- Branch Pub & Club of the Year Awards 2020
Saturday 21 March 2020
Surrey Hants Borders Branch of CAMRA is delighted to announce the winners of our Pub, Cider Pub and Club of the Year competition.
Branch Pub of the Year – Alfred Free House
For the second year running Surrey Hants Borders Branch has a new recipient of our Branch Pub of the Year.
The top pub in 2020 is a first time winner of the award, the Alfred Free House, Upper Hale near Farnham. This is a friendly family run, street corner local tucked away in a leafy residential area down a very narrow road. The public bar is popular with locals and visitors alike and good conversation is the order of the day.
What really caught the judges eye was the unusual and welcome choice of real ales.
With over 200 pubs to choose from, it wasn't an easy task to pick a winner, but Alfred Free House is a worthy winner. The award isn’t just about the excellent range of beers, but also about their high quality as well as the warm and friendly atmosphere at the pub. At this challenging time it's great to see a pub offering a take away service throughout the CORVID-19 pandemic.
The Branch will be presenting a certificate to mark the success when the pub reopens.
Branch Club of the Year – Railway and Athletic Club, Woking
Unlike Alfred Free House, the Branch Club of the Year is no stranger to the top place as 2020 is the 6th successive year the club has won the award. This friendly and lively social club is tucked away near Victoria Arch, serving an ever-changing selection of ales, often from local breweries, normally three at a time. One side of the bar is sports orientated, with darts, (free to play) pool and Sky Sports, while the other side is quieter. CAMRA members are welcome at all times, simply show a CAMRA membership card or copy of the current Good Beer Guide, in which the Club is an entry.
Branch Cider & Perry Pub of the Year – Star Inn, Godalming
For the 8th time in succession the Branch Cider Pub of the Year is the Star, Godalming. The Star shines as a beacon supporting real cider, when few other pubs in the area do, whilst still selling an excellent range of real ales too.
However the Star is especially renowned for its selection of ciders and perries, with around six from an ever changing range, sourced by landlord, Andy Mounsey, directly from the National Cider Farm in Sussex. The Star usually stocks a draft mead and there is also a separate Stable Cider Bar in the garden which serves a different range of ciders together with a single real ale. This bar is open Thursday to Sunday. Again our presentation of this award scheduled for May, is postponed indefinitely.
- Farnham Beerex postponed until August 20th-23rd
Friday 13 March 2020
Keith Harris, the Beerex chairman, today issued the following statement.
In view of the increasing risk to individual’s health caused by Covid-19 and the ongoing uncertainty regarding the staging of future events, the Directors of Farnham Beerex have, after much debate and with great regret, taken the decision to postpone the 44th Annual Farnham Beer Exhibition (Beerex) due to be held on April 23-25th 2020.
Farnham Beerex Chairman, Keith Harris, said “Our primary concern and responsibility is the welfare of our visitors, volunteers and all others associated with this great annual event. We know that many will be as disappointed, as we are, but trust that our decision will be understood by all."
Please bear with us whilst we work hard to unravel all of the planning and commitments related to the event in April and we are pleased to confirm our intention to hold the 44th annual Farnham Beerex on August 20th - 22nd 2020, our first ever Summer Beerex. We will contact all who have purchased tickets by email before March 30th and post all further updates on our website at www.farnhambeerex.org.uk. We expect all tickets will be valid for the same corresponding session in August and we will work to announce this month the process for those unable to attend.
Thank you for your understanding in these times of unprecedented uncertainty. Please stay safe.
Chairman - Farnham Beerex
- Villages in Loxley, Warwickshire due to buy their own pub
Sunday 26 January 2020
Last week BBC News reported that nearly 200 residents of Loxley have joined together to buy The Fox Inn - the village's only pub - amid fears it could be sold to developers and closed down. Like the White Lion in Aldershot pub was listed as an asset of community value (ACV) which gave the community the time to raise funds to place their own bid to buy the pub. Funds have been raised through the sale of community shares and a loan to make up the difference between the £250,000 raised and the agreed price.
