Friday, 20 February 2015

Pub of the Year & Club of the Year 2015: Results

Sunderland & South Tyneside: Pub of the Year 2015:
1st: The Steamboat, South Shields.
2nd: The Isis, Sunderland.
3rd: The Alum Ale House, South Shields.
The Steamboat: Pub of the Year 2015
The Alum House: Top 3 new entry!

Sunderland & South Tyneside: Club of the Year 2015:
1st: Mid Boldon Club, Boldon.
2nd: Ashbrooke Sports Club, Sunderland.
3rd: Westoe Rugby Club, South Shields.

The branch offers its congratulations to all six venues for the work they have put in & for serving quality real ales throughout the year!

The "Top dozen" Pubs list for this year is:
Position     Pub                               (Position in 2014/2013/2012:)
1st: The Steamboat, South Shields.                      (2/2/2)
2nd: The Isis, Sunderland.                                    (1/1/-)
Harbour View: One to watch?
3rd: The Alum Ale House, South Shields.           (4/4/5)
4th: Fitzgeralds, Sunderland.                                (3/3/1)
5th: The Harbour View Sunderland.                     (7/-/-)
6th  The William De Wessington, Washington.   (9/8/9)
7th  The Maltings, South Shields.                         (5/5/3)
8th: The Courtyard, Washington.                          (8/6/6)
8th: The Kings Arms, Sunderland.                      (10/6/4)
10th: The Grey Horse, Boldon                             (-/-/-)
10th: The William Jameson, Sunderland.            (6/12/-)
12th: The Ivy House, Sunderland.                       (-/-/-)

Ivy House: New entry (2)
The Grey Horse: New entry (1)
Well done to all on the list, with over 100 venues in the branch area serving real ales it is an achievement to appear anywhere on these lists.

Lost from last years top 12 are: 
The Museum Vaults (11th, down to 14th) &
The Wouldhave (12th, down to 15th)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Vote for the 2015 Branch Pub of the Year (Poty) & Club of the Year (CotY) awards.

In the next few days all branch members of Sunderland & South Tyneside CAMRA will be receiving notification by either email (if we have your email address) or by letter (If we don’t.)

This communication gives notice that between now (Jan 6th) & Feb 14th (Midnight) we want your vote for the 2015 Branch Pub of the Year (Poty) & Club of the Year (CotY) awards. 

It’s very important to us that you take part in the vote as the more branch members that do take part then the more meaningful the result is to us as the award giver, but also to the Pub & Club gaining the award.
(In previous years this vote has had a high turnout. In fact we are proud to say one of the highest turnouts of any CAMRA branch nationally. Something we should be proud of yet still strive to improve! )

This year is also a first, as we move from a paper ballot to an online one. 
We do this simply because of the rising cost to branch funds of continuing a paper scheme.

In order to vote please follow the link provided below. 
You will need to logon. To do this you need to know your CAMRA membership number & also your national CAMRA password. 
This is the same CAMRA membership number & password you use to log onto any CAMRA website such as “WhatPub” or the “Membership Area” part of the national CAMRA website. If you have never used this before the default password will be the post code of the address you used to first join CAMRA. {The default password may include your door number as either a prefix or suffix to the postcode, this is if another CAMRA member lives on the same street’}
If all this fails go to else email to get your password reset.

Once you have these details go to the voting site at:

You must vote for at least one pub, but if possible consider voting for your three favourite pubs & three favourite clubs.
The ballot lists the 22 eligible pubs. These are the 22 pubs in our branch area that your beer scoring on "WhatPub” put into the 2015 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
The 6 clubs listed are the only 6 Clubs in the branch area that we currently know serve cask ale.

After selecting between 1 & 6 entries the system will list them for your confirmation. 
If you confirm the selection will be complete & your vote cast, you won’t be able to log back on to the system this year. 
If you do not confirm then your choice will be disregarded & you need to log back on & vote again.

