Welcome to the SOLWAY Branch of CAMRA - The Campaign for Real Ale

Drovers Rest Monkhill voted West Pennines Pub of the Year.

Friday 16 October 2015 Ale Trail by minibus. Book your place on the minibus.Bus leaves The Crescent, Carlisle at 19.30.

Our branch area extends from the Scottish border in the north, east to the Cumbria/Northumberland border near Nenthead, down to Penrith, along the A66 to Mungrisedale, before going north through the northern fells to Ireby and out to the Solway coast at Silloth.

In addition the branch supports a sub-branch covering the Dumfiriesshire and Stewarty area. Details of this sub branch can be found on their website Dumfries and Stewartry CAMRA

Solway Branch map

If you live within our area and have an appreciation for Real Ale then you will be more than welcome at any of your meetings or socials. Branch Diary

Existing CAMRA members can access Branch Meeting minutes in the Members' Area, using their CAMRA membership number and the same password that they use to log onto the National CAMRA website.The last branch AGM took place in Carlisle on- Monday 18 May 2015.The Chairman's report and other information can be found here.

Next Branch Meeting Monday 24 October 2015 8pm, Branch Meeting in Boardroom.

The Drovers Rest, Monkhill Solway CAMRA 2015 Pub of the Year, Cumbria Pub of the Year 2015 and West Pennines Pub of the Year

Congratulations to Bill and Linda Robinson, their daughter, Sarah, and her partner, Sandy Williamson, on winning CumbriaCAMRA 2015 Pub of the Year award - see our Awards page for more details.
The Drovers Rest won our Pub of the Season in Autumn 2014 and SolwayCAMRA 2015 Pub of the Year award and has now won the top award in Cumbria. On 27 June it received the certificate for Cumbria CAMRA Pub of the Year.

The pub has extended it's opening hours and is now open all day, except Monday, when it opens at 4pm. Locally sourced food is available every day except Monday.

The pub name derives from cattle drovers who travelled from Scotland over the rivers Esk and Eden on their way to cattle fairs at Penrith and beyond. The Drovers is the epitome of a community pub. As well as being the local pub, it serves as the village shop selling a range of basic groceries. It's also a collection point for the Carlisle Food Bank.
Prior to the arrival of the Robinson family, the Drovers had been in sad decline for a number of years. Together with Sandy, they have worked extremely hard to develop the business and maintain a vital community asset.
When Sandy at the 2013 Carlisle Beer Festival told us they had three or four guest beers on sale we were sceptical. Pleasingly, how wrong we were! A year after they took over the pub (26 August 2013), they've had an amazing 200+ different real ales from more than 50 breweries on sale (including 20 Cumbrian breweries)!


Pub of the Season Autumn 2015 -The Moo Bar, Carlisle

Solway CAMRA’s Pub of the Season is the Moo Bar on Devonshire Street in Carlisle. The Moo is one of a growing number of bars on this street offering real ale in what was once a real ale desert. Opened in November 2014 in what were once solicitors’ offices, the Moo offers a wide range of changing real ales through 18 handpumps! In fact, the Moo Bar in Carlisle is said to have one of the biggest selections of real ales in Britain. Some achievement for the great Border City! Not only is the Moo Bar developing a well deserved reputation for the range and quality of its real ales; it is rapidly developing as a venue for music and other events. Monday being the regular music night and, on a Thursday, music alternates with a fortnightly quiz in the Udder Room. A window in the floor, where you can watch the activity taking place in the beer cellar provides other amusement!
But why the unusual name? I asked Nigel Tarn founder and sole director of the Moo Bar chain. He told me, “Moo Bar was founded on King Street in Penrith in 2012 by converting a previous cattle house into a cask ale and world beer bar. After selling almost 1500 casks in the first year we got on with searching for the next place to house a Moo Bar. After failing to find the ideal site in both Keswick and Kendal, a site at Devonshire Street in the heart of Carlisle was secured.”
Please join us for the award presentation at 2:30pm on Saturday, 14 November.


Pub of the Season Summer 2015 -The Blacksmiths Arms, Talkin

Solway CAMRA’s Pub of the Season for summer 2015 is the Blacksmith’s Arms at Talkin.The Blacksmith’s is a friendly pub with a reputation for good beer, excellent food and fine accommodation.
The pub was once the local smithy offering refreshments whilst horses were being shod. Sadly, you’ll have to travel further afield for equine attention, since now it offers real ale from local breweries rather than strongarm pursuits. Regular real ales are from Yates in Westnewton, Jennings in Cockermouth and Black Sheep in Masham with a guest beer, usually from a Cumbrian brewery.
The pub has been with the Jackson family for nearly 20 years. It serves the local community and visitors alike as a popular meeting place. The Blacksmith’s attracts guests from far afield to enjoy the delights of the local area as well as the beer and food! When I asked Donald Jackson to what he attributed the continued success of the Blacksmith’s, his reply was, “we are a family run business with a good mixture of customers who enjoy our company, food and real ale”. The Blacksmith’s is one of only three pubs to have won our pub of the season award three times. A fine hat-trick from the Jackson Four!


Cider Pub of the Year 2015 - The Cumberland Inn, Alston


Twitter / CAMRA_Official

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  • Saturday, 12:30 : Try a Perry! W.M. Watkins: Blakeney Red Perry Lots of fruit in the aroma with a fruity flavour. Sweetish on the palate. #CiderMonth
  • Friday, 12:15 : Try a Cider! BEARDspoon: Ciderfect A variety juice with a sharp refreshing tang & unique full bodied sweet-shop Apple flavour #CiderMonth
  • Friday, 06:56 : RT @FalBeerFest: We have got THE MOST AMAZING line-up of ciders & perries at this year's fest! @CAMRA_Official #ciderandperrymonth pic.twitter.com/VwCdQqfOJj
  • Thursday, 15:02 : Try a Cider! Dove Syke Cider: Cider with Mulled Spice Cider blended after a fermentation with traditional mulling spices. #CiderMonth
  • Thursday, 13:00 : We would like to say a huge congratulations to @TRHALJ for winning the National #CiderPOTY competition