News Archive Page
2017
Giant Dongle Issue 29! Featuring CAMRA's upcoming AGM in Bournemouth in April, this issue has many other intriguing articles: Pub of the Year 2017; Can I rekindle my passion for the pub in 2017?; Pub Walks among them.  Dated 20/02/17.
Saxon Arms is West Dorset Pub of the Year. This award was presented at Dorchesters Beerex festival on Saturday to 4th February. Rich Gabe made the presentation to landlord Rod Lamont and pub manager Richard Hadley during the lunchtime session. Click on the pic for details from the Dorset Echo.  Dated 9/2/17.
Members invitation to 2017 AGM in Bournemouth Colin Valentine, CAMRAs National Chairman invites Members to this year's AGM in Bournemouth on 7th to 9th April. Read the full article by clicking here or on the picture.  Dated 24/1/17.
Beerex tickets go on sale! Over 250 tickets were bought during the first three hours when our on-line sales opened this morning. Click the link to go to the ticket sales page.  Other outlets which are selling tickets this year are: Goldies in Dorchester, The Brace of Butchers in Poundbury and The Boot in Weymouth. [Dorchester TIC is NOT selling them this year]  Dated 01/01/17.
Beerex tickets still selling well! The upstairs room at The Corn Exchange is being used for all sessions, so more tickets are available this year. Friday Evening and Saturday Lunchtime sessions are still available on our ticket sales page . Other outlets which are selling tickets this year are: Goldies in Dorchester, The Brace of Butchers in Poundbury and The Boot in Weymouth. [Dorchester TIC is NOT selling them this year]  Dated 21/01/17.
2016
Kings Arms in national press! The renovation of one of Dorchesters landmarks grabs the attention of the Daily Mail The restoration of this iconic Dorchester hotel which featured in Thomas Hardy's life and novels has caught the interest of a national newspaper.  Dated 30/12/16.
Dorchesters first Micropub opens! Tucked away down an alley opposite the Trinity Club nestles a cosy new micropub serving six real ales. Temporarily named the "Pop-Up" this new entry to Dorchester's thriving pub scene boasts beers from a wide selection of breweries which will change regularly. Opened by Nicky and Nigel Baker who recently moved to the town the trading hours will initially be from noon to 10pm on Wednesday to Saturday. Certainly worth popping in to try one or two...  Dated 13/12/16.
New bar "The Pursuit of Hoppiness" opens in Bridport.  Situated on the corner of North Street by The Market House Pub, it is small (maximum customers 28). Six ales are on hand-pumps with bottled beers, ciders and wine available. CAMRA members get 10p off the price of a pint. Visit their web site here  Dated 10/12/16.
Giant Dongle Issue 28 - 32 great pages! Articles by 12 different contributors in this issue. Contents include "Buses, Trains, & the IOW"'; "Table Skittles" and a London pub crawl.  Dated 1/12/16.
Beerex 2017 info released! First details available about next years Beerex. With Christmas getting near, Beerex seems a long way in the future, but it is jut 10 weeks to opening day! Click the logo for more info.  Dated 28/11/16.
Local Pub scene ever changing The following changes were reported at our meeting in November: Drift micro-bar in Weymouth has now closed - some level of trading will continue through next-door Il Porto restaurant; The Waterloo in Weymouth has been refurbished and now has a rotating selection of three real ales; Duchess of Cornwall (Poundbury) is now open. We wish it every success.   Dated 10/11/16.
Bakers Arms wins Marstons Regional award. Dorchester local gains awards for "Excellence in Standards" in regional competition. The landlord has been there now for 10 years and it is great to see continued efforts resulting in recognition from the pub group.  Dated 10/11/16.
Building work spotted at formal local. Eagle-eyed members have seen work going on this week at the closed Duke of Cornwall premises in Weymouth. Rumour has it that there are plans to reopen the premises as a pub "specialising in gins". It would be great to see this ancient building reopen as a pub.  Dated 3/11/16.
Meet the Brewer on 25th at the Royal Oak from 2pm-5pm! You are invited to "Come down to sample the beers and chat to the brewers themselves! Get answers to any questions you may have!" This harbourside pub always serves a wide range of DBC beers and also has many ciders, so an event where you can chat to the brewer is not to be missed!  Dated 20/10/16.
Cellar 59 in Lyme Regis to hold Dorset Beers Festival! During 21st-23rd October around 18 beers from Dorset will be offered as well as some local ciders. Please make sure you can find time to visit this excellent new addition to the Dorset beer festival scene!!  Dated 13/10/16.
Bottle Inn wins Wessex and Channel Islands Region Pub of The Year! Only three points separated the top three pubs in the is regional competition. We're delighted that a pub in our area won it. The Bottle is now in a select group of 16 pubs nationally which go forward to the next stage of the competition. Very well done to Nigel and Chrissy!  Dated 17/9/16.
Giant Dongle Issue 27 - A great 28 page read! Thanks to our advertisers and contributors which make it possible. Inside includes "Welcome to the Park", Roundhouse and Rams, notes on a Mystery Tour and more Beer and Skittles.  Dated 10/9/16.
Local Pub scene ever changing The following changes were reported at our meeting in August: Nothe Tavern has now re-opened; Georgie Porgie's Pie & Ale house has opened in Dorchester (formerly Duke of Cornwall);Quarterdeck Tavern (West Bay) reported to be for sale and "Under Offer";   Dated 3/9/16.
ACV Listing for Old Ship at Upwey! This submission was made by us as a local CAMRA Branch and has been accepted by the local council. Now that the pub is listed, any change of use application will have to be considered by the council. There will also be an opportunity to influence the course of any proposed sale of the premises during he next five years.  Dated 26/7/16.
Giant Dongle Issue 26 - Our first 32 page issue! Support from our advertisers and contributors continue to be strong so we look forward to another bumper issue. Lots to read inside including more on Dorchester's Lost Pubs, Desert Island Beers, The Brewers Apprentice.  Dated 11/6/16.
Clock House re-opens mid July! The Clock House at Chideock will re-open on 15th July. After almost 18 months of negotiation, clearing down and rebuilding work, this lovely thatched pub is about to re-open.You can see some photos of the restoration work on their facebook page.  Dated 9/6/16.
Corbel wins Gold at Maltings! Eight Arch Brewery gained the Gold award in the Strong Bitter and Pale Ales category. Just a few weeks after their beer appeared in the House of Commons bar, a new Dorset brewer scooped a Gold award at SIBA South West's showcase festival. This is an outstanding achievement for a new small brewery that recently celebrated its 50th brew.  Dated 5/5/16.
Bulls Head in Fordington Re-opens! After a period of closure we heard this week. Early info is: "The new landlord comes from the Ring O Bells in Somerset. Currently has four real ales on the bar."  Dated 28/4/16.
The "Nautico" bar in Weymouth [Old Post Office] has opened. We hear there is no real ale on offer. Lets hope that this doesn't have an adverse effect on those nearby businesses who do!  Dated 26/4/16.
The Snug bar in Weymouth is closed We only reported last July that this bar had opened. Obviously the town wasn't ready for the selection of things on offer.  Dated 26/4/16.
Giant Dongle Issue 25 - Now in COLOUR! As giant Dongle Issue 25 hits the streets we are proud to be able to publish our first full colour version. Lots to read inside including historic pubs of Dorchester, a Mystery Tour report, recent trip to Bristol and tons more packing 28 pages.  Dated 4/3/16.
Tally Ho! scoops national award! Palmers Brewery's widely renowned dark ale Tally Ho! takes Silver award. Results were announced on Friday from the CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival in Derby giving this fine local beer it's well deserved place among the Old Ale Strong Milds group.  Dated 20/2/16.
Bottle Inn is West Dorset Pub of the Year again! The Bottle Inn at Marshwood has won our award for a second time being a clear winner in this years competition. More detail can be read here in the Dorset Echos report of our award giving at this years Beerex.   Dated 17/2/16.
28th Beerex judged a success Dorchester Beerex - another fantastic festival. Early indications are that Dorchester Beerex 2016 has raised over £10,500 for local good causes (including the £1534 from the raffle). Thanks to all our volunteers, barrel sponsors, and main sponsor - Palmers Brewery.  Dated 9/2/16.
Eight Arch Beers in House of Commons soon! Eight Arch Brewing Co in Wimborne is named by reference to nearby Julian's Bridge and started brewing early in 2015. They are the first new brewery in a town which once had as many as five. Their open their brewery tap room of Fridays 4-8pm. Twelve months after starting brewing Eight Arch beer is about to be available in the House of Commons.   Dated 1/2/16.
Clock House rebuild well under way! Some very good news on the rebuilding front from The Clock House Chideock. Rebuilding is well under way and there has been a decision from the Insurance Ombudsman. The net result is that there will be an insurance shortfall, but this will be much less than initially feared. There is more detail in this article from "The View from Bridport and West Bay" on-line newspaper.If you want to see some photos of whats going on under the scaffold cladding have a look at their facebook page.  Dated 12/1/16.
Pub changes hands and another closed! Weymouth's Old Castle Inn changed hands just before Xmas and the Duke of Cornwall was reported to have closed. Both of theses changes are reported at some length in today's Dorset Echo. It is good to know that the Thai Restaurant team will be reopening at The Rock soon and that the Castle Inn will continue to be run as a locals pub! We wish both of these teams well for the future!  Dated 12/1/16.
Beerex Tickets selling fast! Tickets went on sale on 1st January from most outlets and on-line stocks for some sessions are almost sold out. Dorchester TIC starts to sell theirs when they open tomorrow after the holiday and there is expected to be a rush - just like last year. Make sure you get yours soon!   Dated 5/5/16.
2015
Firkin Shed plans anniversary event!   Dorset's first "micropub" will be celebrating its first "birthday" on 20th of February. Address and contact details. The Firkin Shed in Bournemouth opened its doors in February 2015 in what used to be a Blockbuster store. There are usually 6 beers all served on gravity along with 10 ciders and 3 wines. It is only a 10 minute walk from Bournemouth Station - so is easy to visit by train.   Dated 23/12/15.
Gyle 59 opens Brewery Shop!   The Sadborow Estate Yard in Thorncombe is home to Gyle 59 brewery. It's location at the extreme west of Dorset makes getting there an interesting challenge. It has a TA postcode (Taunton).   However it is only a couple of miles from that well known landmark the Bottle Inn in Marshwood. The shop is open Monday - Friday 9-5 for sales of Bottled beers and on Saturdays as a Bar from 11am to 4pm. They are holding an Xmas Party on Saturday 12th - so do visit if you can. We now have at least nine breweries in Dorset with their own shop - plenty of choice for getting Xmas gifts??.   Dated 6/12/15.
Wyke Smugglers listed as Asset of Community Value!   As two pubs in Wyke had closed in the last two years we decided that it was important to get the last pub recognised as an important part of the community.  We had some concerns as our last attempt along this route a few years ago was turned down, leaving the Albert Inn in the hands of redevelopers. We're pleased to see that our Council have accepted that the last pub can be listed and thus receive some level of protection.  Dated 20/11/15.
New owners for Dorchester's iconic Kings Arms!   Today's Dorset Echo reports that the Draco Pub Company has bought the building and will refurbish it before it re-opens.  The company own three other pubs: Timbrell's Yard, The White Hart and The Swan. All are in Somerset and have been refurbished to a high standard. Their respective web sites describe them as "pubs first". Beer is then the first thing mentioned in their descriptions. It will be great to see a return to an "ale led" resurrection of this famous landmark.  Dated 17/11/15.
Giant Dongle Winter Edition 2015 is here! Plenty more for you to read: More from our PubLinkers; Rich's Desert Island Beers; Beerex is on the horizon; Greetings from the West...   Dated 17/11/15.
Sly Fox in Osmington opens today!   A new name as what was the Sunray reopens under new owners.  Announced by an advert in todays Dorset Echo this re-opening promises the locals that they will get their "Village Pub" back. Lets hope they follow the trend set by other recently resurrected West Dorset village pubs (Fox at Corscombe, Black Dog at Broadmayne, Chetnole Inn at Chetnole) in selling a good choice of Real Ales. Time will tell.  Dated 6/11/15.
