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

Brewery Tap Spring Beer Festival

Now that spring is here, it is time for some good beer festivals. The King’s Head and Bell had a beer festival a few weeks and the Nags Head will be holding their Spring beer festival in a few week’s time (April 22nd-24th). This weekend is the turn of the Brewery Tap for its now traditional Spring Beer Festival.

Download the beer list.

The Brewery Tap Spring Festival includes 18 beers and 6 ciders in the marquee as well as 8 beers in the bar, including some new beers from Loose Cannon and the Animal Brewery, and possibly XT-0 exclusively available today only.

There will also be homemade pies and treats from the BBQ smoker available to eat.

Live music during the event features the TC (Tim Cairnes) Band on Saturday night, and Adam Matthews on Sunday at 5pm.


Tapfest at the Brewery Tap – October 2nd – 4th

BreweryTapFestOct2016The Brewery Tap will be having a beer festival starting Friday 2nd October and running through the weekend.

If it is anything like previous tap festivals, the beer range will feature a wide range of styles, possibly a new beer or two and some of the CAMRA champion beers of the year.

More details of the beers, ciders and live music will be added soon…

Other News

Sorry, not much has been posted here recently… this summer we have enjoyed the Nags Head summer beer festival which had a huge selection of beers and ciders, and the Kings Head & Bell summer bank holiday beer festival which suffered from poor weather.

Closures and Changes

The Cross Keys is completely closed with planning permission for housing.

The Saxton Arms has also closed and looks like it is being turned into a shop.

The Plough / Harp on Stert street closed and was put up for sale and looks like it will become a dentist with flats above.

The Broad Face changed hands this spring after the previous landlord was forced to close at the end of the year due to noise complaints from neighbours.  The new tenants look like they are aiming at a younger crowd, but also offer traditional food.

The Upper Reaches closed suddenly during the summer, with unsightly boards put up over the windows on the day after it closed.

Cross Keys at risk

A planning application to partly demolish and convert The Cross Keys on Ock Street into housing has been submitted. You can see the details on the Vale of White Horse District Council Web Site, Reference: P14/V1476/FUL

New pub company Hawthorn Leisure, purchased the pub from Greene King in May, as part of a deal involving 275 Greene King Pubs, also including the Saxton Arms in Abingdon.

At the time of the acquisition, Gerry Carroll, Chief Executive of Hawthorn Leisure, commented:

“There is a fantastic opportunity to work hand in hand with tenants, who we see as our genuine partners, backing them with management support, advice and investment. With strong financial backing, an efficient business model and a high calibre team dedicated to helping our partners to maximise the success of their pubs, Hawthorn Leisure is in a unique position to support and invest in these pubs and to help them fulfill their potential.“

Greene King had previously submitted a similar planning application before the sale to Hawthorn Leisure, which was withdrawn, and it was hoped that the positive comments from Hawthorn Leisure and freedom from the Greene King tie had saved the Cross Keys from closure at least for a few more years.

Abingdon has already lost too many pubs in recent years, including the Harp/Plough on Stert Street which has been closed since the start of this year. The Ox on Oxford Road and Fitzharris Arms off Wootton Road became Tesco Express stores a couple of years ago. There is some concern that the same fate may now be in store for the Saxton Arms.

If this planning application is approved, Ock Street which once had dozens of pubs will only have two… The Brewery Tap and White Horse. Other pubs that were on Ock Street not so long ago were… The Air Balloon, Happy Dick, Crown, Warwick Arms, Ock Street Horns.