Abbeydale Brewery

Well. Where on earth did 2023 go?! December brings us a cornucopia of seasonal releases, starting with Dr Morton’s Our Wayne (in a manger)! A 4.3% Simcoe hopped pale ale intended to bring to mind other old favourites such as “While shepherds washed their socks by night” and the unforgettabubble “O’ little toe of Bethlehem”. Also due for release in cask only is Winter (4.2%), brewed with Ekuanot hops which give an aromatic fruitiness and flavours of citrus and berries, plus a delicate herbal note in the finish. 

And from our Brewer’s Emporium range, Wilderness (4.5%) and Hibernation (4.2%) are making a welcome comeback. Both flavourful hazy pale ales – Wilderness is in the New England style, for a juicy character and low bitterness, whilst Hibernation is punchy, vibrant and crisp.

We’ve also got an incredibly special limited release on the way – our Old Ale is the perfect winter warmer. 8.0%, beautifully rich, mellow and well balanced. Toffee, fruitcake and raisins are the prevailing flavour notes with a light wood character and a subtle spiciness. This will be making rare appearances on cask and is also available in 750ml bottle conditioned bottles.

Our first beer of 2024 will, as is tradition, be the always popular Dr Morton’s Duck Baffler, a 4.1% Citra hopped pale ale. And we’ll be experimenting with a new-to-us hop in the next of our Through the Hopback series – Moutere, from New Zealand. This one will be a 4.1% pale ale and we’re hoping for a powerful grapefruity character along with hints of pine. Finally, we hear a rumour that Cryo Heathen (5.0%) is making a comeback to help us ring in the New Year in style!

Hop Hideout

The multi award-winning Sheffield beer shop celebrate their 10th birthday with a weekend of events & launch a collaboration beer with Peak District brewing legends Thornbridge Brewery

November 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of award-winning Sheffield based beer shop and tasting room Hop Hideout. In itself, after the last few years traversing through a global pandemic, is a significant achievement. One of a handful of female-owned beer shops in the country, Hop Hideout’s Jules has always championed diversity and welcoming spaces within the industry. With a weekend of celebrations from Friday November 10ththis includes the launch of their anticipated Thornbridge Brewery collaboration beer and a ticketed party on Saturday.

Jules Gray shared that, “It’s a real pinch me moment to collaborate on our tenth anniversary beer with Thornbridge. When I first moved back to Sheffield, around 2011, and before Hop Hideout started in 2013, this brewery was our go-to for beer and ten years later still is!”

She continued. “So we’re thrilled to announce this collaboration. From delicious cask Jaipur to phenomenal collaboration beers with the likes of international breweries like Sierra Nevada and Odell. To their thoughtful, intensely flavoursome and skilful barrel-aged range. Whether it’s Days of Creation Flemish-inspired sour ales or their imperial stout series Necessary Evil. Or the way they brew timelessly quenchable lagers with such finesse. To brew a beer with Thornbridge for Hop Hideout’s celebrations is honestly a dream come true and feels like a very full circle moment to complete this decade!”

The beer is a ‘crowd-pleasing’ hazy pale ale full of tropical and citrus hits from Cashmere, Idaho 7 and Simcoe hops. A base of Maris Otter and plenty of flaked wheat and oats, With California ale yeast completing the fermentation. A joyful beer to celebrate the last decade’s achievements, including becoming a new mother and continuing to drive Hop Hideout onwards. The beer is named ‘Diamond Day’ and references folk singer Vashti Bunyan’s 1970s classic. A song which Jules often plays to her daughter.

Simon Webster, CEO and Co-Founder of Thornbridge, says “Hop Hideout is a jewel in the crown of the Sheffield Beer Scene, they have supported us since first opening and it is great to see them celebrate their ten-year anniversary. We’re proud to be part of the festivities having worked on this collaboration brew together.”

Diamond Day will be available on tap throughout November and December on draught at Hop Hideout. Once it’s gone it’s gone, so be quick!

