Pigs Ear 2013

Yeah sorry I haven’t posted much of late… been busy. Before I do – here is a commercial break!

A note from my friends and colleagues at East London CAMRA.

Taste the Innovative and the Traditional at Pig’s Ear Beer Festival

The Pig’s Ear Beer and Cider Festival will be held at Hackney’s Round Chapel from December 3 to December 7. It will offer both exciting innovative beers from Britain and overseas and also traditional ales served from wooden casks, the centuries-old form of beer barrels.

Happy drinkers at Pigs Ear

Happy drinkers at Pigs Ear

The innovative will include products from many of the pioneering micro-breweries which have emerged in the last decade. Fittingly, nine of these are Hackney-based and none existed two years ago. Festival Organiser, Derek Jones, says: “These and other London breweries will be heavily featured as Pig’s Ear is cockney rhyming slang for beer. There will also be an exceptional selection of foreign beers, including several on draught such as those from Dutch De Molen and American Rogue. On offer – for the first time, we believe, in Britain – including Dominus Vobiscum from the acclaimed Quebec Brewery of Charlevoix.”
The traditional comes from the Festival acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood, which advocates the use of wooden barrels as part of British beer heritage. Several wooden casks will be featured, including a one-off anniversary special 7% classic Red Ale brewed by award-winning Cambridge Moonshine Brewery.
The Festival is being organised by the East London and City (ELAC) Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Its Chair, Marion Robbens says: “We’re delighted to be returning to the historic Grade 2* Round Chapel in Clapton which is such a splendid example of our East London Victorian history. The 2012 Festival broke records for attendance on every single session. With 250+ beers and 30+ ciders plus food stalls and pub games we expect to attract even more in 2013.”
The Festival is open from noon until 23.00 hours Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday* and until midnight on Friday.

Much more news from ELAC can be found on Twitter.

*on Saturday the festival will close when there is no more beer!


2012 Pigs Ear Festival to celebrate Cockney Beer

So as we head towards the end of August and enjoy the last few weeks of summer, it’s also time to start thinking about the delights winter holds in store for us. So here is a message from my friends at East London and City CAMRA! – I hope to see you there!

Continue reading

Severnth Heaven

The darker months seem to be a draw for East Londoners to put on a beer festival.  From Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th, The Waltham Forest Corporation Sports & Social Club will host it’s seventh beer festival, titled Severnth heaven and featuring 30 ales, ciders and perries from around the river Severn.

Open from 5pm on Thursday and 12 noon for the rest of the event it’s free to get in if you are club or CAMRA member, or £1 before 8pm, £3 after 8pm on Saturday.

You can download the poster for more information or give them a ring on 0208 527 3944. The clubhouse can be found behind the Walthamstow Town Hall on Forest Road, E17 4JF.

I went to the last one on the Saturday night when they have live music. It was excellent!

North vs South at the Red Lion

A little late notice, but next week will see the opening of a North* vs South beer festival at the Red Lion in Leytonstone, for around 2 weeks.

The beer list as follows:



For more information take a look at the Red Lion on Twitter.


*note in true Southern style, the North is anything above Watford.

ABC Beer Festival, Altrincham

September has been a busy month – so this post is a whole month after the event. I was fortunate enough to be around Manchester for the August bank holiday weekend and spent the Saturday night at the Altrincham Bottle & Cask beer festival (known as ABC) which is now in it’s 3rd year. Held in Altrincham’s indoor market, featuring over 40 cask ales most of which were from Northern breweries.

Altrincham Market

Altrincham Market

 This festival is slightly unusual in that it is run by a bar – Altrincham’s “Le Trappiste”, but supported by the local CAMRA volunteers who provide many of the bar staff.

Simple glass design

Simple but effective glass design

Beer wise as usual I forgot to take any notes. However taking the tactic of trying some of the more ludicrously named beers looking back at the menu there’s a hazy recollection. A few highlights included Leatherbritches brewery – Lemongrass and Ginger (which I recall smelt awful but actually tasted very pleasant!), Wentworth brewery – Lemonale (tasty but I remember only wanting 1/2 pint and no more) with my favouite being one of the last of the night, Bollington Brewery – Le Trappiste Classic (a special brew for the festival, an ale aping the Belgian ‘Double’ style and very much in line with my preferences!).

Entertainment was also provided in the form of a rock band called ‘Quiet desperation’.

Saturday night's entertainment

Saturday night's alright

All in all it was an excellent night and definitely worth a look in 2012.

Serving at the bar

Gratuitous serving shot