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).

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


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IN THIS ISSUE...<br />







& MORE...<br />

FREE<br />

Time for<br />

a Cider!<br />

ISSUE FIFTY ONE AUTUMN <strong>2019</strong>

Branch Diary<br />

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

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

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

last-minute changes.<br />


Thursday 5th: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.<br />

Crown Inn, 2 Church Street, Theale, RG7 5BT. We will<br />

move on c20:45 to visit 2 more Theale pubs.<br />

Tuesday 10th: (20:00) Branch meeting. Castle Tap, 120<br />

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

please.<br />

Saturday 14th: (c12:00) Regional Meeting in the upstairs<br />

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

7AD. CAMRA members only, please.<br />

Wednesday 18th: (20:00) Gala Awards Night, at Castle<br />

Tap, 120 Castle Street, Reading, RG1 7RJ.<br />

Friday 20th: (19:00) Southall Curry Night. Southall<br />

Conservative Club followed by (20:30) curry at Al-Sultan<br />

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

at 18:07, Maidenhead 18:21 & Slough 18:29. Return at<br />

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

Contact: pauldabrowski0159@gmail.com<br />

Wednesday 25th: (20:00) New Members Night, Tutored<br />

Beer tasting for new CAMRA members. Nags Head, 5<br />

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


Thursday 3rd: (20:00) First Thursday of the Month Social.<br />

Alehouse, 2 Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2BH. Cider night!<br />

Tuesday 8th: (20:00) Branch meeting. Queens Head, back<br />

room, 54 Christchurch Road, Reading, RG2 7AZ. CAMRA<br />

members only, please.<br />


Saturday 16th: (14:00) Branch AGM in the upstairs room<br />

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

Followed by a tour of local pubs. CAMRA members only,<br />

please. ALL DETAILS TBC – any changes will be shown on<br />

website.<br />

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

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

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

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

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

3<br />

Contact Us<br />

Useful contact details for this magazine,<br />

CAMRA and other important things…<br />

Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong> Circulation: 3,000.<br />

Outlets: Over 70 across the region.<br />

Editor: Phil Gill<br />

editor@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

0771 455 0293<br />

81 Addison Road, Reading, RG1 8EG<br />

Magazine published on behalf of<br />

Reading and Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

by: Neil Richards MBE at Matelot<br />

Marketing<br />

01536 358670 / 07710 281381<br />

n.richards@btinternet.com<br />

Printed by CKN Print Ltd, 2 North<br />

Portway Close, Round Spinney,<br />

Northampton, NN3 8RQ<br />

01604 645555<br />

Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA<br />

www.readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Social Secretary: Chris Hinton<br />

social@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Contact for all other branch matters:<br />

Katrina Fletcher<br />

contact@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

0779 401 9437<br />

Local Trading Standards<br />

From time to time, drinkers receiving<br />

poor standards of service or poor<br />

quality products may wish to raise the<br />

matter with Trading Standards. You<br />

now need to do this through Citizens<br />

Advice, an organisation which provides<br />

free, confidential and impartial advice<br />

on consumer issues.<br />

To contact Citizens Advice Consumer<br />

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

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

Consumer.<br />

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

published in early December. Please<br />

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

1 st November and you could see your<br />

name in print!<br />

The opinions expressed in Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong><br />

are not necessarily those of the editor or<br />

the Campaign for Real Ale. © Campaign<br />

for Real Ale <strong>2019</strong>.


9 –20 OCTOBER<br />


104–108 KINGS ROAD, READING, RG1 3BY<br />




Featuring ales such as<br />

4.0% ABV<br />

Various ABVs<br />

5.0% ABV<br />

Subject to local licensing restrictions and availability at participating free houses. Photography is for guidance only. J D Wetherspoon plc reserves the right to<br />

withdraw/change offers (without notice), at any time. See main menu for additional details of our terms and conditions.<br />


From the Editor<br />

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

This month we celebrate CAMRA’s Cider<br />

Month by taking a look at real cider – what it<br />

is, where it comes from and how it’s made. If<br />

you normally only drink beer when you go to<br />

the pub, it’s a great time to “branch” out and<br />

explore a new range of tastes.<br />

Also in this issue we have some reflections on<br />

the Reading Beer and Cider Festival. Now that<br />

a few months have passed it’s right to take stock<br />

and reflect on what went well and what can be<br />

improved. Planning is already in full swing for<br />

next year’s festival. In fact it’s fair to say that<br />

it’s pretty much an all year round activity, and<br />

if you’d like to get involved the organising team<br />

will be very happy to have you on board.<br />

Finally it’s my sad task to report the death of<br />

our CAMRA branch Vice Chairman, Martin<br />

Hoare. Martin had been unwell for some time<br />

but still attended CAMRA events including the<br />

beer festival. We were all shocked when we<br />

heard he had passed away after complications<br />

arising from surgery. Martin will be greatly<br />

missed and it’s only fair that we celebrate his<br />

life in this issue. Wherever you are, why not<br />

raise your next glass to Martin?<br />

Phil Gill<br />

Editor, Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong><br />

editor@readingcamra.org.uk<br />

Contents<br />

Branch Diary & Contacts: 3<br />

From the Editor: 5<br />

Pub News: 6, 7 & 8<br />

Martin Hoare: 9<br />

Brewery News: 10 & 11<br />

Small Beer: 12 - 16<br />

Festival Reflections: 18 - 20<br />

Cider Month: 22 & 23<br />

The Promotion of<br />

Lager in the UK: 24 - 27<br />

Join CAMRA: 28 & 29<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Pub News<br />

