Brewery Tap Beer Festival Preview

We are now into beer festival season in Abingdon on Thames. Last weekend we enjoyed The Cross Keys beer festival, where the first drink to sell out was Bristol Port Cider, and next week The Broad Face has a beer and music festival (6th-8th April). However this weekend sees probably the largest beer festival ever held in Abingdon on Thames. The Brewery Tap’s Spring Beer and Cider (and pies and music) festival.

There are several beers here never before seen in Abingdon on Thames, including the launch of Abingdon’s Loose Cannon Brewery’s Blonde ale; three new beers from The recently opened Aylesbury Brewhouse and the launch of XT Brewery’s Number 6. The complete list of ales and ciders along with tasting notes can be found here.

There will live music from Rascals of Rythmn on Friday evening, Big Blues Band on Saturday and George Haslam’s Swingtime band on Sunday at 5pm.

The Festival runs from Friday March 25th to Sunday March 27th.

Loose Cannon Pale Ale Trials

The Loose Cannon Brewery in Abingdon in Suffolk Way has just finished brewing a new beer.

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.
Handpump serving Loose Cannon Pale Ale at the brewery

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.

Bottles of Loose Cannon Pale Ale trial to try at home (or work!).

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