Beer around Ere issue 186

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December / January issue of Peterborough CAMRA Branch magazine.



    Peterborough & District Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale December 2015 / January 2016


    ABSTRACT JUNGLEEx Blue Monkey opens newbrewery in Peterborough

    KNOCK DOWN PUNKNene Valley Brewery launch

    new creation at O2 Brooklyn Bowl

    AWARDSBruce and Denise at the

    Letter B bag Cambridgeshire Cider Pub of the Year

  • The Ploughman Staniland Way, Werrington Centre Tel: 01733 327696

    The Dragon Hodgson Centre, Hodgson AvePE4 5EG Tel: 01733 578088

  • Editor: Jane

    Published by: Peterborough & DistrictBranch of the Campaign for Real Ale.

    Produced on behalf of CAMRA by:Orchard House Media LtdEventus Business Centre, Sunderland Rd,Market Deeping. Tel: 01778 382758

    Magazine Design & Production: Daniel Speed

    Advertising Sales Manager:Jane 01778 382718

    Distribution:David Reading:Bob Melville - 07941 246693Printed By:Precision Colour Print LtdHaldane, Telford, Shropshire TF7 4QQCirculation: 7,000 copies distributed topubs, clubs and members throughout thePeterborough and District CAMRABranch area. A digital version of thismagazine is available to view and download at

    Cover Image: Duncan from Castor Aleswith a group of supporters at this yearsGreat British Beer Festival.

    Editors ramblings |3

    Beer Around Ere is publishedby the Peterborough & DistrictBranch of CAMRA Copyright 2015, The Campaign forReal Ale Ltd.

    Views or comments expressedin this publication may not necessarily bethose of the Editor or of CAMRA.

    The next issue of Beer Around Ere will beavailable on the 29th January. We must have your stories, news and advertisements by 8th JanuaryPlease send your stories and other copy tothe editor, Jane Brown.

    Greetings!Well here we are again. Itllsoon be Christmas! Stilllooking for ideas for presents?Why not buy CAMRAmembership for that haseverything person, who likes topartake of a real ale or two? Youknow it makes sense!

    A date for your diaries: Tuesday 8th December isthe Branch AGM 8.30pm at the Brewery Tap; allmembers are welcome; please bring your member-ship card. Please come along!

    Beat the New Year blues with a trip to WhittleseaStraw Bear Festival 15th 17th January. Apartfrom pubs with lots of real ale and ciders theressomething for the whole family to enjoy. For moreinformation go to the Official Straw Bear Festival w ebsite

    We are always on the lookout for activemembers. As well as the prestigious PeterboroughBeer Festival, there are social events throughout theyear and all members are welcome on these trips.So take a look at Diary Dates at the back of thispublication or visit the branch website for details.There may be something there or in future editionsto take your fancy!

    All that remains is to raise a glass and wish allreaders a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016!


    IN THIS ISSUEWelcome from the editor 3

    Chairmans corner 5

    Pub news 711

    Brewery news 1215

    Death and life 17

    Abstract Jungle 19

    Awards 21

    Castor Ales at GBBF 23

    Get the Good Beer Guide 2016 25

    Not Noahs arc 28

    Diary dates 29

    Gig guide 29

    Branch contacts 30

    Join CAMRA 31

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    Are you missing out?Get Beer Around Ere delivered to your door! For a year (6 issues) send 3.54 for second class or 4.08for 1st Class or multiples thereof for multiple years. Pleasesend a cheque/PO payable to Peterborough CAMRA andyour address to:- Daryl Ling, 19 Lidgate Close, PeterboroughPE2 7ZA

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  • Chairmans corner |5

    How many years have you gone down to your localfor a pre-Christmas dinner pint, only to find thepub jam packed with total strangers from otherparts of the country and they have even beensitting in your favourite seat! Two hours later theyhave disappeared into the mist never to be seenagain until possibly the next Christmas. Bahhumbug, eh! Then again many a pub wouldwelcome anybody if it meant a packed pub.

    Our annual letter to our members is on its way asI write this. Please cast your votes for our POTY(Pub of the Year) and your selections for the 2017Good Beer Guide. It is important that we get as manymembers to vote as possible. Application forms forour Christmas Social are also with the form. Notethe closing date.