Caversham<br />

The PRINCE OF WALES in Caversham has<br />

closed for refurbishment and will open under<br />

new management towards the end of the year.<br />

The pub, which first opened in 1896, and was<br />

previously owned by Brakspear, has been taken<br />

over by the Dodo pub company. The brand own<br />

pubs, mainly in Oxford but also Cheltenham,<br />

with unusual names such as the Rusty Bicycle<br />

and The Rickety Press. They are to rename<br />

the premises The Last Crumb. Leo Johnson, a<br />

founding member of the company, said that the<br />

pub’s name was a nod to Reading’s old biscuit<br />

industry. Although their pubs are known to<br />

be on the quirky side they want to make The<br />

Last Crumb a place that has a cafe culture for<br />

families as well as provide food all day.<br />

Playhatch<br />

THE FLOWING SPRING in Playhatch have<br />

plenty planned for the upcoming months,<br />

and are even arranging events well in to next<br />

year. Landlord and lady, Nick and Hazel are<br />

especially looking forward to celebrating<br />

their 10 year anniversary at the pub and have<br />

a series of events planned for the <strong>Autumn</strong> of<br />

2020. On 12 September next year a band are<br />

booked to play their outside stage that are at<br />

present not being named but are sure to have<br />

“mass appeal”. The ever popular mini one day<br />

festival, Springstock, will also be returning on<br />

6 June 2020.<br />

Returning to this year, there is a Cockney<br />

themed night on 16 November, which includes<br />

a menu of traditional East End food such as<br />

salt beef, seafood, Chinese, curries, fruit pies,<br />

crumbles and of course pie, mash and liquor.<br />

There will also be fancy dress, a sing a long, a<br />

special guest and a “somewhat familiar London<br />

premium ale.” Well known John Otway is<br />

playing on 5 October, but by the time this<br />

goes to print, it will most likely be sold out.<br />

On Saturday 21 September Sing-Along-A-Nick<br />

is making a comeback and is promised to be<br />

a fun evening. Some other dates for the diary<br />

are Classic Cars and Bikes on 8 September<br />

and 13 October from 9:30 – 11:30am and an<br />

unplugged night on Tuesday 1 October.<br />

Reading<br />

The ELDON ARMS on Eldon Terrace, which<br />

has been closed since April, will reopen on<br />

12 September under the management of local<br />

brewery, Wild Weather. It is reported that there<br />

will be a mix of cask and key keg available and<br />

it will be renamed The Weather Station.<br />

THE MARKET HOUSE in Market Square is<br />

a newly opened premises owned by City Pub<br />

Company, which advertises “rooms, events,<br />

eat, drink”. It has opened in the old Lloyds<br />

bank building and they boast some of the old<br />

features. They have changed the bank vault<br />

into a secret garden with a sliding glass roof,<br />

which can be hired for private functions. They<br />

also have a rooftop terrace. They have three<br />

kitchens, one of which is focused on ever<br />

changing pop up market food, paying homage<br />

to their position and the history of the town.<br />

They also have a separate gin and cocktail<br />

bar and a keg wall. On a recent visit the cask<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


eers available were Adnams’ Lighthouse and<br />

Southwold Bitter, Tiny Rebel Stay Puft and<br />

Siren Craft Brew Yulu. There is also a large<br />

selection of craft cans and bottles. They are dog<br />

friendly and have 24 contemporary rooms.<br />

The closed BATTLE INN in Oxford Road<br />

could be replaced with flats. Developer JR<br />

Properties wants to build six flats in its place.<br />

The council have turned down the application,<br />

however the plans could still go ahead if the<br />

developers submit an appeal. The pub changed<br />

its name to become the Gospoda Polish pub,<br />

before being renamed The Royal until it closed<br />

in 2015. Councillor Tony Page, lead member<br />

for planning, said at the Planning Committee<br />

meeting: “It was the Battle Inn for many years,<br />

serving a very respectable pint. Unlike many<br />

pubs in the area, this was a genuine loss.”<br />

On a recent visit THE ALLIED ARMS in St<br />

Mary’s Butts had a good range of beer and<br />

cider on. The beers included Bingham’s Vanilla<br />

Stout, Kazbek Cascade, Rooster’s Brewing<br />

Scrambler, Loddon N.O.T.U.S, Otter Amber<br />

and Clear Water Mariners. The ciders available<br />

were Rosie’s Pig, Old Rosie, Orchard Explorer,<br />

Big Apple and Friel’s Vintage Cider. The pub<br />

runs a quiz night every other Wednesday.<br />

Although one of the main attractions of THE<br />

MODERATION on Caversham Road is their<br />

Thai food, they also have a lot more on offer.<br />

As well as running a quiz night every Sunday,<br />

they hold regular live music at the weekend<br />

and poker nights on the first Monday of the<br />

month. There are daily offers with two for<br />

one main meals on Mondays and curries at £6<br />

each on Tuesday. On Wednesday they provide<br />

Indonesian taster plates at £10 per person, then<br />

on Thursday it is two courses for £12. Prosecco<br />

is £15 a bottle on Friday and on Sunday<br />

brunches and roasts are on offer. Their lunch<br />

deal is two courses for £10 and 3 courses for<br />

£13 Monday to Friday 12-3pm. Loyalty cards<br />

for food are available as well as pizza and BBQ<br />

in the garden for bookings and parties. They<br />

have four real ale pumps.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

7<br />

THE CASTLE TAP on Castle Street hosts its<br />

<strong>Autumn</strong> Beer Festival on 19-22 September,<br />

featuring live music from Rosedale on Friday,<br />

DJs on Sunday and more.<br />

THE JOLLY ANGLERS on Kennet Side, which<br />

reopened in Spring this year, runs happy hour<br />

on Wednesday between 3pm and 9pm where a<br />

pint of ale is £2.95 or £1.50 a half. The pub is<br />

open all day everyday and serves food between<br />

12 and 9pm.<br />

The former WARWICK in Kings Road has now<br />

reopened as the Cardamom Indian Restaurant,<br />

after having an unsuccessful stint as The Biscuit<br />

& Barrel pub. The food in the restaurant was<br />

excellent on a recent visit and there’s also a<br />

branch in Pangbourne.<br />

The RISING SUN on Forbury Road that closed<br />

its doors permanently in January 2015 was sold<br />

several months ago, but nothing has happened<br />

to the building. The pub which dates back to<br />

1877 was due to be demolished in 2017, but is<br />

still standing.<br />

Planning permission has been given for a new<br />

development in the old pound shop in Broad<br />

Street Mall, which will include an indoor<br />

market, restaurant and bar. The opening hours<br />

will be between 9am and 11pm Monday to<br />

Friday and until 11.30pm on Fridays and<br />

Saturdays.<br />

Admiral Taverns are seeking a new tenant for<br />

THE PHEASANT on Southampton Street.<br />

There are no details on the public house<br />

operator’s website yet but the sign board has<br />

a phone number that you can ring: 01244<br />

502555.<br />

THE TROOPER POTTS in Whitley has been<br />

refurbished and reopened with a new name,<br />

THE VICTORIA CROSS. The Greene King<br />

owned Hungry Horse pub first opened in<br />

March 2016 as The Trooper Potts, named after<br />

a First World War soldier from Reading. The<br />

new name will reflect the soldier’s heroism,<br />

winning a VC for rescuing an injured colleague<br />

under fire. Amongst the refurbishment is an<br />

improved sports viewing area and a larger

garden. There are deals throughout the week<br />

including steaks from £5 on a Monday, curry<br />

and a drink for £5.50 on a Wednesday and buy<br />

one get one free on burgers on a Friday. Greene<br />

King IPA is £2.99 all day every day.<br />

Shinfield<br />

THE BELL AND BOTTLE by School Green<br />

has been taken over by John and Sue who used<br />

to run the Bramshill Hunt and the Arborfield<br />

RBL Club. The beer quality is said to be a<br />

prime objective for the new managers and on a<br />

recent visit the Flying Monk was found to be in<br />

very good condition.<br />


BEER<br />

Pub News compiled by Evelyn Harrison-Bullock<br />

...AT HOME<br />

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RebellionBeerCo<br />

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


For <strong>2019</strong> our Monthly<br />

Specials will be<br />

raising funds and<br />

awareness for<br />

Gaddesden Row Riding<br />

for the Disabled.<br />


Dunsley Farm, London Rd, Tring HP23 6HA<br />

N 01442 890721 D www.tringbrewery.co.uk<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Martin Hoare 1952 - <strong>2019</strong><br />

provided and operated the PA system, which he<br />

used to good effect to run the pub quiz.<br />

Martin loved attending science fiction<br />

conventions, where he provided sound systems<br />

and ran the real<br />

ale bar. He also<br />

loved Belgium and<br />

Belgian beer and<br />

visited Ostend a<br />

few times a year.<br />

There he had a<br />

group of good<br />

friends and was<br />

involved in De<br />

Oostendse Bierjutters, a local beer supporters<br />

club.<br />

Born in Newport, Martin studied Physics at<br />

Brasenose College, Oxford. Later in life he took<br />

a Law Degree with the Open University, one<br />

module of this being Welsh in remembrance<br />

of his roots. He then proceeded to take on the<br />

taxman in court, representing himself, and won!<br />

He was frequently found propping up the bar<br />

in the Alehouse, particularly when Wales were<br />

playing rugby, and had been doing so since it<br />

became the Hobgoblin. He was involved in<br />

the local CAMRA group and, at the time of<br />

his death, held the position of Vice Chairman.<br />

His involvement with the Reading Beer and<br />

Cider Festival dates back to the very beginning,<br />

working as Finance Steward. In later years he<br />

held other stewarding roles, was a valuable<br />

member of the Foreign Beer Bar team and<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

