Apologies for the delay of this email, but we were waiting to see if the easing of restrictions would go ahead as planned.
48th Cambridge Beer Festival
The last week of May saw Cambridge Beer Festival celebrated in pubs in and around our branch area. Some of the events were live streamed and we also recorded some short videos especially for beer festival week. We are grateful to the licensees and their staff who hosted events, and the volunteers who took part in the events or who filmed and edited them. If you missed some of the events you can find many of them on the Cambridge Beer Festival YouTube channel. The 2021 Beer Festival glasses were sponsored by Gearset and were given to many pubs to sell to give licensees additional income or raise money for local good causes.
Pubs gradually reopen
From 17 May pubs have been able to welcome us inside. This has allowed many more pubs to reopen, especially so in Cambridge where fewer pubs have suitable outdoor space. There are still a handful of pubs that haven’t reopened and it isn’t yet clear how the delay to the final stage of lockdown easing will affect their reopening plans. Until then the rule of six (or two households) with table service continues to apply indoors with up 30 people able to gather outside. This is challenging for pubs as they require as many staff (or more) for fewer customers. On top of this there is a shortage of staff at the moment, with many pubs advertising vacancies.
We are continuing to maintain our Covid-19: What Pubs Are Doing page. It lists pubs that have reopened and also those that are only offering takeaway services. If we know of a pub’s temporary opening hours these are shown. This information also appears in the grey Updates box on each pub’s WhatPub entry. It’s a big task keeping this information up to date and your help is appreciated. If you spot inaccuracies or incomplete information please let us know either by email or via the Submit Updates function on WhatPub. Your feedback is always valued, but especially now as we move step by step towards more normal times.
Celebrating our pubs through the summer
We are planning a summer of celebrating the pubs in our branch area. Our plan was to have started by celebrating the pubs in the city of Cambridge during July but the postponement of restriction easing has delayed that. This will probably now happen during August with the celebration of our rural pubs overlapping the bank holiday weekend and running until October. These plans are subject to confirmation but would allow us to include events that both city and rural pubs have planned for the bank holiday weekend. Please help with this summer of celebrations by encouraging your local to take part and emailing us with events and suggestions.
CAMRA beer festivals return
CAMRA is already planning for its beer festivals to return and the four week delay to restriction easing shouldn’t affect those plans. Two of the first festivals will be in East Anglia. Huntingdonshire CAMRA are planning Booze on the Ouse at St Neots Rugby Club 19–22 August. West Suffolk and Borders CAMRA are planning the East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival in Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral, Cloisters and Garth 25–30 August. Your CAMRA membership entitles you to a reduced entry fee at both these events.
Many thanks to all our members who have been scoring their beers since pubs reopened. In the four weeks to 6 June we had received 178 scores from 25 members. Since pubs reopened in April the Champion of the Thames on King Street and the Boot in Dullingham are the city and rural pubs with the highest scores. Beer scoring is easy to do via the pub’s WhatPub entry. If you have a smart phone and internet access you can score while you drink. If not you can do it from home later. Your beer scores help us to discover which pubs are serving the best beer and also helps in selecting candidates for the Good Beer Guide.
Tuesday 13 July from 8. Virtual monthly open branch meeting and social. This meeting will be held on Zoom. Please email Steve, our branch secretary, if you’d like to attend.
Monday 19 July. Final easing of social distancing restrictions.
Tuesday 10 August from 8. Monthly open branch meeting and social. Provisional venue: The Haymakers, Chesterton.
Tuesday 14 September from 8. Monthly open branch meeting and social. Provisional venue: The Boot, Dullingham.
The health of each other, our family, friends and our communities is incredibly import. Please support our NHS and continue to follow the advice given by Public Health England and the protocols each publican has formulated.