Wednesday, 30 December 2009

BrewDog plans to open chain of pubs

THE brewery behind the world's strongest beer aim to open a chain of pubs by the end of next year.

Brew Dog's James Watt and Martin Dickie, both 27, said they wanted to build on the "rapid growth" at their Aberdeenshire business and continue to 'tackle' a culture of mass-produced cheap drinks.

The pair recently launched their 32 per cent Tactical Nuclear Penguin beer, which upset drinks industry body the Portman Group.

And the watchdog have already banned the brewery's Tokyo beer over the label which says: "You must, from time to time, have excess."

Brew Dog bought the vacant Marischal Bar in Aberdeen this month and are hoping to have bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh by the end of 2010.

See more real ale news & views at

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

CAMRA launches legal challenge to OFT

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today announced it will issue a legal challenge to the Office of Fair Trading's decision to reject its super-complaint on anti-competitive practices in the UK pub market. CAMRA is pledging funds to the appeal, but is depending on consumers helping to raise further funds to ensure this vital legal challenge can stand the best chance of success.

In October the consumer group criticised the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for failing to protect consumers by taking no further action to address consumer detriment in the pub market following CAMRA's super-complaint submitted in July.

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, CAMRA is entitled to appeal the OFT's decision to the Competition Appeals Tribunal, and has decided upon this course of action to continue fighting anti-competitive practices in the UK pub market.

From Tuesday January 5th 2010, CAMRA is calling upon consumers to visit the CAMRA website and contribute to the 'Consumers v. OFT Pub Market Ruling' Campaign Fund.

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive, said:

'CAMRA has taken the decision to appeal due to the inability of the OFT to deal with the problems affecting the UK pub sector.

'CAMRA's super-complaint to the OFT was based on securing a fair deal for the pub-goer, and building a sustainable future for Britain's pubs. However, we believe the OFT did not take reasonable steps to understand the pub sector, and more generally why over 50 pubs are closing per week across the UK.

'We've seen the consumer watchdog scrutinised in previous years with the success of the Association of Convenience Stores' appeal in 2005 in overturning the OFT's decision at Tribunal. Pending the success of our appeal, CAMRA remains optimistic of Government intervention or a referral to the Competition Commission for a full investigation into the UK pub market.'

Bob Young, a former member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and respected Principal of Europe Economics, has said the OFT's response was "as inadequate as CAMRA's super-complaint was compelling. The OFT has not seriously considered whether there is fair competition at a local level which ensures that consumers, or pub landlords for that matter, get the best deal. This is a critical shortcoming in the OFT's response to CAMRA."

Mike Benner concluded:

'We now urge consumers and associated trade bodies to get behind our 'Consumers v. OFT Pub Market Ruling' Campaign Fund in the New Year and support our appeal.'

CAMRA's super-complaint, 'A Fair Share for the Consumer', was published in July and can be viewed

More real ale news & views at

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Friends set up first brewery in Angus since 1957

Two friends have set up what is believed to be the first brewery in Angus in more than half a century.

The Angus Ales microbrewery produces two types of beer named to reflect the town’s deep historical ties with golf.

Mashie Niblick, a full-flavoured malty ale, which contains 4.2% alcohol by volume, and Gowfers’ Gold – a pale, golden ale, at 3.8% abv – are being brewed at a small base in Panmure Industrial Estate.

Read the full article

Monday, 7 December 2009

Beer Writer of the Year 2009

Pete Brown has been crowned Beer Writer of the Year at the prestigious British Guild of Beer Writers Annual Awards Dinner 2009 (3 December 2009).
The Beer Writer of the Year is chosen from one of six category winners which seek to find the very best of beer writing and journalism in the UK. As well as picking up the overall title - which has this year been named after late beer writer Michael Jackson for the first time – Brown also won the Budweiser Budvar John White Travel Bursary for his book Hops and Glory – the story of one man’s search for the beer that built the British Empire.
Last year’s winner and chairman of the judges Zak Avery said: “Pete is an exceptional talent writer and his depth of knowledge and passion for beer really comes across in his writing.

Results in full
Brewer of the Year 2009 -Miles Jenner, of Harveys Brewery in Lewes, Sussex.

Budweiser Budvar John White Travel Bursary 2009 winner - Pete Brown.

Shepherd Neame Bishop's Finger Award for Beer and Food Writing 2009 winner - Ben Mcfarland.

Brains SA Gold New Media Award 2009 winner - Mark Dredge; runner-up 2009 - Dave Bailey -
Owner of the Woolpack Inn and Hardknott Brewery,

Deuchars IPA Regional Journalism Award 2009 - winner - Alastair Gilmour; runner-up - Simon Jenkins.

Wells & Young's Business to Business Journalism Award 2009 winner - Jeff Evans; runner-up 2009 Rob Brown, Brewers Guardian.
Coors Brewers National Journalism Award 2009 winner - Arthur Taylor; runner-up Alex Barlow.

The Michael Jackson Gold Tankard award - Writer of the Y ear 2009 - Pete Brown.

The British Guild of Beer Writers was established in 1988 to help spread the word about beer and brewing and improve standards of beer writing in general. Today the Guild has moree than 150 members – to find out more go to The British Guild of Beer Writers Website

For more real ale news & views visit

Friday, 27 November 2009

British Beer and Pub Association launches manifesto

The six 'core principles' of the manifesto are:

1. Put pubs at the heart of a campaign to strengthen community life.

2. Lower the tax and regulatory burden on pubs and beer.

3. Limit the proliferation of new codes and restrictions – enforce existing laws properly instead.

4. Promote a policy environment that encourages consumers to choose low alcohol drinks such as beer.

5. Recognise the traditional role of pubs as the place for responsible, social drinking, in a more balanced strategy for tackling abuse.

