The Society for The Preservation of Beers from the Wood

For information about beers from the wood




Yes! it has now started to roll out.






WANT TO VOLUNTEER? Sign-up ONLINE some sessions will have their full quota of volunteers. In which case they will be closed on the form.

>>>> Friday afternoon: 12 till 5. Work Session Filled. <<<<

>>>> Saturday afternoon: 12 till 5. Work Session Filled. <<<<



Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at the Dispensary in Aldgate, London. Anyone wishing to attend should contact The Chairman (Details on the N.E.C. website page and within minutes of the meeting on the SPBW Forum).


Full details of discounts available for SPBW members both nationally and branch.


This year's National Weekend will be based in Llandudno over the weekend of 3 - 5 November. Llandudno, located on the North Wales coast, is a Victorian town situated between the Great and Little Orme with a hotel lined promenade. The weekend will comprise: Friday: in Llandudno which has two breweries and some pubs. Saturday: a coach trip to another of North Wales many small breweries followed by visiting a selection of pubs. Sunday: it's over to the nearby (world heritage site) town of Conwy with its Castle, town walls and quay on the estuary of the Conwy river. Most of the 9 pubs and 1 club are within the walls. For information about the weekend please contact Di on If you want to come along, we need a deposit of £25. Cheques, payable to SPBW, to be sent to Bill English (details in Pint in Hand).


Our annual inter-branch competition will take place on Thursday 21 September at the Calthorpe Arms, 252 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8JR. More details in the August Pint in Hand.


A day by the river - Saturday 24 June in Richmond (on Thames). Meet at the Old Ship, 3 KingStreet, Richmond TW9 1ND (between the rail station and the river). Contact John Rooth tel 07950 770921.
Turn left out of Richmond station past quadrant - all pubs very close together.
12.00 Old Ship, 3 King St (Youngs - food)
1.15 Princes Head, 28 the Green (Fullers - food)
2.30 Cricketers, 24 The Green (Greene King but usually 3 interesting guests - boycott if not so)
3.45 White Cross Hotel, Riverside/Water Lane (Youngs)
5.00 Watermans Arms, 12 Water Lane (Youngs)
6.30 Angel & Crown, Church Court (Fullers)
8.00 Railway Tavern, Quadrant (Nicholsons - adjacent to Richmond station)
Later suggestions for any still standing - Sun, Parkshot (Fullers), Triple Crown, KewFoot road (free), Orange Tree, 45 Kew Road (Youngs)


The annual eve-of-GBBF Beer & Buffet will be on Monday 7 August. As usual, the venue is Ye Olde Mitre, 1 Ely Court, Ely Place, Holborn, London EC1 6SJ, in the upstairs function room from 7pm (food will arrive about 8.00).

Tickets are £6, from John Rooth (20A Station Parade, Northolt Road, Harrow, MiddlesexHA2 8HB; tel 07950 770921; email Please makes cheques to SPBW and send an SAE. If you have any special dietary requirements/allergiesplease also let John know.

The Mitre is a genuine historic pub, hidden down a passageway between Hatton Garden and Ely Place. Although owned by Fullers you'll find beers from Adnams and Caledonian as well as guest beers from small breweries. It's quite possible that something from the wood will be available on the night.


Once again, we are starting the process of finding London's best pub. London-based members and branches are invited to nominate their favourite pub in the Greater London (one pub per member or branch). Please contact Bill English (details page 2 of Pint in Hand) for a nomination form (or download one from our website: FORM) - we cannot consider a pub unless a form is completed. Closing date for nominations is 11 June.

Pub judging will occur during summer and early autumn in the hope of voting on a winner by the end of October. If you fancy being part of the judging panel - an arduous task involving visiting pubs and drinking beer - please let Bill know. We could do with some new blood on the panel so please do consider taking part if you can.




Local membership discounts available.

Mini Beers From The Wood Festival (proposed)
The Wildfowler, Greyabbey.

Updates will be shown on the branch events webpage - WEBSITE

If members have ideas or requests do get in touch via EMAIL please.



Local membership discounts available.

Thursday 25th May to Monday 29th May Oddfellows beer from the wood and cider festival. Volunteers needed contact the chairman

Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th July First National Woodfest, Castleford for more details contact



Local membership discounts available.

Branch monthly meetings will now take place on the last Monday of each month.
The 'Old House' at Ightham Common is having a beers from the wood festival on Sunday 28th May. The address is Redwell Lane, Redwell, Ightham Common, TN15 9EE.



MONDAY 5th June 2017
The Grasshopper, Hillside, Southport from 7:30pm
Guest speaker Dave from RockTheBoat Brewery - All welcome.