CAMRA shortlisted for the British Guild of Beer Writers awards 2023

A host of content produced by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has been shortlisted for the British Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2023. The content includes output from its educational Learn & Discover platform, articles written for the Campaign’s dynamic news website What’s Brewing and books published by the consumer organisation this year.

CAMRA regularly publishes ground-breaking books about pubs, beer, brewing, cider and perry.  Publications from CAMRA Books have been nominated and received multiple awards from the British Guild of Beer Writers, as well as Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards and the Gourmand Awards.

Collaborating with esteemed writers, influencers and film makers, the award-winning Learn & Discover site hosts an abundance of educational articles, videos and audio material.

Alex Metcalfe, CAMRA’s Learning & Discovery Manager, said: “I am ecstatic to learn that so much content from CAMRA has been shortlisted for the prestigious British Guild of Beer Writers awards. There is a wealth of quality material from both our publishing arm and on our Learn & Discover website. I cannot wait for the award ceremony later this month.

“Both our shortlisted authors, David Jesudason and Des de Moor, deserve all the plaudits they are receiving (and will continue to do so) with their latest stellar titles. Putting it simply, your bookshelf isn’t complete without their books!

“I am so happy to see collaborators from the Learn and Discover website rightly being shortlisted too. The new content on the online platform continues to entertain, educate and enthral.”

Commenting on this year’s finalists, Guild Director Jonathan Garrett said: “It’s said every year, but the quality of this year’s entries was exceptional, and in some categories we wanted to give gold to everyone on the shortlist. What was really pleasing to see, on top of the extraordinary storytelling and beautiful writing, was the breadth of topics covered both by individual authors and across the board. It made the judging extremely difficult, but all the more joyous.”

See below for CAMRA’s and its collaborators’ award nominations.

Best Book About Beer or Pubs

  • Desi Pubs (published by CAMRA) – Written by award-winning journalist and beer writer David Jesudason, the ground-breaking book Desi Pubs is a fascinating guide to British-Indian pubs, food and culture, taking the reader on a journey to parts of Britain that are seldom visited. The book is a celebration of 21st-century Britain and the forgotten people who created our modern, multicultural country.
  • CASK (published by CAMRA) – Discover the origins and history of cask ale with author Des de Moor and how the drink has developed and changed over time. CASK takes you behind the scenes to learn about the brewing process, from malting to conditioning. Gain a deeper understanding of the craftsmanship behind every pint.

Best Corporate Beer Communication 

CAMRA submitted the following pieces from its Learn & Discover platform:

  • Ukrainian Golden Ale – Filmed by Kyiv writer, translator and educator Lana Svitankova, the first Certified Cicerone in Ukraine, this immersive documentary shines a light on the unusual beer style. Lana’s short film unveils the history of Ukrainian golden ale and its flavour profiles. The video is also available to watch on CAMRA’s YouTube channel here.
  • Ukrainian Social Clubs – Award-winning author of 50 Years of CAMRALaura Hadland, puts a spotlight on the proud heritage and history of Ukrainian social clubs in the UK. Founded by displaced persons forced to flee Ukraine after WWII, they have been fortified and strengthened by new generations of migrants, refugees and British-born Ukrainians who work together to protect and share their culture, language and traditions.
  • Grodziskie: Everything You Need to Know About ‘Polish Champagne’ – Beer writer Ruvani de Silva introduces readers to this little-known style of beer. Illustrated by Christine Jopling, the article details the Polish smoked wheat beer’s beginnings, long and interesting history, eventual decline and contemporary revival.
  • Community Ownership of Working Men’s Clubs – Drinks writer Rachel Hendry explores the revolutionary way Social & Working Men’s Clubs are owned and managed, noting what differentiates a social club to a pub.

Best Communication about Pubs

CAMRA submitted the following pieces from its Learn & Discover platform:

Best Video Beer Communication

CAMRA submitted the following pieces from its Learn & Discover platform:

  • Meaning of Pubs – Jessica Mason and Emma Inch
  • Ukrainian Golden Ale – Lana Svitankova
  • Introduction to Belgian Beers – Curious about Belgian beer? Join author of CAMRA’s Beer Breaks – the essential pocket guide to European beer travel – Tim Webb as he explores eight classic Belgian beer styles. Filmed by Bill Bradshaw in association with Visit Flanders, the short film is also available to view on YouTube here.

