December Update

Hello All


Christmas Party Night – Wednesday 21st December 8.00 pm at the Dick Whittington.  As a buffet is laid on for this event, there is a £5 charge and booking is required.  Please do come along, but let me know by Saturday 17th December as I have to let Kay and Martyn know.

January Social – this will take place at Angie’s in Bull Lane and will be on Wednesday 11th January at 8.00 pm

Thursday 2nd February is our members only visit to the Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival, so don’t forget your membership card.  Booking for the minibus is required and it will leave the Pelican at 6.30 pm.

5th Gloucester Beer & Cider Festival – make sure the dates are in your diary – 31st March/1st April at Blackfriars Priory.  A little earlier this year due to the Easter dates but there will still be 100 beers and 35 ciders available plus the Gloucestershire Cheeses.


Pubs – Angie’s has opened in Bull Lane (just opposite Peppers Cafe).  They have real ale both cask and bottled.  Many of you may have seen the article in the local press about how Angie’s came to be, so we wish them well for the future.

A number of pubs for a variety of reasons do not always keep to their published opening hours, perhaps closing early on very quite evenings.  If you come across a pub that you think has regularly changed its hours please let me know so I can check it out and get What Pub updated.  With over 100 pubs on the patch it is not possible for me to keep an eye on them all, and although the committee do try to follow up on things it is not always possible to know the up to date picture.

There has been a change at the Black Horse at Cranham, beer and food is reported to be very good.  The Double Gloucester has also changed hands again.  The York House in London Road is closed at present for refurbishment and we understand it is due to reopen soon, but please let us know if you have any updated info.

Breweries – Gloucester Brewery now opens regularly on a Saturday afternoon. They are holding a Winter Ales Festival the first weekend in February, details on their website.  This happens to clash with the Tewkesbury Winter Ales festival weekend but hopefully there will be enough of us to go round.

We have received an invitation from Dario, Head Brewer at the Brewhouse and Kitchen to go along and meet him and see what he gets up to in the Brewhouse brewery.  I will be agreeing a date with Dario for a date in January or February but this will be in addition to the social meetings.  Watch this space.

Last but not least, seasons greetings to you all.

Best wishes


Chair CAMRA in Gloucester

March Update

No I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth, but have had two attempts at communicating via the CAMRA HQ distribution list. Despite the fact that it was programmed to go to members in GL1-4, HQ managed to send the first one to members in Stroud, and the second to those in Tewkesbury!  So I have also sent this update via email, I have resorted to the list I inherited from Alan, plus a few I have added since.  As ever, if you do not wish to receive these emails, please let me know and I will take you off the list.

Since I last sent one of these, a lot has happened, we have a few changes in the pub scene and developments in our breweries.  As ever we continue to offer a range of events, I know they are mainly mini pub crawls, but that is part of the fun, and it would be really good to see more of you come along on the trips.  It can be quite soul destroying to put in the effort of organising things, for very few people to turn up.  Some have a dozen or so attend and others only one or two.  If the programme doesn’t suit, then please make suggests (only polite ones please!)

Brewery news

We now have two excellent breweries on our patch, and we have adopted one, whilst not on our patch, the brewer/owners are Gloucester members, so we have adopted a little patch of the Cirencester sub branch and moved it – no mean feat!

Gloucester Brewery seem to go from strength to strength, as does their brewery tap, TANK.  Gloucester Brewery run a range of events, including brewery tours and tutored tasting evenings.  As CAMRA members you can get discount on some of the evenings, and I can highly recommend them.  Steve and I have been to three of the tutored tasting evenings and have had a realy enjoyable evening of beer and information.  The depth and breadth of styles and flavours of ale reinforces my belief that I am such a novice, but I am really enoying learning and finding out more, and particularly about what and why I like the ones that I do, and why there are some I just cannot get on with.  Gloucester Brewery website has all the details about both the tours and the tasting evenings.  Next month (12th), the tutored tasting is on IPAs and APAs.

Before I move onto another brewery, please come along and say hello at the Gloucester Brewery Sausage and Ale Festival happening this coming weekend, from noon on Friday 25th April through the whole Easter weekend.  A few CAMRA members will be meeting up at the festival on Friday, the programme says 2.30 but if you can get there a bit earlier that would be great. I have had a look at the beer list, and apart from an extensive range of their own beers, there are some really interesting craft ales from around the country.  I may have to make more than one visit!

