Friday, 12 July 2013

SIBA South East Beer Festival 2013

This weekend sees Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Club once again hosting the SIBA South East Regional Beer Festival. After the debacle of last year, when the event had to be cancelled due to flooding, the weather over the next few days looks set to be sunny and warm, just the weather for a spot of beer drinking. The gates open at 5pm this evening, and I am planning to go along a little later to see what's on offer.

Actually, having downloaded the beer list, I already know there's around 150 beers on offer supplied by SIBA members from all over the South East. The festival has a serious side of course, in so much that prior to opening to the general public, beers are judged by a panel of experts and awards are given for Bronze, Silver and Gold over a number of different categories and styles of beer. Having just looked on the SIBA website, there are eight different categories for draught (almost exclusively cask) ales, plus six for bottled beers. Several members of our CAMRA branch committee will have been involved with the judging, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

I've made a short-list of beers I want to try, and as well as this evening, I also hope to be going along tomorrow. As well as all this beer there are all the other things one would expect at a festival, including food and live entertainment. Coupled with that is the parkland setting of the festival itself, housed in a marquee attached to TJ's clubhouse. If you are in the area and fancy trying something a bit different on the beer front, get yourselves along to Tonbridge Juddians. Full festival information, together with a list of all the beers, can be found here.

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