Pubs celebrate being included in top guide
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 .
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