

the pub, it’s a great time to “branch” out and

explore a new range of tastes.

Also in this issue we have some reflections on

the Reading Beer and Cider Festival. Now that

a few months have passed it’s right to take stock

and reflect on what went well and what can be

improved. Planning is already in full swing for

next year’s festival. In fact it’s fair to say that

it’s pretty much an all year round activity, and

if you’d like to get involved the organising team

will be very happy to have you on board.

Finally it’s my sad task to report the death of

our CAMRA branch Vice Chairman, Martin

Hoare. Martin had been unwell for some time

but still attended CAMRA events including the

beer festival. We were all shocked when we

heard he had passed away after complications

arising from surgery. Martin will be greatly

missed and it’s only fair that we celebrate his

life in this issue. Wherever you are, why not

raise your next glass to Martin?

Phil Gill

Editor, Mine’s a Pint



Branch Diary & Contacts: 3

From the Editor: 5

Pub News: 6, 7 & 8

Martin Hoare: 9

Brewery News: 10 & 11

Small Beer: 12 - 16

Festival Reflections: 18 - 20

Cider Month: 22 & 23

The Promotion of

Lager in the UK: 24 - 27

Join CAMRA: 28 & 29

Mine’s A Pint


Pub News


The PRINCE OF WALES in Caversham has

closed for refurbishment and will open under

new management towards the end of the year.

The pub, which first opened in 1896, and was

previously owned by Brakspear, has been taken

over by the Dodo pub company. The brand own

pubs, mainly in Oxford but also Cheltenham,

with unusual names such as the Rusty Bicycle

and The Rickety Press. They are to rename

the premises The Last Crumb. Leo Johnson, a

founding member of the company, said that the

pub’s name was a nod to Reading’s old biscuit

industry. Although their pubs are known to

be on the quirky side they want to make The

Last Crumb a place that has a cafe culture for

families as well as provide food all day.


THE FLOWING SPRING in Playhatch have

plenty planned for the upcoming months,

and are even arranging events well in to next

year. Landlord and lady, Nick and Hazel are

especially looking forward to celebrating

their 10 year anniversary at the pub and have

a series of events planned for the Autumn of

2020. On 12 September next year a band are

booked to play their outside stage that are at

present not being named but are sure to have

“mass appeal”. The ever popular mini one day

festival, Springstock, will also be returning on

6 June 2020.

Returning to this year, there is a Cockney

themed night on 16 November, which includes

a menu of traditional East End food such as

salt beef, seafood, Chinese, curries, fruit pies,

crumbles and of course pie, mash and liquor.

There will also be fancy dress, a sing a long, a

special guest and a “somewhat familiar London

premium ale.” Well known John Otway is

playing on 5 October, but by the time this

goes to print, it will most likely be sold out.

On Saturday 21 September Sing-Along-A-Nick

is making a comeback and is promised to be

a fun evening. Some other dates for the diary

are Classic Cars and Bikes on 8 September

and 13 October from 9:30 – 11:30am and an

unplugged night on Tuesday 1 October.


The ELDON ARMS on Eldon Terrace, which

has been closed since April, will reopen on

12 September under the management of local

brewery, Wild Weather. It is reported that there

will be a mix of cask and key keg available and

it will be renamed The Weather Station.

THE MARKET HOUSE in Market Square is

a newly opened premises owned by City Pub

Company, which advertises “rooms, events,

eat, drink”. It has opened in the old Lloyds

bank building and they boast some of the old

features. They have changed the bank vault

into a secret garden with a sliding glass roof,

which can be hired for private functions. They

also have a rooftop terrace. They have three

kitchens, one of which is focused on ever

changing pop up market food, paying homage

to their position and the history of the town.

They also have a separate gin and cocktail

bar and a keg wall. On a recent visit the cask

Mine’s A Pint


eers available were Adnams’ Lighthouse and

Southwold Bitter, Tiny Rebel Stay Puft and

Siren Craft Brew Yulu. There is also a large

selection of craft cans and bottles. They are dog

friendly and have 24 contemporary rooms.

The closed BATTLE INN in Oxford Road

could be replaced with flats. Developer JR

Properties wants to build six flats in its place.

The council have turned down the application,

however the plans could still go ahead if the

developers submit an appeal. The pub changed

its name to become the Gospoda Polish pub,

before being renamed The Royal until it closed

in 2015. Councillor Tony Page, lead member

for planning, said at the Planning Committee

meeting: “It was the Battle Inn for many years,

serving a very respectable pint. Unlike many

pubs in the area, this was a genuine loss.”

On a recent visit THE ALLIED ARMS in St

Mary’s Butts had a good range of beer and

cider on. The beers included Bingham’s Vanilla

Stout, Kazbek Cascade, Rooster’s Brewing

Scrambler, Loddon N.O.T.U.S, Otter Amber

and Clear Water Mariners. The ciders available

were Rosie’s Pig, Old Rosie, Orchard Explorer,

Big Apple and Friel’s Vintage Cider. The pub

runs a quiz night every other Wednesday.

Although one of the main attractions of THE

MODERATION on Caversham Road is their

Thai food, they also have a lot more on offer.

As well as running a quiz night every Sunday,

they hold regular live music at the weekend

and poker nights on the first Monday of the

month. There are daily offers with two for

one main meals on Mondays and curries at £6

each on Tuesday. On Wednesday they provide

Indonesian taster plates at £10 per person, then

on Thursday it is two courses for £12. Prosecco

is £15 a bottle on Friday and on Sunday

brunches and roasts are on offer. Their lunch

deal is two courses for £10 and 3 courses for

£13 Monday to Friday 12-3pm. Loyalty cards

for food are available as well as pizza and BBQ

in the garden for bookings and parties. They

have four real ale pumps.

