Kings Head & Bell – 1st Annual Abingdon Beer Festival

The Kings Head and Bell in Abingdon, which reopened last autumn is holding its first annual beer festival this weekend from saturday 29th August until monday. The festival features aproximately 20 real ales, which are all from local breweries including Appleford, Vale, Hook Norton and others that did not have pump clips on yet when I looked on friday.

Kings Head and Bell - Stillage, the day before

The full list of breweries is Hook Norton, White Horse, Abingdon’s own Loose Cannon, Oxfordshire Ales, Appleford, Box Steam Brewery, West Berkshire, Wadworth, Festival Brewery from Cheltenham and Vale Brewery.

The festival was officially opened at midday on Saturday by Beth Fleming, chairman of the Vale and Alastair Fear, deputy mayor of Abingdon.

Also this afternoon, members from the Oxford branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) members will be giving a tutured tasting demonstration and will be on hand to answer questions about real ale and what CAMRA does.

Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers will be performing on Sunday afternoon starting around 2:30pm and will be followed by a folk music jam session.

The Freedom brewery had a stand on Saturday where you could sample their Hand crafted English Lagers, which if you are only used to the bland mass produced lager brands will surprise you with their aroma, taste and body. The King’s Head and Bell regularly serve Freedom Four

There are other things going on as well including a BBQ serving local farm produce. The banner outside also refers to a local craft market and face painting.

Abingdon Brewed Beer available

After much anticipation over recent months, the Brewery Tap on Ock Street is the first pub to take deliveries of beer from the new Loose Cannon Brewery, Abingdon’s first commercial brewery since the Morland Brewery was closed 10 years ago.

The pub will be serving two beers: Abingdon Bridge Trial 1 and Abingdon Bridge Trial 2. The beer is currently settling, and should be ready to serve on Wednesday. A discount on these beers will be offered to CAMRA members on presentation of your membership card.

The brewer is looking for informed opinions of the two brews.

The Brewery Tap in Abingdon, is one the five contenders for the CAMRA Oxford Branch’s Town and Country pub of the year. More information can be found in the August issue of The Oxford Drinker, which you can pick up in most good pubs in town, or as a PDF on the Oxford CAMRA web site. To vote for the pub of the year you must visit each of the 5 pubs and get a form stamped, and return to Oxford CAMRA with your vote. The forms can be picked up in any of the 5 pubs. The other pubs are The Eagle in Witney. Cricketer’s Arms in Littleworth, Queen’s Head in Eynsham and The Morris Clown in Bampton.