Greetings
 

Welcome to the not particularly weird nor wonderful world of Chester & South Clwyd CAMRA branch. We are just one of many branches of the Campaign for Real Ale - a group of over 178,000 members whose collective aim is the promotion of traditional cask ale as opposed to nasty fizzy keg and the downright unpleasant smoothflow nonsense. We also champion consumer rights and strongly support the public house as a focus of community life.
 
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Hard Peg Website  (18/10/16)

Maintenance of this website with Pub News, etc is on hold at the moment while the branch, as apart of an on-going effort at revitalisation, has a review about where it stands on social media.

Diary will continue to be updated while (with apologies to Mr PZ from Ellesmere Port) Twitter is the thing to follow for local beer and pub related goings-on. 

@CAMRACasc >>  

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Cellar Corners Market  (28/06/16)

Interesting and exciting news. The funsters at the Cellar on City Road are opening a new bar ... about 100 metres away! They've taken on the former site of the Compass on the Bars roundabout. It will be called the Cornerhouse and open on Friday 15 July 2016. Complimenting the Cellar, it will be " a dedicated music and comedy venue with an extensive wine list, quality ales, and food to share". From what we gather there will be about four handpumps with a beer range slightly more mainstream than the Cellar's more esoteric choice. Expect likes of Oakham Citra and Hawkshead Windermere Pale. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights will transfer to the Cornerhouse from the Cellar. Should be good. Looking forward to it. 

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Hanmer Shuts  (16/06/16)

Really disheartening news from East Wrexham Borough. Andy, from the Hanmer Arms in Hanmer has told us via the branch forum that, due to a disappointing trading spell and an inflexible landlord, he has activated a release clause in his lease and that the pub will close after today [June 16th].

Bummer. The pub is a current Good Beer Guide entry and had been selling ales from the likes of Peerless, Purple Moose and Stonehouse alongside an exceptionally good range of ciders.

Shame it didn't work out and we wish Andy and his team well for the future. In the meantime let's hope this isn't the death knell for the Hanmer Arms.

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Frog Croaks Back to Life  (12/06/16)

We're please to report that the Frog on the busy Liverpool Road in Upton-by-Chester re-opened on June 10th.

Since taking over at the helm new licensee Nathan Warrilow - possibly with a nearby rival and national food chain pub restaurant in mind - has come out all guns blazing by issuing a splendid polemic about the current state of many of today's pubs. 

ďI feel in this day and age there are too many imposters posing as pubs, but in reality are void of the true tradition, run by managers and have no meaning of what a pub should be Ė a home away from home, a place to come and forget your lifeís problems, to socialise and have fun whilst being hosted by charismatic landlords.Ē 

Well said that man !!! 

The pub currently does no food but the kitchen should be fully functional in July. Should be worth the wait judging by a foretaster provided by a very appetising free Sunday buffet. Cask ales to start with were Wychwood Hobgoblin and Wells Bombardier. 

We wish the Frog sustained success. More details here on WhatPub.

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Farmer's Presentation  (10/06/16)

There was an enjoyable Spring Pub of the Season presentation at the Farmer's Arms in Kelsall on Wednesday night. Congrats to Jess, Pete and Laura ! Weetwood Best Bitter on good form - certainly slaked the thirst of those who cycled there on a lovely summer's evening.

See Spring Pub of the Season .

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Chester Joins Micropub Revolution  (01/06/16)

After a few wrangles with solicitors over leases etc., Chester's first micropub opened in a relaxed low profile fashion in late May. 

The Goat and Munch is located in a former machine repair shop between the Bouverie and Chichester Arms pubs in the student-heavy Garden Quarter and is the brainchild of David Wilson, a former sales executive in the drinks industry.

Totally in-keeping with the intimate micropub ethos, the place comprises of a front room with reclaimed timber bar, wood panelling, Swedish (OK IKEA!) high tables and stools plus a further brighter room to the right leading to a unisex toilet. Venetian blinds keep out excess sunlight. There are two cask pumps either side of a six keg unit that serves beer, lager and cider. Real ale is generally sourced locally - e.g. Weetwood, Big Hand, Peerless, Salopian.

Clientele is a healthy mix reflecting a good cross section of society while the hours are 12-10 except Tuesday when it's closed. In our opinion a great addition to the drinking scene and well worth the wait. 

Finally, that name. Goat and Munch. Provenance has still to be explained. No food yet so maybe its a fondness for Norwegian expressionists.

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Centurion Update  (31/05/16)

The latest development in the saga to save the currently closed Centurion in Vicars Cross is the news that it has officially been put up for sale by Chester-based Admiral Taverns. Having failed in their planning appeal, their contract with LNT Developments has now ended and LNT have no longer any involvement in the Centurion. 

With the pub being listed as an Asset of Community Value the community have now officially been given notice of their Right to Bid coming into force. This gives a six month moratorium on any sale to give the community the chance to bid for the asset. The Centurion Community Action Group are also in talks with other prospective buyers should they themselves not wish to make a formal bid. 

Anyone wishing to get involved should contact the CCAG via Facebook. As ever CAMRA is assisting where possible, letís hope this is a big step forward to getting this much-loved community local back open for business!

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Double Whammy  (26/05/16)

Two more pub closures from Wales to report and both seem likely to be permanent.