Mine’s A Pint


THE CASTLE TAP on Castle Street hosts its

Autumn Beer Festival on 19-22 September,

featuring live music from Rosedale on Friday,

DJs on Sunday and more.

THE JOLLY ANGLERS on Kennet Side, which

reopened in Spring this year, runs happy hour

on Wednesday between 3pm and 9pm where a

pint of ale is £2.95 or £1.50 a half. The pub is

open all day everyday and serves food between

12 and 9pm.

The former WARWICK in Kings Road has now

reopened as the Cardamom Indian Restaurant,

after having an unsuccessful stint as The Biscuit

& Barrel pub. The food in the restaurant was

excellent on a recent visit and there’s also a

branch in Pangbourne.

The RISING SUN on Forbury Road that closed

its doors permanently in January 2015 was sold

several months ago, but nothing has happened

to the building. The pub which dates back to

1877 was due to be demolished in 2017, but is

still standing.

Planning permission has been given for a new

development in the old pound shop in Broad

Street Mall, which will include an indoor

market, restaurant and bar. The opening hours

will be between 9am and 11pm Monday to

Friday and until 11.30pm on Fridays and


Admiral Taverns are seeking a new tenant for

THE PHEASANT on Southampton Street.

There are no details on the public house

operator’s website yet but the sign board has

a phone number that you can ring: 01244


THE TROOPER POTTS in Whitley has been

refurbished and reopened with a new name,


owned Hungry Horse pub first opened in

March 2016 as The Trooper Potts, named after

a First World War soldier from Reading. The

new name will reflect the soldier’s heroism,

winning a VC for rescuing an injured colleague

under fire. Amongst the refurbishment is an

improved sports viewing area and a larger

garden. There are deals throughout the week

including steaks from £5 on a Monday, curry

and a drink for £5.50 on a Wednesday and buy

one get one free on burgers on a Friday. Greene

King IPA is £2.99 all day every day.



has been taken over by John and Sue who used

to run the Bramshill Hunt and the Arborfield

RBL Club. The beer quality is said to be a

prime objective for the new managers and on a

recent visit the Flying Monk was found to be in

very good condition.



Pub News compiled by Evelyn Harrison-Bullock


Drink Rebellion cask ale

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Fresh beer, ready to drink

1 litre bottles up to 72 pint barrels

including 10% OFF beer

Fresh cider

Local produce

Over 300 worldwide wines

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Call 01628 476594

Shop opening hours:

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Or visit our website:




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For 2019 our Monthly

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N 01442 890721 D www.tringbrewery.co.uk

Mine’s A Pint


Martin Hoare 1952 - 2019

provided and operated the PA system, which he

used to good effect to run the pub quiz.

Martin loved attending science fiction

conventions, where he provided sound systems

and ran the real

ale bar. He also

loved Belgium and

Belgian beer and

visited Ostend a

few times a year.

There he had a

group of good

friends and was

involved in De

Oostendse Bierjutters, a local beer supporters


Born in Newport, Martin studied Physics at

Brasenose College, Oxford. Later in life he took

a Law Degree with the Open University, one

module of this being Welsh in remembrance

of his roots. He then proceeded to take on the

taxman in court, representing himself, and won!

He was frequently found propping up the bar

in the Alehouse, particularly when Wales were

playing rugby, and had been doing so since it

became the Hobgoblin. He was involved in

the local CAMRA group and, at the time of

his death, held the position of Vice Chairman.

His involvement with the Reading Beer and

Cider Festival dates back to the very beginning,

working as Finance Steward. In later years he

held other stewarding roles, was a valuable

member of the Foreign Beer Bar team and

Mine’s A Pint


Martin was authorised to give firework displays,

and did so until fairly recently with a group of

loyal friends. They would all meet up in the pub

afterwards and greet each other with the shout

“ten”, holding up their hands to prove they still

had all their fingers. Yet another of Martin’s

talents was pickling onions with the help of his

glove puppet Doris Panda, and he entered these

into the Retreat’s annual pickled onion contest.

Martin was a real character who knew an

extraordinarily large number of people, all of

whom will miss him greatly. He died twenty

years to the day after his beloved wife Jean.

Sue Thirlaway


The Tap Room at Emma’s Kitchen is

unfortunately no longer open, but there is

now a Tap Yard in front of the brewery on

Saturdays throughout the Summer from 11:30

to 16:30 so you can sit and enjoy a pint or two

of Binghams beer in the sunshine. Wine is also

available. If you want to continue your session

at home, then takeaways are available from the

brewery shop in sizes from 1 to 20 litres. Cover

will be provided if the weather is not good.

Currently there is no food available on site,

but you are welcome to bring your own and

if the idea proves popular then they will invite

food stalls. Updates will be provided on their

Facebook page.

Viennese Whirl, a 5% ABV

Viennese Pale Ale brewed with

a blend of Citra, Centennial

and Chinook hops, proved so

popular earlier in the year that

it has now become part of the

permanent range.

The overall winners of the Champion Beer of

Britain competition for 2019 were announced

at the Great British Beer Festival on 6 August.

In the London and South East Area round,

Binghams Vanilla Stout was judged Gold in

the Speciality Category, and Doodle Stout

won Silver in the

Stout Category.

Vanilla Stout then

went on to be the

overall winner of the

Speciality Category!

In 2016 Vanilla

Stout was judged

Supreme Champion

Beer of Britain.


The fifth new beer

produced this year by

the new head brewer

Jake (see the last edition

of Mine’s a Pint for our

interview with him) is

‘This is New England’, a

5.8% ABV New England IPA.

