Saturday, November 19, 2005

Erewash Valley CAMRA 10th Annual Beerfest

Friday 18th & Saturday 19th November 2005
Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre
Nursery Avenue

I am off to the Erewash Valley CAMRA 10th Annual Beerfest today with Henry. This is a nice small and steady festival to visit, with a trip round Derby on the way back.

Here is the Beerfest 2005 Beer List:

1) Oakham - Bishops Farewell 4.6 Peterborough
Intensely hoppy and full-bodied golden best bitter. Grapefruit character with a hint of tropical fruits.
Sponsored by: KRM Building Supplies, Nottingham Road, ILKESTON

2) Brakspears - Special 4.3 Witney, Oxford
Rich malt and hops combine with a fruit aroma for a long bitter-sweet finish with orange undertones

3) Cotleigh - Buzzard 4.8 Wiveliscombe, Somerset
A deep copper red traditional Winter ale. The chocolate malt gives a dry, nutty flavour with a smoky but smooth finish.

4) Crouchvale - Brewers Gold 4.0 Chelmsford, Essex
Honey toned golden ale with grapefruit sharpness,offset by suggestions of melon and pineapple.
Champion Beer of Britain 2005.

5) Salopian - Shropshire Gold 3.8 Shrewsbury
Rich golden ale. Using Golding and Styrian hops to give a malty, triple hopped flavour.

6) Rebellion - Red 4.7 Marlow, Bucks
Premium ale reflecting the colour of Autumn, it's deep copper hue derives from "Red Maize" in the malt grist. Predominately malty flavour with a subtle late hop character.

7) Castle Rock - Elsie Mo 4.7 Nottingham
A blonde and beautiful single malt beer. Supreme Champion in the Midlands SIBA awards for 2005/06
Sponsored by: Castle Rock Brewery, Queens Bridge Road, NOTTINGHAM

8) Nottingham - Dreadnought 4.5 Radford,Nottingham
Ruby in colour with deep,malty flavours leaving a throat tingling bitterness.
Sponsored by: Nottingham Brewery, St Peters Street, RADFORD

9) Full Mash - Decade 4.2 Stapleford, Notts
Specially brewed anniversary ale that is a pale, hoppy bitter with fruity aftertones
Sponsored by: The Dewdrop, Station Street, ILKESTON

10) Burton Bridge - Damson Porter 4.5 Burton on Trent, Staffs
Liquorice flavour with hops and fruit. Slightly sweet, amazingly red with a faint roast aroma,and a dry,astringent bite to finish.

11) Shardlow - Chancellors Revenge 3.6 Shardlow, Derbys
A well hopped session bitter, light coloured, refreshing and full flavoured.
Sponsored by: The Harrington Arms, Tamworth Road, SAWLEY

12) Leadmill - Marehay Mild 3.6 Denby, Derbys
Fuggles and Golding hops provide a satisfying chocolate/nutty finish to this mild.

13) Castle Rock - Rampling Fumatory 3.9 Nottingham
This seasonal special is a dark bitter with a hint of liquorice.

14) Museum Brewing - St Modwen’s 4.5 Burton on Trent, Staffs
Light and fruity pale beer. Oranges, pears and apples shine through finsihed with a little bitterness.

15) Dent - Baarister 4.5 Sedbergh, Cumbria
Mid strength golden bitter with initial sweetness. The floral aroma and citrus flavours compliment the traditional bitterness.
Sponsored by: The Needlemakers Arms, Kensington Street, ILKESTON

16) Wye Valley - Butty Bach 4.5 Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire
A burnished gold full-bodied premium ale from this Herefordshire brewery

17) Titanic - Stout 4.5 Stoke on Trent
An ultra-black stout with full roast aroma. With a mouth watering dry roast finish and touches of smoke or charcoal.
Sponsored by: The Nags Head,Wilne Road, SAWLEY

18) Nethergate - Priory Mild 3.5 Cavendish, Suffolk
Distinctive, full-flavoured very dark mild with a pronounced lingering roast and dry hop aftertaste.

