Here is the latest news about pubs and breweries in the branch area.
- Swan Supping
Tuesday 7 June 2022
The summer edition of Swan Supping is now available on our website as well as in the pubs and clubs in our branch.
- Branch Club of the Year 2022
Tuesday 24 May 2022
The branch club of the year is The Royal British Legion, Marlow.
- Swan Supping to return
Tuesday 10 May 2022
We would like to announce the return of our much-missed branch magazine, Swan Supping. We are preparing an edition to be published at the end of May. This will contain much more local news and information that it’s been possible to communicate over the pandemic period via these emails and social media.
The new edition will coincide with the forthcoming long bank holiday in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee during which many pubs and breweries will be planning events for the festivities, such as beer festivals and other community events. Swan Supping would be an excellent place to advertise any such celebrations. As advertising supports the free magazine, we are keen to welcome advertisers, old and new, and, as a volunteer produced magazine, we have very reasonable rates compared with other publications.
The magazine is also distributed to local pubs by a network of local volunteers to whom the branch is much indebted. If you previously distributed Swan Supping to local pubs please be aware of the new edition’s arrival at the end of the month. If you are unable to continue to deliver the magazine please let the editor know at the email address below. We will also be looking for local news, as usual. For any advertising queries or news please contact the editor at ku.gro.armac.wva@rotide.
- Lockdown Heroes
Monday 14 February 2022
On Thursday 27th January we held a well-attended ceremony at the Hop Pole Inn, Aylesbury to present Ian Matthews, landlord of the pub, with a certificate for 2021 branch Pub of the Year. Chairman, Simon Isted, made the presentation.
Recognising an extremely tough couple of years for local pubs, the branch wanted to recognise the efforts made by Ian and his team at the Hop Pole to make real ale available during national lockdowns, operating a takeaway click-and-collect service when it was legally possible to do so. For this, Ian was also given a Lockdown Hero award by the local CAMRA branch.
The pub also made all possible efforts to reopen as quickly as possible in April last year, with outdoor table service being provided at the earliest opportunity. Fortunately, the branch members were able to toast the pub’s success in the warmth inside with no Coronavirus restrictions in place.
On Friday 3rd February we made a presentation of a second Lockdown Heroes Award certificate to the Chiltern Brewery and its pub, the King's Head, in Aylesbury town centre. In a ceremony at the King’s Head, a long-standing entry in the Good Beer Guide, the certificate was presented to George and Tom Jenkinson of Chiltern Brewery by CAMRA’s Brewery Liaison Officer for Chiltern, Giles du Boulay.
Like several other of the excellent breweries in the Aylesbury Vale area, Chiltern offered delivery and click-and-collect services to real ale drinkers during the lockdowns. Additionally, with the King’s Head forced to stop trading as a pub, Chiltern Brewery converted one of the fifteenth century pub’s outbuildings into a popular grocery shop, also offering home-baked bread and other brewery products. A coffee bar was also opened in the pub’s courtyard.
Giles commended the brewery for maintaining its investment plans during the pandemic. “At both the Chiltern Brewery and their brewery tap, the historic King’s Head here in Aylesbury, considerable commitments for growth had already been entered into before lockdown restrictions came into force.”
“It is remarkable just how magnificently these businesses rose to the challenge. Fully complying with all the restrictions, they both made outstanding efforts to maintain and indeed enhance their services to provide real ale during very difficult circumstances. On top of this to our great admiration they took the heroic decision to press ahead with their significant investments demonstrating their vision for the future.”
On Friday 11th February the final Lockdown Heroes award certificate was presented to Stephanie Guiraute of the Seven Stars at Dinton. This is in recognition of the pub staying open by converting itself to a shop during lockdowns and therefore continuing to be a valuable asset for the local community.
The first two events were covered by the Bucks Herald. Follow the links below.
- Booby Trap Brewery
Thursday 27 January 2022
A new brewery started up within the branch area at the end of 2021. Boobytrap Brewery is based in Westcott, north west of Aylesbury, and brews a range of beers on a 5-barrel kit (approx. 800l). They have a taproom that is advertised as opening Thursday to Saturdays.
See their Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/boobytrapbrew/
- Chandos Arms, Oakley
Thursday 25 November 2021
Oakley Parish Council has purchased their village pub, the Chandos Arms, from Punch Taverns. A couple of local branch members visited the pub to talk to parish councillors about how they made this remarkable and impressive achievement for their local community. We understand parish councils elsewhere in the country have purchased pubs but it's a first for our county or branch.
The councillors were keen to pass on some very useful practical information that they think would be extremely valuable for other communities in a similar position. When the opportunity to buy the pub arose, the council had to act very quickly and it was fortunate they could draw on some local expertise to assist with the purchasing process. The council was able to fund the acquisition via a Public Works Loan. They were assisted in accessing this by the Plunkett Foundation who support local communities, including helping save community pubs.
Oakley Parish Council are currently making plans for running the Chandos Arms and it is likely to close for some refurbishment early next year, followed by a relaunch as a community owned local.
- Branch Pub of the Year 2021
Monday 22 November 2021
The winner of our branch pub of the year is The Hop Pole, Aylesbury.
The award was made this year to a pub that did all possible to supply customers with real ale during lockdowns (until that was made illegal) and then reopened as soon and as fully as possible. It’s also an excellent community pub that supports events such as quizzes and live music and has the widest selection of real ales in the local area. It also hosts regular beer festivals, including one this weekend.