Best Communication about Cider

CAMRA submitted the following pieces from its Learn & Discover platform:

  • World of cider: Hardanger – The second instalment of CAMRA’s World of Cider video series, renown cider expert Gabe Cook, otherwise known as The Ciderologist, meets Norwegian cider producers in Hardanger. Attending the Hardanger Cider Festival, Gabe learns of the history of Norwegian cidermaking, the practicalities of producing cider in Norway and the country’s ever growing cider tourism scene. Filmed by Haritz Rodriguez, the documentary boasts of breath-taking shots of fjords and the stunning Norwegian landscape. The trailer for the film is free to view on CAMRA’s YouTube channel here.
  • Intro to sparkling cider – The first in a cider series by Rachel Hendry exploring why some ciders are still while others are sparkling. Rachel details the science and processes involved in making different styles of cider, from the importance of fermentation to the multiple methods of carbonation.
  • A day in the life of a harvester – Harvest is the busiest time of the year for anyone involved in apple growing and cider making, with long hours and lots of hard work. Rachel asks what actually is involved in the harvesting of apples?
  • What makes a good harvest – Agricultural workers’ labour is tied so closely with that of their orchards, the run up to harvest can be an anxious time. Without apples to harvest there would be no cider to drink or sell and Rachel explores what really makes a good harvest.

Laura Hadland is also a regular columnist for CAMRA’s online news platform, What’s Brewing, and was shortlisted in both the Best Business Beer Communicator and Best Communication about Diversity in Beer awards.

India Rail Ale

Having been a regular visitor to India in the decade leading up to the plague, this was my first trip since that forced hiatus. India had never had a big beer culture (or at least not since the days the British were stationed there) but brewpubs were just starting to appear when I first went in 2010. Many more were to spring up over the next few years but very much concentrated in a few cities like Delhi and Bengaluru, and beer quality generally ranged from average to homebrew (with the honourable exception of Arbor in Bengaluru, an offspring of the eponymous brewer in Michigan (and not related to the one in Brizzle!)). However, in the last few years brewpubs have started to spring up all over the place, and with the exception of the dry state of Gujarat I was able to find craft beer in almost every city I stayed. Unsurprisingly, Untappd and Ratebeer are very incomplete for India, but I found simply searching ‘craft beer’ on Google maps came up with the best results.

As with previous trips, I had an ‘open jaw’ flight (in this case out to Mumbai, back from Delhi) and used trains to get between cities, generally paying around a tenner for an overnight journey in air-conditioned sleeper class. Local travel during the day was a mix of local trains costing 20-50p a trip, Uber (half hour ride from the airport costing the princely sum of £3), and autorickshaws costing between 50p and 2 quid a trip. Decent hotels were generally under £20 a room, food is cheap and contrary to stereotype perfectly safe if you follow Rule 1 – watch it being cooked fresh in front of you. In fact the only thing that isn’t cheap is craft beer! As with many cheap countries, craft beer isn’t noticeably cheaper than here, with a 300ml glass being £2 at the cheapest place I went and £4 at the most expensive.

Although I landed in Mumbai I didn’t plan to spend much time there (been before, and it’s humid as hell), so just the one bar before heading north, namely Doolally Taproom, an outlet for the eponymous brewery on the outskirts of Mumbai. A small bar, with lovely air conditioning, six beers were on offer plus a cider and a mead. I opted for the ‘flight’, six 100ml glasses for a bit under a tenner, along with some spicy masala topped chips with dips. The coffee and orange mead was really interesting, the beers were all decent if not exciting, the oat stout probably being the pick. From here we took a train to Anand for the overnight journey to Veraval.

Being as the next two days were in Gujarat there’s not much to report for a beer magazine, so I’ll skip ahead to Rajasthan…

I last visited Jodhpur in 2010, and was only really passing through this time, but had long enough to visit 4 Brothers brewpub. The brewery and restaurant are on the ground floor, but we were directed to the ‘sky bar’, though really it was just an upstairs room with a glass front.