Brewhouse and Kitchen – Opened in the late summer, B&K brew on site in the premises by the Quays/docks.  Even with a relatively small plant, they brew a wide range of beers which they rotate regulary.  One or two of the beers can even be seen in other local pubs.  B&K also put on a variety of events such as a beer masterclass, and brewing days. If you haven’t been to look yet, it is definitely worthwhile.

TAP – Tim, Andrea and Pete own TAP brewery which is based on the Marsden Estate at Rendcomb.  Tim and Pete both live in Gloucester and their beers make regualr appearances in some of our pubs including the Dick Whittington and the Black Horse at Cranham.  TAP are sponsoring the glasses at the 4th Gloucester CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival, so we say a huge thank you to them for that, and we hope you will give their beers a try when you see them.


Some of the changes that have happened, some new some not so new, but the Old Elm at Churchdown is well and truly open now.  Providing food plus events such as quiz nights, the pub is re-establishing itself as a place to go.  The Sword has opened in Westgate Street, better known as the Union, more recently Molly’s Bar, Sword has launched itself as a cider house and ale bar.  So far there have been very positive reports, so again pop in and say hello, and let me know how you get on.  After a shaky start, the Lord High Constable of England (must find a snappier name!) seems to have got into its stride and serving a decent range of ales.  Sad that it seems to be at the cost of the Water Poet which has maintained some really good beers whilst trying to get the message out that it is well and truly still open for business.  There has also been change at the Black Horse, Cranham.  However the food still seems to be delicious and so does the beer.

Pub of the Year – The Pelican was awarded once again this year with the Gloucester sub branch City Pub of the Year.  The Rural pub went to the Three Horseshoes at Frampton on Severn (see events below).  The Pelican was also named as our Cider Pub of the Year, and although not stated in the Tippler, we do have a Club of the Year, and once again it goes to the GALA Club.

As a reminder to help us get a good idea about what is going on in all our pubs, please fill in a green card, or if you don’t have any there are two ways to do this – one come along to events and pick some up, or if that is too much, then go on line to What Pub or the members area of the Gloucestershire Branch website and complete the beer scoring form on line.  Thank you.


For the coming month the following events are planned:-

Friday 25th March 2.30pm (or earlier)    Gloucester Brewery Sausage and Ale Festival.  Meet at the Brewery

Saturday 2nd April 7.30pm    The Three Horseshoes.  Presentation of our certificate for Gloucester area Rural Pub of the Year

Weds 13th April 8.00pm      Social meeting at the Pelican.  Relaxed evening on our build up to our beer festival

Fri/Sat 22/23rd April 11.30-11.00 each day Gloucester Beer & Cider Festival at Blackfriars.

4th Gloucester Beer and Cider Festival 22nd and 23rd April at Blackfriars.  I can’t believe that you will not have attended one of the last three, but just in case you haven’t had a chance, then you must come along.  If you have been before you know how good it is.  There are a couple of great pictures in the Tippler this quarter, including the front cover (wow), and a great article by yours truly (well someone has to say it is!) inside.  As usual we have around 100 beers from Gloucestershire and beyond, plus 35 or so ciders.  There will also be hot food available as well as the Gloucestershire cheeses, and maybe even some wine for those who want to enjoy a drink but don’t like beer or cider.  If you have volunteered at previous events you should have had an invite for this year, or will get one very soon, but if not, drop me an email.

Finally, please do talk to me, by email if not in person.  I would love to hear that there are people out there.  One or two of you do comment that either you have missed seeing my email or wondering if I am not around anymore, but the vast majority remain silent and I don’t even know who this reaches, so is there anybody out there………?

Best wishes


Update and Upcoming Events

Approximately once a month, there is an electronic newsletter from the Chair about things going on in the sub branch, and about our events.  Due to the updated technology from CAMRA HQ we are now in a position to email all the members in our area for whom we have an address.  If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, please email and we will ensure you are not on the Gloucester list although you may still be contacted by HQ or County about important news and events.

The Tippler, our free County magazine is due to be in your local from this week.  It is also available on-line for those of you who prefer to access that way.  Usually we have our Gloucester events listed, but unfortunately that was not possible for the new editions so I have listed our coming events below.


Friday / Saturday 25th /26th September Friday 1.00 pm – 11.00 pmSaturday 12.00 – 11.00 pm


This is not an organised event but a number of members will look to attend on the Friday evening.

