Cambridge CAMRA in March

Cambridge Beer Festival

Apologies for starting this email with bad news, but sadly we have had to cancel Cambridge Beer Festival 2022 on Jesus Green. Our volunteers who plan our festivals have been working hard for many months but in the end a range of factors have led to unresolvable supply chain issues for critical elements of the festival infrastructure.

This isn’t just a big blow to our volunteers and festival goers but also to our suppliers, including our local brewers and cidermakers. It will also hit our pubs as many of our festival goers would also visit them. We urge you to support your local pubs, breweries and cidermakers. We know that several of our pubs are already planning to step in and run their own festivals during the week when we would have held ours. So keep 23–28 May marked off in your diaries.

As with all local beer festivals, tap takeovers etc., if we know about them, we’ll list them in the events section of our website. We hope to have a triumphal return to Jesus Green 22–27 May 2023.

Branch AGM

Our 2022 Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 16 March from 8 in the NCI Centre on Holland Street. The AGM will hear reports from our branch officers, will elect the committee members and officers to run the branch for the next year and of course it’s also a chance to socialise. All branch members are welcome to attend. Although we always welcome new volunteers, you won’t be pressed-ganged to do more.

Our branch, like our beer festivals, is run by volunteers. We are very grateful to everyone who chips in. Many hands don’t just make light work, they also mean that we can cover more things and do things to a higher standard. There are many roles that you could be involved in at branch or beer festival level. Delivering magazines, checking planning applications, taking part in beer tastings, lobbying politicians, checking the accuracy of our pubs’ WhatPub entries, improving the eco-friendliness of our beer festivals, serving on bars… The list is long. If you’d like to help our branch to do more, please email our chairman, Will. If you’d like to get involved in our beer festivals email our volunteering team.

Ale magazine

You’ll be pleased to know that, after an absence of over two years, our branch’s Ale magazine will be returning very soon. Keep your eyes open and pick up a copy in your local.

Thursday Throng Social

Our first ever Thursday Throng Social got off to a great start in the Castle Inn at the end of January. You will remember that they are at a venue selected by a female branch member and are open to all. Thursday Socials are a new initiative for our branch. Unlike our strolling socials, they only feature one pub and clearly they are on Thursdays rather than a Saturday. They differ from branch monthly meetings as there’ll be no business that needs to be discussed. It’s just about having a drink and a chat. The next Thursday Social will be on Thursday 31 March at the Queen Edith on Wulfstan Way and will be hosted by Clare.

Brew a beer on International Women’s Day

Tuesday 8 March is International Women’s Day. To mark the day Vanesa is inviting women to join her in brewing a West Coast IPA at the brewery that she runs in the Cambridge Brew House. There are tickets for women who want to get their hands dirty and others for those who just want to check out what’s happening. They are free of charge but booking is required. This is the first event of three days of events that will celebrate International Women’s Day at the Cambridge Brew House. For more information and to book your tickets visit the Coming Up section of their website.

Good Beer Guide

We are currently deciding which of our pubs will be in the 2023 edition of the Good Beer Guide. We used your nominations and beer scores to draw up a shortlist of 58 pubs. We are now asking members of our branch and of adjoining branches to select which of these will be our 26 entries in the Guide. All you need to do is to tell us what you think of the shortlisted pubs that you have visited in the last 6 months. We use an easy 5 point grading system. The best way for you to give your opinion is online using your CAMRA login details. You can revise your opinions as many times as you wish up until the deadline of 10 April. You can also request the shortlist and submit your opinions by email (please include your name and CAMRA membership number) or at a branch meeting or social.

Beer scoring

Many thanks to all our members who have been scoring their beers recently. In the five weeks to 24 February, of the pubs with multiple scores, the Maypole on Portugal Place 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

Saturday 26 February. The Pint Shop, Peas Hill. Tap Takeover by Manchester based Cloudwater Brewery with Paul Jones, founder of the brewery.

Tuesday 1 March. The Live and Let Live, Mawson Road reopens from 4.

Thursday 3 March. Blue Moon, Norfolk Street. Tap Takeover by Bermondsey based The Kernel brewery.

Tuesday 8 March. International Women’s Day. Brew a beer with Vanesa at the Cambridge Brew House, King Street.

Tuesday 8 March from 8pm. Open Branch Meeting at the Punter, Pound Hill.

Wednesday 16 March from 8pm. Branch Annual General Meeting at the NCI, Holland Street.

Thursday 17–Saturday 19 March. Huntingdonshire CAMRA’s Booze on the Ouse at the Priory Centre, St Neots.

Friday 18–Saturday 19 March. Sutton Beer Festival in St Andrew’s Church, Sutton.

Thursday 31 March from 7.30pm. Thursday Throng Social at the Queen Edith, Wulfstan Way hosted by Clare.

Thursday 7 April. Blue Moon, Norfolk Street. Tap Takeover. Brewery to be announced.

Saturday 9 April. Provisional date for our next Strolling Social.

Sunday 10 April. Deadline day for giving your views on pubs shortlisted for the 2023 Good Beer Guide. Mark online.

Tuesday 12 April from 8pm. Open Branch Meeting at the Earl of Beaconsfield, Mill Road.

Friday 15 – Monday 18 April. Three Horseshoes, Stapleford. Beer Festival.