• CRAF2016
    CRAF2016
    Branch Photo Albums including pictures of CRAF2016
  • South West Club of the Year
    South West Club of the Year
    Cheltenham Motor Club Wins South West Club of the Year
  • New Cheltenham Brewery
    New Cheltenham Brewery
    Introducing Cheltenham’s newest micro-brewery – DEYA
  • National POTY
    National POTY
    Cheltenham’s Sandford Park Alehouse is CAMRA ‘National Pub of the Year’
  • Beer Festivals
    Beer Festivals
    Branch Beer Festival Guide - Beer Festivals in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds.
  • Campaign
    Campaign
    Campaigns - Assets of Community Value and Local Planning

Welcome to Cheltenham CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. We are a voluntary organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights.The Cheltenham Branch has around 1,000 members in the GL50, GL51, GL52 and GL53 postcode areas.

Next 5 Diary Events

24th January, 2017 - Branch Business Meeting January
25th January, 2017 - January Ale Amble
2nd February to 4th February, 2017 - Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival
9th February, 2017 - February Branch Social
13th February, 2017 - Branch Business Meeting - February
Full Branch Diary

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all Cheltenham branch members. Some of you might have made a new year’s resolution to have a dry January. If so spare a thought for your local landlord and why not still visit your local for soft drinks.

Rob

Whittle Taps

We are pleased to announce that as of today (Monday 12th December) Whittle Taps will be offering a 10% discount to card carrying CAMRA members on their real ale and on their craft keg (every day).  It will also apply to the one real cider that is on hand-pump.
Cheers to Joel for arranging this.
For more information on Whittle Taps visit their web site http://www.whittletaps.co.uk/

Cheltenham Motor Club is once again a national finalist

Congratulations once again to Neil and his team as we are pleased to announce that The Cheltenham Motor Club has once again made it to the finalist round of the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Club of the Year awards for the fourth year in a row. Let’s hope they can go one better this time and win the National title.

 This friendly and welcoming club, formed in 1906, has once again made it to the final round because of its clearly demonstrable commitment to high quality real ale and welcoming atmosphere. It usually has five ales on tap and four ciders and is decorated with motoring memorabilia and an extensive collection of pump clips.
The CAMRA Club of the Year competition awards is run in conjunction with Club Mirror magazine with the simple aim of finding the best clubs serving real ale most committed to quality real ale – those which offer a fantastic atmosphere, welcoming surroundings and most importantly, top quality real ale served in great condition. Clubs are nominated by CAMRA branches across the country and judged by a panel of volunteer CAMRA members throughout the year.
John Holland, CAMRA’s National Club of the Year coordinator says: “It is a fantastic achievement to be considered one of the top four real ale clubs in the country. We are seeing more and more clubs making quality real ale a priority, which makes the competition stronger than ever.
“Clubs play a huge role in many local communities across the UK. They provide a safe, social environment in which to enjoy a pint with people who you know and trust. They can help people build and strengthen social networks and can be a lifeline in times of need. To be a part of a club is to be part of a family.”
 The other three finalists include the Albatross Club (RAFA) in Bexhill, the Dartford Working Men’s Club and Leyton Orient FC Supporters Club.  All finalists were presented with a commemorative plate at the Club Mirror Awards last night. They will then have to wait until spring next year to discover which will be named CAMRA’s Club of the Year.

Christmas Social

With Halloween and bonfire night firmly behind us it’s time to start looking forward to Christmas.

Once again to celebrate the December social will be a festive curry night

This year the venue will be Balti Walla on the Bath Road. It’s Bring Your Own Beer so you not need to worry about fizzy lager.

Date is Tuesday 6th December at 7pm

Price is £14.95 per person for their party menu which includes: –

Papadams+ pickles, Vegetarian platter starter, 4 curries between 4 (3 meat, 1 vegetarian), Rice each, Nan between 2. More details at http://www.baltiwalla.co.uk/party-menu.html

Vegetarians can order a bespoke deal.

If you are interested deposits of £5/head to the Sandford Park Alehouse by November 28th latest.