9<br />

Martin was authorised to give firework displays,<br />

and did so until fairly recently with a group of<br />

loyal friends. They would all meet up in the pub<br />

afterwards and greet each other with the shout<br />

“ten”, holding up their hands to prove they still<br />

had all their fingers. Yet another of Martin’s<br />

talents was pickling onions with the help of his<br />

glove puppet Doris Panda, and he entered these<br />

into the Retreat’s annual pickled onion contest.<br />

Martin was a real character who knew an<br />

extraordinarily large number of people, all of<br />

whom will miss him greatly. He died twenty<br />

years to the day after his beloved wife Jean.<br />

Sue Thirlaway

Binghams<br />

The Tap Room at Emma’s Kitchen is<br />

unfortunately no longer open, but there is<br />

now a Tap Yard in front of the brewery on<br />

Saturdays throughout the Summer from 11:30<br />

to 16:30 so you can sit and enjoy a pint or two<br />

of Binghams beer in the sunshine. Wine is also<br />

available. If you want to continue your session<br />

at home, then takeaways are available from the<br />

brewery shop in sizes from 1 to 20 litres. Cover<br />

will be provided if the weather is not good.<br />

Currently there is no food available on site,<br />

but you are welcome to bring your own and<br />

if the idea proves popular then they will invite<br />

food stalls. Updates will be provided on their<br />

Facebook page.<br />

Viennese Whirl, a 5% ABV<br />

Viennese Pale Ale brewed with<br />

a blend of Citra, Centennial<br />

and Chinook hops, proved so<br />

popular earlier in the year that<br />

it has now become part of the<br />

permanent range.<br />

The overall winners of the Champion Beer of<br />

Britain competition for <strong>2019</strong> were announced<br />

at the Great British Beer Festival on 6 August.<br />

In the London and South East Area round,<br />

Binghams Vanilla Stout was judged Gold in<br />

the Speciality Category, and Doodle Stout<br />

won Silver in the<br />

Stout Category.<br />

Vanilla Stout then<br />

went on to be the<br />

overall winner of the<br />

Speciality Category!<br />

In 2016 Vanilla<br />

Stout was judged<br />

Supreme Champion<br />

Beer of Britain.<br />

Loddon<br />

The fifth new beer<br />

produced this year by<br />

the new head brewer<br />

Jake (see the last edition<br />

of Mine’s a <strong>Pint</strong> for our<br />

interview with him) is<br />

‘This is New England’, a<br />

5.8% ABV New England IPA.<br />

Aggressively double dry-hopped<br />

with Ekuanot, Mosaic and Lemondrop, and<br />

fermented for two weeks with New England<br />

yeast, this beer is packed with citrussy, tropical,<br />

green tea and lemon flavours and aromas. It is<br />

naturally hazy, unfined and suitable for vegans.<br />

New Wharf<br />

Word has reached us that Maidenhead-based<br />

brewery New Wharf have ceased production.<br />

Rebellion<br />

August’s monthly beer is Sonic Boom which is a<br />

pale amber ale with a stone fruit hop character.<br />

They are using a newly developed hop called<br />

Callista from Germany. They’ve wanted to use<br />

it for a while but only now been able to secure<br />

enough for a run of monthlies. A hop very low<br />

in bitterness but with strong aromatic qualities.<br />

This creates a thirst-quenching beer with notes<br />

of peach and nectarine.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Siren Craft<br />

Following successful crowdfunding, Siren are<br />

now producing canned beer, with their 6.5%<br />

ABV Fruit Smoothie IPA, Ten Dollar Shake<br />

being available in a can. To coincide with<br />

launching cans, Siren have also updated their<br />

branding – look out for their new pentagonal<br />

pumpclips in a pub new you!<br />

West Berkshire<br />

The latest cask offering<br />

from West Berkshire is<br />

‘No Worries’, a 3.6% ABV<br />

Australian Pale Ale.<br />

Congratulations are also in<br />

order as Maggs Mild took<br />

home Bronze in the Mild category at the Great<br />

British Beer Festival!<br />

Wild Weather<br />

One of the more interesting unique<br />

recent beer offerings from Wild<br />

Weather is ‘Sprucie Bonus’, a<br />

4.5% ABV Spruce Tip Red Ale.<br />

A Red IPA brewed with locally<br />

foraged spruce tips and dry<br />

hopped with Ahtanum, it is deep<br />

red with malt flavours of oatmeal raisin cookie,<br />

and cherry character from the Spruce.<br />

Brewery News compiled by James Moore<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Small Beer<br />

