September strolling social
Now that numbers gathering in pubs is no longer restricted it is time for in person CAMRA events to return. 17 members attended when we held our August branch meeting at the Haymakers in Chesterton. Our next in person event will be a Strolling Social. This will take place on Saturday 4 September. We will meet up at the Granta from 1pm and will visit the Mill, Panton Arms, Alma, Six Bells, Salisbury Arms, Devonshire Arms before ending up at the Flying Pig. People are welcome to join and leave at any point. For timing details check out our website.
Local and regional beers everywhere!
You may well have noticed a sudden upsurge in the variety of real ales available in your local. Where once there was a tranquil sea of Greene King IPA you may now be seeing Milton Pegasus or Justinian, Crafty Beers Carpenters Cask or Sauvignon Blonde, or Moonshine Heavenly Matter or Trumpington Tipple. Have large breweries and pubcos suddenly seen the wisdom of allowing pubs to source their beers on the open market? Sadly no. It is because the Greene King delivery drivers are taking industrial action. Lorry drivers are in short supply nationwide so this is a good time for the brewery’s drivers to ask for a pay rise. As Greene King can’t supply pubs their licensees are having to look elsewhere or close. Who better to turn to than our local brewers? For local breweries this is a welcome opportunity but as beer takes weeks rather than days to brew they will have limited scope to respond. As drinkers we should make the most of things and enjoy the variety and quality while it lasts.
Beer festivals return
Another thing that we are pleased to see is the return of beer festivals. Hunts CAMRA held one in St Neots last weekend and West Suffolk CAMRA have theirs at St Edmundsbury Cathedral from Wednesday until Bank Holiday Monday. Sadly because the University Social Club has closed we won’t be able to hold our Winter Festival in November.
Pubs are also holding beer festivals. I have already enjoyed ones in Ickleton, Whittlesford, Milton and Balsham and am looking forward to others coming up. Those we already know of are listed at the end of this email. We keep an up to date list on our website’s events page. Please let us know of any that aren’t listed.
Many thanks to all our members who have been scoring their beers recently. In the five weeks to 23 August, of the pubs with multiple scores, the Maypole on Portugal Place and the White Swan in Conington are the city and rural pubs with the highest averages. 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.
- Wednesday 25 – Monday 30 August. West Suffolk and Borders CAMRA’s 29th East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
- Thursday 26 – Monday 30 August. Six Bells (Fulbourn) Beer Festival.
- Friday 27 – Monday 30 August. Lord Conrad’s Brewery’s Bank Holiday Bottle Shop.
- Friday 27 – Monday 30 August. Sun Inn (Waterbeach) Beer Festival.
- Friday 27 – Monday 30 August. Lion and Lamb (Milton) Beer and Cider Festival.
- Sunday 29 August. Fox (Burwell). Cider Festival.
- Thursday 2 September. Blue Moon (Norfolk Street) Tap Takeover by Hammerton Brewery.
- Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 September. Plough (Shepreth) Beer Festival.
- Friday 3 – Sunday 5 September. Boot (Dullingham) Beer Festival.
- Tuesday 14 September from 8. Monthly open branch meeting and social at the Boot, Dullingham.
- Friday 17 – Sunday 19 September. Three Horseshoes (Stapleford) Beer Festival.
- Thursday 23 – Saturday 25 September. North Hertfordshire CAMRA’s Hitchin Beer and Cider Festival at Hitchin Rugby Club.
- Thursday 23 September – Sunday 3 October. Cask Ale Week.