Branch & Local News
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Just to let all local CAMRA members know that they are now able to vote for the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Pub of the Year for 2020. This is the award first introduced in 2018 (and won last year by the Moorbrook, Preston) that is open to be voted on by local CAMRA members from a selection of pubs that have been chosen by the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch committee.
From nominations submitted by local branch members, the committee have decided that this year there are six candidates for the award as follows:-
We look forward to receive your vote, but don't worry as you still have plenty of time as votes will be accepted until February 29th 2020. For more information about the award, and how to submit your vote, go to the Pub of the Year 2020 webpage.
With as many as five new bars opening in December, you may have thought that there would be nothing more to report about new bars for quite some time. This has not been the case as already in January there have been two new openings. The first to open was the Calico Lounge, Chorley, a café bar attached to Chorley's new cinema complex. The Calico Lounge is part of the larger Lounges group which runs several similar bars across the country, and does not sell any real ale. Opening on January 24th was the Lostock Ale, Lostock Hall, a micropub on Hope Terrace in Lostock Hall. This establishment has been ready to open for a couple of months, but the final go-ahead from South Ribble has taken longer than anticipated. The Lostock Ale has six handpumps, and initially was selling beers from Lancashire breweries like Crankshaft and Moorhouses.
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The first week of December has seen the appearance of Ale Cry 125, the Winter 2019 edition of the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch quarterly magazine. Pictured on the cover are the six pubs that have been nominated for the branch's 2020 Pub of the Year award, while inside the Beer Box, Bamber Bridge is revealed as the Winter 2019 Pub of the Season winner. Regular features include Chorley Chatter, Preston Parade, South Ribble Scene, and Brewery News, while in this issue other articles included are a Riley's Rambles visit to Wigan, and a Walking With A Purpose look at Hoghton. Plus there is much more. Copies of Ale Cry 125 will be available from pubs and clubs throughout the branch area in the coming weeks. However you can also go to the Ale Cry webpage for an on-line version of the magazine.
As reported last month the back end of 2019 is seeing the opening of a number of new pubs and bars in the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area. Following on from the three new openings in November, so far December has seen the appearance of two more drinking (and dining) establishments. On December 11th the 1260 Craft & Crust, Penwortham opened, and on December 13th the WA Bar & Bistro, Bamber Bridge opened. Both will be of interest to real ale drinkers. The 1260: Craft & Crust is the first of three new bars that are to open in Penwortham, and as well as selling a selection of pizzas, it has three handpumped beers available. The WA Bar & Bistro is the long-awaited addition to the Withy Arms Group estate. It was originally to have been a micropub to be called the Weavers Arms, but planning restrictions have necessitated that it instead be a bar and bistro, with the Withy Arms house beer WA Bitter being available on handpump.
**December 2019 Update - And still they come. Since writing the above News Item another two drinking establishments have opened in the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area. Both were opened on December 19th, and both are offering a choice of real ales. The Vaults, Chorley is a bar created in former Yorkshire Bank premises, and is reported to be selling two handpumped beers. The Gin Jar Ale, Penwortham is next door to the above mentioned 1260: Craft & Crust, and is reported to be selling three handpumped beers. Hopefully all these new bars will prosper over the Christmas and New Year period, and hopefully in 2020 they will all become popular destinations for real ale drinkers in the branch area.
**December 2019 Update - We have news of yet another new drinking establishment. The Little Inn On The Park, Chorley is a bar created in the former Phoenix Chinese restaurant premises on Hallgate in Astley Village. It opened on December 13th, but unfortunately is not selling any real ale.
On December 19th CAMRA Central Lancashire Branch held its Christmas Meeting at the Black Horse in Preston. For this meeting it was a return to familiar surroundings after an enforced one year break. On the night it was pleasing that about 20 local CAMRA members were able to attend, and as is traditional the meeting was essentially a social occasion with a buffet and an entertaining quiz taking place. The most important item on the agenda was the voting for the 2019/20 George Lee Memorial Trophy winner. This is the branch's premier award which is made to the pub, organisation, or person that branch members consider to have done the most for real ale locally during the previous year. There were three nominations for the 2019/20 award, and it was host pub the Black Horse, Preston which was voted the winner by those present. Those unsuccessful were Jeremy Rowlands (the owner of the Continental, Preston, etc) who had been nominated for the second year running; while there was also a joint nomination for the two Bamber Bridge micropubs (the Brig 'n' Barrel, Bamber Bridge and the Beer Box, Bamber Bridge). This was the second time that the Black Horse had won the George Lee Memorial Trophy - however you have to go back to 1985/86 when it was previously the winner. The George Lee Memorial Trophy shield will be presented at a social to be held at the Black Horse in February 2020.
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