May 2017
Friday 26th - 29th WensleyAle Ale & Music Festival. Redmire Railway Station, North Yorkshire. Around 35 beers available with food and real ciders Family friendly with music, trains, bands and food in amazing countryside see

Friday 26th - 27th Wetherby Lions Beer Festival. St James Church Rooms and field
Fri 6-10pm, Sat Noon - 10pm. 20 beers plus ciders and food. See for further info.

Sunday 28th Branch meeting at Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge. 12.00 for 12.15




This year the AGM was held on a Saturday for the first time. This proved to be a good move since almost 50 members - a significant increase on the norm - turned up, many of them from outside London. The meeting was a rather quieter affair than last year. A fine buffet and some good beers were consumed and a raffle raised £59 towards the cost of the event.

Changes to the Committee saw Rob Shacklock replace Alasdair Boyd as Vice-Chairman; Riz Hafiz fills the vacant Secretary post; and, after 23 years' service, Roger West handed over National Membership responsibilities to Mark Bonson.

After the meeting the multitude split into two parties for pub tours in the Kings Cross/Euston and Fleet Street areas, which provided further opportunities for members to socialise - and enjoy more fine beers!

Picture: THREE CHAIRS! Mark Hutchinson (SPBWNI): Mark Bonson (WOE & Membership Secretary): Rob Shacklock (SPBWNE, NEC Vice Chair & Media - Woodfest Organiser).


meal These was another good turn out for this annual Sunday in the East End. This year the pub route was completely changed and partly followed the 'Old Drovers' road through Hackney and Bethnal Green. 9 pubs in all were involved, from the Cock Tavern in Hackney to the usual finish, the Pride of Spitalfields off Brick Lane.

Picture: Courtesy of Paul Williams. br>


meal The presentation of the 2017 LPotY award was made to the Chesham Arms in Homerton on 23 January. In the absence of Patrick Deller, NEC Treasurer and pub judge Peter Chutter (L in photo) presented our award to a delighted Joe, the pub manager. Although the SPBW turn out was disappointly low, those who did brave the chilly weather were treated to some free pizza and excellent beers.

Picture: Peter Chutter (L) presented the award to pub manager, Joe.


meal SPBW Wood Liaison, Garry WIles, handing over the group photo of the SPBW Anniversary event at the Rising Sun, Epsom. They plan to hang it above the brass plaque commemorating the establishment of SPBW. For further information, it seems that Pete, the manager who organised our December 2016 event, no longer works there (not sure why) , but he will be informed about the photo as it was he who asked for a copy to hang in the pub.

Picture: (courtesy of Colin Lynn) Garry Wiles (SPBW Wood Liaison) on the left.


meal The celebration of the SPBW's founding, at its birthplace, the Rising Sun in Epsom is now a regular feature of the Society's calendar. In 2016 it was celebrated two days early, on 4 December, that being a Sunday. Once again the event was well supported and members from as far afield as Belfast, Isle of Man and Newcastle upon Tyne joined those from rather closer to Epsom. This year we were given the use of an upstairs room, so as not to frighten the regulars. A high quality buffet was washed down with a selection of Youngs beers as well as St Austell Tribute and Twickenham Naked Ladies. It's fair to say a jolly good time was had by all. The more hardy (and foolish) of us carried on the celebrations deep into the evening in a selection of pubs in Central London.

Picture: The annual get-together of SPBW for the Anniversary Gathering.


Mike The 4th pub tour to commemorate our late friend and former NEC Chairman was on the evening of 28 November. This year the event was in Southwark, starting at the Royal Oak, where the NEC held its meetings for several years. About 8 of us met here and got stuck into the usual range of Harveys beers. A few plates of free hot nibbles magically appeared and we did our best!

Then it was a stroll up Borough High Street, round into Southwark Street to the Sheaf. This large basement pub usually serves up to 10 draught ales; the range was smaller tonight but the choice was still good enough. A few more participants met us here. Next stop was the Market Porter next door to Borough Market. The MP is a renowned free house serving an ever-changing selection of ales. Last stop was round the corner in Winchester Street; the Rake is relatively new on the scene but has become revered by beer lovers. A very small, cosy bar it serves three beers on handpump as well as several on keg and loads in bottles, from all manner of small breweries.

Somewhere along the line glasses were raised in Mike's memory and quite a few were emptied as the evening wore on!

Picture: Mike Hall.


trophy It was on a cloudy Saturday afternoon in mid November that a large group of S.P.B.W. members gathered at The Junction pub, Castleford in the west of God's own county. Our purpose? Well, for the past six years Neil Midgley and his partner Maureen Shaw have been building the home of beers from the wood. We are the West Riding branch and The Junction is on our patch. Not surprisingly, our twice yearly pub of the season award should, by rights, be redundant as this pub would win every time. With this in mind we decided to present Neil and Maureen with a lifetime award in recognition of their passion for beers from the wood. Fittingly, the award is half a wooden barrel, complete with tap.

