CAMRA members from the Vale of Glamorgan and North Somerset recently helped to arrange a beer exchange with a difference.

Golden Lion Landlord Paul Harper said "We sell an ever-varying choice of real ales, but I tend to favour local beers as they're nearly always the most popular".

CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale - recognises pubs who try to cut their beer miles and support breweries within a 30 mile radius, something which the Golden Lion does consistently, and although Somerset is around 100 miles by road, it's only 14 by sea.

So on a lovely sunny morning recently the landlord of the Star Inn in Watchet set sail with CAMRA representatives and local fishermen across the Bristol Channel to Penarth to deliver three barrels from Cotleigh, Exmoor and Quantock breweries.

After the two hour trip, they were met by the Golden Lion landlord and CAMRA members from the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend branch, who, business completed, treated the visitors to some refreshments after their sterling work.

In return for the three casks from over the water, Star Inn (Watchet) landlord Ross Nuttycombe set off on the evening tide with a fine selection of Welsh ales - Vale of Glamorgan's Dakota Red (Barry), Otley's O1 (Pontypridd) and Kite Thunderbird (Llantrisant).

After the beers had been allowed to settle, the beers were put on sale in both pubs and customers in both counties expressed their enjoyment of the "local" ales by consuming them rapidly!

Vale of Glamorgan CAMRA Chairman Nigel Lewis said "Penarth residents can usually find an good range of local ales in the town's hostelries, and this unusual take on how a local beer is defined is very welcome!". Somerset CAMRA local real ale enthusiast Mick Cleveland said "Everyone enjoyed the experience so much that we're hoping it might become a regular thing."