Branch socials in May

Mark Powell, centre-stage, receiving the awards from South Herts Branch Cider Representative Brian Page (left) and Branch Chairman, Les Middlewood
Written by Ben Wilkinson

It looked like it was never going to happen but the weather finally seems to be (gradually) getting better. So why not schedule some great social events into your May diary? We’ve got four – yes four – to tempt you with!

Old Welwyn Ale Trail

Saturday 11th May

Join us for a real ale ramble around the old Hertfordshire village of Welwyn. Taking in six cask ale-selling pubs, this will be a chance to not only enjoy the beers and pubs, but to tread the historic streets, spot the River Mimram and enjoy some good, friendly company.

We’ll be meeting at the Steamer in London Road at 1pm. Our full itinerary is as follows:

  • 1300: Steamer, London Road
  • 1345: White Hart, Prospect Place
  • 1430: White Horse, Mill Lane
  • 1515: Tavern, High Street
  • 1600: Wellington, Codicote Road
  • 1645: Rose & Crown, Church Street

And if you fancy an early start, why not visit the fascinating Roman Baths located on the east side of the roundabout at the foot of Welwyn By-Pass Road? Opens at 10am.

St. Albans Festival of Mild

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th May

We’ve teamed up with local licensees’ group Save St. Albans Pubs to bring you the St. Albans Festival of Mild – 16 fantastic pubs all serving at least one example of this classic British beer style.

Mild is a type of beer which developed in the late 18th and 19th centuries as drinkers started to demand a slightly sweeter and less aggressively hopped beer than porter. Early milds were much stronger than modern versions, which tend to fall into the 3% to 3.5% category – although some brewers are now bringing back stronger recipes, so there is a great variety out there.

Mild is usually very dark brown in colour, due to the use of well-roasted malts or roasted barley. Look for a rich malty aroma and flavour, with hints of dark fruit, chocolate, coffee and caramel, with a gentle underpinning of hop bitterness.

To be part of the St. Albans Festival of Mild, you can join us on one (or both) of our two guided pub trails, or simply visit any of the participating pubs over the weekend at your leisure.

Saturday Pub Trail:

  • 1300: John Bunyan, Coleman Green (or meet at the Robin Hood half an hour earlier if you’d like to share a cab from somewhere more central)
  • 1400: Royston Social Club, College Road
  • 1500: Great Northern, London Road
  • 1545: Farmer’s Boy, London Road
  • 1630: Hare & Hounds, Sopwell Lane
  • 1715: White Hart Tap, Keyfield Terrace
  • 1800: Beehive, London Road
  • 1845: Mermaid, Hatfield Road

Sunday Pub Trail:

  • 1300: Six Bells, St. Michael’s Street
  • 1345: Lower Red Lion, Fishpool Street
  • 1430: Portland Arms, Portland Street
  • 1515: Farriers Arms, Lower Dagnall Street
  • 1600: Dylans/Kings Arms, George Street
  • 1645: Boot, Market Place
  • 1730: Cock, St. Peter’s Street
  • 1815: Robin Hood, Victoria Street

Hope to see you on one of both of these trails, or just around the pubs enjoying a nice cool mild over the weekend!

Dial ‘M’ For Mild

Tuesday 21st May

Four outstanding Hertford town centre pubs are also coming together to celebrate this traditional British beer style, each presenting at least one dark mild from across the UK. Come and join us for another chance to discover the tasty world of this under-appreciated drink.

Dark mild was once the most popular beer in Britain but gained an increasing reputation for poor quality in the post-WWII period, leading to it disappearing in many areas and being replaced by Bitter as the nation’s favourite drink. But today the style has been reinvented and some delicious dark milds are brewed in Hertfordshire and across the UK.


  • 2000: Black Horse, West Street
  • 2045: White Horse, Castle Street
  • 2130: Old Barge, The Folly
  • 2215: Old Cross Tavern, St. Andrew Street

Cider & Cheese Feast

Saturday 25th May

Multi-award winning St. Albans pub The Mermaid is bringing back its famous May Cider Festival again this year. So we’re also bringing back an old tradition – our Cider & Cheese Tasting Social.

To join in, simply meet us at The Mermaid from 1pm, and bring along some interesting cheese to share. We’ll have an area set aside (outside if the weather is nice, which of course it will) dedicated to sharing the cheeses everyone has brought along – whilst also, of course, sampling the array of delicious ciders and perries available at the Mermaid’s festival.

Everyone is welcome, just come and find us. Last year a lot of cheese and a lot of cider was consumed – don’t miss out!

Hope to see you at one of the above events. And don’t forget, everyone is welcome to all of these – so consider bringing friends or family along too!

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