- National Lockdown
Tuesday 5 January 2021
Following Boris Johnson’s announcement, the whole of England has been placed in Tier 5, a National lockdown. Pubs and clubs were already closed locally due to Tier 4, but lockdown brings further restrictions. Not the start to 2021 we’d hope for, but desperate situation developing in many hospitals meant desperate measures, with basic message of stay home if you can.
During latest lockdown, supermarkets and off-licenses can sell sealed containers of alcohol for people to drink at home, but the Government wants to stop pubs doing the same. Take action now, ask your MP to allow off-sales in sealed containers here.
- Branch Awards
Thursday 31 December 2020
Due to restrictions and lockdowns caused by Covid-19 pandemic, it has not been possible to hold Branch Socials to give out our annual awards. However, after lots of research and reports from members on beer and cider quality, availability, welcome received and ambience amongst other things, selections were made. Please see 2020 Branch Awards for details and photos.
- Members Weekend, AGM & Conference 2021
Monday 21 December 2020
Our planned venue in Sheffield will not be available in April, due to COVID restrictions, so with sadness physical Members’ Weekend, AGM and Conference in 2021 has been cancelled.
However, CAMRA HQ are working towards ensuring that virtual events go ahead on the same dates (16-18 April 2021), with additional Conference online discussion and voting to allow CAMRA members to have a say in the policy and direction of the Campaign.
Remote voting for AGM resolutions and the election of members to the National Executive has been possible for several years, and this process will continue in 2021 with a deemed AGM being planned. In addition to this, it is hoped to stage an interactive Conference, along with additional opportunities to vote on Conference motions. Look out for more info in due course.
- COVID LOCKDOWN ... Tier 2 ... Tier 3 ... Tier 4 ...
Sunday 20 December 2020
On 19th December our Bracnh area entered Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions. This meant all pubs, clubs and restaurants were closed except for take-aways. Only a day later on 20th December, together with most of the South-East of England we discovered there was new thing called Tier 4, and we are in it!
As has been said elsewhere, this is a real sink or swim moment for local pubs and the breweries that serve them – without proper support, we risk hundreds of businesses across the UK now not surviving beyond Christmas.
- SUUREY PUBLICANS SAY TIER 2 DEVASTATING
Tuesday 1 December 2020
Ray Goodwin landlord at The Bells, in Staines says that operating under Tier 2 is going to be difficult – they’re likely to be operating at a greater loss as a result, as they can only operate at 45% capacity. "This Christmas period, I should have been raking in money. It could cost me five to six thousand pounds over the next few months to operate. I accept that we have to have some kind of guidelines, but we've had such a terrible year."
For landlords like Ray, Tier 2 comes as just the latest blow for an industry that has never felt so under threat. See Get Surrey - Surrey Publicans for full article. Let's support our local pubs!
- LATEST BRANCH SOCIAL
Monday 30 November 2020
It was great to see everyone on Saturday, and we had hoped next Branch Social would not be on Zoom however much fun it was. Unfortunately the Government have decided otherwise, as we are now in Tier 2. Look out for news of next Virtual Social on our Diary & What's On or North Surrey CAMRA Facebook pages. What do we talk about, well let me think ...
- LONDON DRINKER MAGAZINE
Wednesday 25 November 2020
The latest edition of the London Drinker published by the London Branches of the Campaign for Real Ale, is now available online. Articles include the second lockdown and beyond, London brewery news, small brewers duty relief and abook reviews.
For the latest on the London pub and brewery scene, click on London Drinker.
- CAMRA CALLS FOR A COVID-SECURE PUB CHRISTMAS
Thursday 19 November 2020
National CAMRA Chair Nik Antona, has called on all the UK governments to adapt the tier systems, to let all pubs trade in December, after new YouGov research finds that the majority of pub-goers believe that pubs and other hospitality venues offer a COVID-secure environment. For more see CAMRA Press Release 19/11/20.
- Bad News ...... GOOD NEWS!