Once your vote is cast your CAMRA membership number will not be stored with your votes thus your vote will be anonymous. CAMRA membership numbers are retained, but only for audit purposes & to ensure one member one vote.

For this year only: Those branch members for whom we don’t yet hold a valid email address will also receive a paper ballot slip with their written notification letter. They should use this ONLY if they do not have access to the online voting site. 

However in order to audit these paper votes against online votes these paper slips must contain your valid CAMRA membership number, so paper votes will not be anonymous. We very much recommend therefore that the online site is used for your vote.

If you have joint CAMRA membership can you please make sure your joint members have also seen this notification. All joint members have a unique CAMRA membership number & thus are enfranchised to take part in this ballot.

Should you have any problems or queries either with the online vote system or this notification please contact the adjudication officer on

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

CAMRA Members weekend (+AGM) Nottingham 17th - 19th April 2015

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Branch member?
If so issue no.2 of our new branch members eNewsletter should now be in your inbox.

---Then check what email address held on your CAMRA HQ account & if necessary update it.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Press Release
Released: Friday 28th November
For immediate release

CAMRA announces four finalists in National Pub of the Year competition
Pubs from Kent, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Gloucestershire to fight it out to be crowned Britain’s best pub
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today announced the four pubs in the final of their National Pub of the Year competition – one of which will be crowned the overall winner early next year.
The Freshfield in Formby (Merseyside), The Harewood Arms in Broadbottom (Greater Manchester) The Salutation Inn in Ham (Gloucestershire) and The Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald (Kent) have won their local and regional competitions before being selected as the final four from a list of sixteen regional winners.
“Each of these four fantastic pubs are already winners in their own right and really are well worth a visit from any ale-lovers who find themselves in the area. They will now go forward to fight it out for the overall National Pub of the Year, which will be announced in February next year.” Gary Chester, competition organiser.
Last year’s winner was The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, a cosy, village-centre pub that proved a huge hit with locals and visitors alike – as well as impressing the competition judges of course.
The competition looks for a number of things in winning pubs - decor, atmosphere, value for money -  but it is the quality of the beer that is always most important. In fact, last year’s winning landlord Steve Dilworth said at the time he believed it was his close relationship to the beer in his cellar that helped them win, saying “Talking to the barrels has finally paid off!".
The Four Finalists
The Windmill 
Kent Region
1 Windmill Road, Sevenoaks Weald, Sevenoaks, TN14 6PN

“We are hugely honoured to receive this award. The main focus of our business is great quality cask beer, focussing on locally produced ales but also offering guest beers too. We think it’s important to offer a true range, with dark beers such as porters and stouts, tawny beers such as best bitters, as well pale ales, IPAs and Golden Ales. The staff are really proud of the cask beer we serve.” Matthew Rudd, Landlord of The Windmill.
The Windmill offers an excellent selection of five to six top-notch ales, three Kentish ciders, and continental draught lagers, together with a comprehensive menu and basket meals (no food Sun eve). The homely interior features wooden settles, a log-burning stove, etched windows, porcelain and pub memorabilia, while a quiet, colourful garden is available for warmer times.
The Freshfield
Merseyside & Cheshire Region
1a Massams Lane, Freshfield, Formby, L37 7EU

“When we first heard the pub had reached the final 16 for the second year running, we were astonished. To learn we have now reached the final four is a dream come true. I am so proud of my team and everything they have helped us to achieve. They constantly deliver and exceed our customers’ expectations. I am not sure how we will celebrate if we win Pub of the Year, but we will definitely be toasting this latest news with a glass of real ale!” The Freshfield manager, Simon Cox
A great example of a community local where the emphasis is on beer quality. A Greene King pub, it offers up to 14 ales including 10 guests. The pub also has a growing reputation for good food served in the restaurant. Following a successful CAMRA-led campaign, the stone floored area has been retained. Families are welcome and an enlightened management with engaging staff help to ensure a welcoming experience.
The Harewood Arms
Greater Manchester Region
2 Market Street, Broadbottom, SK14 6AX

