Great British Beer Festival Winter 2019
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Please register online at agm.camra.org.uk
Scunthorpe and District
We are a small and friendly local branch of CAMRA,
a national consumer organisation which campaigns on behalf of UK drinkers on subjects such as choice,
value for money, good beer and good pubs.
We have regular meetings in local pubs, plus a programme of social activities including
visits to beer festivals and breweries. CAMRA members and prospective members are welcome
to attend our meetings and socials.
Details can be found here on the website, in the members' newspaper, 'What's Brewing',
or the branch newsletter, 'Iron Brew'; the latter is free and distributed to many
real ale pubs in our area on a quarterly basis and can be downloaded from this page.
For information on pubs local and national, visit WhatPub,
Camra's online pub guide.
Pub of the Season
The Blue Bell,
On a late October evening, a good turnout of Scunthorpe & District CAMRA members met up at the Blue Bell Inn in Scunthorpe
to present them with our Autumn Pub of the Season award.
The Blue Bell offers the most varied choice of real ales in the town centre and they're always kept in tip-top condition.
Branch Chairman Mark Elsome (seated, left in photo) presented the framed Pub of the Season certificate to Blue Bell manager,
Allan Starr, flanked by CAMRA members and friends. The official Wetherspoon photographer was also there to record the
presentation and the photos and write-up will appear in a future edition of Wetherspoon News, the Wetherspoon house magazine.
Some choice beers on for the evening included Dark Star Hophead (3.8% ABV), Marston's Old Empire (5.7%) and
Great Heck Black Jesus (6.5%). Our congratulations go to Allan and all Blue Bell Inn staff on this well deserved award.
For further details visit
The Blue Bell Inn
The 21st Scunthorpe Beer Festival - Bridge Hotel, Station Road, 27th - 30th September 2018
Please download and distribute the poster to help promote the event and
follow the link for for more information or view the
The 21st Scunthorpe Festival took place at the end of September in the function room of the Bridge Hotel
in the centre of Scunthorpe. Organised and staffed by members of Scunthorpe & District CAMRA and friends,
the festival featured 25 real ales and a small selection of ciders.
Festival Organiser Neil Patchett chose a range of beers and ciders with broad appeal and ensured they
were kept in tip top condition.
The best selling beers were Tiny Rebel Dutty, Timothy Taylor's 1858,
Lost Industry Ingenious Barstewards and North Riding HBC Session Pale. The overall beer of the Festival,
decided on votes cast by those attending, proved to be Timothy Taylor's 1858, a delicious, strong brown ale,
with Fixed Wheel Cafe Culture, a coffee stout and Tiny Rebel Dutty, a New England session IPA, tied for second place.
The festival tombola was well stocked with prizes this year and once again proved very popular.
One 'prize' that didn't make it on to the tombola (although it was a close run thing), was a headless wooden giraffe figurine whom we nicknamed
'Eddie' (see picture), left at the venue by a customer early on in the proceedings!
The limited edition souvenir festival half pint tankard was also well received and we sold out of these.
It's fair to say that we had bad luck with the provision of food at the festival. We were let down at the last minute
by a street van food vendor who we had booked for the festival and although we eventually managed to secure someone
else, at such short notice the other vendor was only available on the Saturday of the festival and even then had to
leave early! We offered large bags of crisps and pork pies to fill the gap which did prove popular. Apologies to all
who were expecting food throughout the festival, but it was essentially out of our control.
Unfortunately numbers attending the festival were well down on last year and this was particularly disappointing given
all the hard work involved in setting up the event. We have a core of people who come along and support us year in
and year out, and we thank them for that. However real ale has always been a hard sell in the Scunthorpe & District
Branch area and without further support from the wider populace in our area there is a risk that the festival may not be viable.
When the dust has settled we'll have a thorough review of the festival and see if we're able to carry on. We'll
certainly do our best to bring you the 22nd Scunthorpe Beer Festival in 2019, but the bottom line is if you don't
use it you lose it!
With thanks to all the volunteers who helped to ensure the festival ran smoothly despite a few setbacks,
to Gainsborough CAMRA for lending us their new beer stillage (excellent by the way), to the festival sponsors
for their support and to Neil for organising the event for the first time.
Trip to York Beer Festival
A small number of Scunthorpe & District Branch members recently made their way over to York Racecourse on a rainy Autumn day
to visit the 10th anniversary of the York Beer Festival at this location.
One of the biggest and best beer festivals in the north,
the festival is housed in a huge marquee opposite the main racecourse grandstand and this one again didn't disappoint despite the inclement weather.
Showcasing hundreds of beers of all hues, styles and strengths, the choice was phenomenal and included eight superb American beers
in wooden casks imported by Brass Castle Brewery which are found nowhere else!
Adopting third of a pint measures enabled us to sample a great range of beers and a great day was had. We also met up with Anne & Stef
from Grimsby CAMRA to share thoughts on the beers on offer.