6. Work in partnership with the brewing and pub sector to promote social responsibility through through support for initiatives like Pubwatch, Crime and Disorder Partnerships, Best Bar None, Purple Flag, the Campaign for Smarter Drinking and Drinkaware.

read the whole mainfesto

more real ale news and views at

Thursday, 26 November 2009

CAMRA National Pub of the Year 2009 Finalists

CAMRA's National Pub of the Year competition has been running throughout 2009. CAMRA members assess thousands of pubs across the UK, scoring on various aspects which make a great pub, including the welcome, service, atmosphere, customer mix (i.e. 18-80 year olds), d├ęcor and, of course, the quality of the real ale.

The four CAMRA National Pub of the Year 2009 finalists are:

Royal Oak Inn, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8DF
Photographs of ships bearing the pub's name adorn the walls in this street-corner pub. The lounge bar features a wrought-iron trelliswork, larglely hidden by over 300 pump clips. The smaller public bar attracts a younger crowd. A mecca for the discerning drinker, the pub is a primary outlet for Pitstop and West Berks ales in the area- two beers carry the landlord's name.

Crown Hotel, Worthington, Gtr Manchester, WN1 2XF
Local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2006 and 2008, this country inn offers eight cask beers and two scrumpy ciders, and acts as the brewery tap for Prospect beers. High quality home-cooked food is served in the bar and conservatory restaurant, while a large decked sun terrace at the rear has patio heaters for cooler evenings. Mini beer festivals are held about four times a year.

Royal Oak, Friday Street, West Sussex, RH12 4QA
A lovely, isolated, low-beamed, narrow free house that is well worth finding, with seven handpumps for real ale, three for cider and two for perry. Ales are usually from local micro-breweries and are constantly changing. CAMRA National Pub of the Year Runner-Up in 2009. This is a real gem.

Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 8RW
Selected as CAMRA's National Pub of the Year in 2008 after previously picking up many local and regional awards, this small gem was rescued from dereliction as recently as 2002. An impressive 10 permanent handpumps include two that always dispense a mild and a stout/porter, so you are sure to find something to suit your mood. In the warmer months you can relax in the pub's multi-award winning beer garden.

The winner of the CAMRA National Pub of the Year 2009 is to be announced in mid-February 2010.

see more real ale news and views at

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Daas Pure Indulgence Competition

The Daas Pure Indulgence Competition

Posted using ShareThis

Ale taster needed for town market in Luton

Luton's indoor market is resurrecting the role of ale taster and is looking for suitable volunteer candidates.

The applicants must live in the town or one of the surrounding villages
They must be over the age of 18
Have a good knowledge of food and drink – ideally with a local angle
Be passionate about the subject
Be an articulate speaker
Be comfortable with speaking to the media and in front of audiences
Have a smart appearance – in terms of dress, grooming etc

In medieval times the ale taster would visit stalls and inns on market days and at fairs to ensure alcoholic drinks and other produce were of good quality

The role disappeared in the early 19th Century, but is now being brought back. The future employer said a "genuine love of food and drink" is essential.

Apply via The Town and Country Markets Website

More Real Ale News and Views at

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The aletalk real ale selection

We've teamed up with to put together a selection of twelve bottled real ales from four breweries around the UK. The beers included range from Traditional Bitter to Stout, IPA and Porter, with strengths ranging from 3.6% abv to 7% abv.

You can get 10% off our exclusive beer selection before the end of November 2009 - Just enter the code you can find Here when prompted at the checkout.

Here's what you can find in the case....

Ascot Ales

Alligator Ale abv: 4.6%
Anastasia's Exile Stout abv: 5.0%
Posh Pooch abv: 4.2%

Cheddar Ales

Goat's Leap IPA abv: 5.7%
Gorge Best abv: 4.0%
Totty Pot abv: 4.5%

Ffos Y Ffin Brewery

Cwrw Caredig abv: 4.1%
Merlin's Brew abv: 3.6%
Towy Ale abv: 5.0%

Sheffield Crown Brewery

Unpronouncable IPA abv: 7.0%
Wheat Stout abv: 6.6%
Wheetie Bits abv: 4.4%

All the tasting notes & how to order can be found Here

Don't forget..... Order our exclusive beer selection before the end of November 2009 and you can get 10% off

More real ale news & views at

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Wakefield (CAMRA) Beer Festival 2009

Another weekend, another beer festival, this time a short train journey away, in Wakefield at the Light Waves Leisure Centre.

A short walk up Westgate took us past The Black Rock, thinking it rude to pass by without popping in, an excellent pint of Tetley's was enjoyed - Two guest beers were available as well. Suitably refreshed we descended on the beer festival.

Four pounds entry (free for CAMRA members), including a NON-REFUNDABLE festival glass (Two pounds for CAMRA members).... Didn't I read somewhere that glasses at all CAMRA festivals should be refundable? Then tickets for beer, priced at 1.20 each which we were told would buy a half. Imagine our surprise then when some stronger beers were a token plus 10p or even 20p.