A new bar for "Lost Souls" from the Clock House!   A new temporary bar is open in Chideock called "the lost souls bar".  It provides a refuge for customers from the village by offering another watering hole whilst the Clock House rebuilding work proceeds. To find it go North from the Clock House until the 30mph limit sign - it is just there. Hours are 12-3 lunchtime and 6-close in the evening. Shut on Sundays. They are serving mainly Otter and Branscombe beers with occasional others.  Dated 6/10/15.
Royal Oak, Weymouth Quayside has a six week festival from next week.   "Proud of our Ales" will feature 60 ales over the period.  Expect about 15 to be available at any one time. There will also be the usual excellent range of ciders. More info on our festivals page.  Dated 13/09/15.
Clock House - further problems looming!  We reported the destruction of this pub belonging to Mike Long and his family by fire at Easter. The building was home, business, livelihood and their major asset with three generations all living and working there.   Although the family were appropriately insured, getting work started on rebuilding is complicated and at the moment, uncertain. Insurance can cover the loss of a year's trading, but the family are half way through that with no prospect of any income beyond that. With no income, a loan is not possible. Without a loan or a guarantee building work cannot start. They have started a crowdfunding page to help them at Gofundme Click to read more.  Dated 12/09/15.
Our Autumn Edition 2015! The 23rd issue of our Newsletter is published. Learn what our PubLinkers do; Desert Island Beers; Beer Calorie Labelling. Lots to read!   Dated 11/09/15.
Boot Inn wins national Cask Ale Award! This popular Weymouth pub has scooped first place among over 1500 pubs in Marston's National Cask Ale competition.
We're delighted for Kevin and the team who have worked long and hard over several years to get top spot.
  Dated 07/08/15.
Black Dog, Broadmayne beer festival 29th, 30th August. This newly refurbished pub opened again at the end of last year.
They are advertising this holiday weekend festival on banners on the building.  Dated 02/08/15.
"Snug" Real Ale bar opens in Weymouth. This new bar has opened at 38 Maiden Street in Weymouth. (previously Gap, Fiesta Bar, Rum Shack etc.) The entrance is the narrow passageway next to the church
Three real ales on today, Butcombe Best and two from Piddle Brewery. The bar has been refurbished and is being run by a local team Leanne and Andy who recently ran the John Gregory in Southill.  Dated 25/07/15.
News of a Summer Festival at Ilchester Arms, Abbotsbury A West Country beer, ale & cider festival on will take place on Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August.
It will be spread over three sites in the village: in the chapel garden, the pub and the village hall. In the chapel garden there will be a marquee to cover the car park for the Live Music, Market Stalls, sessions called Meet the Brewster's and loads of pub competitions.   Dated 22/07/15.
Nettle Eating and Beer Festival - Bottle Inn - June 20th Landlord Nigel promises 30 beers and as many as 20 ciders over the weekend 19th-21st June Nettle eating on 20th   Dated 05/06/15.
2015 Beer Festival 3-5 July, Rest and Welcome Inn Yeovil Road, Melbury Osmond. We've been told of another beer festival to be held at the Rest and Welcome with 15+ ales and ciders from Dorset & Somerset, live music every night.   Dated 04/06/15.
Our Summer Edition 2015! Our 22nd Giant Dongle with reports on Branch Trip to Maltings festival, Wassailing in Dorset and our trip to the "Far East". Also news of the launch of a new beer and the Clock House Chideock festival. Lots to enjoy!   Dated 27/05/15.
New Real Ale outlets in Weymouth! We have had more news about pubs and bars in the Weymouth area this week:
- A new micro-bar - Drift - opened its doors last Tuesday week, serving three Real Ales all exclusive from Bournemouth Brewery. Drift is situated in Hope Square.
- The Beefeater restaurant in Mercery Road (opp. Sainsburys) is now serving two Real Ales, changing regularly. On this week are Wychwood Hobgoblin and Wadworths 6X.
  Dated 08/05/15.
More about the Spyglass refurbishment. We've had an update about the Spyglass Harvester on Bowleaze Coveway - it is now due to open on 12th May and is expected to have three real ales. The actual beers to be available were not known at the time we got the other info.   Dated 08/05/15.
Clock House Major Fire!The Clock House in Chideock suffered a major fire last week. The building was gutted and the A35 closed to allow the fire to be fought. Nobody was hurt in the tragedy, but the landlord and his family lost all their possessions and their home.
Despite this, Mike Long and his family are determined to keep the business going and are planning to hold another Beer Festival starting May 22nd. Click the picture for details.
  Dated 16/04/15.
Spring 2015 - Issue 21 already! Our 21st Giant Dongle with news of our Pub Of The Year award. News from Dorchester Beerex festival and plenty of other articles and items.   Dated 13/03/15.
Photos of recent Branch Trip to the Purbecks! A year on from the great trip to Derby and the Dales, Rich arranged a more local event this year. See photos of the trip on our web page here.   Dated 13/03/15.
Weymouth's quayside Royal Oak named Pub Of The Year! The Royal Oak on Weymouth harbourside has been named as West Dorset Pub of the Year. Dorset Echo article with full details.  Dated 15/2/15.
Beerex Tickets - Online sales closed All remaining tickets are now being returned ready for Festival opening on Friday - there may still be a chance to buy tickets by visiting the festival admissions desk.   Dated 3/2/15.
Beerex Tickets - latest: All outlets have tickets for Friday Lunchtime:
Goldies in Dorchester has some for other sessions:
      Friday night x17
      Saturday lunch x4
      Saturday night x15
The Boot in Weymouth also has some Friday Evening ones.  Dated 19/1/15.
Lyme Regis Festival again in 2015!! Now in its 5th year, the Lyme Regis Beer festival 2015 will feature more local breweries than ever before.  Dated 15/1/15.
A few more Saturday Night Beerex Tickets have become available!! Click here to buy them. Our on-line sales function has been allocated 10 more tickets for the Saturday PM session. If you missed out earlier, here is a brief second chance!  Dated 5/1/15.
Beerex Tickets now on sale!! Click here to buy them. Tickets usually sell out quickly - so make sure of yours now!   Dated 1/1/15.
2014
Beerex details on-line! The Beerex Web site has information about the new main sponsors and sponsorship opportunities.   Dated 19/12/14.
Black Dog Broadmayne re-opens!! We've just been told that the Black Dog has re-opened. There have been various rumours about its future, but nothing definite. Our correspondent wrote "Just to let you know that the Black Dog in Broadmayne reopened this week. I popped in last night - they had Bath Gem, Tribute & Doom Bar"   Dated 12/12/14.
Winter 2014/15 issue of Giant Dongle! Our 20th issue is published, just in time for the Festive Season. Information about February's Beerex festival and lots of features and articles.   Dated 7/12/14.
Ferrybridge, Wyke Regis pub at risk. Two Planning applications have been put in for redevelopment of this site. The council web site contains details: Search for "last 4 weeks" and "Ferrybridge" to see them. Local people are already registering their comments. Application WP/14/00921/OUT is the only one which includes a pub. The other is for a development of flats only and therefore would result in Wyke losing one of its two remaining pubs.   Dated 19/11/14.
Parliament votes for Pubco reform. A vote to end the "beer tie" was passed last night - apparently the only defeat for a government bill since 2010. The intent of the measure is to allow pubs belonging to big companies the option to have a fair market rent and to buy their products on the open market - like most other businesses. Many landlords have complained that they were obliged to pay rents well above the market rates and in addition to that had to pay hefty "wholesale" prices for their stock, which they could only get from the owning company's nominated suppliers. More details including some example prices in this BBC article.   Dated 19/11/14.
Parkstone Beer Festival is on 28th to 30th of November. This is held at the CAMRA Award winning Poole Ex-Servicemen's Club, which is about 10 - 12 minutes walk from Parkstone Railway Station. Main details on this poster.  Dated 16/11/14.
Sherborne Rugby Club has a Beer Festival next Friday. We've just been told of this festival starting at 7pm on Friday 7th. See Festivals page for more detail.  Dated 2/11/14.
Local Brewer wins Beer of Festival at Octoberfest. Newly opened Cerne Abbas Brewery wins the public vote as Beer of festival at Weymouth Octoberfest. Runner up was Sixpenny IPA from Sixpenny Brewery in Sixpenny Handley. With over 40 beers from the Severn valley and surrounding areas and a further 20 plus from Dorset, there was strong competition - so congratulations to these worthy winners. In the cider competition, Marshwood Vale Cider took the honours with their Elder Cider.  Dated 16/10/14.
Albert Inn cleared for flats conversion. Weymouth Councillors have decided in favour of the planning application for converting the last pub in Wyke Village into flats. Today's Dorset Echo carries the story.  Dated 16/10/14.
Octoberfest 2014 issue of Giant Dongle! Our 19th issue is published, just in time for next weeks Beer Festival. Lots of features and articles.   Dated 27/09/14.
Beer Festival at The Clifton on Portland this weekend. We've just heard of this festival starting on Friday. No other details yet...  Dated 23/9/14.
Yet one more! Hall and Woodhouse are running a charity beer fest at their Blandford Brewery on Saturday 27th September. Basic details here. Also see our festivals page for more.  Dated 15/9/14.
Beer festivals galore! It is getting hard to keep up! The latest to come to our notice is the Colliton Club in Dorchester who are running a festival in October. See our festivals page for the full list.  Dated 14/9/14.
The Gaggle of Geese in Buckland Newton has re-opened!! A brief announcement on the Buckland Newton community web site is copied below:
"The Gaggle of Geese has announced it is under new management. It will be open from 7.00 pm on Wednesday/ Thursday, from 6.30 pm on Friday, 12.00 noon and 6.30 pm on Saturday, and 12.00 noon on Sunday. Food now available."
No info yet on who is running it or what future plans are, but it is good to see it re-open and a real shame it had to close for three months of the best summer for some time. We'll let you know as more information becomes available.
  Dated 25/8/14.
Cider festival next weekend on Portland Red Triangle Cricket Club is running a Cider Festival at the George from August 30th. More details on our festivals page.  Dated 24/8/14.
Octoberfest Tickets go on sale! Tickets will go on sale across most outlets tomorrow 11th August. Our own web page sales are activated today.  Dated 10/8/14.
Three festivals in August! Festivals this month are being held in Studland [Bankes Arms], Wyke Regis [Ferry Bridge] - yes, another one! and on Portland at the Eight Kings, Southwell. See our Festivals page for more info.  Dated 2/8/14.
Wykefest a success for Julia's House. Resurrected festival makes a great contribution in first attempt! Tony Egerton, who helped organise the event reports "After all bills paid a total of £3,200 was raised for Julia's House, not bad for a small beer and cider festival. Well done to Rhos at Smugglers and Sophie from DBC who did most of the organising. Thanks also to my small but hard-working band of local members. Hopefully next year we can spread into the park next door."   Dated 2/8/14.
Another festival starting tomorrow! We've just been told there is a festival at the Ilchester Arms, Abbotsbury. A list of 14 beers and six ciders - so well worth a visit if you can get there.  Dated 23/7/14.
Wykefest is this weekend! The newly resurrected Wykefest runs over the coming weekend with 19 Dorset Beers and local ciders. Here is a list of the Beers. Members have been sent an email with details of the festival and I've included those with the Beer List for you. I hope you can get there!  Dated 14/7/14.
Sunny Republic's Friday Night bar (5-8pm). Every Friday evening, there's a chance to go and have drinks at a Dorset real ale brewery. Sunny Republic's brewery is located about half a mile west of Winterborne Kingston, near Bere Regis. There is a bakery shop in the same building that stays open to sell bread, pasties and pastries - sounds like the start of a great evening!!  Dated 14/7/14.
Chetnole Inn under new ownership. The Chetnole Inn, Chetnole transferred to its new owner Simon Hudson in early June. It is planned to turn the premises back into a village pub serving the local community. They have two handpumps serving a changing set of local ales along with Doom Bar. We wish him every success!  Dated 10/7/14.
