Holbeach ppub takes delivery of celebration ale

Members of CAMRA Fenland branch celebrate their 40th anniversary with a specially brewed bitter. Photo: SG100215-148TW
Members of CAMRA Fenland branch celebrate their 40th anniversary with a specially brewed bitter. Photo: SG100215-148TW

If you like your ale with a nice standard bitter taste make sure you sample Fenland 40.

It’s the bitter that’s been produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Fenland branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale that also supports community pubs and consumer rights.

Fenland branch chairman Nigel Woodburn said: “We decided to call it Fenland 40 because the branch is 40 years old and it’s a 4.0 per cent beer.

“I think it’s fairly unusual to have your own beer brewed to celebrate, but it’s something we thought would be a nice touch.”

The Cask in Hand at Holbeach has just taken delivery of a 9-gallon cask and there is a strong chance it will go quickly once it goes on sale at the weekend.

Nigel says this is the second batch they have had from Sleaford Brewery. A cask was taken to the Prior’s Oven in Spalding at the end of last year and went on sale one Friday – and the 72 pints had all gone by Saturday.

Nigel understands why it’s so popular. He said: “It’s a traditional bitter, medium range in colour and a nice standard bitter taste.”

From the first batch brewed, 100 commemorative bottles were produced and sold to CAMRA members,

While some people drink the bottled beer, Nigel says others keep them.

He says: “People collect commemorative beers. Some people will drink one and keep one as they like to put them on shelves in their house and have a display of unusual beers. I am not allowed to, but there’s a market for this.”

Nigel and other members went to the brewery on Tuesday to collect the second batch of Fenland 40, distributing the casks to various pubs, including the Eagle at Boston and the Plough Inn at Horbling as well as the Cask in Hand.

Branch members were invited to go to the Holbeach pub to celebrate the beer’s arrival – including Heather Girdlestone, whose late husband Rodney was the instigator and founder of Fenland branch.

The Cask in Hand is a micro-pub that opened a year ago in what was formerly the String of Horses in Boston Road South.

It serves no regular beers, but specialises in guest ales.

Nigel said: “It’s been open a year this week and sold 181 different beers during that time. These micro-pubs are quite popular.

“Anyone who wants to try Fenland 40 needs to get there this weekend.

“Our members from the Holbeach area like to support that pub and give him a helping hand and it sounds like it’s taking off.”

Publican at the Cask in Hand is Sam Richardson, the third generation of his family to run pubs in Holbeach, his father and grandfather having been publicans before him.

The Fenland branch of CAMRA was formed at a meeting held in the Bull Hotel, Market Deeping, on June 21, 1974.