Beers were a bit different from the ‘usual’ Indian brewpub offerings, with mango wheat, a strawberry ale and a rose wheat!

I spent three nights in Ludhiana (carefully planned mid-trip so I’d be able to avail of the hotel laundry service, halving the amount of clothes I needed to carry round), which happens to have three brewpubs all five minutes’ walk apart. First up was Underdoggs, a sports bar (no prize for guessing which sport was on, especially as it was the World Cup!). I tried the surprisingly refreshing Masala Saison and the German Wheat, there were also a lager and a cider.

Just down the road is Brew Estate, part of a small chain of brewpubs, on this occasion offering their ‘house’ lager and a German style Bock. The cricket was on here too.

Finally, round the corner was Brew Haus, which wasn’t showing the cricket but from the rooftop bar one could watch on a huge screen in the square. The beers were Gabru, a pale lager, and dark lager Boxer. Both very German in style, fairly sweet and a slight biscuity finish.

From here I popped over the Haryana state line to Ambala, where I visited Pyramid brewpub. Inside it was much the same as most of the other places, dimly lit and large screens showing the cricket. I picked the Belgian Wheat (well the Scottish Ale was off and the lager was, well, lager).

Back in Punjab the train took me to Bathinda, where I visited The Brewery Club, which has the brewery on the ground floor, a restaurant upstairs and a bar downstairs, though food is also served at the latter, and I had an egg curry with jeera rice. Beers were a German Ale, a German Lager, a Belgian wit and a dark lager. These were by far the cheapest beers of the trip, but were as good as any of the other brewpubs I tried in Punjab. The menu somewhat bizarrely referred to both 350ml and 550ml measures as ‘British Pint’!

*Tourism interlude* While in Punjab I decided it would be rude not to visit the Golden Temple at Amritsar, I took an autorickshaw from the station to near the temple then walked the rest of the way, which was slow progress as I got stuck in traffic despite being on foot! The narrow alleys are totally unsuited to motor traffic, but that doesn’t stop people driving autorickshaws down them, completely clogging the way. Once at the temple I checked in my boots, receiving a metal token in return, I then had to buy some loose-fitting trousers as shorts are not allowed inside, and finally was loaned a patka (head covering). I spent a good while exploring the temple, though at the risk of losing my Yorkshire green card I passed up the opportunity of a free meal at the langar as the queue was too long – well they do serve 100,000 meals a day!

Once I finished at the temple, binned the trousers and retrieved my boots I took an autorickshaw across town to a little cluster of craft bars, starting with the most familiar, Brewdog. Obviously I eschewed their own wares in favour of the local guests… inside it was like any Brewdog bar anywhere in the world, and was quite empty at the time I went. I had an excellent mango wheat and a decent IPA from Mobster brewery, and from Brew Nut a stout.

From here it was a short stroll to Beer Story, a small bar with just one craft beer among the Kingfisher etc, Beach Beauty Pilsner from Aquarian brewery.

Round the corner on the second floor of a shopping centre is Egyptian Brewery, another brewpub, offering light and strong versions of lager. At this point my internet connection randomly cut out, thankfully after I’d ordered my Uber back to the station and my final overnight train of the trip.

As with Mumbai I’d given myself little time in Delhi, as it has featured in almost all my Indian trips so far. There are a handful of brewpubs and craft bars in central Delhi, but the district of Gurgaon has loads, however I’m pretty sure not all the brewpubs actually brew – in particular there’s a square which had three brewpubs when I went and grew to at least nine, but all with suspiciously similar beer range! For my trip swansong I opted for Fort City Brewing in New Delhi, a modern brewpub seemingly popular with Indians and westerners alike. I worked my way through most of the beers, ignoring only the lagers, accompanied by a pulled duck burger for a bit of a change from spicy food three times a day (not that I was complaining!). The beers were definitely the best (and most expensive!) of the trip, including a dunkelweizen, a stout, a NEIPA and a berry witbier.