Another good Pub closes. The Chalk and Cheese in Maiden Newton has closed it's doors. Here is another pub which had appeared to be successfully run for several years after a lengthy closure which has now closed again. The Dorset Echo has this weeks news here. "Landlord Al Murray took up his role at the Maiden Newton pub in February 2009 after spending six years in the Royal Navy." It looks as though this is another situation which a landlord and a big pub-owning chain - Punch Taverns - can't find away to make make it work over the long term.  Dated 4/7/14.
Summer issue of Giant Dongle! Our 18th issue of is published,packed with articles. It's a great 20 pages.   Dated 17/06/14.
More festivals! We've been given details of a couple more festivals taking place over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on the festivals page to keep up to date with what's happening.  Dated 12/6/14.
Well known Country Pub closes. The Gaggle of Geese in Buckland Newton has closed it's doors. The pub had been successfully run for several years by a family who bought it as a free house. The Dorset Echo carried the opening story here. It ran local events including beer festival and poultry auctions over that time as well as having a good food menu to go with the well kept beers. We have to hope that another buyer can be found who will be able to bring it back to life.  Dated 3/6/14.
Brewhouse & Kitchen opens to public on Monday The new brewpub in Dorchester is on-track to open it's doors to the public on Monday. Web page link here.. This week they are running invitation only "trial nights" to shake down the operation. Over a hundred CAMRA members from across the county attended one of these on Thursday to great acclaim. We wish the company all the best with their new venture!  Dated 9/5/14.
Festival season gets into swing... We're moving into that time of year when there are several festivals each month. Keep an eye on our festivals calendar. Next up is the George Inn, Portland which hosts the Red Triangle Cricket Club St Georges beer festival over the four days of the Easter Weekend.  Dated 7/4/14.
Spring issue of Giant Dongle! the 17th issue of our Newsletter is published. A "Treasure Hunt" type competition included this time along the no 31 bus route. Lots more including news about brewing in the west of the county and articles about the Bottle Inn. Click on the picture to read it.   Dated 26/03/14.
Photo record of March Brewery trip. Get an idea of the breweries and places we visited on the recent branch trip to Burton and Derbyshire breweries.  Dated 24/3/14.
More about the "Brewhouse & Kitchen" site. Have a look at couple of photos of the site submitted by member David Plater  Dated 2/3/14.
Bottle Inn up for sale! Hot on the heels of of the recent award (see below) The Bottle Inn at Marshwood has now been put up for sale by the owners of the building and land. At present this is not expected to affect the current licensee, Nigel Blake, who fully expects to be part of any future purchase. See more information in this weeks Echo...   Dated 20/2/14.
Building work starts at "Brewhouse & Kitchen" site. The past few months have seen much mention in our local press of this development, which will bring brewing back to Dorchester. There have been several planning applications and designs. We hear this week that work has started on the site. We look forward to sampling the new beers in due course!  Dated 19/02/14.
Beerex results announced! A beer from Orkney in Scotland - Highland Brewery's Duke IPA - was the winner at Dorchester Beerex at the weekend. Details of the other top three beers can be found here.  Dated 10/2/14.
Bottle Inn scoops West Dorset Pub of the Year award! The Bottle Inn at Marshwood has thrived under its new licensees, coming a clear winner in this years competition. More detail can be read here in Michel Hooper-Immins report.   Dated 09/2/14.
First sight of Beerex Beer List! The first view of the expected Beer List for Dorchester Beerex has been released. Details can be found here.  Dated 26/1/14.
Beerex tickets selling fast! Dorchester Beerex organisers released tickets for sale on New Years Day and they are selling fast. A few tickets for the Friday Lunchtime session are still available and some of these have been released for on-line sale.  Dated 6/1/14.
2013
Christmas and Beerex issue of Giant Dongle! Issue 16 of our award-winning Branch Newsletter hits the streets in time for Xmas. For this issue the cover pages are produced on pastel blue paper. The on-line version stays on a white background for best on-screen legibility. This issue contains another prize crossword and, of course, much more. Click the pic to read it.   Dated 13/12/13.
Octoberfest winner gets good publicity! Chris Mathers - the brewer of Pesky Pirate Porter gets his award in Dorset Echo! PPP was voted beer of festival in our beer festival at the start of October. We held a meeting last week where we presented the brewer with his certificate. See the item from this weeks Echo...  Dated 23/11/13.
Beerex planning under way! The Beerex committee have started to plan all the things that go into the festival. Next years dates have been confirmed as the 7th and 8th of February - so make a note now if you don't want to miss it! Now in it's 26th year, Dorchester Beerex is a firm favourite across Dorset and further afield with regular groups of visitors coming from, for example, Exeter and Bristol. More details here...  Dated 29/10/13.
Another Festival in November The much loved Square and Compass in Worth Maltravers is having a Cider and Sausage festival next weekend. If you plan to go on Sunday - do check as the their web site only gives minimal info. Square & Compass, Worth Matravers.  Dated 25/10/13.
The White Horse, Litton Cheney re-opens after refurbishment. Our local contact reports "The new licensees, Val and Kelvan have both previous experience of the trade and re-opened for business on Friday the 18th October. Palmers Copper, IPA and 200 are the regular beers on. A village local with well kept beers seem to be the ethos here but one that also serves good food." Click for Website...  Dated 21/10/13.
Octoberfest very well attended - the busiest yet!!Although tickets did not sell out before the event there were very strong sales right up to and after the doors opened. This resulted in most sessions being filled, with people enjoying the best ales and ciders the South West can produce. See this item from Saturday's Dorset Echo..  Dated 08/10/13.
Another Beer & CiderFestival! The Tiger Inn, Bridport is planning a festival from Thursday 14th November 2013 to Sunday the 17th Real ales and ciders mainly from the West Country. Click for pub web site...  Dated 07/10/13.
In the Pink for Octoberfest! New editors help with Octoberfest Dongle!!. For this issue the printed version is produced on pastel pink paper. The on-line version stays on a white background for best on-screen legibility. This issue contains our first prize crossword and, of course much more. Click the pic to read it.   Dated 16/09/13.
The Queens Arms, Corton Denham won the Best Pub category at the Taste of Somerset 2013 awards "We are pleased to be recognised by our customers for our philosophy of measuring our food in meters not miles and for sourcing only local fresh ingredients alongside using our own produce from our farm." Said Jeanette Reid, one of the owners. Read more...  Dated 13/09/13.
A new Beer & Cider Festival at The Spice Ship, Preston Wendy Buckingham tells us that "Friday 27th Sept (eve) to 29th Sept 2013 we will have 12 real ales to choose from (along with our 4 real ales that we do on the bar already) and a couple of real ciders.
Music Friday night from The Groove Brothers from Bournemouth, Saturday afternoon, The Leggomen and Saturday evening the fab band The Decatonics. Sunday afternoon we have The Kilimanjaros playing to raise funds to climb Kilimanjaro in January 2014. Food will be available: as well as our Special Board and main menu, we will have a cheeseboard with various cheeses, breads and biscuits, along with a choice of various hot sausages in rolls."   Dated 22/08/13.
Weymouth Pavilion web site now on-line
Our Octoberfest venue is coming on in leaps and bounds.
Less than a month after starting operations, the Pavilion now has a web site and ticketing operation. You can visit the web site by clicking the picture.   Dated 28/07/13.
Black Dog Weymouth has more real ale! Another Pub changes bar to increase traditional ale service. The Black Dog came under new management back in March by Colin and Karen from the Prince of Wales. The Black Dog has since had a refurbishment and now carries 3 casks (6 when theres a special event on in town) of real ale in a purpose built real ale bar.   Dated 20/07/13.
Summer Dongle co-incides with Summer! The 14th issue of our Newsletter just launched during the hottest weekend this year. This issue confirms the news about the Pavilion and has an excellent journal of the recent Branch Trip to some famous London pubs. Click the branch logo at the top of this page or the picture to read more.   Dated 08/07/13.
New Brewery "Gyle59" in West Dorset A new Brewery has brewed its fist ale in West Dorset. Initial expansion plans by Town Mill Brewery have "morphed" into the opening of a new brewery business instead. Allan Swannell, CAMRA member and shareholder explains how...  Dated 03/07/13.
Octoberfest Venue confirmed!! The Pavilion is changing hands and the new leasholder has confirmed to us that 4th and 5th October are reserved for Octoberfest.We have put the basic details on our Octoberfest page here. Tickets will, as usual, go on sale from early in August.  Dated 29/06/13.
A new Festival!! Russ & Emma Craven at the Rest and Welcome Inn on the A37 Dorchester - Yeovil road send us the following information: "July 26th to 28th - We are having our first beer fest - 12 real ales and a selection of ciders from the local area. Live music all weekend, BBQ, fun activities for all ages."
For those who are missing Wykefest - this may well be the place to go!!
  Dated 14/06/13.
West Milton Cider wins Bronze in national competition! Nick and Dawn Poole of West Milton cider won the Bronze award in the CAMRA National Cider and Perry Championship held at Reading in May. Our congratulations to a local cider maker showing yet again that West Dorset produces some of the best in the land!   Dated 13/06/13.
Elm Tree converts for gravity dispense! Pub changes bar to allow traditional ale service. We were pleased to hear that the Elm Tree at Langton Herring now has a back bar for their real ales and will only be selling them from the barrel. They will have two ales on until their beer festival (24th May-2nd June) and during the summer hope to be busy enough to keep three. Regular beers will be selected from: Otter Ale, Ringwood Best. Butcombe and Exmoor Ale. For the beer festival they will have beers from Waylands, Small Paul's, Branscome, Corfe Castle and Yeovil breweries.   Dated 19/05/13.
Giant Dongle wins Regional award! Magazine voted best in Wessex! Started in October 2010, the Giant Dongle goes from strength to strength. The recently published issue is number 13, but it coincided with the magazine being chosen as the best in CAMRA's Wessex area. Our editor Kevin has been surprised (and pleased it has to be said) with the award. Having won a second place last year, he was not expecting anything this time, and said "After coming second last year, I assumed that the only way was down - wrong again! " He added his thanks to all the contributors who make the magazine such a good read.   Dated 26/03/13.
First Dongle of 2013. Front page news about the Albert Inn Wyke Regis and our request to have it recognised as a "Community Asset". More information on recent visits to our local breweries, also some recognition of those of our pubs which have repeatedly been listed in the Good Beer Guide over the years..  Dated 16/03/13.
Plug pulled on Wykefest 2013! Another casualty of the continuing recession. With continuing difficulties in the retail trade it is not surprising that the organisers of this popular summertime charity event are not able to risk more time, funds and effort. Last years event had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour due to the bad weather, and the risk of something similar happening again has always to be considered. We'll be sorry not to have the event to enjoy.  Dated 14/03/13.
Spring Brewery Trip pics! This year it was decided that we should visit some of the local breweries Rich chose to act as driver for the two days, providing an excellent service for fellow members. Photos taken over the two days by Marge Tait can be seen here..  Dated 4/3/13.
Weymouth Pavilion - a lifeline? The best venue we've had for our October beer festival may be "saved". Weymouth Council voted yesterday to allow the building to be put out to tender, opening the way for voluntary and not-for-profit organisations to make bids for running it in the future. A report from the Dorset Echo is here. We need to keep a close eye on developments as well as investigate another move of venue in case this is not up and running in time.  Dated 22/2/13.
