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Branch Pubs and Clubs of the Year 2015

It will soon be time for us to choose our Pubs and Clubs of the year for 2015 from our branch area which then go forward to regional Pub and Club of the Year competitions. We have five categories – Town Pub of the Year, Country Pub of the Year, Club of the Year, Town Cider Pub of the Year and Country Cider Pub of the Year.  In 2014 the holders are The  Victoria Inn, Durham, The Ship Inn, Middlestone Village, Durham City Rugby Club, The John Duck, Durham and The Black Lion, Wolsingham respectively.  The Victoria and The Ship went on be placed 2nd and 3rd in the regional competition.

You can find a list of recent winners at

We would like all of our branch members to have a say in who should get the awards for 2015 and we would like to hear from you now with any nominations for the best pubs, clubs and cider pubs in our branch area, so that a short list can be drawn up and a vote held. There are no rigid criteria as to which establishments can be nominated other than they must be in our branch area and must serve real ale.  For the cider pub they must have a commitment to providing real cider on a regular basis and nominated clubs need to be open to card carrying CAMRA members. You may however want to consider such thing as community involvement, atmosphere, decor, range and quality of ales, events held, facilities, value for money, customer service and so on.

So if you have a favourite pub, club, or cider pub that you think deserves to have the title of Pub/Club of the Year, then please let us know by sending your nominations to by the end of October.

Durham Beer Festival Returns in August

The 2014 Durham Beer Festival takes place on the 27th-30th of August. Featuring 120 real ales and 30 ciders/perries, including all-new Battle of the Beers entries, it is a great opportunity to try something new.

The festival will be at the Durham Students' Union building on New Elvet, Durham. Food, soft drinks, wine and spirits will also be available.

Edit: Beer and Cider lists are now available!

Opening Hours

  • 6pm-11pm Wednesday (CAMRA members from 4pm)
  • 11am-11pm Thursday,Friday,Saturday

Volunteers Needed

Would you like to try pulling a few pints? Working at the beer festival is great fun and no previous experience is needed. If you are interested, please see the Volunteer pages.


Would you like to support the festival and get your message out too? Your company logo or personal message could be on a beer or in the programme, for everyone to see. Please see the Sponsorship page for more information.

20 Years of The Durham Brewery

The CAMRA Durham Branch's oldest brewery turns 20 this year and is celebrating with a party on Saturday 2nd August. In August 1994 Christine and Steve launched a 5 barrel plant on the Bowburn North Industrial Estate. The microbrewery revolution was just getting going and the market was ready for something new; the brewery quickly grew and planted strong roots. In the first few years they supplied the cask market and had particular success with the pale and hoppy beers which were to become so popular in the country. That was not enough for Steve though, and in 2000 the brewery launched their first bottle-conditioned beer, Millennium City, now known as St Cuthbert. The bottles have gone from strength to strength and now they now boast an extensive portfolio of styles from pale bitter to Russian Stout, and hefeweizen to saison porter. In 2005 Evensong achieved Gold at the Great British Beer Festival. Durham Brewery bottled beer can now be found in many parts of the world; a recent addition being Taiwan. On 2nd August the brewery is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an open day for much tasting and a barbecue. To make the bar area into a real pub, the office has recently been moved onto a mezzanine, leaving the whole area free for drinking and hospitality. Brewery tours and tastings have become regular events and the extra room will make the experience more convivial. Drinkers are encouraged to come and sample through the week. A special 10% abv pale beer called 1994 is conditioning at this very minute. It is based on White Stout . Steve has invented a new style - Imperial Pale Stout! More information on the open day as well as information on tours and their full range of beers can be found on their website (Adapted from an email sent by the brewery to The Durham Brewery Beer Club Newsletter)  

POTY and COTY Nominations Deadline Extended

If you're a CAMRA Durham member and haven't yet nominated any pubs for Pub of the Year, Club of the Year or Cider Pub of the Year, you now have extra time to do so - the nominations deadline has been extended to January 26th.

To take part, please email your nominations to the Secretary. You can nominate up to two pubs, up to two clubs and up to two cider pubs.

Have You Voted For CBOB Yet?

It's that time of year again - CAMRA members have until the end of this year to nominate their favourite beers for next year's Champion Beer of Britain and Champion Winter Beer of Britain contests.

To cast your vote, go to and log in using your CAMRA login details. You can then select up to five beers for each category using the lists provided. There are eleven categories, and you can vote in as many or as few as you wish.

Members without internet access can still vote by passing their preferences on to a member of the branch committee - if you know a member who would like to do this, please let them know.