If you are not as lucky as my collegue, Ale Ambler, and have to stay nearer home, Friday 16th October sees the start of the Wetherspoons Autumn Beer Fesival. It offers its usual selection of 50 beers (so the sadder amongst us can play 'spoons bingo), and they promise beers from all corners of the country some brewed by foreign guest brewers as has been the norm for recent festivals.
Locally not all the beers will appear on the pub bars at once, so it is a case of having to revisit several times to get the beers you want or visiting several different pubs. Quite a good marketing stragedy actually.
I managed to get hold of a beer list and have had a quick look at what is available for the three weeks of the festival. It starts with a 3.7% beer from Liberation in Jersey, and top of the shop is a 6.5% Red beer from Banks. And it covers every possible style and strength in between.
Most of the beers on offer are brewed at bigger breweries - presumably because of the amount that needs producing - and some are rebrews of previous festival favourites, but a quick scan of the list provided me with 40 new beers. Over two thirds of the beers are stronger than 4.5% with 16 above 5% so the drinker cannot complain about value for money.
It is pointless going through the list now, as it depends on what beers are available at which pubs initially but most of the larger ones will have the full selection on through the festival, and there will be 3 1/3 pints available for the price of a pint, which when you consider the amount and strength of the beers on offer is a good thing.
So all I can suggest is get out and get ticking - I will be.
Have just discovered that all 50 are on at once at the Union Rooms in Newcastle...so if you want to quickly fill your card, head there !!