Crown at Puncknowle reopens! After a brief period of closure, Blanche Alexander is the new landlady. The pub was re-opened on Wednesday the 30th of January 2013. New Web page is here. Pub is open every day, generally 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 10.30pm except Sundays .. closed evening and open all day Saturday. Some changes inside with leather sofas and comfy chairs but most importantly real ale in the form of Palmers Copper, IPA and Tally Ho!  Dated 7/2/13.
2012
Another NEW BREWERY imminent: A micro-brewery is being installed at the Dolphin, in Park Street Weymouth.  The Dolphin have sent us this information:
  "The Dolphin has decided to close for a couple of weeks as the works to install the micro-brewery would impact on the normal functioning of the pub. Bad timing we know, with the festive season, but we will be open again at the beginning of January with a fully functioning brewery and intend to have a high profile launch of the new beers to which CAMRA members will be warmly invited."
  More news as it develops...
  Dated 14/12/12.
Beerex ticket frenzy! All Beerex sessions are selling strongly, so it looks like the whole festival will be Sold Out long before opening day. As of this morning, Dorchester TIC still has tickets for the Friday lunchtime sesssion available, but all outlets report strong sales after the 1 January release of tickets.  Dated 5/1/13.
DBC announces "Monthly Special" Ales for 2013. Dorset Brewing Company is planning to brew a range of new beers in 2013. Each of the "Monthly Special" ales will be "one-off" brews, so they won't be available for long. Click the picture or read the flyer here for more details..  Dated 11/12/12.
Issue 12 of Giant Dongle. Just click the Branch Logo at the top left to go to the first page. This 20 page issue is our last of 2012 - our next one will be in the Spring.  Dated 7/12/12.
Latest Beerex news. Beerex in 2013 will be the 25th Dorchester Beerex festival! Started in 1988, the festival has been held every year since, raising almost £100,000 for local charities during the period. More details here..  Dated 23/11/12.
A FREE (admission) beer festival just before Xmas! The Three Brewers (Art Brew, Mighty Hop and Town Mill) are holding a festival in Axminster Guildhall. The festival is on Saturday 22nd December, just a few days before Christmas, and it will be open from 12 noon until 11 pm. Admission is free! More details here...  Dated 8/11/12.
Lobby your MP about the Beer Tax Escalator! A Day of Lobbying is being organised on 12th December to lobby as many MPs as possible. It is in all beer drinkers' interests to make as much noise about this unfair tax, a tax that is contributing to over 12 pubs closing every week as people increasingly have to reduce the number of times they visit a pub due to financial pressures. And it is not just real ale that is impacted - it all beer: real beer, keg beer and lager. Read more here..   Dated 7/11/12.
Weymouth's George Inn closes after drugs bust! Police raided this quayside pub late on Thurdsday evening. Today's Dorset Echo reports that drugs were seized and that the pub has had it's licence revoked.. Read the report here..   Dated 27/10/12.
Local Brewer celebrates landlady's 25 years of service! Annie McDonnell has celebrated 25 years as landlady of the Oddfellows Arms in North Allington, Bridport, making her the longest serving single licensee of a Palmers' pub. Described by Annie as a 'poser-free zone' the Dorset pub is an outpost of traditional values. No food is served, but there is usually a choice of crisps.'I branched out recently and added a card of pork scratchings,' said Annie.. Read more....   Dated 19/10/12.
Octoberfest Tickets selling well! Over 1050 tickets already sold for Weymouth Octoberfest on the 12th and 13th October. Even though the festival has been "expanded" by re-organising the layout and increasing the number of tickets, it still looks likely to sell out. Tickets are still available in some outlets for the opening session on Friday Lunchtime and for the Satuday evening session, traditionally a more relaxed affair. Michel Hooper Immins has this take on the situation.   Dated 6/10/12.
Octoberfest is just around the corner!! Giant Dongle goes from strength to strength - 28 pages this issue - our largest yet!  Dated 30/9/12.
A beer tasting event! Washingpool Farm Shop nr Bridport is seeking help in choosing which beers to stock in future.The event on the 27th October from 11am to 4pm will have a range of beers for tasting. Some Local Brewers from Devon and Dorset will be attending and a wide range of their beers will be available. More details here.   Dated 29/9/12.
Two more Real Ale pubs in Weymouth! The Dolphin has re-opened in Park Street and is trading as a free house with a range of beers from different breweries including Hopback. The long awaited opening of the Pie and Ale House (previously the Giant Pot) has now taken place with a ground floor bar area with three ales and an upstairs restaurant. More details here.   Dated 28/9/12.
Octoberfest Tickets selling quickly! Tickets for Weymouth Octoberfest on the 12th and 13th October are selling briskly as predicted. Our own stocks of tickets for the most popular session, Friday evening, are already getting low. There are now less that 20 for this session available in our on-line sales operation. Stocks may still be available at the other outlets: Weymouth Pavilion, The Boot Inn, The Globe Inn in Weymouth and the Blue Raddle in Dorchester.More details here.   Dated 21/8/12.
Octoberfest Tickets go on sale! Tickets are now available for Weymouth Octoberfest on the 12th and 13th October. Tickets fot this event have traditionally always sold out before the festival. If you want to be sure of your place, the best advice is to get tickets early. More details here.   Dated 5/8/12.
Wykefest CANCELLED!! Value House have decided reluctantly that they must cancel this year's Wykefest.. This is due to the waterlogged ground on the site - despite the weather easing up a little, the field is still badly saturated in places - the entrance is the worst bit and would make access to the site impossible for vehicles.  Dated 14/7/12.
More breweries!! Two microbreweries are in development in Weymouth. We've been told that both the Boot Inn and the Dolphin in Park Street are installing brewing equipment and will be starting trial brews during the summer. We'll let you know more as we hear more.  Dated 14/7/12.
Bottle Inn due to reopen 4/8/12! News on another pub re-opening via Tony Egerton: The Bottle Inn at Marshwood is planning to re-open soon. They have a website:Click Here. An official opening is planned for the the 4 August with the nettle eating championship and a real ale festival over the weekend. Doors may well open before then - watch this space...  Dated 9/7/12.
Wykefest is coming! Wykefest issue of Giant Dongle marks two years of publication! We're pleased to announce the Wykefest issue of Giant Dongle! Festival details on back page (Page 24)  Dated 23/6/12.
Coach and Horses at Winterborne Abbas has reopened (Wed 20th June). News Item from member Dave Bird: I went in last night (Thurs 21st) for a pint. 4 real ales on: Tribute and Dorset Gold at 3.60 and Ringwood Best and Doom Bar at 3.40. Landlady is new to the game but her partner used to work on the technical side for Bass. They came from the Midlands and were looking for a free house. Beer was good. I've explained there are now 10 breweries in Dorset, so plenty of beers to choose from. Their idea at the moment is to perhaps have their 4th pump as a rotational guest. Food area down one end, bar stools and comfy chairs with TV at the other. A pub opening in this current economic climate deserves support. Cheers!.  Dated 22/6/12.
Weymouth's multi million pound refurbished Riviera Hotel now sells Real Ale! News Item from member Tony Egerton: Riviera Hotel offers St Austell Tribute and, when I called, Olympics special Torch Bearer on draught plus Proper Job in bottled form.  Dated 18/6/12.
CAMRA members welcome to another club with Real Ales Mike Fox (club steward) of the Portland Royal British Legion Club, located in Fortuneswell, tells me that they now have three real ales on - changing weekly - and that "camra members are more than welcome to visit and enjoy our ales".  Dated 7/6/12.
Beer festival this weekend The Trooper Inn at Stourton Caundleis having a beer festival over the Holiday Weekend - Starts 6.30pm Friday - 20 Real Ales & 12 Farmhouse ciders. Contact them on 01963 362405 for details.  Dated 28/5/12.
Members discount at the Rendezvous & Royal Oak The Royal Oak on Weymouth Quayside has had Real Ales from DBC for the last few seasons. There is now also a Real Ale available in the Rendezvous(above). We've just been told that they are now offering card-carrying members a 10% discount (20% before end of May) on Real Ales at both premises.  Dated 20/5/12.
Sunny Republic - another local brewery opens. There has been a short "lull" in new breweries (almost 18 months since the last one). But now another brewer has just started brewing in our local area - this time at Winterbourne Kingston, Nr Bere Regis. For those who'd like to try their first beer "Beach Blonde", I'm told the Royal Standard at Upwey has some in..  Dated 2/5/12.
Giant Dongle Spring issue! We're pleased to announce the Spring issue of our award winning newsletter - Giant Dongle! See page 15 for details.  Dated 16/4/12.
2012 - start of a a great Festival Season Multiple beer festivals take place in both March and April in our area this year. March saw Wetherspoons featuring 30 beers and the Three Brewers festival in Lyme Regis with all local beers. Over the Easter Weekend the Royal Standard in Upwey featured another thirty beers from in and around Dorset. Next weekend sees the Branch Trip to the renowned Maltings Festival at Newton Abbot, followed the week after by the Red Triangle Cricket club "St Georges" Festival at The George on Portland.  Dated 14/4/12.
Brewery Trip report Marjorie Tait has sent in some photos taken on the 2nd March brewery trip.  Dated 6/3/12.
A different "Double" - "The Stable" opens in Weymouth The Stable has opened in Weymouth, above the Harbour Master's offices on the quay. It is the same type of bar as the one in Bridport with long wooden tables and benches, selling many ciders, wine and a beer, plus the pizzas and pies. It is at the top of three flights of stairs, but there is a lift. Unlike the Bridport one it is open at lunchtimes. It seems to have become very popular already.  Dated 5/3/12.
Pub of the Year "doubles up"! West Dorset CAMRA this year named TWO "Pubs of the Year". Usually there is only one, but it became impossible to choose between the two final shortlisted pubs, so the decision was made to name both. "Our members nominate their favourite pubs- then a panel of judges goes round individually to inspect each of them," explains CAMRA spokesman Michel Hooper-Immins. "This year our judges reported that the King's Arms at Thornford and the Tiger Inn at Bridport were too close to separate, so we decided- exceptionally this year- to name both a Rural and a Town Pub of the Year." Read Michel's report with photo.   Dated 12/2/12.
Another Beerex success! Every session sold out before it started! That was the effect seen this year as Dorchester's beer festival celebrated its 24th year. Again the Corn Exchange was packed with Real Ale drinkers celebrating a massive choice of 85 different ales from across the country. West Country ciders and perries were also provided in abundance. Like every other recent year, this year again will provide over 10,000 for local charities and the Round Tables own work. In this way Beerex has over the years contributed more than 100,000 to charitable causes.  Dated 12/2/12.
Beerex Dongle issue! Two weeks today until Dorchester Beerex doors open to the public. The next issue of Giant Dongle is published today to coincide with our next festival. Lots more beery articles inside for your interest!  Dated 20/1/12.
Beerex sessions nearly all sold-out! Tickets for all sessions are sold out apart from a very few for the Friday lunchtime. All outlets have reported rapid sales, so there will be no tickets at the door for any session.  Dated 11/1/12.
2011
Beerex Friday sell-out record! Friday evening Beerex tickets have sold-out already. All of our outlets and on-line sales have no tickets left for this session. This is a record as tickets were only released for sale last Friday, so in effect they have all been sold over the one weekend!! Tickets for the other sessions are selling strongly, so it looks like the whole festival will be Sold Out long before opening day.  Dated 20/12/11.
Beerex Ticket launch tomorrow! This year there is a formal release date for Beerex tickets, they go on sale tomorrow, Friday 16th. Those of you who are regular visitors will remember that last years close management of tickets resulted in a very enjoyable festival with less overcrowding.
This of course comes with its own "health warning" - there is a limited supply of tickets, so best to get yours early. I've already got a backlog of about 25 orders to supply once I get my stock of tickets, so they will sell fast! "Click the pic" for our ticket sales page.  Dated 15/12/11.
