You need a beer. You need a vacation. You need a beercation.
Here is the latest Tour News:
It’s now a week until we embark on the LambicLand Tour and I’m glad to report that the lovely Ritchie is our driver again.
Tour 97 / The Waterloo Tour: Breweries, Beer and Battlefields of Brabant – August 2019 – our coach company has managed to swap our ferry crossing for a train crossing – outbound 0920hrs Eurotunnel and inbound 1950hrs.
Tour 98 / The In Flanders (Hop) Fields Tour – September/October 2019. PRICE NOW ISSUED – see below
Tour 99 / Christmas in Antwerp – December 2019. PRICE NOW ISSUED – see below!
For those of you who are following my beer-related classic English poetry research, who knew that the great Modernist poet T.S. Elliott had CAMRA-leanings as can be seen in line 120 of his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915):
I grow old … I grow old …
I hate beer that is too cold.
S. Eliot (1888–1965).
We are running our usual Belgian Beer Bar at Chelmsford Summer Beer Festival 2019 in Admirals Park Chelmsford from Tuesday 2 July to Saturday 6 July 2019. Come and see me and have a beer. We are focussing on lambic beer this year and will have draught lambic and loads of sparkling bottled oude geuzes and fruity bottled oude lambic beers. Of course, we will also have a great selection of twenty-four draught beers from quality Belgian breweries and some specials aged in Siobhan’s cellar (back bedroom).
Tour 97 / The Waterloo Tour: Breweries, Beer and Battlefields of Brabant
Thursday 8 August – Tuesday 13 August 2019
Latest news on this Tour is that crossing times have just been issued by Eurotunnel and our coach company Galloways have booked the crossings. We will be on the P&O Ferry Crossing on the way out on the 0925hrs from Dover and we are on the Eurotunnel on the way back on the 2050hrs from Calais, so arrive in Folkestone at 21.20hrs. The Tour cost is £895 per person based on sharing in a twin or double room. The Single Supplement is £225. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact us as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements. I’m aiming to include a visit to Hougoumont Farm, the key to the battlefield. I’ve also just found a Salamanca Eagle carved from wood from the gates of Hougoumont nestled within the Essex regiment Museum down the road here in Chelmsford, find out more on Tour! If you want to join us on this Tour please send a deposit of £130 per person to secure your place. Read More. Read More.
Tour 98 / The In Flanders (Hop) Fields Tour
Friday 27 September – Tuesday 1 October 2019
This Tour is a four-night Tour staying at the pretty Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo at a beautiful time of year. It will explore the beers and hops of West Flanders at the end of the hop picking season but will also include a unique chance to find out what was going on with beer 100 years ago in this area. More particularly, what British soldiers were drinking in Flanders which caused so many courts martials for drunkenness to take place, making it one of the top ‘crimes’ in the British Army. Siobhan will give a couple of evening lectures revealing new information coming to light in her researches into alcohol and the British army in the Great War from findings at The National Archives in Kew. I have booked us in at the new Bar Bernard the bar with 360 degree views over the Flanders plain built on top of the St Bernardus Brewery in Watou. We’ll have a group beer cuisine meal here. The Tour cost is £750 per person based on sharing in a twin or double room. The Single Supplement is £185. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller, please contact us as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements. If you want to join us on this Tour please send a deposit of £140 per person to secure your place. Read More.
Tour 99 / Christmas in Antwerp
Sunday 22 December – Friday 27 December 2019
We will once again be spending Christmas in Antwerp in 2019. I have plans for a meal at a restaurant in the grounds of a beautiful East Flanders castle with the oldest wrought iron suspension bridge in Europe and as if that were not exciting enough, the restaurant is in the brick tower dove-cot with room for 700 pigeons. I can’t wait. We are already booked in at the castle Slot Ostende in Goes for a Christmas Day brewery visit, beer tasting and luxury hot and cold buffet. The Tour cost is £795 per person based on sharing in a twin or double room. The Single Supplement is £225. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller, please contact us as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements. If you want to join us on this Tour please send a deposit of £150 per person to secure your place. Read More.
For those of you who travel to Belgium independently, or if you just want to know more about beer cafes and beer tourism in Belgium, check out Podge’s Belgian City Bar Guide online maps which cover the whole country. Read More.
Ross O’Hara, Greene King’s head brewer, will supply a firkin of Old 5X for a talk on Beers from the Wood by Roger Protz at the East Anglia Beer Festival in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 1 May at 6.30pm.
Old 5X, stored in oak casks for a year, is one of the beers that form the famous blend Strong Suffolk Ale. As Old 5X is never sold commercially, this will be a rare opportunity to sample the beer.
