Beer List: Wandsworth Common Beer Festival 2015

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Welcome to the 7th Annual Beer Festival, 14th in our series of twice yearly beer festivals. (March and October) There is a massive selection of new, hard to find, and genuinely unique beers this time round. With 20 beers from the West Country all making their debut in London.


<p>Copy for Le Gothique Ref 49057</p> <p>Wandsworth Common Beer Festival 2015: April 1-5Preliminary Programme and BEER List</p> <p>Tickets: to the 7th Annual Beer Festival, 14th in our series of twice yearly beer festivals. (March and October) There is a massive selection of new, hard to find, and genuinely unique beers this time round. With 20 beers from the West Country all making their debut in London. </p> <p>YOU are a part of historyAs the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches you are now about to become part of history. Just imagine, as you stand with your pint in the garden just what it would have been like on 4th August 1915, as the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building on Wandsworth Common was commandeered overnight by the Territorial Army and converted into the 3rd London General Hospital (3LGH), one of the four Great war hospitals in London. Over the course of the war over 52,000 men from across the UK and the Empire were treated here. Among the volunteers at the 3LGH was a group of distinguished artists from the Chelsea Arts Club. Too old to fight at the Front, they shaved their beards and years off their ages in order to serve as orderlies at the Hospital. Their daily duties provided rich material for their artistic talents and, following a successful exhibition of their work in the Hospital, they and other members of the nursing staff were given permission to raise money for the patients Comforts Fund by publishing a selection of sketches, cartoons, stories and poems in a monthly journal. The Gazette was an immediate success, running for 46 editions with a monthly circulation of 5,000. </p> <p>Former resident and local historian Simon McNeill-Ritchie has compiled a selection of illustrations and poems from the Gazette to commemorate the buildings role during WW1, together with background information on life at the Hospital. In keeping with the original aims of The Gazette he is donating 50% of the proceeds to SSAFA, the military charity that supports service personnel and their families. Copies of Great Ward Poetry can be pre-ordered by emailing Simon at simonmcnr@aol.comMore about the building</p> <p>Completed in 1859 this stunning building was officially opened by Queen Victoria 150 years ago. Originally a purpose built orphanage for dependants of servicemen lost in the Crimean war as mentioned above the building was requisitioned in 1914 becoming the 3rd London General Hospital. The walking wounded and shell-shocked victims of the trenches recuperated here disembarking from troop carrying trains at a specially constructed halt in a cutting at the front of the building. Between the wars the orphanage re-opened before finally closing down on this site in 1938. But as one chapter closed another opened.</p> <p>The Second World War saw occupation of the building by M.I.5, M.I.6 and M.I.9.and use as a detention and interrogation centre. In all, 20,000 refugees fleeing Northern Europe passed through on their way to a new beginning in Britain. Most were genuine but in amongst them were spies and 5th columnists. Rudolph Hess was kept for several days in the cellars below Le Gothique following his ill-fated attempt at brokering a cease-fire.</p> <p>In the 1950s the building was bought by the London County Council for use as a school, but despite its grade II (star) listing it fell into disrepair. The present re-birth with mixed use and residential occupancy is entirely the result of entrepreneur Paul Tutton who bought the building in the 1980s and renovated and restored the building after purchasing it for just 1. (Yes, one pound). Today, the building is primarily residential with 25 luxury apartments, a drama school (ALRA) and 29 assorted business lessees of which Le Gothique the long established free house and restaurant is the most well known.About the food..Affordable and very tasty food is available throughout the festival from the kitchens of Le Gothique. Please order your food from the main bar and collect from the table in front of the kitchen.