We were, at last, able to hold the 2021 AGM on Tuesday 31st August, 27 months after our last AGM. My thanks go out to the committee who remained in post during this extended hiatus period. 

2019, 2020 and 2021 have been years unseen for decades. The cost of the pandemic to our personal lives and the lives of business owners, especially within the hospitality industry, have required a tremendous amount of resolve. Sadly over the last 18 months we have all suffered loses, from loved ones and friends to losing some well known businesses from the town and villages in our area. 

As we look forward to the end of 2021 (and who isn’t!) and into 2022 we face new challenges. Membership has dropped, I suspect partly due to lack of CAMRA events over the past 18 months and sadly the profound effect that COVID has had on our membership.

As the pandemic started we learnt that our regular festival venue, The Town Hall, won’t be available in the future as the room is being repurposed for the council and the new museum and updated Tourist Information. The task has been set, and is already being worked on to search for a new venue and we have a good selection of options. This is no small undertaking as we will require a similar amount of space as before but close enough to town to be easily accessible. 

There was a good turn out in the back room of The Smith's Tavern in Ashbourne, where the branch was originally founded. The room allowed for everyone to be socially distanced and the appropriate COVID safety measures were in place. My thanks go to Mark Grist for hosting the AGM. 

The meeting was split into two halves, the first was the official business of voting in the committee and I am very pleased to report that the previous committee have agreed to remain in their roles as we move forward in re-establishing branch activities and further ahead to resuming the branches annual Beer & Cider festival. While planning for the festival our attention is also on providing more events and socials for the branch including trips to breweries and distilleries within our area (or just outside). Watch the website and social media for information when it becomes available!

We are sad to report that we have lost three venues in our area. The Bluebell at Tissington which is currently being converted into self catering accommodation, the Ostrich at Longford which is to become a dwelling and Artisan in Ashbourne. We'd like to wish the previous operators the very best of luck in their new ventures.
We have gained the Bank in Ashbourne, providing cocktails and wines and Number 33 is due to reopen in what was Artisan and is the third property to open under the stewardship of Pete and Laura Dale and will specialise in wines of all varieties, we are pleased to report that they will retain one hand pull for real ale! 
No further news on the conversion of the former Natwest building to a Derby Brewing Company pub after they successfully challenged the previous rejection of planning consent.

It's great to see our pubs starting to thrive again, in the safest way possible. We have even had the first beer festival in the area, which was held at the Cock Inn, Clifton. Walter at The Queens Vaults has also brewed the first in house ale, we look forward to sampling this any many more in the future! Please continue to support your local and keep an eye out for the events they are hosting including live music, festivals and food events. 

Finally, our monthly socials (and short meetings) are a great way to spend a couple of hours trying some new beers in pubs and bars you may not have been in before. Non-members are also welcome to attend and if transport is a problem let us know and we will see if we can setup suitable transport. Our socials are listed on the website and also on our Facebook page. We look forward to welcoming you to a social soon!

Wishing you all the best of health,
Dave Etheridge
Branch Chairman

Upcoming Events

28 Sep 2021n08:00PM - 10:00PMnSeptember Social and Meeting
24 Oct 2021n07:00PM - 09:00PMnOctober Social and Meeting
30 Nov 2021n08:00PM - 10:00PMnNovember Social and Meeting
21 Dec 2021n07:00PM - 10:00PMnDecember Christmas Social