The tasting is at 6.30pm.The following day, at 2.30, Roger will give a talk on India Pale Ale. The Arc, city centre, Bury St Edmunds. The festival runs until Saturday 4 May.
Greene King has taken gold for its beers at the prestigious 2019 Monde Selections Awards. Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale and Over Easy all picked up the top award in the Beers, Waters and Soft Drinks category. Meanwhile, sister brewery Belhaven Brewery, based in East Lothian also received gold for its Belhaven Black stout.
The awards are judged on five elements – taste, global judgment, visual effect, odour and packaging. Now its 58th year, Monde Selections are internationally recognised quality awards in which the beers are blind judged.
Speaking about the awards Matt Starbuck, managing director, Greene King Brewing & Brands said: “We are delighted that our beers continue to be recognised by experts as top in class for consistently great quality product and marketing. Our brewers are passionate that every beer that leaves our brewery is of the finest quality, whether a market leading brand or one of our newly developed beers. It is particularly thrilling to receive these awards this year as 2019 marks two significant milestones for the company – 300 years of brewing excellence at Belhaven in Dunbar and 220 years at Greene King in Bury St Edmunds.”
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07771 528850
About Greene King
Greene King was founded in 1799 and is headquartered in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. It currently employs around 39,000 people across its main trading businesses; Pub Company, Pub Partners and Brewing & Brands.
It operates c. 2,900 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland, of which c.1,750 are retail pubs, restaurants and hotels, and c.1,150 are tenanted, leased and franchised pubs. Its leading retail brands and formats include Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer and the Greene King Local Pubs estate.
Greene King also brews quality ale brands from its Bury St. Edmunds and Dunbar breweries. Its industry leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale and Belhaven Best.
CAMRA is looking to recruit a communications assistant. The role would suit a recent graduate and is an exciting opportunity to gain some great experience in a small press office. From promoting our biggest beer festival on social media to drafting press releases and editing member publications, the role is varied and will be a great foundation for someone starting their career in communications.
Our office is nestled in the heart of St Albans, offering an easy commute from the home counties. Some travel will be required for specific events. A love of beer and pubs helps – but it’s not required!
For further details of the role and the person specification, visit the CAMRA website
Featuring collaboration & original art by controversial artist “dusty o”
Dares, Davenports craft beer brand have teamed up with controversial Gay artist “Dusty O” to produce some daring limited edition cans for its two new packaged craft beers. The brewery who have been a supporter of “Dusty O” are collaborating to produce these unique designs and beers.
These cans will be the first in the range of Dares new “Art Series” a project which will allow artists to feature artwork on cans. A combination of liquid and visual art. The two Craft Beers will be available in 440ml cans, 2nd Term a 6.5% ABV modern, smooth yet flavourful American Style Lager and Nitro 535 a 5.35% ABV devilishly rich and dark beer with hints of chocolate.
“We are very excited to collaborate with “Dusty O” for our inaugural Art Series,” says Davenports Brand Director Simon Key. “We’re proud to be collaborating with an artist whose roots perfectly align with our Dares brand and we look forward to continuing to partner with Dusty and different artists in the future.
“We are also delighted to have the support of one of our Local MPs Mr Khalid Mahmood Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) (Europe).”
To kick off this new series, Davenports are the main sponsor of a unique art exhibition featuring Dusty O hosted by local MP Mr Khalid Mahmood displaying Dusty O’s work at the Houses of Parliament. The exhibition “ Limp Wrist – Iron Fist’ will be held at the House of Commons, Westminster on Monday 3rd June, 2019. The exhibition is also supported by Pride In London and ParliOUT and is the first exhibition of its kind to be held in the Palace of Westminster.
The cans will be available from May 2019
Dusto O Bio
“That Dusty O, she’s been quite a few things since departing Birmingham in the West Midlands and arriving in London. Club kid,, drag queen, club host, DJ, Diva, Cage Rattler and now artist. You could say Dusty O has always been an artist. Her beautifully painted face airbrushed to perfection and dressed head to toe in Vivienne Westwood giving the impression that she was perhaps a lady of secret wealth. Not so, Dusty has always grafted and created and it is no surprise that the now bearded Dusty has turned to art. Her work is autobiographical and drags you through a cartoon world of nightlife, drag queens, wannabes and the occasional pop icon. Flirting with religion, sexuality and challenging PC concepts with a cheeky irreverence. It is bright, bold, sexually charged, psychedelic and unapologetic. “
Neptunes Hall, one of the best-loved pubs in Broadstairs, is gearing up for a busy year ahead after a major £135,000 winter overhaul.
The pub was officially re-opened last week when Shepherd Neame Chief Executive Jonathan Neame presented a cheque for £1,000 to the local branch of the RNLI.