A good varied selection of beers on offer from the sublime Jaipur IPA (Thornbridge) and Dark Ruby Mild (Sarah Hughes) to the reasonable Hill Climb (Prescott) and the downright awful (cant really say but it was poured down the sink in the gents).
Even though I'm not a great fan of beer festivals in large sports halls - they always seem to lack atmosphere - I understand that it must be difficult to find large enough venues to hold a beer festival in. All in all a pleasant enough afternoon but it did raise some questions:
Why don't CAMRA instigate a beer festival policy so there is consistancy around the country?
If a festival is charging different prices for the beers, why don't they have a better method for buying them?
Festival glasses, refundable or non-refundable?

For a list of upcoming beer festivals visit our Calendar of Events

More real ale news and views at

Friday, 30 October 2009

Wychwood Brewery Updated

We've just updated Wychwood Brewery on our database here with images and tasting notes.

Did you know you can search all the UK real ale breweries and the real ale they produce using our search here

For a complete list of UK real ale events and beer festivals plus forums and Uk real ale news and views, visit

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Government must overrule OFT decision on pub company ties

Pub company ties must be referred to the Competition Commission urgently

CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale, has criticised the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for failing to protect consumers by taking no action following the consumer group's super-complaint submitted in July and has called on the Government to refer unfair tie arrangements in the pub sector to the Competition Commission.

In this morning's response to CAMRA's super-complaint, the OFT has said that consumers benefit from a good deal of competition and choice in the pubs sector, but CAMRA has challenged this at a time when prices are rising and seven pubs are closing every day.

CAMRA's super-complaint followed the hard-hitting report from the parliamentary Business and Enterprise Select Committee (BEC) which called for urgent action to re-balance the relationship between pub-owning companies and their lessees in the interest of consumers.

Mike Benner, CAMRA's Chief Executive said, "We do not accept that there is sufficient competition between pubs or adequate consumer benefit from competition and choice within this sector. The OFT decision fails to address the legitimate concerns raised both in our super-complaint and the BEC report and does nothing to address the imbalance in the landlord/ lessee partnership which is leading to higher prices, less choice and weak investment in pubs."

Mr Benner added, "It is difficult to see how the OFT can argue that competition is working well in the pubs sector when demand is falling, yet prices are rising. Urgent action is now required by Government to stem the flow of pub closures, build a sustainable future and ensure that consumers get a fair share of the benefit from tied agreements as demanded by competition law."

Mike Benner said, "There simply cannot be effective competition between all pubs when many pub landlords are placed at a huge disadvantage, by paying wholesale beer prices that can be around 50p a pint greater than their free of tie competitors."

The OFT has found that higher prices exist for some products in tied pubs, but claims that these are marginal, with a pint of lager costing drinkers 8p more in a tied pub compared to a free house. CAMRA, however, claims that this fails to fully consider that higher prices in tied pubs lead to artificially higher prices in other local pubs through lack of effective price competition and contends that today's cash-strapped drinkers would not regard an 8p premium as marginal.

CAMRA is urging Lord Mandelson to overrule the OFT by referring anti-competitive and unfair tie arrangements of the large pub operating companies to the Competition Commission for an urgent investigation. In taking this decision Lord Mandelson will help secure a sustainable future for Britain's pubs and a fair deal for Britain's 14 million pub-goers.

CAMRA is also calling on the Government to take immediate legislative steps to protect pub landlords and therefore consumers from unfair and anti-competitive contract terms.

CAMRA has called for a policy framework to support community pubs which benefit society following the publication of 'Pubs and Places' by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) in March.

Dr. Rick Muir, author of 'Pubs and Places', said, "Pubs play a key role in community life by providing a friendly and safe environment for people to socialise with friends, family and their wider community. The positive social contribution of many pubs is under threat as a result of high rents and high tied beer prices imposed unfairly by large pub owning companies. Pub landlords are rightly very concerned that unfair tie arrangements are having a serious impact on their ability to compete by reducing prices and improving facilities. The relationship between large pub owning companies and pub landlords needs urgent rebalancing and both the Government and Competition Authorities have their roles to play. In addition a new Government policy framework is required to support, incentivise and reward well-run community pubs."

In calling for referral to the Competition Commission, The BEC report stated the disappointment of the Select Committee that the OFT has previously failed to act on this matter and had refused to acknowledge the current problems in the market. The report said, on the point that the market is working, that "if pubcos push too hard and are too greedy they will fail. But on the way bad companies will inflict real damage on their direct customers, the lessees, and on their indirect customers, ordinary drinkers."

Mr. Benner added, "The Business and Enterprise Select Committee have been proven correct in the view they expressed early this year that an OFT investigation would not be satisfactory and that the Government should now assume responsibility."

OFT gives all clear to beer-tie supply

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have decided that pub companies which force licensees to buy beer through their landlord are not doing anything wrong.

Britain's pub groups will welcome today's decision but the ruling will be a blow to the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) which used its power as a designated consumer watchdog to make a 'super-complaint' to the OFT over 'tied arrangements' in July.

Read the full article from Times Online

More real ale news and views, plus a calendar of UK real ale events at

Friday, 16 October 2009

Wye Valley Brewery takes top spot at SIBA Awards

The Wye Valley Brewery has been named the overall winner at this year's SIBA Brewing Business Awards. The independent brewer's association singled out the beer producer and fledgling pub operator for a range of inititaives that illustrated an "impressive commitment to marketing and selling great beer".

Best Sponsorship went to Freedom Brewery for its partnering of a three-day summer festival with Heart FM.

Best Support for an Off-Trade Customer award was won by Titanic Brewery for their work with Morrisons to create a range of products to match the seasons and help the supermarket to reinforce its reputation as the first retailer to market with fresh, seasonal produce.