19) Hop Back - Summer Lightning 5.0 Salisbury, Wilts
Finely balanced, pleasurable pale bitter with good, fresh hoppy aromas and a malty hoppy flavour with a dry finish.
Sponsored by: Edsons Joinery, Main Street, PLUMTREE

20) Butcombe - Gold 4.7 Wrington, Somerset
Medium bodied and well balanced, yellow gold in colour, quite fruity, slightly sweet with an abiding dryness.

21) Clarks - Golden Hornet 5.0 Wakefield, W.Yorks
A crisp golden premium beer with a full fruity taste, full hop aroma and dry hop aftertaste.

22) Hook Norton - Old Hooky 4.6 Banbury, Oxford
A well balanced and full bodied pale copper ale. The hoppy character gives way to a sweet and fruity finish.

23) Ringwood - Fortyniner 4.9 Ringwood, Hampshire
A mid brown beer with a fruity aroma. The finish is bittersweet with some fruit and hop flavours.

24) Milestone Brewery - Crusader 4.4 Newark, Notts
A Belgian style blond beer.Well balanced with a citrus accent.

25) Mallard - Duckade 4.1 Carlton, Nottingham
A light hoppy ale, celebrating a decade of brewing
Sponsored by: The Spanish Bar, South Street, ILKESTON

26) Funfair - Dodgem 4.7 Ilkeston, Derbys
Pale, hoppy summer beer.
Sponsored by: Sue's Corner Shop, Station Road, ILKESTON

27) John Thompson - JTS Bitter 4.1 Ingleby, Derbys
A well respected best bitter.

28) Brunswick - Triple Hop 4.9 Derby
A pale gold colour with citrus hop bouquet promise sweetness but the hops deliver a firm, dry, lasting bitterness.

29) Leek - Staffordshire Bitter 4.2 Leek, Staffs
Amber with a fruity aroma. Malty and hoppy to start but the hoppy finish diminishes quickly.

30) Thornbridge - Jaipur IPA 5.9 Bakewell, Derbys
Light golden appearance with sweet citrus notes reminiscent of lemon peel and tropical fruits.

31) Museum Brewing - White Shield 5.6 Burton on Trent, Staffs
IPA with a clean fruit aroma and a fruity/nutty taste, brewed virtualy unchanged since 1829.

32) Batemans - Valiant 4.2 Wainfleet, Lincs
A delicious golden beer, clean, crisp and zesty. As they say: "Develop a liking for a Viking"

33) Tom Woods - Old Timber 4.5 Barnetby, Lincs
A bitter, darkish brown beer. A slight lingering roast coffee flavour features.

34) Poachers - Dick 4.5 Witham St Hughes, Lincs
Ruby-red bitter with a smooth fruity flavour balanced by the bitterness of Goldings hops.

35) Nethergate - Old Growler 5.0 Cavendish, Suffolk
Smooth,distinctive and satisfying porter with bitter chocolate sweetness and roast malt and fruit featured.

36) Breconshire - Red Dragon 4.7 Brecon, Powys
Hop bitterness balances the biscuity malt characteristics of this easy drinking beer

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Gale's Brewery, Beers And Pubs Under Threat

Save Gales Campaign Group

For more information visit

It has been announced that London brewers Fuller, Smith & Turner (brewers of London Pride) have agreed a deal to take over Hampshire's oldest and most traditional brewers, George Gale. This immediately poses the questions of what will happen to the brewery, its beers, its pubs and its workers.

The local branches of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) have reacted with dismay at the devastating news for pub users, real ale drinkers and the brewery's staff.

CAMRA is calling on Fuller's to maintain brewing the full range of Gale's beers at the Horndean brewery in Hampshire, and to provide a commitment to retain the full Gale's pub estate and workforce.

Save This Pint Of Gales Festival Mild
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Opening Times: Curmudgeon Threatening To Quit

News has reached me from Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA, that Opening Times Curmudgeon is threatening to hang up his pen.

