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.

Abingdon Pubs who are members of The Head Brewer’s Club

Greene King announced yesterday that The Brewery Tap in Abingdon has been chosen as an exclusive member of the new Head Brewer’s Club, a collection of Greene King’s hero cask ale pubs. It was picked due to its dedication to great cask beer.

You can read more details on Greene King’s Run a Pub blog

More details about the Head Brewer’s Club can be found at

Other pubs in Abingdon and surrounding area who are also members of the Head Brewer’s Club include:

  • The Old Anchor – The Wharf, Abingdon
  • Spread Eagle – Northcourt Road, Abingdon: (This is well worth a visit for its unusual food menu and well served beer)
  • Punchbowl – Market Place, Abingdon
  • Black Horse – Gozzards Ford
  • Merry Miller – Dry Sandford
  • Plough – Appleton

Oxford Beer Festival 2009

Oxford Beer Festival 2009
It is the Camra Oxford Beer Festival next week in Oxford town hall next week. It runs from Thursday 15th October at 5pm-11pm until Saturday when it closes at 8pm.

There will be around 140 different ales and 20 real ciders and perry’s available. This is a good opportunity to try out beers that may not be available locally, try beers from local breweries and to meet other people who appreciate good beer.

You can find more information including an up to date beer list at the Oxford Camra web site.

A new industry report published this week about Cask Ale says:

…over the last few years, cask beer has seen a remarkable turnaround. It’s now outperforming every other beer style, benefitting from the increasing demand for products with local provenance, natural ingredients and interesting flavours.