Wetherspoons London Beer Festival: on raising a glass critically

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2017 by kmflett

Wetherspoons London Beer Festival: on raising a glass critically


The Wetherspoons London beer festival (that is a festival including 15 cask ales from London breweries and a couple of keg beers) runs until Sunday in their London pub estate. I don’t follow Spoons activities that closely but I seem to recall that previously the festival has been organised on a staggered weekly basis over parts of London.

Anyway I have stopped by a couple of times, on both occasions at the Crosse Keys in Gracechurch St in the City. The pub, a former banking hall, is huge and can invariably be counted on to have most beers on for such a Spoons fest. The cask beers were £3.40 a pint, which for the City is reasonable.

The breweries range from East London, Hop Stuff to Portobello, Redemption and Trumans, so a decent range from the 80 plus breweries now in the Capital. I tried the Southwark ‘imperial’ IPA (not really imperial at 5.7% but still) a Trumans strong ruby mild (5%) a Hop Stuff Chai Red (5.4%) and a Redemption APA (4%). In halves over two visits..

The Crosse Keys is invariably packed so the beer turns over quickly and all the above were in good condition. I particularly liked the Redemption APA and not just because I live in Tottenham. It had a real APA flavour without the sweetness sometimes associated with stronger versions of the genre.

Spoons comes in for a good deal of criticism, particularly over the impact of its pricing policies on both small brewers and other pubs. That said the London beerfest in a well over 100 pubs across the Capital will introduce numbers of drinkers to brewers and beers that they otherwise might well not see. You can be critical but still understand there is something to raise a glass to here.



One Response to “Wetherspoons London Beer Festival: on raising a glass critically”

  1. I aqree with your comments Keith. The Spoons beer fest always has some great ales on, sometimes from international brewers, invited to make UK ales, with their own take. The prices are always excellent. It cannot be disregarded. I went to a newly opened Fullers pub (it’s not a pub it’s a restaurant, although in a traditional working class part of Greenwich) on the river this week but 2 beers £9.20 is not on. In my local Nisa supermarket you can get a bottle of Czech Budvar for £1.59.

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