Branch News

Branch Update – April 2021

List of pubs opening for outdoor drinking, please check their websites or Facebook for opening times and booking details


Hello one and all on the eve of our pubs being allowed to open, albeit in a severely restricted manner. The lockdown seems to have gone on for an eternity, but people are pretty adaptable, so I hope you have got through it reasonably OK. Looking at myself, I realize that I have fallen into what I can only describe as a lockdown routine, and I suspect that others will find that they have too. One feature of this is drinking at home, although in my case this has involved some ordering take-aways of real ale from pubs offering a delivery service.

That needs to change, because our pubs are going to need all the customers they can get. While I feared that there would be mass closures of pubs during lockdown, that hasn’t happened, largely I imagine due to government support in the form of furlough schemes, rent and / or rates holidays and direct grants. All that is very welcome, but it can’t and won’t continue; pubs, and also breweries, will have to become economically viable again or they will close. It won’t be easy; we don’t know for how long covid restrictions will remain in force or how stringent they will be. I suspect that very few pubs could survive in the long term operating social distancing and table service.

The other problem which pubs are going to face is a loss of trade due to changes in people’s habits. You can get used to the idea of drinking at home, on top of which, despite the success of the vaccine rollout, many people are still wary of mixing socially. I am going to do my best to leave the lockdown routine behind and get back, as far as that is possible, to life as it was before all this started. I hope you will do so too.

As for Branch activities, it is my intention that they will restart as soon as the lifting of restrictions permits. In the first phase of pubs opening with outdoor drinking only and limits on numbers who may mix it really isn’t feasible to arrange anything at Branch level. During the next phase, scheduled for May 17th, with indoor drinking allowed, it may be possible to arrange something, but not until the rules for that period are known. After June 21st it will, I hope, to be possible to operate normally.

I hope to see you soon, in a pub.

Chris Rogers

Amber Valley Branch Chairman

Branch Secretary Required

We are still seeking a new Branch Secretary following the 'retirement' of Nora who has done sterling work in the role.  If you are interested or know of anyone who would like to volunteer for this vital position please contact our Chairman.  The duties that come within the Secretary's remit are detailed in this profile.

Pub of the Year 2020

The results of the Amber Valley CAMRA Pub of the Year 2020 competition were announced at the AGM as follows -

First place - White Hart, Bargate

Second place - Dead Poets, Holbrook

Third place - Old Oak, Horsley

Congratulations to Sean and the team at the White Hart and thanks to all members who nominated pubs to go into the competition and all those who judged the eight finalists.


The Amber Valley CAMRA Winter Ale Trail top three placed pubs are -

1st Hunters Arms, Kilburn

2nd Codnor Inn,  Codnor

3rd George and Dragon,  Belper

Cider Pub of the Year 2020 

Winner Angels Bar, Belper

Runner-up Dead Poets Inn, Holbrook

Angels Bar, as Amber Valley Cider Pub of the Year 2020, will go forward to the East Midlands Cider Pub of the Year Competition, judged in March 2020.

Please see Awards for more information.


Member assistance requested

Could all members please help us to keep our area  information updated by entering any updates for their local pub into What Pub this will really assist our pubs member and enable you to have current info when you venture further afield.

Good Beer Guide 2020

Our Branch is allocated 12 entries and it's always a tough job choosing entrants from the wide array of fantastic pubs we have in Amber Valley - Congratulations to all our entrants!!

Angels, Belper
Arkwrights, Belper
Beehive Inn, Ripley
Black Bulls Head, Openwoodgate
Holly Bush, Makeney
Old Oak, Horsley
Red Lion, Ripley
Steam packet Inn, Swanwick
Talbot, Ripley
White Hart, Bargate