A round up of news and information<br />

Gala Awards Evening<br />

All are welcome to attend and help celebrate<br />

the great beer and cider community that we<br />

have in Reading. Let’s all raise a glass to that!<br />

Stonegate to Buy Ei Pub Group<br />

The array of awards at last year’s event<br />

One of the highlights of the local CAMRA<br />

year is our Gala Awards Evening. The name is<br />

ambitious, the purpose more down to earth – to<br />

celebrate and mark the wonderful selection of<br />

great local pubs, a multitude of local breweries<br />

and cider makers supplying them and a great<br />

array of people making, serving and drinking<br />

their produce.<br />

It’s a public event, open to all. This year it will<br />

be held on Wednesday 18 September at the<br />

Castle Tap on Castle Street in Reading, starting<br />

at 8pm.<br />

You don’t have to wear black tie or a ball gown.<br />

In fact if you do you’ll look out of place as our<br />

focus is on the awards and the people winning<br />

them, rather than the image. Beer festival T<br />

shirts are more the standard outfit.<br />

The regular awards for branch Pub of the Year,<br />

Cider Pub of the Year and Club of the Year<br />

will be there of course, along with the winners<br />

of competitions held at the Reading Beer and<br />

Cider Festival. Alongside those, this year’s<br />

highlights include a special award to Seona<br />

MacKenzie of the Clifton Arms for 35 years of<br />

service as a licensee in the Reading area, along<br />

with presentations to various local CAMRA<br />

members who have made a real difference with<br />

their service to the branch over a number of<br />

years.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

12<br />

Stonegate Pub Company has agreed a £3 billion<br />

deal to buy Ei, Britain’s largest pub owner. Ei,<br />

better known by its old name of Enterprise<br />

Inns, owns more than 4,000 pubs. When added<br />

to Stonegate’s 772, it will take the combined<br />

company to nearly 5,000 pubs, the largest in<br />

the country.<br />

Stonegate runs a number of brands including<br />

Slug and Lettuce, Walkabout and Yates’s, and<br />

offered a 38% premium over the previous<br />

value of Ei shares, valuing the business at £1.3<br />

billion. Including debt, the deal is worth £3<br />

billion. Stonegate has promised to invest in its<br />

new estate; we’ll see whether that’s true.<br />

The Competition and Markets Authority<br />

is sure to take a close look at the deal and<br />

could have the power to force pubs to be sold<br />

to competitors in areas where there would<br />

otherwise be a local monopoly.<br />

So what will it mean for drinkers? Given Ei’s<br />

poor reputation, especially in the way that it<br />

treats its tenants, it could be welcome news.<br />

CAMRA has given a cautious welcome to<br />

the takeover and Ben Wilkinson, CAMRA’s<br />

National Director, said: “For many Ei Group<br />

has become a byword for unfair business

practices and disregard for the social value<br />

of pubs. Its custodianship of thousands of<br />

community pubs has not been a happy period<br />

and it’s clear many will welcome this news.<br />

However, such a significant change will create<br />

anxiety and we call on Stonegate to be clear and<br />

open about their plans as early as possible.”<br />

“This deal will make Stonegate the largest<br />

pub owner in the UK, and that brings a huge<br />

responsibility both to consumers and to<br />

their tenants. We hope Stonegate seizes this<br />

opportunity to make a firm commitment to<br />

adhere to the spirit and letter of the Pubs Code<br />

and spearhead a new, more positive era in the<br />

industry by setting a gold standard for thriving<br />

pubs based on fair and equitable business<br />

practices.”<br />

In contrast, City analyst Douglas Jack pointed<br />

out that: “The combined estate should provide<br />

a substantial pool of pubs to either convert<br />

(from leased to managed) or sell. This could<br />

trigger a lot of follow-on corporate activity in<br />

the sector.”<br />

One immediate benefit for CAMRA members<br />

is that their new discount vouchers should be<br />

valid in more places!<br />

CAMRA Discount Vouchers<br />

There are many reasons why you might have<br />

decided to join CAMRA. You might simply love<br />

a good pint, or perhaps wanted to get involved<br />

in a campaign to save a local pub from closure.<br />

Maybe you wanted to learn more about beer<br />

and brewing.<br />

pubs and breweries, which makes it feel all the<br />

better when somebody offers it of their own<br />

free will.<br />

For many years CAMRA has operated<br />

a discount scheme in association with<br />

Wetherspoons, giving £20 of vouchers a year.<br />

Some loved it, some hated it. Now, as of 1 July<br />

this year, anybody joining or renewing their<br />

CAMRA membership will find a different set<br />

of vouchers in the mail: £30 of vouchers (60<br />

x 50p) redeemable in over 1,400 pubs across<br />

the country.<br />

A significant difference is that this new scheme<br />

is promoted by CAMRA itself so it’s not<br />

locked to any particular pub chain. Alongside<br />

Wetherspoons, Brains and some Stonegate pubs<br />

have joined up, with more to follow. Existing<br />

Wetherspoons vouchers will continue to be<br />

valid for the 12 month transition period, and<br />

any discounts offered by individual pubs off<br />

their own back (like the Greyfriar in Reading)<br />

are separate to this scheme and so will be<br />

unaffected.<br />

Reading pubs taking part in the new scheme<br />

include Pavlov’s Dog, the Monks Retreat, the<br />

Hope Tap, Yates’s and the Back of Beyond in<br />

the town centre, plus the Seven Red Roses in<br />

Lower Earley.<br />

Champion Beer of Britain<br />

And don’t forget the discounts that you can<br />

get as a CAMRA member. In the last issue<br />

we focussed on the external organisations<br />

that offer a special rate to members. Now it’s<br />

time to think about the new CAMRA Voucher<br />

Scheme, which offers member discounts at over<br />

1,400 pubs nationwide.<br />

Importantly, all these discounts are freely-given.<br />

CAMRA policy actually prohibits members<br />

from expecting or demanding a discount from<br />

Image from GBBF CAMRA Twitter: @gbbf<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


ESTABLISHED 2006<br />

SERVING OVER 1,500<br />








CLEAN<br />






<strong>2019</strong> CAMRA<br />



FOR YOUR<br />


CALL: 07817 950853 OR 0800 7810 577<br />



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The newly-crowned Champion Beer of Britain<br />

