Welcome to CAMRA West Kent

This website is for CAMRA members that have an interest in the West Kent Branch. The branch area includes the towns of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Westerham.



The easiest ways to help CAMRA West Kent?

The number 1, easiest, but most important thing that CAMRA members can do to help any branch is to enter pub and beer scores via WhatPub. If you enter scores for pubs that you try they will get fed back to the relevant branch, and will be used for deciding which pubs go in the Good Beer Guide. The menu on the left contains a guide to Beer Scoring, or follow the WhatPub link above to go direct. 

SVR Beer Festival Volunteering
I know it’s a while off at the moment but we’re looking for volunteers to fill the following roles at the festival

  • Membership Manager – moving around the festival sites offering folk the chance to join CAMRA
  • Festival Auditor – somebody numerate able to sign off simple accounts on behalf of the branch

Aside from these two posts, if you’re thinking of volunteering (again?) for regular bar work, etc. this year, it would also be helpful if you could let me know your likely availability as soon as possible

Branch Volunteering
We’d also like to recruit a branch ACV Officer to spearhead applications for Asset of Community Value status to threatened pubs in the branch and support local community groups in applying for ACVs.

In fact we really need more active, campaigning members on the branch committee to spread the workload generally. We’re all volunteers as you know, so if you want to be more involved let us know or come to our branch meetings and get involved.


News

‘The West Kent CAMRA Pub Of The Year’
has been awarded to Fuggles Beer Cafe in one of the closest competitions seen in recent years. All the pubs included in this competition achieve a level of excellence to be commended, with the top 3 chopping & changing right up to the last scores being computed and as such was impossible to predict.

Fuggles, as a new branch winner came top in 3 out of the 5 categories and is I consider, a worthy winner, having been highly placed previously, including runner up last year, since opening in November 2013.

Alex Greig has with Fuggles Beer Cafe, helped to transform the “Beer Scene” in our branch area, particularly in Tunbridge Wells, serving quality cask beer and other craft ales, extended the range of products available to the public, whilst encouraging competition by setting new standards for the industry in respect of customer service and staff knowledge and thoroughly deserves the recognition this award will bring.

Top Six Pubs – West Kent CAMRA Awards

  • 1. Fuggles, Tunbridge Wells
  • 2. Windmill, Weald
  • 3. Halfway House, Brenchley
  • 4. Dovecote, Capel
  • 5. Queens Arms, Cowden Pound
  • 6. Crown, Groombridge

Most Improved pub: Toad Rock Retreat, Rusthall

Runner up – Matt & Emma at The Windmill might be disappointed as runner up having won the award for the last three years, they shouldn’t be, they’ve set new standards from the beginning and their Runner Up Award in a close competition confirms their ability to maintain them.

Halfway House, Brenchley – Sam, recently taken over from father Richard is clearly building on his dad’s previous success, continuing the quality beers and foods available whilst improving the Summer Beer festivals held & the music provided.

Toad Rock Retreat, Rusthall – Nick & Shelley fully deserve their ‘most improved’ pub having worked tirelessly to turn this pub around.

Cider Pub Of the year: The Pantiles Tap

Geoff & Jo retain their crown for Cider Pub of the year for ‘The Pantiles Tap’ with one of the best selections of quality cider in the south, never mind the region!

Club of the year: Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, Tunbridge Wells

The Constitutional Club with its excellent range of beers and excellent food offering deserve this accolade.

Craig Beeson, Chairman, West Kent CAMRA

Alex Greig at Fuggles was “over the moon” as you can read on his website here: http://www.fugglesbeercafe.co.uk/news/


Tonbridge Old Fire Station Cider Festival 25th -28th May

West Kent CAMRA’s very own cider officer is helping organise the 2nd TOFS cider festival. Tonbridge will be holding its annual food a drink festival over the same weekend, so lots to see and do in Tonbridge.  