John Clarke said,
I am begging him to stay on and he says he will reconsider if there is enough demand from his fans. Please e-mail your support to this News Group.

Show your support in the SSMCAMRA Yahoo News Group.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Licensing Act To Go Ahead

Don't Panic Mr Mangering, we will be able to enjoy a beer next week!

The Licensing Act is to become law on November 24 after the Tories’ attempts to delay the regime failed in the House of Commons last night.

A Conservative motion to cancel the start date of the Licensing Act was defeated by 74 votes in the Commons. The Lib Dems also backed the motion, which was lost by 228 votes to 302.

This vote follows the House of Lords earlier this week in which peers voted by a majority of 33 to delay the implementation of the new regime “to allow more time to address public concerns about the effects of the proposed changes.”

Check out Knut Albert's Beer Blog : English licencing laws post on this subject:
As I am going to England at the end of next week, I shall be able to report first hand if the more liberal licencing laws for pubs will result in an orgy of drinking and rampaging - or if people just relax a bit more over their last pint for the evening. It is the proper time to quote George Orwell, who wrote about this issue in the Tribune in 1944...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Beer of the Trip! Blog Is Having A Small Redesign

We are having a small redesign here at the Beer of the Trip! blog so the site may look a little strange over next few days but hopefully we will come out looking much cleaner in the end.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Hydes Insulation - Henry's 7000th Tick

Enjoyed a few excellent beers yesterday (Sunday) which included Henry's 7000th tick, Hydes Insulation at the Eagle, Buxton:

No less than three malts are used to produce this fine ale. In predominance is English pale ale malt with a sizable portion of both Roast Barley and Chocolate malts for colour and depth of flavour. Bittering and aroma are courtesy of English Fuggles and a small amount of Wye Challenger. A small amount of seasonal winter spices are added to add further warmth and character to this beer. Dry hopped in cask with Fuggles.

Malt and spice in evidence in good balance.

A pleasant bitterness with a slightly sweet initial flavour followed by long notes of toffee, Christmas pud, coffee and chocolate.

A complex winter ale bursting with seasonal flavours, hearty enough to warm the cockles on a long winter night.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Official - Well Hopped Beer Is Good For You

"Mmmm... Beer" This oft-repeated sentiment of Homer Simpson is a mantra for the millions of beer drinkers in the United States. As popular as beer is, however, it often has gotten a bad rap as a calorie-loaded beverage that only serves to create paunchy beer bellies and alcohol-fueled lapses in judgment.

But that negative image may begin to fade: Research is showing that beer could join the ranks of other guilt-inducing but wildly popular foods — chocolate, coffee and red wine — as a possible disease-fighter.

It turns out that beer hops contain a unique micronutrient that inhibits cancer-causing enzymes. Hops are plants used in beer to give it aroma, flavor and bitterness.

The compound, xanthohumol, was first isolated by researchers with Oregon State University 10 years ago. Initial testing was promising, and now an increasing number of laboratories across the world have begun studying the compound, said Fred Stevens, an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at Oregon State's College of Pharmacy.

Earlier this year, a German research journal even devoted an entire issue to xanthohumol, he said.
What Stevens and others are discovering is that xanthohumol has several unique effects. Along with inhibiting tumor growth and other enzymes that activate cancer cells, it also helps the body make unhealthy compounds more water-soluble, so they can be excreted.

Most beers made today are low on hops, however, and so don't contain much xanthohumol. But beers known for being "hoppy" — usually porter, stout and ale types — have much higher levels of the compound. Oregon's microbrews ranked particularly high, Stevens said, which is not surprising: U.S. hops are grown almost entirely in the Northwest.

Still, no one knows how much beer is needed to reap the benefits. Mice studies show that the compound is metabolized quickly by the body, so it's hard to get a large amount in the body at one time, Mr Stevens said
It clearly has some interesting chemo-preventive properties, and the only way people are getting any of it right now is through beer consumption,

Source ABC News, Drinker's Delight: Beer May Fight Disease.