Buy your Beerex T-shirt or Polo shirt in advance: For the first time you can pre-order your festival shirt - "Click the pic" for details provided by Adrian...  Dated 15/12/11.
An early Xmas Dongle! Thanks to an excellent turn-round by our printers (Weyprint of Weymouth) we're able to bring the Dongle out a bit early this year. So tuck in to these festive 20 pages and enjoy a good read by the fireside in which ever pub you find yourself. We in the local branch of CAMRA want to thank all who have helped to bring this Newsletter along over the last fifteen months or so,
particularly Kevin, our editor, who works tirelessly to bring you a magazine five times each year. Thanks also to all those who contribute stories and articles issue by issue.  Dated 1/12/11.
Colliton Club among top four in UK! For the sixth time in ten years, Dorchester's Colliton Club has been chosen as the CAMRA Wessex Regions Club of the Year. Chosen by local members of CAMRA as the West Dorset Club of the year, the club was then judged against other clubs in the Wessex Region
(Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and parts of Wiltshire & Somerset). It will now go forward to be judged against three other clubs for the national title! Read Michel's report with photos here.  Dated 21/11/11.
150 up at the Royal Standard! The pub which reopened only 20 months ago is this week going to sell it's 150th guest real ale. This is a big mile stone for a small village pub. There will be a celebration on Friday 18th November with the local 'Baking Birds' making a cake to help things along.  Dated 17/11/11.
Brewery Trip report Marjorie Tait has sent in some photos taken on the 12th November brewery trip.  Dated 16/11/11.
Two more events for the diary! Rich Gabe is arranging a brewery trip on Saturday 12th November to Botley Brewery Nr. Southampton. He is also taking names for our Branch Xmas Lunch at The Blue Raddle on 15th December (a Thursday). If you want a place at either event please contact Rich on 07771 903868  Dated 10/10/11.
Octoberfest success in new venue! The two day festival has now closed for this year with a record number of visitors. Over 1000 attended this year, drinking more than 3000 pints of ale and 500 pints of cider. Scott Wayland's beer Sixpenny IPA won Beer of Festival, so congratulations are due to this brewer who moved his business to Dorset a couple of years ago! The full results can be seen here.  Dated 10/10/11.
Octoberfest selling out again! Weymouth Octoberfest opens in three days time. Tickets for both the evening sessions have sold out and the lunchtime tickets are nearly all sold. There will be 68 beers from the south west and eleven local ciders.  Dated 4/10/11.
Octoberfest and first Anniversary Issue of the Giant Dongle! Weymouth Octoberfest opens in three weeks time. The first anniversary issue - Issue Number 6 - of Giant Dongle is published to coincide with our festival. Read it on-line by clicking the picture.  Dated 17/9/11.
Our West Dorset Pub Guide continues to sell strongly.Just three months since we reprinted it over half of our stock has now been sold and outlets are regularly asking us for re-supply. Click on the image to see more information and to order your copy.  Dated 15/9/11.
Wykefest make 8K for Julia's House. The numbers have been crunched and we've just been informed that an amazing total of 8000 will be donated to Julia's House as a result of this Years Wykefest Food and Beer festival. Many thanks to all our volunteers who make this event possible each year! Dated 20/8/11.
Pub News. Royal Standard gets regional award! The Royal Standard has been awarded Best Cellar Award 2011 for the south west area, from Innserve . Here's wishing them luck in national rounds!! Dated 18/8/11.
Pub News. Portland's George Inn gets regional award! The George Inn has just been named as the West Country Community Pub of the Year 2011 in the Publicans Morning Advertiser Awards. They are now in contention for the National Community Pub Award. Congratulations to Anthony Storey and his team. Here's wishing them luck in further rounds!! Dated 7/8/11.
Brewery News. DBC opens new Brewhouse. Dorset Brewing Company have completed their move to a new site. After more than ten years year-on-year growth in the heart of Weymouth this successful local brewer needed to expand. The previous site in Hope Square is being re-developed, so the brewery has moved to a site which allows immediate expansion and more flexibility for the future. The new brewhouse in Crossways, just a few miles from both Weymouth and Dorchester was formally declared open for business in June. We wish them continued success in their new home! Dated 14/7/11.
Wykefest Issue of the Giant Dongle! Just in time to celebrate Wykefest on July 22nd/23rd our next issue is just published, again with sixteen pages . Read it on-line by clicking the picture. Dated 5/7/11.
Real Ale Take-away! Chalbury Corner Off-licence and Delicatessen in Preston, Nr Weymouth now sells real ale from the cask. Two or three ales are often available to choose from and it is served direct from the cask. Prices are competitive and this approach is a welcome return of a once much more common tradition of serving Real Ale to drink at home or at a party. Dated 2/7/11.
Brewery News. Hall & Woodhouse has won the Best Bitter category for the CAMRA SE and London Region. This "super region" is a huge triangle containing London and the entire South of England from Kent to Dorset - so this award has been won against tremendous competition. A presentation is planned at the Ship Inn, Weymouth later this month to present the award. Dated 2/7/11.
Brewery News. Palmers Brewery - Tally Ho! wins CAMRA Winter Beer of Britain Gold Award. A presentation was held at the Three Horseshoes Burton Bradstock on 9th June. Dated 20/6/11.
Pub Guide Reprinted.Our pub guide has SOLD OUT and we have now commissioned a reprint. We've identified over 25 changes to pubs in the eight months since the guide was launched at Octoberfest 2010. Click on the image to see more information and to order your copy. Dated 13/6/11.
Pub News. The New Inn, Easton, on Portland is now selling several real ales. It is operating a discount scheme for CAMRA members - like the one at the Royal Portland Arms - where a reduced price for drinks is given on production of you CAMRA card! Dated 10/6/11.
Pub News. The Manor Hotel, West Bexington appears to have re-opened! Information needed on what ales are now available at this interesting location! If you get a chance to go there please let us know. Dated 10/6/11.
Spring Issue of the Giant Dongle! The Spring issue is out now and has expanded to a full sixteen pages. Dated 11/4/11.
Pub changes - two re-open, two close!- The ever-changing pub scene continues: Royal Victoria Lodge, Portland re-opens under its more traditional name with real ales & food is also available; The Star in Weymouth re-opens with beers from Cottage brewery and others - this pub is also doing food most times apart from Sunday eve. On the down side, the Bottle Inn, Marshwood closed again recently and the Portland Roads, Portland shut its doors in February. Dated 2/4/11.
2011 Brewery trips - off to a great start!- the 4th-6th March saw another group of members off to learn about brewing in Cornwall and to sample a few more beers. Marjorie Tait took the photos again.  Dated 12/3/11.
The Ship Inn, Weymouth, re-opened after 200K renovation! Hall & Woodhouse have completed a refurbishment of their large harbourside pub. Part of the work was the re-rendering of the outside and a large ship motif has been added to the West end of the building. The upstairs quay facing windows have been enlarged giving an airy modern feel throughout. Dated 27/2/11.
The Spyway Inn, the popular free house in Askerswell, has been named as the Campaign for Real Ale's West Dorset Pub of the Year! The West Dorset 2011 Pub of the Year certificate was presented by CAMRA's Rich Gabe at the Dorchester Beer Festival to licensees Kevin, Tim and Vivien Wilkes. They have developed the family-run inn since 2003. Full report from Michel Hooper Immins here. Dated 7/2/11.
A "Dorset Double"! Small Pauls Brewery from Gillingham gained the "Beer of Festival" award at this weekend's Beerex. The "Elder Sarum" beer brewed by Paul Smith, a long time CAMRA member who has been brewing beer in his Gillingham garage for six years now. The same beer won the public vote at the Weymouth Octoberfest last year.Read more... Dated 16/2/11.
A "new" beer festival! Lyme Regis' Marine Theatre will be the venue for a beer festival in the town on Satuday 26th March. This is the first beer festival in the town for sometime. An earlier event - the Cobb Ale Festival originated in the 14th century, but died out after a mere 250 years!More detail... Dated 2/2/11.
Beerex SOLD OUT! Beerex opens at the end of NEXT WEEK, Rich Gabe now has sufficient volunteers to work all sessions. Many thanks to all of you who have given your names to help. Tickets are ALL SOLD - this is something of a record!! There will be NO tickets at the door this year due to this unexpectedly rapid take-up. Dated 24/1/11.
Yet another issue [No. 3] of the Giant Dongle! A bit like the proverbial "London Buses" you wait for eight years for a Newsletter and the three come along in the space of ten weeks! Our Editor, Kevin, is aiming to link them mainly to our Beer Festivals, so there will now probably be a gap - our next festival after Beerex being Wykefest in July. Dated 24/1/11.
Spreading the word! The "Real West Dorset" website/blog has published an article about our new West Dorset Pub Guide - Read the article here.
Our thanks go to Michel Hooper-Immins who contributed the article.
You can order your copy of the pub guide by clicking here. Dated 13/1/11.
2010
Six weeks to Beerex! Beerex opens just SIX WEEKS after Christmas Eve, Rich Gabe needs volunteers to work all sessions - please let him have your name on 07771 903868. Tickets are selling well (Friday pm and Saturday lunchtime sessions in particular are selling quickly) Buy yours on-line. Dated 22/12/10.
Giant Dongle Issue 2 out!! The Christmas Issue of Giant Dongle hit the streets this week. With contributions from other members, the second issue is 50% larger and covers 12 pages. Click here to read the on-line version. Dated 17/12/10.
Still more Weymouth Pubs offer Real Ales! The Queens Hotel, Weymouth reopened in November with a bright disco-like theme. On a visit a week after they opened they had Sharps Doom Bar on sale. This week the Golden Lion in Weymouth had St Austell Tribute, Hardy & Hansons Rocking Rudolf and a glorious roaring wood fire. The quayside Royal Oak (below the Rendezvous) is open again in the winter - they have five ciders on offer as well as a DBC ale (Jurassic when we visited). It was lovely and warm on a very cold night, sawdust floor and free peanuts for shelling. Dated 8/12/10.
Fire above The Rock! A narrow escape for Weymouth's Rock Hotel as a fire breaks out in one of the flats above the pub. Here's a report from todays Echo. Dated 19/10/10.
Giant Dongle launched into Cyberspace! Our new branch newsletter "The Giant Dongle" was published to coincide with our Octoberfest beer festival. It has now been loaded onto the web site to allow anyone who is interested to read it.
The document is available as a pdf file for download or for reading online. CLICK HERE or the picture to see it. Dated 5/10/10.
Octoberfest closes for last time at Brewers Quay! After four more sessions of frantic activity, our well received Autumn beer and cider festival closed on Saturday night having served over 850 people some 3000 pints of beer and cider. The beer of the festival award was won by a Dorset brewer - Small Pauls of Gillingham whose "Elder Sarum" beer was voted best beer by public vote. For other results click here.
This was the last time that the festival will be held at Brewers Quay due to the impending redevelopment of this hundred year old building at the centre of Weymouths quayside areas. We have plans in place to move the festival to the Ocean Room within the Weymouth Pavilion complex for next year's (2011) festival. Dated 4/10/10.
West Dorset Pub Guide to be launched at Weymouth Octoberfest!
The third edition of CAMRA’s well received West Dorset Pub Guide will be launched at Weymouth’s Octoberfest on Friday 1st October. The fully revised guide contains details of 273 pubs and bars, together with maps and articles of interest.
The guide will be on sale at the festival – price £4 (£3 to card carrying CAMRA members).
STOP PRESS - the guide can now be ordered on-line by clicking here or on the picture above. Dated 24/9/10.
Colliton Club does it again! For the third year in a row, Dorchester's Colliton Club has been chosen as the Wessex Regions Club of the Year. Chosen by local members of CAMRA as the West Dorset Club of the year, the club was then judged against other clubs in the Wessex Region (Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and parts of Wiltshire & Somerset). Read the full report from Michel Hooper Immins. Dated 20/9/10.