Aggressively double dry-hopped

with Ekuanot, Mosaic and Lemondrop, and

fermented for two weeks with New England

yeast, this beer is packed with citrussy, tropical,

green tea and lemon flavours and aromas. It is

naturally hazy, unfined and suitable for vegans.

New Wharf

Word has reached us that Maidenhead-based

brewery New Wharf have ceased production.


August’s monthly beer is Sonic Boom which is a

pale amber ale with a stone fruit hop character.

They are using a newly developed hop called

Callista from Germany. They’ve wanted to use

it for a while but only now been able to secure

enough for a run of monthlies. A hop very low

in bitterness but with strong aromatic qualities.

This creates a thirst-quenching beer with notes

of peach and nectarine.

Mine’s A Pint


Siren Craft

Following successful crowdfunding, Siren are

now producing canned beer, with their 6.5%

ABV Fruit Smoothie IPA, Ten Dollar Shake

being available in a can. To coincide with

launching cans, Siren have also updated their

branding – look out for their new pentagonal

pumpclips in a pub new you!

West Berkshire

The latest cask offering

from West Berkshire is

‘No Worries’, a 3.6% ABV

Australian Pale Ale.

Congratulations are also in

order as Maggs Mild took

home Bronze in the Mild category at the Great

British Beer Festival!

Wild Weather

One of the more interesting unique

recent beer offerings from Wild

Weather is ‘Sprucie Bonus’, a

4.5% ABV Spruce Tip Red Ale.

A Red IPA brewed with locally

foraged spruce tips and dry

hopped with Ahtanum, it is deep

red with malt flavours of oatmeal raisin cookie,

and cherry character from the Spruce.

Brewery News compiled by James Moore

Mine’s A Pint


Small Beer

A round up of news and information

Gala Awards Evening

All are welcome to attend and help celebrate

the great beer and cider community that we

have in Reading. Let’s all raise a glass to that!

Stonegate to Buy Ei Pub Group

The array of awards at last year’s event

One of the highlights of the local CAMRA

year is our Gala Awards Evening. The name is

ambitious, the purpose more down to earth – to

celebrate and mark the wonderful selection of

great local pubs, a multitude of local breweries

and cider makers supplying them and a great

array of people making, serving and drinking

their produce.

It’s a public event, open to all. This year it will

be held on Wednesday 18 September at the

Castle Tap on Castle Street in Reading, starting

at 8pm.

You don’t have to wear black tie or a ball gown.

In fact if you do you’ll look out of place as our

focus is on the awards and the people winning

them, rather than the image. Beer festival T

shirts are more the standard outfit.

The regular awards for branch Pub of the Year,

Cider Pub of the Year and Club of the Year

will be there of course, along with the winners

of competitions held at the Reading Beer and

Cider Festival. Alongside those, this year’s

highlights include a special award to Seona

MacKenzie of the Clifton Arms for 35 years of

service as a licensee in the Reading area, along

with presentations to various local CAMRA

members who have made a real difference with

their service to the branch over a number of


Mine’s A Pint


Stonegate Pub Company has agreed a £3 billion

deal to buy Ei, Britain’s largest pub owner. Ei,

better known by its old name of Enterprise

Inns, owns more than 4,000 pubs. When added

to Stonegate’s 772, it will take the combined

company to nearly 5,000 pubs, the largest in

the country.

Stonegate runs a number of brands including

Slug and Lettuce, Walkabout and Yates’s, and

offered a 38% premium over the previous

value of Ei shares, valuing the business at £1.3

billion. Including debt, the deal is worth £3

billion. Stonegate has promised to invest in its

new estate; we’ll see whether that’s true.

The Competition and Markets Authority

is sure to take a close look at the deal and

could have the power to force pubs to be sold

to competitors in areas where there would

otherwise be a local monopoly.

So what will it mean for drinkers? Given Ei’s

poor reputation, especially in the way that it

treats its tenants, it could be welcome news.

CAMRA has given a cautious welcome to

the takeover and Ben Wilkinson, CAMRA’s

National Director, said: “For many Ei Group

has become a byword for unfair business

practices and disregard for the social value

of pubs. Its custodianship of thousands of

community pubs has not been a happy period

and it’s clear many will welcome this news.

However, such a significant change will create

anxiety and we call on Stonegate to be clear and

open about their plans as early as possible.”

“This deal will make Stonegate the largest

pub owner in the UK, and that brings a huge

responsibility both to consumers and to

their tenants. We hope Stonegate seizes this

opportunity to make a firm commitment to

adhere to the spirit and letter of the Pubs Code

and spearhead a new, more positive era in the

industry by setting a gold standard for thriving

pubs based on fair and equitable business


In contrast, City analyst Douglas Jack pointed

out that: “The combined estate should provide

a substantial pool of pubs to either convert

(from leased to managed) or sell. This could

trigger a lot of follow-on corporate activity in

the sector.”

One immediate benefit for CAMRA members

is that their new discount vouchers should be

valid in more places!

CAMRA Discount Vouchers

There are many reasons why you might have

decided to join CAMRA. You might simply love

a good pint, or perhaps wanted to get involved

in a campaign to save a local pub from closure.

Maybe you wanted to learn more about beer

and brewing.

pubs and breweries, which makes it feel all the

better when somebody offers it of their own

free will.

For many years CAMRA has operated

a discount scheme in association with

Wetherspoons, giving £20 of vouchers a year.

Some loved it, some hated it. Now, as of 1 July

this year, anybody joining or renewing their

CAMRA membership will find a different set

of vouchers in the mail: £30 of vouchers (60

x 50p) redeemable in over 1,400 pubs across

the country.