Built in 1882, the grade II listed pub has undergone an extensive but sympathetic refurbishment, with major work undertaken both inside and out.
Internally the pub has been given a contemporary makeover with many of its original features retained, including the bar and the bar back.
A brand new catering kitchen has been installed on the first floor while the toilets have been completely refitted.
Externally the pub has been refurbished and now features new signage. The courtyard garden has also been landscaped.
To go with the pub’s new look there is also a new face behind the bar.
Jonny Henfrey is the new licensee. He moved with his family to Margate back in 2017 and has been pulling pints at the popular Harbour Street pub since just before Christmas. It’s a pub he was already familiar with, even before taking over as tenant.
He said: “I’ve known the Neptune for the past 15, 20 years. I have family in the area so three, four times most years we’ve popped in. Whenever I visited I was always rather taken with the place.
“Now, as licensee, I am aware of the sense of history about it. The refurbishment by Shepherd Neame has been absolutely amazing, it has managed to retain the pub’s original character while also giving it a contemporary feel.”
Jonny is no stranger to the food and drink industry. Before moving to Margate he spent a number of very successful years running The Gowlett Arms in Peckham, south London. He was also the man behind The Crust Conductor, a pizza restaurant based inside an old London double decker bus.
So it comes as no surprise that alongside quality cask ales and premium lagers that food plays a big part in what the Neptune Hall offers.
“We’ve been very busy on the food front,” said Jonny, “and our summer menu will start the first week in May. We will be focusing on lighter dishes, things like rotisserie chicken and our specialty, pizza cooked in our own wood fired oven. I’ve been making pizza for 20 years now.”
The pub has long been one of Thanet’s best known live music venues, and given that Henfrey is a well-respected DJ in his own right it will continue to be so.
Jonny said: “Music will still very much be a focus for the pub and we look forward to being involved in Broadstairs Folk Week in August. I’m looking forward to the summer. Our garden is looking fabulous and it’s all very exciting.”
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For further information please contact the Shepheard Neame press office on 01795 542259 or email email@example.com or visit www.shepherdneame.co.uk
South Devon’s Salcombe Brewery Co. is celebrating after taking home a Gold for its Island Street Porter and a Silver for its Salcombe Pale Ale at the SIBA Tuckers Maltings Beer Festival held earlier this month in Newton Abbot.
Mark Higgs, Salcombe Brewery’s General Manager, comments: “To receive a Gold and a Silver in such prestigious awards has given huge recognition to the brewery and is a fantastic reward for all the hard work that has gone into creating both Island Street Porter and Salcombe Pale Ale. There are numerous craft breweries in the South West, but this puts us amongst the very best of the best.” Salcombe Pale Ale was in the Cask Premium Pale Ales category (4.4 – 5.4%) and the Island Street Porter (330ml bottle) was in the British Dark Beers category (4.5 – 6.4%).
Salcombe Brewery was founded in 2016 and brews a range of cask, keg and bottled ales at its state of the art brewery overlooking the Salcombe Estuary in Devon. It uses only the finest hops, malt and yeast combined with fresh Devon water from straight under the brewery. Island Street Porter (ABV 5.9%) is a rich velvety porter and the brewery’s latest addition to its craft range. Salcombe Pale Ale (ABV 4.6%) is a fresh, full-bodied and powerfully hopped pale ale that’s bursting with flavour.
SIBA Chairman, Ian Fozard, says: “Judges had a tough job separating the pack as the standard was extremely high once again. The winners from the SIBA competition are officially the best independent craft beers in the UK, something brewers should be extremely proud of.”
The SIBA National Independent Beer Awards judged a huge range of beers across a number of styles in separate cask, keg and bottle & can competitions. As the awards are judged mostly by brewers, industry experts and beer journalists the SIBA Independent Beer Awards are very much seen as the prestigious ‘Brewers’ choice Awards’ by the industry. The Gold award winning beers have been automatically entered into the SIBA National Independent Beer Awards 2020 at BeerX.
Salcombe Brewery Co. was founded by John and Gerry Tiner in September 2016. After 35 years of fun-filled family holidays nearby, John and Gerry moved to the area and soon discovered that the local area’s favourite beer, Shingle Bay, might be under threat, so they decided to set up a new brewery and acquire the recipe.
John and Gerry had a vision to create a company ethos of an eco-friendly, locally supportive brewery making a rich variety of mouth-watering beer. They secured investment both nationally and internationally by shareholders who shared the same sense of belief in the high quality of the beer.
The seahorse logo behind the brand of Salcombe Brewery Co. is representative of the fact that the Salcombe estuary is one of the few places in the UK you can find the rarer of the two species of seahorse. Inspired by local surroundings, Salcombe Brewery Co. takes pride in its local roots, which is reflected in the branding. Unique, fresh and contemporary, the seahorse is a seal of high quality represented by the beers.