Cerne Abbas - a mini festival ! All three pubs in this iconic Dorset village are joining forces to hold a beer festival on 25th September (12-8pm) when food will be available all day. You can go to the Giant Inn, the New Inn, or the Royal Oak. Overall there will be 20 ales available. Dated 23/8/10.

Royal Standard is now a Brewpub! Rumours have abounded that this newly refurbished pub was to start brewing. This week their first beer, DT4, has been launched. It has been well received so far and will attract more customers into this small roadside pub/bistro. Dated 13/8/10.

Octoberfest Tickets now on sale! . We expect this year to be a sell-out like the last few years. So if you really want to be there get your tickets soon! . Dated 7/8/10.

Wykefest food and beer festival opens 23rd July. This festival was a great success last year with great summer weather and interesting stalls and displays. This years event is set to be even better - more beers, more food stalls and entertainment and Free bus service both evenings from the town centre. All details can be found on the festival web site here. Dated 12/7/10.

Weymouth Londis to host Jeff Evans Book Signing - 12th June. The store is now taking pre orders for signed copies of the "Good Bottled Beer Guide" priced at £12.99. Jeff will be in store between 12pm and 2pm on Saturday 12th June 2010, and is available to speak to anyone with an interest in bottled beer and to sign copies of the book. A great fathers day present?? Don't forget to check out the great range of bottled beers in store while you're there!. Dated 31/5/10.

