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GBG Launch Mystery Tour

Thursday 2nd October 2008

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale


Peter White, North Cotswold Branch Chairman found time after the recent Beer festival to lead this evening 'Mystery' trip and as usual was very secretive about the respective destinations. Even the bus driver was in the dark but was given last minute directions by his navigator. Surprisingly few of the 14 members guessed the GBG pubs visited, since with only 10 in the book they did had a 40% chance, but probably were conscious of Peters feelings and did not want to spoil the surprise!
Branch GBG Coordinator Roger Price knew a short cut to the first Pub, the The Craven Arms at Brockhampton and having successfully navigated a single track road arrived on schedule. The beer selection and quality of Sharps Eden, Wye Valley Butty Bach. Butcombe bitter and Otter were as usual superb. Landlord Bob and wife Barbara and son Sam were on hand to welcome the group and were presented with the GBG confirmation pack. This is the second year in the GBG following their first entry last year. The Craven Arms is in both the Good Beer Guide and the Good Pub Guide. Peter White read out the entry description and key features of the pub were identified.


Returning to the bus the group continued through more narrow lanes to the Royal Oak at Andoversford where Martyn Herbert and his Mother and Brother were waiting and trying to finish off the remaining Stanney Bitter before the bus arrived. I managed just one pint of Stanney before they succeeded. Remaining offering was Battledown Brigand, Otter, Sharps Doombar, and Adnams Broadside. Again all in excellent condition. Two helpers from the Beer Festival were also awaiting swelling the numbers before Landlord Simon and partner Cathy were presented with the 2009 GBG certificate mounted in a very attractive light oak frame added by the Branch in recognition of the pub being a new entry.



Onward to the Seven Tuns at Chedworth, ignoring Roger's offer of a 'short' cut,  we arrived intact and on schedule where we were pleasantly surprised to see that the normal offering of Youngs Bitter, Wells Bombardier and another from Youngs now included St Austell Tribute. Landlord Alex has been a consistent entry in the GBG and was presented with his certificate in company with wife to be and we wished them well on their forthcoming wedding and his imminent stag do the following weekend.

Returning North along the Fosseway we arrived at Bourton on the Water, a route many Romans used to take though our bus driver, now out of the narrow lanes made more rapid progress than his ancestors in his diesel transit. Nobody suspected we were heading for a GBG pub in Bourton. For ten long years it has been a GBG barren desert with the five busy pubs not needing to spend time and effort on looking after real ale when you have multiple bus loads of tourist mostly preferring Lager. However things have looked up since the arrival of David and father John at the Mousetrap Inn. Needing little encouragement from local residents Branch Secretary Roger, Dick, Dawn and Peter Rowe the 'Trap' has joined the Ale Trail and offers only Gloucestershire Beers including a house beer made by North Cotswold christened Agatha's ale. When we arrived the other quality beers on offer were North Cotswold Shagweaver and Wickwar Cotswold Way. Again since this is a new entry a framed certificate was presented to John who looks after the beer and his son David. Both have joined CAMRA this year and intend to remain in Bourton and continue to improve the Moustrap with a programme of refurbishment. We wish them well.


A most enjoyable evening and many thanks to Steve Merrett our bus driver, to Peter for organising an excellent evening out and to Roger Price who made the presentations to each of the four pubs
Roger Price

The above are just 4 pubs from the 10 in our area that are in the new 2009 CAMRA Good Beer Guide. To find out who the others are, you will need to purchase the Guide.


Special Offer to CAMRA members!


For a limited period the Guide is available for 10 to members attending one of our social events in October or November 2008. (RRP 14.99). So if you want a bargain, why not select the "Diary" link above to see what events we are running during that period.