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Press Release

15/01/2020

CAMRA calls for more taprooms across Northern Ireland

For more information, contact press on 01727 337 863 or email press@camra.org.uk 

The Campaign for Real Ale is encouraging beer lovers to ‘tap into’ brewery taprooms this Tryanuary with 14 recommendations from its members – including Belfast’s own Boundary Brewing.

Tryanuary is a nationwide campaign in which participants are encouraged to try new venues in order to help local businesses during what can be a challenging month for retailers. Taprooms can be a great place to sample the latest beers straight from the source.

Northern Ireland’s beer lovers are disadvantaged, however, because restrictive licensing laws mean that brewers can only run taprooms a handful of times a year. CAMRA’s Northern Ireland branch regularly posts information about these local taprooms at  https://camrani.org.uk/, on Facebook @camranorthernireland and on twitter.com/camra_ni .

CAMRA National Director Ash Corbett-Collins said: “We’d like to encourage anyone who loves beer to support the industry this month. Tryanuary was launched in order to help offset what can be a difficult time for pubs and breweries, as people try to atone for overindulgence during the festive period.

“In Northern Ireland, CAMRA members regularly support occasional taproom events that are held by local brewers. However, restrictive licensing laws mean brewers can only run taprooms a handful of times per year.

“That is why we are calling on the new Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA to commit to changing the law to allow all brewers to open full-time taprooms should they wish to do so. This would allow Northern Ireland’s beer scene to catch up with the rest of the UK and Ireland where local taprooms are going from strength to strength, helping to support the local economy and employ local people.”