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CAMRA Campaigns To Keep Gale’s Brewing

Personally I think ther is little hope in saving another lost brewery, but here goes...

Consumers to seek assurances over future of Horndean Brewery, Gale’s pubs and beer range

Beer consumer group, the Campaign for Real Ale has reacted angrily to today’s announcement that London brewer Fuller’s is to acquire George Gale and Company in Horndean, and has pledged to fight to prevent the closure of the 158 year-old Hampshire brewery.

Mike Benner, Chief Executive, said,
Gale’s is a brewing landmark in Hampshire, brewing award-winning beers such as HSB and Festival Mild. Today’s announcement by Fuller’s makes no promises to keep the Horndean brewery open and it is clearly under threat. We will campaign to protect this unique Victorian tower brewery from closure.

The irrevocable deal leaves Fuller’s with around 360 pubs and access to Gale’s substantial free trade accounts. The future of the Gale’s Brewery and its beers is unclear as Fuller’s plans a major review of its operations.

Mike Benner added,
In 2005 alone we have seen Ridleys of Essex and Belhaven in Scotland fall victim to Greene King and Jennings of Cumbria swallowed up by Wolverhampton and Dudley. Consolidation is eroding our brewing heritage and reducing consumer choice.

CAMRA will be seeking assurances from Fuller’s that the Horndean Brewery will continue to brew the full range of Gale’s beers and that Gale’s pubs will not lose their identity with the Hampshire brewer.

“CAMRA has a good relationship with Fuller’s and it has demonstrated its commitment to an interesting range of quality cask beers. We will be pressing Fuller’s to continue this tradition and ensure Gales’ beers continue to be brewed in their Horndean heartland.”

Mr. Benner said,
There are potential beer portfolio clashes and we don’t want to see Gale’s Butser Bitter or Gale’s Best handpumps replaced with Fuller’s Chiswick or London Pride. Drinkers in Hampshire will not take kindly to the loss of their favourite beers.

John Cryne, CAMRA’s Brewery Liaison Officer and former National Chairman of CAMRA, said,
Whilst we clearly oppose the takeover, it does provide some sort of counter balance to the growing domination of W&DB and Greene King. Hopefully the fact that a family owned brewery has this time found shelter with another member of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain, rather than joining the ‘big two’ where its identity would quickly be subsumed, will result in a future for both Gale’s and Fuller’s.

Gale’s Festival Mild is a long standing favourite with real ale drinkers and has picked up a number of CAMRA awards including the silver medal in the Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition in 2003 and 2004. Gales also brews Prize Old Ale, a unique real ale in a bottle.

Update I
New website set-up with an on-line petition.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

A Tough Assignment? - 'Go And Drink Some Beer'

If you have never been to a CAMRA Beer Festival then this article might open up a whole new world for you...

The Editor gave me a tough assignment. 'Go and drink some beer'
By Chris Wickham

IT is not every day that your main task is simply to drink beer, so when the opportunity arose to visit the Twickenham Beer Festival at York House I wasn't going to turn it down.

With 72 barrelled beers, at least a dozen ciders and perries and many more bottled beers to sample there seemed to be no better way to spend a Friday afternoon, and a hundred or so people who were also present must have felt the same.

The Richmond and Hounslow branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, organised the festival, the 13th they have run since 1992 and the seventh in Twickenham. The first six were in Feltham, and a band of volunteers did most of the hard work.

Brain Kirton, chairman of the branch, explains that all the setting up for the festival and taking it back down again is done by volunteers, who take time off work to help.

He tells me that 650 people came to the opening night of the festival on Thursday and six of the ales were finished off.

"It was mainly the strong ones that went, people do like strong beer," he explains. And strong beer is what they can get, along with any other type of beer you can think of.

I was armed with my tasting notes for the range of barrelled ales, but upon entering with my fellow taster Chris Suk -being a sensible drinker I knew I couldn't try a full range of ales on my own - the first thing that caught the eye was the range of bottled beers.

