Monday, 1 November 2010

Wandsworth Halloween Beer Festival 2010

Despite having the reminder of a cold, I headed up to this festival with some friends for a good afternoon of beer drinking, comparing and chattering. The beer was reduced by the Saturday but not as much as the March festival where I am sure they were caught out by how successful the beer festival had become by word of mouth.

This is a great venue for a festival although I wish they would clear the restaurant area and allow folks up there earlier rather than confining folks to the bar and garden. However this is only a small niggle, as the festival is always friendly and charming with great people working behind the bar.

Ascots’ Anastasia Stout was a real highlight for me, probably my beer of the festival. Thick syrupy style of stout that coated the mouth in it’s gloriousness of taste. So good we ended up getting it again later on in the afternoon. Ascots’ Double Trouble was a good example of a Belgium style beer but it was too flat, it needed the fizzy bubbles of a Belgium beer to lift it in my opinion. However the Penguin Porter was termed as a hug in a glass by our table, warm and comforting. It would be perfect for a cold winter’s day to curl up beside the fireplace with.

Blindmans Brewery did extremely well at our table; their beers were all consistently good. Eclipse being my favourite with its Green & Black’s chocolate style top notes, Icarus was a good second and Siberia coming last even though we all enjoyed the beer it just wasn’t as good as its stable mates.

Moorhouse had a very good showing at the festival too; Black Cat is still the best mild in the world for me despite good competition from Sarah Hughes. I know that definitely one of our group will not agree with me on that one but that’s the great thing about beer you can disagree but still enjoy the beer.

All in all we had a great time at the festival, lots of new beers tried and enjoyed. A few beers we couldn’t get, but are available as bottles for us to track down, an idea was mooted for our own beer festival which if it happens could be an interesting time. I just wish my cold hadn’t removed a vast amount of my sense of smell which impaired my sense of taste for the festival. We were going to head to Putney the following day for the Cider Festival at the Bricklayers but the Saturday night was a bad one with the revenge of the recurring cold so we had to give it a miss but maybe next time.

The glass was a nice addition to my growing collection, although one question: Is it a ‘northern’ style glass? As the gap between the one pint line and top of the glass is over half an inch which I feel, would allow for a larger fluffier head than I’m used to in a pub.


  1. A cold does hamper enjoyment of beer. A really heavy cold leaves every beer tasting unpleasantly rather like John Smith's smooth.

  2. I've never tried John Smiths Smooth is it like Tetleys?

    My problem is I felt that for each beer I was only getting half the story as I couldn't taste everything properly. Although I could see that for John Smiths this could be an advantage.

  3. I've tried smooth from John Smiths, Tetley and Boddingtons; I have now concluded my research into smooth. They tasted rather similar, although the least bad was the Boddies, but that's not a recommendation. You're right: a cold would be an advantage.

  4. Well, this morning I have some of my sense of smell and taste back which is good news. However it is bad news for the beer I have brought despite me claiming I was starting a collection for aging I suspect I will be drinking it sooner than later.

    Boddingtons? Crumbs, I remember the adverts with the bull for them!