Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Eastbourne Beer Festival

Eastbourne's 8th annual Beer Festival will be open:

Thursday 7th October – 6.00pm – 11.00pm
Friday 8th October – 6.00pm – 11.00pm
Saturday 9th October Afternoon – 11.00am – 4.00pm
Saturday 9th October Evening – 6.00pm – 11.00pm


Over 120 real cask ales will be on tap at the festival, all of which have been chosen especially for the festival by our local CAMRA members, as being a fine selection of British cask ale.

The selection features both those produced locally within Sussex, plus a wide selection of real ales produced all over the UK.

View 2009 beer list below:

View list of British cask ales

View list of Sussex cask ales

Eastbourne Beer Festival 2010 will be held at the Winter Garden.

Tickets will be on sale from the Congress Box Office, 01323 412000 and on VisitEastbourne.com in the summer. We strongly recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Two Good Northants Freehouses

Northampton, has a few good pubs, but the Malt Shovel Tavern in Bridge Street stands out, with lunches at £5.75p. The Malt Shovel Tavern also has 13 hand pumps and the Great Oakley brewery tap.

Kettering has the Alexandra Arms in Victoria street, the Julian Church brewery tap, and also has one of the best collections of pump clips on display on all day Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays otherwise its 1400.

Sent in by Mick

Malt Shovel Tavern - http://www.maltshoveltavern.com/

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Send us Brewery Website links

We want to have a complete list of every Brewery so please inform us of any sites missing from our list of Brewers.

If you have a Brewery but don't have a website contact us for help on setting one up, it can be as cheap as £2.99 + VAT a year for a simple website.

Email us - thegoodbeerblog@googlemail.com

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Does your Local keep a good Pint??

A few points on serving a good pint -

- Cleaning beer lines every 5 days following correct procedures eliminates yeast build up in the beer lines. Every new barrel on should also have the beer lines cleaned even if its the same beer that's being put back on. This can be a problem in a busy pub but should be done to maintain a high standard for the beer.

- Ensuring the cellar is at the correct temperature 11‐13°C. This will mean the beer should also be a perfect temperature being not too warm or too cold but just right 11‐13°C when being dispensed.

- Order the correct sized barrel, the given is all beer should be sold within 3 days of opening.

- Have the correct number of beers on Tap. If a pub isn't known for its Ale it should only have one rather than 3 so that the one is drunk and so keeps fresh. One good ale is better than a choice of 3 bad ones.

- Tilting or Stooping a beer this should be done carefully 3 inches raised at the back or lowered at the front.

- Sampling beers for clarity, aroma and taste after tapping and each day before serving. Always sample from the cask before connecting the beer lines. Then again before serving the new barrel to a customer. A good landlord will always (after checking) give this sample to a regular ready to order their next pint.

More information can be found on the Cask Marque and Cask Force websites.

Cask Marque offer cellar management training.

If you have any further tips please add comments to this post.

Cask Marque - Text Alert

Cask Marque offers a text service that will tell you your nearest Cask Marque pub, handy if your out of your local area.

1. Text Cask
2. Followed by a Full Stop
3. Then where town or full/part postcode e.g. Cask.HP18 1PH
4. Send to 83211
5. You will receive back the 2 nearest outlets

Texts cost 25p plus standard operator rate. Number will be retained for future Cask Marque announcements. Just text stop to 83211 to stop this.

Full details are found here.

They also offer Sat Nav downloads of all the pubs.

National Cask Ale Week 2010

National Cask Ale Week 2010.

From March 29th – 5th April the nation’s pubs will raise a glass to real ale to toast everything brilliant about beer.

Further information can be found at the Cask Ale Week website. Parts of this are still under construction but pubs that are taking part are starting to be listed.

Information iis also displayed on the CAMRA and Cask Marque websites.

Bengal Lancer - Fuller New India Pale Ale

The Fullers website says the "Bengal Lancer is a brand new, classic India Pale Ale from Fuller's. Brewed to 5% ABV, this ale has been inspired by the history and character of this traditional style of beer."