Gloucester Beer Festival,    Farmers Club, Sandhurst Lane 
Tuesday 29th September 8.00 pm Tank, Gloucester for the presentation of the certificate for Gloucestershire Beer of the Year, Cotswold Beer Festival 2015 
Wednesday 30th September 8.00 pm CAMRA in Gloucester AGM, The Fountain Inn(Members only)


Wednesday 14th October 8.00 pm Social Meeting at the Water Poet for the start of the Weatherspoons Real Ale Festival 
Saturday 24th October Doors open 7.00 pm Glostoberfest at the Guildhall. German style beer festival including food, entertainment and beer!


Thursday 29th October 7.45 for 8.00 pm Gloucestershire Branch AGM, The Fountain Inn(Members only)
Tuesday 3rd November 8.00 pm Branch business meeting, Red Lion at Arlingham 
Wednesday 11th November 8.00 pm Social Meeting at the Brewhouse and Kitchen, Quays
Wednesday 9th December 


8.00 pm Christmas social at the Dick WhittingtonBookings necessary £5 per head for food

Dates for the diary

Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival 4th-6th February

4th Gloucester Beer and Cider Festival 22nd-23rd April

40th Cotswold Beer Festival, Postlip 22nd-24th July


If you have not been to one of our events, please do come along and say hello.  The AGM would be a good place to start, and to have a say in the running of your sub branch.   I look forward to seeing you.


Margaret Wilkins

Keeping you in the picture ~ Pub and Event news


Just thought I would do a quick reminder for our next couple of events.

On Friday 27th February at 6.30 pm we have a minibus leaving from the Pelican to go to the Red Lion at Arlingham (maybe with a stop en route).  This visit is to celebrate the Red Lion being nominated as our CAMRA in Gloucester Rural Pub of the Year.  An excellent pub saved a couple of years ago by its village community, it is well worth a visit.  I know a number of you enjoy walking and cycling, and this is a location I am sure you will find suitable for both.  There are a couple of places left on the minibus, so why not take the opportunity to visit.  Bookings to me please but by telephone 07908699809 as I will not be able to pick up email messages for a couple of days.

The following week on Saturday 7th March, there is a trip to Swindon. This will be by train and “plusbus” ticket, so meet at 11.00 for 11.15 train from Gloucester Station.  Just in case of any last minute alterations it is suggested you do a quick check on the website before going.

For our social meeting we are going to meet at the King Teddy before moving onto the Greyhound. So we look forward to seeing you all, particularly those from Longlevens area on Wednesday 11th March at 8.00 pm

Friday March, 27th there is a minibus to Worcestershire.  Again 6.30 pm from the Pelican. Bookings are necessary.

Finally Sunday 29th March Wye Valley are using the Gala Club as a launch venue for their new Beer Pedal Pusher, there will be free sampling on the day and the new Beer itself sold at £1.50 per pint, 50p from every pint going as a contribution towards our chosen Charity this year the MS Therapy Centre. A copy of the Wye Valley Cycling Shirts will also be auctioned off for the Charity.

Recent events

We recently presented our Club of the Year and both the Pub and Cider Pub of the Year.  Remember these are both for the Gloucester Sub branch.  Our Club of the Year is the Gala Club in Fairmile Gardens.  Neil and Maria normally feature 2 or 3 real ales on their bar, and with your CAMRA card can get admission to the club.

The Pelican was also presented recently with their certificates to celebrate both our Pub of the Year and our Cider Pub of the Year.  This took place on the first night of the Pelican’s Winter Ales Festival, and a good night was had by all.  CAMRA members enjoyed a talk by Vernon from Wye Valley Brewery about beer quality and the measures they put in place to ensure that their beers are in top condition, and then we were treated to tours of the newly extended cellar.  Instruction was given on racking and tapping the casks and a couple of members had a go at tapping a barrel.  Looking forward to the next festival in June.

The minibus set off to the Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival without a couple of people due to illness.  Whilst we were sorry they could not attend, it does give me a timely opportunity to remind people that if they book and cannot attend they must let me know as soon as possible, and that we reserve the right to charge for non attendance.  This may feel harsh for those people but to keep the minibus affordable for all, the cost is worked out on those booked and a no-show increases that cost for everyone else.  My other issue is that the trip was originally over subscribed, and because I didn’t know until the minibus was due to leave, I could not let people know of the spaces. So if you will excuse the expression ” I was a bit p***ed off.  All that aside, those of us who attended really enjoyed the excellent beers on offer.  One for the diary again next year.

3rd Gloucester Beer and Cider Festival

As you are all aware and have it in your diaries, the festival is booked for the 24th/25th April.  We are now starting our search in earnest for volunteers.  Please contact me or use the website to register your interest.  Shifts are 4 hours in length, and any offer from one shift to lots of them will be welcomed.  Remember if you want to help but don’t want to work at the festival itself, there are lots of things we need help with during set up and take down.