    The debate on craft beers continues as towhether you are for em or against em. There arenow a great many available in many of our pubswho seem quite happy for them to sit alongsidetheir real ales. Recent experience tells me thatsome of these craft beers are quite tasty. The downside for me is, firstly, they come in tin cans orbottles, secondly, they tend to be more expensivethan draught cask beers, and usually are servedvery chilled and fizzy. Nevertheless it would appearthat this market is still growing as more micro craftbrewers try their hand at producing them. We usedto call our micros, micro brewers but, the craftrevolution has come across the pond from thegood ole USA. I think the jury may still be out onthis one, lets see if it is still around in a few years!

    As to the state of our home brewers a few factshave emerged in detail within the new 2016 Good

    Beer Guide. For the third year running Britishbrewing of cask beer has grown by a whopping10%. We now have 1,424 breweries in the UK.There are 204 new breweries featured in the GoodBeer Guide 2016. Over 11,000 different real ales arenow brewed. Around one in six pints sold inBritish pubs is now real ale. Good Beer Guide EditorRoger Protz says: The great British beer revolu-tion rolls on and appears to be unstoppable. Moreand more new breweries have been launched tokeep up with the demand for full bodied, full-flavoured beers. Britain now has more breweriesper head than any other country and the range ofbeers on offer is the best in the world, rangingfrom the palest golden ale to the darkest, pitch-black stout.

    Another point to illustrate the growth of real aleis that when the Good Beer Guide was first publishedin 1975 only a third of pubs sold it. Now thatfigure has risen to a record 70%. The newspawning of the Micropub has also increased therise in real ales (and craft beers) with almost 200throughout the country.

    So during this coming festive season raise a glassor two to our brewers for the hard work and effortthat they have put into reviving our brewingheritage. By supporting them in one of ourremaining pubs, you will be helping them tosurvive and helping them in turn to knock theglobal giants of the brewing industry into touch.Compliments of the season to all our readers.Thank you for your support over the last year.

    David MurrayBranch Chairman

    Chairmans Corner

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    Jingle, jingle, - not bells but, hopefully the tills of our local pubs over the festive season. The old clich a pub is not just for Christmas springsto mind.

  • Pub news |7

    In the absence of any feedback on my feature onthe Nene Way in the last issue, I am assuming thateither nobody read it, or that silence normallymeans assent. I have therefore taken the liberty ofextending the sequence and suggesting the walkcontinues to Southwick. So those imaginedreaders waiting with bated breath in Nassingtoncan now gird their loins and progress along theNene Way to Woodnewton. For those, however,whose loins do not rule their head, I am proposingan alternative route from Warmington through thebeautiful village of Fotheringhay.

    The Nene WayThe number 24 bus will take you from eitherPeterborough or Oundle to Warmington. I amstarting the walk at the Red Lion, a pub I havepreviously reported on in Issue 184. In fact, if youdo this walk in reverse, this is the perfect place tofinish up in as the food here is excellent. Readerswho have been bored to extremity by my previousroute descriptions have my permission now to skipthe next few paragraphs.

    FotheringhayTurning left out of the Red Lion, you take the firstleft. Pass through the gate, avoiding the path tothe right, on to the Nene Way. Then through atunnel and past the dovecote until you reach themill. Turn right at the mill and then cross thebridge. Left at the gate and across another woodenbridge and head for the lock. As you enter the nextfield, the twin towers of the church are immediatelyvisible on the horizon. Once sighted, the image ofthis imposing edifice sinks into the reflective mindlike the mountain that shadowed the boyWordsworth. Except that if, like myself, you are oneof the redeemed, it augurs comfort rather thanterror. The path from now on is well marked andruns diagonally across the field until you reach themound of the castle. Now in ruins, you can lookforward to seeing the original stone which wastransported to rebuild the Talbot Inn in Oundle.Turn right here into the village and right again tothe Falcon, where you will find Digfield FoolsNook, London Pride and Greene King IPA.

    Turn left out of the Falcon and follow the road toa country lane on the right hand side that runsthrough a little copse. You pick up the public foot-path along to the left, follow it diagonally across afield until you reach a gap in the hedge. Cross theroad and through the arch of the hedge opposite,hug the wire fence until you reach a slattedwooden bridge. Turn left on to the track whichloops around the fields until you pick up the foot-path again on the right hand side. The path nowruns diagonally across the field to a bridge acrossthe stream. On to a lane and past the sewageworks and into the Oundle Road. This leads toMain Street and on to the village.