 6th SPA Valley Railway Beer & Cider Festival (2016) Looking Back

Last years festival was a great success, thanks to everybody that volunteered, and all those that visited.
Extra info http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/product.php/19/6th-camra-real-ale-cider-festival-and-autumn-diesel-gala

A message from Keith Ennis and the branch to our volunteers.
Dear Spa Valley Railway Beer and Cider Festival Volunteer
I think we have all had time to catch our breath and reflect upon last weekends successful Festival. Firstly, I would like to thank all of you for the hard work you put in to serve an estimated 11,000 pints of beer and cider.  As staffing officer, I must thank all of you for your willingness to do whatever was asked of you, or for just seeing jobs that needed doing, and getting on with them.  All of this made my job a lot easier.
The result of the Beer of the Festival Competition, voted for by the public was as follows:
Gold               Kew Brewery – Nightshade
Joint Silver    Downlands Brewery – Red October
Joint Silver    By the Horns Brewery – Old Smoke Tea Bitter
We hope to arrange a visit Kew Brewery to present the award.
There were not enough votes for cider to have a meaningful result.
In the Green Hop Competition, held prior to the Festival opening, the results were:
Gold           Old Dairy Brewery – Bullion Single Hop
Silver          Goody Ales – Green Hop Genesis
Bronze        Westerham Brewery – Scotney Green Hop

On 8 November the organising committee are meeting to review the Festival.  If you have any comments or suggestions on how the Festival is run, positive or negative, I would welcome them to feed into the meeting.  Please let me have your views in the coming week.
Finally, we hope to be running the Festival next year and that you will be able to come back and help us again.  We are always looking for capable people to join the committee to help organise the Festival.  If you feel you can help us, please let me know.
Wassail
Keith Ennis
Spa Valley Beer and Cider Festival Staffing Officer
West Kent CAMRA Cider Officer

 


CAMRA West Kent Facebook

Crabble Corn Mill Beer Festival Tickets for the Friday 26th May are no longer available online. There maybe a few tickets still available at the following venues listed below:

Crabble Corn Mill - Lower Road, River, Dover, CT17 0UY
Rack of Ale Micropub - 7 Park Place, Ladywell, Dover, CT16 1DF
The Lanes Micropub - 15 Worthington Street, Dover, CT17 9AQ
The Thirsty Scarecrow - 107 High Street, Dover, CT16 1EB
... See MoreSee Less

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Adrian Collacott shared The Royal Oak Tunbridge Wells's photo to the group: West Kent CAMRA. ... See MoreSee Less

‪Hoppy Mondays at The Royal Oak! #TunbridgeWells #CaskAle #RealAle #Beer #YoureDrinkingMyHopsMan ‬

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Halfway House beer list and festival guide. ... See MoreSee Less

The full brochure with beer descriptions, music info, map and more

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... See MoreSee Less

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Club of the year award presented to Ray steward at the Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club ... See MoreSee Less

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Branch Diary
May
Cider Month / Mild Month

• 6th Brewery Tours – Downlands and Dark Star (full tour) – by invitation for SVR volunteers
• 8th Branch Business Meeting – Opera House or the Grove, Tunbridge Wells – tbc
• 25th – 28th May – The old Fire Station, Tonbridge Cider Nouveau Festival in Association with West Kent CAMRA branch. 24 local ciders, 16 West Country ciders (includes the new season of ciders, perrys, sweet ciders, fruit ciders), Thurs eve, Fri – Sun all day. Volunteer staff may be needed
July
• 8th Kent Regional Meeting comes to our branch again, at Juddians Rugby Club, Tonbridge to coincide with the SIBA SE/Juddians Beer Festival

Events, Beer Festivals, etc.

