If you love real Ale and Cider, you are in for a fabulous treat this month. Wetherspoons are launching what is being dubbed as “the world’s biggest real ale and cider festival”
When & Where
This 12-day extravaganza will run from Wednesday, March 14, to Sunday, March 25 at Wetherspoon pubs up and down the country.
Several award-winning breweries will be featured showcasing their delicious ales, including 24 British brewers and 6 international brewers, as well as 5 cider makers.
All of the festival beers and ciders will be priced from £2.09 to £2.49 a pint, or alternatively, you can try any three of the real ales or ciders in special third-pint glasses for the price of a pint.
Brand New Ale
Many of the ales featured are being brewed for the first time especially for this festival, giving you the opportunity to taste these new beers first-hand.
Here’s a list of what will be available along with their tasting notes!
ST PETER’S TWISTED EDGE – 4.3% ABV
St Peter’s Brewery, Suffolk. Est. 1996
This new golden beer, brewed especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival, is a vibrant pale ale, with hoppy notes in the aroma and palate, leading to a subtle lemon twist and zesty finish.
SHEPHERD NEAME EARLY BIRD- 4.3% ABV
Shepherd Neame Brewery, Kent. Est. 1698
This golden seasonal ale has hoppy, citrus and grapefruit notes in the aroma, leading to a gentle bitterness, balanced by light biscuit malt flavours and resulting in a zesty, dry finish.
CONWY RIPTIDE – 4.3% ABV
Conwy Brewery, Conwy. Est. 2003
This black IPA combines the best qualities of dark malt flavours and the refreshing, fruity hop flavours of American IPAs with grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas, along with a clean finish, balanced by roasted malt notes.
OTTER SPRINGFEST- 4.0% ABV
Otter Brewery, Devon. Est. 1990
This is a new seasonal beer from this popular brewery, available during this festival before its main release. It is deep golden in colour, with a sweet, fruity aroma, crisp, refreshing and balanced flavour and that spicy hop finish.
EXMOOR WHAKATU – 4.2% ABV
Exmoor Ales, Somerset. Est. 1980
This new amber beer is brewed using maize, alongside pale and crystal malts, to deliver a subtle spiciness, with floral, lime and vanilla hints, leading to a long, refreshing finish.
ADNAMS GUNHILL – 4.0% ABV
Adnams Brewery, Suffolk. Est. 1872
This ruby-coloured ale is described as a cross between a dark mild and a brown ale, with the blend of four malts providing toffee, chocolate and spicy flavours, balanced by a subtle bitterness.
WADWORTH GAME OF STONES – 3.8% ABV
Wadworth Brewery, Wiltshire. Est. 1885
This new golden beer, brewed especially for this
Wetherspoon real-ale festival has hoppy, citrus
aromas, leading to a light, refreshing character,
with a fine malt and hop balance.
COACH HOUSE ELDERFLOWER – 4.1% ABV
Coach House Brewery, Cheshire. Est. 1991
The use of elderflowers in this blond-coloured beer provides a floral aroma, enhancing the citrus hop notes and hints of grapefruit, resulting in a refreshing character and slightly sweet finish.
SAMBROOK’S FLAT WHITE STOUT – 4.5% ABV
Sambrook’s Brewery, London. Est. 2008
This new dark russet-brown stout has been brewed especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. A complex aroma of milk, coffee, nuts and roasted notes leads to a smooth, creamy flavour, with a sweetness which is balanced by its roasted character.
SALTAIRE ONYX – 3.8% ABV
Saltaire Brewery, West Yorkshire. Est. 2006
This is a refreshing black IPA, with a tropical aroma and hop notes in the flavour, balanced by a subtle dark beer character of rich malts, resulting in a refreshing finish.
HYDES CALIFORNIA RED ALE – 5.2% ABV
Hydes Brewery, Manchester. Est. 1863
This ruby-coloured ale is brewed with a range of five malt varieties, all adding their unique characteristics to create a complex, malty flavour, with toasted malt, toffee and fruit notes, complemented by a moderate bitterness.
