Your guide to the 2019 Reading Ale Trail

James Moore
The Nag's Head bar

This month sees the launch of the 2019 Reading Ale Trail, so for the second year, I’ve put together a guide to the trail so everyone can find out how to take part.

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 2019 Reading Ale Trail.

How does it work?

Put simply, you visit each of the 24 pubs on the trail across a two month period (from Saturday 9 February until Thursday 4 April) 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. Completed trailers can choose from either a CAMRA t-shirt and a half-pint beer festival voucher, or six half-pint beer festival vouchers. If you complete 16 pubs you get three half-pint beer festival vouchers.

Which pubs are on the trail?

  1. Alehouse, Reading
  2. Allied Arms, Reading
  3. Bell, Waltham St Lawrence
  4. Blagrave Arms, Reading
  5. Butler, Reading
  6. Castle Tap, Reading
  7. Crown, Caversham
  8. Flower Pot, Aston
  9. Foresters Arms, Reading
  10. Fox & Hounds, Theale
  11. Fox & Hounds, Tilehurst
  12. Fox & Hounds, Caversham
  13. Golden Cross, Twyford
  14. Good Companions, Woodley
  15. Greyfriar, Reading
  16. Greyhound, Tidmarsh
  17. Griffin, Caversham
  18. Hop Leaf, Reading
  19. Lyndhurst, Reading
  20. Magpie & Parrot, Shinfield
  21. Nags Head, Reading
  22. Park House (University of Reading), Reading
  23. Rowbarge, Woolhampton
  24. Royal Oak, Ruscombe


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.

I won’t go into detail into all of these pubs because that would ruin the fun of discovering them for yourself. But it’s fair to say I’m a big fan of pubs, so I have visited all 24 of them. You’re in for a treat this year with a really wonderful mix in terms of what they look like, what they sell and the experience you’ll get at each of them.

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. You can buy these for £1 at either The Nag’s Head, The Fox & Hounds in Caversham or The Alehouse. There are less than 700 booklets in total so get them while they’re hot!

Or you can pick one up at the Ale Trail launch event at the The Allied Arms from 12 noon on Saturday 9 February. Get more information about the launch over on the Facebook event.

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 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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