NES branch socials report for Oct17-Dec17

Sunday 7 January 2018

NES branch socials report for Oct17-Dec17 Sunday 7 January 2018 North East Suffolk branch

On an overcast Saturday in October we went on a pub surveying trip to Southwold. We visited the Sole Bay Inn, Red Lion, Lord Nelson and the back bar of the Crown and between the pubs had a choice of Adnams Southwold Bitter, Regatta, Mosaic, Ghost Ship, Broadside and the seasonal Nut Brown. We also planned to visit the re-opened Swan Hotel, but it turned out that it was not re-opening until the following week.

The following Saturday was the East Anglia Regional Pub of the Year presentation by Andrea Briers to Dave & Sam Burd of the Stanford Arms in Lowestoft where CAMRA members from several branches and locals watched the presentation and had a choice of 12 real ales.

Later in October, our mid-month meander took us to Carlton Colville where we met at the Bell Inn and found a choice of Greene King IPA & St Edmunds Golden Beer, Adnams Ghost Ship and Nethergate Suffolk County. The pub has a wood-burner in the main bar area with a separate restaurant to one side and other seating areas to the other. A short walk away is the Old Red House, which was serving Green Jack Golden Best and Fuller's London Pride. This cosy pub is definitely dog-friendly as one local arrived bearing three bags, each containing a chihuahua who all ended up sharing a chair at the bar. A longer walk away is Carlton Manor, a large multi-roomed hotel with a bar which, at our visit, had available Lacon's Falcon. We moved on and as we passed the East Anglia Transport Museum next door it started to rain so we hurried to our final pub, the Crown, which was serving GK IPA, GK London Glory and Adnams Ghost Ship. We hoped to see out the rain before leaving, but the weather got worse so we all got wet going home.

In November, we had branch socials at two local beer festivals. The first was at the Shadingfield Fox, which several members managed to get to despite the poor public transport. A good choice of beers were available with Mr Bees Pollen Power and Three Blind Mice Milk Worm proving the most popular. Our second event was the popular and easy to get to Beccles Beer Festival held at the Public Hall and fundraising for local charity, Beccles Lido. All 30 beers were from Suffolk & Norfolk breweries and the organisers always manage to obtain a few rarely seen or new ales. This time, Rock Steady and Inca Gold from Bull of the Woods, Beelightful from Mr Bees, Chaucer from Green Dragon, 25PA from Fat Cat and Thurlton Gold from Peoples Brewery featured with the latter being voted Beer of the Festival. A 1st Beccles Spring Beer Festival is scheduled for 6th-8th April 2018.

Our November mid-month meander found nine of us on a visit to Halesworth. We met at the Triple Plea at opening time to find Lacons Old Ale alongside regular beers Woodforde's Wherry, Adnams Bitter and a house beer from Greene King, Triple Tipple. The Lacons Old Ale was new to me and I found it to be particular tasty. We then moved to the White Hart, most of us on foot but some members caught the bus. On this occasion the town centre pub had Southwold Bitter & Ghost Ship from Adnams and Fuller's London Pride. We followed our usual route and walked along the Thoroughfare towards St Mary's Church and the White Swan which had Adnams Southwold Bitter and Elgood's Saturday Night Beaver. Our final pub was the Angel, an Adnams hotel which was serving their Bitter, Ghost Ship and the seasonal Old Ale.

On the first Saturday in December a very good turnout of members caught the train to Reedham and walked to the Humpty Dumpty Brewery for its annual Open Weekend. Seating was available both inside where several of their brews were racked ready to sample and outside where a barbecue was up & running. Tours of the brewery had been scheduled for those wishing to have a look around and the shop was open for anyone wanting to take a few bottles home. This year I left the brewery earlier and went back to the station in daylight to avoid having to walk along country roads in the dark using the torch on my mobile.

On an overcast Wednesday lunchtime in December seven of us met up at Livingstone's in Kessingland to find on the bar Adnams Bitter & Ghost Ship along with Lacons Encore. This open plan pub has a lot of seating including a large area with sofas and feels very spacious. At our visit six Christmas trees were in evidence. We could tell that it was raining outside so decided to leave before it got too heavy and walk the mile or so down towards the beach where the Sailors Home is located. We found four other members already there and a good selection of 10 beers including some served by gravity. These were Adnams Bitter, Ghost Ship & Tally Ho, Green Jack Lurcher, Rising Sun, Trawlerboys & Gone Fishing, Humpty Dumpty Christmas Crackling, Wolf Grandma's Rich Porter and Stain Glass Blue from Star Wing, a brewery new to most of our members present and very good it was too.

Our Christmas social was a visit to the 'taverns' in Lowestoft. We met at the Oak Tavern, a nice little pub in the back streets, where the four pumps featured GK IPA & IPA Reserve, Adnams Bitter and Lacons St Nicks. We settled down and sampled a couple of beers each before moving on to the Triangle Tavern where there was the usual choice from the Green Jack range. My notes from this point on went missing sometime over Christmas, but I recall drinking Orange Wheat and Gone Fishing.