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Winter Newsletter 2017

The next FoHB Social will be held at the Walsall Arms, Bank St. Walsall, on the 11th December, starting at 7.30pm as usual. We shall have a Christmas tombola and skittles; and Dennis will have the 50p vouchers to give out – bring your membership card in case he wants to see it. Bob Newton will, as always, be on hand to sort out your membership renewals – so if you think of anyone who might want to join bring them along. All memberships will lapse on 31st December so renew it when you can. *Don’t  forget that we have had to put the subs up for next year to £6 single and £9 joint.*

The trip to Bristol was a great success with £93 raised on the raffle (a new record) and you will be pleased to hear that we have been invited back to Dawkins Brewery next year. I must say that we were treated royally by Glen Dawkins, and had some interesting beers. There was a beer made with locally grown hops ‘Easton Promise’, and brewed while the hops were still green. ‘Azacca’ was a 4.5% beer made with American hops and named after the Haitian god of agriculture. Glen is bottling a lot of beer, and using recyclable plastic kegs to offer ‘craft keg’ to the many new outlets in Bristol and beyond. A new one is ‘Supersonic’ a 4.5% hazy gold beer which donates 10p on every bottle to the new Filton Aviation Museum which houses our last Concord.

The ‘4 Crosses’ in Shelfield will close for 2 weeks in the New Year to enable essential installations to take place, and then will re-open with a restaurant on site. A new micro pub has opened in Brownhills, called the ‘Jiggers Whistle’; it’s on the High St. opposite the Aldi store, in the old ‘Starlight Photography’ shop. First reports seem very favourable. The Yates’s in Leicester St. has changed to ‘The Registry’, boasting cask ales on their posters – but no information as to what.

Committee news: Steve Orford is standing down as chairman next year, and Mick Young (Press & Venues) is coming off the committee too. As we have an unfilled post on the committee already, we will be 3 short next year unless members come forward to fill the gaps. Andy Wells is prepared to stand for chair but that leaves us needing a new Treasurer, a Press/Venues rep, and another bod to help out. Can you nominate anyone in time for the AGM in February?

Brewery News:

Backyard Brewery – Congrats to Backyard Brewery, who won overall Gold in the SIBA Independent Beer Awards, which are often referred to as “the Brewers Choice” awards. They won with aptly named ‘Gold’ 4.5%, and got an overall Silver with their ‘1898’ 4.9%. Needless to say both these beers won Gold in their respective categories. They also got ‘Silver’ in the Cask strong bitter & pale ales category for ‘Antipodean’. They are selling ‘Bad Santa’ and ‘Project Snowball’ (pale) over the festive season, and the brewery tap is still open Fridays.

Beowulf  - Phil is brewing ‘Chase Porter and ‘Christmas Kiss’ and it will be available in bottles over the festive period. Otherwise its business as usual.

AJ’s is brewing a Christmas beer called ‘Stuck up the Chimney’ and another called ‘Rudolph Rain Beer’ 5%, and having an Open-Day at the brewery in Long Acre St. on Saturday December 16th from 12.30pm. Bottles on sale at 8 for £14, pre-order your mini kegs as they will sell out.

Dates for your Diary: . ‘Pigs Ear Beer Festival’, Hackney 5th-9th December. Walsall CAMRA pub crawl round Walsall, 16th Dec, starting at the Black Country Arms at 12 noon. CAMRA Regional awards presentation, Bartons Arms, 30th Dec. Manchester Winter Ales Fest. 24th-27th Jan.

The committee wish all members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

And finally, “Where does Santa park his sleigh in the countryside?”     ……“In a sleighstack.”