THE FIVE BRANCHES WINTER ALE TRAIL 2020
The Five Branches Winter Ale Trail commences on Friday, January 10th, ending on Saturday February 15th, after which the winners and runners up in each Branch will be informed. As usual, there will be Trail Cards in the Derby Drinker and stickers at each participating pub which can be obtained on the purchase of a half or a pint of Real Ale. Anyone collecting 20 stickers can claim a free pint at the Derby Winter Ale Festival, and drinkers are once again invited to vote for their top 3 pubs in each Branch area, either via text to 07982 943 944 or on our Facebook page The three Branches Winter Ale Trail, @2018wintrail which, incidentally, was set up when there were only 3 Branches taking part. The Amber Valley CAMRA pubs taking part on the Trail are:
Crossroads Tavern Ale House, Miners Arms, Victoria Inn, Waggon & Horses, What’s Your Poison and the Wicked Pissah, all Alfreton, the White Hart, Bargate, Angels Micro Pub, Arkwright’s Real Ale Bar, Devonshire, George & Dragon, Nags Head, Old Kings Head and Thorn Tree Inn, all Belper. From Codnor there’s the Codnor Inn and Poet and Castle, while the Black Boy is the only Heage pub. All the Holbrook pubs, the Dead Poets Inn, Spotted Cow and Wheel Inn are taking part, while the Old Oak, Horsley Woodhouse, Hunters Arms, Kilburn, Holly Bush, Marehay and the Black Bulls Head Openwoodgate are on the Trail. From Milford we have the King William and the recently-reopened Strutt Arms Hotel. The six Ripley pubs involved are the Beehive Inn, Red Lion, Talbot, Thorn Tree, Three Horse Shoes and Tom Said, with the nearby Thorn Tree Inn at Waingroves also taking part. Two Swanwick pubs, the Gate Inn and Steampacket make a total Amber Valley entry of 35, the highest in any of the Branches taking part.
Amber Valley & Derby Mild Pub Trail 2019
During May Amber Valley, in conjunction with Derby, ran a mild trail. The winners certificate was presented to Angels, Belper on 21st June by Chris Rogers, Chairman of Amber Valley CAMRA, and on Thursday night (27th Jun 2019),Chris presented The Red Lion Ripley with the runners-up certificate. In Derby the winner was the Smithfield with the Flowerpot as runner up.
WINNERS - ANGELS MICROPUB, BELPER
RUNNERS UP - RED LION, RIPLEY
Amber Valley & Derby Mild Pub Trail 2017
On Bank Holiday Monday (28th August), Chris Rogers, Chairman of Amber Valley CAMRA, presented Cheryl, landlady of the Thorn Tree, Ripley with a certificate for being our regions, best Pub on this Year's Mild Trail. Congratulations to Shaun, Cheryl and team.
Amber Valley & Derby Winter Ale Trail 2016
On Tuesday night (28th Feb 2017),Chris Rogers, Chairman of Amber Valley CAMRA, presented Shaun, landlord of the Thorn Tree, Ripley with a certificate for being runner up in the recent Winter Ale Trail competition. Chris and other members, including Trevor Spencer who organised the competition, then visited the Talbot where they presented the winners, Steve and Angela, with their certificate. Sean has been at the Thorn Tree for just two years and Steve and Angela only took over the Talbot last October so have done extremely well to be awarded with their first CAMRA certificate so quickly. The visiting members found a great selection of well kept beers at both pubs on the night and, although the trail has finished, both pubs still offered good dark winter ales.
Cider Trail 2015
We are pleased to announce that the winner of this year's Cider Trail is the Steampacket Inn at Swanwick. They have now won back to back trails and congratulations go to Amanda and her team. The pub has been revitalised since the Pub People acquired it a few years ago and recently it's gone from strength to strength.
The runner up was the 2013 winner the Beehive/Honey Pot with the Holly Bush at Makeney in third.
Cider Trail 2014
The cider and perry trail had another successful year and we'd like to thank all the pubs and drinkers that took part. We will be contacting the pubs in question for feedback and suggestions on how we can improve it for next year.
The Steampacket at Swanwick won the trail and became our Cider Pub of The Year 2014. Please see the relevant page for more details.
Mild Month 2014
Due to no-one volunteering to run this event it will not happen this year. We hope to revive this again some time in the future.
Two Valleys Cider & Perry Trail 2013
The first Two Valleys Cider and Perry Trail took place between 1st October and 3rd November 2013. We had over 1,000 votes in and are pleased to announce the results for the Amber Valley pubs are as follows:
1st place - The Beehive, Peasehill
2nd place - Hunter Arms, Kilburn
3rd place - Holly Bush, Makeney
4th place - Black Bull's Head, Openwoodgate
Following on from the event The Beehive is now declared Amber Valley Cider Pub of the Year for 2013 and will proceed to the regional judging in the National Cider Pub of the Year Competition
We would like congratulate the above pubs on their achievements and also thank all the pubs that participated in the event and all the people who ventured out to support the trail. Needless to say it has been a resounding success and we hope to to do the same again in the future.
Mild Month 2013
Another successful trail this year with a larger number of pubs than last year.
During the event a over 50 different milds were served by 22 pubs across the Branch area from Alfreton to Makeney.
Again we would like to thank all the pubs that took part, the people that joined us on the crawls, those who sent in votes for the beer quality and everyone else who was involved. We would also like to thank Derby Branch for their involvement. Once again a huge thanks goes to our Secretary Trevor Spencer who put all of it together.
The winners of the different categories were as follows:
Best Mild Pub
1st Place - Hunter Arms, Kilburn
Joint 2nd Place - The Beehive, Peasehill, Ripley
Joint 2nd Place - Thorn Tree, Waingroves
1st Place - Welbeck Abbey Ellis Mild (Welbeck, Worksop)
2nd Place - Muirhouse Magnum Mild (Ilkeston)
Mild Month 2012
We are extremely pleased with the first ever Amber Valley Mild Trail which ran for the duration of May 2012. During the event a total of 33 different milds were served by 13 pubs across the Branch area from Alfreton to Makeney.
We would like to thank all the pubs that took part, the people that joined us on the crawls, those who sent in votes for the beer quality and everyone else who was involved. We would also like to thank Derby Branch, in particular Dean Smith for all his help and support. A huge thanks goes to our Secretary Trevor Spencer who put all of it together.
The event was a resounding success with some landlords having to order in considerably more mild than they'd anticipated. The winners of the different categories were as follows:
Best Mild Pub
1st Place - The Beehive, Peasehill, Ripley
2nd Place - Black Bulls Head, Openwoodgate
3rd Place - Hunter Arms, Kilburn
1st Place - Holden's Black Country Mild (Dudley, West Midlands)
2nd Place - Muirhouse Magnum Mild (Ilkeston)
3rd Place - Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde (Maldon, Essex)
Winter Ales Trail 2012
The first ever Winter Ales Trail ran from 15th December 2012 to 12th January 2013 with 30 pubs across our region taking part. A total of 292 scores were taken and out of the pubs that received scores only one of them received an average of less than 3.
All in all a very competitive trail with good quality beer on offer across the board.
The trail was a great success and we would like to thank all the pubs that took part, those who sent in votes for the beer quality and everyone else who was involved. A huge thanks goes to our Secretary Trevor Spencer who put all of this together.
We are pleased to announce that the top 3 pubs are as follows:
1st place Holly Bush Inn, Makeney
2nd place Black Boy, Heage
3rd place New Inn, Riddings
The awards have now taken place and we congratulate each of these establishments on their achievements.