I think I am starting to settle into 2019.
I mean I can’t say I was looking forward to it; dryanuary was trending, brexit is looming and frankly who looks forward to the annual round of insurance quotes.
But actually as usual the year has started with a flurry; a whole load of people want to come and play music or generally entertain each other, people are still making awesome beer and someone wants to feed us pizza.
Fingers crossed our monthly book club and shanty night are looking pretty healthy and we have had loads of interest in our mixed open mic
It is pretty tough being a small independent outside of the town centre- we don’t have mass purchasing power, we don’t get random shoppers, bad reviews can be make or break but rather we rely on our core regulars [love you guys] , the beer aficionados and people who come to our events.
That said there is something really magical about knowing you are bringing people together and that people are making the effort to come to you.
So thanks all.
Autumn. October. Halloween.
Cakes, Charity, Community – Stoptober?
We think that the pub is a great place to get together whether you choose to drink or not and because of that it is good place to raise money and to meet people.
We raise money for Launchpad, Macmillan & Reading Refugee Support Group all year round but at the moment we are hosting a Bake Off for Macmillan, the next Retro-Game night for Launchpad is booked in and we are asking people to “buy a drink on their round” for RRSG by donating the price of a pint.
Additionally this year we are celebrating Dogs & Wolves so let out your inner beast and join us.
Our Halloween party (Oct 27th) theme is Fur & Fangs; the Travelling Talesman is bringing us his ‘Wolf Bites‘ autumn tour (Oct 31st) and we will also be hosting a Wolfenoot in November. Dress up, listen up & share.
It is nearly my favourite time of year.
And obviously we have some fun things coming up.
First of all: 8th September we have the most amazing gig for you – Davey Dodds and Cliff Eastabrook are bringing us their own special brand of contemporary rock ‘n’ reel.
Both have a well-established history of entertaining and have just started out on a new venture with Martin Solomon as the Porbeagles. Davey Dodds, once strutted his stuff doing quintessentially English prog-rock. He is a songwriter of some renown. His classic, ‘The Magpie’ was recently covered by The Unthanks on their award winning album, Mount the Air. Meanwhile his vocal style is often compared to Fish but he points out – with full justification – that he was doing it first! He plays a hugely resonant, octave mandolin, sparkles on a normal mandolin and creates ethereal soundscapes with flutey things. Cliff Eastabrook, once of The Morrigan and Pressgang, pushes bass playing way past the confines of straight, solid rock – inventive and melodic as well as driving rhythms.
Expect this performance to be one of a kind -combining witty, political story-telling with traditional folk melodies amped up to get you on your feet.
Here are Tasters from Davey’s new Album, Kernowcopia: Kick off your shoes & also Shoot the Gruffalo which is live at The Fleece in Bristol, where Davey was joined by friends from his old band ‘Red Jasper.’
Next up: 14th September For their regular music night BSANA are organising a drum workshop to be hosted by Drum4fun. The plan is to meet locals and regulars, make some noise and generally have a laugh (No skill required); if you live in their area you can claim a drink but everyone is welcome to get involved – What could go wrong?!
And Last but by no means Least: 20th – 23rd of September is our 4th Autumn Beer Festival.
There is going to be some hot food; a pub quiz; and Music of course.
I have started ordering the beer and planning the cider. There will be some new beers, some breweries from further afield and some unusual stuff both on cask and keg.
So what a summer we have been having –
A heatwave; England putting forward a decent performance in the sportsball; Silverware for our darts team; a brand new font for the cider, a new lager on the T-Bar & a new West Berks hand-pull.
We have had Georgian food, BBQs, Live Music, an Art Installation, book club and some fabulous themed drinks evenings.
But obviously it is not over yet! [Even if the weather breaks] Plus the Autumn is going to Rock.
July 22nd we have a Bourbon-Themed pub quiz organised by local Evan Williams rep and well-known cocktail slinger Josh Homerston
July 29th is Live Music from Leon C with support from Dan O’Farrell
August 11th is our Summer Party with some awesome music from Undying Heads plus unusual and gorgeous drinks.