A significant difference is that this new scheme

is promoted by CAMRA itself so it’s not

locked to any particular pub chain. Alongside

Wetherspoons, Brains and some Stonegate pubs

have joined up, with more to follow. Existing

Wetherspoons vouchers will continue to be

valid for the 12 month transition period, and

any discounts offered by individual pubs off

their own back (like the Greyfriar in Reading)

are separate to this scheme and so will be


Reading pubs taking part in the new scheme

include Pavlov’s Dog, the Monks Retreat, the

Hope Tap, Yates’s and the Back of Beyond in

the town centre, plus the Seven Red Roses in

Lower Earley.

Champion Beer of Britain

And don’t forget the discounts that you can

get as a CAMRA member. In the last issue

we focussed on the external organisations

that offer a special rate to members. Now it’s

time to think about the new CAMRA Voucher

Scheme, which offers member discounts at over

1,400 pubs nationwide.

Importantly, all these discounts are freely-given.

CAMRA policy actually prohibits members

from expecting or demanding a discount from

Image from GBBF CAMRA Twitter: @gbbf

Mine’s A Pint

















2019 CAMRA





CALL: 07817 950853 OR 0800 7810 577



Mine’s A Pint


The newly-crowned Champion Beer of Britain

for 2019 is Shere Drop from Surrey Hills

Brewery. Announced at the Great British Beer

Festival trade session on 6 August, this is great

news for the Dorking-based brewery. Shere

Drop is a 4.2% ABV pale beer with hints of

lemon and grapefruit in the aroma, and a hop

bitterness complemented by a balanced malt

flavour. It’s a hard to find beer so if you see it,

try it.

More locally, Binghams followed up their 2016

supreme champion win with a gold award in

the Speciality category for Vanilla Stout, and

Maggs Mild from West Berkshire picked up a

bronze award in the Mild category. Well done

to all involved!

The results in full…


Gold: Church End, Gravediggers

Silver: Fernandes, Malt Shovel Mild

Bronze: West Berkshire, Maggs Mild


Gold: Dancing Duck, Ay Up

Silver: Rhymney, Hobby Horse

Joint Bronze: Wolf, Edith Cavell and Ulverston,

Laughing Gravy


Gold: Surrey Hills, Shere Drop

Silver: Green Jack, Trawler Boys

Joint Bronze: Castle Rock, Preservation Fine

Ale and Salopian, Darwin’s Origin


Gold: Oakham, Citra

Silver: Five Points, Pale

Joint Bronze: Big Lamp, Prince Bishop Ale and

Vocation, Heart & Soul


Gold: Greytrees, Afghan Pride

Silver: Irving, Iron Duke

Bronze: Church End, Fallen Angel


Gold: Binghams, Vanilla Stout

Silver: Blue Monkey, Chocolate Guerrilla

Bronze: Colchester, Brazilian Coffee & Vanilla



(judged elsewhere but entered in CBOB)

Strong Milds/Old Ales: Tintagel, Excalibur

Porters: Calverley’s Porter

Stouts: Plain Ales, Inncognito

Barley Wines/Strong Old Ales: Lacon’s Audit Ale


Gold: Surrey Hills, Shere Drop

Silver: Greytrees, Afghan Pride

Bronze: Oakham, Citra

Good Beer Guide 2020

The UK’s best-selling

beer and pub guide

is published on 12

September. With a new

design and a personal

foreword by Professor

Brian Cox as well as

contributions from Roger

Protz, Emma Inch, and

Tim Hampson, the 47th

edition of CAMRA’s

Good Beer Guide still

lives up to the description

of being the definitive guide to the best real ale

pubs, bars and breweries in the UK.

With 4,500 pubs, bars and clubs selected by

CAMRA members across the UK, the Good

Beer Guide is the only guide you will need for

finding the best pubs that serve real ale. What

makes it unique against other pub guides is

the Breweries section that lists all UK real ale

breweries – that’s over 1,800 of them! – and

their regular beers, along with hundreds of

CAMRA tasting notes.

Go to shop1.camra.org.uk to secure your copy.

CAMRA members get £2 off the cover price,

with a further £2 discount if pre-ordered before

12 September. Do it now!

Mine’s A Pint


Beer Festivals

Local beer festivals – some CAMRA and some

not – that are well worth a visit.


4th - 5th October 2019

Ascot Racecourse, High Street, Ascot, SL5 7JX.



7th September 2019

Sherfield Village Hall,

Reading Road, Sherfield

on Loddon, Hook,

Hampshire, RG27 0EZ.

Open 11.30am – 11pm.

Featuring 40+ real

ales and ciders, plus

Prosecco, craft lager and soft drinks. Hot food

and snack food available, with face painting

and live bands Green Embers, Runaway Train,

Blacksmith Band, Jungle Brew and Rosedale

Bandand. Free minibus in the evening to

Bramley station. Tickets £4 in advance from

The Shop, the Four Horseshoes and the White

Hart, or £5 on the day – includes tasting notes

and a pint glass while stocks last.



14th September 2019

Northcroft Fields,

Northcroft Lane,

Newbury, RG14 1RS.

A family-friendly

event in the centre of

town, which includes

a wide range of ale

and cider and some top-notch music. Over 300

different ales and ciders alongside a wide range

of gin. This year’s theme is drinks from the

local area: West Berks, North Hants and South

Oxon. Hog roast, bratwurst and vegetarian

food available. Music comes from Toploader –

the actual ones! – and a selection of other local

and tribute acts. Tickets £10 in advance from

the website (includes a free glass and 3 drink

tokens) or £12 on the door (includes a free glass

and 2 drink tokens).


