Cambridge CAMRA in December

Good Beer Guide

The 2022 edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide was released on 12 November. Congratulations to the 26 pubs from our branch area that were selected by local CAMRA members for inclusion in the Guide. You can purchase the Guide, many other books, merchandise and gift memberships from CAMRA’s online shop.

The selection process for our entries in the 2023 Guide is already underway. Please help us with it. The publication date is likely to be delayed so we are extending our nomination deadline. You now have until 10 January to nominate the pubs that you have visited in the past twelve months or so that you think ought to be considered. The best way to do so is online using your CAMRA login details. You can revise your nominations as many times as you wish up until the deadline. You can also send your nominations by email (please include your name and CAMRA membership number). Pubs need multiple nominations to make the shortlist (and city pubs need more than rural pubs) so please don’t assume that someone else will have nominated the pubs that you think should be considered.

Once nominations have closed we’ll use them and beer scores to draw up a shortlist and, from 13 January, we’ll ask for your opinion on those. This year we have changed who can be involved in selecting our branch’s 26 entries. Previously only local branch members could take part in the selection process. From now on CAMRA members from adjoining branches will also be able to give their views. We are doing this because drinkers often travel from adjoining branches to visit pubs in Cambridge and some of our rural pubs are as likely to be visited by members from adjoining branches as they are by our group members.

Licensee survey

Pubs, clubs and taprooms are facing new challenges as economic recovery from the pandemic begins. CAMRA will be responding to some Government proposals that directly affect these venues but we need our lobbying to be evidence-based. If you are a licensee, please complete this short survey which should take around 8 minutes.

December Strolling Social

Our December Strolling Social will be on Saturday 18 December in Bury St Edmunds. The start time has been set so that people can catch the 11.47 train from Cambridge. We will be visiting the Old Cannon Brewery, the Nutshell, the Rose & Crown, Oakes Barn, the Dove and the Beerhouse. Check the event on our website for more details.

New brewery tap and new bar

We have a couple of new venues for you to drink in. Milton Brewery in Waterbeach opened a brewery tap on Friday 26 November. It will be open seasonally, Thursday to Sunday. Also, McMullens will be opening their second Cambridge venue on Thursday 2 December. It will be called the Cambridge Tap and is on the corner of Downing Street and St Andrew’s Street in what used to be a branch of the Cambridge Building Society. Cambridge’s other McMullens venue is the Town & Gown on Market Passage.

Pubs aren’t just for Christmas

December through to February have always been crucial months for publicans and this time they will be even more important given the ravages of the pandemic lockdowns. Traditionally December has been very busy for pubs with works outings and seasonal get togethers keeping the pub tills ringing. As many people are still working from home and some people are reluctant to frequent busy venues will December 2021 be the money spinner many publicans need? Although December has normally been busy, January and February have often been very quiet and are dreaded by publicans. Let’s hope that the early 2022 months buck that trend this time round or else some pubs which have been struggling may not be open by Easter.

Beer scoring

Many thanks to all our members who have been scoring their beers recently. In the five weeks to 26 November, of the pubs with multiple scores, the Alma on Russell Court and the Chestnut Tree, West Wratting 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. WhatPub can also be used to give us feedback on pubs. If you spot that the pub description is inaccurate or the opening hours are wrong, click on Submit Updates and let us know.

Future events

Tuesday 30 November – Saturday 4 December. East London & City CAMRA’s Pig’s Ear Beer Festival.

Thursday 2 December. Tap Takeover by Howling Hops Brewery at the Blue Moon, Norfolk Street. The food van will be Guerrilla Kitchen.

Tuesday 14 December from 8pm. Open branch meeting at the Lord Byron Inn, Trumpington.

Saturday 18 December. Pre-Christmas Strolling Social. We will be visiting some pubs in Bury St Edmunds. See our website for details.

Tuesday 11 January from 8pm. Open branch meeting at the Queen Edith, Wulfstan Way.

Tuesday 8 February from 8pm. Open branch meeting at the Cambridge Brew House, King Street.

Tuesday 22 February from 8pm. Branch Annual General Meeting at the NCI, Holland Street.