Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sneak Preview


It's almost time for all the pub snobs out there to don their most disdainful sneer. J D Wetherspoon is running its second beer festival of the year from October 27th to November 14th. As usual there will be up to 50 beers available and the provisional list looks rather impressive. The usual clutch of "brewed for the festival" beers will be joined by a handful of foreign brewers, strutting their stuff on the British stage, either with one off brews or tweaks of beers for which they are already well known.

Perhaps one of the most interesting of these is a 5% version of the famous Lion Stout* from Sri Lanka which will be brewed at Marstons and promises " roast malt, chocolate and coffee and a lingering silky finish". Other exotics include a blonde beer brewed by two of Sam Adam's brewers using "fresh from the field", East Kent grown Cascades that will go from bine to kettle in "a matter of hours" to flavour a 5.1% very pale beer. As you might imagine, Shepherd Neame will host this effort. Chestnuts feature in Castagnale, by Leonardo Di Vicenzo, to be brewed at Everards; juniper in a beer brewed at Caledonian; and New Zealand hops in Steenhuffel Blonde from Palm, which will be specially imported and casked.

Notable British beers include Brew Dog Edge, Ettaler Cask Lager (using the original yeast, but brewed by Cotleigh), Thornbridge Lumford, Titanic New York Wheat Porter, Pixley Black (based on a 1900 Wadworth's recipe) with pure blackcurrant juice and Lees Chocoholic, made with real chocolate and chocolate malt and, for the nostalgic, Young's Ram Rod.

So if you are of the toffee nosed persuasion, put the dates in your boycotting book now. Everyone else, I think, will be looking forward to it. I am anyway.

* Lion Stout used to be sold in cask conditioned form at the brewery tap in Sri Lanka, so nice to see it back on handpump.

14 comments:

Paul Bailey said...

A friend and I were only talking about Sri Lankan Lion Stout earlier today. We used to stock it in our off-licence, and my friend was be-moaning its current lack of availability.

I therefore look forward to sampling it at JDW at the end of next month, and will inform my friend that it will be making an appearance there.

Anonymous said...

Shame our Spoons in Tonbridge is one of the nine circles of hell eh PB? Everywhere else, they seem pretty decent and well run establishments.

John Clarke said...

Was that Brew Dog Edge? Brew Dog? So, the cutting edge, revolutionary young punks are now selling to Wetherspoons? I wonder how they'll spin this one as a never before seen breakthrough in British brewing? Or has my cynicism finally got the better of me?

Tyson said...

JC

I think you'll find that Brewdog will sell to anyone who is willing to pay. After all, it's only a short step from being revolutionary to being part of the bourgeoisie.

Mark said...

Nice. I always look forward to this and there's always a couple of standout beers.

And what are the chances that 3 of the first 5 commentors have Tonbridge as their local Spoons?

Ed said...

I used to regularly drink in my local 'Spoons but I must admit I mostly avoid it nowadays. Call me toffee nosed if you like but I prefer to drink in pubs I can get a seat in so I pay a bit more to drink in less packed pubs.

Erlangernick said...

So do the Spoons up your way take part well? Flights from NUE to MAN and LPL for early Nov are pretty cheap.

Tandleman said...

Nick: Of course. It's a national thing.
John: Business is business.

Barm said...

They sell to Tesco and Asda, why not Wetherspoons??

TIW said...

I like 'spoons little festivals. We usually go to the Penderel's Oak near Chancery Lane. Hard to believe it's part of the same chain as the Shakespeare's Head up the road on Kingsway, which is one of the worst pubs anywhere.

ZakAvery said...

I heard today that for his UK brew of Birra del Borgo's Castagnale, brewer Leonardo di Vincenzo is insisting on 1.5 tonnes of chestnuts being brought over from Italy. That should give it a nice autumnal feel.

Tandleman said...

Zak - That's a lot of chestnuts!

Darren T said...

Looks like a good selection, looking forward to trying a few of those. Having said that, the last three times I've made a point of visiting a 'Spoons at Festival time, they've all had a fairly uniform selection of session bitters on at the same time, no sign of the interesting stuff. Here's hoping they vary the distribution a bit this year.

ken robinson said...

witherspoons are evil! lots of micros are refusing to deal with them, theyre squeezing the industry till it bleeds, witherspoons as a buisness model leads to pub closures and less micros!pub snob?hardley, im just concerned about the amount of intelligent people who are lured in by the promise of cut price booze!