Latest Pub News
On this page we will try to keep you up to date on any changes to the pubs of Somerset, i.e closures, opening,s etc. This can be quite a difficult job as the branch area is so large. If you know of any changes, threatened closures, etc. please feel free to contact the pubs officer Andy Jones or drop me an email on moc.liamg@66kwauqs.
Can you help save our pubs?
We are looking for CAMRA delegates to take part in a "Save Our Pubs" Mass Lobby Day in Westminster, London on Tuesday 30 October 2018.
This will be a big opportunity to bring pressing issues to the attention of up to 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) in one day.
We will be encouraging MPs to sign up to supporting the following asks:
Axeing plans to increase beer duty in the upcoming Autumn Budget. (UK) A permanent business rate relief for pubs in the upcoming Autumn Budget. (England) An urgent review of the Pubs Code so that the Market Rent Only option becomes a genuine choice for tenants. (England and Wales) You can now apply directly to be part of the Lobby Day on behalf of Bridgwater and West Somerset.
You will need to be able to communicate our campaigns effectively, feel confident in speaking to MPs, be presentable and a positive ambassador for CAMRA, and be able to travel to London to take part. Please note we are looking for two volunteers per constituency and this will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
To help you get to Westminster, CAMRA will provide up to £50 towards volunteer travel expenses. Advance train tickets for the date of the Mass Lobby will be released on 7 August. It will be your responsibility to arrange your travel for the day. You will be reimbursed by the campaigns team after the event.
You will also need to arrange a meeting with your MP ahead of the Lobby Day. This is essential, and if a meeting has not been pre-arranged our advice is not to travel to London as there is no guarantee a meeting can be arranged on the day. Please click here to search for your MP’s contact details.
So, if you think you could effectively represent CAMRA at our Lobby Day, please apply. If you have any questions please check our FAQ page at http://www.camra.org.uk/saveourpubs.
If your question hasn’t been answered, please e-mail the campaigns team on ku.gro.armac@sngiapmac.
Ian Garner, Chairman of Tax Campaign Committee.
Somerset Pubs newly added to the CAMRA Good Beer Guide in 2018.
* Bicknoller, Bicknoller Inn
* Blagdon Hill, Lamb & Flag
* Burrowbridge, King Alfred
* Crewkerne, King William Inn and The White Hart
* Curry Rivel, The Fire House
* Luxborough The Royal Oak
* Taunton, The Bank
Fancy buying this pub? It'll set you back a cool £1 million
THE freehouse Ralegh’s Cross Inn on Exmoor is up for sale - at £1 million. See http://www.chardandilminsternews.co.uk/news/16332532.Fancy_buying_this_pub__It_ll_set_you_back_a_cool___1_million/?ref=mrb&lp=7 for details.
Lowtrow Cross Inn available to lease. See https://property.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Property/54841/Somerset%20Taunton%20-%20Leasehold.html?utm_source=PMA-NLD-POTW&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=POTW for details.
The Crown at Rumwell has had concrete barriers erected blocking access to the car park so it appears that it won't be reopening any time soon.
Lantokay in Street has two tap takeover/meet the brewer events: It serves Abbot Ale, Doom Bar & Greene King IPA with 3-4 guest ales. It also has 2 Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewer events lined up on May 25th Glastonbury Ales and July 6th Quantock Brewery. https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/somerset/the-lantokay-street.
Blue Ball Inn, Triscombe, closes for good on Saturday 28th April 2018.
Saturday evening 28th will be live music and a bit of a party all invited. Kitchen has been closed since Easter. There is talk that hopefully the owner may carry on the Blue Ball as a pub but at this stage I really don't know. It needs a serious injection of investment that would bring it back to life.
Work is progressing but many problems found that have been their for many years and not attributed to the fire, a stream running under pub a Wattle and Dorb Wall collapsing due to dampness. However, the pub is slowly returning. The large oak roof trusses are being assembled on site this week and should be in place next. The walls and render are pretty much done and was the toughest part of the build. One cob wall on the roadside collapsed and he’d to be rebuilt. As with all listed buildings of this age, everything is a slow process involving planners, heritage, etc etc.
Tim Young says it should be ready November ‘ish.
