Spa Valley Railway and West Kent CAMRA have just recently revealed the extremely impressive list of beers and ciders which will be available during this year’s Beer & Cider Festival!

West Kent CAMRA & Spa Valley Railway Beer and Cider Festival 2017

In case you’ve been living in a hole, you’ve surely heard of the annual Beer & Cider Festival in Tunbridge Wells (recently voted one of the top 5 happiest places to live in the UK – I assume this is part of the reason we’re so happy). This year the festival runs from Friday 20th October until Sunday 22nd, but as I’ve recommended before, if you want to try some of the real rarities – get there early. Even though they are putting on 30 Ciders, 24 Key Keg & Belgian Beers, and 144 Real Ales, you would be surprised how quickly it all runs out!

So, what in particular is there to look forward to? (Aside from everything)

The first beer I’m going to try (being a red blooded Canadian) is the Brentwood Brewery’s Maple Mild, which was Champion Beer of Britain in 2015. Can’t resist a maple flavoured treasure, and this dark brown mild is sure to send my tastebuds home.

Also on my list is Hop Tipple IPA from Crafty Brewery in Surrey. This dry-hopped IPA won a Gold at the 2017 SIBA (Independent Brewers Awards), and recently I’ve become rather enamoured of this style. Check 'em out.

Despite not being a great lover of Porters, winter is coming. AND, when you’re confronted with something like Elland Brewery’s 1872 Porter – which has singularly won more awards than many breweries have – I’m willing to change my tack.

West Kent CAMRA & Spa Valley Railway Beer and Cider Festival 2017

Also worthy of particular note is Jarl from Fyne Ales in Scotland. I’ve seen this particular brewery around, but have never had the pleasure. I’m new to Jarl, but how can you pass up the current Champion Beer of Scotland?

There are quite a few ‘Do Not Miss’ ales on offer at the festival this year, but of particular note has to be Larkin’s Porter. If only because it has made esteemed beer writer, Roger Protz’s ‘300 Beers to Try Before you Die’ and I don’t want to die not having known! This beer has been released slightly early just for the Tunbridge Wells festival by the good people at Larkin’s Brewery.

After that, being the loyal chap that I am, I will move on to the 25 beers from Kent & Sussex, including local favourites Pig & Porter, Gun Brewery, Dark Star, Black Cat, Breakwater, Burning Sky and Canterbury Ales (to name but a few, obviously).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mark your calendars! Come down for the day, or maybe even the whole weekend and have a very unique beer educational experience.


From the @thebeercavalier.

Follow along with the Festival:@wkcamrasvrfest and facebook.com/wkcamrasvrfest

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