DOUBLE FIGURES!! ANOTHER New Brewery brings the number of real ale breweries in Dorset up to ten! - Lyme Regis Town Mill site gets a brewery! This historic site in Lyme Regis already has several exciting businesses which have now been complemented by the opening of Town Mill Brewery at Easter. The Brewery is at present working hard to keep up with demand for Cobb (3.9%ABV), their first ale. Dated 21/5/10.

Bottle Inn, Marshwood reopens - This country pub, famous for its nettle eating contests, has opened under new management after a refurbishment. Details of past events and the current offerings can be found here. Dated 21/5/10.

Discounted Beers for CAMRA members! - The Londis store in Westham Road Weymouth (opposite the "William Henry") carries a good range of UK and continental bottled beers. They are offering a 10% discount on these beers for CAMRA members - so take your membership cards with you when you shop! Dated 12/4/10.

Royal Standard re-opens ! - After a three month refurbishment, the Royal Standard at Upwey re-opened at Easter under new management. Beers on offer are those from Piddle and Butcombe, with Guest Ales as well. There is also food available both as a sandwich menu and daily chalk board. We've been told there are also plans afoot to start to brew beers in-house later in the year!! Dated 12/4/10.

2010 Brewery trips - off to a good start - the 5th-7th March saw another group of members off to learn more about brewing and to sample a few more beers. Marjorie Tait took the incriminating photos this time.  Dated 15/3/10.
The Market House - A new pub for Bridport - After a major re-development in this listed building, a new pub is opening this week on the site which was previously the Royal Oak. Palmers Brewery have worked for a long period with the planning authorities to ensure that all the changes made sit properly within the original buildings.

A light and airy space welcomes the customer throughout, there is a well laid out bar area deep within opening out to a patio at the rear. At the front of the premises there is a modern dining room to one side with a "coffee table" style lounge area at the other.  Dated 8/3/10.

Beerex bounces back! - Beerex in the Corn Exchange had a very successful year. After being hit by a snowstorm in 2009, all the regular visitors were back in force - tickets sold out about two weeks before the event. The Nags Head in Lyme Regis was awarded West Dorset CAMRA's Pub of The Year award during the festival. Over 1200 people attended the four sessions, making some welcome cash for local charities.  Dated 15/2/10.

Brewery moves to Dorset ! - Wayland's Sixpenny Brewery was formerly known as Wayland's Brewery and was originally located in Addlestone, Surrey. The brewery has now relocated to the village of Sixpenny Handley in the Cranborne Chase area of Dorset. This now brings the total number of breweries in Dorset to nine!  Beers are sold in pubs in Dorset, Wiltshire,Surrey, Middlesex and London. The brewery's website can be visited here. Dated 31/1/10.

Royal Standard closes! - After 13 years running this excellent locals pub, John Lonergan has closed the doors for the last time. The pub - one of the Weymouth areas few remaining "two bar" pubs - closed on 6th January as the building has been sold. Developers are understood to be working out how to change the building so as to get the best out of it. We look forward with interest to see what becomes of this old main road hostelry. Dated 14/1/10.

Skittles match a draw! - The West Dorset and East Dorset branches of the Campaign for Real Ale met for a skittles match at the Colliton Club in Dorchester, several times winner of the CAMRA Wessex regional Club of the Year award. Around 40 members from both branches used both skittle alleys, but the result was a draw. The event was organised by West Dorset Social Secretary Richard Gabe, in liaison with East Dorset’s social team, led by Trevor Thwaites. Read more... Dated 20/1/10.

2009

Xmas and the New Year! - All our members are asked to put dates in diaries for the following events: Xmas Plod Wed 9th Dec; Skittles with East Dorset 16th Jan. If you plan to go to the skittles please let Rich Gabe know at least a week before the event ; Beerex 5th & 6th of Feb - Volunteers please let Rich Gabe know which sessions you will work. Rich's phone number is: 07771 903868.  Dated 9/12/09.

Festivals, Festivals, Festivals ! - We've had a very good set of local festivals this year. The good news is that there are still four more before the end of the year! Have a look at our Festivals web page.. Dated 2/11/09.

Octoberfest most successful yet!! - Nearly 1000 people visited the festival. Here is a link to a comprehensive write-upfrom yesterday's Dorset Echo . Dated 6/10/09.

Two weeks to Octoberfest!! - Tickets are selling quicker than they did last year, with every chance of sessions being "Sold Out" during next week. The bands booked for this year are "Restless" on the Friday night and "Flakey Jake" on Saturday. The ususal range of festival foods will be available during all sessions. Book your tickets on-line by clicking the link above, or by visiting the Boot Inn, Brewers Quay or the Blue Raddle in Dorchester. Dated 18/9/09.

Wykefest a Success for Julia's House! - The new festival at Value House, Wyke Regis looks set to become a regular fixture in the calendar. At a cheque presentation yesterday, Julia's House were presented with a cheque for a massive £3,500. Not bad for a first attempt! Many thanks to alll our volunteers who helped to make the beer and cider bar run so smoothly. More details in our previous article.... Dated 18/9/09.

100,000 members!! - The membership roll of the Campaign now stands at over 100,000. From a start in 1971 when four blokes in a pub decided to do something about the poor state of beer in the UK and set up the "Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale", the campaign has grown into one of the largest consumer groups in Europe. More info.... Dated 8/8/09.

First Wykefest Food and Beer festival - A CAMRA team worked hard over the last few weeks to provide a bar at this new festival. On the day the weather was good, which was a great relief to all. As a result the festival was a great success, with lots of the public turning up. We sold over 90% of the beer, so the charities being supported by the festival should do well. Click here for some pictures of the festival. Dated 28/7/09

Tuckers Maltings Beer festival trip - April 25th sees another trip to this popular event. Check with Tony for seat availability 01305 789 906. Dated 11/3/09.

Branch "Weekend Away" - Last weekend's trip to the Black Country breweries (and some pubs!) reported by Simon Palmer. Dated 11/3/09.

Blue Raddle wins Branch Pub of the Year 2009 ! The winner of the local branch competition for CAMRA pub of the year was announced at Dorchester Beerex, and a certificate was awarded to the landlord, Richard Townsend during the festival. Dated 10/2/09.

Beerex Results! Palmers Tally Ho! won the publics approval as Beer Of Festival. Despite the weather real ale enthusiasts turned out in large numbers to celebrate Dorchesters 21st Beerex. Full results can be found here. Dated 8/2/09.

2008

We're running the Exeter Winter Ales festival trip again! Saturday 10th January is the date for your diary. The coach will go from Portland via Weymouth and Dorchester so phone Rich Gabe on 07771 903868 to book your place. Dated 25/11/08

A chance to visit Piddle Brewery 3rd December! [TRIP NOW FULL]. Committee members have pulled out the stops to arrange another trip before the festive season to this new local brewery. Size of premises means numbers are limited to 18 persons. The bus will go from Portland via Weymouth and Dorchester and subsidised price will be £5. Even if you plan to travel independently Phone Rich Gabe on 07771 903868 to book your place. Get your name down early! Dated 5/11/08

Introducing NBSS - CAMRAs National Beer Scoring System. Give a score each time you have a drink - let us know how pubs are doing. This national system set up by CAMRA has been available for a couple of years now, but few people from this area use it. Click the link above or in the Main Menu to use the system - it is easy to use - you need your membership number and the same password as for the HQ members access. Dated 30/10/08.

Next brewery trip coming upl! Blindman's Brewery, Leighton Somerset on 15th November. Contact Rich Gabe on 07771 903868 to book your seat. Dated 11/10/08.

Danish Dynamite wins Beer of Festival! Danish Master Brewer Stig Andersen's beer chosen as Beer of Festival. Full results here. Dated 4/10/08.

Regional Success for Colliton Club! Dorchester club picks up Wessex award for 2nd Year in a row. The Colliton Club in Dorchester has won this award for the second year in a row. The award will be present ed to the club Steward, Neil Gatehouse on Wednesday as part of the local CAMRA Branch AGM. Click for more detail. Dated 7/9/08.

Two more events 13/14 Sept! An evening BBQ at Tom Browns and Beerfest at the Gaggle of Geese. These events will give you a lot of choice for things to do this month. Saturday 13th evening will be a barbeque for members and friends at Tom Browns in Dorchester. If you plan to go, please give Jill Diggens a call (01305 862255) so she can estimate numbers. The other event is an all-day beer and cider festival on Sunday 14th alongside the traditional Goose and Poutry auction at the Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton. The pub has recently been aquired by Mark & Emily Hammick who have made such a success of the European at the other end of the Piddle valley. Dated 3/9/08.

Try a Safari Lunch! A joint lunch event with Somerset CAMRA on September 27. This event will travel to three pubs on and around the Dorset /Somerset border with one course at each pub. A coach is planned from Portland, via Weymouth and Dorchester. Click here to see more details or ring Jill Diggens on 01305 862255 to book your place. Dated 27/8/08.

William Henry opens!! Former Hog's Head refurbished and re-opened as a second Wetherspoons. The rapid refurbishment of the former Hogs Head has taken place and the pub re-opened early in August. This is great news for the town and for local drinkers as it preserves another of Weymouths real ale pubs and will provide Wetherspoons quality and prices at both ends of the town centre. Dated 11/8/08.

Wise Man Re-opens!! Over 2 years since a fire destroyed the pub, the Wise Man re-opened last night with a special evening for residents of West Stafford and the surrounding villages. Over 200 people turned out to welcome the return of the pub which has always been a key integral part of the village. The pub is owned by Punch Taverns and the licencees from the Poet Laureate in Poundbury (Dorchester) have also taken on this lease. Real ales on offer for the opening night were Butcombe Bitter, Wadworth 6X and Hop Back Summer Lightning. Rich Bates, a West Stafford resident and CAMRA member summed it up as being "like the return of a long lost friend". Click to see pictures over the two years. Dated 21/5/08

Three Festivals this weekend!! Venues from North to South!. Click to see festivals list! Dated 20/5/08.