Shutting in April was the large Plough just outside Llandegla on the A525. A family, food-focused Robinson's tied-house, it's up for sale for conversion to private housing. It therefore appears to cut its final furrow.

A similar fate appears to await the Butchers Arms in Rossett (pictured) which ceased trading on May 22nd. It has been sold for "alternative use" and is already cordoned off with meshed fencing. This was the only true local in the village - one whose primary reason wasn't to serve up gastronomic delights. Expect conversion to residential and building on that underused rear car park. 

Pubs Under Threat >>

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Spring Pub of the Season  (19/05/16)

The Chester & South Clwyd CAMRA branch is delighted to declare the Farmers Arms in Kelsall as our Pub of the Season for Spring 2016. In a day and age when so many country and village pubs have succumbed to the two Gís - gentrification and gastrofication - itís time to cherish those locals that still survive offering a harmonious mix of regulars, diners and casual passers-by. And thatís the Farmers for us in a nutshell - an all-welcoming, comfortable multi-roomed pub devoid of pretentions. And of course, it serves up excellent beer with Weetwood ales and Doom Bar on permanently plus a guest ale. A presentation night was scheduled for early June so expect in the next issue some self-conscious images of landlord and stereotypic, hirsute CAMRA member standing behind the handpumps.  

Branch Awards >>

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Another Spoons for Sale  (19/05/16)

A ghastly announcement from J.D.Wetherspoons - the Thomas Telford in Ellesmere Port is amongst the latest tranche of their outlets put up for sale. Closure would be a terrible shame and mean real ale options near the town centre would be restricted to a yomp to the Grace Arms (which itself had no cask on a recent visit) or the newly refitted Cat. There always seemed plenty of customers in the pub so maybe itís just a victim of Spoons, to quote MD Tim Martin, over-egging the pudding in the rush to open new outlets. For now, the Wheatsheaf Wetherspoons at Overpool is unaffected.

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Branch Area Pub Guides

Whether you're on a three-day anger management course in Chester, travelling to see your beloved Braintree United play Wrexham or planning a stag-do in Langollen wearing Bavarian lederhosen, you'll need to take a peek at our area guides to find out where serves cask beer. 

Area Pub Guides >> 

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Pubs Under Threat

The Beeston Castle, Tiverton (RIP)In common with the rest of the nation, locally there are plenty of pubs - good, bad and indifferent - with uncertain futures. Closed, boarded up or derelict, what fate awaits them? A new licensee in thrall to a greedy pub co? Conversion to an Indian restaurant, coffee shop or private house? Further years of abandonment, rot and decay? Demolition and redevelopment? Or maybe, renaissance under wealthy new owners with an entrepreneurial eye.  

Shut Pubs >>  

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What Pub

WhatPub provides details of over 35,900 pubs serving real ale, making it the definitive online pub guide for the real ale drinker. In addition, WhatPub provides full details for over 24,000 of those pubs, with details of real ales available, opening times, and description of the pub. Click on image to access.  

 

 
Coming Soon


Saturday 26th November
Wirral Pubs Social
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Thursday 1st December

Wrexham Pub Crawl

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Thursday 15th December

Branch Meeting: Cross Keys, Chester

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Saturday 10th December
Pub Saving Award Presentation: Centurion, Chester
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Friday 16th December

Llangollen Pub Crawl

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Friday 20th January

Cheshire Pub Minibus Social

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More Diary >>


Social Media

 
 

 
CAMRA Chester & S.Clwyd
facebook.com/camracasc


News In Brief

 
Farmers Arms
(19/05/16)
Spring Pub of the Season.
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Swan Moults
(11/05/16)
Refurb in Great Sutton.
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Boars Head to Wxm (06/05/16)
Black Horse change.
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Brewhouse in Town (05/05/16)
Forest House takeover.
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Pussy Galore (29/04/16)
Cask at the Cat, EP.
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CAMRA Real Ale Leaflet
(20/04/16)
Guide to Chester Pubs.
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Handley & Holt (06/04/16)
Closures.
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Moreton Re-Opening (06/04/16)
Good news from Johnstown.
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South Clwyd PotY (18/03/16)
Colliers Arms.
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Cheshire PotY (18/03/16)
Olde Cottage.
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Centurion Update (10/03/16)
Application refusal.
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Summit to Smile About (10/03/16)
Mount Pub of the Season.
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Dee Valley Ale Trail
(01/03/16)
New non-CAMRA bus tour.
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More Discounts! (26/02/16)
Telfords and Artichoke.
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Kash Discount ...
(03/02/16)
...plus festival new.
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Centurion Closes
(26/01/16)
Shame on Admiral.
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Oh I Do Like A ...
(19/01/16)
..Drink Around the Deeside.
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More Closures
(16/01/16)
Wynnstay and Griffin.
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Bad Start to Year
(01/01/16)
Compass Shuts.
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Save the Cenny
(06/12/15)
Cynical Admiral.
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Ales at the Abbey (01/12/15)
Cask at the Crucis.
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Forest for Felling
(12/11/15)
Spoons for sale.
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Farewell Friend (5/11/15)
Ship Vic demolished.
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Hart & Heifer RIP (29/10/15)
Permanent pub losses.
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Ship Dry Dock (21/10/15)
Changes in Handbridge.
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Saith Seren
(06/10/15)
Brewery Hook-up.
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Buck Not Just Fizz (04/10/15)
Bangor Pub Re-Opens.
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