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CAMRA in Cheshire



Branch Diaries

Publications & Articles

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Click on the title go go straight to a review of each book

Good Beer Guide

Good Bottled Beer Guide

Appetite for Ale

Bed and Breakfast

Good Pub Food

The Beer Lover's Guide to Cricket

Stockport Viaducts & Vaults 3

Book of Beer Knowledge


Link to CAMRA Shop

Good Beer Guide

This year's 2010 Good Beer Guide, the real ale drinker's 'Beer Bible' was launched in September.

From country inns to urban style bars and backstreet boozers, all selected and reviewed by CAMRA's 100,000 members, this is your definitive guide to finding the perfect pint. The 37th edition contains 4,500 pubs serving top real ale. All entries are surveyed on a regular basis by CAMRA members, unlike some guides which may only send a questionnaire to the pubs. No pub pays to be featured in the Good Beer Guide!

The Guide contains information abut pub facilities for families and the disabled, history, architecture, food, accommodation, local places of interest...and of course, the beer: the best pubs serving the finest real ales in the country.

The best place to find good pubs and good beer, the Good Beer Guide is more than just a pub guide. Britain’s longest-running and best-selling guide contains Britain’s best pubs for real ale. But for beer lovers it also gives up-to-date information on the country’s beers and breweries. It’s compiled by 92,000 dedicated volunteers in the Campaign for Real Ale. There are no fees for listings, and every pub is checked many times a year.

Packed full of fascinating articles on such subjects as beer, pubs and brewing, plus brewers 'going green' to combat global warming, it is also an invaluable guide to the traveller. The best pubs in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are listed by county, with descriptions, address, hours of opening and details of their real ales and facilities. Clever symbols indicate whether they serve meals, admit children or have disabled facilities. Others indicate the presence of car parks, real fires and proximity to railway stations.

There is a useful Brewery section, with an extensive listing of the 2000 real ales brewed in the UK, detailing the strength and supplying tasting notes for many of them. A handy cross reference index enables you to trace the brewer from the name of that beer you had last night!

The Good Beer Guide is an independent and objective guide. It does not charge pubs for inclusion: they are all there on merit!

A Good Beer Guide is the perfect gift. Priced at only £14.99, it is available in all good book shops. If you donít see it, ask them to order it! Alternatively, it can be prdered on line at £13.99 or only £10 for CAMRa members (another reason to join us!)

CAMRA has launched two hi-tech services for beer lovers to accompany the printed Guide. Good Beer Guide Mobile and Good Beer Guide POI file offer the perfect solution to pub-finding on the move!

Good Bottled Beer Guide (Hardback)

Seventh edition of this essential guide to bottled beer. Everything you need to know about bottled beers; where to buy them, tasting notes, ingredients, brewery details, and a glossary to help the reader understand more about them. Also includes information on foreign beers and breweries.

The new edition of this pocket-sized guide is a must for all real ale fans who enjoy a fresh glass of their favourite real ales at home.

The book is a comprehensive guide to all bottle conditioned real ales brewed in the UK, and is completely revised, updated and redesigned, to include a special section highlighting the best 500 bottle conditioned beers.

The guide lists beers by style, with information about the range of styles available and recommendations for matching beers with food. The book also includes features on how real ale is brewed and bottled, how beer matures in a bottle and information on CAMRA's Real Ale in a Bottle Accreditation Scheme.

The new design means the guide is slimmer and gives the reader easier access to all the information they could need about bottled real ales – A must for any real ale fan!

Available now to order online for £10.99 (members' price) or £12.99 (non-members' price).

CAMRA welcomes the real ale in a bottle revolution

Over 75% of off-licences have reported increased sales of bottled real ales in the last twelve months. Clearly, discerning consumers are rejecting cheap canned lagers in favour of natural, local real ales.

90% of retailers intend to increase their range of bottled real ales on offer in the near future. The Good Bottled Beer Guide is a sister guide to the best-selling Good Beer Guide and is the only book which highlights all the bottled real ales that are now being produced in the UK.