The Spectre – New CAMRA Discount and Beer Festival

From today, Monday 10th October, CAMRA members can get 10% discount on ales (not ciders) on production of their card at The Spectre, 73-75 High Street, Cheltenham.

They currently have a beer festival running with about 60 different beers available for the landlord to choose from and as part of the festival, which runs to the end of October, they are also running a promotion card, buy 5 and the 6th is free during the festival.
Beer is £2.40 a pint.  So with 10% CAMRA discount and the 6 pints for the price of 5 card, it works out at £1.80 a pint.  We do of course encourage responsible drinking.

The Campaign for Real Ale raise over £380 for local charity

cobalt-unit
Caption (L to R): Grant Cook (Festival Organizer), John Crossley, Veronica Emary, Tony Lucas (Cheltenham CAMRA), Peter Sharpe, Kirsty Bradbury (Cobalt Health).

Thanks to generous donations from people attending the 2nd Cheltenham Real Ale Festival, Cheltenham CAMRA were able to present a cheque for £381.25 to local charity Cobalt.

Upon leaving the festival everyone has the option of cashing in any unused beer tokens, or donating the value to charity. Each year a different local charity is chosen.

Cheltenham CAMRA Festival organizer, Grant Cook, said: “It’s a testament to the community spirit of CAMRA members and supporters that they chose to donate. We are very happy to support a charity that has such an impact on the well-being of so many local people.  

The wonderful Town Hall location, a choice of around 120 different real ales and 40 ciders and perries helps bring in dedicated drinkers to our festival. Not only do they enjoy themselves, but they are also generous supporters of the festival charity.”

Peter Sharpe, CEO, Cobalt Health said: “In order to provide the extensive scanner and treatment services, we need to raise funds from events, donations and charitable support. Donations like this make a real difference to the lives of local people affected by cancer, dementia and other life-limiting conditions.”

Kirsty Bradbury, Cobalt Fundraising Engagement Officer, said: “I would like to thank Cheltenham CAMRA, and all those who attended the festival and donated to CobaltHealth. I know, from attending last year, that the Cheltenham Real Ale Festival is a fun event with a great choice of beer, cider and perry.”

Bristol brewery becomes first in world to be granted “CAMRA Says This Is Real Ale” accreditation for canned beer

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The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has given its first ever accreditation for real ale to a canned beer – from Moor Beer Company in Bristol.

The campaigning organisation carried out tests on the “micro-canned” beer from Moor Beer at its recent Great British Beer Festival and concluded that the beer qualified as real ale under its definition.

CAMRA’s quality control laboratory at the Great British Beer Festival reported that the beer in Moor Beer cans still contained live yeast, and further test results showed that any carbonation was created by natural secondary fermentation.

It makes Moor Beer the first brewery in the world to be granted the “CAMRA says this is real ale” logo to use on a canned beer.

National chairman of CAMRA,Colin Valentine,  said: “There have been a lot of developments in the brewing industry and CAMRA has been working hard to make sure that we understand them and how they fit with our real ale definition.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to show that “micro-canned” beer under the right circumstances can qualify as real ale, which means that more drinkers can get access to what we believe is the pinnacle of brewing skill – live beer which continues to ferment and develop in whichever container it’s served from.

“We carried out similar tests on key-cask beers several years ago and accepted those as real ale and we’re hopeful brewers will continue to innovate and find ways of making real ale as accessible to drinkers as possible through these sorts of developments.

“We look forward to granting the accreditation to many more breweries producing canned beers in similar ways to Justin at Moor.”

Justin Hawke from Moor Beer said: “I moved to England because of my love for real ale, so when I made the decision to can our beer there was only one way we were going to do it – fully can-conditioned with live yeast.

“We invested very heavily in our canning line and process control to get it right, taking a huge risk being the first to go down this path. Cans had a horrible reputation, but actually it is the best package type for portability because it blocks all light and oxygen from getting in and ruining the beer.

“It is also a much more environmentally friendly container, being lighter in weight, more recyclable, and safer than glass. We worked really hard with our designer Ben King from Ich Bin Ben to make the outside of the can as awesome as the beer inside. The beer itself is amazing, and getting CAMRA’s recognition give us a huge sense of achievement.”

