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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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The Boot Bledlow Ridge

LocationHigh Wycombe, Bucks

Situated in the heart of the picturesque Chiltern Hills, this well-run village pub offers fresh, locally produced food that you really want to go out for, and an excellent range of drinks.

The Boot Bledlow Ridge

Great Pubs for Real Ales

The Boot Bledlow Ridge

LocationHigh Wycombe, Bucks

Russell Arms

Locationnear Wendover, Buckinghamshire

Snowdrop Inn

LocationLewes, East Sussex

The Grove Ferry Pub

LocationUpstreet, Canterbury, Kent

The Coach & Horses

LocationBasingstoke, Hampshire

The Polecat Inn

LocationGreat Missenden

The Griffin Inn

LocationFletching, East Sussex

Alford Arms

LocationHemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

The Chequers

LocationMaldon, Essex

The Swan Inn

LocationSwinbrook, Oxfordshire