for <strong>2019</strong> is Shere Drop from Surrey Hills<br />

Brewery. Announced at the Great British Beer<br />

Festival trade session on 6 August, this is great<br />

news for the Dorking-based brewery. Shere<br />

Drop is a 4.2% ABV pale beer with hints of<br />

lemon and grapefruit in the aroma, and a hop<br />

bitterness complemented by a balanced malt<br />

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

try it.<br />

More locally, Binghams followed up their 2016<br />

supreme champion win with a gold award in<br />

the Speciality category for Vanilla Stout, and<br />

Maggs Mild from West Berkshire picked up a<br />

bronze award in the Mild category. Well done<br />

to all involved!<br />

The results in full…<br />

MILD<br />

Gold: Church End, Gravediggers<br />

Silver: Fernandes, Malt Shovel Mild<br />

Bronze: West Berkshire, Maggs Mild<br />

BITTER<br />

Gold: Dancing Duck, Ay Up<br />

Silver: Rhymney, Hobby Horse<br />

Joint Bronze: Wolf, Edith Cavell and Ulverston,<br />

Laughing Gravy<br />


Gold: Surrey Hills, Shere Drop<br />

Silver: Green Jack, Trawler Boys<br />

Joint Bronze: Castle Rock, Preservation Fine<br />

Ale and Salopian, Darwin’s Origin<br />


Gold: Oakham, Citra<br />

Silver: Five Points, Pale<br />

Joint Bronze: Big Lamp, Prince Bishop Ale and<br />

Vocation, Heart & Soul<br />


Gold: Greytrees, Afghan Pride<br />

Silver: Irving, Iron Duke<br />

Bronze: Church End, Fallen Angel<br />


Gold: Binghams, Vanilla Stout<br />

Silver: Blue Monkey, Chocolate Guerrilla<br />

Bronze: Colchester, Brazilian Coffee & Vanilla<br />

Porter<br />


(judged elsewhere but entered in CBOB)<br />

Strong Milds/Old Ales: Tintagel, Excalibur<br />

Porters: Calverley’s Porter<br />

Stouts: Plain Ales, Inncognito<br />

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


Gold: Surrey Hills, Shere Drop<br />

Silver: Greytrees, Afghan Pride<br />

Bronze: Oakham, Citra<br />

Good Beer Guide 2020<br />

The UK’s best-selling<br />

beer and pub guide<br />

is published on 12<br />

September. With a new<br />

design and a personal<br />

foreword by Professor<br />

Brian Cox as well as<br />

contributions from Roger<br />

Protz, Emma Inch, and<br />

Tim Hampson, the 47th<br />

edition of CAMRA’s<br />

Good Beer Guide still<br />

lives up to the description<br />

of being the definitive guide to the best real ale<br />

pubs, bars and breweries in the UK.<br />

With 4,500 pubs, bars and clubs selected by<br />

CAMRA members across the UK, the Good<br />

Beer Guide is the only guide you will need for<br />

finding the best pubs that serve real ale. What<br />

makes it unique against other pub guides is<br />

the Breweries section that lists all UK real ale<br />

breweries – that’s over 1,800 of them! – and<br />

their regular beers, along with hundreds of<br />

CAMRA tasting notes.<br />

Go to shop1.camra.org.uk to secure your copy.<br />

CAMRA members get £2 off the cover price,<br />

with a further £2 discount if pre-ordered before<br />

12 September. Do it now!<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Beer Festivals<br />

Local beer festivals – some CAMRA and some<br />

not – that are well worth a visit.<br />


4th - 5th October <strong>2019</strong><br />

Ascot Racecourse, High Street, Ascot, SL5 7JX.<br />



7th September <strong>2019</strong><br />

Sherfield Village Hall,<br />

Reading Road, Sherfield<br />

on Loddon, Hook,<br />

Hampshire, RG27 0EZ.<br />

Open 11.30am – 11pm.<br />

Featuring 40+ real<br />

ales and ciders, plus<br />

Prosecco, craft lager and soft drinks. Hot food<br />

and snack food available, with face painting<br />

and live bands Green Embers, Runaway Train,<br />

Blacksmith Band, Jungle Brew and Rosedale<br />

Bandand. Free minibus in the evening to<br />

Bramley station. Tickets £4 in advance from<br />

The Shop, the Four Horseshoes and the White<br />

Hart, or £5 on the day – includes tasting notes<br />

and a pint glass while stocks last.<br />

sherfieldbeerfestival.org.uk<br />


14th September <strong>2019</strong><br />

Northcroft Fields,<br />

Northcroft Lane,<br />

Newbury, RG14 1RS.<br />

A family-friendly<br />

event in the centre of<br />

town, which includes<br />

a wide range of ale<br />

and cider and some top-notch music. Over 300<br />

different ales and ciders alongside a wide range<br />

of gin. This year’s theme is drinks from the<br />

local area: West Berks, North Hants and South<br />

Oxon. Hog roast, bratwurst and vegetarian<br />

food available. Music comes from Toploader –<br />

the actual ones! – and a selection of other local<br />

and tribute acts. Tickets £10 in advance from<br />

the website (includes a free glass and 3 drink<br />

tokens) or £12 on the door (includes a free glass<br />

and 2 drink tokens).<br />

newburyrealale.co.uk<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

16<br />

A festival organised each autumn by the<br />

Berkshire South East branch of CAMRA at the<br />

prestigious racecourse. Around 200 different<br />

real ales and over<br />

30 real ciders<br />

and perries on<br />

offer. As well as a<br />

fabulous selection<br />

of drinks, the<br />

festival will also offer some top class flat racing<br />

and the chance to have a flutter if you like,<br />

plus live music. Entrance gates and bars open<br />

at 11am on both days, with racing starting at<br />

approximately 2pm. Bars will close 30 minutes<br />

after the last race (expected to be approximately<br />

6pm). No dress code, but the racecourse<br />

encourage customers to dress smartly. All<br />

normal race-day facilities will be available<br />

including hot and cold food and soft drinks.<br />

Tickets available via a link on the website.<br />

“Queen Anne Enclosure” is the cheapest<br />

option to gain access to the festival at £19 and<br />

CAMRA members can quote “CAMRA <strong>2019</strong>”<br />

code to get over a 40% discount on on-the-day<br />

prices.<br />

ascotbeerfest.org.uk<br />


24th - 26th October <strong>2019</strong><br />

Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1BX.<br />

130 real ales and 50 ciders and perries on<br />

Thursday (5pm – 11pm) and Friday (11am –<br />

11pm) and 40 different ales on Saturday (open<br />

11am, closes 8pm or when the beer runs out)<br />

with the main hall cleared and some chairs and<br />

tables. Food available, some seating in the Old<br />

Library. Entry £5 which includes a souvenir<br />

glass. £3 to CAMRA members with their card.<br />


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

Festival Reflections<br />

It felt like there was a bit of a sea change when<br />

it came to the annual Reading Beer Festival this<br />

year, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why<br />

this was.<br />

I volunteered through the Thursday trade and<br />

evening session, followed by a jolly good knees<br />

up with my friends on the Friday. I realised<br />

that the sea change was a plethora of little<br />

developments that had all come together at<br />

once, and for the better. All of them were a step<br />

in the right direction.<br />

In 2018, the team that ran the Reading Beer<br />

Festival Games really started to drive social<br />

media. They were all over Instagram and<br />

building engagement in a way I haven’t seen<br />

CAMRA in Reading and Mid-Berks do before.<br />

They utilised Instagram Stories, which love or<br />

loathe, made it pretty clear what was happening<br />

on site. They can be found on Instagram under<br />

‘rbfgames’.<br />

Crucially, they didn’t stop after the beer festival<br />

of 2018. They continued to post content and<br />

photos all year which acted as a small reminder<br />

that the beer festival was coming. And, they are<br />

still drip-feeding photos onto their Instagram<br />

feed right now, using all the right hashtags to<br />

be found by the local communities of the area<br />

who like beer and using Instagram. In the long<br />

term, CAMRA need to embrace this approach<br />

to engagement of a younger audience.<br />

As we got nearer to show time in May, the<br />

output from ‘rbfgames’ crescendoed. The<br />

presence on social<br />

media from<br />

Reading and Mid<br />

Berks proper,<br />

also stepped<br />

up, particularly<br />

on Facebook.<br />

There is a big<br />

opportunity with<br />

Twitter. Culturevulture<br />

Reading<br />

folk are big on<br />

the twitter side<br />

of things. The<br />

account is there but it isn’t used enough to<br />

share what’s happening pub and beer wise in<br />

the area in my opinion, which is an opportunity<br />

for the year ahead.<br />

Then there was card payment. Hurrah! One<br />

of the bar managers told me that the festival<br />

had acquired CAMRA’s entire collection of<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


handheld PDQ machines and said “we haven’t<br />

gone out there and massively pushed that we<br />

can take card this year because we need to<br />

stress test it.” Now we know it works, and can<br />

work in Christchurch Meadows without signal<br />

issues etc, pushing this next year as part of the<br />

marketing materials has to be key. For many<br />

customers, it removes another barrier.<br />

Finally, the beer. There was a shift towards<br />

brand ownership for our more local breweries<br />

this year. This is something I have seen<br />

elsewhere, thanks to other events such as Craft<br />

Theory, BCBF in Bristol and many others.<br />

Allocating a separate area within the tent for<br />

Siren, West Berkshire, Elusive, New Wharf and<br />

Double Barrelled made perfect sense. It was<br />

the right thing<br />

to do, to allow<br />

these growing<br />

and developing<br />

breweries to be<br />

in a position to<br />

own what they<br />

do and how they<br />

do it. It allows<br />

them scope to<br />

engage beer<br />

lovers, tell the<br />

stories behind<br />

the brews,<br />

mingle, give support and encouragement to the<br />

countless home brewers out there who want to<br />

be in that very spot that the forever cheerful<br />

Andy Parker is stood. They did need a few<br />

more volunteers with them at points and I’m<br />

not sure whether that expectation fell to them<br />

or to CAMRA but it’s worth bearing in mind<br />

for 2020.<br />

When you’re stood there looking at these very<br />

local and very community driven breweries<br />

it makes you feel incredibly proud to be<br />

from Berkshire. These businesses give back,<br />

and they engage and welcome customers to<br />

their tap rooms. The fact that we now have<br />

several great quality tap rooms in our branch<br />

is great progress to celebrate. Moreover, these<br />

businesses pay it forward by often welcoming<br />

local food traders on site too. I worked my way<br />

through these local breweries in a methodical<br />

manner, trying almost everything that was put<br />

on up until Friday night. Elusive’s ‘Time and<br />

Magik’ was one of my favourites, followed<br />

by another Elusive brew which was ‘Punch<br />

Out Round 1: Citra and Nelson’ - my friends<br />

and I came back several times for this. Double<br />

Barrelled introduced me to other favourites:<br />

‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and the ‘Summer Session:<br />

