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.
It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Chris Chadwick. Chris passed away on 30th July. Chris was a life long member of CAMRA. He had been a commitee member of the Cheltenham branch since its formation and was treasurer at the time of his death.
Chris was well known around the pubs of Cheltenham and was also our committee cider expert.
Chris will be missed by all who knew him and we send our condolences to his family.
Rest In Peace Chris.
A memorial service for Chris will be held on Friday 4th September at 2pm at Cheltenham Minster. Attendance in the church is limited to close friends and family but service will be relayed to church yard.
Chris Chadwick presenting the Cider Pub of The Year Award to The Plough in 2015
As part of the Government’s post Covid recovery plan as well as the 6 month reduction in VAT on meals in August, they are also promoting the “Eat Out To Help Out” scheme where diners can get up to £10 off meals out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.
A number of our local pubs are taking part, and the list changes daily. For the latest listing, please click HERE. This government site offers a search function (by Post Code), to locate participating establishments.
Many establishments have now reopened. This is much welcomed news. While it is appreciated that members will wish to resume socialising in pubs as soon as possible, for the time being we will not be promoting formal branch socials or meet ups in pubs when they reopen.
We must be careful not to encourage large crowds to gather, or any kind of behaviour that would mean that it would be hard for a pub to keep social distancing measures in place. We will focus on getting people back to pubs on an individual basis, and campaigning will still be carried out online.
Our “4th July” page (see TAB above) will record the details we have of pub reopenings and any special arrangements they are putting in place.
Please remember to use pubs safely and in a responsible way when they reopen.
6 July 20
Our branch charity for 2019 was the Midland Air Ambulance and we were very happy to be able to make a donation of £610, raised through the generosity of attendees at the CRAF 2019 and Christmas singalong, to them. Thank you all.
Following an election, the new Regional Director for CAMRA in the South West is Pete Bridle, from the Bristol branch.
We congratulate him on his victory and thank the previous RD, Gareth MacDonald for the his work over the past 7 years.
Pete’s initial term in office will be for one year, and we hope to be able to invite him to our branch when circumstances allow.
Six of the best known and most influential beer writers in the UK took part in a virtual beer tasting in support of the First Virtual Cheltenham Craft Beer Festival, held to raise money for Cheltenham Samaritans on Saturday 6th June.
Organised by the ‘Friends of Cheltenham Samaritans’, their key fund raiser for the past fourteen years had been the annual Cheltenham Craft Beer and Cider Festival. With Coronavirus causing this year’s festival to be cancelled, the group came up with a novel Virtual Craft Beer Festival for beer drinkers local to Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.
They have asked six local breweries to provide a specific packaged beer for the festival. On the festival day, six of the most high-profile beer writers in the UK will each contribute a video tutored tasting of one of the beers. The video tastings are still online. The six beer writers were Pete Brown, Melissa Cole, Jeff Evans, Tim Hampson, Roger Protz and Adrian Tierney-Jones.
Key organiser of the Virtual Craft Beer Festival, Leigh Norwood said, “We are so grateful for the amazing support of the six local breweries who provided up to 200 cans or bottles of each beer, so that we can raise a significant sum from the event.” The beers included Arbor Ales, Cotswold Lion (with ‘Best In Show’), DEYA Brewing Co., Hillside Brewery, Left Handed Giant and Purity Brewing Co..
You Tube Link: First Virtual Cheltenham Beer Festival – YouTube Channel
To donate via the ‘Just Giving’ page please go to: Friends of The Samaritans Just Giving Page
Cheltenham CAMRA’s ale amblers celebrate the 5th anniversary of their first outing on 6th May.
Over the past 5 years the monthly outings using public transport to visit towns of real ale interest have gone from strength to strength. Some trips have attracted over 20 participants with members coming from as far a field as Milton Keynes and Cardiff to join the Cheltenham amblers.
The plan was to celebrate the 5th anniversary with an amble through of Cheltenham visiting some favourite pubs. Unfortunately due to the covid-19 lockdown restrictions that outing has had to be postponed until a later date.
As a branch we thank Veronica for all her hard work in organising these trips and on most occasions getting everyone safely back to Cheltenham. We look forward to the next 5 years of Ambles.
Image from www.pinterest.com by KayLeeN DiaNe
The 44th Cotswold (Postlip) Beer Festival scheduled for July 2020 joins the growing list of events that have been cancelled as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The decision has been made to protect the health and safety of the staff and visitors who would have attended.
The intention is for the festival to return in 2021 with a celebration for the 45th anniversary.
You’ll have all no doubt, been as concerned as us about the escalating situation, and horrified by the potential implication that social distancing measures will have on pubs, clubs, breweries and cider producers. It also undoubtedly will have a huge impact on our activities as an organisation, as well as the activities and social lives of our members.
It is with a heavy heart that the CAMRA National Executive has decided to cancel all festivals and events from now until the end of June, following Government guidance to limit mass gathering. This will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis.
To support the beer and pubs industry during this difficult time, we have decided to partner with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and Crowdfunder to try and help pubs, clubs, breweries, tap rooms and cider producers during these difficult times.
Our Pulling Together campaign encourages pubs, brewers and cider makers to come up with innovative ways to keep their business afloat during this crisis – whether that be launching a new online shop, offering beer or cider takeaways or providing redeemable gift vouchers for locals.
The campaign aims to amplify the voices of those pubs, brewers and cider producers while connecting the public with their favourite local businesses. With the help of Crowdfunder, we will also encourage pubs and breweries to tap into their community to help weather the crisis.
Please get involved:
- Let us know of any initiatives that might be happening in your area so that we can add it to our online resource – simply email email@example.com or fill out the online form on the webpage
- Tell others about the campaign – we’ve put together social media assets that you can share across your branch or personal webpage or social media accounts, which you an access here.
- Join our online community Pulling Together for People, Pints & Pubs on Facebook – here we will aim to set up an online pub community for the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak with the ambition of organising regular beer o’clock, pub quizzes and more
You can find details of the current details we have on local breweries and beer shops under the Covid-19 drop down menu above.
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.