Your guide to the Reading Ale Trail

For the uninitiated, The Ale Trail is an annual event run by the Reading & Mid-Berkshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to encourage Reading’s residents to visit pubs and parts of our town you might not usually venture to. Read on to find out how to get involved, which pubs to visit and what the event is all about in our guide to the 2022 Reading Ale Trail.

How does it work?

Put simply, you visit each of the 24 pubs on the trail across a two month period ( in 2022 that’s from Saturday 5 March until Thursday 5 May) and get a sticker for a half pint of real ale, cider or perry purchased in each one. It’s got to be real ale – you won’t get a voucher for a lager or Guinness etc.

You can also get a sticker for soft drinks if you’re the designated driver though. However, most of the pubs are intentionally easy to access by public transport, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue

If you complete the Ale Trail (i.e. visit all 24 pubs and collect the appropriate stickers at each one), you win vouchers for drinks at the Reading Beer and Cider Festival. Usually beer festival tokens are part of the prize, but this year, completed trailers get a CAMRA t-shirt and entry into a prize draw.

Which pubs are on the trail?

  1. The Greyfriar
  2. Alehouse
  3. Allied Arms
  4. Castle Tap
  5. Nag’s Head
  6. The Butler
  7. The Victoria, Tilehurst
  8. Fox & Hounds, Tilehurst
  9. The Griffin, Caversham
  10. The Fox & Hounds, Caversham
  11. Loddon Tap Room, Dunsden Green
  12. Hop Leaf
  13. Park House, Reading University campus
  14. Turks Head
  15. The Retreat
  16. Weather Station
  17. Three Tuns
  18. Horse & Groom, Hare Hatch
  19. Royal Oak, Knowl Hill
  20. Bell Inn, Waltham St Lawrence
  21. Crispin, Wokingham
  22. George & Dragon, Swallowfield
  23. Elm Tree, Beech Hill
  24. Six Bells, Burghfield

The idea is to explore pubs you may not have seen before and the organisers of the Ale Trail have a rule that the pubs must be a good mix between urban, suburban and rural locations. The lion’s share must also be accessible via public transport.

You can do the trail on your own, in a group or join one of Reading CAMRA’s scheduled socials to take in these pubs. Keep an eye on the CAMRA diary, or their Facebook Page for more information.

How do I get involved?

Fox and Hounds pub Caversham

First, pick up an ale trail booklet to collect all your stickers in. Booklets are available for £2 from the Retreat, the Nags Head, and Alehouse. There are less than 700 booklets in total so get them while they’re hot!

Find out more

Detailed information on the Ale Trail is available on the Reading CAMRA website. Or you can join the Ale Trail Facebook Group for last minute updates including any changes to pubs, roadworks etc.

Read more

Read our reviews of The Nag’s Head, The Fox & Hounds, The Allied Arms, The Castle Tap, Park House Bar, The Hop Leaf or The Foresters Arms.

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