The full list of winners can be found on the SIBA brewing business awards page

For more real ale news & views plus a calendar of all the UK real ale events visit

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

West Yorkshire: Britain’s brewing capital

Real ale is enjoying a renaissance and West Yorkshire has been christened as Britain’s brewing capital. A recent report from the Campaign for Real Ale showed there were now 34 breweries in the county.

From venerable brewers like Keighley’s Timothy Taylor’s, now in its 151st year to newcomers like Salamander brewery at Dudley Hill, things are looking good.

Read the full article from The Bradford Telegraph and Argus

See more real ale newa and views at

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

S&N to close Newcastle Brown Ale brewery

Scottish & Newcastle will stop brewing the world-famous beer at the Federation Brewery, Gateshead, by the middle of next year. All operations will be transferred to the John Smith's Brewery, in Tadcaster.

S&N bosses blamed the economic downturn for the decision which marks the end of a 82-year tradition of brewing the ale - affectionately nicknamed Dog - in the region.

Read the full article Here

More real ale news & views at

The question is 'can they still call it Newcastle Brown Ale'?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

CyclopsBeer info now showing on aletalk

We're now displaying CyclopsBeer tasting notes for the beers in our database.

An example of a beer with these tasting notes can be seen when viewing Wye Valley's Hereford Pale Ale

Cyclops was developed by a group of industry bodies to help to de-mystify beer.

The principals are simple:

1. Describe the beer in what it looks like, smells like and tastes like using no more than 3 words for each area

2. Make sure the terms used are aimed at the average drinker.

3. When describing the taste use terms such as fruity, strong, refreshing. Only use specific flavour terms such as orange, chocolate, toffee if they can definitely be picked up on the beer.

4. Then scores (out of five) are allocated for Bitter and Sweet depending upon the bitterness units, present gravity and most importantly what it tastes like.

Cyclops is now being widely used by beer buyers to help distinguish between beers and will increasingly become as well used as the 1-10 and A-E of the wine world.

To learn more about Cyclops visit their website Here

To look for a beer on our database, try the aletalk search

For all the latest and best UK real ale news and views, visit

Monday, 5 October 2009

'From zero to hero' new report confirms cask ale's renaissance

400,000 new drinkers in 2008
Volume growth in a declining overall beer market
Distribution in 3,000 new pubs last year
More breweries trading than at any time in the past 60 years

That these statistics can be used to describe cask ale will come as a surprise to anyone who witnessed the category's near-demise around five years ago and confirm its journey from 'zero to hero', as published today in The Cask Report - Britain's National Drink.

Pete Brown, the report's author, said, "Turnaround stories don't get much better than cask beer's. In a shrinking on-trade beer market, cask is the only category to show growth, albeit modest, of 1% in the first half of 2009. Its share of the on-trade beer market now stands at 13.5%, up from 11% in 2007. But what's most important for Britain's licensees is that there's compelling evidence to show that cask beer can offer them a 'lifeline' out of the recession

Read the full press release Here

More real ale news & views at

Monday, 28 September 2009

BrewDog launches 'Nanny State'

After critisism of their 18.2% beer Tokyo, BrewDog have launched a new beer at 1.1%, called Nanny State.

The new beer is described as 'a mild imperial ale containing more hops per barrel than any other beer ever brewed in the UK'.

Read the report from BBC News

More real ale news and views at

Thursday, 24 September 2009

UK Beer Festivals w/e 25-27 September 2009

Thirsty? Fancy a drop of real ale?

Here is a list of all the ral ale events happenning in the UK this weekend

Real Ale Events

A special mention for our fellow Twitterers who are hosting Beer Festivals this weekend:

Kilvert's Beer Festival, Hay-on-Wye

The Castle Inn Beer Festival, West Lulworth

More real ale news & views at

Friday, 18 September 2009

International Beer Challenge 2009 Winners

The judging for the International Beer Challenge 2009 is now complete. Over 30 expert judges from the international beer industry blind tasted 300 beers and bronze, silver and gold medals were awarded.

Well done to all the winners.

The complete list of winners can be found HERE

For the latest real ale news & views visit

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Beer Festivals for weekend 19-20 September 2009

Looking for a real ale event this weekend?

They're all listed Here

If you're looking for real ale news and views or, if you're looking for a real ale brewery, take a look at

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Stiff competition for erotic brew

Brewer Juergen Hopf has launched a libido-boosting beer in the UK.

He claims he made the uplifting discovery by accident when machines at his automated brewery in Schoenbrunn in Bavaria, Germany, broke down.

According to Juergen, the erotic tonic is better than Viagra with an "instant" effect.

Read the full story from The Sun

More real ale news at

Friday, 11 September 2009

CAMRA Good Beer Guide puts West Yorkshire first

WEST Yorkshire is Britain’s biggest region for real ale – and Huddersfield is one of its hotspots.

Figures show that West Yorkshire has the most real ale breweries in the UK with 34, with many of them in the Huddersfield area.

Mick Moss, Camra’s regional director for Yorkshire, said: “Despite many pubs struggling in the current economic climate, this year’s Good Beer Guide highlights that the real ale scene in Yorkshire is thriving.

Read the full Article from the Huddersfield Examiner

More real ale news & views at

Thursday, 10 September 2009

UK Beer Festivals for the Weekend 12/13 September

Find all the UK real ale events in one place


CAMRA launches Good Beer Guide 2010

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today launched the 37th edition of its annual Good Beer Guide which features the best 4,500 real ale pubs in Britain.

