We are pleased to announce that The Retreat is one of the 24 pubs selected by Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA to be on the Reading Ale Trail 2022. And, we are especially excited that the Ale Trail will be launched at The Retreat on Saturday 5 March, where books will be on sale from 12.00 to 16.00.
What’s the Reading Ale Trail all about?
The Ale Trail is an annual event run by Reading & Mid Berkshire CAMRA in Spring to encourage people to find some local pubs in the Reading area and publicise the forthcoming beer festival. This year 700 booklets have been printed featuring 24 pubs. The task is simple: get yourself a booklet, then for each half pint of real ale or real cider (or a soft drink for designated drivers) you ask for a sticker. Collect all 24 stickers and submit your booklet by the deadline for a prize. This does not have to be done in one day!
Ale Trail booklets will be available to purchase from the launch day at the Retreat, and also at the Nags Head and the Alehouse in Reading.
By completing the Trail (i.e. visiting all 24 pubs and getting the appropriate stickers), you win either a T-shirt AND a half-pint beer festival voucher OR six half-pint beer festival vouchers. By completing 16 pubs you get three half-pint beer festival vouchers. The booklet costs £2.
Brian Moignard, landlord of The Retreat said, “This is great news for The Retreat. We’ve been working hard on improvements and the Reading Ale Trail will be a wonderful opportunity for cask ale lovers to see what we’ve been up to.”
Pushing Brian on what beers will be served for the Ale Trail he kept schtum and told us to, “watch this space.” Whatever his decision, they will be well kept ales fitting for the Ale Trailers.
The pubs taking part in the Reading Ale Trail 2022
The latest edition of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide is published this week and The Retreat is listed again. We were originally listed in the first ever CAMRA Good Beer Guide in 1974.
Out of more than 50,000 pubs in Britain, only 4,500 of the finest outlets for real ale are chosen for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide. The guide is compiled by members of the Campaign for Real Ale and, unlike some other beer guides, pubs cannot pay to be listed. Instead, places are awarded in the Good Beer Guide on the basis of recommendations by thousands of CAMRA volunteers across the UK. Every pub or bar listed has been carefully selected by unpaid, but knowledgeable, volunteers who have visited every one and tasted their beers. These enthusiasts understand what makes a great pint of beer and which venues serve it best.
Now in its 49th edition, the beer-lovers’ bible is fully revised and updated to feature recommended pubs across the United Kingdom that serve the best real ale. This is the complete book for beer lovers and for anyone wanting to experience the UK’s finest pubs.
Brian Moignard, landlord of The Retreat, says, “We are looking forward to customers of old visiting us again soon to enjoy the real ales, great conversation and the live music in Reading. We are also excited about the new people that are discovering us since our refurbishment. We hope the Good Beer Guide 2022 will help more people find us in our tucked away location in RG1.”
The Blunt point about British pubs
In his foreword for CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2022, World renowned singer James Blunt has thrown his support behind the Great British pub and reflected on the industry’s struggles during the coronavirus pandemic.
Following 18 months of struggles for the industry in the face of restrictions and lockdowns, Blunt, who owns the 17th-century Fox & Pheasant pub in Chelsea, remarks that as both a musician and a publican, he has “pretty much chosen the worst two jobs for a global pandemic”.
However, with plenty of optimism, he highlights the importance of pubs to communities and encourages Brits to get back to the pub to support their locals, writing: “Whilst, in recent years, there might have been a trend for people to drink cheap supermarket beer at home, those people have been locked away for the best part of a year, and now those people want out. They can taste real beer from the tap, and food cooked by a pro, and they can meet legally and joyfully.”
Bernie Whiten and Jane Marsden ran The Retreat from 2003 to 2012.
Bernie made his first visit back since the refurbishment and posted this on Facebook:
A wonderful visit back to The Retreat last week. Great to see the old place looking so good (and contemporary), but retaining it’s character. Serious good taste there. The Gents toilet is a revelation, and I hear the Ladies ain’t too shabby.
Brian Moignard, the landlord of The Retreat since 2013, proudly unlocked the doors to the refurbished pub at midday today, 17 May 2021. The latest lockdown resulted in the pub being closed for over six months. But now The Retreat is back: great beers, good wines, live music and extended opening hours.
The team at The Retreat are keen to welcome back regulars and locals. We’re pretty sure that pub will be gaining new friends over the coming weeks.