Mine’s A Pint


A festival organised each autumn by the

Berkshire South East branch of CAMRA at the

prestigious racecourse. Around 200 different

real ales and over

30 real ciders

and perries on

offer. As well as a

fabulous selection

of drinks, the

festival will also offer some top class flat racing

and the chance to have a flutter if you like,

plus live music. Entrance gates and bars open

at 11am on both days, with racing starting at

approximately 2pm. Bars will close 30 minutes

after the last race (expected to be approximately

6pm). No dress code, but the racecourse

encourage customers to dress smartly. All

normal race-day facilities will be available

including hot and cold food and soft drinks.

Tickets available via a link on the website.

“Queen Anne Enclosure” is the cheapest

option to gain access to the festival at £19 and

CAMRA members can quote “CAMRA 2019

code to get over a 40% discount on on-the-day




24th - 26th October 2019

Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1BX.

130 real ales and 50 ciders and perries on

Thursday (5pm – 11pm) and Friday (11am –

11pm) and 40 different ales on Saturday (open

11am, closes 8pm or when the beer runs out)

with the main hall cleared and some chairs and

tables. Food available, some seating in the Old

Library. Entry £5 which includes a souvenir

glass. £3 to CAMRA members with their card.


Get in touch: 01628 638478 or getbeer@newwharfbrewing.co.uk

Festival Reflections

It felt like there was a bit of a sea change when

it came to the annual Reading Beer Festival this

year, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why

this was.

I volunteered through the Thursday trade and

evening session, followed by a jolly good knees

up with my friends on the Friday. I realised

that the sea change was a plethora of little

developments that had all come together at

once, and for the better. All of them were a step

in the right direction.

In 2018, the team that ran the Reading Beer

Festival Games really started to drive social

media. They were all over Instagram and

building engagement in a way I haven’t seen

CAMRA in Reading and Mid-Berks do before.

They utilised Instagram Stories, which love or

loathe, made it pretty clear what was happening

on site. They can be found on Instagram under


Crucially, they didn’t stop after the beer festival

of 2018. They continued to post content and

photos all year which acted as a small reminder

that the beer festival was coming. And, they are

still drip-feeding photos onto their Instagram

feed right now, using all the right hashtags to

be found by the local communities of the area

who like beer and using Instagram. In the long

term, CAMRA need to embrace this approach

to engagement of a younger audience.

As we got nearer to show time in May, the

output from ‘rbfgames’ crescendoed. The

presence on social

media from

Reading and Mid

Berks proper,

also stepped

up, particularly

on Facebook.

There is a big

opportunity with

Twitter. Culturevulture


folk are big on

the twitter side

of things. The

account is there but it isn’t used enough to

share what’s happening pub and beer wise in

the area in my opinion, which is an opportunity

for the year ahead.

Then there was card payment. Hurrah! One

of the bar managers told me that the festival

had acquired CAMRA’s entire collection of

Mine’s A Pint


handheld PDQ machines and said “we haven’t

gone out there and massively pushed that we

can take card this year because we need to

stress test it.” Now we know it works, and can

work in Christchurch Meadows without signal

issues etc, pushing this next year as part of the

marketing materials has to be key. For many

customers, it removes another barrier.

Finally, the beer. There was a shift towards

brand ownership for our more local breweries

this year. This is something I have seen

elsewhere, thanks to other events such as Craft

Theory, BCBF in Bristol and many others.

Allocating a separate area within the tent for

Siren, West Berkshire, Elusive, New Wharf and

Double Barrelled made perfect sense. It was

the right thing

to do, to allow

these growing

and developing

breweries to be

in a position to

own what they

do and how they

do it. It allows

them scope to

engage beer

lovers, tell the

stories behind

the brews,

mingle, give support and encouragement to the

countless home brewers out there who want to

be in that very spot that the forever cheerful

Andy Parker is stood. They did need a few

more volunteers with them at points and I’m

not sure whether that expectation fell to them

or to CAMRA but it’s worth bearing in mind

for 2020.

When you’re stood there looking at these very

local and very community driven breweries

it makes you feel incredibly proud to be

from Berkshire. These businesses give back,

and they engage and welcome customers to

their tap rooms. The fact that we now have

several great quality tap rooms in our branch

is great progress to celebrate. Moreover, these

businesses pay it forward by often welcoming

local food traders on site too. I worked my way

through these local breweries in a methodical

manner, trying almost everything that was put

on up until Friday night. Elusive’s ‘Time and

Magik’ was one of my favourites, followed

by another Elusive brew which was ‘Punch

Out Round 1: Citra and Nelson’ - my friends

and I came back several times for this. Double

Barrelled introduced me to other favourites:

‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and the ‘Summer Session:

Pineapple’ which is one I await for Luci and

Mike to put into can form.

I had loved working the key-keg stand in 2018

but it felt like a huge responsibility to look after

these more sensitive brews, and ensure we were

doing them justice at pour. I worked key-keg

again this year and what CAMRA did right,

was bring volunteers into that area who had

worked it previously and were passionate about

it. My favourite beers from key-keg this year

were Simcoe Simon by Beer Hut Brewing Co,

the Organic Cucumber and Grape Gose by All

Day Brewing Company, Hazy Shade of Winter

by Padstow Brewing Company and Skoda War,

a Belgium quad by Brew York which blew my

socks off.

On the foreign beers this year, there were some

subtle changes too. Some excellent breweries

were added to the line up. Two of significant

note were De Kromme Herring and Der Molen.

