Tapfest October Beer & Cider Festival – Beer List


A preview of the 16 beers available in the Marquee at this weekends beer festival (2nd-4th October) at the Brewery tap. More beers yet to be announced will be at the bar

Download PDF: TapFest October 2015 Marque Beer List
Continue reading

Tapfest at the Brewery Tap – October 2nd – 4th

BreweryTapFestOct2016The Brewery Tap will be having a beer festival starting Friday 2nd October and running through the weekend.

If it is anything like previous tap festivals, the beer range will feature a wide range of styles, possibly a new beer or two and some of the CAMRA champion beers of the year.

More details of the beers, ciders and live music will be added soon…

Other News

Sorry, not much has been posted here recently… this summer we have enjoyed the Nags Head summer beer festival which had a huge selection of beers and ciders, and the Kings Head & Bell summer bank holiday beer festival which suffered from poor weather.

Closures and Changes

The Cross Keys is completely closed with planning permission for housing.

The Saxton Arms has also closed and looks like it is being turned into a shop.

The Plough / Harp on Stert street closed and was put up for sale and looks like it will become a dentist with flats above.

The Broad Face changed hands this spring after the previous landlord was forced to close at the end of the year due to noise complaints from neighbours.  The new tenants look like they are aiming at a younger crowd, but also offer traditional food.

The Upper Reaches closed suddenly during the summer, with unsightly boards put up over the windows on the day after it closed.

Cross Keys at risk

A planning application to partly demolish and convert The Cross Keys on Ock Street into housing has been submitted. You can see the details on the Vale of White Horse District Council Web Site, Reference: P14/V1476/FUL

New pub company Hawthorn Leisure, purchased the pub from Greene King in May, as part of a deal involving 275 Greene King Pubs, also including the Saxton Arms in Abingdon.

At the time of the acquisition, Gerry Carroll, Chief Executive of Hawthorn Leisure, commented:

There is a fantastic opportunity to work hand in hand with tenants, who we see as our genuine partners, backing them with management support, advice and investment. With strong financial backing, an efficient business model and a high calibre team dedicated to helping our partners to maximise the success of their pubs, Hawthorn Leisure is in a unique position to support and invest in these pubs and to help them fulfill their potential.

Greene King had previously submitted a similar planning application before the sale to Hawthorn Leisure, which was withdrawn, and it was hoped that the positive comments from Hawthorn Leisure and freedom from the Greene King tie had saved the Cross Keys from closure at least for a few more years.

Abingdon has already lost too many pubs in recent years, including the Harp/Plough on Stert Street which has been closed since the start of this year. The Ox on Oxford Road and Fitzharris Arms off Wootton Road became Tesco Express stores a couple of years ago. There is some concern that the same fate may now be in store for the Saxton Arms.

If this planning application is approved, Ock Street which once had dozens of pubs will only have two… The Brewery Tap and White Horse. Other pubs that were on Ock Street not so long ago were… The Air Balloon, Happy Dick, Crown, Warwick Arms, Ock Street Horns.

Plum Pudding Milton Village Beer Festival

Plum Pudding Village Pub, Milton
Thanks to David for letting me know there is a beer festival at the Plum Pudding (formerly the Admiral Benbow) in Milton village this coming Saturday and Sunday (4th/5th April).


This is a pub I have heard good things about recently. It used to be a Greene King pub, but has more recently become a freehouse and community village pub serving at least 4 real ales. See the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) WhatPub website for more info

It is an fairly easy cycle ride from Abingdon, and a beer festival sounds like an ideal excuse to visit.

Old Anchor has reopened

The Anchor on the Wharf in Abingdon, reopened this evening. It had been closed for just over a month since 10th March when the previous tenants overstretched themselves trying to run the Broad Face at the same time.

The pub is very similar to how it was before it closed, with 5 real ales (Morland Original, Old Speckled Hen, London Glory, Timothy Taylors, Al Fresco). The ones I tried (Timmy Taylors and Al Fresco) were in good condition. The Moose’s head over the bar has gone.

The blackboards are advertising Tapas food, which I hope to try out next week.

This pub is a great asset to Abingdon with its picture postcard view over the Thames and location in the historic part of Abingdon near St. Helens Church. I hope that the new tenants can build on the good work done in recent years at the Anchor, that local Abingdonians will be supportive and proud of the great pubs we now have in Abingdon.

Abingdon is becoming a top place in the county for good pubs: We saw the Nags Head on the Bridge reopen last autumn with an amazing selection of eight well kept ales, good food, wine and a program of live music. The Broad Face reopened with a top Swiss chef. The Brewery Tap was awarded town & country pub of the year by the Oxford branch of the Campaign for Real Ale and always has good ales, good food, quarterly beer festivals and live music events. The Cross Keys recently had a beer festival with an excellent range of beers and ciders, and has a regular program of live music. The Kings Head & Bell has 4 real ales that change every few days, hosts a monday night music session and many events in the King Charles’s function room. Other pubs worth visiting include the Punch Bowl, Spread Eagle, Stocks Bar (at the Crown & Thistle), the Harp on Stert Street (which often has Loose Cannon beers), the White Horse, Wagon & Horses and Railway Inn near Culham and the Prince of Wales in Shippon which has a large selection of real ales, ciders and events.

On a negative side, Greene King have rcently been applying for planning permission to change many of the distinctive Abingdon pub signs into more corporate Greene King branded signs, with some pubs already having their signs changed. The most alarming ones are The White Horse on Ock Street and the Broad Face. Both of these pubs are very visible high profile pubs in Abingdon with historic significance and it would be a shame for them to lose their individual pub signs. Please check out the district council planning permission web site and leave a comment there with your opinions.

White Horse planning applications: P12/V2476/A and P12/V2477/LB
Broad Face applications: P13/V0429/LB and P13/V0428/A