CAMRA's 100,000 strong membership fully update and revise the Guide every year, thereby guaranteeing to supply the reader with the most up to date publication in helping to locate the best pint of real ale. There are a total of 1297 new entries in this year's Guide.

To celebrate the launch of the Good Beer Guide 2010, CAMRA has announced the 16 CAMRA Regional Pubs of the Year winners. These are the pubs that have been hailed as the very best real ale pubs in the country.

Central Southern: Royal Oak Inn, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8DF
East Anglia: Wheatsheaf, Writtle, Essex, CM1 3DU
East Midlands: Old Oak Inn, Horsley Woodhouse, Derbyshire, DE7 6AW
Greater London: Bricklayer's Arms, Putney, SW15 1DD
Greater Manchester: Crown Hotel, Worthington, Gtr Manchester, WN1 2XF
Kent: Bull, Horton Kirby, Kent, DA4 9DF
Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales: Golden Lion Inn, Llangynhafal, LL16 4LN
North East: Boathouse Inn, Wylam, Northumberland, NE41 8HR
Scotland and NI: Albert Tavern, Freuchie, Fife, KY15 7EX
South and Mid Wales: Severn Arms, Penybont, LD1 5UA
South West: Old Spot, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 4JQ
Surrey and Sussex: Royal Oak, Friday Street, West Sussex, RH12 4QA
Wessex: Prince of Wales, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 8AL
West Midlands: Cock Hotel, Wellington, Shropshire, TF1 2DL
West Pennines: Taps, Lytham, Lancashire, FY8 5LE
Yorkshire: Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield, S3 8RW

The National Pub of the Year winner will be judged from the final 16 Regional Pubs of the Year and announced in February 2010.

The Good Beer Guide 2010 features 1297 new pub entries and 71 new breweries.

For more information on the Good Beer Guide, visit the CAMRA website

For more real ale news & views visit

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Are women better beer tasters than men?

Are women better beer tasters than men?
Women have been handed a most unlikely victory in the battle of the sexes - and it's enough to make grown men weep.

A new brewery opens in Australia next year and they will be looking for about a dozen professional beer tasters.

The majority of these jobs are expected to go to women because they apparently make better beer tasters.

Read the full article Here

Find similar stories Here

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

'Udders Orchard

‘udders orchard make cider from ordinary apples from in and around Huddersfield. Thousands of apple trees grow without want for their apples. ‘udders orchard lovingly make cider from these unloved, uncared for apples.

Are you in or around Huddersfield?

Do you have an apple tree but can’t use all your apples?

‘udders orchard will clear them up and take them away saving you valuable time.

You will also get a bottle of the finished product!

For more details see the ‘udders orchard website

visit us at

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Timothy Taylor 2009 Prize Quiz

To enter the Quiz, simply solve the clues which will produce Two of the Hop Varieties that Timothy Taylor's Brewery uses in the Golden Squares.

Most of the answers have connections with brewing and drinking beer.

1st Prize £250 plus Timothy Taylor Goodie Bag
Plus 5 x Runner up Goodie Bag Prizes

Print off the page Here

Closing date February 28th 2010

This weekend's Beer Festivals.

From the Trossachs to Ashford via Ulverston, Anglesey & Ipswich.

See them all Here

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Binge drink your way to a bigger beer belly

Drinking a bottle of wine or five pints of beer in an evening instead of over the course of a week gives you a big waist, British researchers say.

They found the pattern of drinking rather than the total amount of alcohol consumed has a greater effect on waist size. Men who binged had a waist size 2.3 inches (6cm) bigger than men who drank the same overall amount of alcohol but spread it out across the week, the study found.

The findings are significant because abdominal fat has been shown to be more dangerous for the heart than fat carried around the bottom and has been linked to diabetes and heart disease.

Read the full article from the Daily Telegraph Here

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Free pints to tackle binge drinking among young adults

Alcohol charity Drinkaware is today (1st September) unveiling a £100 million campaign to encourage 18-24 year olds to evaluate their drinking habits and in the long term, change the social acceptability of drunkenness.

In a new approach to tackling alcohol misuse, pubs, bars, phoneboxes, supermarkets and off licences around the country will carry campaign posters, drink mats, stickers and shelf strips presenting tips for smarter drinking. The campaign’s ‘Why let good times go bad?’ logo and strapline will also be featured on 13 million products including neck labels on bottles, cans and multi-packs. Free pints of water from pubs, bars and clubs to encourage young adult drinkers to pace their drinking is one of four creative executions people will see linked with the campaign.

The Campaign for Smarter Drinking is funded by the drinks industry and run in partnership with Government. The biggest ever responsible drinking campaign will present young adults with practical tips to help them curb the ill effects of their drinking: eating a meal; drinking water or soft drinks between alcoholic drinks; looking after mates and planning your journey home.

See the full press release Here

Thursday, 27 August 2009

August Bank Holiday Beer Festivals

A list of the beer festivals for the forthcoming Bank Holiday Weekend

There's 33 listed for Saturday!!!!

Surely there is one near you.

View the full calendar Here

Let us know if we've missed one.

Microbreweries are no small beer in the West Midlands

In 2003 Birmingham was left with no breweries when Beowulf, the last company to be making beer in the city, moved out of the city into rural Staffordshire.

But now, Birmingham has two local brewers operating in the city – Birmingham Brewery in Nechells and ABC Brewery in Witton. The resurgence in the Birmingham brewing scene has been matched around the West Midlands and indeed the country with many microbreweries being set up or looking to expand.

