Hello! We have
arranged a most interesting visit to the (mainly) flatlands of Essex for
you. The group will be meeting at Shoeburyness
station at 10:33 and if you need them we can provide GroupSave3 train
tickets from West Ham (with its excellent connections from the Jubilee,
Hammersmith & City, District and DLR lines as well as the main line
from Fenchurch Street) – but note that for most of you it will be cheaper
to buy a ticket from your home station. The detailed timings are provided
on the booking form.
The day proper
starts with a visit to the village of Great Wakering
– but are we visiting one or two breweries there? George's Brewery and the Hop Monster Brewing Co are
the same brewery – George's beers
are traditional English real ale but the Hop
Monster brews are somewhat more whacky with full-on use of hops
(these are available in cask and bottle condition formats). The logos used
are entirely different and you would not know that they had anything to do
with each other if you just looked at them. This brewery with two faces
perhaps show the two sides of the current brewing world in a single
enterprise and it will be interesting to see how the market is reacting to
these different visions of modern beer. An interesting visit is guaranteed!
We all enjoy
meeting a tipsy crow, don’t we? Well, it’s a good thing that our next visit
will be to the home of one! Keppels Brewery (‘the home of the Tipsy Crow’)
started its life in 2016 when Dan Keppel produced collaboration beers with
the nearby Billericay Brewery which were very well received locally. This
success allowed Dan to make the leap to set up his own brewery in Rochford at the start of 2018 .and we are sure of a
warm welcome during our visit.
Luncheon Time!! Our
coach will take us to the Shepherd and Dog
(GBG), a fine country pub in Ballards Gore where
we’ll enjoy 1½ rounds of sandwiches as well as an
included pint. The pub is a many-times-winner of local CAMRA awards and
normally has six real ales on tap – if the weather is good, they have a
pleasant garden to sit in. We have a leisurely hour-and-a-half sojourn at
this fine traditional pub.
Our coach will
next whisk us off to the seaside town of Leigh on Sea and its eponymous
brewery. The idea of opening a brewery was hatched by Ian Rydings and Mark Springham in
late 2016 during what they called ‘A modest tour of local hostelries’. They
noted the absence of a brewery in Leigh on Sea, or indeed in Southend and decided that they could rectify this
dismal situation. Many of us have had this notion but Ian and Mark managed
to turn the idea into reality and in 2017 the Leigh
on Sea Brewery came on stream. They have a number of cask beers
in their range – we’ll be trying some of them (including their Stout and Gold)
in their tap room.
Our final visit
is to the CAMRA East Anglia Regional club 2018 and local CAMRA branch club
of the year for six successive years, the excellent South Benfleet Social Club (GBG, CIU
affiliated) with at least five draught beers, including sometimes a couple on gravity. This
very popular social club is a huge asset to the community and we’re hoping
that they will be providing some nibbles to go with our included pint.
Our coach will
finally drop us off at Benfleet Station around 18:30 for our return journey
to West Ham and onwards. Gerald and I hope you can join us – please see the
booking form (linked below) for further details.