After that it just remained to get a £2.60 Uber for the half hour drive to the airport, exchange my online boarding card for a printed one (the airport procedures have got a lot smoother since that first trip when we queued an hour just to get in the building, but they still like to stamp the boarding card at the check-in desk, at passport control and at security control), fly overnight to Munchen and on to Brum, then a train back to Sheffield that made me wonder if I was still in India, taking 45 minutes to get from Birmingham International to New St and then absolutely crush loaded from there to Sheffield…

Once back at Sheffield station it was just a 15 minute walk home, or would have been had I not gone via Rutland Arms, Head of Steam, Vocation, Brewdog, Crow and Lost in West Bar. By that stage I was too tired to go to Shakespeare so just took a Bolt home and ordered a curry…

Dave Szwejkowski

Martin F Bedford

Martin arrived in Sheffield in 1976, as an art student with no particular interest to secure work. He became a founding member of The Leadmill, producing their promotional posters from 1980-92 including Pulp, . In fact he went on to supply the artwork for most of the bands, venues and promoters in the city. This expanded to Europe and the USA, where his artwork was sought after by the legendary punk poetess, Patti Smith. The early Leadmill days established him as an “house artist,” producing the shouty style posters, reminiscent of the USA B-movie film promotional material. He even set-up a silk screen printer to aid his art. He was even proficient with a camera, producing shots of The Damned, The Adverts, Roy Harper and Nils Lofgren.  

His artwork has prompted quotes from legendary Sheffield musicians on his inspiration:

Richard Hawley who said ” When Martin did posters for The Leadmill, I would look for them on the walls of our city. I have loved this man and his work for many years.” 

Pete McKee, renowned Sheffield artist was quoted as saying ” It was Martins Leadmill posters that inspired me to be an artist. I was very fortunate to have him as a tutor on my art foundation course.” 

Martin then branched out to managing bands and promoting gigs, by founding the Honey Bee Blues Club in 2014, in venues like The Leadmill, Dorothy Pax, The Greystones and smaller pubs across the city. His legacy, Honey Bee Blues Club currently holds around 6-8 gigs a month around Sheffield. Bands such as Fargo Railroad Company, Ash Gray, 20ft Squid band and Banjo Jen owe a lot of their success to Martin and his tenacity in hosting gigs whatever the attendances.

His last event was to bring the young rock ‘n; roll band The Molotovs to The Clubhouse in October. I am sure the Honey Bees Blues Club collective will carry on his work and assist local bands in their quest for fame. 

Martin will be sadly missed by the art, music and licenced trade community which he served so well.  

Reference credit:

Kevin Thompson and Paul Crofts

Government Review “missed opportunity” to improve choice at the bar

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) condemns Government over lack of action to support publicans and boost consumer choice at the bar 

Laws governing the relationship between pub owning businesses and the tied tenants who run those pubs won’t be changed or improved, the Government announced yesterday. 

It comes as the Department for Business and Trade published its response to a statutory review of the Pubs Code for England and Wales – a set of rules governing the relationship between pub-owning businesses and their tied tenants. 

Consumer group CAMRA wanted to see changes to give tied pub tenants more choice over which beers they offer, including the right to a guest draught beer or cider from local and independent producers instead of having to buy a restricted range of stock at set prices from the pub-owning company.  

The Campaign for Real Ale also urged the Government to beef up the Pubs Code so that more publicans could benefit from protections and rights when it comes to the way they are treated by big pub-owning businesses. 

Without changes to make sure tied pub tenants are treated fairly and are able to turn a profit under their contracts, it is feared that more pubs will be forced to close and be lost to their communities. 

Instead of making improvements to the laws around pubs and tied tenants in response to changes to the industry in recent years, the Government decided not to act. 

“The lack of action to improve protections for pub tenants and to improve choice for consumers at the bar is deeply disappointing,” said Nick Boley, CAMRA Campaigns Director.

“Changing these laws to allow a better range of beers on offer from small, local and independent breweries would have increased choice for consumers. It’s not fair that large pub-owning businesses can restrict landlords to buying certain beers often at above-market value and prevent them from supporting small, local breweries by offering these beers on tap.  