Read the full article from the Birmingham Post

Friday, 21 August 2009

The United Kingdom of Beer - Land of Hops and Glory

Beer in all its forms remains the national drink of Britain, predating by centuries the arrival of that upstart tea. The British have made and drunk beer since before the Romans. It truly remains the United Kingdom of Beer.

Read the full article on

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Magpie Brewery creates brew for Sven Goran Eriksson

When you've got a brewery called Magpie, and when that brewery sits literally up against Meadow Lane, you really don't have much choice when your next-door neighbour becomes the talk of the summer.

You've got to brew something special.

And so it was that Magpie Brewery recently introduced "Svendamonium".

Read the full article on

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

AleTalk facebook group

We've just created a new group on facebook AleTalk facebook group

Why not come and join us on the "other side"

Beauty is in the eye of the Beerholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beerholderNew T-shirt in our on-line shop HERE
"Beauty is in the eye of the Beerholder"

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Pub reopening after 2007 floods

A Herefordshire pub which was severely damaged during summer floods two years ago has reopened its doors.

The Red Lion in Stifford's Bridge was under 5ft of water after heavy rain caused chaos in July 2007.

Landlady Sally Cook said it had taken time to complete work as the pub had been partially remodelled to enable it to cope with future flooding.

The floods of 2007 were said to be a "once in 600 years" event and caused widespread damage in the area.

The pub was flooded within four hours of the nearby river bursting its banks and caused extensive damage.

Ms Cook said: "All the contents were destroyed. It was a total loss of everything in the ground floor.

"It's been very difficult over two years with many, many, hurdles to overcome.

"At each point we thought we were very close and now we really are, we've opened the doors and we're very glad."

Otley Brewery

We've just added Otley Brewery to our database

That's 673 breweries and 5921 beers on our searchable database

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Monday, 17 August 2009

Elland Brewery

We've just added Elland Brewery to our database

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Tuesday, 11 August 2009

I don't have a drink problem

New T-Shirt Added to our on-line shop

I don't have a drink problem T-Shirt

Monday, 10 August 2009

Aletalk at the Great British Beer Festival 2009

It was hat day on Thursday when we left Aletalk Towers for a trip to the capital and the Great British Beer Festival.

After a good lunch washed down with a pint of Summer Lightning at The Punch Tavern in Fleet Street we ventured forth to Earls Court, which we found to have been converted into the tap-room of a dinghy back street boozer (albeit a large one). At least we felt a home.

CAMRA membership meant a free festival programme which at least allowed us to look like a ‘beer ticker’ as we religiously marked off the beers we liked the names of, the beers we wanted to try and eventually, the beers we tasted.

GBBF may have had record attendances this year – 64,000 by all accounts - but the place is so vast that, although busy, we never had but a moment to wait at any bar we found ourselves at before one of the attentive volunteers – which this year numbered about 1,000 – re-filled our glass.

When peckish there was food a-plenty, burgers, sausages, fish and chips, Thai, Indian and for the more adventurous, Crocodile Burgers. Unfortunately there wasn’t a Donner Kebab to be found anywhere (unless my less than focussed eyes deceived me).

A great event, male dominated as you would expect but it was good to see a smattering of ladies around the place, more power to their elbow is what I say.

The GBBF was in Leeds the last time I went, so that’s too many years ago to remember but this years event was certainly worth the effort attending.

Would I trek half the length of the country to go next year?... We’ll have to wait and see… I suppose it would be too much to ask CAMRA to move their ‘GREAT BRITISH’ Beer Festival from the capital to another part of the country? Maybe we should just rename it the Great London Beer Festival?

Try a Ladies View of GBBF09

Friday, 7 August 2009

CAMRA launches 'Save Tetley's' petition at Great British Beer Festival

Yorkshire branches of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, have today joined forces to continue the quest to save the iconic Tetley's Brewery in Leeds by launching a petition at the Great British Beer Festival, Earls Court, London.

The decision to close the historic Hunslet brewing site was met by criticism from CAMRA last November, with Carlsberg UK, owner of Tetley's Leeds site, attacked for failing to promote Tetley's beer at a time of increasing consumer interest for real ale.

The petition from CAMRA's Yorkshire branches comes after a motion at CAMRA's national AGM in April was passed unanimously proposing a national campaign to save Tetley's. CAMRA's aim is to ensure that cask brands continue to be brewed in the city of Leeds, preferably at the existing Hunslet site, and will be presenting the petition to Carlsberg UK's Northampton HQ once members of the public have had the opportunity to voice their concerns by signing the document.

Mick Moss, CAMRA Yorkshire Regional Director, said:

'Taking the fight to the Great British Beer Festival has been a great ploy for raising the awareness of this potential closure outside of Yorkshire, with Festival-goers of all ages expressing grave concern at a brewery closure that would drastically effect the community of Leeds.

'To brew Tetley's anywhere other than Yorkshire will simply mean it's not Tetley's! This petition we believe firmly will generate a groundswell of support during and after the Great British Beer Festival and we aim to present this petition to Carlsberg UK in a bid to convey the dissatisfaction of British drinkers at this potential closure.

'If Carlsberg UK are unable to keep brewing Tetley's in Leeds, we urge them to offer other companies the chance to take over the Hunslet site, and keep the brands, the recipes and the traditions alive within Yorkshire!'

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Mine's a half...

