Around the branch in May

It’s now six weeks since pubs were told to shut to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic and, despite the wisdom of that decision, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the day when pubs reopen. Sadly it looks like that is still a long way off.

Where to get beer

Pubs whose licenses allow off-sales and those that offer food can still do takeaways as long as they and their customers follow Public Health England guidelines. Some are delivering too. The same is true of breweries and cidermakers. To help you find out what it is still available and to help local breweries, cidermakers and pubs at these most difficult of times we have an information page on our website. There may be omissions and inaccuracies so please help us and others by pointing them out.

Pubs and rent

The past few weeks and others still to come will be extremely challenging for pub licensees with little if any money coming in. Some pub owning companies have done their best to help their tenants by cancelling the rent for the time when pubs are closed. Sadly not all pub owners are being as progressive. Some are merely postponing rent payments leaving an ever-growing sword of Damocles hanging over tenants’ heads. We have even heard of cases where the pub owners are expecting payment in full and on schedule. Nationally CAMRA are campaigning to get all pub owning companies to cancel rents for the duration of the shutdown. Please give your support to this campaign.

The Red OnLion

CAMRA has also set up a virtual pub, the Red OnLion, where you can meet with others for a virtual night out. Although you don’t have to be a CAMRA member to use the Red OnLion, logging in as a member allows you to be with more people. We used the Red OnLion for a virtual branch meeting just after Easter and will use it again for a couple of get togethers each month for as long as needed. Some people experienced difficulties taking part in April’s meeting. Hopefully now, if you log in using your CAMRA login details, you won’t have problems. 

The beer festival

Normally at this time of year we would be cranking up preparations for our Beer Festival on Jesus Green. May 2020 is going to seem very strange for those whose calendars have the festival filled in from one year to the next. We are currently thinking about holding a virtual beer festival in collaboration with local brewers and cidermakers. Watch this space for more details. CAMRA beer and cider festivals across the country are being cancelled with the Peterborough Beer Festival in late August being the latest one. As things stand we are still planning to hold our Cambridge Beer Festival Winter on the 11–14 November.

Future events

Tuesday 12 May: Virtual branch neeting and social from 8. Details will be posted on our website’s events page and our Facebook page.

Monday 18–Saturday 23 May: Possible virtual beer festival events. Watch this space.

Thursday 21 May: Virtual branch thursday social from 8:05. Details will be posted on our website’s events page and our Facebook page.

Tuesday 9 June: Virtual branch meeting and social from 8.

Sad news from Sawston

Sadly on Tuesday 21 April Michael Roughead, licensee of the White Lion in Sawston, suffered a heart attack and died. His passing will be a big loss to his family, friends and customers. In 2018 the White Lion won our branch’s Rural Community Pub award and this year won our Dark Ale award. A fuller tribute to Mick will soon appear on our website.

The health of each other, our family, friends and our communities is incredibly import. Please support our NHS and follow the advice given out by Public Health England. We look forward to the day when we can once again have a drink together.