The first of this year’s beer festivals in Abingdon starts this evening (Friday 24th February 2012) at The Kings Head & Bell. There will also be a folk music session on Sunday afternoon starting around 3pm. Please come along with an instrument to join in with, or a song to sing, or come along to listen. The beer list is at the bottom of this post.
More beer festivals coming up in Abingdon in the next few months include:
16th-18th March: The Cross Keys Spring Beer Festival
23rd-25th March: The Brewery Tap Springtime Beer Festival
6th-8th April: Broad Face Easter Beer Festival
4th-7th May: Waggon & Horses in Culham, May Bank Holiday Beer Festival. It is worth making the short trip to Culham to visit this pub which has recently reopened as a freehouse with a good range of local beers.
Despite recent pub closures (Fitzharris, Ox, Nags Head and Plough), Abingdon is still a good place for pubs and real ale with many of the still open pubs offering a good range of real ales in good condition and frequent beer festivals. Following on from the recent beer festival at the Cross Keys, there are 3 more local pub beer festivals coming up in the next few months. Continue reading →
The King’s Head and Bell on East St. Helen’s Street is holding its 2nd Summer Beer Festival this weekend. On Saturday, the Hook Norton draymen (Taffy and Roger Hughes) brought their shire horses to the pub. On Sunday afternoon, Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers will be doing some dancing and playing music from 2pm.
Hook Norton Dray (Picture borrowed from Kings Head and Bell facebook page)
There is a good range of 20 real ales outside (and 4 more at the bar). Many of them are from local breweries including:
As with the Abingdon Bridge when it was launched last year, Will Laithwaite the owner and head brewer has made two different recipies, currently known as Trial Brew 1 and Trial Brew 2. They are made from the same malt and yeast but use different hops.
Trial Brew 1: Made with Fuggles and Goldings Hops: Smooth, almost sweet, delicate, slightly spicy
Trial Brew 2: Made with Challenger and Pioneer Hops: Lemon/Gratefruit citrus aroma.
Both trials can be sampled at the brewery shop, which is at the brewery in Suffolk Way.
You can also buy both of the Pale Ale trials as well as Abingdon Bridge in various sizes including 1 and 2 Litre bottles, mini-casks, polypins and Firkins.
We took a few litres back to our office to get the opinions of our colleagues. The reaction to each trial seems quite mixed. Both are very drinkable and different people seem to prefer different ones. Personally my vote is for Trial Brew 2 as it has a more complex taste, but brew 1 has more traditional English hops.
At the moment it is not being served in any Abingdon pub, but hopefully some of them will start stocking it in the next week or two. In the meantime, I recommend visiting the brewery to try it out. The brewery shop is open weekdays from 8am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-5pm.
The Cricketer’s Arms in Littleworth has both of the Pale Ale trials as well as Abingdon Bridge at their Beer & Sausage Festival this weekend, which features 14 mainly local real ales and 2 real ciders. More information can be found at www2.cricketers-arms.co.uk/beer_and_sausage_festival