“It’s awesome to win but I can’t just take credit myself as this is a family effort with my wife and son also running the pub with me. We bought the pub from Enterprise and have put lots of effort in to improve the beer on offer and give the pub its character back.” Philip Wild, Landlord of The Harewood Arms.
Taken over in 2013, the Green Mill brewery has moved from Rochdale to the cellar of The Harewood Arms and the pub is now essentially a brewery tap. A range of continental bottled beers and a guest handpull cider complement the Green Mill beers. This large open-plan community pub is warmed by open fires, helping to create a friendly atmosphere. There is a pool table and elevated darts area to the rear.
The Salutation Inn
South West
Ham, Berkley, Gloucestershire, GL13 9QH

“It’s incredible [to be named in the final four]. My wife Claire and I have never run a pub before and have only ran The Salutation Inn for 18 months so to be in the final four is overwhelming. Our passionate staff and great regulars really do make this pub what it is.” Peter Tiley, Landlord of The Salutation Inn.      
This rural gem is in the Severn Valley, within walking distance of the Jenner Museum, Berkley Castle and Deer Park. The enthusiastic landlord keeps an inspired selection of ales and eight real ciders and perries. The pub has two cosy bars with a log fire and a skittles alley.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Sunderland Octoberfest 2014

Beer List:

Brewery Location Beer ABV Tasting Notes
1 Binghams Ruscombe, Berks. Space Hoppy IPA 5.0% A pale golden ale and the hops impart a citrus flavour to make this beer hugely refreshing.
2 Brewlab        
3 Burton Bridge Burton upon Trent, Staffs. Bramble Stout 5.0% A traditional stout with a mellow flavour and just a hint of blackberry in the aftertaste.
4 Bushys Douglas, Isle of Man. Ruby 1874 Mild 3.5% An authentic 100% malt brewed mild with a fine aroma of crystal malt and fuggles and challenger hops. Deep red in colour, the flavour is well balanced creating a popular session beer.
5 Downton Salisbury, Wiltshire Quadhop 3.9% As the name implies, this is a beer brewed using four varieties of hops :- East Kent Goldings, Pioneer, Challenger, Styrian Goldings. A golden coloured beer with the full range of hop flavours and aromas. 
6 Freeminer Cinderford, Gloucs. Honey Dipper 4.6% A clean tasting and well hopped beer brewed with 'Fairtrade' honey, to give a crisp clean bitterness and a complex aftertaste.
7 Grafton Worksop, Notts. Silhouette 4.0% A pale yellow coloured ale which is brewed with vanilla pods. Easy drinking and refreshing.
8 Green Jack Lowestoft, Suffolk. Orange Wheat 4.2% Light, with grainy citrus & marmalade flavours. This delightfully drinkable Wheat Beer is enjoyed by men and women alike. Now brewed with Citra Hops!
9 Highland Orkney. Orkney Blast 6.0% A stunning stronger ale in the true British fashion, with balanced flavours from maris otter malt and English hops added early and late in the copper. One to take great care with as it is so drinkable.
10 Ilkley Ilkley, West Yorks. Rye n Dry 5.0% Roggenbier
11 Jarrow Jarrow, Tyne & Wear. McConnell's Stout 4.6% In 1932 Patrick McConnell left Ireland looking for employment.  He found work at Palmers Shipyard in Jarrow and lived the rest of his life at Jarrow on Tyneside.  Today his grandson brews an Irish Stout he would be proud of.  A rich creamy stout, with a l
12 Jarrow Jarrow, Tyne & Wear. Isis 5.0% A well balanced golden premium ale with a full hop aroma and grapefruit presence on the palate. 
13 Kent Birling, Kent. Enigma  5.5% A highly hopped dark ale with a soft malt body and a balance finish. A black IPA, that's the engima!