Summer Pub of the Season Presentation to the Malt Shovel
During August we presented the Scunthorpe & District CAMRA Summer Pub of the Season award to the Malt Shovel in Ashby, Scunthorpe.
The picture shows branch member Beverley Branton presenting the framed certificate to Jack and Kelly of the Malt Shovel
flanked by members and friends.
Some choice beers were available on the day including Rudgate Chocolate Stout, Thornbridge Jaipur and Oakham Blue Skies,
plus an impressive range of draught ciders.
Congratulations go to all staff at the pub on winning this award.
Hop Studio Visit
On another sunny Summer's day in late July, six stalwart members of Scunthorpe & District CAMRA
made their way to Elvington near York by train and local bus, to visit the premises of Hop Studio Brewery.
The brewery is located in a unit on the Handley Park industrial estate on the outskirts of Elvington village,
and we were met there by Richard (brewery assistant) and Tom (brewer).
They showed us the 10 barrel brewing kit and described the Hop Studio beers brewed and some of the processes used.
They hope to expand capacity soon by installing two further conical fermenters. Their beers are distributed
throughout Yorkshire and the north (the Blue Bell in Scunthorpe is a regular customer), and further afield through
wholesalers. They have also recently opened their own pub in nearby Pocklington.
We then moved to their upstairs bar and were able to sample Pale (4.0% ABV), a pale, fruity session ale,
Mosaic (4.3%), an oatmeal pale ale and XS (5.5%), a extra-special strong, fruity bitter, all on handpump,
and India (5.0%), a British-style IPA on keg tap. After a couple of enjoyable hours sampling the Hop Studio beers
and talking beer with Richard and Tom, we thanked them for their hospitality and bade them farewell,
before catching the bus back into York.
With a couple of hours until our train back to Scunthorpe, we decided to visit a few local pubs and went to Brew York Tap,
the Eagle & Child and the (new) House of Trembling Madness, before finishing off the day at the York Tap.
A very enjoyable day out, with thanks to all at Hop Studio for allowing us to visit the brewery.
Visit to Sunfest Beer Festival at the Rising Sun, Sheffield
On a very sunny day in July, three Scunthorpe & District CAMRA members
made their way by train to Sheffield for the annual Sunfest beer festival held
at the Rising Sun pub on Fulwood Road.This festival is one of our favourites and as usual
the organisers had selected an impressive range of over 100 beers plus cider and perry.
After a brief pit stop at the Tap on Sheffield Station, we arrived at the Rising Sun
just after noon and chose a table under canvas to avoid the possibility of sunstroke
if sitting in full sun conditions all day!
Selecting third of a pint measures, some choice beers were sampled and among the many
highlights were Electric Bear Werrrd (4.2% ABV), a NZ hopped pale, Baker's Dozen System
of a Brown (4.3% ), an unfined American Brown Ale, Abbeydale Donít Go Bacon My Heart
(7.1%), a strong, bacon (!) & vanilla ice cream porter and Torrside Space Cadet (5.8%),
a hoppy, red IPA.
We were joined at the festival by old friends Roger & Sue Stow, CAMRA members now living
in Dronfield, but formerly from Barton, and it was good to catch-up with them.
Overall a very enjoyable day out.
Pub of the Year Presentation to The White Swan,
On the last day of June Scunthorpe & District CAMRA members gathered at the White Swan in Barton
to present Greg and Lisa Robson with the branch Pub of the Year (POTY) award.
Voted on by local CAMRA members, this was the second consecutive year that the the White Swan
had received the accolade.
A very good turnout of members and pub regulars assembled in the bright sunshine of a glorious summer's
day to witness the presentation of the framed POTY certificate by branch members Sarah Morgans and Christine Andrew.
Three excellent beers on for the the day were Axholme 3.9 Magnitude, Horncastle Pale Rider and Great Newsome Old Fergie.
Congratulations go to Greg & Lisa for rescuing an unwanted pub and through a lot of hard work, turning it into a
welcoming, thriving local.
Mild Social at the Blue Bell
An evening mild social took place recently at the Blue Bell in Scunthorpe town centre in support of
CAMRA's Mild in May campaign. Although sparsely attended, members were treated to an excellent
range of beers in top condition including Nethergate Mary's Ruby Mild (4.5% ABV),
Wold Top Marmalade Porter (5.3%), Great Heck Amish Mash (4.7%) and Rudgate Valkyrie (5.0%).
During the evening we presented Blue Bell duty manager Paula with a framed Mild Award certificate
in recognition of the pub putting on mild beers during May.
In addition to the Nethergate mild,
Kelham Island Mod Mild (3.7%) and Rudgate Ruby Mild (4.4%) were featured earlier in the month.
Spring Pub of the Season Presentation
We had a good turnout of members and friends for our Spring Pub of the Season presentation to the
Lord Nelson at Brigg in May.
This large Old Mill Brewery tied house (now the only one in the branch area),
has benefited from a major refurbishment and re-opened for business again in March this year.
