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NATIONAL/LOCAL NEWS - GOOD BEER GUIDE 2021 HAS LANDED - Added 30/10/20 1550
This year’s Good Beer Guide reports a net growth of two new breweries across Kent, despite one of the toughest years in living memory. Thanet has seen one new brewery, Margate’s Xylo, with another two also recently opening but not included in this guide. Kent alone is the only region to not have reported any closed breweries, bucking the first national decline reported in nearly two decades. There are a total of 27 new local pub entries in this year’s Guide across Kent. Thanet features 4 new entries including 2 new debutants. Martin Knight, current Thanet branch chair as well as newly elected Regional Director for Kent, said “I want to thank all the local volunteers who have worked tirelessly to gather the most up to date data for inclusion in this guide. Whilst the beer scene in Thanet appears to be buoyant and the majority have survived the first lock down, trends in breweries no longer producing (for whatever reason) raises concerns the real impact of COVID has yet to be felt. Therefore, CAMRA continues to call on government to put together a robust support package for all pubs and breweries, to ensure the numbers are not substantially lower when we print the next guide.” The 2021 Guide has found the total number of independent UK breweries has dipped from 1,823 in 2019 to 1,816 in 2020* - a dramatic shift since the explosion in UK breweries started in 2008 and a reflection of the impact COVID-19 has already had on the industry. The Good Beer Guide is the Campaign for Real Ale’s premier publication, featuring the very best pubs in which to find a great pint across the UK. Despite being hampered by a national lockdown and ongoing restrictions, thousands of independent volunteers have worked together to compile this year’s entries, helping to identify significant trends and themes locally and nationally. This year, celebrity chef Tom Kerridge has penned the foreword, urging the country to ‘stay strong and stay positive’ despite the ongoing challenges. Writing in the Guide, Kerridge observes that “the one thing we have all missed during lockdown is human connection and social interaction, which above all else, is everything that the Great British pub provides - a warm, happy and friendly place for people to drink and eat. We need now more than ever to be positive and strong to enable us to drive the word home about how fantastic the Great British pub is, and most importantly, what it brings to each and every community.” Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman adds: “This is truly a pivotal time that could make or break the industry. Our pubs and breweries are going to need significant, long-term support and funding throughout this transition period and in the months to come to survive. Breweries have all but been forgotten as new restrictions have been introduced, yet heavily rely on pubs as a key outlet for their products. Simultaneously, the Government is considering changes to Small Brewers Relief, which would result in higher taxes for many small brewers. Simply put, this couldn’t come at a worse time – our brewers need all the support they can get to stay afloat. Pubs are just as vulnerable, and the pubs that do survive may change forever – the essential characteristic of a pub rests on that open bar meeting space where you can make friends and socialise. It’s clear that preventing widespread closure and rebuilding our pub culture post-COVID-19 will truly be CAMRA’s greatest challenge yet.”
The Good Beer Guide 2021 is now available from the CAMRA shop at https://shop1.camra.org.uk/product/the-good-beer-guide-2021 and there is an updated app version available for download on both iOS and Android devices. Due to the ongoing restrictions and local lockdowns taking place, please ensure that you check directly with pubs for the latest opening times and requirements before booking your visit.
LOCAL NEWS - NEW BREWERIES ON THE ISLAND - Added 19/10/20 1525
Not just one brewery but two have commenced production on the Isle of Thanet.
Firstly a great big welcome to Floc Brewing, based in Margate at Unit 3 Jarrett's Yard, Thanet Road, Margate CT9 1BW they have recently launched (and sold out) of their maiden brew "Everything Starts Somewhere" to rave reviews. They are concentrating on cans and keg at this time.
CLICK HERE for more details.
Secondly we welcome Shivering Sands Brewery to the Island and especially their tap room...!!
Below is an image of their "Wild Man of Goodnestone" brew.
CLICK HERE for more details
LOCAL NEWS - WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN GOING TO PUBS IN ENGLAND - Added 02/07/20 1437
With the easing of lockdown measures a large number of our pubs will once again be opening their doors from Saturday 4th July BUT normal service will not be resumed as there are still social distancing measures in place. CAMRA have issued a quick guide to give you a flavour of what to expect.
LOCAL NEWS - PUBS UPDATE - Added10/06/20 0945 - **AMENDED 01/07/20 09:14 - ^^AMENDED 02/07/20 13:23
With the easing of lockdown measures a large number of our pubs will once again be opening their doors from Saturday 4th July BUT normal service will not be resumed as there are still social distancing measures to adhere to so expect limits on numbers, pre-booking, etc. We will attempt to update this post with pubs that will be opening up BUT please check with the venue for how they will be adapting to suit their own COVID-19 risk assessment. In brackets will be any advised later date of opening.
