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CAMRA Kent Cider Pub Of The Year 2016
CAMRA Branch Pub Of The Year
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
CAMRA East Kent Pub Of The Year 2011, 2013 , 2014
CAMRA Kent Pub Of The Year 2013
CAMRA Cider Pub Of The Yearfor Kent 2010 and 2013
CAMRA National Cider Pub Of The Year Finalist 2010
Errantly I'd omitted to recollect the name of this pub when I passed through here in 2010, which was a shame if only because I couldn't do it justice via a glowing BITE review - often the most appropriate way of paying due homage to a pub that has impressed. Upon a 2nd appearance last week, I can say I remained as awestruck by what this little sidestreet local is doing now as I was 2 years ago.
The landlord must be immensely committed, and it just goes to show what can be achieved with that sort of passion, plus - I presume without any prior knowledge - a freehold or at least free-of-tie arrangement which allows pretty free reign on what beer can be offered at the bar. I think 8 were featured, many from Kent and the south though not exclusively. Too numerous to list here and in any case they're ever-changing; observation suggested a fair number of locals were quaffing the fizz, but plainly enough real stuff is shifted here to justify the turnover. Redemption Porter was just one of the beers tried and it was truly splendid. Hop Fuzz was also on form. The man's got this on the money, because he also stocks Harvey's Best, which whilst is slightly off its local patch, is generic enough to appeal to the less-adventurous drinker who just wants a solid traditional best bitter to quaff every visit.
There is a slightly dated - early '80s - front-room feel to the Berry (should that be the "Beery"?!) which somehow doesn't jar as it exudes that kind of working man's club ethos; the pub does authentically feel like more of a social club for the community than anything, with a sports room at the rear, and it caters for a wide spectrum of folk, not soelely the beer enthusiast. One could so easily be snobbish about its humble approach but a visit will see to it that that would be churlish - the welcome from the landlord, the quality and range of his ales, and the jollity and conviviality I encountered when at the bar, all serve to bring one back to what should be valued most in a local: good beer and good cheer.
I hope to be back, whenever I next pass through Walmer.
Beer In The Evening 2012
"The Berry is winner of multiple real ale and cider awards and not to be missed. The no-frills, one-room, ale house is 20 minutes walk south of Deal town centre. Over 1000 pump clips cover the walls, demonstrating the pub's commitment to real ale and cider."
CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2012
The Berry, Walmer
Rhys Griffiths: www.thisiskent.co.uk
"The strength of this traditional community pub lies in the enthusiasm of the owner and staff for real ale and cider. As a result, Chris has won local CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The pub boasts a February beer festival, May cider festival and German-themed Oktoberfest. Ciders are from Thatchers and Westons. Social activities include euchre on Sunday, quiz nights, pool and darts. Dogs are welcome. The real McCoy for great beers in a warm friendly atmosphere."
CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2011
"One of the foremost real ale pubs in the area has done it again. For the third year in succession The Berry, on Canada Road in Walmer, has won the local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch Pub of the Year award (colloquially referred to as "POTY").
This CAMRA award is presented to the real ale pub which demonstrates not just a commitment to quality real ale but is judged to be the best all-round pub in terms of atmosphere, welcome & service, clientele mix, support for CAMRA aims and overall value for money.
Tony Wells, the Pubs Officer for the Deal, Dover, Sandwich and District branch of CAMRA, said that: "The Berry just goes from strength to strength and shows what can be achieved if you put the right person behind the bar. Chris Barnes, landlord of The Berry, understands what a good real ale pub should be all about. I firmly believe that Chris rightly deserves this award as it reflects the hard work he has been doing in serving good quality real ale and cider as well as supporting CAMRA's aims."
Since taking over the pub in 2005, Chris has had remarkable success. Within a year he gained entry into CAMRA's Good Beer Guide and became eligible for the local POTY award. By 2008, he had won this CAMRA award for the first time.
This award crowns what has been and continues to be a very successful and busy year for Chris and the pub. Sales of real ale have increased such that Chris has installed additional handpulls; he recently served his 800th different real ale; he had his 3rd winter beer festival in February and is planning other real ale and cider events through out the year. He is due to get married in early June and his partner, Haz, is due to give birth to their baby."
CAMRA (Deal, Dover & Sandwich Branch) Press Release 2010
"Richly deserved CAMRA Branch Pub of the Year for the third year running. Chris is an excellent landlord. Harveys Sussex Best Bitter and Dark Star APA on as regulars. Cider is a real feature here now too."
"Be sure to check out this superb local just off Walmer Green and the seafront. Five handpumps dispense an excellent selection of beers from regional and micro-breweries. Two real ciders and a real perry are usually available. February is real ale festival time and the autumn Oktoberfest introduces a German theme. A good range of pub games is kept, and the darts, pool, football and quiz teams keep things busy. Outside is a pleasant drinking area. CAMRA branch Pub of the Year 2008."
CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2010.
"Small real ale pub opp. old Royal Marine barracks , friendly couple, well kept real ales, farm cider and perry, no food; small vine-covered terrace, open all day weekends."
The Good Pub Guide 2009
"Well worth visiting for it's great atmosphere and 'no frills' approach to real ale. A full range of pub games is played here, including the more unusual game of euchre. On Thursday night there is a jam session with the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Guitar and Musicians Club. An interesting range of beers is always on offer from regional breweries and the pub's first beer festival has been held. CAMRA local Branch Pub of the Year 2008.
CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2009
"Formerly The Green Berry, this 1860s- built popular family-run community pub specialises in a changing variety of ales from local and regional brewers."
The Real Ale Pub Guide 2008
"It's hard to find something to say about this pub which hasn't already been said. In fact it's probably easier to let its many awards speak for themselves. In 2008 The Berry was named pub of the year by the local branch of Camra, and Chris and Harriet obviously enjoyed the winning feeling because they have since gone on to reclaim the title in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
So what is it about the pub that means local rivals haven't a look in when the gongs are handed out? Quite simply, it's the beer. A look at their website shows there are currently 11 real ales and ciders on offer, including Old Dairy Blue Top and Nelson's Press Gang from Kent, and many more billed as coming soon."