Delphic Brewing Co

Tom Broadbank at the Wheatsheaf Inn, Thatcham

Tom Broadbank is the brewer for Delphic Brewing Co, a new brewery based in Thatcham.

A group of West Berkshire CAMRA members met Tom at the Wheatsheaf Inn, Thatcham on Saturday 16 November, 2019. Two Delphic beers were on the bar: The Wheatsheaf (Best Bitter 4.2% ABV), a permanent beer at the pub and Green on the Scene (Green Hopped Pale 4.2% ABV).

There is a Delphic Brewing Co launch event at the Wheatsheaf Inn on Saturday 14 December from 5pm. The beers that will be available for sampling are:

‘The Wheatsheaf’ – amber, malty and fruity with notes of blackcurrant and citrus from UK grown Cascade hops.

‘Ampage Up’, a 4.8% dry-hopped American Pale Ale, low bitterness, golden in colour, super juicy with a mix of US grown Centennial, Cascade and Lemondrop. Unfined, hazy and with a body that punches well above it’s weight. The name comes from a mix of the frustrations of single phase power and a fantastic song to mash-in to.

‘Green On The Scene’ is a fresh green hopped, traditional, single malt English Pale Ale. 4.2% in ABV, brewed with homegrown Cascade hops, picked by hand and thrown straight in the boil. This year’s harvest has brought spicy citrus notes and some apple flavours to this super-limited one off brew.

An additional experimental brew may also be available if it is ready in time

CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2020 launch

Warwick Heskins (Catherine Wheel), Hugh & Maryjane Macaulay (Bell, Aldworth), Ally Lucas (WBB Taproom), Andy Pinkard (CAMRA), Marie McConnon and Dave Broderick (Hungerford Club) [photo: Richard Lock]

West Berkshire Brewery Taproom and Kitchen, hosted West Berkshire CAMRA’s launch of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2020 (GBG) on 12 September, 2019.

Branch chairman Andy Pinkard presented GBG packs to representatives of featured venues including the Taproom, Hungerford Club and the Bell Inn, Aldworth.

Copies of the Good Beer Guide can be purchased from Mike Avery ( or from the CAMRA shop.

Bell Inn – Central Southern region POTY 2019

The Bell Inn, Aldworth [photo: Alan Haselden]

The Bell Inn, Aldworth, the West Berkshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2019, went on to win the Central Southern CAMRA Pub of the Year 2019 award.

In November, the pub was featured on BBC TV after progressing to the final shortlist of four pubs in the national contest, with the result due by February 2020. (The Bell Inn previously won the National CAMRA Pub of the Year award in 1990.)

Swamp Bog Brewery & Two Cocks Brewery

Taryn & Paul Medlin

Swamp Dog Brewery has moved into Two Cocks Farm following the acquisition of Two Cocks Brewery in November, 2019.
Originally from South Africa and involved in the telecoms business internationally, Taryn and Paul Medlin become the third owners of the brewery which was founded by Phil Palmer and Michael Butcher in 2009. Caroline Davenport and Les Hanwell took over in 2017 and will remain at the farm focusing on developing the 40-acre farm’s other products.

Caroline said ‘We have been privileged to be caretakers of Two Cocks Brewery and delighted to have handed over to Taryn and Paul. We’re also thrilled that MENCAP will continue to hand label with the distinctive feathers for the bottled beer range which includes 1643 Roundhead and 1643 Cavalier.’

Based near Enborne, about three miles west of Newbury, the better utilised brewery will increase fermentation capacity in January and expand further within the existing barn.
Taryn and Paul are both passionate about good beer and lagers with very different tastes. Since 2014, they have showcased quality beers from microbreweries at The Edge at Cropredy festival in mid-August. In 2019, 17 breweries including Swamp Bog, Two Cocks and Saviour were featured at the event which raises funds for Dogs for Good, a national assistance dogs charity based in Banbury.
Now, with Two Cocks and Swamp Bog both brewed at the farm but catering to slightly different markets as separate companies, they are able to reach a wider audience and promote Berkshire as a centre of brewing excellence.

The core Swamp Bog beer range steers slightly away from normal styles. It comprises:

Pixie Piss, the original and popular 5% ABV IPA brewed for The Edge at Cropredy. An alternative label / pumpclip is available for this beer with the name Pixie Pee;

Edge Hopper, a 4.2% golden ale based on a family recipe with added honey;

Bottom Biter, a 3.6% copper coloured session ale and

The Ferryman’s Brew, a 5% dark Schwarzbier.

Needing extra time to mature, the 4.8% lager – Baba Laga – will stand out with its red colour and be released in the spring.

Visit and for more information about the breweries.

Castle Inn, Cold Ash

Nathan and Kirsty Wilson-Bridges reopened the Castle Inn, Cold Ash on 9 August 2019.

Kirsty is from Thatcham and first met Nathan while studying at university in his Bristol base. Before their children were born, they ran a village pub west of Bath. They now have two school-age daughters and are keen to cater well for families and allow the pub’s car park to be used for school runs.

They have redecorated the pub and the new Venetian blinds give the pub a more contemporary look. Some original artwork by local student artists, on display, is offered for sale.

The Castle Inn, often used as a meeting place, will remain a community pub and an integral part of the village. Nathan is keen to get a darts team
back in the pub which also sponsors the Cold Ash Boys & Girls Under 9 football team.

Improvement plans include fitting a new kitchen and rebuilding the shelter on the front terrace.

The six cask ales include Good Old Boy, Butcombe Original, London Pride, Sharp’s Atlantic Pale Ale and two changing guest ales. On a recent Cask Marque accreditation visit, the pub scored 100% to gain a plaque and certificate.

Popular events are the Monday quiz, Friday meat raffle and live music.

The pub is open all day from 12 noon daily.