Pineapple’ which is one I await for Luci and<br />

Mike to put into can form.<br />

I had loved working the key-keg stand in 2018<br />

but it felt like a huge responsibility to look after<br />

these more sensitive brews, and ensure we were<br />

doing them justice at pour. I worked key-keg<br />

again this year and what CAMRA did right,<br />

was bring volunteers into that area who had<br />

worked it previously and were passionate about<br />

it. My favourite beers from key-keg this year<br />

were Simcoe Simon by Beer Hut Brewing Co,<br />

the Organic Cucumber and Grape Gose by All<br />

Day Brewing Company, Hazy Shade of Winter<br />

by Padstow Brewing Company and Skoda War,<br />

a Belgium quad by Brew York which blew my<br />

socks off.<br />

On the foreign beers this year, there were some<br />

subtle changes too. Some excellent breweries<br />

were added to the line up. Two of significant<br />

note were De Kromme Herring and Der Molen.<br />

Both of these breweries have been stocked<br />

regularly by the Grumpy Goat. De Kromme<br />

came to Reading last year as part of the 2018<br />

Craft Theory, and Der Molen were there and<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


present this year. I’m always impressed with the<br />

ordering of the foreign beer. It’s no mean feat to<br />

pick and curate a selection that can attract such<br />

a diverse audience, but I think they nailed it this<br />

year. There were some staple classics which are<br />

crucial for beer lovers on their journey and tick<br />

box exercise of trying those signature brews,<br />

but it was fantastic to see the likes of Alvinne<br />

Brewery be stocked with several lines this year.<br />

from the beer woodwork. Some of these faces<br />

I only ever see at the festival, and some of<br />

those volunteers are like those good friends<br />

you have but you seldom see. You find you can<br />

pick your conversation straight back up from<br />

where you left off, giggling along the way. I’m<br />

grateful and thankful to every organiser and<br />

CAMRA member and volunteer behind the<br />

scenes making things happen, putting in their<br />

own time to keep the wheel spinning. And,<br />

I’m grateful for every member who pushes for<br />

change: small changes that when stacked up<br />

make a big change. ‘Continuous improvement<br />

is better than delayed perfection’ - that was<br />

Mark Twain, but I felt a sense of change this<br />

year, for the better.<br />

Onto cask, the backbone of CAMRA. I’m<br />

always ready for a great recommendation, and<br />

this year I was not disappointed. The standout<br />

(and the one beer I keep thinking about, even<br />

now) is Old Chimneys Brewery whose ‘Good<br />

King Henry’, a Russian imperial stout, was<br />

incredible. I’m not a stout person by nature<br />

but perhaps my foray into coffee this past<br />

twelve month served me well. I went back<br />

several times for Good King Henry and it was<br />

gone by midday Friday which says it all. The<br />

‘Plymouth Plum Mild’ by Cullercoats Brewery<br />

was a lovely tipple too, as was (another stout)<br />

‘Flapjack Marmalade’ by Hop Kettle Brewing<br />

Co. One of my finishers for the Friday evening<br />

was the Turning Point Brewery’s ‘Trapped<br />

Under A Cow’ - I had highlighted this one on<br />

my list and it didn’t let me down.<br />

A final note and piece of gratitude. The team<br />

that pull the beer lists together: I know that this<br />

is no small task and yet every year I absolutely<br />

love going through those lists and deciding<br />

what I’ll try. I’ve been known to export them<br />

and print them out and colour code them with<br />

an array of highlighter pens. Oh yes. However,<br />

I didn’t need to do that this year because local<br />

beer blogger Quaffable Reading took the pain<br />

out of the excel spreadsheet and created a<br />

mobile friendly version which he shared with<br />

many of us online. It was great.<br />

I’m always in awe at how smoothly the beer<br />

festival runs when you recognise how many<br />

people it must take to organise it. On a<br />

personal note, it’s genuinely my Christmas<br />

each year. I love it and I kind of live for it. I<br />

love working behind the bar and never fail to<br />

enjoy seeing so many familiar faces appearing<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />

20<br />

That was another piece of innovation which<br />

made the user experience better than it was<br />

before. I’m pretty sure that having a good<br />

experience is what we all want, and what<br />

CAMRA would aspire to. All of the above<br />

made <strong>2019</strong> a stellar year. Bring on 2020.<br />

Zoë Andrews

great beers from<br />

oxfordshire since 2003

Cider Month<br />

CAMRA’s real cider and perry months are in<br />

October and May. May is more focused on<br />

getting people to try new or a wider range of<br />

ciders, whereas October is directed at getting<br />

people in to the pubs in the first place.<br />

from Turkey were growing wild in England<br />

in Neolithic times. The first written mention<br />

of cider was in 1204AD, when it was used as<br />

payment. However the Celts made crab apple<br />

cider before this. The Romans continued to<br />

make cider, engineering equipment to press<br />

the apples. The Normans began to introduce<br />

a wider range of apples. Throughout the 17th<br />

Century the number of orchards increased and<br />

cider became a more popular tipple. In the<br />

18th century cider was used to pay the farm<br />

workers. The 19th century saw development of<br />

the importance of the quality of cider.<br />

Apples – the raw material for cider making<br />

CAMRA’s definition of real cider requires it to be<br />

“made from the freshly pressed juice of apples,<br />

not syrup, and not to have been pasteurised or<br />

artificially carbonated.” Although there are a<br />

lot of ‘ciders’ that do not meet this criteria, real<br />

cider has become far more readily available in<br />

pubs.<br />

Although many pubs are tied to what beers and<br />

ciders they can stock, bag in box real ciders are<br />

widely available. It might be worth asking in<br />

your local if they have access to bag in boxes.<br />

They can keep for over one month once opened,<br />

unlike a barrel of beer that needs to be drunk<br />

within a few days.<br />

Look out for our Cider Pub of the Year judging<br />

next year. All the information is on the Reading<br />

CAMRA website but the main things to note are<br />

the quality and condition of the cider or perry,<br />

the promotion and knowledge of the product<br />

from the staff as well as the welcome and<br />

service, the atmosphere of the pub, the focus on<br />

community, the sympathy with CAMRA aims<br />

and the value for money.<br />

Real cider is a traditional drink with a long<br />

history in Britain and pre-dates pubs by a<br />

long way. Apples that probably originated<br />

An example of a cider press<br />

Traditionally cider making has not changed<br />

much in all these years. First apples are washed<br />

and then pulped and pressed. The extracted<br />

juice is then left to ferment. Yeast does not<br />

need to be added to trigger fermentation as it<br />

is naturally present on the skin of the apple.<br />

After the cider has fermented, it is quite often<br />

blended with the previous year’s product to<br />

finalise the process.<br />

There are now more than 600 types of apple<br />

grown in the UK. It is estimated that about 450<br />

of these are cider varieties. These apples have<br />

been developed to have special strains which<br />

gives different ciders their unique taste. Apples<br />

fall into four categories; Bittersweets which<br />

have a low acidity but high tannins, Sweets<br />

which have low acidity and low tannin, Sharps<br />

which have a high acidity and low tannin and<br />

finally Bittersharps which have a high acidity<br />

and high tannin. Most apple varieties contain<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