• 4th May – The Anchor, Sevenoaks Meet the Brewer with Tonbridge Brewery showcasing a new beer, some free beer and free buffet, 7.30 for 8pm
• 4th – 6th May – 12th CAMRA Bexley Beer Festival, Old Dartfordians Sports Club, War Memorial Club House, Bourne Road, Bexley, DA5 1LW. 85+ Beers & Ciders, souvenir glass, hot & cold meals, snacks & soft drinks. Thurs 5-11 £2.50, (CAMRA members £1.50); Fri 11-5 £2.50, (Free), 5-11 £2.50, (£1.50); Sat 11-11 £2.50, (£1.50) (While stock lasts), Under 26s – Free Admission with ID (proof of age) www.bexley.camra.org.uk
• 6th May – Pig & Porter Brewery Open Day, 12-6, sample their beers and some cheeses, 18h Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 3EF
• 10th May – Fuggles Beer Café – Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewer with Gun Brewery. 10 vegan friendly beers across cask & keg from noon, Meet the Brewer from 6pm
• 13th May – Kent Brewery visit organised by the Humphrey Bean, Tonbridge – breakfast and a pint at the pub then minibus at 12pm to the Brewery at West Malling for a tour and a couple of pints. Then to the Malling Jug, 5mins drive where they will have the range from the Brewery available to buy. Then back to the pub for another beer and 33%discount on food. All for £20 available from the Humphrey Bean
• 19th May – Harveys Brewery Beer Tasting Evening with beer gurus Edmund Jenner and Robin Thorpe. Harvey’s Brewery Shop, 6 Cliffe High Street, Lewes, BN7 2AH. Informal evening tasting a range of draught, bottled and canned beers. A few beers paired with locally-sourced foods. Tickets £15pp, two sessions – book 6-7.30pm here or 7.45-9.15 here
• 24th May – Fuggles Beer Café – Tap Takeover by award winning Dry & Bitter Brewery from Gorlose, Denmark including a very special collaboration with a UK brewery! (all keg)
• 25th – 28th May – The old Fire Station, Tonbridge – Cider Nouveau Festival in Association with West Kent CAMRA branch. 24 local ciders, 16 West Country ciders (includes the new season of ciders, perrys, sweet ciders, fruit ciders), Thurs eve, Fri – Sun all day
• 26th – 28th May – Eastbourne Beer Festival
• 26th – 29th May – Halfway House, Brenchley – Brenchley Beer Festival, 75 Real Ales from within 75 miles, live music, food/spitroast, new garden bar, free entry, huge marquee, large car park, family & adult gardens, 12-11
• 26th – 29th May – CAMRA Beer Tent at Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week, The Nevill Ground, Nevill Gate, Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5ES
• 26th – 29th May – AngelFest at Tonbridge Angels FC tbc
• 8th June onwards – Westerham Brewery Open Evening – Election Night Special 6.30-9.30pm. Strictly no politics! These are back on. Dates are set through to Christmas 2017. Book via the website: http://westerhambrewery.co.uk/events/#/open-evening Book early as they sell out fast. Taste a range of beers and Street Food from trucks. Tour of the brewery included. You can also visit the Tap Room & Shop at other times. Opening Times – Thurs 10-5, Fri & Sat 10-9. Westerham Brewery Tap Room & Shop, Beggars Lane, Westerham, TN16 1QP
• 10th June – CAMRA Maidstone & Mid Kent branch charity beer tent
• 16th – 17th June – CAMRA Kent and East Sussex Railway Beer Festival, Tenterden
• 22nd – 24th June – Old Fire Station, Tonbridge – Pig & Porter Brewery Tap Takeover
• 1st July – The Beer Barn (at Rockin Robin Brewery) Summer Bash, Campfield Farm, Haste Hill Road, Boughton Monchelsea, ME174LR, 1-10.30, £40 Ticket Only in advance from the Beer Barn 07787 416110, includes Rockin Robin Ales, Cider, Wine, Prosecco and Dogs and Burgers from the BBQ, live music from 4 bands. Drink and eat as much as you like
• 7th – 8th July – SIBA South East/Tonbridge Juddians Beer Festival
• 7th – 9th July – Sevenoaks Vine Club/Sevenoaks Lions Club VineFest Beer & Music Festival at the Vine cricket ground. 42+ beers, 18+ ciders, live music, cricket, Fri 5-11, Sat 12-11, Sun 12-7 svcc1734.org/news/vinefest-2017
• 14th 16th July – Oxted Beer & Music Festival, Master Park, Oxted, RH8 9LA. 100 ales, ciders and craft lagers, Pimms & Fizz Bar, Gin Bar and Retox Cocktail Bar, food, entertainment across 2 music stages, dance tent, club DJ’s, face painting, magicians and street entertainers. Tickets here
• 20th – 22nd July – CAMRA Kent Beer Festival, Canterbury, Merton Farm, off Nackington Lane, Canterbury, CT4 7BA. Thur 6.30-11 £6 on door or online, Fri 12-4 free, 6.30-11 £8 advance tickets only, Sat 12-9 £6 on door www.kentbeerfestival.com


Kent CAMRA Website goes live

Kent CAMRA has launched it own website, this gives extra info on the Kent area and includes information on cider and brewery’s. It also provides links to all the local CAMRA websites

http://www.kentcamra.org.uk/

New CAMRA members site launched

LINK TO SITE INFO


Protecting your local pub by nominating them as Assets of Community Value

Through the Localism Act, the Government has introduced new powers for communities in England to nominate valued facilities such as pubs as “assets of community value”. Where pubs are listed this enables communities to “stop the clock” for up to six months if they’re put up for sale to consider options for saving the pub. With 18 pubs closing every week we need CAMRA members and branches to get involved in listing pubs before more of them are lost. So far two pubs in the branch have received this protection (both called the Royal Oak, one in Tunbridge Wells, one in Pembury). For a more in depth explanation of the what, why, and where please follow this LINK, which also contains an information leaflet.