CAMRA beer experts in town for Cheltenham Beer Week

There are over 90 beer related events taking place during Cheltenham Beer Week, many of which will be of interest to Cheltenham CAMRA members, however there are two events which have a particularly close link to the campaign.

On Tuesday September 20, 2016 at7:30 pm at Sandford Park Alehouse Roger Protz , Award-winning beer writer and CAMRA Good Beer Guide editor, will be presenting “Britain’s Beer Revolution” where he discusses the latest changes to British Beer, with tutored sampling.  Admission is £15 and there are limited spaces so booking advised.

Then on September 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm also at Sandford Park Alehouse beer writer and analyst Tim Webb presents “Back to the Future – The Reinvention of British Beer”. Tim who served on the the National Executive of the CAMRA for seven years (1979-86), running the Great British Beer Festival for two of those and kicking off CAMRA’s publishing arm, discusses the influences on the British beer scene with tutored sampling.  Again admission is £15, and with limited spaces booking is advised.

For more details on both these events and the rest of Cheltenham Beer Week visit the web site http://www.cheltbeerweek.co.uk

Community Pubs Month

No sooner had the September issue of Cheltenham Cheers hit the streets then we heard from CAMRA HQ that community pubs month was being pushed back from November 2016 to April 2017.  However we think that a pub is for life not just community pubs month and so if you are a publican or just a pub goer and your local is doing something in the community then please do still let us know about it and we will publicise your activities here.

Three Gloucestershire Breweries In Collaborative Brew For Cheltenham Beer Week

festival-beer
Photo caption (L to R): James Bubb (Prescott Ales) Gareth Moore (DEYA Brewing Co.) Theo Freyne (DEYA Brewing Co.), Dan Bell (Prescott Ales) Hugh Joslyn (Gloucester Brewery) Jared Brown (Gloucester Brewery)

The first Cheltenham Beer Week will run from September 16th to 25th and will feature around 80 events at 27 venues across the town. Of course thirsty people will need something to drink, and what better than a local collaboration beer?

Three breweries: DEYA Brewing Company, Prescott Ales and Gloucester Brewery were commissioned by Favourite Beers to brew up something a little bit special to mark Cheltenham Beer Week.

The brewers got their heads together in July and decided to brew a strong (7.5%) American-style, Double IPA (or DIPA), utilising lots of flavourful American hops. This style was chosen for a number of reasons – firstly it is very unusual for this area, with none of the local breweries having yet brewed a beer of this style. It is also one of the styles of beer that is becoming very popular across the country with just about every one of the upcoming ‘new wave’ of craft breweries having produced outstanding DIPAs in the last 12 months.

Having drawn up a recipe and obtained the ingredients, two brewers from each of the breweries met together on Friday 5th August at DEYA’s impressive new brewery (near to Cheltenham Railway Station) for a very enjoyable brew-day. The grain bill was ‘Mashed-in’, the boil had the requisite amount of hops added both for bitterness and aroma/taste and the hot wort was cooled and transferred to the fermentation vessel where the Prescott Ales yeast was added to perform that magical transformation that creates beer. Several iterations of dry hopping will follow to boost the aroma and flavour profile, before the beer is transferred to a conditioning tank to develop further.

The beer, around 1,000 litres, will be packaged in three different formats – cask, keg and 330ml can – at least one of these formats (sometimes all three) should be available from the majority of beer week venues. All of the collaboration beer has already been sold to participating venues.

Warning: this is very much a one off, limited quantity beer, when it is gone – it is gone! So make sure you get to try it and join in our celebration of Cheltenham as a beer town.

For the technically minded the DIPA recipe is:

Malts

156 kg Extra Pale

104 kg Marris Otter

16 kg Wheat

16 kg Oat

12 kg Munich

+ 45 kg Dextrose Sugar

Hops

Chinook, Simcoe, Amarrillo and Mosaic.

Timescale

The beer will ferment for 6-7 days. This will be followed by 8 days of secondary dry hopping, then 15 days of further conditioning.