14 Kelburn Glasgow. Red Smiddy 4.1% Red Smiddy is a smooth, dry ale with a unique spicy aroma and flavour. Its reddish hue, warm glow and tight head gives it a presence that makes it stand out. 
15 Little Valley Hebden Bridge, W. Yorks. Ginger Pale Ale 4.0% Light and fresh with a hint of ginger and citrus. Ginger Pale Ale is approved by the Fairtrade Foundation.
16 Loch Ness Drumnadrochit, Invernessshire. Hoppy Ness 5.0% A golden hoppy beer made with maris otter pale Ale and malted wheat. Hopped with Admiral, Columbus, Citra and Williamette. Hugely hoppy beer with a little sweetness in the background.
17 Maxim Houghton Le Spring Simcoe Kid 4.2 A light golden ale with a citrussy bitterness from the 7 Cs hops and an interesting fruity burst of aromas including passion fruit, lemon and grapefruit from the Simcoe hops
18 Maxim Houghton Le Spring Swedish Blonde 4.2% Named after Maxim Breweries own Anna Goransdotter – Bell, this smooth blonde beer is very light in colour and uses cascade and first gold hops to give refreshing hoppy and complex grapefruit flavours on the palate.
19 Maxim Houghton Le Spring Maximus 6.0% A strong and warming beer that is also smooth and easy to drink, dark ruby in colour, Maximus is described as smooth, sweet, with a hint of liquorice.
20 Saltaire Shipley, West Yorkshire. Raspberry Blonde 4.0% A refreshing blonde ale infused with a hint of raspberries.
21 Skye Uig, Isle of Skye. Black Cuillin 4.5% A distinctive dark ale brewed with roast barley and rolled roast Scottish oatmeal giving an almost stout-like bitterness, smoothed with the addition of pure Scottish heather honey.
22 Stewart Edinburgh, Lothian Pentland IPA 4.1% A golden dry abv, with a slight fruit tones and a moderate bitterness. Fresh hop and added to contribute a more complex character, resulting in an easy to drink ale that offers refreshment with a little extra spice.
23 Stewart Edinburgh, Lothian Edinburgh No 3 4.3% A full-bodied cask ale, with an intense colour, rich malty taste and a clean finish. Brewed using 4 types of malt, including generous portions of black and crystal, subtly balanced using only a small amount of the finest hops.
24 Strathaven Strathaven, Lannarkshire. Old Mortality 80/- 4.2% A blend of five different types of malt gives this chestnut coloured ale a rich dried fruit flavour which is beautifully offset by spicy American hops.
25 Temptation Houghton le SPring Sorachi Ale 4.6  
26 Tryst Falkirk, Fife Transatlantic Hop Trials 3.90% A continual series of hop trial beers.
Each beer will have the same light malt base,
be the same strength and will feature a
different American aroma hop in each trial. 
27 Titanic Burslem on Trent, Staffs. Plum Porter 4.9% This beer is dark, strong and well rounded; the richness of such a rotund beer is brought to an even keel by the late addition of Goldings hops and natural plum flavouring.
28 Tyne Bank Newcastle upon Tyne Barrel of Monkeys 6.9 Collaboration between Tyne Bank and Hand Drawn Monkey of Huddersfield. Due to the high strength, sold in third pint measure
29 Williams Bros. Alloa, Clacks. Fraoch 4.1% Brewed with malted barley and heather flower tips to create a multi-award winning beer.  A light amber ale with a floral/peaty aroma, full malt character, a spicy herbal flavour and a dry, wine-like finish.

Cider & Perries List:

All from Barbourne Cider
Maker - Richard Reynolds
Golden Drop – Medium – 5%
Crimson King – Medium / Dry – 6%
Sweet Kernel – Sweet  - 4.5%
Worcestershire Cider – Dry – 6.3%
Painted Lady – Medium / Sweet – 5%
Blakeney Red – Medium – 6.5%