Welcome to flaming (awful) June! A month typically populated with lots of little pub festivals, although there's not much on for the opening weekend. You'll need to head out to Kettering for the festival at Potbelly Brewery which runs from Fri 3rd to Sun 5th of June, starting at noon each day until 11pm (5pm Sun). You'll find around 30 beers (10 from Potbelly) and around 12 ciders, so it might be worth hopping on the X4 bus. Slightly closer and much odder is the biannual Castlethorpe Duck Race on Sun 5th of June (13:00 to 17:00), which we're told will have a beer tent. There's no public transport, so your best bet is getting to Wolverton and following the canal to the Navigation at Cosgrove, from where it's about 5-10 minutes up Station Road to the race site on the River Tove.
Tue 7th of June is the date of our next branch meeting. As usual, we'll be at the Barn, CMK from 20:15 sharp, with post-meeting drinks across the road at the Moon Under Water a couple of hours later. See you there?
Our first social of the month is on Sat 11th of June and will visit Lavendon and Olney in the north-east corner of the branch area. We will be using public transport and plan to visit the Green Man, the Horseshoe, the Two Brewers and the Swan Inn & Bistro as a minimum and see how it goes from there.
There's something a little unusual over in Buckingham at the Woolpack on Sat 11th and Sun 12th of June: a Cider & Pasty festival! Yep, that's pasty, not a typing error or spill chucker gem. They'll be celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday and raising funds for the Buckingham AED Project to try and buy a defibrillator to site at the pub. So get over there and get supping!
Over at Galleon Wharf, Old Wolverton, the Virtual Orchard and Wharf Distillery team will be hosting an artisan food fair on Sun 12th of June. In addition to the local produce and street food, you'll find some local real ale and traditional cider. It's FREE entry and runs from 11:00 to 16:00.
Beer Day Britain was launched last year as a national celebration of beer on June 15th. This year, the national 'Cheers to Beer' will take place at the more social hour of 19:00, so nip down your local and raise a glass! Then tweet about it on Twitter #CheersToBeer.
Wednesday is a school night for most folk, but it won't stop the Bierclub indulging in June's offering of US beers raided from the shelves of the Biergarten in Wolverton. Sampling the hop bombs and malt monsters will commence at 19:00 on Wed 15th of June, if you are lucky enough to grab a ticket.
On Sat 18th of June we'll be running a social to visit the BuzzRail Ale Trail, a one day beer festival at Leighton Buzzard Railway. There will be additional trains running on the narrow gauge line linking Page's Park engine shed and the Stonehenge works where beers will be available, plus an additional stop at the Clay Pipe pub. Expect plenty of locally brewed beers across the three venues. There are volunteering opportunities for festival staff and set-up work on the Saturday and for prep work on the Friday. If you are interested, contact
directly a.s.a.p. Further information on the event is available on Leighton Buzzard Railway's website.
Also on Sat 18th of June is MK RuggerFest, a day long Rugby 7s tournament with the added bonus of real ale from Marstons and cider from Kingstone's, Westons and our own Virtual Orchard. There's also a full programme of live music and a wide selection of world food. The event takes place at Emerson Valley Sports Pavilion off Bowland Drive, MK4 2DN. For further details, see the MK RuggerFest website, Facebook or Twitter.
Stony Stratford Conservative Club are holding a celebration of real ales from Fri 24th to Sun 26th of June. As far as we know, this is a members only event, although members can sign guests in.
It's Moulsoe Fest on Sat 25th of June at the Carrington Arms, Moulsoe. A one day festival of local beer and cider with live music and a BBQ from noon to midnight. We'll be holding a branch social at this one to help get things going early in the afternoon.
Eight Belles, Bletchley.
There's an ale and burger festival at the Eight Belles in Bletchley on Sat 25th and Sun 26th of June. They promise it'll be bigger and better than last year's event, with plenty of live music and entertainment for the whole family. You can find out more via Facebook.
Picnic in the Garten is a pop-up collaboration that will offer a seven course tasting menu of top quality food from the Bell & Bear, Emberton, paired with beers from the Biergarten. It's a ticket only event that'll set you back a wallet bothering £50 (plus booking fee) if you want to attend on the evening of Mon 27th of June at the Biergarten, Wolverton.
Our final social of the month is planned to be a minibus trip to a couple of pubs in the north east of our branch area that are a little more difficult to get to by public transport. We plan to visit the Cowper's Oak, Weston Underwood and the Lamb, Stoke Goldington, departing CMK around 19:15 are returning for the last buses of the evening. Additional pick-up and drop-offs available at Willen Local Centre and Newport Pagnell on request. The cost will be £10 for CAMRA members (£15 for non-members) and we need a minimum of 12 people to book the trip. According to beer scores submitted to the branch, these are two of the best pubs in our area for beer quality, so get your place reserved quickly by emailing
by June 16th.
What is Joppenbier? It is an almost extinct beer style that's just a little unusual. The wort was boiled for an extended period to produce an extremely sweet syrup, which was then left to fester until spontaneous fermentation kicked in and pushed the alcohol content well over 10%. The resulting beer was apparently a bit like Port and mostly shipped from Europe to England where it was taken as a medicine. Here's what Beer Advocate has to say about it. Sounds like a challenge for the Biergarten...