Would you drink a weaker pint for the sake of 60p?

With beer activists are calling on the government to scrap tax on brews made with just 2.8% alcohol, you could soon be facing a tough choice.

Read the whold article on The BBC News Magazine

GBBF: Champion Beer of Britain 2009 - All the Winners

Overall winners
Champion Beer of Britain - Rudgate, Ruby Mild (York, North Yorkshire)
Second - Oakham, Attila (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire)
Third - West Berkshire, Dr Hexter's Healer (Thatcham, Berkshire)

Mild category
Gold - Rudgate, Ruby Mild (York, North Yorkshire)
Silver - Bank Top, Dark Mild (Bolton, Lancashire)
Bronze - Highland, Dark Munro (Birsay, Orkney)

Bitter category
Gold - Surrey Hills, Ranmore Ale (Guildford, Surrey)
Silver - Butcombe, Bitter (Bristol, Avon)
Joint Bronze - Humpty Dumpty, Little Sharpie (Reedham, Norfolk)
Joint Bronze - Triple fff, Alton's Pride (Alton, Hampshire)

Best Bitter category
Gold - Southport, Golden Sands (Southport, Merseyside)
Silver - Buntingford, Britannia (Royston, Hertfordshire)
Joint Bronze - Evan Evans, Cwrw (Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire)
Joint Bronze - Thornbridge, Lord Marples (Bakewell, Derbyshire)
Joint Bronze - Vale, VPA (Brill, Buckinghamshire)

Golden Ale category
Gold - Dark Star, American Pale Ale (Ansty, West Sussex)
Joint Silver - Adnams, Explorer (Southwold, Suffolk)
Joint Silver - St Austell, Proper Job (St Austell, Cornwall)

Strong Bitter category
Gold - West Berkshire, Dr Hexter's Healer (Thatcham, Berkshire)
Silver - Thornbridge, Kipling (Bakewell, Derbyshire)
Bronze - Grain, Tamarind IPA (Harleston, Norfolk)

Speciality Beer category
Gold - Nethergate, Umbel Magna (Pentlow, Essex)
Silver - Wentworth, Bumble Beer (Wentworth, South Yorkshire)
Bronze - Amber, Chocolate Orange Stout (Ripley, Derbyshire)

Winter Beer of Britain winner (announced in January 2009)
Oakham, Attila (Cambridgshire)

Bottled Beer of Britain winners (sponsored by Travelodge)
Gold - Titanic, Stout (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire)
Silver - Great Gable, Yewbarrow (Gosforth, Cumbria)
Bronze - White Shield Brewery, White Shield (Coors, Burton-on-Trent)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Champion Beer of Britain: Rudgate Ruby Mild

Rudgate Ruby Mild has been voted Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) 2009.

The 4.4 per cent ABV beer is brewed by the Rudgate Brewery in Tockwith, North Yorkshire.

The ale was chosen as the overall winner from more than 60 finalists in seven categories (Best Bitters, Bitters, Golden Ales, Milds, Speciality, Winter Beer and Strong Bitters).

Second place went to Attila from Oakham brewery in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and third place was won by Dr Hexter's Healer from the West Berkshire brewery.

Raise a glass to the science of beer

As the Great British Beer Festival opens in London, a scientific look at the drink that helped shape the nation

Read the Article from the Daily Telegraph

CAMRA Membership tops 100,000

As the Great British Beer Festival opens its doors at Earls Court, CAMRA today announced that it's membership numbers had reached the milestone of 100,000 members.

To mark the occasion every 100th visitor to the five day event will be given a voucher for a free pint of beer.

Mike Benner, CAMRA chief executive, said: “We are overjoyed at reaching 100,000 members, brought together by our passion for great British beer and community pubs.

“But while we may relax and raise a glass or two to celebrate at the opening of the Great British Beer Festival today, we are not complacent and tomorrow the hard work campaigning for drinkers’ rights will continue.”

CAMRA was formed in 1971 by Michael Hardman, Jim Makin, Graham Lees and Bill Mellor, when an idea of a campaign arose whilst they were bemoaning the state of British beer and pubs.

Membership levels rose sharply, with CAMRA boasting more than 5,000 members by the end of 1973.

Hardman said: “We would never have believed in 1971 that one day we would have 100,000 members.

Women drinkers turn to real ale

New CAMRA research has found that twice as many women have tried Britain's national drink compared to a year ago.

Members of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, organisers of this week's Great British Beer Festival are hoping for record numbers of female visitors as new research shows a phenomenal growth in the number of women trying real ale, Britain's national drink.

Read the full article Here

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Brewdog nearing sell-out in days after furore

BREWDOG, the Scots micro-brewery at the centre of a row over its decision to launch the UK's strongest beer, has revealed it has sold 90 per cent of the controversial ale in the first few days of its launch.

Read the full article Here

Friday, 31 July 2009

Great British Pub Awards 2009

The Morning Advertiser has announced the Regional Category Winners of the Great British Pub Awards.

These awards are designed to specifically reward the licensee for their hard work, dedication and entrepreneurial skills.

Best Cask Beer Pub, Best Community Pub, Best Freehouse & Best Cellar are some of the thirteen categories up for grabs

Great British Pub Awards: winners shortlist here

Thursday, 30 July 2009

A pint for the fella and a white wine or fruit-based drink for the lady?

Here one woman discovers the delights of beer

Read Article

Win tickets to the Great British Beer Festival 2009

The Great British Beer Festival is a 5-day celebration of beer and brewing, staffed by over 1,000 volunteers. Join CAMRA at Earls Court for an event where variety and choice abounds.

