As 2020 continues to deliver challenges with COVID-19, a hospitality industry in crisis and frequently changing guidelines it comes as no surprise that organisations such as CAMRA branches have been forced into a hibernation like state. We have been fortunate in our small branch area that, as yet, no businesses have closed their doors for good. This does not mean our pubs and bars are healthy by any means and they still need your support now more than ever as the colder, wetter, winter months approach. So please, please, consider supporting your local by either visiting (following the recommended guidelines and local guidelines) or purchasing take aways for consumption at home or as Christmas gifts. We are blessed with two great businesses in Ashbourne, Artisan and 'House of Beer' that offer an extensive mix of takeaway bottles, cans and mini-kegs (House of Beer only). Many pubs are also still offering takeaway services. 

So what next for the branch? A decision was taken to postpone any activities in line with national guidance from HQ, this included our AGM that was scheduled for the end of May, thankfully all existing committee members offered to stay in role with a target to hold an AGM in May 2021.
Although there have been no 'Pub of the season' awards this year we are looking at some alternatives. We are fortunate to have three pubs and bars in this years Good Beer Guide, an announcement of who these entries are will be announced on the 29th October.

As we look towards 2021 we are hoping that a beer & cider festival of some kind will be held in or around the town. Our regular venue of the Town Hall will no longer be available so any suggestions on an alternative would be gladly received!

Nationally CAMRA has been hard at work campaigning to get the hospitality sector the much needed support required for businesses to survive the crisis. Over 3,500 people have now sent emails to politicians calling for a comprehensive support package to save pubs, clubs, brewers and cider makers and we will be planning more central activity to increase this number.

Stay Safe
Dave Etheridge
Branch Chairman

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