What has the New Year got in store?

Well 2024 is well under way and I hope members had an enjoyable festive season. I also hope you have been able to visit our pubs and clubs during January to help them through what is generally considered a lean time for the hospitality industry. Even if you are participating in Dry January there is no reason not to visit your local pub or club and investigate the ever growing range of low and no-alcohol beers being produced by quality brewers these days.

For the last couple of years, new bar openings have almost kept pace with closures, however it is anticipated that this year we may see the overall number of pubs and clubs decreasing, so your support is more vital than ever.

Meetings and Socials

The next Branch meeting will take place this coming Thursday, 1st February at the Millstone, Crown Street, Bolton. At the meeting we will be voting for the branch’s entries for the Good Beer Guide 2025 and the Winter Pub of the Season. You can also vote online if you prefer. Details of how to do this are below.

The next social will be a trip on the 125 bus route from Bolton to Horwich on the 10th February, taking in a number of pubs on the way. Everyone is welcome and if you’d like to come along we’ll be meeting at Great Ale at the Vaults in the Market Place in the Town Centre at 1p.m. More details here.

Good Beer Guide/Pub and Club Awards

Online voting is under way to select the branch’s 13 entries for the Good Beer Guide 2025. The shortlist of pubs and voting forms can be found here. The deadline for online voting is midnight on Tuesday 30 January but if you would prefer to vote in person you can do so at the Branch meeting on 1st February. Full details of the selection process for the Good Beer Guide can be found here.

On the same page, you can also cast your vote for the Winter Pub of the Season. The deadline for online voting for this award is midnight on Wednesday 31 January.

You have more time to cast your vote for the Cider Pub of the Year and Club of the Year as these votes do not close until early March which gives you plenty of time to visit the nominees and sample what they have to offer.


The Chancellor has been dropping hints about tax cuts in the March budget but whether those tax cuts will benefit our hard pressed hospitality industry remains to be seen. CAMRA will be campigning on this ahead of the budget and will be asking you to write to your MP urging more support for pubs and clubs to keep them going through the current difficulties.

There are also going to be elections this year. There will be local elections in May and almost certainly a general election before the year is out. We will take these opportunities to press politicians both local and national to support policies which allow us to enjoy a good, reasonably priced pint in our local.



John Mitchell


Bolton CAMRA Branch Update