Both of these breweries have been stocked

regularly by the Grumpy Goat. De Kromme

came to Reading last year as part of the 2018

Craft Theory, and Der Molen were there and

Mine’s A Pint


present this year. I’m always impressed with the

ordering of the foreign beer. It’s no mean feat to

pick and curate a selection that can attract such

a diverse audience, but I think they nailed it this

year. There were some staple classics which are

crucial for beer lovers on their journey and tick

box exercise of trying those signature brews,

but it was fantastic to see the likes of Alvinne

Brewery be stocked with several lines this year.

from the beer woodwork. Some of these faces

I only ever see at the festival, and some of

those volunteers are like those good friends

you have but you seldom see. You find you can

pick your conversation straight back up from

where you left off, giggling along the way. I’m

grateful and thankful to every organiser and

CAMRA member and volunteer behind the

scenes making things happen, putting in their

own time to keep the wheel spinning. And,

I’m grateful for every member who pushes for

change: small changes that when stacked up

make a big change. ‘Continuous improvement

is better than delayed perfection’ - that was

Mark Twain, but I felt a sense of change this

year, for the better.

Onto cask, the backbone of CAMRA. I’m

always ready for a great recommendation, and

this year I was not disappointed. The standout

(and the one beer I keep thinking about, even

now) is Old Chimneys Brewery whose ‘Good

King Henry’, a Russian imperial stout, was

incredible. I’m not a stout person by nature

but perhaps my foray into coffee this past

twelve month served me well. I went back

several times for Good King Henry and it was

gone by midday Friday which says it all. The

‘Plymouth Plum Mild’ by Cullercoats Brewery

was a lovely tipple too, as was (another stout)

‘Flapjack Marmalade’ by Hop Kettle Brewing

Co. One of my finishers for the Friday evening

was the Turning Point Brewery’s ‘Trapped

Under A Cow’ - I had highlighted this one on

my list and it didn’t let me down.

A final note and piece of gratitude. The team

that pull the beer lists together: I know that this

is no small task and yet every year I absolutely

love going through those lists and deciding

what I’ll try. I’ve been known to export them

and print them out and colour code them with

an array of highlighter pens. Oh yes. However,

I didn’t need to do that this year because local

beer blogger Quaffable Reading took the pain

out of the excel spreadsheet and created a

mobile friendly version which he shared with

many of us online. It was great.

I’m always in awe at how smoothly the beer

festival runs when you recognise how many

people it must take to organise it. On a

personal note, it’s genuinely my Christmas

each year. I love it and I kind of live for it. I

love working behind the bar and never fail to

enjoy seeing so many familiar faces appearing

Mine’s A Pint


That was another piece of innovation which

made the user experience better than it was

before. I’m pretty sure that having a good

experience is what we all want, and what

CAMRA would aspire to. All of the above

made 2019 a stellar year. Bring on 2020.

Zoë Andrews

great beers from

oxfordshire since 2003

Cider Month

CAMRA’s real cider and perry months are in

October and May. May is more focused on

getting people to try new or a wider range of

ciders, whereas October is directed at getting

people in to the pubs in the first place.

from Turkey were growing wild in England

in Neolithic times. The first written mention

of cider was in 1204AD, when it was used as

payment. However the Celts made crab apple

cider before this. The Romans continued to

make cider, engineering equipment to press

the apples. The Normans began to introduce

a wider range of apples. Throughout the 17th

Century the number of orchards increased and

cider became a more popular tipple. In the

18th century cider was used to pay the farm

workers. The 19th century saw development of

the importance of the quality of cider.

Apples – the raw material for cider making

CAMRA’s definition of real cider requires it to be

“made from the freshly pressed juice of apples,

not syrup, and not to have been pasteurised or

artificially carbonated.” Although there are a

lot of ‘ciders’ that do not meet this criteria, real

cider has become far more readily available in


Although many pubs are tied to what beers and

ciders they can stock, bag in box real ciders are

widely available. It might be worth asking in

your local if they have access to bag in boxes.

They can keep for over one month once opened,

unlike a barrel of beer that needs to be drunk

within a few days.

Look out for our Cider Pub of the Year judging

next year. All the information is on the Reading

CAMRA website but the main things to note are

the quality and condition of the cider or perry,

the promotion and knowledge of the product

from the staff as well as the welcome and

service, the atmosphere of the pub, the focus on

community, the sympathy with CAMRA aims

and the value for money.

Real cider is a traditional drink with a long

history in Britain and pre-dates pubs by a

long way. Apples that probably originated

An example of a cider press

Traditionally cider making has not changed

much in all these years. First apples are washed

and then pulped and pressed. The extracted

juice is then left to ferment. Yeast does not

need to be added to trigger fermentation as it

is naturally present on the skin of the apple.

After the cider has fermented, it is quite often

blended with the previous year’s product to

finalise the process.

There are now more than 600 types of apple

grown in the UK. It is estimated that about 450

of these are cider varieties. These apples have

been developed to have special strains which

gives different ciders their unique taste. Apples

fall into four categories; Bittersweets which

have a low acidity but high tannins, Sweets

which have low acidity and low tannin, Sharps

which have a high acidity and low tannin and

finally Bittersharps which have a high acidity

and high tannin. Most apple varieties contain

Mine’s A Pint


a combination of all four. Tannins give the

cider the colour and the dryness. Most cider

makers tend to avoid bittersharp apples as

the consumer taste today seems to favour the

sweeter less acidic flavours.

Different types of ciders can be made by

carefully selecting a combination of apples. The

making of a cider starts with the planning of

the orchard. They are designed with different

varieties planted at the same time so they can be

harvested together and be used simultaneously

to create different characteristics in the cider.

Although apples taste sweet, cider apples

are unlike the ones we eat. They are usually

smaller, harder and would be too dry to

eat. Unsweetened cider is naturally dry and

this is because all the sugar is used up in the

fermentation process. Cider can later be

sweetened using unfermented apple juice or

artificial sweeteners.

Cider is a very important and historical part of

our British heritage and it is definitely making

a big come back.