All Thorley Taverns
Shepherd Neame are opening Royal Albion Hotel, Minnis and Botany Bay with others phased in following weeks (known exceptions are Northern Belle until they feel safe to do so)
St Nicholas at Wade - Sun Inn, Bell Inn and Wantsum Taproom
Minster - Hair of the Dog, Bell Inn and New Inn
Manston - Jolly Farmer
Ramsgate - Windmill, St Lawrence Tavern, Macies Bar, Goose, Royal Victoria Pavilion, Racing Greyhound, Comfort Inn, Belle Vue Tavern (Pegwell), Waterfront, Hotel De Ville, Elephant & Castle, Red Lion, Port & Anchor, Royal, Oak Hotel, Queens Head and Sir Stanley Grey **Churchill Tavern ^^Crown, Horse & Groom, Vale Tavern, Rose of England, Horse & Groom, East Kent Arms
St Peters - Red Lion, Four Candles, Yard of Ale
Broadstairs - Botany Bay, Cramptons, Bradstow Mill, Mind the Gap, Charles Dickens, Captain Digby, 19th Hole, Magnet, George, Pavilion, Royal Albion Hotel, Tartar Frigate and Lanthorne **Neptunes Hall ^^Prince Albert, Chapel
Margate - Lord Byron, Laughing Barrel, Sheldons, Mulberry Tree, Mechanical Elephant, Rodney, Hussar, Wheatsheaf, Wig & Pen, Barnacles, Brittania ^^Little Swift, Rose in June, Little Swift, Cinque Ports, banks, Belle Vue (Cliftonville), Oxford, Lifeboat, Bulls Head
Westgate - Swan
Birchington - Wheel Alehouse, Old Bay and Minnis
LOCAL NEWS - #PULLINGTOGETHER - PUBS UPDATE - Added 07/04/20 08:44 - ++
Revised 09/04/20 17:09 **Revised 26/04/20 17:01 ^^Revised 29/04/20 16:47 ##Revised 10/05/20 10:56 &&Revised 10/06/20 0927
We are all missing the chance to pop to the local for a pint and have a chat with friends BUT some of our local pubs have your beer needs covered with some offering delivery to your door and some offering a collection service.
Hair of the Dog, Minster
The Pub, Broadstairs
Laughing Barrel, Cliftonville - Collection only
The Wheel Alehouse, Birchington-on-Sea
++Four Candles, St Peters
++Little Swift, Margate
**Old Bay Alehouse, Birchington-on-Sea (from Thursday 30/4)
^^Mind the Gap, Broadstairs
##Banks Ale & Wine House, Cliftonville
&&Bake & Alehouse, Westgate
&&Two Halves, Margate
LOCAL NEWS - #PULLINGTOGETHER - BREWERY UPDATE - Added 30/03/20 06:58
We are all missing the chance to pop to the local for a pint and have a chat with friends BUT our local breweries are still producing beer for delivery to your door and some collections.
Northdown Brewery - Delivery Only - If you want beer place an order by midday & we shall get to you the following day. Online payment and very little contact ensures we are responsible & as safe as can be whilst keeping your beer happy. Call/text 07979 578104
Xylo Brewery - Delivery Only - New website is www.xylobrew.com to place your orders, we offer same day delivery if you order before 3pm. Our small team are working solo with no direct contact and following all current government guidance - drivers will further sanitise bottles prior to leaving on door step. Our beers are poured straight from the tap in 1 or 2.5L bottles. Whilst re-usable a couple of times we cannot take returns currently, but clean them out and hang onto them for future use or they make excellent mini propagation greenhouses.
LOCAL NEWS - LATEST EDITION OF ALE OF THANET MAGAZINE LOADED ON WEBSITE - Added 19/03/20 17:21
There will not be a physical copy of the magazine in pubs for this quarter for obvious reasons.
Please download it and enjoy - CLICK HERE
NATIONAL NEWS - CAMRA, SIBA & CROWDFUNDER PARTNER TO SUPPORT THE INDUSTRY - Added 19/03/20 14:42
CAMRA has partnered with SIBA and Crowd Funder to launch a page with the aim to provide helpful resources for the publicans, brewers and cider makers while highlighting ways the public can help protect these venues from closure. For further details CLICK HERE
LOCAL NEWS - BEER FESTIVAL CANCELLED - Added 18/03/20 14:01
Following on from government advise and an instruction from CAMRA HO we will be cancelling the planned Thanet Easter Beer & Cider Festival.
We are working with the venue to see if there is a date later this year to hold the event (assuming that the advise changes back to being able to!!)
We will let you know as soon as we know.
