Pubs celebrate being included in top guide

This Is Wiltshire: Mark Burton, the  manager of the Blunsdon Arms Mark Burton, the manager of the Blunsdon Arms

PUBS across Swindon are celebrating being part of a revival in real ale after landing coveted listings in the latest edition of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide.

The 40th edition of the best-selling series includes The Dockle Farmhouse in Stratton , The Blunsdon Arms, The Beehive in Old Town , the Glue Pot in the Railway Village and the Red Lion at Cricklade .

The Rose and Crown in Highworth , The Five Bells in Royal Wootton Bassett and the Heart in Hand in Blunsdon have also been given glowing write-ups in the 2013 edition.

Simon Cole, the landlord of the Five Bells, said: “We’ve been in the guide for 12 years on the trot but we don’t take it for granted. If we weren’t in it I’d be seriously disappointed. “There are lots of guides out there but CAMRA’s is totally independent and put together through research and follow-up visits.

“We are in it because we have built our business on real ale.”

The entries reflect the changing face of the trade in the area with the revival of real ale at all of the venues featured and the Dockle, a Wetherspoon’s pub, being listed for the first time.

Swindon and North Wilts CAMRA chairman Hans Hoff-bauer said: “Our branch was entitled to 17 entries out of the 60 or so pubs featured in the Wiltshire section. All of the branches would like to choose more and we could usually think of up to 30 that deserve an entry.

“It is often a hard choice to make. We try to visit between 40 and 50 pubs with a view to putting them forward for the guide.

“We have a meeting in March or February to decide which 17 we want featured in the guide. There’s some which I feel are good enough but didn’t get enough votes to make it.”

The guide features more than 4,500 pubs based on painstaking research by local branches.

Author Roger Protz wrote: “There are now 1,008 breweries operating in Britain, the biggest number since the 1940s. CAMRA membership stands at more than 140,000, the highest in the Campaign’s 42-year history. The growth in both brewery numbers and CAMRA membership shows no sign of slowing.

“And while 12 pubs a week are closing, the rate of closure is slowing. There are signs people are returning to pubs not only to enjoy good beer but also because they recognise them as an important community resource that needs to be supported.”

The Adver has supported the trade over the past 12 months by taking part in CAMRA’s Community Pubs Month and through our Pub Of The Week competition

Comments (3)

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5:21pm Sun 16 Sep 12

itsamess3 says...

As to the article--not being a drinker it is nice to see some of our pubs being praised for what they do and the standards they have achieved by commitment to their trade and their customers in what are challenging times. These pubs attempt to provide a good service and community spirit-long may they be supported.
As to the article--not being a drinker it is nice to see some of our pubs being praised for what they do and the standards they have achieved by commitment to their trade and their customers in what are challenging times. These pubs attempt to provide a good service and community spirit-long may they be supported. itsamess3

5:18pm Tue 18 Sep 12

RichardR1 says...

There are many fine pubs in and around Swindon who quietly get on with what they do.

Sadly as we have seen in Swindon over 30 have closed in the last few years. Community pubs lost for ever.
There are many fine pubs in and around Swindon who quietly get on with what they do. Sadly as we have seen in Swindon over 30 have closed in the last few years. Community pubs lost for ever. RichardR1

7:01pm Tue 18 Sep 12

1 2 Could B says...

Some pubs will be sadly missed.
Others were less reputable
Some pubs will be sadly missed. Others were less reputable 1 2 Could B

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