Brewery tap beer cider & sausage festival this weekend, 4th – 6th december

The Brewery Tap Beer, Cider & Sausage Festival started this afternoon (Friday 4th December) and will run until close on Sunday evening. The pub is located on Ock Street in Abingdon.

There are 30 different real ales, 8 ciders and 20 different types of sausage, including Steak & Marmite and other interesting flavours.

There will be live music on Sunday afternoon. Additionally on Sunday, anyone showing a CAMRA membership card will be offered a discount on beer prices

The beer list has a good range, including many local beers from breweries such as Pitstop, Vale, West Berkshire, White Horse as well some from further afield. I particularly recommend you try some of the Pitstop beers as they are unlike anything else you will have ever tried (Try the Sump in half pints as it is very strong… and on Friday was amongst the most popular). The complete beer and cider list is reproduced below:

Brewery Beer Name
Morland Original
Hardy & Hansons Bitter
Hardy & Hansons Rocking Rudolph
Greene king Abbott Reserve
Greene king IPA
White Horse Wayland Smithy
White Horse Blackhorse porter
White Horse Rudolph the red nose reindeer
White Horse Village Idiot
West Berkshire Brewery Magg’s Mild
West Berkshire Brewery Alecost
Vale Brewery Grumpling
Vale Brewery Gravitas
Vale Brewery Black Beauty Porter
Vale Brewery Black Swan Mild
Banks & Taylor’s Autumn Porter
Mauldons Black Adder
Lancaster Amber
Hoggley’s Resevoir Hogs
Ossett Big Red
Ossett Treacle
Banks & Taylor’s Two brewers Bitter
Titanic Chocolate and Vanilla Porter
Stonehenge Great Bustard
Cannon Brewery IPA
Hook Norton Steam on
Limestone Stone Cold
Pitstop Sump
Pitstop Grandprix
Pitstop Monaco
Thatchers Cheddar Valley 6.0%
Westons Old Rosie 7.3%
Westons Country Perry4.5%
Westons 1st Quality 5.0%
Millwhites Premium Whiskey Cask Cider 7.5%
Millwhites Organic single orchard 6.7%
Millwhites Single variety Dabinett 8.0%
Millwhites Single variety Kingston black 7.0%

Wantage Beer Festival

The Wantage beer festival takes place today and tomorrow. This is organized by the White Horse branch of CAMRA and features 30 real ales from local breweries, as well as cider and perry. For more information please visit

It is open between 11am-11pm on Friday 20th November and Saturday 21st November.

Stagecoach number 31 is an hourly bus service between Abingdon and Wantage, that takes about 35 minutes. [Timetable PDF]

Roundup of Abingdon Pub news November 2009

I’ve been a bit busy recently and not kept things up to date, so here’s a quick round up of pub related things that have happened around town over the last few weeks

The Kings Head and Bell reopened on 30th October. This is everything I expected it to be, good beer, reasonably priced food. It has retained the traditional feel to it, but is more welcoming than previously. Judging by its popularity over the last couple of weeks it fits in with what many people want in a pub. Beers are mainly from Hook Norton and Adnams and Fullers London Pride arrived this week. It is good to see a regular outlet for Hook Norton in Abingdon. Hook Norton is Oxfordshire’s oldest brewery and has recently been winning lots of awards

The Brewery Tap has had a 6th hand pump fitted, and has a lot of beers from local breweries including West Berkshire Brewery, Hook Norton, White Horse Brewery, Vale Brewery. The list of beers on last week were:

  • Maggs mild
  • Morland original
  • Hardy’s and Hanson Bitter
  • Hook Norton’s Flagship
  • White horse Wayland smithy
  • vale Brewery Grumpling ale

They are having a Winter ‘Beer, Cider & Sausage’ festival between 4th-6th December. Featuring 30 different cask ales, 5 real ciders and live music from Big Boys Blues Band on the Sunday from 4pm.

Morland’s Old Speckled Hen recently celebrated its 30th birthday. I’m sure most people already know its history. For more info see this article in the Oxford Times and this youtube video of Ode To Joy being performed on Speckled Hen bottles.

The Old Anchor has a charity event on 5th December in aid of stroke survivors. The main event is sold out. However there will be live music at 9pm to which people will be admitted for a £3 entrance fee.

The Nags Head is continuing to maintain a good variety of real ales which change on a regular basis, although I understand that Fullers London Pride may become a permanent offering.

The Broad Face has a new sign depicting a broad faced man’s head more in keeping to how it was few years ago. They are serving a guest beer alongside the regular Morland Original and Abott Ale

The Stocks Bar is continuing to maintain a good range of real ales, and has just some refurbishment including new flooring in the bar. They also now have a facebook page

White Horse has a good range of beers and live music most Saturdays.

The Cross Keys has a good program of live music and serving good beer including St. Austell’s Proper Job.

Punch Bowl had a Morris Dancing folk music jam session last Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Boar appears to be having some interior refurbishment going on

The Plough is serving a reasonable pint of beer, serves lunchtime food and has live music most weeks

The Black Swan has had some outside refurbishment, but seems the same inside

Kings Head & Bell reopening soon

After nearly two years after closing due to structural problems with the historic building, the Kings Head & Bell on East St. Helens Street is due to reopen soon.

A large banner is hanging across the front of the pub proudly proclaiming that it will reopen on October 30th.

It looks like there is still a lot of work to do, but there has been a huge effort of activity from builders, plasterers, electricians and other tradesmen over the last month or two. A new extension has been built at the back going into the courtyard.

I am looking forward to the reopening of the pub and wish it’s new owners Foundation Inns the best success.

New Brewery for Oxford

Shotover Brewery Logo

A new craft micro brewery called the Shotover Brewing Company is due to
open soon in converted stables in Horspath just outside Oxford. The
owner and head brewer Ed Murray has been craft brewing for over twenty years
and has made the decision to turn his interest into a commercial venture.
It is anticipated that beer will be on sale by the end of November.

There are photos of stables being converted into the brewery on their facebook group and their main web site is at

I am hoping that one of the Shotover beers will be at the Brewery Tap‘s Winter ‘Beer, Cider & Sausage’ festival on Friday 4th December – Sunday 6th December. This festival promises 30 different cask ales, 5 real ciders. The Big Boys Blues Band will be playing live on the Sunday from 4pm.

Note to any publicans reading this… I don’t intend to only mention the Brewery Tap and the Stocks. There are many other good pubs in Abingdon including Nags Head, Spread Eagle, White Horse, Cross Keys, Punchbowl, Plough, Broad Face. If you have any news, information on guest beers, festivals, etc, then please let me know and I’ll post it here.