Wetherspoon’s World’s Biggest Real-ale Festival

We’ve all been to Real-ale festivals, big and small; and we thought that CAMRA’s offering a few months ago at Olympia in London was pretty impressive. It was big but, depending on how you measure these things, it wasn’t the biggest: Wetherspoons are claiming that crown with festivals in every one of their pubs simultaneously, which, when added together, probably does make the biggest in terms of number of pints on offer, although not by range of ales. Still, this is not a time to be churlish nor an opportunity to be missed – I’d say a beer festival is never an opportunity to be missed – so I took a camera crew of students from Barnet College to my local Wetherspoon pub, the Tally Ho in North Finchely, to see what was going on. The students did fine. Considering …

The Journey of a Pint

You’re in a pub. You’re drinking a pint. You’re enjoying it and letting your mind wander. Have you ever wondered how that pint came to be there in your glass? No, neither have I … BUT we were at the Great British Beer Festival, we had a camera and a presenter, in the shape of Mark Phillips (no, not the horsey royal ex) so we decided to take that journey … BACKWARDS! Read More

The Great British Beer Festival 2014

This is the story of a drinks journalist. A man who, through no fault of his own, found himself enjoying and talking about all drinks, other than those nasty sweet “alcopops” and novelty drinks in funny-shaped bottles that you bring back from holiday and sit in your cupboard for years until, one day, you or more likely your partner simply throw them out … or those revolting shameful concoctions that are based on chocolate bars with alcohol and thickeners added, which are a way for the behemoth of the drinks industry to lure those who would be much better off taking the tea-total route … like children and vulnerable adults … then I’m also not keen on the flavoured grain alcohols that masquerade as traditional Southern American whiskeys, when they’re nothing of the sort … breathe … breathe … OK. HOWEVER, there is one subject to which our journalist returns again and again: beer and, in particular, ale. Real, old-fashioned, hand-pulled ale.

So how better to celebrate that than to make an appointment with the largest beer festival in the UK and head down to Olympia for the Great British Beer Festival?

CAMRA Beer Festival

The Great British Beer Festival 2011 just ended at Earl’s Court in London. As a judge in the CAMRA beer festival, I have, on occasion, got to go along and taste beers entered into the competition to win a medal and, hopefully, the title Best Beer. In the midst of this arduous work, I have taken the opportunity to talk to some of the visitors to the festival. Read More