“CAMRA is also worried that the existing Pubs Code isn’t meeting its key principles – that tied tenants should be no worse off than other publicans and that they can expect fair and lawful dealing from pub owning-businesses. Research carried out by CAMRA last year found that less than a quarter of tied tenants who responded said that they were treated fairly and lawfully, or that they were no worse off.   

“The Government needs to re-think this decision to do nothing and instead improve the Pubs Code so that we can see a thriving pub sector in England and Wales where the rights of pub tenants are protected, and consumers have a diversity of venues to choose from. Otherwise, the current corporate stranglehold will only tighten, and we risk seeing more pubs shutting their doors and being lost to our communities.”

(William) Mark Fletcher

Mark, who sadly passed away on 22 October aged 82, was the landlord of the Grouse Inn at Froggatt Edge near Longshaw, a pub he had been at for 58 years with his father being the previous landlord!

This rural pub is owned by the family and is quite traditional and unspoilt – it has a cosy lounge with open fire, conservatory area suitable for walkers with muddy boots and a dining room serving home cooked food. Regulars are treated like family or friends!

Old Queens Head

The Old Queen’s Head is the oldest non-religious building in Sheffield and one of only three medieval timber framed buildings in the city that still remain. The building is widely considered to have initially been a hunting or fishing lodge that was associated with Sheffield Castle, and tree ring dating indicates that it was constructed sometime between 1503 and 1510. The building is likely to have been constructed for the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, who took an active interest in local affairs and transformed Sheffield Manor Lodge into a vast Tudor country retreat in 1516. The building was originally located on the North West edge of the Sheffield Medieval Deer Park surrounded by ponds, and initially had a much larger L-shaped footprint.

There are tunnel openings within the cellars, and it is rumoured that these connected with Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor Lodge. The first written reference to the building is in a 1582 inventory for the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, where it was referred to as ‘the Hawle at the Poandes’. The Earl may have used the building to throw banquets for guests who came to hunt wild fowl, and the inventory recorded rich and plentiful contents. Many of the road and place names in the immediate vicinity refer to the aforementioned ponds, which now no longer remain. The Earl kept Mary Queen of Scots under house arrest in Sheffield between 1570 and 1584, and it is believed that she visited the hall and surrounding ponds.

The building is constructed using oak supporting beams. These were likely infilled by wattle and daub, and the building would originally have had a thatched roof. The building is jettied, where the upper floor projects beyond the lower floor, and has a fireplace believed to be original. Historic timberwork and carving is located internally and externally, and the building has 5 carved oak heads. These are believed to depict the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, Bess of Hardwick, a King, a person coming out of a fish’s mouth, along with a further unknown carving.

Sometime between 1582 and 1637, it appears that the building was let out to tenants and its status declined. There are later references to the building having been used for ducal washing and also as a wash-house to Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor Lodge. By the beginning of the 1800s the building was being used as a house, and the first known image of the building is a watercolour by BK Dale from 1815.

A three storey building was constructed to the rear of the hall in 1840 and this became a public house. James Pilley may have been the original landlord, and is listed in an 1849 directory as running a beerhouse at 2 River Street. The pub was initially called the Queen Hotel, likely in reference to Mary Queen of Scots, and the entrance door and signage can be seen in a photograph from the mid to late 1800s. The establishment reportedly expanded into the hall sometime after 1862, and was identified as the Queen’s Head Hotel from 1864. The Old Queens Head was subsequently restored by John Smith’s in 1950 and then refurbished and extended by the Tom Cobleigh pub chain in the early 1990s.

Today the building is grade II* listed, but is largely surrounded by modern high rise development and Sheffield Interchange. Despite this, the Old Queen’s Head remains of great importance to those with an interest in heritage pubs, historic buildings, local history and the paranormal. With regards to the latter, the building is said to be haunted by ghosts including a Civil War soldier, a medieval child, a hunting hound, a lady in white, and a pub local from the 1970s!

Joe Freegard.

