Brewery Tap wins Oxford CAMRA Town & Country Pub of the Year Award

As reported in the Oxford Mail today, The Brewery Tap in Ock Street has been awarded Town & Country Pub of the Year for the Oxford branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).  The award is voted on by members of the Oxford branch of CAMRA who shortlist pubs from the Good Beer Guide and then visit each pub and vote on them based on various criteria including beer quality and ambience.   The Oxford branch area includes central Oxfordshire with Kidlington in the North, Abingdon in the South and extending East and West to include Witney, Wheatley, Carterton and Bampton, The tap has been listed in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide every year, which rates pubs based on the quality of Real Cask Ale.  Previous winners of the award in recent years have included The Nags Head in Abingdon.

A separate award is given to a city pub within the Oxford ring road, which this year was the White Hart in Headington

Since being taken over by Heineken a few years ago, the beer range has improved, with the range of 5 real ales now including mainly local ales from Loose Cannon, West Berkshire Brewery, Tring, Shotover, XT, Animal and others. They also offer a good range of keg beers behind the bar, bottled Belgium beer and canned craft beer..

Live music is performed every Saturday evening from 9pm and Sunday afternoon between 5-7pm.  A range of home cooked food is available every day from noon-3pm and 6pm-9pm (Sunday noon-3pm). There is a real log fire, it is dog friendly and children friendly with a selection of games and toys in the upper room.


Kings Head & Bell Spring Beer Festival

Kings Head and Bell Beer Festival

The Kings Head & Bell on East Saint Helens Street is now being managed by Noreen and Aidan who took over the pub in December.  The pub usually has a changing selection of 3 real ales, but this weekend (Thursday 16th until Sunday 19th) is the spring beer festival featuring a range of Oxfordshire ales. For every pint that is sold, they will be donating 10p to the Air Ambulance charity.

There is a range of activities taking place during the festival:

  • Thursday there will be a quiz
  • Friday is St. Patricks day and has live music from Louise Green
  • Saturday they will be showing 6 Nations Rugby including the England versus Ireland match
  • Sunday afternoon there will be live folk music with Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers from 2pm

Next month we can also look forward to beer festivals from the Black Horse at Gozzard’s Ford (14th-17th April), Brewery Tap (21st-23rd April) and the Nags Head (28th-30th April).

Old Anchor Reopens again

The Old Anchor opened its doors again on 31st January 2017 with new management.  It promises to be run more like a local’s pub again with quiz nights, live music, board games, etc.  It is open every day from noon and will be serving Tapas style food next from next week. Pop along on Saturday (4th February) from 8pm for the grand opening including live music and a free glass of fizz.

It has 5 hand pumps of real ale, which include the usual Morland Original, Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen as well as 2 changing guests and a hand pump serving Old Rosie.

Also, the Punch Bowl has new management this week.  Hopefully nothing much will change.

Also if you have missed recent events, the Broad Face reopened several months ago with a large range of beers including local breweries.  The Kings Head and Bell has also had a recent change of management and they made the local Abingdon Morris men musicians very welcome last Sunday after they had to cancel their existing appointment at the Old Anchor.

On top of our already good pubs that serve good real ale including the Brewery Tap, Nags Head, White Horse, Narrows and Spread Eagle, things are looking good for Abingdon for beer drinkers.


Nags Head Spring Beer Festival

This weekend (April 22nd-24th) is the Nags Head Spring Beer Festival featuring a selection of London Brews with support from some local Breweries. This is always a good festival with a good selection of beers and live music.

Live music during the weekend features:

  • Friday evening, 10pm: Blue Stormers
  • Saturday Afternoon, 3pm: Thick Cut
  • Saturday Evening, 10pm: Big Boys Blues Band
  • Sunday afternoon, 5pm: Jazz with Claire Jones Ensemble

The Abingdon Traditional Morris Men may show up early Saturday afternoon as part of their Saint George’s Day pub tour.

Farewell to Adrian and Sonia at The Old Anchor

Three years ago Adrian and Sonia Green took over The Old Anchor.  In that time they have built it up into a good friendly local’s pub with good beer, regular live music, quiz night, meat draw and more.  However they are leaving at the end of this week.  This weekend is going to be one big party to say farewell to them with live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Continue reading