Full list of pubs 

  1. Brew York Tap Room*, North Yorkshire – a cracking brewery with choice of three bar areas – the Tap Room is inside the brewery, the Beer Hall in the adjacent old maltings, and there is a beer garden by the River Foss. The Tap Room has seven cask beers on rotation as well and nine keg beers and three ciders. There are regular, seasonal plus experimental and collaboration real ales (including gluten-free) often on offer, so something for everyone’s taste.
  2. Irwell Works Brewery Tap, Lancashire – built-in 1888, the building was restored in 2010 and transformed into Irwell Works Brewery and Tap. This small local is situated on the first floor above the Brewery with a balcony for outside drinking. It serves a range of eight Irwell Works ales together with two Gwynt Y Ddraig real ciders on handpump. They pride themselves on the brewing and sale of traditional style beers with hops and barley being predominantly English. Live music events take place every Wednesday and Thursday nights. Brewery tours can be booked to find out about the history of the building and the beginnings of the Brewery and the brewing process with samples of Irwell Works Ales. You might also meet Rusty…the resident brewery cat!
  3. Thames Side Brewery and Tap Room, Surrey – founded by CAMRA member Andy Hayward in 2015 in an old boatyard on the River Thames. The Taproom boasts a full view of the brewery in operation. Three core ales and a rotating real cider are on offer, with two additional ones when trade permits. The upstairs room and balcony overlook the river and historical Staines Bridge and are ideal for socials and meetings. A great addition to the local real ale scene, it is open Wednesday to Sunday.
  4. Hanlons Beer Factory and Kitchen, Devon – Hanlons commenced brewing at Half Moon in 2014. This purpose-built building has a fully licensed bar and restaurant. The beer is, of course, never in short supply (at least six on offer from the Hanlons portfolio) but you can also enjoy locally sourced, farm to plate, rustic food in a cosy setting, overlooking the working brewery.
  5. Fat Cat Brewery Tap*, Norfolk – Home of the Fat Cat Brewery, it serves six or seven of the Fat Cat range as well as a huge selection of guests – anything up to 20 real ales, a dozen craft beers on KeyKeg, plus a range of ciders from around the country.  The brewery itself is on the roadside of the 1970s pub, which has been Norwich & Norfolk Branch Pub of the Year twice in the last few years. In addition, there are lots of events including tap takeovers, a monthly cycling club, fortnightly quiz and live music twice a week. Motherchips (loaded chips) and cheeseboards are also available!
  6. Bristol Beer Factory Tap Room*, Bristol – a comfortable brewery taproom with a pub feel, and five hand pulls rotating the latest brews, six keg lines and bottle beers. Well located close to restaurants, sports venues and other pubs, there’s always something new to try. Many brewery tours start here and there are regular beer-related events on too.
  7. The Barrel House, Cumbria – the Barrel House is an imaginative new venture for Bowness Bay Brewing. The venue works flexibly for all age-groups and includes bands in the brewery, pop-up food booths, themed dance nights, seasonal events, brewery tours with tutored beer tastings and more. There are 10 handpulls, currently 5 keg lines, shortly to become 10, and our members tell us “The beers are brilliant – the price is right – and the atmosphere is magic!”
  8. Boundary Brewing, Belfast, Northern Ireland – established in 2014, Boundary is a cooperative brewery owned by its members. Its taproom is open twice monthly with a selection of different beers available, as well as a cinema night on a Sunday. It is believed to be the first brewery in Northern Ireland that brings together modern US styles with more traditional Belgian and French-style beers.
  9. Redemption Tap Room, Greater London – opens on Saturdays when Tottenham Hotspur FC has a home game – 11th and 22nd in January 2020. It offers a good selection of keg and cask beers, including the award-winning Hopspur on cask and Solar on keg. Also, some of the best street food producers from across London are also on hand for a tasty pre-match meal!
  10. The Black Cloak Brewery Tap*, Conwy, Wales – This new brewpub was opened in December 2018 by two former employees of Heavy Industry Brewer, who are now brewing their own beer on-site using a one-barrel plant. Their beers are available on cask, keg and direct from a brite tank from three handpulls on the bar with ten keg and three brite taps on the back wall of the bar. Guest beers are offered from quality breweries throughout the UK with bottled beers also available. The taproom is a one-roomed pub with comfortable seating and a convivial atmosphere.
  11. Ferry Brewery Tap Bar and Shop*, Edinburgh & the Lothians, Scotland – the only brewery in Queensferry since 1851, it incorporates history by re-creating recipes from original brewer’s manuscripts. A changing range of Ferry Brewery ales is served on four handpumps. Seasonal beers are also brewed for festivals such as the Loony Dook, Ferry Fair and Christmas. The small Tap Bar is warm and friendly, with welcoming staff and a relaxed atmosphere. In January, it’s open Fridays and Saturdays 10am-7pm.
  12. Nomadic Beers Taproom, Leeds, West Yorkshire – Founded in 2017, the tap room is open once a month – 11th January this month. Inclusion and community are championed here and lots of activities (check out the Facebook page for details) take place as well as beer collaborations. Four recent examples include brewing with a young adult with learning difficulties, collaborating with an all-female team of bartenders for International Women’s Day, using green hops from a local ‘co-hoperative’ and a charity beer to celebrate the life of a tap room regular, following their unexpected passing. Also as part of Tryanuary, Nomadic are hosting a Vegan-friendly Beer Festival at The Wardrobe, Leeds,  on 18 and 19 January.
  13. Burton Bridge Inn, Staffordshire – a popular and lively pub on the premises of the Burton Bridge Brewery. At least six beers from the brewery are usually available, plus the occasional guest. It also has a skittle alley and hosts a team skittles league which runs from October to May; The Burton Town Brewery (01283 510839)and Tower Brewery (01283 562888) nearby, also have tap rooms that are worth a visit. but their opening hours are limited.
  14. Brewery Tap*, Cheshire – a modern venue, situated in a red-brick former post office, close to the Bridgewater canal. Four changing cask ales are either from the microbrewery under the pub or nearby Dunham Massey Brewery. A rotating real cider is also available as well as their renowned local pies. Free wi-fi and newspapers help you wile away the hours, or you can join in an open mike night twice a month too.

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Photos available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1e8a6PV5jneD-vau886LQrPK7cPV45rLi?usp=sharing

*featured in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2020, available to purchase at shop.camra.org.uk

For more information, visit www.camra.org.uk/lovepubsjoinCAMRA/ 

CAMRA membership is just £26.50* a year (£18* for Under 26s) and now includes £30 of real ale, cider and perry vouchers accepted at over 1400 participating pubs including Wetherspoons, S.A. Brains, Stonegate Ltd and Castle Rock pubs, and discounts on pints at a further 3000+ pubs nationwide via the Real Ale Discount Scheme**. Members also receive free or discounted entry to over 180 beer festivals including Great British Beer Festival events, and CAMRA’s monthly newspaper What’s Brewing and award-winning BEER magazine.

Join CAMRA today: Join.camra.org.uk

* Direct Debit rate. Full membership details at www.camra.org.uk/join

** If you run a pub and would like to join the Voucher or Real Ale Discount schemes, email: CAMRAvouchers@camra.org.uk for further information.

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