Cider and perry judging at a previous

Reading Beer and Cider Festival

Evelyn Harrison-Bullock

Mine’s A Pint


The Promotion

of Lager in the UK


Paul Dabrowski continues his series about

lager advertising, including some very familiar


Following experiments in lager brewing as early

as 1915, with the post-World War I market –

minus Austrian and German imports – in mind,

the branding of Barclay’s new products at their

1922 launch as ‘London Lager’ perpetuated

the tradition established by most UK-brewed

lagers to date in not adopting an inappropriate

pseudo-continental name as a deliberate ploy to

maximise sales at a time when patriotic fervour

was still rampant.

With anti-German prejudice in the UK

somehow proving less resilient after 1945,

the iconic 1958 film Ice Cold in Alex, starring

John Mills, Anthony Quayle and Sylvia Syms,

probably did as much for the rehabilitation of

the notion of the ‘good German’ amongst the

viewing public as did the most memorable,

penultimate, scene – where the protagonists

down several glasses of Carlsberg – in reestablishing

foreign lager (but, unfortunately,

reinforcing the misconceived ‘benefits’ of cold

beer generally) in the consciousness of that

same audience. This blatant product placement

had followed earlier post-WWII export success

in the UK using the somewhat cryptic, ‘In

Danish we say “he 1st en hof”’, tag-line.

Back in 1935, the Welsh Felinfoel brewery

had been the first to successfully can its beers

(although a lager was not amongst them) but

it was the purchase of a bulk beer pasteuriser

from Germany by Watney, Combe, Reid &

Co. Ltd. six years previously that had presaged

their development of the kegging process for a

beer launched, for low turnover club use only,

soon afterwards. The advent of the Second

World War ultimately provided an incentive,

during the mid- to late-1940s when American

servicemen were being stationed in Britain, for

the techniques to become increasingly linked.

However, their particular association with lager

was, oddly perhaps, initially eclipsed by the

artificial gassing process being associated more

with their application to (and replacements for)

traditional cask ales and the creation of canned

products such as Watney’s Party Four and

Party Seven. What is not widely appreciated

is that the carbon dioxide given off naturally

but trapped in sealed fermenters, invariably

now being used for bulk lager production, was

reused at the brewing plant to engender some

effervescence back into the finished products

to not only disguise the lack of any on-site

maturation but also to counter the deleterious

effects of pasteurisation (principally, halting all

fermentation). Reintroduced just prior to the

packaging stage, this practice, theoretically,

enabled immediate despatch to retailers

without the need for any brewery conditioning

and the storage costs involved.

The high-profile promotion of the resultant

inferior substitutes, both in cans and via gaudy

keg fonts established onto bar tops whilst

handpulls were being dismantled, inevitably

created such adverse public reaction that it led

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to a consumer pressure group – the Campaign

for the Revitalisation of Ale – being formed in


It was the additional, artificial, carbonation of

the latter, in particular, using cylinders of CO 2

to propel the keg beers and lagers to the bar

that invariably caused excessive ‘fizz’ which

attracted their especial opprobrium. And, it

should not be forgotten that, just as the hot

summer of 1959 seemed to mark a turningpoint

in the establishment in the UK of keg beer

over cask, the long, hot summers of 1975 and,

particularly, 1976 did the same for ersatz lagers

over keg brews in public awareness!

The Campaign for Real Ale – as it soon became

once the cumbersome ‘Revitalisation of Ale’

acronym interpretation was dropped – had

undoubtedly provided more than just a catalyst

that aided an eventual volte-face by the ‘Big

Six’ brewing combines of the time as regards

cask beer brewing was concerned, particularly

whilst reliable cooling methodology for real

ale was finally being perfected. But almost

all UK-brewed lager, however, was to remain

inextricably wedded to kegging and canning

techniques well into the 21st century.

In October 1972, a German-themed beer festival

had taken place at Alexandra Palace, predating

the CAMRA-inspired Great British Beer

Festivals at the same venue later that decade. In

fact, a first-and-last jointly-held protest against

the lagers being promoted, involving both the

Society for the Preservation of Beers from the

Wood and the nascent CAMRA, was held to

coincide with the event. Reputedly, the barrelrolling

of real ale casks uphill formed part of

the demonstration – though, if full, probably

not for immediate consumption! The SPBW

was, and still is, a 1963 forerunner to CAMRA

though far less effective through missing the

main picture!

the 1960s onwards, as in Liverpool (Rigsby’s),

with Hull, Leeds and Sheffield spawning a

Hofbräuhaus each and, amongst those opened

in some of the capital’s suburbs (complementing

those extant in the city centre), there was even a

Löwenbräu Keller in Croydon.

A Bristol Bierkeller accompanied several in

Manchester, too, with an ‘Austrian’ biergarten

in Lytham St. Annes from the summer of

1966, and, around 4-5 years later, Blackpool

gained three outlets, the Talbot Bierkeller, a

Hofbräuhaus and, opposite the Central Pier,

a Jager Keller. Then, the vast Harte & Garter

Hotel, Windsor, installed its own bierkeller,

with Southend, Pwllheli in Wales and Peel on

the Isle of Man each gaining one in 1972, 1974

and 1977 respectively. By the end of the 1970s,

Butlins had created a staggering 25 amongst its

seaside holiday camps.

During the penultimate decade of the 20th

century, however, the bars had generally become

seedier, accompanying accoutrements such as

food, music, chasers and even the lager itself,

less authentic as the bigger players had begun

to dominate this lucrative market. The Talbot

and Jager outlets in Blackpool, for instance,

had actually been opened by Bass Charrington

and the Forte Hotel Group respectively.

