Wetherspoon's Moon Under Water named among best real ale pubs in Cheltenham
IT’S not the first name that trips off the tongue when you think of traditional real ale pubs in Cheltenham.
But Wetherspoon’s Moon Under Water, in Bath Road, has been named in the Campaign for Real Ale’s (Camra) Good Beer Guide 2014.
It is the first time the annual guide, which was released last week, has included the venue among an elite group of the town’s best real ale pubs.
Pub manager, Kirsty Hopkins, said staff had worked hard to develop a good reputation for the hand-pumped tipples.
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Customers can enjoy Greene King Abbot and Ruddles Best Bitter as well as five changing guest beers and two ciders.
“I am delighted that The Moon Under Water has been recognised for the quality of its real ales by Camra members,” said Kirsty.
“We offer our customers an excellent range of real ales at all times, including those from regional brewers and microbrewers, as well as hosting our own beer festivals.
“Staff at the pub work hard to ensure that the real ales on offer are kept in first-class condition at all times and the pub’s inclusion in the guide highlights this.”
Other Cheltenham pubs to be honoured with a mention in the Camra guide include traditional real ale favourites The Royal Union, in Hatherley Street, The Strand, in the High Street, The Royal Oak, in Prestbury, and the Jolly Brewmaster, in Painswick Road.
Cheltenham Motor Club, in Upper Park Street, which was named National Club of the Year by Camra earlier this year, also features.
But it is the appearance of the Wetherspoon’s pub in the guide which raise eyebrows among the traditionalists. The recognition, which also praises factors such as customer service, décor and atmosphere, comes after members of the town’s Camra branch dropped in to sample the tipples.
Martyn Herbert, media officer for Gloucestershire’s branch of Camra, said the pub had done well to make it into the guide.
“You can’t knock a place just because of the name,” he said.
“ I know people don’t necessarily associate Wetherspoon’s with good real ale but I have some friends who drink there and they say it is very good.
“They are obviously doing something right in terms of how they are keeping it and, being a Wetherspoon’s, they can sell it at very competitive prices.”
He added that the pub’s growing reputation for real ale could get more people interested in the drink.
“It might not be everyone’s idea of a real ale pub,” he added. But from our point of view anything which helps to get people interested in real ale and spread the word about has got to be a good thing.”