</p> <p>About Health &amp; Safety.. Please ensure that the corridors (cloisters) surrounding the garden on three sides are clear at all times. Furniture and seating may not be brought in from any part of the premises and placed in the corridors. Please assist staff at all times to keep fire exits and entrances clear. Please remember that the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building is mainly residential. Please drink responsibly and leave the building quietly both outside and through the estate all the way along to the main road. </p> <p>If the weather is fine please note that you are able to go back out through the main entrance and sit on the Common.About the entertainment regulars to these festivals will already know about the virtuoso steel dobro playing bluesman John Crampton. He will be playing from 8pm on Friday. </p> <p>About the beers. We have assembled all the winners from the CAMRA Winter Ale Festival. So do look out for the Supreme Champion Winter Beer of Britain, Ellands 1872 Porter. </p> <p>Then silver Purple Moose, Dark Side of the Moose. And the bronze medal winner Dancing Duck, Dark Drake. The winners in each of the categories (Barley Wine/Old Ale/Stout) are also available at this festival. As mentioned above there are also 20 beers from the West Country micro brewers all making their debut in LondonWhen ordering please try to give the brewery name first, then the beer name as the beers are racked alphabetically by brewery name. This will greatly assist the servers. Thank you.Confessions of a beer writer another in our series of articles from beer blogger Benjamin Nun</p> <p>Ill let you in on a little secret: The life of a beer writer isnt all unbridled creativity and self-expression.</p> <p>Yes, I once got to describe a Belgian Trippel as a hot butterscotch urinal cake but such moments are all too fleeting. (As a teenager I once had to lick a urinal cake for a dare so I knew what I was talking about!)</p> <p>The mundane reality is that us writers have at our disposal a hoard of tried and tested stereotypes - established reference points, tropes, memes and clichs. Call them what you will, we use these relentlessly. Tawny in colour... little malt on the nose... long hoppy finish. These are our bread and butter (or, possibly, our malt and hops).</p> <p>Like the brewers, we follow a different set of conventions for every season, so, when we think about Winter ales, the stock candidates are strong, dark Old Ales and Barley Wines and the usual crop of festive warmers with added nutmeg, cinnamon and other Christmassy spices. </p> <p>Your stereotypical Summer beers are hoppy, golden ales designed to quench the thirst and allow light to pass through the glass. Again, we all know the score. Ive written these words more times than youve had long, hoppy finishes.</p> <p>Autumn is slightly less obvious, but theres still a benchmark style of Autumn ale the russet-coloured English best bitter and as Halloween approaches brewers cant seem to resist loading beers up with pumpkin these days.</p> <p>But this is a Spring beer festival. So, I ask you, WTF is a Spring beer? </p> <p>Ah, you see. This is one of those awkward moments where that big barrel of beer writing clichs is found empty.</p> <p>But thats good, because it forces us to think outside the box rather than simply recycling established tropes. For me, there are certain beers that I can happily drink all year round: Sambrooks rich Powerhouse Porter and Downtons awesome Chocolate Orange are as tasty in the Spring as at any time, and, happily, are available here right now.</p> <p>Its not specific to just one style either the pale, fruity refreshment of Downton Elderquad is another hardy perennial in my book, and I dont doubt that Mark Justin (aka Lord Battersea) could happily drink 10% Barley Wines all year round given half a chance!</p> <p>But Spring is a time of change, a time of new birth, a time to get out there and try something new. (Dont worry, Im not going to make you taste a urinal cake, unless you really want to...)</p> <p>And so, maybe the ultimate Spring beer is simply any beer that youve never had before. Try some different beer styles today and you might be surprised. At the very least, youll be less thirsty after drinking it.</p> <p>Maybe youre a dyed-in-the-wool cask ale drinker? Nowt wrong with that, of course, but consider trying a half of Windsor &amp; Eton Republika or Fullers Frontier and find out what the new breed of craft keg lagers are all about.</p> <p> If your thing is strong, hoppy, American-style hopmonsters, why not visit the opposite end of the brewing spectrum with a 3.5% dark mild. Or even a genuine US beer on draught like Sierra NevadaUsually stick to lighter beers? Thomas Sykes Ale is 10% and a full-on old ale with mature fruity flavours, but youd be surprised how balanced and easy-drinking it is. Go try some.</p> <p>And if you end up ordering something you really, really dont like give it to me, Ill finish it for you!</p> <p>Share your views by tweeting @BenViveur and be sure to check out Brewery, Arundel, West SussexSpringtide 4.6% A golden Springtime special for this Easter Bank Holiday festival. Brewed with Challenger hops to give a bitter finish and hoppy aroma. Light and refreshing.Ashley Down Brewery, Bristol</p> <p>Columbus 4.0% No tasting notes available at time of going to press.</p> <p>Binghams, Ruscombe, Berkshire</p> <p>Hot Dog Chilli Stout 5.0% This is Binghams normal Doodle Stot but with added chilli to give a gentle warming sensation to the beerVanilla Stout 5.0% Infused with vanilla pods that really complement the malts to create a smooth drinking dark stout. Highly recommendedBlack Flag, Goonhavern, Cornwall</p> <p>Chameleon 4.2% This is an ever changing beer made to the same strength each time best hopped differently. This batch is dry hopped with Moteuka.Black Paw, Bishop Auckland, County DurhamDark Steam 5.0% Deliciously dark and malty full flavoured beer based on a porter recipe. Hints of chocolate and coffee mixed in with the hoppy aroma.Bootleg Brewery, Joseph Holts, Chorlton, Manchester.