Cambridge CAMRA in January

Branch socials and AGM

Sadly, due to concerns over the omicron variant of Covid-19, we decided to cancel our December Strolling Social in Bury St Edmunds. We plan to reschedule it for December 2022.

Thursday 27 January will see the first of a new type of branch social. We’ll spend an evening in just one pub. These socials will be open to all but the venue will have been chosen by a female branch member. In the first instance the venue, chosen by Hillary, will be the Castle Inn on Castle Street from 7.30. Further details are on our website. We anticipate holding a Thursday Social every couple of months and are looking for other female members to select venues that they enjoy visiting.

Our first Strolling Social of 2022 will be in February, either Saturday 19 or 26. After some consideration I have decided to visit the pubs at Cambridge Rail Station and in Romsey. For up to date information check our website.

We were unable to hold an Annual General Meeting in 2021 due to the lockdown. We will hold our 2022 AGM in the NCI Centre on Holland Street from 8 on Tuesday 22 February.

All our socials and branch meetings are dependent on there being no restrictions on group sizes inside pubs.

Good Beer Guide

The selection process for our entries in the 2023 Good Beer Guide is underway. Please help with this. You have until 10 January to nominate the pubs that you have visited in the past year 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 sufficient members will have nominated the pubs that you think should be considered. It would be a shame if a fine pub didn’t make the shortlist due to insufficient nominations. Once nominations close we’ll use them and beer scores to draw up the shortlist and, from 13 January, you’ll be able to give your opinion on those. This year we have changed who can be involved in selecting our branch’s 26 entries. Previously only Cambridge and District 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.

Pubs aren’t just for Christmas

The winter months have always been crucial for publicans, even more so this time round. December’s trade, which normally gives pubs the resources to see out January and February, was hit by caution over the new omicron variant of Covid-19. Andy Wood, Adnams chief executive, reported a 50% drop in visitors to pubs and hotels before Christmas. As a result the next two months will be crucial for many licensees. Let’s hope that the early 2022 months buck the usual trend this time round or else some pubs which have been struggling may not be open by Easter. If you are taking part in Dry January, please do so without hurting your pub. All pubs serve alcohol free drinks and you can still eat at most of them.

Beer scoring

Many thanks to all our members who have been scoring their beers recently. In the five weeks to 30 December, of the pubs with multiple scores, the Champion of the Thames on King Street 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 11 January from 8pm. Open branch meeting at the Queen Edith, Wulfstan Way.

Thursday 27 January. Thursday Throng Social from 7:30 at the Castle Inn on Castle Street.

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

Saturday 19 February (tbc). Strolling Social at Cambridge Station and in Romsey. Check our website for details.