- Itchen Valley Brewery to Close
Saturday 11 December 2021
Itchen Valley Brewery, situated just outside of the Branch area is to close at the end of December after 24 years. This is despite launching a brewery shop last year, in attempt to respond to the impact of the pandemic and growth in drinking at home.
In making the announcement the Brewery make it clear that the Covid pandemic and the lack of financial support from the Government is the reason why it is no longer viable for them to keep going.
So sadly now is your last chance to try Itchen Valley beers. They are offering full cases of their bottled beers at 50% off, as well as selling off their ciders, gins, and whisky.
Online orders can be made here
- Good Beer Guide 2022
Tuesday 2 November 2021
The 2022 edition of CAMRA's best-selling Good Beer Guide is now available.
Congratulations to all the pubs that made it in this time.
We launched the 2022 Guide at a special event at the Jolly Farmer, Bramley where we also presented a certificate to the landlords Chris & Steve Hardstone to mark an incredible 21 consecutive years being included in the Guide.
In The Good Beer Guide, you’ll find over 4500 listings across the UK’s best pubs, bars and breweries, chosen by local CAMRA volunteers as having the best cask beers available – or you can check out the special brewery section to discover new breweries setting the scene alight with interesting, exciting new brews
The Guide retails at £15.99. We also hold a small stock of copies of the Guide that are available from Kevin Travers, at a reduced price for members. To get your copy please email him Branch Contact.
- Pilgrim Brewery Under Threat
Sunday 10 October 2021
Pilgrim Brewery is the oldest brewery in Surrey, having been established in 1982. It has been in Reigate since 1984 and being in the heart of the town means it is part of the community.
Sadly the brewery's landlord, and owner of the Brewery site and taproom, have announced their intention to sell the site and convert the whole area into a residential development.
A Group has been set up to campaign to save the town’s brewery and taproom from extinction. They have also launched a petition to help save the brewery. Details can be found here
- Prince of Wales, Farnborough wins prestigious CAMRA Golden Award
Wednesday 28 July 2021
The Prince of Wales, Farnborough is one of just 32 pubs across the whole country to receive an award from CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, as part of their celebrations marking 50 years of campaigning.
On 28th July 2021 Surrey Hants Borders Branch Chairman, Ian Johnson, presented owner Peter Moore and landlady Cheryl Hinde, with a certificate in recognition of the achievement.
The award was part of CAMRA’s anniversary celebrations throughout 2021, recognising people and pubs that have made a significant contribution to CAMRA’s aims, helping us get to where we are today. Nominations for the Golden Awards were made by CAMRA members and locals. Over 240 pubs were submitted, which were then whittled down to 32 awardees.
Surrey Hants Borders Branch Chairman, Ian Johnson said: “I am delighted to be honouring the Prince of Wales, Farnborough, today with a CAMRA Golden Award. 2021 is our 50th anniversary year, and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate the successes of the Prince as well as CAMRA’s achievements – we wouldn’t have got far without their support!”
“This anniversary comes on the heels of an incredibly difficult time for the industry after a year of lockdowns and restrictions. I hope Peter, Cheryl and all their staff will take this award as appreciation for all the hard work involved in running the pub, over the decades and especially now”
Previous owner of the Prince of Wales, John Medhurst recalls “In 1981, my company Memory Inns, purchased this old rundown back street pub from Allied Breweries. We spent around £10,000 over 15 days refurbishing the Prince of Wales and installed a bank of 6 handpumps so we could serve real ale from regional breweries which were not available in the area at that time and the rest is history.”
Peter Moore and his wife Julie have been running the Prince of Wales for nearly 40 years, first as manager in 1983 before buying the freehold from Memory Inns in 2002. He says “All of us at the Prince of Wales are absolutely delighted to have been awarded a CAMRA Gold Award. My heartfelt thanks go to Cheryl and all my wonderful staff and our fantastic customers for their loyalty and good humour on returning after lockdown. Thanks also to John Medhurst, who had the foresight to buy the pub back in the 80s and allow me the opportunity to develop a community pub to which everyone in Farnborough is welcome."
As a free house the pub has an enviable reputation with beer-lovers, both near and far. It is a cosy pub, with a central bar around which are several distinct, but interconnected areas, with a wonderful wood-burning stove between the snug and seating area.
First and foremost the pub is about real ale, which has resulted in it being ever present in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide since 1983. There are usually five guest beers, including some dark and/or local beers alongside the five regulars, together with a box or two of real cider.
The annual beer festival in October is hugely popular, generally concentrating on a particular area of the country’s beers.
The Prince was chosen for its successes in standing the test of time; for being convivial, characterful and community-focused, and of course for consistently pouring great pints.
- Finally – Our Pubs are open again
Monday 31 May 2021
Monday May 17th was a long time coming, certainly for me. The reopening of pubs on 12th April for outside drinking was very welcome, it would have been a lot better if we had last year’s glorious spring weather. I spent a few afternoons sitting under the large canopy in the garden of the Crown in Horsell watching the raindrops falling. I worried that my beer was being diluted on its journey from bar to table! Pubs were generally unable to stay open into the evening, a few hardy customers may have been willing to brave the chill but most had retreated to the comfort of home. Of course there were a lot of pubs that were unable to open in April as they had little or no outside space, some others felt that it just wasn’t viable to open just for outside drinking.
Although it has been wonderful to get back inside pubs we are still not allowed to walk around without a mask and ordering a pint at the bar is still definitely not allowed. Some pubs ask you to order via an app on your mobile phone, this can be a problem for those who don’t own a suitable phone or don’t want to use such technology. In other pubs you need to wait for a passing member of staff to take your order and then wait expectantly for your pint, hoping that it arrives full and hasn’t been spilt on the journey.
Many landlords have reported that business has been quiet, customers aren’t returning in their droves. I hope that if you are reading this you enjoy a good pint and have visited a pub. Our pubs are community hubs serving their locals and need our support, if you haven’t visited your local yet I ask you to take a wander down and enjoy a pint or two.
Ian Johnson Chairman Surrey Hampshire Border Branch CAMRA