Blue Anchor Inn in Peril
The cliff The Blue Anchor Inn sits on could crumble into the sea if nothing is done to save it.
Save the Great Western Pub in Yeovil
Somerset Live are covering the story this week (28 Nov. 2017). Can I please ask EVERYBODY to sign the petition accessed via this link:
The pub will close its doors on Saturday December 2nd. 2017. http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/great-western-pub-yeovil-set-840302.
The Ring of Bells in Taunton has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Oakademy of Excellence, Oakham Ales, which is awarded to flagship venues serving high quality beers. It was presented to them by the managing director of Oakham Ales.
The Firehouse, Curry Rivel won the National award for best newcomer and will shortly be named in the GBG. See https://www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk/results.
The SW pub of the year is the Salutation Inn, Ham. http://www.the-sally-at-ham.com.
The Perkin Warbeck in Taunton has been refurbished and is set to re-open on 3 October 2017.
The Duke of Wellington in Minehead have set up a Real Ale & Cider Facebook Page dedicated to their pub at https://www.facebook.com/dukeofwellingtonale.
The Rock Inn at Waterrow: Perhaps you haven't been in the Rock for a while but we are selling a range of ciders including the Bere Cider Company's Gold Rush (6.5%), Thatcher's Stan's Traditional (6%), Luscombe Organic (4.9%), Quantock Brewery's Copper Knob as well as Katy (7.4%). We are also selling Quantock Brewery's Craft Ale - Sunraker (4.2%) which is proving very popular, as well as regular ales - Otter & Tribute.
Top Pubs in Somerset according to Somerset Life Magazine
The August edition of Somerset Life Magazine produced in Totnes have listed what they think are the best 10 pubs in the County of Somerset.
Bell Inn, Ash
Knowle Inn, Bawdrip
Queens Arms, Corton Denham
Rose & Crown, Huish Episcopi
Halfway House, Pitney
Brewers Arms, South Petherton
Ring of Bells, Taunton
Crossways, West Huntspill
BATH & BORDERS BRANCH
Bell Inn, Bath
The George, Croscombe
Fitzhead Pub Under Threat
First off I should say that I'm not actually a resident of Fitzhead, a village in Somerset with an under-threat pub, though I am a CAMRA member. My parents live in the village; I moved away 20-odd years ago but return for visits.
I want to bring to your attention the threat to the village pub and find out if you can offer any advice.
For years the Fitzhead Inn has been under threat of property types trying to turn it into a residence, but in 2014 it became listed as an asset of community value, until 2019. Presumably in 2019 it has to reapplied for, and the owner if they want can object, saying it has no community value.
And here's the thing: on the face of it the current incumbent is doing everything he can to run the pub down. In a village where people for decades have been popping in for a late pint to chat with whoever's in - at 10pm, half ten or whatever, he's decided that if there's nobody in at half nine he's closing. Anyone who would normally go in late can't - and he can therefore claim the place had no customers that night, and therefore is not an asset of community value. Even when there are people in he's looking at the clock from half nine onwards, pressuring people to drink up and refusing to serve after 10pm because "I have to be up early" and that type of thing. He's also been known to claim the dining area is fully booked, which subsequently turns out not to be the case.
Obviously the guy should be allowed to run the pub largely how he wants, but this seems an intentional ploy. He's never run a village pub before and refuses to accept that this type of pub isn't likely to generate massive profits - it is by its nature an asset of community value, there when the community needs it, provided it can at least not make a loss. Previous owners have demonstrated this pub is quite capable of making a small profit when run properly.
It seems the pub is currently on the market, though whether that's part of the owner's plan is hard to say. I'm not suggesting he should be forced to run it at a loss but as I said previous owners have managed to run it without losing money, and it's at the centre of a village of a couple of hundred people.
So is there anything you can suggest here? The pub is presumably safe until 2019 but I'm trying to get ahead of it. My parents and the other villagers want their pub kept and will be willing to use it more often with a more welcoming atmosphere, but they're not the type to kickstart efforts to save it, which is why I'm here.
If you're the wrong man to contact, apologies for that. But anything you could point me towards, whether contacting the council at this point is worth it or whatever else, I'd be grateful to hear.
Kind regards, Chris Lockie.