Autumn – Real Ale Festival!

Wetherspoon’s autumn real-ale festival will be celebrating British hops, with the event’s theme being ales made using hops originating from the British Isles.

The company is showing its continued commitment to British hop farmers and their home-grown and developed produce by showcasing a selection of 30 festival ales all brewed using only British-grown hop varieties.

The 12-day autumn real-ale festival runs from Wednesday 12 to Sunday 23 October (inclusive) at Wetherspoon’s pubs across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The festival line-up also includes new, seasonal and speciality ales – in addition to which many of the ales are available in the pubs for the first time, having been brewed exclusively for the bi-annual event.

Among the 30 festival ales are three from overseas breweries – Mad Giant (Johannesburg, South Africa), Telemark Bryggeri (Skien, Norway) and Nowhereman Brewing (Western Australia). However, these have all used British-grown hop varieties in their festival brews.

Mad Giant’s Eben Uys travelled to Hook Norton Brewery (Oxfordshire) to brew the amber ale Autumn Amber (4.3% ABV), using Endeavour, Jester, Olicana and UK Chinook hops.

This reinterpretation of Mad Giant’s seasonal ale delivers generous citrus and fruity hop notes, balanced by solid biscuit malt notes, resulting in a crisp, full-flavoured character.

Kjetil Jikiun, from Telemark Bryggeri, has brewed Rav (5.0% ABV) at Shepherd Neame Brewery (Kent), using Ernest, Godiva, Jester and Olicana hops.

This red session IPA’s inviting malt profile is balanced by a gentle hop bitterness, while tropical fruit and citrus notes dominate and continue into the long, smooth finish.

Banks’s Brewery (West Midlands) hosted Eddie Still, who journeyed from Nowhereman Brewing (Western Australia) to brew Wungong (5.5% ABV).

It is made using Ernest, Jester, Keyworth’s Early, Olicana and UK Chinook – a blend of hop varieties which delivers a feast of assorted fruity flavours, balanced by a rich malt base.