Are you a pub licensee? Or do you know of some news from your local? Use the contact form, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me about it, and I will post the announcement here on the 'News' page.
Use the search box to search the News archive. You can search by key word, by location (such as 'Levens' or 'Crosthwaite') or by pub name. You can use partial terms (such as 'gin') which will return all results containing the partial term. So a search for 'gin' will return any news item which is about the beverage 'gin', but will also return any entries which contain reference to, for example, 'en gin eer'. If the search returns a number of results and you wish to read them all, use the 'back' button in your browser to return to the results page. If you use the 'News' button in the menu bar, it will return you to the latest news page and you will need to make a new search. If nothing happens, this indicates that there is no match found - I have not quite sorted the search engine out to say 'No matches found' yet - but I'm working on it!.
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78: New Union - Another Kendal Pub Re-opens Its Doors
The Union Tavern, re-named as 'The New Union', has re-opened with new Landlord Phil Walker behind the bar. The opening night was at the end of September, and since then I have been hearing good reports about what is going on.
I finally got the opportunity to try it out for myself yesterday (October 10th.) and I can confirm that things are looking up. There are up to four real ales available at any one time, many of them being local. But when opportunities arise, Phil will be getting interesting beers from all over the country. In line with modern trends there is an artisan gin menu, a selection of malt whiskies, plus bottled craft and Continental beers. For the more traditional, or non-craft beer drinker, there is Guinness and John Smiths Smooth, as well as a draught cider.
There are plans to start offering food, and Phil has many ideas about how to engage beer drinkers from Kendal in this new enterprise. Keep up to date with developments here on 'Pubs In South Lakes' or by checking the New Union Facebook page. We are living in a Golden Age for real ales, and rejuvenated pubs. But as a friend of mine has pointed out: 'The problem of there being a number of good pubs is that one is spread fairly thinly in trying to support them all.' Cheers!
77: Castle Inn Changes Hands - Again!
David and Lynne, proprietors of the Shakespeare Inn, have given up their attempt to take on and run the Castle Inn. Unable to come to an agreement with Punch Taverns, owners of the Castle, they have decided to concentrate instead on developing their business at the Shakespeare.
From what I have heard on the grapevine, a young couple from Surrey are taking over. I have not yet had the opportunity to meet them, but I understand that the male half of the team is a chef, while his partner has worked as front of house in the licenced trade, and they are now looking to try their own pub.
More news here when I have any, and details will also be announced on the Castle Inn website.
76: I've Been Away On Holiday
Before I went on my holidays, the Fell Brewery tap house on Lowther Street was still under construction, the Gate of Kendal (formerly the Dun Horse) was still closed after refurbishment, and the New Inn had been closed for some time. When I got back to Kendal, all three were open (and Sphere had changed its name to The Townhouse)! Are Kendal's pub licensees trying to tell me something?
Anyway, I have now managed to get round all four, and have updated (or added) their details on 'Pubs In South Lakes'. And have you spotted the change in the name? No longer 'Pubs In Kendal', as I seem to be casting my net wider and wider, but now 'Pubs In South Lakes'.
So we now have Fell on Lowther Street, very nicely complementing the Factory Tap as the hip and happening places in Kendal, to get a chance to try beers that would not otherwise be available through the traditional pubs - the brewery or pubco ties making it almost impossible for landlords to be creative with their beer offering.
That isn't to say that the other pubs on the High Street have nothing to offer the discerning pub-goer. Most pubs nowadays offer some sort of food service, and there are almost no pubs left that don't have at least one or two hand-pulled ales on the bar. It's up to us, as the customers that frequent the pubs, to let the landlords know what they could be doing to keep us coming back, and for us to support quality service in our local.
We have to use it, or lose it!
75: Ring o' Bells wins Westmorland CAMRA Pub of the Season, Spring 2017
Westmorland CAMRA has awarded the Ring o' Bells its coveted 'Pub of the Season' award for Spring 2017. Seen right are Landlady Su Duxbury and son Philip, just after the presentation from Marilyn Molloy, Westmorland CAMRA vice-Chairman.
A well-deserved feather in the cap of a local pub that is an outstanding example of what a pub should be like. Well done to Su, Chris, Jodie and Philip for making the place what it is, and congratulations on this fine win.
And the Ring o' Bells is pleased to announce, with effect from Tuesday May 9th. 2017, that CAMRA members will be entitled to 20p off the price of a pint of cask ale, on production of their membership card. The Ring o' Bells looks forward to seeing CAMRA members from all over the UK, as well as from closer to home. Call in soon to see what's on the pumps.
74: Handsome Brewery's Temporary Tap House
The present space is temporary, allowing the brewery to open for special occasions. Plans are well-underway for the construction of a permanent bar, kitchen and seating area, which is hoped to be open before the end of the year.
The next scheduled opening for the bar is the weekend of 'National Beer Day', which this year falls on Thursday June 15th. So keep your eyes on the Handsome Brewery's Facebook page for updates, and also for more information about the 'Potter the Fell' Wine and Ale Trail in July (see picture of poster).
73: Building Work Continues Apace at The New Fell Brewery Tap
I got this photo yesterday, April 27th., as I passed the site of the Fell Brewery's proposed Tap House.
There still looks to be a lot of work remaining to be done, so I don't think that the earlier expectation of an end-of-April opening is likely to be fulfilled. However, I have not had an update from the Brewery, so as soon as I receive any news regarding the completion of the work and the proposed opening date, I will post it here.
Meanwhile, I'll have to pop into the Factory Tap to see what they have on. They have recently had a good few of the Fell beers, on both cask and keg, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that they have Tinderbox IPA - my current favourite of their beers.