Beer and Bere combine for a busy local pub

CHEERS! Landlord and landlady Peter Boulton and Diana Boulton with just a few of their many locals. Picture: 'Malcolm Wells (123140- 325)
CHEERS! Landlord and landlady Peter Boulton and Diana Boulton with just a few of their many locals. Picture: 'Malcolm Wells (123140- 325)
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The Forest of Bere is more than just a pub that throws open its doors to drinkers.

It encourages community groups to come in and have a chat over a cuppa.

Twice a week a knitting club made up of men and women turn up at the pub, in Hambledon Road, Denmead, to do some crochet, drink tea and swap patterns.

And on Wednesday evenings members of Waterlooville Motor Cycle Club enjoy watching DVDs about their hobby in the bar.

Alison Inskip, 29, manages the pub on behalf of her mum Diana Boulton, 60, and dad Peter, 67.

The trio arrived at the pub, which is split into a public and lounge bar, eight years ago.

Alison said: ‘When we first arrived here the motorcycle club just used to huddle around a small table in the corner of the public bar.

‘Now they hire out the whole bar for the night and have a great time. We think it’s important to encourage lots of different people to use our pub.

‘As well as meeting up on Monday mornings the local knitting group now meet on Wednesday evenings here – which is perfect for those who work during the day.’

The pub is supportive of worthy causes.

Ten regulars are taking on the challenge of the Bupa Great South Run on Sunday, October 28 in a bid to raise cash for Help for Heroes and Shine, which supports people with spina bifida – a condition which affects people’s movement.

The team have so far raised £200. Two months ago £400 was raised for Shine from a series of meat raffles.

And the pub will continue to help out the community in the run up to the 14th Denmead Beer Festival on Saturday, November 3.

Landlord Peter will make sure the beer barrels are in good condition before they arrive at the event in Denmead Community Centre.

He said: ‘Last year we sponsored a barrel of beer and when we were approached to get the barrels ready this time around I thought “why not?”

‘The beer festival is a great social event that brings the whole community together.

‘This pub is a village local – our motto is “The Pub is a Hub”.’

Although the pub doesn’t serve hot food there is an Indian restaurant upstairs called The Bengal Forest.

Peter lets the staff use his kitchen in return for a slice of the company’s takings.

‘It’s a system that works really well,’ he said.

‘You can come into a pub and have a few pints while you’re waiting for an Indian takeaway.’

MEET THE LANDLORD

LANDLORDS Peter and Diana want to hand over the lease of the pub to their daughter Alison once she gains more experience as manager.

In recent years Peter has taken a back seat and now handles all the finances while his wife helps out behind the bar at weekends.

Alison is expecting a baby with her husband Richard, 36, early next year so her parents will step up their duties when she takes time off over Christmas.

Alison, who has lived in Denmead for 20 years, was studying for a degree in business management at the University of Winchester when Peter and Diana took over The Forest of Bere. The couple bought the pub after Peter retired from his job as a computer consultant.

Alison said: ‘I enjoy talking to the regulars and listening to what they’ve been up to.

‘My parents and I make a good team.

‘You have days where there’s a difference of opinion but you tend to straighten them out fairly quickly.

She added: ‘Richard runs his own computer repair company but he’s very supportive of what I do.’