CAMRA news and events – March 2024

The spring cider festival returns for this year on Saturday 20 April with the usual fine selection of traditional ciders and perries from small producers around the country, including some from London cider makers. We have moved to a new venue, the Rocketvan Studio at 92 Brandon Street SE17 1AL, just a few minutes’ walk from Elephant & Castle. This is a café bar with a lovely courtyard and beer from a local brewery. Come down and enjoy a fine selection. The website in our advertisements is wrong. It should be
Ian White
London Regional Cider Coordinator

CAMRA’s South East London branch have a new venue for their beer festival from 23 to 25 May. This year it will be held at Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, Edgar Kail Way SE22 8BD. The festival will be open from 12pm to 10.30 each day and will be offering over 50 cask ales and 25 ciders and perries. Admission is £3 for CAMRA members and £5 for non-members. This includes a glass and a programme. Hot and cold food will be available. This year, the branch are celebrating their 50th anniversary, so it is a double celebration.
Eric Camfield

The Ealing Beer Festival 2024 has been confirmed for Wednesday 10 to Saturday 13 July. Opening times are 12pm to 10.30 Wednesday to Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday. Once again the venue will be Walpole Park in Mattock Lane W5 5EQ. Admission packages cost £8 for CAMRA Members and £10 for non-members.

This includes a souvenir glass (non-refundable) and a souvenir program. Admission for all is reduced to £5 after 8.30 when purchased on the door. Transport links: Underground – Ealing Broadway (Central, District and Elizabeth lines) and South Ealing (Piccadilly Line). Local and trunk bus routes: SL8, 207, N207, 483, N83, 65, N65, E2, E7, E8, E11, N11. For more information, go to For a map, go to
Ben Hart

In the last week of November, CAMRA’s East London & City branch touched down on the Dark Side of the Pig for the 39th Pig’s Ear Beer Festival. It was a chilly week but, with our usual fantastic group of volunteers from across London and beyond, we welcomed a total of 3,598 intrepid beer-lovers to Hackney’s Round Chapel. Some 11,500 pints were served (3.2 pints per head), although we suspect many CAMRA members were working hard to drive up that average. We raised an impressive £1,116 for the Speaker of Hackney’s charities and we were delighted to welcome Councillor Sizer to the event.

Thanks to everyone who came along and made the festival a success! The beer of the festival, as chosen by public vote, was Signature Brew’s Roadie (4.3% ABV), a rare treat to find in cask. The cider of the festival was Mill Lane Dry and the perry was Oliver’s Traditional. Congratulations to all!

The Speaker of Hackney, Anya Sizer, with the management – Jess, Esme, Steve and Steph

As ever, the comments box made for excellent reading. There was plenty of praise, such as ‘brill’, ‘cool’ and ‘great as usual, love you all’ (we feel the same!), along with some helpful feedback. Some comments were unclear as to whether they refer to beers or members of the organising committee, such as ‘really bitter’, ‘scrumptious’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘made from a classic Victorian brewery’. We look forward to welcoming everyone again in December to celebrate what will be the 40th Pig’s Ear! If you are wondering about the artwork theme for this year, we will keep you in suspense for now, but rest assured, we’ll be back. Hasta la vista, baby…
Esme Bradbury

CAMRA’s Bromley branch have reluctantly decided that there will be no Bromley Beer and Cider Festival this year. There have been a number of retirements from the organising committee and no replacements have come forward. It is hoped that the festival will return in 2025, so long as volunteers are in place in time.

CAMRA Kingston & Leatherhead branch’s Winter Pub of the Season for 2023/2024 is the Boaters Inn by the river in Kingston upon Thames. The presentation was held on 1 February.

The winner of CAMRA North London branch’s Winter Pub of the Season award, beating hundreds of other pubs in the area, is the Gipsy Queen in Kentish Town. Branch chairman Colin Coyne commented, “Members voted for the Gipsy Queen to win this accolade based on its great beer and its community focused ethos. The team have thought creatively as to what local people want. Not only does this independent pub offer a great selection of cask and keg craft beer from around the world but it’s also running a number of events from the more usual pub quizzes to Movie/TV show screenings and comedy. The pub is also planning to have workspace available every morning Monday to Friday and, being independent, the Gipsy Queen is able to work with, and support, other independent businesses. It’s a worthy winner.”

The present building dates from 1843 although there has been a pub on this site since the seventeenth century. It was originally constructed as a coach house and had the most expensive and lavish stables of its time. The ballroom and political salon attracted the ‘Holland House set’. Food is provided on a residency basis and currently the Konbini Kids are supplying a Japanese menu. The Gipsy Queen’s operators also run the Victoria Stakes in Muswell Hill.
Christine Cryne