A large shelving unit was stacked high with bottled beers from Austria to Australia and including traditional brewing strongholds such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Amongst those was a beer called Herculean Stout, which is nine per cent ABV. Chris and I were willing to try most types of beer, but neither of us were that brave.

A full range of ciders was also available but it was the ale we had come for, so we headed into the Clarendon Room and were confronted with such a wide range of ales that we didn't know where to begin.

Not a man to stand on ceremony I decided to try the first one I saw, a beer from the Hexhamshire brewery in Northumberland called Devil's Water, a copper beer with a fruity finish according to the blurb. Chris, meanwhile, was tempted by a beer from the E and S Elland brewery in West Yorkshire called Bargee.

We both enjoyed our first foray into the festival so decided not to waste any time and continue our tasting session.

A Scottish ale was next on my list, Highlander from the Fyne brewery in Argyll while Chris went for a beer slightly closer to home, Golden, from the Archers brewery in Swindon.

Both beers were stronger than our first, and in my case it was noticeably so, the intense flavours enhanced by the strength of the beer.

With four down we were keen to expand our range and keep sampling, but as Brian explains we would not get a chance to taste all 72, even if our bodies could take it.

"Ale is a live product," he says. "It takes time to settle and develop its flavours, availability of some brews may be limited during the festival."

Limited perhaps, but in no way small. People were coming in constantly and enjoying the brews but ales were being added all the time, there were still plenty available.

Chris, being slighter more brave than me, decided it was time to try a mild, beer of lower alcoholic strength which is usually darker, and went for one from Thwaites, a brewery in Blackburn, Lancashire.

When he came back with a jet black beer I feared for him, and when a slightly pungent smell wafted in my direction I urged him not to drink it, but I soon learned not to judge a beer on anything other than taste.

The tasting notes said that this beer was hard to find in this form, I can only assume that is because so many people are drinking it, Chris couldn't get it down fast enough and from my small taste I could only describe it as a joy to drink.

Not one to be outdone I went for a grapefruit beer from the St Peter's brewery in Suffolk which, in complete contrast to the mild, appealed to the nose more than it did to the palate.

My next choice also came from the eastern extreme of the country, Woodforde's brewery in Norfolk, the aptly named, seeing as it was Trafalgar Day, Nelson's Revenge. Another strong beer it got me back into the swing of things, after the slightly disappointing grapefruit beer.

Chris went for Kodiak Gold, from the Beartown brewery in Cheshire, and immediately noticed an astringent aftertaste. He didn't drink much of it.

With eight beers between us we had sampled some very good ones, and some which hadn't been what we expected, but we could have no complaints about the range available.

Brian explains that in an ideal world they could get even more beers on.

"We have been setting up here since Tuesday," he says. "If we could come on Monday and get the extra day it would be even better.

"That would give us more chance to have more beers on. We had 16 to 20 on Thursday, if we can have them all on it would even out the sales and more beers would last longer, you have more chance of them all getting through to the end of the festival."

But what about outside the festival? As Roy Hurry, one of the festival organisers, explains the Richmond and Hounslow branch has 255 real ale pubs in its area, which covers the whole of Richmond upon Thames and 80 per cent of Hounslow.

And they make it easy to find the best, with CAMRA publishing real ale guides nationally and locally, and a branch pub of the year award, won this year by The Lion, on Wick Road, Teddington. The Magpie and Crown on Brentford High Street and The Express Tavern near Kew Bridge were the runners-up.

"A good number of pubs in this area do decent real ale," says Roy. "I can't be exact but I would say about 70 per cent do a decent real ale, which is very pleasing, and we hope that the festivals have gone some way to bringing the number up to that level.

"Anyone who is active in CAMRA becomes so because they would like to walk into any pub in the country and have a decent pint of beer."

