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 850 members in the GL50, GL51, GL52 and GL53 postcode areas.
Following advice from CAMRA HQ, all branch meetings, presentations and ale ambles are cancelled until the end of June at the earliest. We will update this note as we get further information. Please visit the “Covid-19” page, using the TAB above to check on the status of off-sales currently available from our local breweries.
Following government advice on Covid-19, CAMRA HQ have cancelled all beer festivals until the end of June and are reviewing festivals going forward on a weekly basis. They have also put a stop to any spend on other planned beer festivals without authorisation from HQ. Importantly there is also a ban on holding all meetings. As a result of these policies, we have made the difficult decision not to go ahead with Cheltenham Real Ale Festival 2020.
The planning meeting scheduled for Tuesday 24th March is cancelled.
I realise this decision will come as a disappointment to all of you after the hard work that has been put in over the past few months planning for this year’s festival. We have, however, decided to take the early decision to cancel before we have made any significant commitments rather than carry on and then have cancellation forced upon us at a later date. Due to the number of changes we were trying to implement this year, it would also be difficult to progress the key actions without face to face meetings.
It is difficult to predict what the situation will be in October. If some semblance of normality has returned, then other more established CAMRA festivals may be going ahead on our chosen date and we will be able to support these. The pubs and breweries of Cheltenham may need our support rather than having trade drawn away by our festival and we as a branch can focus our campaigning efforts on supporting these businesses.
The decision also lets everyone know where they stand and those who have businesses, or jobs, that may be directly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in the immediate future can concentrate on these important activities without the distraction of CRAF.
We aim to re-establish the festival in 2021 and hope many of you will be able to be involved in the organisation of the event once again.
We have been notified by our friends over in Gloucester that in the light of the current concerns about the spread of COVID 19, the decision had been taken to cancel this year’s Gloucester Beer Festival. This has not been an easy decision to take but the well-being of our visitors and staff must take priority.
We apologise for any inconvenience but hope everyone will understand the decision.
Our intention is to start the planning for the 2021 festival early for next year.
Cheltenham’s first micro pub, The Angry Parrot, opened on Tuesday 10th March.
The micro pub, located on St James Street, offers 6 real ales served directly from the barrel.
We wish them well in the new venture.
We would like to announce the winners of our 2020 Pub, Club and Cider Pub of the Year competitions. The winners were decided at our open meeting in accordance with our published criteria.
Pub of the Year was won by The Kemble Brewery Inn, who retain the title they won last year. Runner up was The Sandford Park Alehouse.
Club of the Year was won by The Cheltenham Motor Club, who are current National Club of the Year and retain the title they won last year. Runner up was Charlton Kings Club.
Cider Pub of the Year was won by The Jolly Brewmaster.
Congratulations to Caron, Neil and Danielle and all their hard working staff on winning their respective awards.
We will be arranging presentations to all the winners and runners up. Details of the dates and times for these will be published here.
A Cheltenham club which caters to motor enthusiasts has won the prestigious Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Club of the Year award for the third time, having also taken home the title in 2013 and 2017.
This friendly and welcoming club, established in 1906, has six real ales and three real ciders on tap. It also boasts a draught German beer, a bottled Belgian beer range and two craft keg lines. The club is decorated with motoring paraphernalia and pump clips and continues to run a beer festival every year.
The club will be presented with a plaque to commemorate the award at an event open to the media on 19 February at 1 pm.
Keith Spencer, Chairman of CAMRA’s Clubs Committee says: “Cheltenham Motor Club keeps raising the bar in this competition – year after year! It is clear that the club is a pivotal fixture in the local community, and you can see people of all ages and from all backgrounds throwing their support behind it.”
Neil Way, Cheltenham Motor Club Manager says: “It came as a profound shock to have won this year’s Club of the Year Award. As a long-term member of CAMRA, I am incredibly proud to have won it again. An awful lot of hard work goes into running a private member’s club and to have finished ahead of the other three superb clubs in the final is very humbling. I need to thank the competition judges, my management committee for their unswerving support, the local Cheltenham CAMRA Branch for their long-term support, my amazing suppliers and breweries, my fantastic bar staff past and present, my great locals and last but not least my long-suffering wife George who is, without doubt, my rock. Long live great real ale!”
The CAMRA Club of the Year competition is run in conjunction with Club Mirror magazine with the simple aim of finding the clubs with the greatest commitment to quality real ale – those which offer a fantastic atmosphere, welcoming surroundings and most importantly, top quality real ale served in great condition. All nominated clubs in the competition are independently assessed by a panel of CAMRA volunteers throughout the year.
Runners up in the competition include the Appleton Thorn Village Hall in Warrington, the Flixton Conservative Club in Manchester and the Orpington Liberal Club in Orpington.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, tonight’s charity presentation to Midlands Air Ambulance has had to be cancelled. We will advise rearranged date in due course.
Did you enjoy CRAF 2019? Do you want to see a CRAF 2020?
We need your help in assessing the viability of holding further festivals. We will be holding a meeting on 14th January 2020 starting at 7:30pm at Sandford Park Alehouse where we will review the successes and failures from previous festivals and decide whether we should pursue further festivals or concentrate on other areas to promote CAMRA and real ale in Cheltenham, such as building on the successful Cotswold Beer Festival.
In order to assess the viability of the festival we are considering the following areas:
- Is the market for beer festivals reaching saturation point?
- Do we have the skills to use marketing to attract more people?
- What should be the aims of a CAMRA beer festival?
- Do the available venues make running a profitable festival possible?
- Do we have sufficient volunteers at every level to run a successful festival?
Please come to the meeting to provide your thoughts and potentially volunteer to join the beer festival organising team.
We would also like to hear from you if you can’t make the meeting but have some suggestions and / or are able to join the team. The agenda for the meeting can be found HERE.
Congratulations to The Beehive in Montpellier which has been voted Cheltenham CAMRA Winter Pub of The Season 2019.
The winter pub of the year award aims to recognise pubs that make an excellent venue to visit during the winter months. Winter is a time for sitting in a pub and enjoying a pint in front of a roaring fire.
Presentation of the award took place on Tuesday 7th January.