The inspiration is from the the Bengal Lancers who have their origins in the 1700s when the nawab of the state of Awadh, in today’s northern India, raised Bengal’s first regiments of cavalry.

Available exclusively in a select number of Fuller's pubs during February, and further free trade outlets in March, Bengal Lancer is a fabulous addition to our seasonal ales range.

The beer is pale in colour, full-bodied with a distinctive hoppiness that marks it out as a true India Pale Ale.

Click for more details on the new Bengal Lancer by Fullers.

Anyone tried this yet? please comment on this post if you have.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Bridge End Inn - Ruabon

This is one of NE Wales best kept secrets, a freehouse only reopened last April.
Its a haven for beer tickers, and worth the journey to get there.
I have used the WSMR Marylebone - Wrexham service , as its open all day Saturdays, and Sundays  

Bridge Street, Ruabon, Wrexham, LL14 6DA
Tel: 01978 822 949

Submitted by - Anonymous

Send us Brewery Website links

We want to have a complete list of every Brewery so please inform us of any sites missing from our list of Brewers.

If you have a Brewery but don't have a website contact us for help on setting one up, it can be as cheap as £2.99 + VAT a year for a simple website.

Email us - thegoodbeerblog@googlemail.com

The Fleece Inn - Bretforton

A brilliant traditional English pub set in the lovely village of Bretforton. Owned by the National trust its a very active pub which offers a lot to the local community. They organise a lot of different events to reflect the seasons.

The bar is very traditional, historic may be a better word to use to describe it. It has an ever changing mix of Real Ales and cider. The pub has also started brewing it's own of both. You will normally find 5 to 6 ales and up to 3 ciders. The Ales change daily but you will normally find beers from Hook Norton and Purity Breweries.

Food is great. Using locally sourced produce it is very good for a lunchtime snack or evening meal.

It has a large barn for events, which there seems to be a constant stream of throughout the year. A few of the last events when I was there an Apple and Cider festival with a traditional cider press and shredder set up to show the cider making process. The asparagus auction was also very enjoyable to mark the asparagus harvest.

The Fleece Inn, The Cross, Bretforton, Near Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 7JE
Telephone: 01386 831173

Loads of photo's can be found of the pub on Flickr

Monday, 1 February 2010

Abolition of Land Agreements Exclusion Order

The Government has made the decision to revoke the Land Agreements Exclusion Order 2004.

CAMRA has been campaigning for its revocation since last summer as part of its campaign to reform the beer tie to address a lack of competition in the pub sector.

This means that the Large pub operating companies PubCo's. Principally those with 500 or more pubs, will now need to work to prove that their beer tie agreements are fully compliant with competition law.

Currently tied landlords are unable to buy beer from independent breweries. This is the reason a lot of Real Ale pubs offer the same beers week in week out each time you visit (It can get boring, even if the beer is good). They are tied by contract to purchase almost all stock from the PubCo if sales figures don't match up with stock orders they face financial penalties. Some PubCo's make their lessees pay over £110 for a 72pint barrel almost twice what they'd pay at an independent brewery. A pub selling a pint of real ale priced at over £3.00 will most likely be owned by a PubCo.

The Government consultation response states that revocation of the Order will promote fairer and more open markets and a better deal for consumers through improved prices, wider choice, greater investment and higher standards of customer service.

Mike Benner, Chief Executive CAMRA, said in the Offical CAMRA press release -

‘This is very positive news for pub-goers, small brewers and struggling lessees. The Order is an anomaly which has for too long given legal cover to companies which are party to potentially anti-competitive agreements. The large pub owning companies will now have to review their existing beer tie arrangements in the full knowledge that they will be liable to severe penalties if it is subsequently proven that they have breached Competition Law.

