Dudley and South Staffordshire

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

News

Here is the latest news about the branch and pubs & breweries in the branch area.

  • Our annual general meeting Wednesday 19 June 2024

    This forthcoming Monday we have our Annual General Meeting at the Rose & Crown, Bank Street, Brierley Hill.

    Naturally it's an important meeting for us as it helps to give the branch its direction and leadership for the next year. Your voice is integral.

    The pub is also kindly putting on food for us. So drop us a line at ku.gro.armac.yeldud@yraterces, if you're planning to attend (to avoid any food waste).

  • Happy Beer Day Britain Saturday 15 June 2024

    Happy Beer Day Britain! It's a good day for trying out some of our fabulous pubs which you can search for here: https://whatpub.com/

    Happy Beer Day Britain! It's a good day for trying out some of our fabulous pubs which you can search for here: https://whatpub.com/
  • Branch meeting minutes Tuesday 21 May 2024

    The latest minutes from the recent meeting is now available for download.

  • Branch meeting minutes Sunday 21 April 2024

    The minutes from our most recent meeting is now available at Branch meeting minutes - April 2024.

    You can also see previous meetings' minutes on the link to the left hand side.

  • WhatPub? Monday 15 April 2024

    If you use https://whatpub.com/ but notice that the information of the pub you're visiting is out of date, there's an option on the page to advise that there's an error. Naturally we endeavour to keep it up to date, but any feedback is always warmly welcomed.

  • Happy Easter Thursday 28 March 2024

    Wishing you a Happy Easter. Don't forget that many pubs will be open over the long Bank Holiday weekend. We can all agree that drinking good beer in a nice cosy pub is much more fun than sitting in M6 traffic. .

  • Sedgley's The Beacon Hotel wins award Friday 15 March 2024

    Sedgley's The Beacon Hotel has won the Dudley and South Staffordshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale's annual pub of the year award for the tenth time. Sedgley's The Beacon Hotel has won the Dudley and South Staffordshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale's annual pub of the year award for the tenth time.

    The Beacon in Bilston Street came out on top in judging by branch members of four finalists. A presentation date for the branch award has yet to be finalised.

    The Beacon Hotel scored highly for the quality of its beer and was also given good marks for its style and cleanliness, welcome and alignment with CAMRA principles. It last won the award in 2018 and will now go through to be judged in the West Midlands county round of the CAMRA national competition.

    Runner-up in the branch competition was Black Country Ales pub, The Old Bush Revived in Powke Lane, Rowley Regis.

    Third place for 2024 went to The Jolly Crispin in Upper Gornal - a Red Pub Company pub. The Cross Inn in Kinver, which was the top scoring Staffordshire pub in the branch area and has been put forward as the branch South Staffordshire pub of the year for the Staffordshire county judging. Branch chairman John Corser said: "It was a difficult job for members in judging the four finalists, which also included The Malt Shovel in Dudley.

    "All scored well for beer quality but the Beacon came out clearly on top with the majority of judges putting it top of their list.

    "Congratulations to all the pubs on doing such a good job in offering great real ale.

    "The 2023 pub of the year The Bird in Hand in Wordsley narrowly missed out on getting on the judging shortlist."

    Sedgley's The Beacon Hotel has won the Dudley and South Staffordshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale's annual pub of the year award for the tenth time.
  • Dudley Winter Ales Fayre 2023 - thank you trip Tuesday 12 March 2024

    If you volunteered at the Dudley Winter Ales Fayre 2023, we've just emailed out details of the thank you coach trip, to Tamworth, on Saturday 13 April.

    For more information, email us at ku.gro.armac.yeldud@sreetnulovfawd.

    (This is also open to non-volunteers at a cost of £10 pp.)

  • Changes at the Fountain, Lower Gornal Thursday 29 February 2024

    There has been a change of licensee at a Lower Gornal pub.

    Michael Boulton and his wife Hannah have taken over at The Fountain Inn in Temple Street, Lower Gornal.

    Mr Boulton has succeeded Bill Redwood, who had run the pub for six years since 2017. He has been managing the pub for the last four years and has now taken on the lease, which had five years to run, and extended it to 15 years.

    Mr Redwood is continuing to run Fountain Ales on Oak Street Industrial Estate in Cradley Heath. It was set up last year to supply beers to the pub. They include Golden Gornal, GPA, Temple Cascade and a Drop of Citra.

    Mr Boulton, aged 34, has been working in the licensing trade since the age of 19. He worked for Mitchells and Butlers for nine years and then for Sadler's Ales in Lye before coming to The Fountain.

  • Black Country Boating Festival Wednesday 28 February 2024

    Organisers of the Black Country Boating Festival are once again seeking volunteers from the Dudley and South Staffordshire branch to help out manning the bar at the annual event.

    The 38th annual festival takes place at Windmill End and Bumblehole, Netherton from September 13 to 15.

    If you're interested in helping out an online application form can be found at bcbf.com or via the Facebook page Black Country Boating Festival (https://www.facebook.com/groups/380502508658355).

  • The return of The Crooked House? Tuesday 27 February 2024

    The Crooked House at Himley, which was demolished last year, may rise again.

    The owners have now been told to rebuild it with South Staffordshire Council serving an enforcement notice for the unlawful demolition of the building.

    The notice has been issued under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order 2015).

    It requires the building to be built back to what it was before the fire which initially damaged it in August.

    A statement from South Staffordshire Council says: "The council understands and empathises with the concern and interest following the demolition of the Crooked House, Himley in 2023.