Steve Williams, Greater London regional director for CAMRA, adds: "It is good in this area because Fuller's brewery is near, as is Young's. They have their own pubs and Twickenham has its own brewery too, it would be good to see their beers available in local pubs."

Twickenham Original, which is from the Twickenham Fine Ales brewery Steve mentioned, was my last choice, while Chris finished with a bang, the Strong beer from the Exmoor brewery in Somerset being the strongest either of us sampled.

The bitter finish to the beer didn't appeal to him but I couldn't fault the local brew. Another of their ales, Advantage Ale, was also popular, being voted as ale of the festival. Having got the taste for the beer I am loath to go back to the fizz and bubble of lager and as Brian explains there is plenty of beer out there for me to try.

"We show a minute amount of the beers that are available," he says. "There are four and a half thousand beers brewed in this country, it would be nice to have choices.

"The beer festival is all about people going back to the pubs they drink in and asking why a beer isn't there."

I will certainly be looking for pubs with real ales in the future and I'm sure I'll be back at York House next year to see what they've got.

"Unfortunately we can't have every beer," says Steve. "Even at the Great British Beer Festival we can't fit them all in, although we do get over 400 there."

Perhaps the Richmond and Twickenham Times would like a report from there next year.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

CAMRA NEWS: Beer Doesn’t Have To Leave A Bitter Taste

CAMRA Books, the publishing division of the Campaign for Real Ale, today launched The Big Book of Beer, a book temptingly subtitled, ‘Everything you Need to Know About the World’s Greatest Drink!

Beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones, tells the complete story of beer in a refreshing and accessible manner. It takes you on a journey from humble beginnings in a sun-drenched field of barley, through the brewing process, to reaching the glass in various forms and styles - satisfyingly aromatic and lightly sparkling.

The Big Book of Beer
I hope the book goes some way towards changing people‘s perceptions about real beer,

said author Adrian Tierney-Jones.

People are often pleasantly shocked when they give it a go, and there’s no better place to see drinker’s reactions than at a beer tasting.

At a recent corporate tasting hosted by Adrian Tierney-Jones, two-thirds of the females at the tasting liked English Bitter, from a selection of six contrasting beer styles, which flies in the face of orthodox brewing wisdom that the female palate enjoys a sweeter beer. Interestingly none of the drinkers would have considered drinking Bitter before tasting it.

“This is obviously a small sample from one corporate event, but it does demonstrate that an English Bitter is one of the great drinks of the beer world, full of flavour and complexity, thirst-quenching and moreish. It’s a shame that people seem to have a problem with the word Bitter when applied to beer, thinking it old-fashioned and redolent of flat caps and whippets!”

Tierney-Jones continues, “Bitter to many drinkers is a negative word. Yet the same people are happy to drink a double espresso or add Angostura bitters to their slinky cocktails; hardly easy and smooth flavours. If you look beyond the name, you’ll discover a world of flavour.”

In the same tasting 43% of those taking part said they prefer to be offered a glass which is specific for the beer they are drinking.

Author Tierney Jones said: “Again this idea is nothing new, and something that the industry has talked about for some time, it’s all about changing people’s perceptions, as beer is usually served in a standard pint glass. That’s why I decided to include a section on ‘Beer Curiosities’ in the The Big Book of Beer. In order to attract different types of drinkers to this wonderful drink, we have to accept that for some people the presentation of the beer is almost as important as the taste.”

The Big Book of Beer covers a range of topics and is a great gift title, for both beer novices and aficionados alike.

The book lists everything from:

Beer Beginnings - What makes beer, beer as a natural and organic product and how it is brewed.
Beer File - How to identify beer styles, tastes and beers of the world.
Beer Brewing – Craft brewers, family brewers, brewpubs, women and beer.
Drinking Beer – Beer in the pub, at home, Fancy a beer? Which beer to choose?
Beer and Food – Beer as an ingredient, matched with food, is beer the new wine?
Beer Curiosities – Glassware, beer mats, labels, festivals and advertising.

