Tuesday, 1 November 2011

London Beers come to Egham

I received a polite bollocking recently from Bob (the Binman) Inman, one of the organisers of the Egham United Services Club Beer Festival because I had failed to give a shout-out for their last beer festival in the Summer.

The truth was that I generally don't publicise an event if I am not planning to attend. Apart from a jam packed diary that week, personally I had also found the beer list a little too focused on new breweries and pandering to the beer ticker community who love finding beers from new breweries.

Now I have nothing against the beer ticker, honestly some of my best friends tick beers, it's just that I find, with a handful of notable exceptions, that new breweries take a while to bed-in and I generally prefer beers from the tried and tested.

Fresh out of their Brewlab courses and after the stresses and strains of actually getting the brewery commissioned, it takes a few recipes, a lot of customer and pub feedback, practice with the equipment, and choices of ingredients before the beer really hits the spot. Some of the brewed-on-a-farm-in-a-bucket brigade never get there but most new brewers will quickly be brewing some good tasty distinctive beers.

I have just taken a look at the list for this week's event and confirm that I am on the case and am keen to recommend a visit to others. Two of my favourite breweries appear again. There are Five beers from Ascot Ales including two from their 8% Last of the Blue Devils range - a cassis and an aniseed. Two special beers appear from Windsor & Eton, a version of the Conqueror dark IPA, this one with added Whiskey plus the very last cask of the special 7.5% version of the same beer. I am not going to miss these.

However, the main reason for attending, and notwithstanding my comments above, is to try again the range of beers from many of London's newest breweries.

Research, research, research !

The bars will have the very newest London beers, from The Botanist brewpub on Kew Green (7 beers), By the Horns Brewery in Wimbledon (3), Camden Town's latest offerings (2), beer from East London Brewing (1), London Fields Brewery (2), Moncada Brewery (3) and Redchurch (1). All this plus the London Brewers Alliance collaboration IPA the brewing of which I was lucky enough to take part in.

Finally, and probably the most important reason to attend any event, Bob has reminded me with this photo record that I have a great time every time I visit Egham Club beer festivals.

A warm welcome, fantastic hospitality and great beers. What more do you want on an unseasonably warm November eve.

The festival happens from 3rd to 6th from 11am daily. More info here.

See you there !

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