a combination of all four. Tannins give the<br />

cider the colour and the dryness. Most cider<br />

makers tend to avoid bittersharp apples as<br />

the consumer taste today seems to favour the<br />

sweeter less acidic flavours.<br />

Different types of ciders can be made by<br />

carefully selecting a combination of apples. The<br />

making of a cider starts with the planning of<br />

the orchard. They are designed with different<br />

varieties planted at the same time so they can be<br />

harvested together and be used simultaneously<br />

to create different characteristics in the cider.<br />

Although apples taste sweet, cider apples<br />

are unlike the ones we eat. They are usually<br />

smaller, harder and would be too dry to<br />

eat. Unsweetened cider is naturally dry and<br />

this is because all the sugar is used up in the<br />

fermentation process. Cider can later be<br />

sweetened using unfermented apple juice or<br />

artificial sweeteners.<br />

Cider is a very important and historical part of<br />

our British heritage and it is definitely making<br />

a big come back.<br />

Cider and perry judging at a previous<br />

Reading Beer and Cider Festival<br />

Evelyn Harrison-Bullock<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


The Promotion<br />

of Lager in the UK<br />

PART 2<br />

Paul Dabrowski continues his series about<br />

lager advertising, including some very familiar<br />

catchphrases.<br />

Following experiments in lager brewing as early<br />

as 1915, with the post-World War I market –<br />

minus Austrian and German imports – in mind,<br />

the branding of Barclay’s new products at their<br />

1922 launch as ‘London Lager’ perpetuated<br />

the tradition established by most UK-brewed<br />

lagers to date in not adopting an inappropriate<br />

pseudo-continental name as a deliberate ploy to<br />

maximise sales at a time when patriotic fervour<br />

was still rampant.<br />

With anti-German prejudice in the UK<br />

somehow proving less resilient after 1945,<br />

the iconic 1958 film Ice Cold in Alex, starring<br />

John Mills, Anthony Quayle and Sylvia Syms,<br />

probably did as much for the rehabilitation of<br />

the notion of the ‘good German’ amongst the<br />

viewing public as did the most memorable,<br />

penultimate, scene – where the protagonists<br />

down several glasses of Carlsberg – in reestablishing<br />

foreign lager (but, unfortunately,<br />

reinforcing the misconceived ‘benefits’ of cold<br />

beer generally) in the consciousness of that<br />

same audience. This blatant product placement<br />

had followed earlier post-WWII export success<br />

in the UK using the somewhat cryptic, ‘In<br />

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

Back in 1935, the Welsh Felinfoel brewery<br />

had been the first to successfully can its beers<br />

(although a lager was not amongst them) but<br />

it was the purchase of a bulk beer pasteuriser<br />

from Germany by Watney, Combe, Reid &<br />

Co. Ltd. six years previously that had presaged<br />

their development of the kegging process for a<br />

beer launched, for low turnover club use only,<br />

soon afterwards. The advent of the Second<br />

World War ultimately provided an incentive,<br />

during the mid- to late-1940s when American<br />

servicemen were being stationed in Britain, for<br />

the techniques to become increasingly linked.<br />

However, their particular association with lager<br />

was, oddly perhaps, initially eclipsed by the<br />

artificial gassing process being associated more<br />

with their application to (and replacements for)<br />

traditional cask ales and the creation of canned<br />

products such as Watney’s Party Four and<br />

Party Seven. What is not widely appreciated<br />

is that the carbon dioxide given off naturally<br />

but trapped in sealed fermenters, invariably<br />

now being used for bulk lager production, was<br />

reused at the brewing plant to engender some<br />

effervescence back into the finished products<br />

to not only disguise the lack of any on-site<br />

maturation but also to counter the deleterious<br />

effects of pasteurisation (principally, halting all<br />

fermentation). Reintroduced just prior to the<br />

packaging stage, this practice, theoretically,<br />

enabled immediate despatch to retailers<br />

without the need for any brewery conditioning<br />

and the storage costs involved.<br />

The high-profile promotion of the resultant<br />

inferior substitutes, both in cans and via gaudy<br />

keg fonts established onto bar tops whilst<br />

handpulls were being dismantled, inevitably<br />

created such adverse public reaction that it led<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


to a consumer pressure group – the Campaign<br />

for the Revitalisation of Ale – being formed in<br />

1971.<br />

It was the additional, artificial, carbonation of<br />

the latter, in particular, using cylinders of CO 2<br />

to propel the keg beers and lagers to the bar<br />

that invariably caused excessive ‘fizz’ which<br />

attracted their especial opprobrium. And, it<br />

should not be forgotten that, just as the hot<br />

summer of 1959 seemed to mark a turningpoint<br />

in the establishment in the UK of keg beer<br />

over cask, the long, hot summers of 1975 and,<br />

particularly, 1976 did the same for ersatz lagers<br />

over keg brews in public awareness!<br />

The Campaign for Real Ale – as it soon became<br />

once the cumbersome ‘Revitalisation of Ale’<br />

acronym interpretation was dropped – had<br />

undoubtedly provided more than just a catalyst<br />

that aided an eventual volte-face by the ‘Big<br />

Six’ brewing combines of the time as regards<br />

cask beer brewing was concerned, particularly<br />

whilst reliable cooling methodology for real<br />

ale was finally being perfected. But almost<br />

all UK-brewed lager, however, was to remain<br />

inextricably wedded to kegging and canning<br />

techniques well into the 21st century.<br />

In October 1972, a German-themed beer festival<br />

had taken place at Alexandra Palace, predating<br />

the CAMRA-inspired Great British Beer<br />

Festivals at the same venue later that decade. In<br />

fact, a first-and-last jointly-held protest against<br />

the lagers being promoted, involving both the<br />

Society for the Preservation of Beers from the<br />

Wood and the nascent CAMRA, was held to<br />

coincide with the event. Reputedly, the barrelrolling<br />

of real ale casks uphill formed part of<br />

the demonstration – though, if full, probably<br />

not for immediate consumption! The SPBW<br />

was, and still is, a 1963 forerunner to CAMRA<br />

though far less effective through missing the<br />

main picture!<br />

the 1960s onwards, as in Liverpool (Rigsby’s),<br />

with Hull, Leeds and Sheffield spawning a<br />

Hofbräuhaus each and, amongst those opened<br />

in some of the capital’s suburbs (complementing<br />

those extant in the city centre), there was even a<br />

Löwenbräu Keller in Croydon.<br />

A Bristol Bierkeller accompanied several in<br />

Manchester, too, with an ‘Austrian’ biergarten<br />

in Lytham St. Annes from the summer of<br />

1966, and, around 4-5 years later, Blackpool<br />

gained three outlets, the Talbot Bierkeller, a<br />

Hofbräuhaus and, opposite the Central Pier,<br />

a Jager Keller. Then, the vast Harte & Garter<br />

Hotel, Windsor, installed its own bierkeller,<br />

with Southend, Pwllheli in Wales and Peel on<br />

the Isle of Man each gaining one in 1972, 1974<br />

and 1977 respectively. By the end of the 1970s,<br />

Butlins had created a staggering 25 amongst its<br />

seaside holiday camps.<br />

During the penultimate decade of the 20th<br />

century, however, the bars had generally become<br />

seedier, accompanying accoutrements such as<br />

food, music, chasers and even the lager itself,<br />

less authentic as the bigger players had begun<br />

to dominate this lucrative market. The Talbot<br />

and Jager outlets in Blackpool, for instance,<br />

had actually been opened by Bass Charrington<br />

and the Forte Hotel Group respectively.<br />

Nonetheless, German-style beer festivals with<br />

Bavarian oompah bands and cuisine continued<br />

to be established subsequently in places such<br />

as Norwich and Solihull, supplementing the<br />

resurgence of semi-permanent bierkellers from<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Whilst lager, as a beer style, had had a reputation<br />