Nonetheless, German-style beer festivals with

Bavarian oompah bands and cuisine continued

to be established subsequently in places such

as Norwich and Solihull, supplementing the

resurgence of semi-permanent bierkellers from

Mine’s A Pint


Whilst lager, as a beer style, had had a reputation

in the 1960s of classy sophistication, by less than

a generation later, it had become increasingly

associated with football hooliganism and the

risqué advertising that Fosters and Castlemaine

XXXX – latterday Australian interlopers

– particularly exemplified (in contrast with

the wry and offbeat publicity the former had

previously been associated with). Other, moreestablished

brands felt coerced into dumbingdown

their publicity on television, billboards

and periodicals in order to maintain their

market share.

Amongst the almost saturation promotional

material that ensued in the 1970s, 1980s and

1990s, particularly memorable advertising

catchphrases were devised, just as many for

various keg beers had done likewise a decade

or two before. Examples included, ‘I bet he

drinks.....’ (Carling Black Label), ‘Probably

the best lager in the world’ (Carlsberg),

‘Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for

anything else’ (Castlemaine), ‘Australian for

beer’ (Fosters), ‘Refreshes the parts other beers

cannot reach’ (Heineken), and, ‘For great

lager – follow the bear’ (Hofmeister), the lastmentioned

invariably featuring a life-size ursine

character called George wearing a pork pie hat

and a gold bomber jacket interacting with lads

and ladettes in various pub and club situations.

Harp Lager, which was originally concocted in

Ireland by Guinness in 1960, ‘Stays sharp to the

bottom of the glass’ apparently, whereas Sköl

purported to be ‘Horribly good lager’, using

animations based on the ‘Hagar the Horrible’

cartoon strip from The Sun.

By contrast, against the trend but true to its

reputation, the 5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

Stella Artois (originating from Belgium) tried to

maintain that it was, ‘Reassuringly expensive’

despite being dubbed ‘wifebeater’ in popular

parlance! Oranjeboom, was, reputedly, an even

stronger lager from Holland that had been

imported into the UK, like Carlsberg, from

as early as the 1940s but under its original

‘Golden Tree’ branding.

Renowned for its high, even excessive, strength,

Oranjeboom had, actually, been available both

on its home turf and exported in various 5%

ABV versions, as well as in 7.5% premium,

8.5% extra, 12% super, 14% ultra, 16% mega

and even 18% extreme strength varieties. As an

example of how adulterated such beers become

once production is franchised elsewhere, it is,

today, still brewed by Shepherd Neame but as

a diluted beverage with an ABV of only 3.9%!

Conversely, Carlsberg’s canned super-strength,

‘Special Brew’, that had established a particular

niche in the UK market ever since it was first

produced in 1950, was reduced from 9% to

8% earlier this decade over concerns regarding

its high strength.

Tennent’s Lager was first brewed in 1885 and,

eight years later, it won the highest award at

the Chicago World’s Fair. J & R Tennent is also

notable for having produced the first canned

lager in 1935 and the first keg lager in 1963.

One of the brand’s high strength variants,

Tennent’s Super (9% ABV), is no longer

produced in Scotland by the Wellpark brewery

(nowadays made in Luton by Inbev), but the

Glasgow site still produces an 1885 Lager

(5% ABV) which, amongst many other brews,

is flanked by both a weaker Lager (4% ABV)

and a stronger Extra (9.3% ABV). Tennent’s

Lager was once famous for the design of its

cans which, until 1989, featured photos of

various female models printed onto the side

who became affectionately known as “The

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Lager Lovelies”. Authentic, original, cans with

such advertising thereon are much sought after

by collectors even today despite being viewed

as sexist by some. Nonetheless, in 2017, the

brewery partnered with one of Scotland’s bestloved

sitcoms, Still Game, to add two more

well-known faces to the list of Tennent’s “Lager

Lovelies” – characters, Jack Jarvis and Victor

McDade, played by Ford Keirnon and Greg


Paul Dabrowski

With acknowledgements to Boak & Bailey and

various CAMRA publications.

CAMAL (The Campaign for Authentic Lager)

may be of interest. Please visit camal.org.uk for

more details.

Mine’s A Pint


Join up, join in,

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than a pint a




Real Ale

Cider & Perry



why we joined.



Join us, and together we can protect the traditions of great

British pubs and everything that goes with them.

Become part of the CAMRA community today – enjoy

discounted entry to beer festivals and exclusive member

offers. Learn about brewing and beer and join like-minded

people supporting our campaigns to save pubs, clubs,

your pint and more.

Join the campaign today at


*Price for paying by Direct Debit and correct at April 2019. Concessionary rates available.

Please visit camra.org.uk/membership-rates



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pub heritage and the

great outdoors


As our farmers

know all too well:

no pain, no grain.

They say nothing worth having comes

easy. Unfortunately for our farmers

that’s true of the barley we use to brew

our beers. We use a classic variety

called Golden Promise, grown to our

own unique specification. The biscuity,

golden malt it produces is the perfect

partner to our natural spring water,

and is vital to Landlord’s depth and

delicate balance of flavour. It’s also a type

of barley that’s notoriously hard to

grow, and our exacting specification

makes it even more difficult. Which

makes it a costly ingredient and a

real challenge even for experienced

farmers. Luckily we can offer some

liquid therapy.

All for that taste of Taylor’s

Mine’s A Pint










TUES - SUN | 10AM-11PM

MON | 10AM-6PM (Kitchen Closed)






Friday 4 th & Saturday 5 th October

Enjoy top class Flat racing on the track, then toast the unmissable occasion at the Beer

Festival in association with CAMRA with a choice of over 200 real ales, perries and ciders.

CAMRA Member Discount of over 40%

Friday 4th October – Tickets £10.50 per person (standard price £19)

Saturday 5th October – Tickets £14.00 per person (standard price £26)

Book at ascot.co.uk and quote CAMRA2019

(max. 4 tickets per person, valid for Queen Anne Enclosure tickets only, must be booked in advance)

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