17 August 2008

Bank Holiday Festivities

August Bank Holiday weekend is always a busy time for beer festivals; the extra day's midsummer trade is an irresistable excuse for landlords and ladies up and down the country to have a good old fashioned knees-up. In case you are yet to decide where you'll be spending the weekend drinking, here are a few events that have hit the YCC radar:

If the GBBF is Britain's #1 beer festival (in terms of sheer number of beers) then the Peterborough Beer Festival is not far behind at #2. Not strictly a bank holiday festival, the event kicks off on Tuesday and runs through until Saturday 23rd. The beer list has been announced and looks very impressive indeed. I counted 22 festival specials, plus of particular note, no fewer than five from the excellent BrewDog range - including what is possibly a festival premier of cask Speedball and another as yet unnamed beer of unknown strength.

Pan-C and the Beer Monster will be scooping the place out on the opening day and will report back here with their impressions. If you are planning on heading down, do note that the festival has irregular opening hours (Tuesday trade session 3:30-5:30pm, open to public from 5:30 and shut between 2:30 and 5:30 on Wednesday and Friday afternoon).

A little further west down the A47, tooth-rot fans will be flocking to the Swan & Rushes in Leicester for their Cider & Cheese Festival. 16 ciders and perries and 16 cheeses sourced from a wide range of suppliers from the west of England, plus 9 ales, including what is tipped to be the last surviving cask of Oakham Warthog in existance. A pokey 13% when it was first unleashed a year ago at Peterborough, it has been maturing away quietly in the cellar and it's anyone's guess how potent it is now. A warm atmosphere and like-minded beer (and cider) lovers are assured and on Saturday 23rd, Two Gentlemen Play the Pops will entertain the punters in their flatcaps and tweed - an act that must be seen to be appreciated!

Closer to the capital and The Bull in Horton Kirby (nr. Brands Hatch), Kent is also marking the occasion with live music in the garden (weather permitting) from rock and blues guitarist Roger Betts on Saturday 23rd and Matt Brooks on Monday 25th. Throughout the weekend, the landord promises to treat us to a selection of his own personal favourite ales, with the likes of Dark Star Hophead, Champion Beer of Britain 2008 Triple fff Alton's Pride, RCH Pitchfork and Red Squirrel Springfield IPA all featuring. There will even be a semi-gynormous hogroast on the Monday.

The Bull is a mile's stroll from Farningham Road station (trains direct from Victoria every 30 mins) along the river through the picturesque Darenth Valley and is well worth a look.



  1. Quick update re: Swan & Rushes Cider and Cheese festival ... the selection of cider and perry now stands at 23, and the cheese selection has also passed the 20 mark.

    You'll find both myself and the Beer Monster staggering around on the Saturday...!!!

  2. The Reluctant Scooper and I will be at Peterborough on Thursday.

    Looking forward to a decent session especially Twickenham Struise Porter

  3. Not sure what hash2 is but I'm planning to be at Peterborough on Thursday afternoon. Not been for a couple of years (trains were a problem last year) but it'susually excellent. The Nº2 beer festival in the country!

  4. Not sure what hash2 is but I'm planning to be at Peterborough on Thursday afternoon. Not been for a couple of years (trains were a problem last year) but it'susually excellent. The Nº2 beer festival in the country!

  5. I'll be at the "Eddyfest" at The White Horse, nr. Sudbury in Suffolk. That's where we spent August bank hol last year. We ran into the landlord and his bro at the GBBF and they suggested we make a return visit. Tents are the ready.

  6. And I'll be at the Hilden Festival, though without the benefit of a Bank Holiday safety net.

  7. If only I could be at both the Swan & Rushes and Peterborough on Saturday. I've chosen Peterborough, but I'm pretty sure I've made the wrong choice!

  8. Karen/Mark,

    Early word from Pan-C is that Peterborough was excellent this year, so as long as the beer hasn't run out and the weather holds up I'm sure you'll have a great time. Looking forward to reading maeib and Paul's reports.

    Hope everyone enjoys their extended weekend!


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