</p> <p>Bootleg Metro Pirate 3.8% Produced at the Holts micro brewery set up in Chorlton. Zesty and bitter. Golden and smooth. Brentwood Elephant School of Brewing, Ongar, Essex Marvellous Maple Mild, 3.7% Dark brown mild with a hint of maple syrup</p> <p>Hot X Buns, 3.9% An Easter special and well worth trying.Woolly Mammoth, 4.7% Experimental brew from the new purpose built brewhouse constructed in 2013Bude Brewery, Bude, Cornwall ***NEW BREWERY***Black Rock 5.1% Dark ale with creamy head, The beer has blackberry aromas, pronounced yet smooth maltinessBurton Bridge, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire</p> <p>Thomas Sykes 10% A full on barley wine. Deceptively easy drinking so be careful. How can you leave the festival without trying at least a half of this brewing blockbuster. A festival favourite for the passed 7 years. The best value beer at the festival as measured by strength/price.Bushys, Braddan, Isle of Man</p> <p>Dalby Spook 4.0% Golden ale with a light spice aroma and dry citrus fruits. Named derived from the ghost that appears regularly at the Dalby Hotel on the Isle of Man.</p> <p>Castle Brewery, Lostwithiel, Cornwall</p> <p>White Knight 4.3% Check with servers that this has arrived. Obscure West Country Brewer. No website, no tasting notes. Beer usually bottle only.</p> <p>Coles, Llanddarog, Carmarthen, Wales</p> <p>Llanddarog 4.2% Ancient brewing site of the White Hart Inn has brewing recorded back in 1371. The current brewhouse dates from 1999. No I dont know how to pronounce it either.</p> <p>Cumberland Brewery, Great Corby, Carlisle, Cumbria</p> <p>Corby Noir 4.5% Dark Irish style stout with a thick creamy head. Smooth and full bodied with a Belgian chocolate and coffee flavour.Dancing Duck, Derby, DerbyshireAy Up! 3.9% Subtle floral notes with citrus finishDark Drake 4.5% Malty liquorice notes combine with velvety oatmeal stout. With fresh roast coffee finish. Voted Camra Winter Ale Festival 3rd BEST WINTER ALE. And runner up Best Stout. Must try! Abduction 5.5% Big tropical flavours. A dangerously drinkable 5.5 percenter. Derventino, Darley Abbey, Derbyshire</p> <p>Minerva 3.8% Lightly hopped and amber brown in colour. A traditional British pint.Downton Salisbury, Wiltshire</p> <p>Quadhop 3.9% First of three beers that are all perfect for garden drinking in Spring. A pale session bitter. Very refreshing</p> <p>Elderquad 4.0% Pale yellow colour. Addition of elderflower makes for a real thirst quencher.</p> <p>Honey Blonde 4.3% Light ale made with honeySlovenian Dream 4.5% New brew from Downton widely appreciated upon its debut earlier this year. Chocolate Orange 5.8% Consistently one of the most popular beers at every Festival. Each brew benefitting from a bottle of Cointreau and a Terrys chocolate orange. Must try.</p> <p>Chimera IPA 6.8% A genuine British style IPA uninfluenced by the re-imported US style of IPA that is fast replacing this traditional brew originally brewed for export to India. 8 (Eight)Arches, Wimborne, Dorset ***NEW BREWERY***</p> <p>Prototype 1 4.1% Being collected from a new brewery with limited information on beers at the time of writing. Check with server in case substituted for another in the range like Prototype 2. But one to try if youre a beer ticker.</p> <p>Elland Brewery, Elland, West Yorkshire, </p> <p>Silver Streak 4.1% A pale ale with UK Challenger &amp; Target hops.</p> <p>1872 Porter 6.5% Creamy full flavoured porter which (for the third time) is the CAMRA Overall CHAMPION WINTER ALE. Creamy and full flavoured. You simply must try to find out what all the fuss is about.Fire Brand, Cornwall ***NEW BREWERY***Graffiti IPA 5.0% A session IPA, brewed with a malt backbone of Maris Otter Pale Malt, hopped with Summit, Centennial and Amarillo. The beer is then dry hopped with Amarillo for extra hop character.</p> <p>Fuller Smith &amp; Turner, Chiswick LondonSpring Sprinter 4.0% Zesty and simply perfect for a Spring day. Uses the very expensive and hugely in demand NZ Nelson Sauvin hop variety which gives a unique gooseberry taste aroma and taste to the beer.</p> <p>ALSO AVAILABLE FROM FULLERS from the keg dispense in Le Gothique bar area.</p> <p>Black Cab Stout 4.5%Frontier Small Batch Craft Lager 4.5%</p> <p>Fuzzy Duck Brewery, Poulton le Fylde, Lancashire</p> <p>Thumb Ducker 3.9% Copper coloured session bitter with UK Goldings and Fuggles hops.Grainstore, LeicestershireRutland Beast 5.3% Dark Brown. Superb strong mild. Complex flavours of chocolate, coffee, raisins and even autumnal fruits. Certainly one to try.Great Oakley, Tiffield, NorthamptonshireTiffield Thunderbolt 4.2% Pale golden ale using New Zealand hops for a citrusy intense fruity flavour.Green Jack, Lowestoft, Suffolk</p> <p>Orange Wheat Beer 4.2% Marmalade aroma, hint of bitterness then sweetness. Citrus and malt in the background. Mixed fruit flavours in the aftertaste.</p> <p>Ilkley Brewery, Ilkley, West Yorkshire</p> <p>Olicana Pale Ale 4.2% Brewed especially to showcase the new Englis...</p>