- CAMRA encourages beer lovers to ‘tap into’ taprooms this Tryanuary
Friday 17 January 2020
The Campaign for Real Ale is encouraging beer lovers to ‘tap into’ brewery taprooms this Tryanuary with 14 recommendations from its members. Tryanuary is a nationwide campaign in which participants are encouraged to try new venues in order to help local businesses during what can be a challenging month for retailers. Taprooms can be a great place to sample the latest beers straight from the source, which is why CAMRA has put together a list of recommendations.
The list is available on the CAMRA website: https://camra.org.uk/pubs/learn-more/love-pubs-join-camra/brewery-tap-rooms-for-tryanuary/
Details of two entries on the list that are close to the Surrey/Hants Borders area are reproduced below along with details of tap rooms that are in in the branch area.
CAMRA National Director Ash Corbett-Collins said: “We’d like to encourage anyone who loves beer to support the industry this month. Tryanuary was launched in order to help offset what can be a difficult time for pubs and breweries, as people try to atone for overindulgence during the festive period.
“January is a great time to sample new beers – particularly real ale – which is why we’ve put together this list of taprooms around the UK. Taprooms provide a unique experience, allowing you to try beers straight from the source, speak to brewers directly and find styles and flavours you love. We hope everyone can get involved.”
The list forms part of the Love Pubs, Join CAMRA campaign which will see individual pub recommendations released each month to encourage more beer-drinkers and pub-goers to support the cause.
Thames Side Brewery and Tap Room, Surrey – founded by CAMRA member Andy Hayward in 2015 in an old boatyard on the River Thames. The Taproom boasts a full view of the brewery in operation. Three core ales and a rotating real cider are on offer, with two additional ones when trade permits. The upstairs room and balcony overlook the river and historical Staines Bridge and are ideal for socials and meetings. A great addition to the local real ale scene, it is open Wednesday to Sunday.
Redemption Tap Room, Greater London – opens on Saturdays when Tottenham Hotspur FC has a home game – 11th and 22nd in January 2020. It offers a good selection of keg and cask beers, including the award-winning Hopspur on cask and Solar on keg. Also, some of the best street food producers from across London are also on hand for a tasty pre-match meal!
Ascot Brewing Company Tap Room - Tap Room for the Ascot Brewing Company. Opened in December 2019, with the brewery itself due to relocate to the site in March 2020. Opening hours are likely to vary until the tap is firmly established. A selection of beers in bottle and on draught from the core Ascot range, together with their Disruption is Brewing craft range are available. Also on sale are bottled beers from Belgium. No real ale yet. WhatPub entry
Craft Brews @ Frensham Brewery - Frensham Brewery is open to the public 2 days a week. Beers can be purchased to take away or ordered by the pint to drink actually inside the brewery, as there is a full on licence. The aim is to always have 4 or 5 beers own beers on at any one time, there are also cider/perry in a box and other non-beer drinks. WhatPub entry
Hogs Back Brewery Shop & Winter Bar - The Winter Bar opened in November 2019 following the successful Summer Bar in advance of a taproom in their new kiln next year, Ordering and beer collection takes place from a new counter in the shop. Drinkers sit on a selection of benches under a covered and heated canopy outside the brewery. Bottles purchased from the brewery shop can be sampled on site, with Hogs Back bottles attracting a premium to drink in. WhatPub entry.
The Crown - Thurston’s brewery tap - A brewery tap in the traditional sense. The Crown is a welcoming two-bar community pub that happens to be the birthplace of Thurstons Brewery. Three beers from Thurstons and three other real ales are available at any one time. The Crown is CAMRA’s current Surrey Pub of the Year. WhatPub entry
- Hogs Brewery Go TEA Total campaign
Tuesday 31 December 2019
Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham is running its 'Support Your Local, Go TEA Total' campaign during January. The campaign is designed to encourage more people to visit the pub for a sociable pint or two during the month, as a way of countering the January blues and supporting local pubs.
The campaign also includes a competition to find the TEA Drinkers Pub of the Year and a 'TEA Total Thursdays' offering drinkers a round of beers and a brewery tour.