There is probably more but I’ve forgotten already, but September we definitely have a super gig lined up from Davey Dodds (8th) plus save the dates for our Autumn Beer Festival (20th-23rd).
See you soon
We are really pleased to be joining forces with the lovely people at Georgian Feast to bring you some of the most delicious street food we’ve ever tried.
Georgian Feast are a small locally based independent who offer a handful of dishes based on traditional food from around the Caucasus Mountains. They are absolutely passionate about introducing people to their food and the traditional wines which go with it (yes we now have some in stock) and they are locally renowned for their generosity and friendliness. Have I mentioned they are also a British Street Food 2018 awards FINALIST!
Find them on Facebook and Twitter or at https://suneli.uk/ for updates and to find out how to get tickets for their supper events.
Meanwhile they are popping up their tent at ours roughly once a month on either or both the Saturday & Sunday. Meaty & Vegan options are available and the cheese bread is absolutely addictive.
Its February already; the 6 Nations has started, the Ale Trail has started and we’ve got stacks of music and tastings lined up. – Gigs for the next 5(?) weekends…
But this month there are a couple of new ventures we’d like you to get involved with – a brand new book club and a jam night.
Since we opened we have had a little donation library by the fireplace but we want to extend that into the back room and if we can get you guys together it’d be great to have a monthly book club. If you want an incentive to read something new, or an excuse to meet up with other people who enjoy reading then you should join us on the last monday of the month and help us work out what to do next.
Or if you are a little more musically inclined on the last wednesday of the month, in association with Boogie Wookie, we will have a drop in Jam session. So if you fancy trialling a new band or finding someone to play with or just listening to some local talent pop in and share a few tunes.
We look forward to seeing you
There is a chance I got a little enthusiastic about how mch I could fit into the shortest month of the year….
So I hope you are up for a Meet the Brewer evening*, 2 CAMRA socials, 3 gigs** and a whiskey tasting***.
* The super excellent Tap Social are bringing some New beers
** BIGG are back with their anti-valentines mix and then bringing friends Zephyr & Xander and the Keys later in the month; plus we have an Introducing set with Fat Rick and Gerald with Support
*** East London Liquor tasting are back to give us some previews of Sonoma county whiskey – let us know which we should put on the bar
It is getting cold.
The shops are full of knick knacks.
Beers all have funny names or spices or both.
And we have lots of events coming up. At the very least some music, a book launch and our seasonal Launchpad fundraiser – the Giving Tree and mince pie competition.
Next weekend we have BIGG, Minor Mountains, The Dirty Dead & Radiosaurus causing merry mayhem and all being well there will be more music in December.
Two Rivers Press will be celebrating the launch of “Whispers of Better Things” with us on December 4th. We will be finding out about the lives of the Hills and how they shaped local and national ideas on community.
If you haven’t got involved before the Giving Tree is your chance to donate food and toiletries for the homeless and needy in Reading. We will be launching it on Sunday December 10th with the decoration of the pub Yule tree and closing it on Friday 22nd December with the mince pie competition (details to follow).
In case you’ve missed it elsewhere this is a quick reminder to check out our events calendar to keep up to date with upcoming music – we’ve got some superb American blues (May 24th) and contemporary folk/pop/rock (June 24th) confirmed and we are still taking more bookings.
I would also like to take a moment to mention our Professional Drinkers Club – we have meetings on the last Sunday of the month to try some drinks and learn about some aspect of drinking, drink production or drink culture.
This month we have the very knowledgeable Daryl Unwin on ‘7 Deadly Gins’ & next month JD is going talk about his life as a brewer.
If you are interested in joining as a member or coming to an event as a non-member please speak to someone behind the bar or drop us an email
Back for the 2nd year and all the way from the Netherlands we have an evening of buccaneering mayhem.