in the 1960s of classy sophistication, by less than<br />

a generation later, it had become increasingly<br />

associated with football hooliganism and the<br />

risqué advertising that Fosters and Castlemaine<br />

XXXX – latterday Australian interlopers<br />

– particularly exemplified (in contrast with<br />

the wry and offbeat publicity the former had<br />

previously been associated with). Other, moreestablished<br />

brands felt coerced into dumbingdown<br />

their publicity on television, billboards<br />

and periodicals in order to maintain their<br />

market share.<br />

Amongst the almost saturation promotional<br />

material that ensued in the 1970s, 1980s and<br />

1990s, particularly memorable advertising<br />

catchphrases were devised, just as many for<br />

various keg beers had done likewise a decade<br />

or two before. Examples included, ‘I bet he<br />

drinks.....’ (Carling Black Label), ‘Probably<br />

the best lager in the world’ (Carlsberg),<br />

‘Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for<br />

anything else’ (Castlemaine), ‘Australian for<br />

beer’ (Fosters), ‘Refreshes the parts other beers<br />

cannot reach’ (Heineken), and, ‘For great<br />

lager – follow the bear’ (Hofmeister), the lastmentioned<br />

invariably featuring a life-size ursine<br />

character called George wearing a pork pie hat<br />

and a gold bomber jacket interacting with lads<br />

and ladettes in various pub and club situations.<br />

Harp Lager, which was originally concocted in<br />

Ireland by Guinness in 1960, ‘Stays sharp to the<br />

bottom of the glass’ apparently, whereas Sköl<br />

purported to be ‘Horribly good lager’, using<br />

animations based on the ‘Hagar the Horrible’<br />

cartoon strip from The Sun.<br />

By contrast, against the trend but true to its<br />

reputation, the 5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)<br />

Stella Artois (originating from Belgium) tried to<br />

maintain that it was, ‘Reassuringly expensive’<br />

despite being dubbed ‘wifebeater’ in popular<br />

parlance! Oranjeboom, was, reputedly, an even<br />

stronger lager from Holland that had been<br />

imported into the UK, like Carlsberg, from<br />

as early as the 1940s but under its original<br />

‘Golden Tree’ branding.<br />

Renowned for its high, even excessive, strength,<br />

Oranjeboom had, actually, been available both<br />

on its home turf and exported in various 5%<br />

ABV versions, as well as in 7.5% premium,<br />

8.5% extra, 12% super, 14% ultra, 16% mega<br />

and even 18% extreme strength varieties. As an<br />

example of how adulterated such beers become<br />

once production is franchised elsewhere, it is,<br />

today, still brewed by Shepherd Neame but as<br />

a diluted beverage with an ABV of only 3.9%!<br />

Conversely, Carlsberg’s canned super-strength,<br />

‘Special Brew’, that had established a particular<br />

niche in the UK market ever since it was first<br />

produced in 1950, was reduced from 9% to<br />

8% earlier this decade over concerns regarding<br />

its high strength.<br />

Tennent’s Lager was first brewed in 1885 and,<br />

eight years later, it won the highest award at<br />

the Chicago World’s Fair. J & R Tennent is also<br />

notable for having produced the first canned<br />

lager in 1935 and the first keg lager in 1963.<br />

One of the brand’s high strength variants,<br />

Tennent’s Super (9% ABV), is no longer<br />

produced in Scotland by the Wellpark brewery<br />

(nowadays made in Luton by Inbev), but the<br />

Glasgow site still produces an 1885 Lager<br />

(5% ABV) which, amongst many other brews,<br />

is flanked by both a weaker Lager (4% ABV)<br />

and a stronger Extra (9.3% ABV). Tennent’s<br />

Lager was once famous for the design of its<br />

cans which, until 1989, featured photos of<br />

various female models printed onto the side<br />

who became affectionately known as “The<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Lager Lovelies”. Authentic, original, cans with<br />

such advertising thereon are much sought after<br />

by collectors even today despite being viewed<br />

as sexist by some. Nonetheless, in 2017, the<br />

brewery partnered with one of Scotland’s bestloved<br />

sitcoms, Still Game, to add two more<br />

well-known faces to the list of Tennent’s “Lager<br />

Lovelies” – characters, Jack Jarvis and Victor<br />

McDade, played by Ford Keirnon and Greg<br />

Hemphill!<br />

Paul Dabrowski<br />

With acknowledgements to Boak & Bailey and<br />

various CAMRA publications.<br />

CAMAL (The Campaign for Authentic Lager)<br />

may be of interest. Please visit camal.org.uk for<br />

more details.<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


Join up, join in,<br />

join the campaign<br />

From<br />

as little as<br />

£26.50 *<br />

a year. That’s less<br />

than a pint a<br />

month!<br />

Includes<br />

£30<br />

Real Ale<br />

Cider & Perry<br />

Vouchers<br />

Discover<br />

why we joined.<br />

camra.org.uk/<br />

10reasons<br />

Join us, and together we can protect the traditions of great<br />

British pubs and everything that goes with them.<br />

Become part of the CAMRA community today – enjoy<br />

discounted entry to beer festivals and exclusive member<br />

offers. Learn about brewing and beer and join like-minded<br />

people supporting our campaigns to save pubs, clubs,<br />

your pint and more.<br />

Join the campaign today at<br />

www.camra.org.uk/joinup<br />

*Price for paying by Direct Debit and correct at April <strong>2019</strong>. Concessionary rates available.<br />

Please visit camra.org.uk/membership-rates

1<br />


for great beer, cider and perry 2<br />

3<br />

Enjoy CAMRA<br />


in front of or behind the bar<br />

4<br />

Save<br />

5 YOUR LOCAL 6<br />

7<br />

Get<br />

9<br />

Enjoy<br />

great<br />


MONEY<br />

great<br />


What’s yours?<br />

great reasons<br />

to join CAMRA<br />

8<br />

10<br />

(really!)<br />

10<br />

Discover your reason<br />

and join the campaign today:<br />

www.camra.org.uk/10reasons<br />

Become a<br />



and make new friends<br />

Find the<br />




pub heritage and the<br />

great outdoors<br />


As our farmers<br />

know all too well:<br />

no pain, no grain.<br />

They say nothing worth having comes<br />

easy. Unfortunately for our farmers<br />

that’s true of the barley we use to brew<br />

our beers. We use a classic variety<br />

called Golden Promise, grown to our<br />

own unique specification. The biscuity,<br />

golden malt it produces is the perfect<br />

partner to our natural spring water,<br />

and is vital to Landlord’s depth and<br />

delicate balance of flavour. It’s also a type<br />

of barley that’s notoriously hard to<br />

grow, and our exacting specification<br />

makes it even more difficult. Which<br />

makes it a costly ingredient and a<br />

real challenge even for experienced<br />

farmers. Luckily we can offer some<br />

liquid therapy.<br />

All for that taste of Taylor’s<br />

Mine’s A <strong>Pint</strong><br />


- EVENTS<br />

- TOURS<br />

- REAL ALE<br />

- CRAFT BEER<br />

- SHOP<br />

- TAPROOM<br />

- KITCHEN<br />


TUES - SUN | 10AM-11PM<br />

MON | 10AM-6PM (Kitchen Closed)<br />






Friday 4 th & Saturday 5 th October<br />

Enjoy top class Flat racing on the track, then toast the unmissable occasion at the Beer<br />

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

CAMRA Member Discount of over 40%<br />

Friday 4th October – Tickets £10.50 per person (standard price £19)<br />

Saturday 5th October – Tickets £14.00 per person (standard price £26)<br />

Book at ascot.co.uk and quote CAMRA<strong>2019</strong><br />

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

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