The history of The Junction began with the assistance of the late-lamented Simon Bolderson, founder of Ridgeside Brewery, who agreed to put his beers in wooden casks owned by Neil. These casks had been purchased from Alastair Simms, who has now established the White Rose Cooperage, also on our patch. Why Castleford? Well, it is renowned in brewing circles as the home of Fawcett's Maltings, so why not? For those wanting to learn more I would urge you to purchase the excellent publication by our member David Litten "From Junk to Junction" which details the first five years. This can be found online and all profits are donated to The Alzheimer's Society. Go on - treat yourself!

And what of the next five years? Well, 2017 sees the inaugural S.P.B.W. Woodfest from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th July. Neil has purchased the adjacent Horse and Jockey pub and has already held beer festivals there. It is in dire need of some TLC though. Behind this pub Neil is building the Lagentium Brewery. The two liquor tanks are installed but I'm not sure there are enough hours in the day for Neil! The strange Latin title translates as Castleford which is an ancient Roman settlement and the pub lies on the line of the long disappeared walls.

The Junction's future is definitely not at a crossroads.

John Dyson

Picture: Retiring Chair Ian Cole presenting the award to Neil Midgley and Maureen Shaw.


trophy This year's National Weekend was in Chesterfield - home of the crooked spire! - and some great pubs as we found out. On Friday we visited the White Swan (owned by Raw brewery), Tramway Tavern (owned by Brampton brewery), the Tap House (owned by Barlow brewery), Chesterfield Alehouse (an excellent micropub), the Market Pub, the Rutland Arms and Spa Lane Vaults (one of the two Wetherspoons in the town).

Saturday saw us take in Portland Hotel (the other 'Spoons where a large proportion of the members stayed), Speedwell Inn (home of the Townes brewery, and a great traditional pub), Rykneld Turnpike (a former club turned into a contemporary pub housing the Instant Karma brewery), Old Poets Corner (another excellent traditional pub housing the Ashover brewery) and the Rose and Crown (a large modern pub owned by the Brampton brewery where we were treated to some excellent steak and ale pie!).

Sunday saw us visit the Chesterfield Arms, the Neptune Inn, the excellent Beer Parlour, the Red Lion where some members had some excellent Sunday lunches and the Derby Tup.

The official brewery visits were Brampton brewery, Raw brewery and Spire brewery which had an excellent brewery tap within. Chesterfield has proven to be an excellent town for some excellent pubs and breweries and is well worth a visit!

Picture: SPBW Chairman, Patrick Deller (L), presenting certificates to Gareth Jones, Spire Brewery (L); Chris Radford, Brampton Brewery (M); Dave Hemstock, Raw Brewery (R).


trophy The latest event brought some 25 members representing 6 branches to the Calthorpe Arms. Kingston branch, led by David Laing, organised a fairly challenging quiz, mostly beer/pub related. There was also a round of 'egg bashing' (a bit like conkers using hard-boiled eggs). The winners were 'Four Just Men', the motley crew led by Steve Elliott and Bob O'Brien which won two years ago. So they have the honour of organising next year's event. An excellent buffet was consumed, washed down by Youngs beers and a guest from Butcombe. Another thoroughly enjoyable event.

Picture: David Laing (L) presenting the trophy to Bob O'Brien.

GBBF 2016

GBBF 2016 An excellent get-together at this year's GBBF 2016. Our new Treasurer, Peter Chutter, arranged the meet near the front door of the hall and it was so good to see so many faces turn up. Many had been at the Beer&Buffet event the night before.

There was a good selection of ales this year and not so crowded and hectic as some years. It was a chance to hand out SPBW membership forms and flyers for the forthcoming WOODFEST 2017 in Castleford. A couple of laminated posters were given to the CAMRA auction team for sale. Several of us had season tickets so it turned out to be a long week. Still, the seating was better so it was easy enough to get a rest while listening to some great bands while supping a selection of ales.


 Old Mitre Casks Some 25 members squeezed into the upstairs room of Ye Olde Mitre on the evening of 8 August for another successful eve-of-GBBF Beer & Buffet. North Irish Sea, West Riding, Common & Aldebrickham and most London branches were represented and it was good to see one or two new faces. The buffet was top class as ever and not even our hungry crowd could polish it off!

As for the beer, there were three guests from XT brewery of Buckinghamshire. Two of these, XT1 (blonde) and XT4 (amber) were from the wood and several of us were allowed to pop down to the cellar for a look. Previous attempts by the pub to provide us with beer from the wood resulted in either below-par or undrinkable beer so the cellarman was relieved and delighted that this year's woody offerings were in excellent condition. They certainly seemed to go down well.

Thanks to Judith and her staff at the Olde Mitre and to Bill English for organizing (he was flying back from Berlin that evening and had to miss it!)