North East Suffolk

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

NES branch socials report for Jul-Sep 2019

Sunday 29 September 2019

North East Suffolk branch - socials report: Jul19-Sep19

Following last year's venture outside of our branch area to Great Yarmouth, we decided in July to go over the county border again, but this time to Gorleston. We met at the William Adams, a Wetherspoons in the centre of town, whose guests ales included Green Jack Trawlerboys and Jurassic Midnight Blinder alongside the ubiquitous Ruddles, Doombar and Abbot. From here we went to the Dock Tavern, a small pub serving Rudgate Jorvik, Cotleigh Styrian Wolf, Exile Urban Fox, Adnams Broadside and its own Dock Tavern Bitter and soon it was time to go to our next pub, the New Entertainer. Here we had a choice from Greene King IPA & Barmy Army, Fuller's London Pride, Belhaven 1719, Wadworth 6X and Sweet Mary Jane, a collaboration between Ilkley and Tiny Rebel breweries. This latter beer was described as a milkshake pale and was not to my taste (which is a rarity). Having arrived too early for the Oddfellows Arms it was suggested that we have a quick beer at the Pier Hotel which was very busy, but we found a table with our choice from Sharps Doombar, London Pride, Adnams Bitter and Wolf Golden Jackal. We re-traced our steps to the Oddfellows Arms which was serving Lacons Encore & Legacy and Norfolk Nog, Nelson's Revenge and Volt IPA from Woodforde's. Our next two July social events were also in Norfolk and took us to the North Norfolk Railway beer festival in Sheringham and the Humpty Dumpty brewery beer festival in Reedham. Both were very much enjoyed.

In August, we made our annual trip to Walberswick & Southwold. I paid a quick visit to Southwold Pier where Adnams Bitter and Ghost Ship were on the bar. I then walked to the Sail Loft where Adnams Mosaic and Lacons Legacy were being served. I then continued to Walberswick to meet other branch members at the Anchor for a choice of Green Jack LGM1, Adnams Bitter and Ghost Ship. The weather stayed fine so we sat in the pub's front garden with our beers. A short walk away is the Bell, which was serving Adnams Lighthouse, Bitter, Ghost Ship & Broadside. A table had just been vacated in the back garden so were able to sit down with our drinks. Most of us then walked along the river path and across the footbridge to the Harbour Inn in Southwold with others opting to take the ferry service. The pub was serving the same four beers as the previous pub so we had by now had all of Adnams regularly available beers. A walk back into town saw us visit the Lord Nelson and Swan Hotel which, once again, both had the same Adnams beers with the former also serving Mosaic. By this time, some of us were also looking at the bottled beer options. Over the week leading up to the August bank holiday and during the weekend itself there are so many beer festivals to choose from that we only go to one event as a group hence we met up at the Norman Warrior in Lowestoft on the Saturday. The pub had decided on a colour theme so the 24 beers were from Green Duck, White Rock, Red Willow, Purple Moose, Black Sheep, Greene King and Blue Monkey breweries with only Titanic Plum Porter being related to the beer's name. I liked all those I sampled, but particularly enjoyed Red Willow Smokeless and Black Sheep Imperial Stout. The following Friday I was joined by several others at the Three Blind Mice tap takeover at the Stanford Arms in Lowestoft. The brewery's beers are always interesting and featured on the day were fruity beers such as a Coconut & Lime IPA, a Soured Apricot Saison and a Raspberry & Lemongrass Pale. There was also a best bitter/brown ale, a wheat beer, a milk porter and several hoppy beers. The next day, we attended the Oddfellows beer festival in Pakefield where available beers included Green Jack Summer Dream, Trawlerboys, Flowerpower & Ripper; Colchester Drizzle; Crouch Vale Mosaic & Amarillo; Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde Mild; Lacons Charter and beers from Fat Cat and Wantsum. The event features live music and was very popular being much busier than I have ever known it to be before with long queues in the beer tent by mid-afternoon.

The next day was Sunday 1st September and members once again met up for the annual inter-branch bowls match at the Caxton Club in Beccles. Severn Brewery Double Hopped Pale Ale, Great Heck Christopher, Green Jack Summer Dream, Parkway Monkey Business and Dawkins Foresters Black were served with the latter being my favourite on the day. For those interested in the outcome of the bowls match, Suffolk beat Norfolk convincingly. Our September meander was in the Kirkley area of Lowestoft starting at the Plough & Sail, which was very busy as a coach load of people were having a drink prior to a day out at the races in Great Yarmouth. The pub was serving Greene King IPA & Barmy Army and Sharp's Doombar & Atlantic. We then had a pit-stop in the Royal Oak for a half of Adnams Ghost Ship before a stroll to the Hatfield Hotel where we sat on the terrace looking out to sea with our choice of Greene King Old Golden Hen or Yardbird. We walked back towards the railway station to Notleys where the Adnams Southwold Bitter had just been replaced by the same brewery's Broadside. Next door is the Harbour Inn which mainly serves meals, but where visitors are welcome to have a drink. It is normally Lacons and Adnams available and, true to form, we had Encore or Ghost Ship from which to choose. Our final stop was the Joseph Conrad which had its regular GK Abbot, Ruddles Bitter and Sharp's Doombar with a couple of guests from which I chose Wolf Sirius. I had just missed a train so I had time to pop in to the Stanford Arms for a last drink, Raspberry & Lemongrass Pale from Three Blind Mice. Our final event of September was to join members of East Norfolk branch on an evening social in Lowestoft. Some of us met at the Triangle Tavern to sample some Green Jack ales prior to joining the rest at the Norman Warrior which was very busy as one bar was hosting a private party. Beers available here were GK IPA, Sharps Doombar, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Mauldons Lemon Adder, Lacons Encore and Lacons JSD (a collaboration with Fyne Ales). We moved on to the Mariner's Rest, which was serving Jennings Cumberland, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Woodforde's Nelson's and Exmoor Wildcat along with 23 ciders. A short walk away is the Stanford Arms where I had time for a final pint before catching my last train home at 9.07pm leaving the others at the pub where Mauldon's Bitter & Christie's, Great Heck Treasure IPA, Wolf Sirius & Wolf Ale, Winters The Beans and Three Blind Mice Little Gem, Old Brown Mouse & Death By Simcoe (my choice) were on hand pump.