    "We are continuing to work with the police and other partners, including Health and Safety Executive (HSE), building control and Historic England, and our focus is on our own investigation regarding the planning and building control breaches with the aim of reaching a positive outcome.

    "This remains our priority, and it is very important that whilst the council is still investigating the incident and considering our legal options and next steps, we do not comment on any element of the ongoing investigation, so that we do not potentially prejudice our enforcement action.

    "We continue to urge everyone to stay off the site, not to breach the fencing, nor remove any materials as it may hamper ongoing investigations being carried out by multiple agencies. "

    The owners have 30 days to appeal and the notice must be complied with within three years.

    Reacting to the news that South Staffordshire Council have issued an enforcement notice, requiring the owners of the Crooked House, Himley to rebuild the pub brick-by-brick, Gary Timmins, CAMRA’s pub and club campaigns director, said: “The destruction of the Crooked House was a national tragedy, so it’s fantastic news that the owners have been ordered to rebuild the pub brick-by-brick. This is exactly what we were hoping to hear from South Staffordshire Council, and it’s a testament to the hard work of all the dedicated campaigners who stepped up and fought for the Crooked House.

    “It has also been great to see Marco Longhi MP and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street champion this cause. It’s now vital that systematic change happens, to ensure that the Crooked House is the last time we see such a shocking loss. Unfortunately, CAMRA is still investigating eight from 2023 where pubs appear to have been demolished or converted without apparent planning permission. We’re calling for Government to bolster planning policy so that unscrupulous developers know they will face action if they breach the law.”

    One of the branch's most unique pubs could be rebuilt.
  • Branch meeting minutes Wednesday 21 February 2024

    You can download the latest copy of our meeting minutes:

    Branch meeting minutes - February 2024.

  • Sarah Hughes' Snowflake wins GBBFW award Sunday 18 February 2024

    A branch brewery has seen one of its beers crowned the Champion Winter Beer of Britain. Snowflake from the Sarah Hughes Brewery at the Beacon Hotel in Sedgley came out on top in blind judging at the Great British Beer Festival Winter festival at Burton upon Trent Town Hall.

    The eight per cent ale, which is produced ready for Christmas each year, took the title ahead of last year's winner Elland Brewry's 1872 Porter.

    The joint silver went to Magnum Mild from Muirhouse Brewery. Snowflake was also the beer of the festival at Dudley Winter Ales Fayre at Dudley Town Hall in November where it was the first beer to sell out.

    Snowflake, which was originally launched in 1999, at eight per cent is the strongest beer that Sarah Hughes produces. I Simon Massey, director of Sarah Hughes Brewery and the Beacon Hotel, who received the award from CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona, said: “This is fantastic news. Quality is what we strive for, and it is all down to the brilliant team who work in the brewery and the pub.

    This batch of Snowflake was brewed in September and sold out in two weeks over the Christmas period. We always put it out at the start of the Dudley Winter Ales Fayre, where it sold out there too. “I am very proud for my head brewer Ricky Follos. This is a massive achievement, and he should be very chuffed. The hard work really has paid off.

    “The brewery closed in the mid '50s, but my uncle, John Hughes, reinstated the brewery in 1987. He had a vision of what it could be, and I hope this award makes Sarah Hughes Brewery and the Beacons Hotel pub a must-visit destination in the Back Country.”

    In response to the struggles facing the pub and brewing trade, Simon said: “It is going to be another tough year for the industry. My overhead costs have doubled.”

    Camra’s awards director Laura Emson said: “Congratulations to Sarah Hughes Brewery on their well-deserved win, Snowflake is an incredible example of a barley wine. Each year, judging this competition gets harder and harder as the quality beer produced by UK brewers continues to astound us. “This year’s runner up and last year’s CWBOB winner, Elland Brewery’s 1872 Porter, went on to clinch the celebrated Champion Beer of Britain 2023 award as well.

    It was deeply upsetting to hear that this multi-award-winning brewery is now facing liquidation, just six months after claiming CAMRA’s top prize. The pub, brewing and cider making industries are in turmoil and unless government offers meaningful support to the sector in the upcoming Spring Budget, the UK risks losing many more of its talented brewers.

    “I want to thank the hardworking volunteers and judges who have made the festival and the Champion Winter Beer of Britain possible. Congratulations once again to Sarah Hughes brewery and all our fantastic category winners. I wish them all the best of luck in the overall Champion Beer of Britain 2024 competition.”

    This year’s gold and joint silver award winners will be available at the Great British Beer Festival Winter this week while stocks last.

    The category winners from the Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition, including Snowflake, will be entered into the overall Champion Beer of Britain competition later this year.

    An edited piece of this featured within The Express & Star.

    A branch brewery has seen one of its beers crowned the Champion Winter Beer of Britain. Snowflake from the Sarah Hughes Brewery at the Beacon Hotel in Sedgley came out on top in blind judging at The Great British Beer Festival Winter festival at Burton upon Trent Town Hall.
  • Dudley's Lamp Tavern Saturday 17 February 2024

    Some good news from Dudley's Lamp Tavern's team this week, that Bathams are no longer selling the pub.

  • Kinver social Wednesday 14 February 2024

    We've got a social in Kinver this Saturday. Meeting at The Cross from midday. Hope you can join us!

  • The first Dudley Winter Ales Fayre 2024 organisation meeting Thursday 8 February 2024

    A good, DWAF organisational meeting last night. The team have really taken thoughts and feedback from last year, on how we could make Dudley Winter Ales Fayre 2024 an even bigger success.

    The main point here, is that it looks like we're going to have another festival in November.