Saturday 14 November 2020
The Bailiwick in Englefield Green (adjacent to Windsor Park) closed in March 2020 in the first national lockdown, but the lease was not renewed and the pub did not re-open.
Well more GREAT news, is that Steve Ellis with his team and business partner Ratnesh Bagdai from the Oxford Blue in Old Windsor will be taking over. Building work is in progress, and it is hoped to open by January 2021. Sounds like it will be food led, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hopefully some great ales? For an informative article click on Big Hospitality , part of William Reed Business Media. My thanks to members Rob D and Richard E for the information, great stuff.
- LOCKDOWN II - THE SEQUEL
Thursday 5 November 2020
Thanks to COVID-19 pubs and clubs have closed, re-opened, subject of stringent (if not always well implemented) restrictions, and thanks to an increase in infections and the 'R' number closed again. Our Branch area (which covers Runnymede and Spelthorne Boroughs) was for a long time well below national average, but unfortunately is now catching up. Let's hope everyone is sensible, and our pubs and clubs can open again as planned on 2nd December. For local pubs and breweries offering some sort of collection or delivery service see Tier 5 Availability.
- KING"S ARMS EGHAM
Saturday 31 October 2020
Following a lengthy refurbishment, Grosvenor Inns opened the King's Arms, it's orginal name before several incarnations (most recently as a Loch Fyne Restaurant) so a nice nod to the past whilst looking to the future. They started with three interesting real ales, shown on their WhatPub entry. Unfortunately, pub like all others in England was forced to close again on 5th November due to the Covid-19 Lockdown Mark II. Let's hope it bounces back!
- COVID-19 AND THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR
Saturday 24 October 2020
According to UKHospitality 'There is clear evidence that pubs, like gyms, are NOT the problem'
A survey of 568 sector businesses, covering 12,500 venues and 250 million customer visits by UKHospitality, found they had been informed of only 104 cases by Test and Trace since the summer reopening. Hospitality chiefs told The Times the finding was “proof positive” the hospitality sector was not a significant factor in the spread of the virus, and curfews and closures should be reconsidered.
To read the rest of this article within our website, see UK Hospitality Survey.
- GOOD BEER GUIDE 2021
Monday 5 October 2020
The Good Beer Guide is the ‘definitive’ guidebook to help you discover good pubs that serve real ale across the UK. A completely independent guide to the best pubs covering the whole of the UK with listings based entirely on evaluation by CAMRA volunteers.
With a unique breweries section listing every brewery – micro, regional and national – that produces real ale in the UK The Good Beer Guide is also an invaluable tool for professionals in the drinks and retail industry.
Now in its 48th edition, the beer-lovers’ bible is fully revised and updated each year to feature recommended pubs across the United Kingdom that serve the best real ale. Let's hope they can all stay in business.
- EAT OUT TO HELP OUT >> EXTENDED <<
Tuesday 1 September 2020
The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme offering discount meals at participating premises ran until 31 August and was very popular. Well....
Several local pubs are going to keep a discount scheme going through September at their own expense. These include the Crown & Red Lion in Egham, the Barley Mow & Fox & Hounds in Englefield Green, and the George (Spoons) in Staines. What's not to like? Know any others? Please Contact Branch.
- ASCOT BREWING SOCIALLY DISTANCED BEER FESTIVAL
Monday 31 August 2020
Finally, after several months of lockdown casued by Covid-19, and difficulties of organising a safe Beer Festival, Ascot Brewing Company bravely bit the bullet and organised the Ascot Brewing Socially Distanced Beer Festival. Several of us booked a table for the afternoon session on Saurday 29th August (thanks Andy) and took the train to sunny Blackwater.
The arrangements were first class, with well spaced out tables, payment by tokens, and drinks delivered to your table. It was quite a breezy day, but unlike the Friday, dry! A great range of beers both keg and cask, friendly helpful staff and a band made it a great afternoon, unspoilt by problems later with GWR! For a couple of pictures, including the excellent beer list, see Ascot Brewing Socially Distanced Beer Festival Photos. Many thanks to all the team at Ascot Brewing Company.