The Big Book of Beer celebrates every aspect of beer and urges the reader with their new-found knowledge to give it a try. Quite simply it is everything you need to know about the world’s greatest drink!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

CAMRA NEWS: New Good Cider Guide Launch At Award Winning Herefordshire Cider Producer

CAMRA award prestigious Pomona award to Dunkertons
CAMRA’s new Good Cider Guide launched at the same venue

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has awarded the prestigious Pomona award to Dunkertons, Leominster, Herefordshire.

Pomona Award
Ivor and Susie Dunkerton have been awarded CAMRA’s prestigious Pomona award for their tireless work establishing cider and perry as a premium product since founding their company in 1979, being the first producer in Herefordshire to be awarded the Soil Association certificate in 1988 and extensive orcharding work including the recent planting of specialist perry pear trees.

On hearing of the success Ivor Dunkerton said,
We are delighted to have received this recognition as we believe our ciders and perries are simply the best, at least that’s what our customers tell us. We want to thank all those who support and help us throughout the year.

Gillian Williams, CAMRA’s Director of Cider & Perry Campaigning said,
Dunkertons have led the way by establishing both cider & perry as premium organic products; they have acted as an inspiration to others. Perry trees produce perry pears for about 400 years. Ivor and Susie’s recent planting of perry trees means that in the year 2405 Pembridge could still be toasting the fruits of their labour.

CAMRA’s Good Cider Guide
CAMRA’s Good Cider Guide is the guide for real cider-loving connoisseurs. It is packed with information on every producer in the UK and highlights all the best places in which to buy and sample the nation’s best ciders.

The book is divided into counties and contains maps, listings of producers and over 550 cider outlets. The guide also includes other areas of cider interest, museums, orchards and heritage areas.

Monday, October 31, 2005

CAMRA Announces Britain's Best Pub For Cider And Perry

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has been celebrating Cider and Perry Month through October, today announced that The Miners, New Road, Whitecroft, Lydney, Gloucester is the best pub in Britain for cider and perry. This is the first time this award has been made to a pub.

CAMRA’s Cider and Perry campaign celebrates ‘real’ cider and perry. A number of events have been run by pubs, CAMRA branches and Common Ground throughout the month to help promote the quality of ‘real’ cider and perry to highlight the difference in taste that ‘real’ cider and perry offers compared to gassy, tasteless, keg products.

Gillian Williams, CAMRA’s Director of Cider & Perry Campaigning said,
It has been a very successful campaign this year. A large amount of pubs have come on board to help promote ‘real’ cider and perry by organising different events and offering consumers the chance to try the fantastic ‘real’ ciders and perries Britain produce. We have in the past always awarded pubs for the quality of their real ale and felt this was the ideal time to present an award for Britain’s Best Cider and Perry pub.

CAMRA’s Cider and Perry Pub of the Year 2005 – The Miners Arms, New Road, Whitecroft, Lydney, Gloucester. Presentation at the pub - Monday 21st October 2pm

This is the first year CAMRA has awarded a prize to the best pub in Britain that promotes and encourages sales of quality ‘real’ cider and perry. Pub goers were encouraged to enter their favourite cider and perry pubs and CAMRA received over 40 different pubs entries from across Britain.

The final judges report summed up the success of The Miners:
The Miners Arms clearly shows the listings of the fantastic ‘real’ ciders that are on sale, making it simple for the consumer to decide on which ones to try. They regularly offer three real ciders, all served on handpump. These ciders were tasted and served in excellent condition and at the right temperature. The Miners Arms also scored very highly for its friendly, welcoming staff who made you feel at home straight away. The pub feels like the heart and soul of the village and attracts all age groups. There is a wide selection of traditional games in the pub for people to enjoy, they offer occasional live music and there is an attractive garden. All in all, The Miners Arms is an excellent asset to the lucky locals of Whitecroft. It made us wish we lived a lot nearer!

