From Oktoberfest to Halloween, there’s a definite autumnal theme to some of London’s October beer festivals. We’ve picked a handful of the more interesting ones here; as always let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything worthwhile.
2-4 October: The Gun Okto-beer-fest
In our view, many of London’s Oktoberfest-inspired beer festivals turn out to be fairly dismal affairs. However we have a suspicion that the groansomely-named Okto-beer-fest at Isle of Dogs gastro-pub The Gun could be better than most, thanks to the pub’s well-established reputation for serving good food and beer. German beers will, obviously, be the prominent booze offering here, and food will be of the barbecued variety. Entry is free, but hope for clement weather, as the festival take places in the Gin Garden next to the Thames.
9-12 October: The Snooty Fox Green Green Hops of Kent Real Ale Festival
The latest beer festival at Canonbury’s excellent Snooty Fox pub promises to be suitably seasonal, celebrating beers made with fresh, not dried, hops from Kent. Such beers can only usually be made within a fairly narrow time-window after the late summer hop harvest, and benefit from different flavours and aromas compared to beers made with dried hops (as is usual). The Snooty Fox claims that this festival will bring together the largest collection of these ‘green hop’ beers ever seen in London, so it could be an interesting prospect for both beer nerds and more casual ale drinkers alike.
16-18 October: Wallington Beer Festival
Aptly enough, Wallington Hall plays host to CAMRA’s Wallington Beer Festival (a.k.a. the 21st Sutton & Croydon Beer & Cider Festival). Something in the region of 50 cask ales are promised, all reasonably local — originating from within 30 miles of the venue. An “exciting range” of European bottled beers will also be available, as well as more than 15 ciders and perries. The festival opens at midday on the Thursday and runs until 6pm on the Saturday.
23-25 October: Twickenham Beer & Cider Festival
Another CAMRA beer festival (PDF), this time from the Richmond and Hounslow branch, takes place at Twickenham’s York House. For a mere £3 (or £2 if you are a CAMRA member), plus another £3 refundable deposit for a pint glass, you’ll get access to about 65 ales, plus a customary smattering of ciders and perries. The festival runs from midday on the Thursday until 9pm on the Saturday, and intends to be ‘family friendly’ before 6:30pm on the Friday and Saturday.
29 October-1 November: Wandsworth Common Halloween Beer Festival
A stalwart fixture in the annual beer festival calendar, the Wandsworth Common Halloween Beer Festival returns to the magnificent Le Gothique at the end of the month. More than 100 cask ales are set to feature, including a number of rare or one-off beers, as well as some from America. Tickets for the Thursday, Friday or Saturday cost £5 (or £4 for CAMRA members) — you can pay on the door, but you’ll need to register online beforehand. Alternatively, you can pay £25 for the preview night on the Wednesday, with all cask ale included in the ticket price.
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