Pub news

Due to some very active reporting in the Citizen, I think most of the pub news has been covered recently!  So help us to get ahead of the game and let me know what is going on in your local please. Our best wishes go to Martyn on his venture with the Dick Whitington, glad to hear that it is improving again as a real ale venue.

Whilst on pub news, you all have until Saturday to vote for your Pub of the Season.  Remember this is voted for by you as members, and is about promoting a pub that you think is worth people taking a look.  Votes via the site please.

Planning ahead

Cotswold Beer Festival takes place on 17th – 19th July, tickets will go on sale during March, so get it in your diary.

September/October will see the sub branch AGM take place.  Whilst I am not resigning yet, it will be two years since I took on the Chairmanship of CAMRA in Gloucester, it was meant to be for two months!  As a group we need to be considering where we go in the future, what does the sub branch need to look like and do to continue to secure its membership and support our pubs. Over the next few months I will be asking members these questions, but please feel free to come up with ideas or thoughts and send them to me, or better still come and talk to me when you see me around town.

Very best wishes


April Update

Conscious that I have not done a newsletter for a month or so, I thought that I really ought to issue one this week just to remind everyone that it is the 2nd CAMRA in Gloucester Beer and Cider Festival this Friday and Saturday 4th /5th April. We have a greater capacity this year, so consequently a few more beers too. When we open on Friday morning we will have around 100 beers on sale, many from new breweries, but some old favourites too. For those not so keen on ale, there are ciders, perries, and even some wine. There will even be some Gloucestershire cheese to tempt you.

Everyone has been working hard getting Blackfriars ready, but remember this year when you come along, that the entrance will be off Commercial Road through the Language Immersion Centre. Doors open at 11.30 am and we go on through to 11.00 pm on both days.

If anyone was thinking that they may like to help out, there is always room for a few more volunteers but you do have to be a CAMRA member. It would be helpful to know to expect you as we will be somewhat busy, but please do think of helping out even for just a short while. Just drop me an email with the times you might be free.

Other events in April

9th April – Wednesday sees us catch the number 12 bus down to Quedgeley for a little walkabout. 19.45 seems to be the favoured bus time from Gloucester, and we will start at the Little Thatch around 20.00.

11th April – Friday and we are off to the Salutation at Ham with a pub stop on the way. If interested bookings are necessary, please contact me. Minibus will leave from opposite the Imperial, Gloucester at 18.30.

25th April – Friday evening by no. 24 bus to Mitcheldean and the Bespoke Brewery. Meet at Bus Station 18.00 for 18.15. We appreciate there is a later bus 18.55 but obviously there will be less time to enjoy the beers.

Advance warning for May

3rd May – Saturday trip by bus for a stroll in Cheltenham. Meet 12.00 at the Bank House

Early May Bank holiday weekend – beer festival at the Fountain Inn, Westgate Street

14th May – Wednesday social in the City, and we meet 20.00 at Café Rene, then a look round the area.

Pub news

There a few things changing in Gloucester, we have the Northend Vaults opening on 4th April. The Union is also due to reopen very soon.

The Severn Bore have signed up for Locale recognition and received their 2014 window sticker as are the other supporters of our local breweries.

Behind the scenes work is going on in preparation for the opening of Inn the Round, and we have also been informed that the Red Lion, Wainlode Hill is hoping to open before Easter with a new owner.

Finally our first pub of the season (Spring) was the King Edward VII at Longlevens. We will arrange a visit soon to present them with a certificate. In the meantime, please remember to nominate your pub of the season for Summer on the Camra in Gloucester website.

Brewery news

Mayhill Brewery has been operating under new owners and has changed its name to Hillside. We are looking forward to trying some of their beer at the Beer Festival this weekend, but CAMRA in Gloucester members will have an opportunity to try it out first hand as we have been invited to join them for a visit to the brewery. A date is being organised so watch this space!


As ever, please remember to tell me of any pub news in your area, never assume we will already know. The Citizen have been very busy in Gloucester recently with the news of the City Council’s decision to review their processes to help make it easier for the pubs to become registered as Assets of Community Value (ACV) following the successful application by the Ridge and Furrow. The City Council has gone further and committed to requesting that Central Government step up the planning permission requirements before a pub can be converted to alternative use such as supermarkets and petrol stations.

That’s it for now, but hope to see as many of you as possible over the weekend, and don’t forget CAMRA members will get a free pint on production of their current membership card.

Happy (responsible) drinking