LOCAL NEWS - PUB OF THE YEAR 2020 ANNOUNCED - Added 18/03/20 14:08
We are delighted to announce the winners and runners up in Thanet CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2020 competition.
Traditional Pub of the Year is MONTEFIORE ARMS and runner up is ARTILLERY ARMS.
Micro Pub of the Year is BAKE & ALEHOUSE and runner up is OLD BAY ALEHOUSE.
And going forward to take on the rest of Kent will be our BRANCH PUB OF THE YEAR 2020 which is John and the team at BAKE & ALEHOUSE
LOCAL NEWS - AGENDA FOR BRANCH MEETING LOADED - Added 16/03/20 08:55
The agenda for tonight's meeting taking place tonight at Red Lion, Ramsgate is now available to download. CLICK HERE to download
NATIONAL NEWS - MEMBERS' WEEKEND & ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - YORK 3rd to 5th APRIL - - Added 10/03/20 13:15
The Members' Weekend will be taking place in York from 3rd to 5th April.
As well as all the motions there will be elections to the National Executive and all CAMRA members are eligible to vote.
CLICK HERE - for full details of the conference, the AGM and the elections
LOCAL NEWS - NORTHDOWN BREWERY PALE ALE MARY WINS AWARD - Added 06/03/20 08:27
The Taste of Kent Awards was held last night and Northdown Brewery's Pale Ale Mary was named as Kent Beer of the Year.
Congratulations on this award from us all at Thanet CAMRA.
LOCAL NEWS - BREAD & BUTTER DUO TO PLAY FRIDAY EVENING - Added 26/02/20 13:51
And finalising the set list will be Bread & Butter Duo who describe themselves as a unique and high energy band who perform an eclectic mix of the 60's to modern day.
Famous for their fancy dress box and crowd participation they guarantee to get you up and dancing.
Set list may include "Baggy Trousers" and "Walking on Sunshine" - CLICK HERE to see them in action.
LOCAL NEWS - KENT BAND BOTTLES TO PLAY FRIDAY AFTERNOON - Added 25/02/20 07:51
Also performing are the Bottles Band who describe themselves as "an acoustic eclectic Kent based group with songs from way back when to today".
Think "We'll meet again", "Meet me on the corner", etc
Fancy a listen - CLICK HERE
They will be performing on Friday at approximately 3pm
LOCAL NEWS - GADDZUKES ARE BACK PLAYING BOTH DAYS AT UPCOMING BEER FESTIVAL - Added 20/02/20 17:46
The wonderful Gaddzukes are back to play at our festival (c. 5pm) on both days. They have again waived a fee so we will once again donate what they would have been paid to their chosen local charity.
LOCAL NEWS - THE QUIET AMERICANS CONFIRMED TO PLAY BEER FESTIVAL - Added 19/02/20 08:30
The first act has been confirmed and it is The Quiet Americans who are a soul-stirring, foot-stomping country, blues and roots band.
Made up of Mark, Nigel, Andrew and Jon - CLICK HERE to hear them in action
LOCAL NEWS - CHARITY PARTNER REVEALED FOR UPCOMING BEER FESTIVAL - Added 19/02/20 08:26
We are delighted to team up for a 2nd year with the Cheerful Sparrows Charity Thanet. This charity originally helped build the Cheerful Sparrows wards at QEQM hospital in Margate and still support them today. But they also support the local community in many ways as a safety net when there is nowhere else to turn. Local professionals such as social workers and teachers refer people to the charity where a committee of eight dedicated volunteers fully consider and prioritise cases each month. After the monthly meeting practical help is offered. CLICK HERE to see all about this wonderful charity and their work they do in our community. Last year our festival goers donated over £850 and we hope we can surpass that this year.
NATIONAL NEWS - CHAMPION WINTER BEER OF BRITAIN (CWBOB) - Added 04/02/20 17:29
Today at the Great British Beer Festival Winter being held in Birmingham the CWBOB winners have been announced.
Overall champion is:
Fixed Wheel's "Blackheath Stout" a 5% ABV stout packed with malts, fruits and hops.
Silver was Elland's "1872 Porter" and bronze went to Hawkshead's "Brodie's Prime Export"
CLICK HERE for the full list of winners in the four categories.
LOCAL NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS FROM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Added 22/01/20 08:28
A great big thanks to Northdown Brewery for their hospitality for a well attended AGM.
- Finance - Accounts audited 9/1/20 - all looking good
- Beer Festival - 2019 was "ok" financially with a reasonable surplus sent back to St Albans. Fast track entry for CAMRA members well received. Feedback on entertainment prompted a working party to look at freshening up the offering. Beer/Cider levels to be reviewed for 2020 to reduce wastage. c.100 volunteers gave up their time during set up, festival and take down.