Win tickets to the GBBF Here

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Wye Valley’s Morgan Ale

Wye Valley Brewery and Morgan Cars are joining forces to celebrate 100 years of Morgan.

The 4.4% abv Morgan Centenary Ale is the second beer that Wye Valley Brewery has brewed in association with Morgan, as both have a link with the town of Stoke Lacy.

Morgan Centenary Ale will be available in cask throughout August. It is described by head brewer Jimmy Swan as “a chestnut coloured ale, with a nutty, biscuity flavour and crisp hop character”.

Nice beer and sports cars.... What a great combination

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Row Brewing Over Britain's Strongest Beer

Scottish Brewery BrewDog have launched Britain's strongest ale - Tokyo at 18.2%. This has led to health campaigners calling for a review of the alcohol industry.

An alcohol content of 18.2% means that a single pint would contain 12 units, equivalent to a full bottle of wine.

Read full article from Sky News

Monday, 27 July 2009

Ascot Brewery

We have just added Ascot Brewery to our database

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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Bower Beer Fest

Last weekend we visited Bower Beer Fest in Hall Bower, Huddersfield

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Friday, 24 July 2009

The Publican - Home - CAMRA attacks

The Publican - Home - CAMRA attacks "unfair" beer tie prices in OFT complaint

It's about time CAMRA did this... Why have they had this ability and left it all this time to use it????

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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Spitting Feathers Brewery

We've just added Spitting Feathers Brewery to our ever growing database of real ale breweries
They brew beers like these..

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Friday, 3 July 2009

Nant Brewery

We've just added Nant Brewery to our database

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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

We've just had some beermats delivered from the printers. What do you think?

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Black Sheep Brewery

We've just added
Black Sheep Brewery
to our database

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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Irving Brewery

We've just added
Irving Brewery to our database

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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Real ale events this weekend

Fancy a trip out this weekend?

All the UK real ale events are here

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Ironbridge Brewery

We've just added
Ironbridge Brewery to our database

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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Inveralmond Brewery

We've just added Inveralmond Brewery to our website
Inveralmond Brewery

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Aletalk is Backing Proud of Pubs Week

Aletalk is backing Proud of Pubs Week 2009, which is taking place from July 11 to 19. The campaign, being promoted by The Publican is about getting pubs, people and politicians behind their key campaign message: that pubs are GOOD
The campaign is trying to get Landlords involved in activities throughout the week. These include:
Establishing an online community on Twitter or Facebook
Putting on a Proud of Pubs Night, and trying something new in your the pub

Monday, 15 June 2009

Beers of the World LIVE

The temptation of enjoying 300 of the world's best beers was too much. So last Friday (12 June) we departed Aletalk Towers and took the train to the NEC excitedly discussing how many of the 300 beers we'd get to drink.Entry to the Good Food/ Gardeners World LIVE show had been paid which gave us free access to BOTW. For an extra five English pounds we received our tasting glass (some would say thimble) and twelve beer tokens. Each token could be redeemed for 50ml of whichever ale we chose.Unexpectedly, some of the bar staff needed a little encouragement to fill the glass to the top - We weren't going home drunk from this one!

Another pound allowed us to sample a drop of three beers and three morsels of food, either sweet or savoury. As I'm watching my weight, it was the savoury for me with the taste of the food overpowering the ale every time.

Highlights were Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted, Samuel Adams Summer Ale and surprisingly a lager from the H2O Lager Company called Gringo. This is sold as 'a premium lager with a distinctive flavour of fresh lime and tequila'. All I can say is that it went down a treat on a hot summer's day. If only I could have had the bottle.

Whilst I could not recommend going to the NEC just for Beers of the World LIVE, it's certainly an interesting way to spend an hour or so if you've gone to one of the other two shows that are happening at the same time.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Black Isle Brewery

We've just added Black Isle Brewery to our database

Black Isle Brewery

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Save the Great British Pub

Campaigners have launched a new on-line petition calling for duty levels to be reconsidered, action on cheap supermarket alcohol, a re-evaluation of the smoking ban and for the a Competition Commission inquiry into the pubco model

See here

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Jennings Brewery Tour

It is always a concern when a small independent brewery is taken over by a larger concern. This was the case for Jennings when in 2005 they were taken over by Marston's Plc (nee Wolverhampton & Dudley). Any fears we had were eased after an informative brewery tour, conducted by our knowledgeable guide.

After a brief introduction in the bar, we had a 45 minute walk through the older part of the brewery, up many stairs, ducking under old beams, some of which our delighted host told us were once ships timbers.
Although the tour was informative - we even got our hands on some hops - there wasn't a great deal of the actual brewery shown to us. The guide though was very enthusiastic and open to any questions we may have had.
Back to the bar to sample a few halves of their beer - the first three were included in the price of the tour. All the ales were served to perfection but you would expect no less in the brewery's own bar - The Cocker Hoop going down particularly well.
The consensus was that in this case, the takeover by Marston's has been a good thing. They are encouraged to brew using the same methods they always have but the buying power provided by their parent and their investment in new equipment means that Jennings are going from strength to strength. Long may it continue. Check the Jennings website for details.

Monday, 1 June 2009 launches

A brand new website launched today

Here you can get the latest news and views from the world of real ale in the UK

Search a database of independent breweries and the beers they produce.

Tell us about the beer you've drunk and the pubs you've drunk it in on our forum

Take a look and let us know what you think