    WoodnewtonAnother charming, isolated village adorned bystone houses with thatched roofs, it has an excel-lent local in the White Swan which has reopenedafter a brief closure. This is an attractive brickbuilt pub with a long bar and a restaurant area toyour right. It was reopened by landlord IanSimmons in March, after a refurbishment. Ian hasstripped the wood panelled floor back to its orig-inal condition and relacquered it so, with the newlighting, there is an effect of clarity and continuitythroughout. Claret is also apparent in the attrac-tively redesigned entrance foyer which is nowpanelled with empty Bordeaux wine cases adver-tising Premier Grand Cru Pauillac and Pomerol.Eat your heart out. The pub is well frequented bywalking groups and Ian will adapt his menu totheir requests if they order in advance. His regularbeers are Woodfordes Wherry, Doombar and onefrom the Nene Valley Brewery.

    It is at times like these when that old demon, theromantic imagination, takes over and urges me toruminate on the pub in its original condition.Fortunately, a local was on hand to give me book,chapter and verse. The foyer and new toilet blockhas been built on to the original entrance. Thiswas brick walled either side with a staircase leadingup to the living area. Doors to the right and leftled to two bars, one of which had a skittle alley. I can imagine this as a place of recreation for a

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    Pub News


  • 8 | Pub news - continued

    robust, local farming community as this is the moststrenuous pub game I have ever played. Purenostalgia of course, for it is impossible to recon-struct pubs of this character. Or is it?

    Turn right out of the pub and past the churchuntil you come to an ornamental stone bridgecrossing the stream. You then cross another bridgeover a gently flowing brook and into the fields.The route now is straight, well trodden and clear.You will come to a pair of gate posts, through awood and straight on to the path to another gate.From the crest of the hill you descend until youreach a wooden slatted bridge. You are nowentering an umbrageous glade which will take youto a wooden post forbidding horse riding. Turnright here onto the bridle path and then left at thetwin posts into another wood of tall coniferscasting their spiky shade to obscure the route.Finally into a leafy lane which takes you to theexquisite St. Marys church in Southwick.

    SouthwickFor the infirm there are seats along the way to easethe journey. I found a prop for my own infirmityat the Shuckburgh Arms, just to the right fromthe war memorial. This is an occasion when I donot have to expand on the area and its history asthis is thoughtfully provided on the lintel above thebar. There is also an attractive mural illustratinglocal walks in the room to the left of the main bar.Landlord Roger Gutteridge serves a selection ofreal ales in excellent condition from Brewsters,Church End, Woodfordes and Nene Valley. Thispub is yet another success story for the Plunkettfoundation as it was saved from extinction and isnow run by the local community. Roger tells methat the profits are channelled back into the pub,the church and the village hall.

    OundleIt is a straight road that will take you back intoOundle to the George, at the top of the hillbeyond the famous school. The route is easilynegotiated but, as the grass verge is fairly uneven,will involve some road walking. Since Erin Barrettand her partner Steve have taken it over they havebrightened up the bar considerably replacing the

    purple, black and red dcor with sage green andivory. Erin specializes in beers from the Oakhamrange and guests of a similar pale and hoppy style.

    You can get back into Peterborough by the X4 or24 bus, but if you wish to stay overnight there isthe Talbot Hotel by the Market Square, whichhas a comfortably furnished main bar serving tworeal ales including some from Nene Valley Breweryand Digfield.

    The wood panelling on the staircase is claimed tohave been recovered from Fotheringhay Castle andthe scratch marks which are still visible from MaryQueen of Scots as she was dragged to her death.As the chronicles claim that she went to the blockwith dignity and reconciliation, I wonder whichone of Elizabeths rackmasters was responsible forthis hideous piece of propaganda.

    Local newsLiam Scanlon will be leaving the Ostrich in thecity centre with the expiry of his lease. Liam hasdone a great job here and his infectious wit andgood humour will be missed by regulars and occa-sionals alike. I have been informed that Marstonsintend to sell the Anchor in Wimblington and thatthe locals have raised an ACV. Work is in progressat Georges in March. They have re-layed thefloor in the main entertainment area and extendedthe beer range to four hand pumps. The Wool-pack in Weldon is closed and has a To Let signoutside, whilst the Hero of Aliwal in Whittleseyis on the market. This establishment wouldprovide the perfect premises for a local microbrewer and I have referred this to...