THOSE partial to a pint of real ale can rejoice – with 12 pubs across West Berkshire making it into this year’s CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
According to experts, there are a dozen of the district’s pubs offering up a particularly fine pint of quality ale, with the number included in the 2018 guide a slight increase from last year (11 were featured in 2017).
Chairman of West Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale Richard Scullion said: “Anyone living in or visiting West Berkshire, looking for a pub selling real ale, can be assured that the pubs are nominated and evaluated by local CAMRA volunteers and therefore they can expect the best real ale in the area.”
A notable mention this year goes to the Catherine Wheel in Newbury, which returns to the guide for the first time in 28 years.
Landlord Warwick Heskins said: “We are delighted that the Catherine Wheel will feature in the latest guide, which is something we have been striving for since taking over three years ago.
“We feel very proud to have achieved this as turning around the reputation this pub had previously was very challenging.
“However, our beer and cider sales show this is working, as we have more than trebled the amount of cask ales and ciders sold over these three years and they are still continuing to grow.
“We are very fortunate to have so many fantastic local breweries who produce some wonderful beers and we constantly try to challenge beer drinkers with cask ales not generally available in Newbury, together with some old favourites. We also like to promote real cider, especially as we have so many great local produces in this area.
“We are also very lucky to have a fantastic team working for us and we would like to thank them for their hard work.”
Other notable mentions go to The Bell at Aldworth, which appears in the guide for the 40th year in a row and the Six Bells at Beenham, celebrating 10 years in the guide.
Despite the recent surge of interest in real ales, CAMRA has used the launch of this year’s guide to urge drinkers to support their locals, with 28,000 public houses having closed in the UK since the 1970s.
More information, or details on how to become involved with CAMRA, can be found at www.westberkscamra.org.uk/
The CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018 is now available as a book and as an app for iPhone.