Jul 142015
Good morning I hope you have been able to enjoy the recent fine weather, although we have had a few storms too!
Your Branch Committee has been busy lately – we have taken a serious look at the processes we go through to select our Pub Of The Year[POTY], Cider Pub Of The Year[CPOTY], Club Of The Year[COTY] and Brewery Of The YearBOTY].  Every branch seems to do it differently.  We wanted to ensure that our branch procedure is transparent and involves all members so that when the winners are announced we can all feel proud of our choice.  We looked at how we get nominations, how we shortlist, how we ensure the selection meets CamRA criteria and the timescale of the process.  I then enjoyed working up a flowchart for each!  This was presented to the recent Branch Meeting and agreed upon.  Copies of the flowcharts are here on our Branch Website POTY flowchart,  BOTY flowchart  and CBOTY, COTY flowchart, along with minutes of branch meetings – if you dared to miss one!  The important bit for all members to know is that it all starts with you!  We need your nominations.  Every member can nominate a pub, cider pub, club and brewery simply by letting the Chairman know (phone, letter or email).  Ron is currently working on a way of making nominations possible via our branch website too.
More good news and reason to celebrate is that 4 of our North Devon Branch Breweries have been selected to have beers at The Great British Beer Festival[GBBF] this August in Olympia, London.  Country life, Clearwater, Holsworthy Ales and Barum will all be there.  Congratulations to them and also well done to their Brewery Liaison Officers for promoting them – without their involvement these fine breweries would miss out on the greatest national real ale showcase.  Morris and I are once again working all week at GBBF so will really enjoy highlighting our Branch’s achievement.
You might also like to know that I have been asked to join the judges of the Champion Beer Of Britain[CBOB] – an honour and a privilege, and rather scary too!
Our next Branch meeting is on
Saturday 25th July, 12.30 at 
The Staghunters Inn, Brendon EX35 6PS
I hope I will see you there.
Also look out for the latest edition of our Branch newsletter Beer Tiz and check latest Events on our Whats On page.  Particularly worthy of mention are the various social activities arranged – please take a look.
Finally, may I remind you of our Beer Festival at RHS Rosemoor in September. As usual I shall be looking for volunteers to work on the bar on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  No experience is necessary as training will be given by experienced bar staff.  It isn’t usually very busy so there is time to learn how to serve beer, how to talk about beer, how to encourage support for the campaign, how to sign up new members and also to enjoy the gardens!  At present I haven’t got more specific details, but I will email you when I have and if you would like to volunteer I am sure I will be able to find a slot for you!  I will also be doing several tasting sessions to encourage members to join the tasting panel and so that we can encourage support for our local breweries in the CBOB process.
Cheers and beers Fiona