‘CAMRA remains supportive of the beer tie model provided that it offers a fair share of benefits to consumers through greater choice, price competition and quality. We now urge the large pub owning companies to publicly commit to delivering on the basic principle that a tied tenant should be no worse off than they would be if free of tie.’

So are the PubCo's going to struggle to prove that they are being competitive or not?

The Berkeley Arms - Tewkesbury

Popular 15th century half-timbered Grade II two-bar pub, located just off of Tewkesbury cross. The entrance to the public bar is from the street, whilst the Lounge Bar is accessed from one of Tewkesbury's many alleyways. At the rear is a barn, which is believed to be the oldest non-ecclesiastical building in this historic town. The Barn is used for dining in the summer and serves as a meeting room. Periodically Tewkesbury CAMRA meetings are held here.

Good value food is served every lunch time and currently Sunday Lunch is £6 (Which Includes a Pint).

The current landlord a native to Australia(Started Aug/Sept 2009) has considerably improved the beer and number of drinkers in the pub. The pub did have a quite dismal spell of 2008 and parts of the first half of 2009. It is now getting back to its drinking best.

The Pub is tied to Wadsworth's so has almost always got the full selection of their beers. It has also quite rightly installed an extra pump for one Guest Beer. Normally six ales will be on tap. Cider is also available.
Last time I went in -
Old Timer
Henry's Original IPA
Bishops Tipple
Gem - Bath Spa Ales


Saturday evenings are now a small disco in the front bar. Friday and Saturday nights still have a very relaxed and traditional ambiance before 9 o'clock. Although later than this you may have music accompanying your pint. During the week it is again a relaxed affair, a perfect local for a good pint of well kept and well served Real Ale.

Buses to Cheltenham and Gloucester stop close by. The pub is almost next door to Tewkesbury Abbey, another excellent reason to visit the town.

I give The Berkeley Arms 4 out of 5 Stars. If it had an ever changing range on all its pumps it would get a 5.

The Berkeley Arms - 8 Church Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5PA
Telephone: 01684 293034

The American View.

The following is a quoted from the website an American Specialty Beer Importer (http://www.merchantduvin.com)

"Beers brewed in England come from a deep, historical and rich beer scene, and for centuries English pubs have been the face of English beer.

English Pub Culture: Possibly, part of the warmth and friendliness of an English pub comes from the small homes and dense populations of English cities - people historically did not have big living rooms in their homes, so they needed a place to gather. The cool, damp climate may have also contributed to the cozy environment. What seems clear is that part of the English character is to offer a true "third place" - not home, not work, but a meeting place for conversation, food, laughs, relaxation and great beer. An English pub is a place to feel at home: the furniture and lighting will be comfortable. The food will be hearty, and while it may be great it will never be intimidating. Games tend to be slower-paced and not too loud - like darts. But the key components to the calming magic of an English pub are the staff, and the beer.

For every guest who walks through the door, the publican strikes the right note. Guests who are looking to have a quiet conversation will be able to hold one. Other guests who want sports news, or local color, or even jokes, will find those as well. In a manner that is time-honored, the staff of an English pub will meet the wishes of their guests in ways that may be quite subtle.

And the beer: whether a pub has many varieties of beer or only a handful they will offer a range of flavors. They will have some dark ales, and they will have at least one lager. They will offer a stronger brew, as well as session beers. They will have a pale ale. They might even offer more than one serving temperature, some beers served cold while others are served cool - "cellar temperature." An English pub will almost always offer a cider."

It got me thinking how does your local compare to an outside view of a typical British Pub? (Please leave your comments)


CAMRA's real ale and pub guide covering the branches of Cheshire, Wigan, Chesterfield, Nottingham and parts of South-West London


"When you have lost your inn's, drown your empty selves, for you have lost the last of Great Britain"

A Year Of Beer

This is a collection of photo's one real ale enthusiast has collected from the pump clip's he's discovered through a year of drinking. A good reflection of the variety of beer's that can be found.


From March 2009 he is recording every new pump clip he comes across for the whole year. So almost a year gone by there selection is huge.