North East Suffolk

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

NES branch socials report for Jul-Sep 2018

Wednesday 3 October 2018

North East Suffolk branch - socials report: Jul18-Sep18

In mid-July a group of us travelled to Sheringham for our annual visit to the North Norfolk Railway beer festival held on the station's Poppy Line platform. As it was a nice day, I took advantage of the weather, arrived early and took a long walk along the coast path returning in time for the opening of the festival. Plenty of real ale or real cider plus steam trains – a good combination for many with several visitors taking the trip to Holt and back. The following Wednesday was one of our rural mid-month meanders, on this occasion a two-pub visit starting at the Wenhaston Star where Adnams Southwold, Magpie Best, Woodforde's Volt IPA, Golden Best and Summer Dream from Green Jack were available alongside Giggler Cider. We sat in the pub's large garden for a few beers then walked – some took the bus - to the Blyford Queen's Head which is an Adnams pub recently under new management. We chose our beers from those available and sat at tables just outside the front of the pub and had a good view of nesting parent birds going back and forth feeding their young. It was soon time for most of our group to catch the bus home via Southwold leaving three of us, one of whom was driving and who gave me a lift home. The route took us past the Shadingfield Fox so we decided to pop in to see the staff and have a last drink. Our final social in July was another regular on our calendar – the annual Humpty Dumpty Brewery beer festival in Reedham, a short walk from the train station. As well as the brewery's own beers, many others were available. I personally had Wibblers Hop Black, Three Blind Mice Lonely Snake, Elland Road Trip, Itchin Hampshire Rose, Colchester Brazilian and Billericay Zeppelin. There were also five unusual beers from Norfolk Broads Brewing called Jane's Addiction which were based on sweet shop treats – Lemon Sherbet and Black Jack were available when I visited, although Old English Toffee, Rhubarb & Custard and Fruit Salad were due to be available.

We met up at the Walberswick Anchor for our August mid-month meander and found Oakham JHB being served alongside Southwold Bitter, Ghost Ship and Mosaic from Adnams. We sat in their front garden and were joined by the landlord for a chat and who proceeded to look after us well providing a jug of an experimental porter and a bottle of his Harvest Ale to taste. We were also joined briefly by a couple of CAMRA members from Essex who, I think, were on a walking holiday. Much later than planned we moved on to the Walberswick Bell and sat in their large garden with our choice of the four Adnams beers on offer, most of us opting for T'Drop. We then walked towards the ferry to find a long queue so we decided to walk along the river path and cross the footbridge where we headed to the Harbour Inn where Adnams Southwold, Mosaic, Ghost Ship and Broadside were being served. Once again, we sat in the garden only to find that the warm weather seemed to have encouraged the wasps as they were all around us. We eventually found a wasp-free spot and finished our drinks before heading back to the bus stop and travel home. At the end of August, we ventured to the Norman Warrior in Lowestoft for their annual beer festival, which was held in their newly refurbished and family friendly garden. Some 20 beers were being served along with a large number of ciders and, thankfully, the weather stayed dry while we were there. At the end of the month a small group of us joined locals and visitors at the Stanford Arms in Lowestoft for their late Summer event where all beers served on their 12 handpumps were from London breweries Canopy, Crate, East London, Hammerton, Howling Hops, One Mile End and Truman's.

In early September we met at the Oddfellows in Pakefield for their beer festival, which is held on Oddfellows Green opposite the pub and adjacent to the coastal path. Breweries featured included Church End, Wye Valley, Derventio, Lincoln Green, Revolutions, Wolf, Green Jack and Great Heck. A very pleasant afternoon was spent drinking and chatting and listening to the live music later in the afternoon. Our September mid-month meander took us to Halesworth. We met at the Triple Plea,a 20 minute walk from the railway station, where Woodforde's Wherry, Adnams Southwold, Mauldon's Dickens and Triple Tipple, a 4.1% beer brewed by Greene King, were waiting for us. There were many customers for lunch so we settled down with our drinks in the seating area close to the bar. We then walked to the town centre's White Hart where a few of our group decided to have some lunch. The beer choice was from Fuller's London Pride and three beers from Adnams – Southwold, Ghost Ship and Broadside. We continued our afternoon out by walking to the White Swan situated opposite St Mary's church. Adnams Southwold was being served with Greene King Old Golden Hen about to come on. Our final pub was meant to be the Angel, but upon arriving, we discovered that it was hosting a wake and was very busy so we decided to return to the White Hart for a final drink. Later in the month we were invited to attend a St Peter's Brewery 'meet the team' event at the Butcher's Arms in Beccles where four pins of the brewery's beers – Mild, Bitter, Golden Ale and Plum Porter - were being served alongside the pub's regular offerings. This was a rare Sunday outing for us and it was at short notice so it was a pretty good turnout by our branch who enjoyed the afternoon, which also featured live music.

Great Yarmouth social

Our final social of the quarter was a trip across the border into Norfolk to visit a few pubs in Great Yarmouth. Our first beer was in the Tombstone Saloon, a one-bar local where we were joined by a local CAMRA member. The beers are served by gravity with three other breweries featured on the day as well as the Tombstone ales. I tried Texas Jack and Arizona from Tombstone and a beer from Magpie. From here, we walked the short distance to the Mariners where amongst others being served were Nene Valley New Age Chestnut and Bosun's Razamataz, which were both enjoyed by our group. The third pub that we visited was the Red Herring - close to the Time & Tide Museum - where there was a choice of three beers including Robinson's and Lacon's. Finally, we walked back to the Oliver Twist - a small pub close to the market area – where I finished with another beer from the Tombstone brewery.