When local CAMRA members living in the Belper, Ripley and Alfreton areas realised they were missing out, due to difficulties attending Derby CAMRA meetings and social gatherings, the idea of an Amber Valley sub-branch started to form.
The initial meeting on 18 September 2008 saw the George on Lowes Hill, Ripley, packed with supporters of the idea, and at the following "inaugural" meeting, at the now closed Prince of Wales pub in Ripley, on 23 October, the Amber Valley CAMRA sub-branch was born.
The first committee, a relatively inexperienced group, comprised Pete Hounsell (Amber Ales) as chair, with Paul Gibson as secretary, Gus Manning as membership secretary, and Charisma (Paul Eydon) and Nathan Dilley as joint social secretaries.
The branch gradually grew in confidence and in numbers, with regular meetings and survey trips, until we were ready to hold our very first beer festival in 2010. It was a very wet affair, but rewarding and extremely popular!
In the time that has passed, there have been a number of changes and we have gone from strength to strength with seven further beer festivals, a highly successful first ever Mild Trail in the area, three Cider Tails and a very popular Winter Ales Trail which is something unique to our Branch.
The culmination of our hard work resulted in us becoming an independent branch in November 2012 and we now have around 850 members in our branch area and growing.