West Berkshire Branch of CAMRA

Mild Meander. - Saturday 26th May 2012

CAMRA have designated May as Mild month. In previous years West Berkshire CAMRA have organised mild trails in Newbury or Hungerford but decided this year to take a more scenic route around Aldermaston Wharf and Woolhampton.

Both villages are well served by busses and trains so it was no problem for a bunch of members gathered on a glorious spring day in the starting pub, The Butt Inn, Aldermaston Wharf.

The intrepid gathering of Mild Meanderers preparing in the glorious sunshine at the Butt Inn

This pub had recently been closed for refurbishments so it was great to be able to use it again. The work had been done very tastefully and more importantly the pub was serving beers from West Berkshire Brewery including Maggs' Magnificent Mild, a 3.8% dark mild with quite a hoppy taste for the style.

Dragging ourselves away before we set down roots, the majority of the group took the easy 3 miles stroll along the Kennet Canal to Woolhampton. It must be mentioned that some of the group decided to take the train, perhaps this was down to the fine food consumed at The Butt Inn!

The Butt Inn (left) and the Rowbarge (right)

Arriving at Woolhampton we stopped firstly at The Rowbarge, which stands right on the banks of the canal. There was a fine choice of 6 Real Ales, including some less well known brews.

The group of Mild Meanderers enjoying the brews at the Rowbarge.

It was then a short walk along Station Road to the The Angel on the Bath Road. There was no mild available but as CAMRA also celebrate lighter ales in May the excellent Hoppit ale (3.5% ABV) from Loddon Brewery made a great substitute.


The ale pumps at The Angel, Woolhampton

A very short walk from the Angel was the final port of call, The Falmouth Arms also on the Bath Road. This pub had featured in a recent pub profile for the May/June edition of Ullage. There were two milds on here, Banksís Original (3.5% ABV Mild) and a seasonal mild called Merrie Monk (4.5%ABV) also from the Midlands (Marton's). There were another three ales available from the Marstonís group that includes Ringwood and Jennings breweries.

The Angel (left) and The Falmouth Arms (right)

So with all four pubs completed, it just left the members to catch their various buses and trains back home, all in time for the Eurovision Song Contest!

The local press covered the story on their on-line newspaper - what a pity they used a picture of the most un-mild looking beer possible!