Jeff Evans, author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide says, "There are clear signs that people who can't get to the pub as often as they would like are demanding quality, distinctive beers from off-licences and supermarkets.
Today's consumers want more fresh, locally-produced and natural food and drink products, and real ale in a bottle meets the needs of this consumer revolution perfectly."

The number of off-licences specialising in selling good-quality bottled beer has rocketed, according to the Good Bottled Beer Guide, which lists nearly 100 retailers across the country who 'go the extra mile' for lovers of great beer.

Jeff Evans, says that these shops are no simple off-licences. "These retailers know exactly how to draw in the discerning drinker," he says. "Sensibly, they don't just depend on piled-high, sold-cheap cans of lager: they go out of their way to offer beers of genuine interest, produced in small batches by craft brewers. People travel miles to visit such a shop, and spend a fair amount of money when they see the incredible selections some have to offer."

There are now well over 700 bottled real ales produced in the UK and these can be discovered in a wide range of outlets, from enlightened supermarkets and corner shop grocer's to farmers' markets and craft centres.

"Why more independent off-licences don't adopt the same approach beats me," says Jeff Evans. "Who's going to go out of their way to visit your shop if all you have on sale are the same multi-national lagers as the local
supermarket, which is also selling them much more cheaply? As people wake up to the wonders of beer, and the "beer and food" concept keeps developing, beer retailers who don't offer a selection of well-chosen bottled real ales are definitely missing a trick."

'Real ale in a bottle'
is a convenient term for what has traditionally been called
'bottle-conditioned beer'.
It is beer that continues to ferment and mature in the bottle,
just as real ale in a cask ('cask-conditioned beer')
matures in the pub cellar.

The Good Bottled Beer Guide is published by CAMRA Books at £8.99. It features nearly 800 bottled real ales from our UK breweries. Important information like ingredients and tasting notes are provided and there are useful features on how to buy, keep and serve real ale in a bottle. There's an extensive list of bottled real ales from overseas, a dictionary to help drinkers demystify the language of the beer label, and a
comprehensive listing of the best beer shops around the country.

To find a local real ale shop in your area please visit

Appetite For Ale

A beer and food revolution is under way in Britain and award-winning food writer Fiona Beckett and her publican son, Will, have joined forces to write the first cookbook to explore this exciting new food phenomenon that celebrates beer as a culinary tour de force. This collection of more than 100 simple and approachable recipes has been specially created to show the versatility and fantastic flavour that ale has to offer. With sections on Snacks, Spreads and Dips, Soups, Pasta and Risotto, Seafood, Chicken and other Birds, Meat Feasts, Spicy Foods, Bread and Cheese and Sweet Treats it provides countless ideas for using beer from around the world. With an open mind, a bottle opener and a well-stocked larder, this exciting book will allow you to enjoy real food, real beer and real flavour.

Beer Bed And Breakfast

Beer, Bed and Breakfast is a unique and comprehensive guide to more than 500 pubs throughout the UK that serve fine real ale and offer good quality bed and breakfast accommodation. All entries include contact details, type and extent of accommodation, list of beers served, meal types and times, and an easy-to-understand price guide to help you plan your budget. Pubs vary from tiny inns with a couple of rooms upstairs to luxury gastro-pubs with country-house style bedrooms, rural and urban, on main roads and off the beaten track. Also contains four feature articles including eco-friendly British holidays rather than using air miles, and emphasis on pubs using local ingredients for breakfast.

Good Pub Food

"After my Damascene conversion to great British beers a few weeks back, I've been engrossed in Good Pub Food by Susan Nowak and Jill Adam"
Tom Parker Bowles, Mail On Sunday

Sixth edition of this popular guide. Features over 600 pubs in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland that serve real food with real ale. Also featuring recipes for many popular dishes. Split into counties for ease of use, this is the ideal book for those who love their food almost as much as their beer!
Buy together with Beer, Bed & Breakfast for £10.99 (members' price)
or £12.99 (non-members' price)

The Beer Lover's Guide To Cricket
There are many books about cricket and many on beer, but this is the first book to bring the two subjects together. Leading beer writer and cricket enthusiast Roger Protz has visited the major grounds of all the First Class counties to prepare in-depth profiles of them - their history, museums, memorabilia and notable records.