Bob and Liz Kirby have run The Miners Arms for two years and on hearing they had been named as CAMRA’s National Cider & Perry Pub they said,
We are obviously chuffed to bits about this. Much of the credit for the award must go to our local cider drinkers who are dedicated in their quality control and consultancy roles and to our predecessors Stuart & Elaine who established the real cider reputation of the Miners.

Gillian Williams concluded,
The National Award provides recognition for the achievement of Bob and Liz who run this thriving real cider and perry pub. The judges, who have visited many pubs, just fell in love with The Miners Arms!

The three other finalists in this judging were –

The Brandy Wharf Cider Centre, Waddingham, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

Dave Wells runs a wonderful pub with a constantly changing range of ciders and perries in a location which needs to be seen to be believed. Brandy Wharf Cider Centre is as far away from a bland high street chain as you could imagine.

The Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham

Nigel Barker runs this busy city centre pub just five minutes from New Street Station. This is a new establishment which having been a finalist in this competition is now attracting a loyal following.

The White Horse, Village Lane, Hedgerley, Bucks

Kevin runs this pub which is lovingly described as ‘chocolate box’ due to its appearance and timeless quality. This is a pub to settle into with few strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Web In A Pint - Promoting Real Ale And Cider In The U.K.

After a busy week putting together a new website, I can finally reveal The Web in a Pint which I hope will be a great success and catch the imagination of Real Ale and Cider drinkers in the U.K.

The Web in a Pint - Promoting Real Ale and Cider in the U.K.

If you are closly related in some way to the production, sale or promotion of Real Ale or Real Cider, such as a Brewery, Wholesaler, Pub or Bar Owner, Website Owner or even if you run an Off Licence etc., you are welcome to purchase PixelAds on the Homepage Pint.

What are PixelAds?
PixelAds are images with popup text and a link to your own website. Each one is made up of 100 individual pixels in a 10x10 square. Each pixel costs 50p (U.K. pence) and can be purchased in 100 pixel blocks (i.e. a single PixelAd).

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Monday, October 17, 2005

CAMRA Launch New Bottled Cider And Perry Competition

Entries to help revise CAMRA’s definition for bottled cider and perry...

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today launched a new competition, as part of the National Cider and Perry month celebrations, to find Britain’s best bottled ‘real’ cider and perry and to help revise its definition on what constitutes a ‘real’ bottled cider or perry.

CAMRA’s National Cider & Perry Month celebrates Britain’s ‘real’ ciders and perries with a variety of different promotions and initiatives throughout October. Although CAMRA have an official definition for draught cider and perry they feel they need to revise what their current definition is for the bottled versions.

Gillian Williams, CAMRA’s Director of Cider and Perry Campaigning said,
We feel that the bottled cider and perry market has changed over the last few years and this new competition, judged at a blind tasting, will give us the perfect platform to help us constitute exactly what a ‘real’ bottle of cider and perry is from the information we receive on the entry forms. The competition is therefore open to all types of produce – pasteurised and carbonated as well as entirely natural.

Cider and Perry producers from around the country are being encouraged to enter the competition by sending four bottles of their product with the completed entry form, which can be found visiting, to Gillian Williams, CAMRA HQ, 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4LW

The questions that CAMRA are asking on the entry form include:

Is the product pasteurised?
Is the product heat treated?
Is the product micro filtered?
Is the product carbonated?

The blind tasting of the National Champion Bottled Cider and Bottled Perry will be announced along with the National Draught Cider and Perry Champion in May 2006.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CAMRA's About Serving Real Cider And Perry

Depending on facilities and turnover in the licences premises, real cider is usually served from a polycask or similar container on or behind the bar.

Lately there has been an innovative marketing of real cider from Manucubes or a bag in a box system to extend the shelf life to 3 months. These are available from specialist off licence shops & are increasingly being used by Weston's. Both Manucubes or the bag in a box system are similar to the well accepted Australian wine box & prevent the spoiling of the cider by excluding air, thus preventing airborne anerobic bacteria infecting the drink, or if present, growing in the container thus making the cider "hard" (or infected) once opened.

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.