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Real Ale Pubs

For centuries master brewers have been selecting, preparing and sampling in order to produce the perfect pint. As supermarkets and off licenses sell cheap mass-produced beers and lagers, these craftspeople have doggedly continued to maintain a fine tradition of locally brewed ale. Microbreweries have been opened up at the back of pubs and family businesses passed down, all in the pursuit of ‘real ale’.

Sample only the best locally brewed ale in the unique atmosphere of an English country pub.

Real ale is brewed from traditional ingredients (malted barley, hops, water and yeast) and is also known as ‘cask-conditioned beer’ as it is left to develop and ferment in the cask, creating a natural product with nutritious properties. The Cask Marque is awarded to landlords who keep their real ale to a high standard — look for its logo displayed outside approved pubs.

A bar featuring local alesIn 1973 the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was founded, which is committed to the preservation of this traditional beverage that has origins going back some 6,000 years, a far cry from the filtered and pasteurised modern keg bitter. Festivals dedicated to this revered drink are increasingly popular, with many inns hosting an annual ‘shindig’, showcasing real ales from around the country, alongside barbeques or hog roasts and often accompanied by music.

Barrels of ale, well-kept to ensure the best qualityEngland can lay claim to several reputable independent microbreweries that organise tours of their premises, where you can see how the beer is made and also expect to partake of a few samples! On a visit to a Great Country Pub you may well come across such evocative names as Bishop’s Finger, Pressed Rat and Warthog, Old Thumper and Gardener’s Tipple, all produced at a different local brewery.

To sample some of the very best local brews first hand pay a visit to the White Hart at Newenden (Kent). Continually included in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, which makes them one of the best of 4,500 pubs in Britain for real ale. While The Chequers in Goldhanger (Essex) always of six carefully selected real ales on tap.

Find a Great Country Pub

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Russell Arms

Locationnear Wendover, Buckinghamshire

Thought to date back to 1763 (although parts of the building are older), the Russell Arms nestles at the foot of Coombe Hill, one of the highest points in the Chilterns and offers first-class food...

Russell Arms

Great Pubs for Real Ales

Russell Arms

Locationnear Wendover, Buckinghamshire

Duke of Cambridge

LocationFarnham, Surrey

Fox & Hounds

LocationUffington, Oxfordshire

The Kings Head Inn

LocationChipping Norton, Oxfordshire

The Wiremill

LocationLingfield, Surrey

The George Inn

LocationDean, near Andover, Hampshire

The Crown @ Granborough

LocationBuckingham

The Boot Bledlow Ridge

LocationHigh Wycombe, Bucks

The White Hart

Locationnr Henley On Thames, Oxon

Peacock Country Inn

LocationThame, Oxfordshire