Abbeydale Brewery

Our Through the Hopback series sees us experimenting with Nectaron, a hop that we have never used before! We’ll be showcasing it in a 3.9% pale ale, and we’re really looking forward to the promised tropical fruit notes sure to tantalise the tastebuds. 

New to our Restoration series, we’ll be releasing a classic English Porter (5.0%). Considered to be one of the oldest beer styles in the world, malt is the true star of the show here, with six different grains carefully selected to give a rich, rounded, deep and chocolatey character. Expect light roasty toasty notes layered with unctuous caramel, followed by a balanced bitter finish. 

We’re teaming up with Knaresborough’s Turning Point Brew Co for the next version of our Wanderer, which this time takes the form of a Cascade IPA (6.0%). It’s a homage to one of the USA’s very first IPAs, and as the name suggests is single hopped with Cascade. Expect a crisp, vibrant and beautifully balanced beer with rounded citrus notes and a light floral character, leading the way to a zesty grapefruit bitterness in the finish. 

And, you guessed it, the Christmas beers are on their way! Starting with Doctor Morton’s Rude Elf, a classic pale ale at 4.1% with Centennial and Chinook hops. We’ll also have a festive addition to our gorgeous stained glass inspired series of pale ales. Look out for them on a bar near you! 

Celebrating perry

CAMRA has announced the upcoming release of its groundbreaking new perry book from writer Adam Wells, which will be the first consumer guide to one of the UK’s most traditional drinks. 

Despite being largely unknown outside of the UK, perry – a drink like cider but produced from pears rather than apples – has for centuries been compared to fine wine and champagne in countries all around the world. Although it fell out of fashion in recent years, it’s making a comeback with producers creating both new and traditional perries to great acclaim.  

CAMRA’s championing of cider and perry at its festivals over the last 50 years has been credited with playing a significant role in keeping perry alive and now the Campaign is going further to promote and support this traditional drink. 

A new consumer focused guide to perry is slated for publication by CAMRA Books in 2024, penned by drinks writer, presenter and founder-editor of the popular ‘Cider Review’ site, Adam Wells. 

Following the success of recent title Modern British Cider, which raised over £5,800 in KickStarter funding, CAMRA Books will again be offering readers the chance to be part of the whole publication journey. A new KickStarter is due to launch as part of CAMRA’s October Cider and Perry Month celebration, and will bring exclusive offers, events, tastings and perry news for those who sign up. 

“This book will for the first time shed light on a drink shrouded in so much mystery and history.  

“When made well (and it is not easy to make well!) perry is the finest beverage of any kind made on these shores. I can’t wait to read what Adam discovers about perry from the UK and beyond!” said Ciderologist Gabe Cook, author of Modern British Cider and previous winner of CAMRA’s Campaigner of the Year Award. 

Gillan Hough, Real Ale, Cider and Perry Campaigns Director for the Campaign said, “Perry is a long-underappreciated drink, so we’re thrilled to have Adam on board to do this book justice.  

“There are very few books about perry, and these are mainly technical manuals for producers. It’s nearly 50 years since CAMRA beer festivals first served cider and perry, so a consumer-focused perry book is long overdue! 

“As well as producing a delicious drink, perry pears are also of huge ecological value, with trees taking decades to mature before producing fruit for centuries. Now is a critical time as countless perry pear varieties have already been lost, and others are down to a single mature tree. The best way to keep these orchards viable is to enjoy everything perry has to offer, and I hope Adam’s book will be a catalyst for many more consumers to rediscover perry.”  

Author Adam Wells said, “The last five years or so have seen an incredible upsurge in the interest in and quality of aspirational, high juice content perry. Not only in the UK, but in its other ancient heartlands of France and Austria and in newer perrymaking countries around the world.  

“Though there are excellent pomological works written on perry pears, as curious drinkers discover this shy, secretive and often magnificent drink, the absence of a dedicated guide to perry is increasingly striking. Covering growing, making, pear varieties, styles, appreciation, history, countries and producers, I hope this book provides a contribution to a much longer conversation and a useful resource both for long-standing perry lovers and those discovering the joys of great perry for the first time.” 

images by Bill Bradshaw