This weekend I will be attending the CAMRA AGM in Nottingham. Although I am now active locally in CAMRA this is a bit of a rarity for me. I was living in Norwich in 1990 when the AGM was in town there so I went along out of curiosity. Three years ago me and my mate went to Torquay for the 2012 AGM for the simple reason it was his 50th birthday and we wanted somewhere to go to celebrate the passing of that particular milestone. This time it is a chance to go back to my home town of Loughborough and enjoy some beers there as well as enjoying some of the finest pubs and beers that Nottingham has to offer. I am planning on sitting in on much of the debates this time, especially on the Saturday, but of course it also means I have the rest of the trip to plan and enjoy.
I have noticed that there is now a brewery in Loughborough (Charnwood Brewery) and looking at the map it appears to be about 100yds from where I was born and located on the site of the old factory my dad worked at for most of his life. That will be my first port of call on Friday afternoon then. I am also hoping to have time for a slight detour on the way up to call in at Cotteridge Wines on the outskirts of Birmingham to see how their tasting room is looking as that was in the planning stage when I last visited. Having no beer at all in the house is another good reason for stopping by of course.
I am spending the weekend in Loughborough with my sister (Dawn) and her partner (Scott) and on Friday evening there will be time to visit some of the finer pubs in Loughborough with them. The best of these are both owned by Nottingham brewers. The Organ Grinder is Blue Monkey owned and The Swan In The Rushes (my old local) has been a Castle Rock pub for many years. Hopefully my old geography teacher will be there to chat with. He has been propping the bar up in there since I was at school. He drove us on many
pub crawls geography field trips and turned a blind eye to us slipping into the odd pub or two.
Saturday will be spent entirely in Nottingham. I am currently compiling the list of pubs I want to visit when the AGM is not in session. Being a fan of micropubs, The Barrel Drop will be top of my list. It is a couple of years since I visited Doctors Orders, the first Nottingham micropub, and there are now four micropubs in and around Nottingham. The Barrel Drop is the only one in the centre and is very close to the AGM venue so it could well be a tad busy in there this weekend! With the help of the excellent AGM programme it has not been difficult to come up with a large number of pubs worth visiting and hopefully Dawn and Scott will join me for some of these if they last the pace following their boozy trip to Prague this week.
Hopefully I will survive the weekend to tell you all about it next week.