OAKHAM ATTILA – 7.5% ABV
Oakham Brewery, Cambridgeshire. Est. 1993
This golden ale has been cask aged for six months, in preparation for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. The rich elderflower aroma leads to ripe red berry and citrus flavours, resulting in a long, smooth, full-bodied and fruity finish.
PURITY WARLORD – 5.0% ABV
Purity Brewery, Warwickshire. Est. 2005
This amber-coloured beer, brewed again especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival, has a wonderful aroma of grapefruit, pine and tropical fruits, leading to a full, complex, fruity flavour and pronounced lasting bitterness.
TITANIC NINE TENTHS BELOW – 5.9% ABV
Titanic Brewery, Staffordshire. Est. 1985
This golden beer, brewed again especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival, has an initial sweetness which rapidly fades as the powerful citrus hops take over, leading to a refreshing taste above the waterline, while the boldness and strength lurk beneath.
GREENE KING HERITAGE – 5.0% ABV
Greene King Brewery, Suffolk. Est. 1799
This new golden beer is brewed using Chevalier malt, originally grown in Suffolk around 1820 and, after near extinction, recently resurrected. It is a refreshing pale ale, with a crisp, refreshing, full flavour.
ELGOOD’S WARRIOR – 5.5% ABV
Elgood’s Brewery, Cambridgeshire. Est. 1795
This chestnut-coloured beer, brewed again especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival, has a predominantly hoppy aroma, leading to a deep, rich flavour, with a rich malt balance.
WYCHWOOD HOBGOBLIN IPA – 5.6% ABV
Banks’s Brewery, West Midlands. Est. 1890
This deep golden beer, previously available in bottles only, has been made available in cask, especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. It is generously hopped to provide an explosion of tropical fruit aromas, leading to a juicy bitterness, balanced by a malty sweetness.
CALEDONIAN PORT OF LEITH IPA – 5.0% ABV
Caledonian Brewery, Edinburgh. Est. 1869
This copper-coloured ale is brewed in the style of a traditional IPA, with a powerful hop aroma continuing into the flavour, balanced by caramel and malt flavours, before resulting in a bold malt and bitter hop finish.
MORDUE STERLING – 4.5% ABV
Mordue Brewery, Tyne & Wear. Est. 1995
This new straw-coloured cask lager has been brewed especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. Herbal and citrus notes in the aroma continue through to the flavour, balanced by a clean malt background, resulting in a long, dry finish.
SALOPIAN BERTZA – 5.5% ABV
Salopian Brewery, Shropshire. Est. 1995
This new black rich stout, brewed especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival, contains a mélange of chocolate, cocoa and mocha, with hints of vanilla, complementing the smooth, roasted character and leading to a smooth, creamy finish.
HILDEN IRISH RED RYE – 4.8% ABV
Hilden Brewery, County Antrim. Est. 1982
This new red beer, brewed especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival, is generously hopped with American and European varieties, delivering a hoppy aroma and pleasing bitterness, balanced by its rye and blend of malts.
HARVIESTOUN OLD ENGINE OIL – 4.5% ABV
Harviestoun Brewery, Clackmannanshire. Est. 1983
This black porter, made available especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival, is wickedly smooth, with a rich flavour dominated by chocolate and balanced by a bitter, hoppy finish.
TRING AMERICAN BROWN – 4.5% ABV
Tring Brewery, Hertfordshire. Est. 1992
This occasionally brewed nut-brown ale is a progressive take on a classic British style, with fragrant fruity aromas from its American hops merging with a strong, malty background and dry, nutty finish.
BLACK SHEEP MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS- 4.5% ABV
Black Sheep Brewery, North Yorkshire. Est. 1992
Brewed by the ministry of silly hops, this new amber-red IPA has a full-bodied flavour, with crisp, peachy and spicy notes throughout, leading to a long, refreshing finish.