- Breweries -
- Four Candles - Increased off sales and potentially first permanent beer for 2020
- Isla Vale - Active in Thanet. Wheel House house beer "Bosuns Best" continued
- Margate - Further delays experienced
- NauticAles - NauticAles house beer "Maiden Voyage" still winning rave reviews by customers - health issues affected plans to expand range but watch this space for 2020
- Northdown - New launches bolstered reputation. Taproom to be used mainly for events. Collab with Wantsum to be launched very soon. Exciting plans for 2020 with new launches.
- Ramsgate - Ravensgate's Roger Bell to hold special events in Tap Room including launch of West Coast IPA. Seasonal specials came thick and fast through 2019 as will they during 2020
- Wantsum - "Coco Maloko" is the collab beer with Northdown. Launched Wantsum Beer Club. Held two beer festivals. Increased quantity of small batch beers brewed. Red Raddle and Turbulent Priest returned to the fold.
- Xylo - New 4BBL brewery and taproom on Margate seafront.
- Pubs - recent ONS report highlighted a loss of 5 pubs across the Isle - NEW - sub-committee to be launched to track planning with the aim to be a more visible presence in the decision making. Watch this space for your invite.
- Membership - Currently 632 vs 560 last year
- Social Secretary - A very busy year with increased attendances in general including a record 27 at Hogmany Social.
- Digital Communications -
- Website - Averaging c. 90 hits per day
- Instagram - 313 from 181 (+73%)
- Twitter - 760 from 567 (+34%)
- Thanet CAMRA Facebook - 620 from 521 (+19%)
- Beer Festival Facebook - 465 from 326 (+42%)
- Publications - 4 Ale of Thanet magazines produced with printing costs covered fully
- Election of Officers/Committee
- Chair/Beer Festival Organiser - Martin Knight
- Vice Chair/Pubs Officer/Publications - Steve Saunders
- Treasurer - NEW Brian Taylor taking over from Debbie Aris
- Secretary - Dennis Brandrick
- Membership - Julian Dungey
- Branch Contact - Graham Rickett
- Social Secretary - Danny O'Sullivan
- Beer Festival Volunteer Co-ordinator - Pater Jaquiss
- Cider - Jo Walbank
- Digital Communications - Nicholas Gurr
- Learning - Mike Newman
- Branch Objectives
- 2019 (a) Increase social media followers - ACHIEVED - continued for 2020
- 2019 (b) Increase advertising revenue to cover printing costs - ACHIEVED - continue for 2020
- 2019 (c) Increase participation at social events - ACHIEVED - continue for 2020
- 2020 - NEW - Inaugural Annual Beer Census (ABC) planned for Saturday 16th May - a one day snapshot of the beer scene in the pubs of Thanet with each and every pub visited to record the beers on sale, strengths and cost. The aim to produce a report to show average cost of a beer on the Isle, average strength of beer, most prevalent breweries and beers and more. Volunteers required to make this happen. Nick Gurr to co-ordinate
- Pub of the Year 2020 and Good Beer Guide 2021 entries - long discussion about criteria and beer scoring was had...!! Traditional and Micro POTY competitions well received generating good publicity for the branch and increasing the number of winners and runners up without increasing workload on volunteer judges. All agreed our 11 entries did not truly represent our healthy pub scene but is dictated by allocations from Kent CAMRA
LOCAL NEWS - #TRYANUARY EVENT - TABLE TOP (YES TABLE TOP) ESCAPE ROOM - Added 09/01/20 08:28
When Alison and Mick from the Laughing Barrel micro pub posted about a table top escape room experience I just had to try it out (and as this is January I can include it in my list of #tryanuary things I will be doing this month). The game takes place in the pub, costs £2 per person to enter for a wonderful cause and I guarantee totally absorbs you as you battle the 60 minute clock trrying to solve puzzles, etc to get the code to move on to the next part of the 3 parts required to escape. Thanks to David, Mike and Julian who made up our team and we just about did it CLICK HERE to see the video of the moment we did...!!
LOCAL NEWS - VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED FOR UPCOMING 15th THANET BEER & CIDER FESTIVAL
Click on the volunteer form below to download the PDF
LOCAL NEWS - AGENDA & MINUTES FOR UPCOMING AGM ADDED - Added 06/01/20 14:40
CLICK HERE to download a PDF version
LOCAL NEWS - LATEST EDITION OF ALE OF THANET UPLOADED TO WEBSITE - Added 12/12/19 1006
CLICK HERE to see the on-line copy - volunteers will be distributing physical copies to a pub near you soon (as soon as it is back from printer!!)
NEED ADVICE - CLICK HERE - FOR DRINKAWARE'S WEBSITE