About the Beer Bus


The Beer Bus was originally started by Alex Presland, when he was social secretary of the Southern Hampshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Relatively new to the area, Alex hadn't visited many of the rural pubs which were listed in the Good Beer Guide. Keen to visit these pubs and make them accessible to others, the Beer Bus was born.

The Beer Bus started off as a CAMRA social activity, but when Alex stopped being social secretary for the local branch he continued to run the Beer Bus in co-operation with Southern Hampshire CAMRA. Now the Beer Bus is independently run. The Beer Bus is open to anyone - both CAMRA members and non-members. You also don't need to be a real ale drinker to come along, as every pub that serves real ale also serves a wide selection of other drinks, but preference will be given to real ale drinkers if you're not accompanying someone.

A few years ago Alex handed the reins over to Drew Dyer, a regular on the Beer Bus, and back then Social Secretary of Southern Hampshire CAMRA. In 2015 Drew in turn handed the reins to Charlie Plant. Alex still plans to come on the Beer Bus when time and family commitments allow.

For each outing of the Beer Bus, a vehicle and driver are hired. By doing this, it means we don't have the problem of designating a driver in today's times where Drink-Driving is unacceptable.

The beer bus only runs in the Southampton area. I do this as a hobby, am not interested in franchising and don't run any beer bus trips in other areas of the country. This is not the beer bus that runs in the West Midlands... I think that might be run by Black Country Tours.

Beer Bus Philosophy

Alex's philosophy towards the beer bus is that:

  • The Beer Bus shall visit 3 (or more!) pubs on each outing.
  • The Beer Bus is open to anyone.
  • Bookings for the Beer Bus shall generally be taken on a first-come first-served basis.
  • The Beer Bus shall not make a profit (any profit made will be held to subsidise a loss-making trip, pay for a special outing for regular attendees, buy a round for everyone on a trip, or to spend on other Beer Bus related things).
  • At least two of the pubs visited will be known to normally serve quality real ales.
  • The Beer Bus shall attempt to avoid visiting three pubs in immediate proximity (as this would negate the need for the Beer Bus!).
  • The Beer Bus shall enable people to visit rural pubs without having to drive.

Beer Trains

The Beer train developed from the beer bus. December is typically busy with people going out for Christmas meals and other events. As such, it isn't viable to run a Beer Bus. Instead, we run a Beer Train. Typically, we go to our destination and then stop off somewhere on the way back. People are welcome to leave and re-join the group at any time.


Beer Bus logo