Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet in London, and the beer festival calendar is still warming up. However, there are still a few decent beer-drinking opportunities to be enjoyed this month, for those who want to start stretching their ale muscles. Here are three that come highly recommended.
13-15 March: The Dog & Bell St. Patrick's Weekend Festival (Deptford)
While most London pubs celebrating St. Patrick’s Day will be doing so by promoting a single brand of stout, once again the Dog & Bell — a wonderfully old-school boozer in Deptford — turns the occasion into a weekend of Irish real ales. It has independently sourced more than 25 of these ales from Ireland, and plans to supplement the drinking with home-cooked Irish-influenced food, alongside traditional Irish music.
Festivities kick off at midday on Friday 13 March and run until the end of play on Sunday.
25-28 March: Wandsworth Common Spring Beer Festival
It wouldn’t be March without the annual stalwart Wandsworth Common Spring Beer Festival, which returns to its usual Grade II listed Royal Victoria Patriotic Building (AKA 'Le Gothique') on Wandsworth Common towards the end of the month. Something in the order of 150 beers and ciders, including some rarities, will be served, and food will also be available. Live music is promised/threatened.
The festival’s main sessions run from 1pm to 11pm on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with an entrance fee of £5 (£4 for CAMRA members) on the door. Online pre-registration is highly recommended to guarantee entry. Alternatively, a pre-booked £30 ‘all-inclusive’ ticket provides entry to the preview night from 6pm on the Wednesday, with all cask ale (and a tasting glass) included in the ticket price.
26-28 March: The Hope Beer Festival (Carshalton)
As usual, advance information on this end-of-month beer festival at the CAMRA-beloved Hope pub in Carshalton is sparse, to say the least. But we know that the pub’s monthly beer festivals are well-regarded and well-received, and we expect this to be no exception. Expect a good selection of cask ales (they say there is 'loads' of it) in a convivial setting, and keep an eye on the festival’s holding page for more details to emerge closer to the date, as they invariably do.
If you’re a lover of beer or pubs, check out our ever-expanding database of the best pubs in London.