Tom Brown's Mini-Beerfest this Friday. 19th May - Beer , Music and Pies at Tom Brown's.The pub's service and ale quality is back up there with the best!   DBC follow up their St Georges Day event with another one. Dated 13/5/08.

St Georges Beerfest: A visit to the pub next door. Simon Palmer's photo report on the St Georges beer festival on Portland. Dated 20/4/08.

Social Meeting on May 14th: Royal Portland Arms, Fortuneswell. Portland 8pm. All are welcome to this evening in the pub sampling ales and ciders. Dated 13/4/08.

"A Bristol Bimble": An "ales by rail" trip report. Simon Palmer's photo report about a recent trip to Bristol by his "beer club". Dated 5/4/08.

Tom Brown's update : DBC now running the operation. A recent press release from DBC gives all the details. Dated 2/4/08.

9/03/08. North Devon trip report: Another great trip to breweries in the South West. Simon Palmer reports on this excellent weekend trip.

4/02/08. Real Ale success!! The Rock, Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth is celebrating six months of success as a Real Ale pub. A major renovation undertaken during early 2007 brought this pub straight into the 21st century. Since then it has always had three real ales on tap and provides a bright modern experience for the drinker as well as a good menu with food available most of the time. It's great to see a combination of all the things a pub-goer wants coming together to bring a pub "back from the dead"!!

13/01/08. Exeter Winter Ales festival trip - Saturday 12th Jan. Click here to see some photos taken by Simon Palmer during the festival visit.

2007

23/11/07. A chance to try a unique beer style - Friday 30th Nov. I've been told that the Queens Arms in Corton Denham will be holding an evening for the launch of a beer brewed by Justin from Moor Beer Co. in Ashcott. It is styled a "triple IPA" and this is believed to be the first time a brewer in the UK has attempted anything of this style and gravity. Corton Denham is not not strictly in Dorset although the postcode is, it's pretty much on the border. So for those living to te west of our area or those beer tickers this might be worth a visit!!

26/10/07. Beerfest next week at Royal Oak, Dorchester. Wetherspoons say they expect to have 35 beers during the festival which runs from 1st November until the 18th November. They anticipate having a choice of 20 or so available most of this period.

25/10/07. Hidden Brewery acquires Kings Arms, Thornford.  Andrew Hesketh, BLO for the Hidden Brewery reports that the brewery has acquired its third pub, The Kings Arms at Thornford, near Yeovil and will be re-opening it on Saturday 3rd November following refurbishment. Gay and Michael invite all to come and sample their fine ales. For those wishing to travel by train Thornford is on the Bristol Weymouth line and has a station close to the pub. Those using the Exeter Waterloo line would need to alight at Yeovil Junction and get the Weymouth train from Yeovil Pen Mill.

13/10/07. Regular meetings change to Wednesdays. The recent questionnaire showed more people interested in meetings on Wednesdays - so from now until the end of the year, we're moving the published meetings from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. See the updated Diary.

12/9/07. Presentation of "Club of the Year" award to Colliton Club on 27th Sept. John Buckley, the Wessex Regional Director of CAMRA will be presenting the Regional Club of the Year Award to Neil Gatehouse the club steward on Thursday 27th September at 7.30 pm. All CAMRA members are welcome to attend. (See Michel's report below for more details).

9/07. WEYMOUTH’s SUCCESSFUL OCTOBER BEER FESTIVAL AT BREWER’S QUAY AGAIN. Brewer’s Quay and the West Dorset branch of the Campaign for Real Ale [CAMRA] are again coming together to organise Octoberfest on the first weekend in October.

28/8/07. A "mini beer festival" this coming weekend at Thorncombe. Thorncombe Sports & Social Club are holding a mini beer festival this coming weekend. Everybody will be more than welcome! We are situated in the farthest West of Dorset - with plenty of space for camping (hot showers, toilets etc). Live music on Friday night. See www.thorncombe-club.co.uk for how to get there.
Beers will be: St Austell's: Black Prince and Tribute; Carlsberg: Burton Ale; Exmoor: Exmoor Gold; O’Hanlon’s; Yellowhammer and Royal Oak: Fuller's London Pride.

19/8/07. Colliton Club wins Wessex "Club of the Year". Michel tells us the results of the regional competition.

12/8/07. Great British Beer Festival Trip. Simons recollections of a great day out ...

10/8/07. AGM Venue - Palmers Brewery, Bridport - 11th September 8.00pm. Refreshment and Brewery tour after. Transport available - contact Tony to book seat - 01305 78990

12/6/07. GBG Deletion - Queens Hotel, Weymouth. Until recently this pub sold a selection of well kept DBC beers and was featured in the 2007 Good Beer Guide. Unfortunately the licensee reponsible for this policy has moved on and the new owners of the franchise have different business objectives. So much so that real ale in the present Queens Hotel is only occasionally available and then from a national or super-regional brewer. West Dorset Branch of CAMRA have therefore no choice but to seek to delete this pub from the 2007 GBG.

6/5/07. A visit to Blandford Beer Festival Simon gives another report and took these photos of a visit to this weekend's Blandford Beer Festival.

14/4/07. Maltings Festival Trip Simon Palmer took these photos of the trip to Newton Abbot Maltings festival. We had 44 members on the coach and several others travelled independently making this one of our largest visits!

2/4/07. Brewery Trip Report. Vanessa Hartigan and Simon Clark report on the recent three-day trip to Ross-on Wye.

Wise Man at West Stafford - rebuild well under way. A major fire ripped through this lovely pub 11 months ago. See out previous items here and here.

We are pleased to see that the rebuilding is well underway and demonstrates a very sympathetic reconstruction - see pictures here. Hopefully the pub will re-open in the summer!! Dated 1/4/07

10/3/07. Black Bear in Wool to re-open. After being closed for refurbishment, the Black bear in Wool is due to re-open on Monday 12th March. A new management team is in place as well. The pub is a part of the Hall and Woodhouse estate - so expect Badger beers to feature!

8/3/07. New Cider Festival. The Royal Portland Arms, Fortuneswell on Portland is holding a Cider Festival over the Easter w/e. There will also be 2-3 Real Ales available.

1/3/07. Beerex "Beer of Festival" Results. The winning beers are listed here.

Blue Raddle wins Branch Pub of the Year! The winner of the local branch competition for CAMRA pub of the year was announced at Dorchester Beerex, and a certificate was awarded to the landlord, Richard Townsend during the festival. Dated 4/2/07

1/1/07. Beerex Tickets on Sale Now. Dorchester Beerex 2007 tickets available now - be sure to get yours! Check out the draft Beer List here.

2006

14/11/06. Awards to be presented on December 4th. Two presentations will be made at the Digby Tap, Sherborne on Monday December 4th. These are for the Digby Tap itself (Wessex Regional Pub of the Year) and Yeovil Brewery (Beer of the Festival - Weymouth Octoberfest). Make sure you can get there!

1/11/06. Sailor's Return back to full service! The damage caused by the recent fire at the Sailor's Return has now been repaired. The pub is now fully open again!

9/10/06. Weymouth Octoberfest goes from strength to strength! The Octoberfest has had another record year, with seven more beers available than last year. Well over three quarters of the beers were still available for the early part of the last session and a great atmosphere was enjoyed by all. Click here to see which beers won the Beer of the Festival. Read more from the Dorset Echo.

9/10/06. New Hope for Wise Man at West Stafford. The future of the pub, which burned down at the beginning of May, has been unclear for several months. Now the owners of the pub, Punch Taverns, have unveiled plans to rebuild it and reopen it as a full working pub. Read More.

29/09/06. New Inn at Shipton Gorge reopens after massive effort by locals! The New Inn at Shipton Gorge has been formally re-opened today. After a series of short speeches acknowledging the hard work and support of organisations including Pub is The Hub, Palmer's of Bridport and DEFRA, local MP Oliver Letwin presented a plaque to celebrate the reopening. Read more

15/09/06. Digby Tap wins Wessex Region Pub of The Year award! The Digby Tap in Sherborne has been chosen as the pub which best represents CAMRA’s ideal pub in Wessex this year. It is now one of 16 pubs being put forward for the National Pub of The Year award. The Wessex Region covers Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and South Wiltshire.

13/09/06. Good Beer Guide 2007 available! This year the branch has copies before they are available for sale on the HQ web site. Members can get them at a reduced price fron any Branch Meeting.

31/08/06. Octoberfest beer list! Early draft of the beer list for this year, published to whet your appetite... NB beers may change due to availability. Reserve Tickets on-line.

01/08/06. AGM venue announced! This year our AGM (Sept 12th) will be held in the Queen's Hotel, Weymouth. The pub is near the station - after you come down the station steps, turn right and the Queen's is across the road in front of you.

26/07/06. Beer Tasting event on Saturday 12 August 2006. O'Hanlons has invited CAMRA to come along to a tasting session at Majestic Wines in Dorchester at 12.30pm on Saturday 12 August 2006. Just turn up to sample these excellent ales - there is also a wide range of other bottled ales on sale.

24/07/06. Another Pub fire - Sailor's Return this time

22/07/06. Pub Guide reprinted! Our local pub guide had sold out, but we've just had a reprint so it's now available again.

27/06/06. Branch social postponed meeting planned for Benville locality is rescheduled to 25th July

13/06/06. Branch visits Sherborne an evening in various pubs in this north Dorset town..Read more

13/05/06. CAMRA Regional Meeting at Palmers Bridport seeks Fuller's agreement re Gales branding.
At the Meeting, Fullers Head Brewer, John Keeling, acknowledged that branding for beers now brewed at Chiswick should not contain misleading information. It is now expected that pumpclips etc. will be changed to reflect this agreement.

01/05/06. Wise Man at West Stafford destroyed by fire.