GRAPES & GRATIFICATION OLD WORLD NEW ENGLAND IPA – 5.0% ABV
Grapes & Gratification, Heraklion, Crete. Est. 2015
Kjetil Jikiun has travelled to Banks’s Brewery, in the West Midlands, to brew this golden beer, especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. A fresh, fruity hop character is evident in both the aroma and flavour, with generous citrus and tropical fruit notes throughout, while the moderate bitterness is balanced by a full-bodied, multigrain malt base.
FOGLIE D’ERBA HOT NIGHT AT THE VILLAGE – 5.0% ABV
Birrificio Foglie d’Erba, Forni di Sopra, Italy. Est. 2008
Gino Perissutti has returned to Shepherd Neame Brewery, in Kent, to brew this mahogany beer again for us. Brewed in the style of a traditional English porter, this has notes of coffee, chocolate and liquorice in the flavour, leading to a refreshing, slightly herbal finish.
GREEN BEACON 3 BOLT PALE ALE – 4.5% ABV
Green Beacon Brewing, Brisbane, Australia. Est. 2013
Johann van der Walt has travelled to Wadworth Brewery, in Wiltshire, to re-create this light golden pale ale, especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. Citrus, mango and pine notes are present in both the aroma and flavour, combining with a refreshing bitterness to create a distinctive, balanced character.
SIXPOINT LO-RES – 4.5% ABV
Sixpoint Brewing Company, New York, USA. Est. 2004
Keir Hamilton and Eric Bachli have travelled to Adnams Brewery, in Suffolk, to brew this light golden beer, especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. The initial citrus blast provides an inviting aroma and juicy flavour, with plenty of tropical notes, resulting in an easy-drinking character and a clean, dry finish.
STRANGE FELLOWS TALISMAN – 4.0% ABV
Strange Fellows Brewing, British Columbia, Canada. Est. 2014
Iain Hill has travelled to Caledonian Brewery, in Edinburgh, to re-create this light golden beer, especially for this Wetherspoon real-ale festival. Aromas of citrus and tropical fruits lead to an assertive hop flavour, with an underlying malt balance, plus a crisp, lasting finish.
BRÚ RED ALE – 4.2% ABV
Brú Brewery, County Meath, Republic of Ireland. Est. 2013
This amberRepublic of Ireland. Est. 2013-red beer is this brewery’s interpretation of a traditional Irish red ale, with a sweet aroma leading to its hoppy flavour, balanced by caramel notes which continue through to the finish.
BROADOAK MOONSHINE – 7.5% ABV
Broadoak Cider, Somerset. Est. 1984
This medium-sweet cider has a crisp, light, refreshing, fruity flavour, supplied by dessert and culinary apples, resulting in a very drinkable character, despite its strength.
COCKEYED PEAR MANIA – 7.0% ABV
Cockeyed Cider, Devon. Est. 2015
This is a medium-sweet apple-pear hybrid, made by blending a variety of fruits to give a full, fruity aroma and a smooth, crisp flavour which packs a mad punch.
HUNTS WOBBLER – 6.0% ABV
Hunts Cider, Devon. Est. 1805
This is a classic, traditional, still, medium-sweet cider, with tannins, sweetness and acidity all evident in the pleasing, complex flavour.
TEMPTED ELDERFLOWER – 4.0% ABV
Tempted Irish Cider, Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Est. 2009
This award-winning, medium-dry cider is very light and fruity, with distinctive tones of elderflower, which complement (rather than overpower) the juicy red-apple flavour.
SNAILS BANK RHUBARB – 4.0% ABV
Snails Bank Cider, Herefordshire. Est. 2008
This medium real apple cider is infused with tart rhubarb and blended with vanilla, resulting in a pleasing, smooth and complex flavour.