The pleasure of each visit is rounded off with a detailed description of the best pubs in the vicinities of the grounds and the real ales they sell. The book also traces the fascinating story of the birth of the modern game at the Broadhalfpenny ground in Hampshire opposite a pub, the Bat & Ball, and shows how the tradition of good beer and cricket is kept alive at many grounds.

Stockport (Viaducts & Vaults 3)

A Celebration of Real Ale in Stockport's Pubs.
The latest version of the comprehensive guide to all the pubs in the Stockport area.
The cover of the third edition of this excellent guide features the trademark photograph of the Crown Inn on Heaton Lane, nestling under the famous railway viaduct, and the many photographs and line drawings bring the narrative to life. The maps are particularly good, although the visitor might have preferred a larger map of the town centre itself, with more of the pubs shown, and in particular extending a little more to the East to include the Railway.
The information blocks are clear, with full address, and phone number. Opening hours, beer range and method of dispense are given. The symbols for facilities are intuitively understandable, and the narrative descriptions of the pubs are of differing lengths, with flagship pubs meriting an illustration and a more extensive description. I especially like the provision of bus and train information.
Pubs with no real ale are included, although some enthusiasts feel they should be omitted altogether. I think the reasoning is that the reader is not tempted to try out a pub which remains an unknown quantity: he or she knows it is a bad 'un! They are shown in a suitably dismissive manner, although I myself would have omitted the postcodes for these.
Reading the descriptions of a few of the pubs I knew when I was a Stopfordian myself, I was struck by their
accuracy. Clearly these pubs are well-loved for their architecture, atmosphere and ales. Some of Stockport's pubs are real gems, featuring on CAMRA's National Inventory and a stranger to the town could not fail to be tempted. Interior detail shots would have been the icing on the cake: perhaps VV4 can improve yet further?
The notes on the music in pubs were interesting, and such is the richness of the town's music scene, I wonder whether a short feature would have been of even greater value to some readers.
Classy and professional, Viaducts and Vaults 3 is one of those CAMRA guides which moves up the scale, while not to the coffee table end of the market, at least to the bracket where non-afficionados will pick it up and browse. After all, these are the people the Campaign is trying to reach. This is a very well-presented, enthusiastic but impartial review of the inns of what is a rewarding part of the world in which to live and drink.
The Stockport and South Manchester branch of CAMRA are to be congratulated on creating this guide. It will be invaluable to locals and visitors alike. Makes a pretty good Xmas present, too.

You can obtain your copy post free by sending a cheque for £4.95 (payable to "CAMRA Stockport and South Manchester") to Jim Flynn at 66 Downham Road, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, SK4 5EG

Published in 2003. Cover Price: £5.95

Book of Beer Knowledge

Jeff Evans; Essential Wisdom for the Discerning Drinker.

More than 200 entries allow you to enjoy the international world of beer from your armchair.
Find out about famous watering holes in British literature, listings of the nation's award-winning pubs, who's who in the Cheers TV Bar and the essential qualities of real ale.

Facts, lists, records, anecdotes & seriously useful knowledge for beer aficionados.
Longest beer names
Which beer with which food?
Pubs & beer on TV
Celebrities' favourite tipples
Nutritional merits of beer
Traditional Games
Weights & Measures
Beer Festivals around the world
Famous advertising slogans
Beer in literature, sport & art.

Published in October 2004. Price: £10.99

These books are all available to buy from good books shops
or direct from CAMRA, or telephone 01727 867201.

All contents copyright © 2004, Macclesfield and East Cheshire CAMRA Branch.
All rights reserved. Last Revised: October 11, 2009
In case of errors or comments on these pages please contact the