Salcombe Brewery’s range includes Shingle Bay, Salcombe Pale Ale, Salcombe Gold, Island Street Porter, Lifesaver, Seahorse and Devon Amber. It also boasts an innovative range of seasonal ales.
For further information, photography or an interview with Mark Higgs, General Manager of Salcombe Brewery Co., please contact:
Somerset’s Favourite Beer & Cheese Festival is back for 2019, and Guild members are invited to join Wild Beer Co. and Westcombe Dairy for this year’s event, on 11 May, from 12 noon to 9.00 pm, at Westcombe Farm, Somerset
The Wild Beer Co. and Westcombe Dairy have teamed up again for another family friendly festival filled with beer, cheese and fun at Lower Westcombe Farm. In 2013 local producers and neighbours The Wild Beer Co. and Westcombe Dairy joined up to create their first ever Beer & Cheese Festival as a way of saying thank you to the neighbours for putting up with the businesses’ numerous deliveries and tractors.
From humble beginnings the festival has developed into an annual family event showcasing The Wild Beer Co’s famous brews and Westcombe Dairy’s finest cheeses and local meats as well as fresh veggie and vegan options. The drinks offering is more than just excellent beer there will be craft soft drinks made on site, gin and tonics using Wild Beer’s Spirits range and tea and coffee for the designated drivers.
Both The Wild Beer Co. and Westcombe Dairy will be offering an exclusive behind the scenes look into their production with brewery and dairy tours available throughout the day as well as unique talks, tastings and pairings.
This year it’s going to be even bigger and better with live music and DJs all day across two stages including headliner, Bristol’s ‘The Rin Tins’.
Local music festival Farmfest will be in attendance with ‘Farmfest Presents’ a series of fringe events in the lead up to their festival in July. On our site, we’ll have their iconic Massey Ferguson ‘combine harvester DJ’ stage where the tunes will be playing from the amazing ‘Vintage Mobile Disco’.
As well as music there is plenty to keep you and your little ones entertained on the day including a bouncy castle, face painting for charity, sandpit, a skittles alley and lawn games.
The Guild hosted a second “How to Write a Successful Beer Blog” training course for members at Purecraft Bar and Kitchen in Birmingham this week.
The event was a masterclass covering how to create a successful blog, in addition to writing for other mediums: why you should write about beer, who for, content & subject matter, and who your audience is. The workshop was packed with useful hints and tips from one of the Guild’s most successful writers and current chair, Pete Brown, and replicated the sell out event which was held in London earlier in the year.
A thank you to Purity Brewing Co who supported the event and provided attendees with a post training beer. The event was followed by a ‘Meet the Board’ networking session.
Wadworth the independent family brewer and regional pub operator has launched new Spring and Summer gluten free menus and an increased vegan offering for its managed pubs. The menus will be available from Easter in their managed pub estate throughout the west country.
Over 100 new dishes are available for the pubs to choose from that are either gluten free or vegan, developed by the food development team at Wadworth. Customers can enjoy all the classic meals including gluten free beer battered fish and chips, a range of sandwiches with artisan free from bread and unique and exciting vegan dishes.
Speaking about the new menu, operations manager for Wadworth Toby Bartholomew said, “Many people have food tolerances which reduce the choices available to them when eating out and many choose it as a lifestyle choice. What we have done at Wadworth is create menus that offer a great selection to everyone whatever your lifestyle choice or food intolerance. Gone are the days that it’s acceptable to just offer vegetable lasagne as an option on your menu and because of this, menus are becoming more exciting and varied and Wadworth is playing a huge part in this”.
Wadworth has 55 managed pubs in the west country which offer the new gluten free menu. They also serve their own gluten free and vegan beer 6X Gold in their pubs.
Adding Bartholomew said, “Our menus are inclusive. If you want a Sunday roast you can get one whether you are gluten free or a meat eater, our menu development team have created a selection of Sunday roasts to meet everyone’s needs”.
Notes to Editor: Wadworth gluten free menus are accredited by Coeliac UK and are recognised with the knife and fork symbol.
Wadworth is a regional pub operator and family brewer, with over 200 pubs across the South West of Britain. Founded by Henry A Wadworth, the business passed to his founding partner John Smith Bartholomew and is now in the fourth generation of management by the Bartholomew family. Wadworth has brewed beer at its Victorian brewery in Devizes, Wiltshire, since 1875, and is one of the few remaining family brewers to deliver to the local area using shire horses. The estate is split between tenanted and managed pubs and Wadworth works hard to ensure that its pubs offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, excellent quality food and drink including its sought after brand 6X. For more information visit: www.wadworth.co.uk
PR & Communications Consultant
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