Friday, 29 January 2016

Winter Ales at the Cooper's Arms

Tomorrow (Saturday), I’m off across the border into Sussex, for the Winter Ales Festival at the Cooper’s Arms, Crowborough. I’ve written about this excellent pub on several previous occasions, and I have also been to the Winter Ales Fest before. Unfortunately I missed it last year, due to family reasons, but I can report that the year before’s event was really good.

There will be a party of local West Kent CAMRA members travelling over to Crowborough by bus, and we’ll be meeting up with members from neighbouring Sussex and Surrey branches. Two years ago, these other members arrived by vintage bus, but whether this is the plan this year, remains to be seen.

So far as I can make out, there will be 11 cask ales on sale at the Cooper’s; most, but not all, strong and dark. Gun Brewery (a new one on me), Redemption and Pig & Porter are all supplying two beers each; with the rest coming from Crouch Vale, Dark Star, Fuller’s (cask Golden Pride, no less!), Gadds and Moor Brewery.

It promises to be an interesting day, and I will be publishing a full report in the fullness of time.


Anonymous said...

Dark beers seem to be making quite a comeback, even in the craft beer bars.

Was impressed with Coopers; Crowborough an attractive small town.

Paul Bailey said...

Dark beers are definitely becoming more popular Martin, although there were a couple of refreshing pale beers on sale at the Cooper’s yesterday.More about that later on.

Crowborough is often overlooked but despite its high elevation, and the attendant problems this brings in winter, is a pleasant and attractive town. It eclipsed the older, nearby settlement of Rotherfield during the later half of the 19th Century; its growth helped by the arrival of the railway in 1868.

Its most famous, former resident is Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who spent the last 23 years of his life living in the town. There is a statue of him at Crowborough Cross, opposite the town’s latest acquisition a JDW outlet - called, somewhat unimaginatively the Crowborough Cross!