At the helm are father and son Richard and Jordan Smith - Richard is also the pub's chef.
They feature four Old Mill real ales on handpump - Bitter, Blonde Bombshell, Old Curiosity and a monthly seasonal beer.
They also offer lunchtime and evening meals and accommodation in twelve rooms.
Pictures shows Branch Chairman Mark Elsome with the Pub of the Season certificate,
flanked by Richard and Jordan Smith and branch members and friends in front of the Lord Nelson pub.
We wish Richard and Jordan all the best for a prosperous future.
Trip to Doncaster Brewery & Tap Easter Beer Festival
On the Thursday before Good Friday, branch members made their way by train to Doncaster for the annual
Easter Beer Festival at the Doncaster Brewery & Tap located on Young Street in the centre of town.
We arrived at the Tap just after opening, and were able to get seats for all the group. We then waded
into the eighteen cask beers, eight keg taps and six traditional ciders.
The front bar in the pub itself offered six handpulled ales and six ciders, with the remainder available
from bars erected in the brewery itself to the rear.
Some of the favourite beers sampled included Tiny Rebel Dutty (4.2% ABV), James & Kirkman Rum Aged Triple
Chocolate Porter (5.6%), Atom Planck's Constant (5.6%) and the Wiper & True Later Song at an immense 8%!
To keep hunger at bay, pork pies and Bratwurst rolls were available, and the whole event was run in a relaxed
and enjoyable atmosphere.
Congratulations to Ian and Alison Blaylock of Doncaster Brewery for organising
such an excellent pub-based festival.
By late afternoon we decided to stretch our legs and investigate one or two of Doncaster's other pubs
including the Queen (Crafthouse and Kitchen), the Red Lion (Wetherspoon) and the Draughtsman's Alehouse,
the latter on Doncaster Station, Platform 3b. An excellent day out!
In addition to the organised branch trip, several members not able to attend on the Thursday,
plus friends from other branches, spent several enjoyable hours at the festival on the Saturday
where a large range of beers and ciders were still available.
All in all a great show of support for the event!
Winter Pub of the Season Presentation
A good turnout of Scunthorpe & District CAMRA members and friends gathered at the Red Lion
in Broughton on a Saturday lunchtime early in February for the branch's Winter Pub of the Season presentation.
The Red Lion has benefited from a major refurbishment instigated by owner Darren Lince, and is now a
comfortable and appealing village local, which is developing a good reputation for its excellent meals
and choice of beers.
The award was presented to Red Lion manager and head chef Shane Jarman by Branch Chairman Mark Elsome,
with other Red Lion staff present.
Members then enjoyed a choice of four real ales - Lincolnshire Craft Brewery's
Scrumptious and Lincoln Gold, Robinson's Trooper and Sharp's Doom Bar, all in top condition,
before opting for tasty, good value meals from the extensive lunchtime menu.
We had an enjoyable visit and congratulate Shane and all Red Lion staff on their award.
Manchester Beer & Cider Festival Visit
Only four Scunthorpe & District CAMRA members boarded the through train to Manchester Piccadilly
in late January for the first day of the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival, as others who were planning
to go were laid low with flu. The festival is staged in the cavernous interior of the Manchester Central
building (a former railway station, also previously known as the G-Mex Centre), but the huge space
allowed for the setting up of many bars, food and souvenir stalls and ample seating.
The choice of beers and ciders was phenomenal with many rare brews and one-off collaborations available.
A number of breweries had their own bars and craft beer aficionados were not forgotten with a handful
of keg beer bars and a bar featuring craft beers from Barcelona!
After sampling a range of the excellent beers on offer we headed off into Manchester later in the afternoon
and called at Brewdog and the Cloudwater Brewery Tap to round off an enjoyable day out.
Atom Brewery Visit
On a cold winter's day in January a group of Scunthorpe & District CAMRA members travelled to
Hull by bus to visit Atom Brewery. The occasion was to present them with a Beer of the Festival
certificate from last year's 20th Scunthorpe Beer Festival for their beer Schrodinger's Cat.
We were met at the brewery by Atom founder Allan Rice who provided us with samples of Atom's beers
straight from the conditioning tank, before telling us about the brewing processes and philosophy of the company.
Atom brew an eclectic range of beers for cask, keg, bottle and can and have a strong educational ethos,
encouraging students to attend the brewery and learn about science by studying the brewing operation.
Head brewer Jack then showed us the Atom kit and described some of the beers brewed recently.
A highlight of the sampling was the deliciously dark and rich Neutron Star a 12.6% ABV imperial stout.
We rounded off our visit with the presentation of the Beer of the Festival award and after thanking all at
Atom for their hospitality, we bade them farewell and caught the bus back to the city centre.
We just had time to visit a couple of Hull pubs including the excellent Furley & Co. for more Atom beers
before making our way home. A very interesting and enjoyable visit.
Click here for previous events.