Branch News

Beer Festival Mini Website is now live

For all the details of this Septembers Beer Festival, head over to to be suitably informed.

Due to the success of the last couple of festivals, you can now order advance tickets for this event, to guarantee your entry and save on queuing.

Brewery Day - Lincoln Green brewing 'Owd Tom'

Not only were Lincoln Green Brewery kind enough to sponsor our glasses this year, they also offered to brew a festival “special” and invited some of our branch members to get involved in a brew day at their brewery in Hucknall.  Brewery owner, Anthony Hughes, discovered a recipe for a brown stout dating from 1820, in keeping with our festival theme of the bicentenary of the Pentrich Revolution.  Not only did he find this unique recipe for a heritage brew, he also managed to borrow a number of oak casks from one of the country’s four remaining coopers to brew it in.

Under the watchful and expert eye of head brewer Martin, four Amber Valley CAMRA members helped to carefully measure out the ingredients used and to add them at the appropriate points in the process.  The traditional English brew consists of three malts, including a dark malt specially obtained for this brew, Fuggles hops, a traditional English variety, and a strain of Nottingham Ale Yeast. Cleanliness being a vital part of brewing, we also helped with the cleaning up.  Shovelling the spent grain out of the mash tun was a little messy, particularly for “volunteer” Sean who had to climb inside to wash out the remains with a hosepipe!

We left our brew to ferment in its casks and advised by Anthony a week later that it had resulted in a very assertively flavoured brown stout with highly intense malt flavours of treacle, molasses and chicory likely to be around 6.2% ABV.  Whilst this Revolutionist’s Brown Stout (by now named “Owd Tom”) would be a very tasty ale in its original format, and certainly interesting as a one-off festival special, Lincoln Green decided to experiment further by blending it with two of their existing beers, Tuck and Hood.  This has produced two more unique Revolutionist’s Brown Stouts of lower strength (5.3%-5.5%) and limited amounts of these will also be available at the Festival.  They have been named “Brandreth, Ludlam and Turner” (Tuck Blend) and “Hangman’s Noose” (Hood Blend).

Lincoln Green Brewing Day

Cider Pub of the Year 2018

The voting and judging is now complete and we our Winners.
Click the link below to find out who this years winners were.

Pub of the Year 2018 - Nominations are now open

If you are an Amber Valley CAMRA member you should have received an email from us this week asking for your nominations for the 2018 Pub of the Year competition.  If not, it means we don't have your email address and you are missing out on all notifications from the Branch.  Should you wish to be included, please send your name, membership number and email address to  We will send you details of the Pub of the Year competition and then forward your email address on to our Membership Secretary to update your records.

Cider Pub of the Year 2018 - Shortlist

The nomination phase of our Cider Pub of the Year Competition 2018 is now complete and the shortlist of 6 pubs (in alphabetical order) to be judged is :-

Angels Bar, Belper
Handlebar, Alfreton
Honeypot, Peashill
Poet and Castle, Codnor
Steampacket, Swanwick
Talbot, Ripley

We now enter the judging phase which will last from Wednesday 1st November through to Thursday 30th November. Should you wish to judge these pubs it is not too late. Judges need to be CAMRA members but not necessarily members of Amber Valley Branch. Judges need to visit each of the above pubs at least once during the judging period. If you are interested please email me at

A form detailing the various categories to be judged, together with explanatory notes from CAMRA, will be sent to any member who volunteers to take part in the judging.

We thank you in anticipation for your input towards helping us to choose a worthy winner and runner up for this prestigious Branch award. The winner and runner up will be announced in December and the winner will go forward to the East Midlands Regional Competition in March 2018.

Spotted Cow - Update

The Spotted Cow in Holbrook now has 225 new owners after a community group collected the keys for its local village pub.

Campaigners of the Holbrook Community Society had been fighting to buy their beloved village pub since it closed its doors in 2014. But last year, its owner applied for planning permission to build houses on the site. In November 2016, Amber Valley Borough Council surprised many observers by turning down developer Ian McNair's plans to demolish part of the pub and build eight houses on the land. Mr McNair was not planning to retain the remaining part of the pub as licensed premises.  The pub was declared an Asset of Community Value - giving villagers time to put in a bid to buy the premises themselves.

Since then the campaign to save the Spotted Cow has gained serious momentum - with a final tally of 225 investors - joining forces to buy pub itself and the lower car park for £275,000

Read the full story here


Change of Day For Monthly Socials

As explained in recent monthly Social Survey reports, we have had difficulty booking transport for the beer survey trips on Saturday nights so have changed the nights to Friday for 2017.  The provisional dates for the year are being finalised but the first one will be on Friday 3rd February 2017.  Look out for the full schedule on the Socials & Survey Trips page at the beginning of January.


Pub and Club of The Year

We are pleased to announce that our Pub of the Year for 2017 is the White Hart, Bargate

Runner Up is  the Holly Bush at Makeney.

Click here for more details