Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Festival at 'Spoons

I always await the Wetherspoons festivals eagerly, they generally have a decent range of breweries on offer, with foreign guest brewers doing their stuff on British plants plus an interesting selection of beers brewed in Britain on offer too. So when the festival opened yesterday I made my way to 'The Cherry Tree' with quiet anticipation after seeing the list, I was frankly disappointed with what was on offer.

Unluckily for me there were only two of the festival beers available on the opening day. Maxim's 'Double Maxim', not the most inspiring of beers, I must admit,  and of the foreign collaborations Tree Brewing from Canada 'Thirsty Beaver' was there - brewed at Caledonian brewery, and not bad although a bit too sweet for my liking. 

I tried 'The Lord Wilson' (Lloyds Bar) too, but that was even more disappointing. Even though the festival is heavily advertised, there were no festival beers on the bar at all.

What was I hoping for ? Well, there are 50 beers on the list from a mixture of breweries. 10 of them are either pure foreign beers, from Palm in Belgium, or foreign collaborations brewed in British breweries by brewers from abroad. Of the remainder there is plenty of variety, and a range of styles and strengths to suit all tastes, from a 3.5% bitter to Lees 'Moonraker' at 6.5%. 

Personally I am looking forward to Mordue 'Lubelski', a hop I particularly enjoy, St Peters 'Fruit Beer' which I had years ago and has a massive grapefruity hit, and Liberation 'Rouge'. This is a brewery from Jersey that I never expected to see on the mainland, let alone at a Wetherspoons festival.

The festival runs until 11th November so I should have plenty of opportunity to hunt them down, and part of the interest at 'Spoons festival is to get to those places in their estate that I never usually visit to see what is on offer there. So armed with the festival programme and a bus ticket it is onwards and upwards. And at around £2 a pint for the weaker beers it is not going to break the bank.

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