beer festivals

Pig’s Ear beer festival, Hackney

pigs-ear.gifWe managed to make it to the Pig’s Ear in the end, and we’re extremely glad we made the effort. The beer lists were impressive, and everything we had was in good condition (unlike GBBF – but to be fair, it’s probably easier to keep things in condition in the winter, and when you’re not in an aircraft hanger.)

There was a good mix of people there for a beer festival – at least 10 women and many men without beards. No, seriously, it was good to see that it attracted locals as well as CAMRA members, as this can only be good for spreading the real ale message. I met locally-based Italians, Australians and Poles there as well, enjoying the beer.

Also a good idea is letting students in free – get’em when they’re young and pretentious, I say.

We had lots of great beers, but some that really stood out for us were;

  • Dark Star’s “Smoke on the Porter” – as you may guess, a slightly smoky porter
  • Dorset’s “Advent-ageous” – awful name, great beer. Described as a “Christmas beer” and subtly spicy, but extremely drinkable.
  • De Ranke Pere Noel – strong flavoured belgium blonde, impressive flavour for “only” being 7%
  • De Regenboog Smisje Kerstbier (in bottles) – at 11%, the perfect nightcap. Had drunk too much by then to give any useful description of what it tasted like, but we sat around going “wow” a lot.

We also picked up a number of interesting takeaways. And the Wobbly Bottom cheese stall was fabulous.

It’s on until Saturday, so there’s still time to visit!


All the details you need are here on the Pig’s Ear website. Even if you live outside London, don’t be put off by the fact it’s “in the suburbs”, it’s only about 10 minutes from Liverpool Street by train.

PS Also want to mention that we popped into the Pembury Tavern for a warm-up drink and the Augustus pale ale is absolutely superb.