Saturday, 3 November 2012


I have to say I was quite pleased when the signs went up at Wetherspoons recently. They were advertising their forthcoming beer festival, stating it was 'The world's biggest  real ale festival'. Boasting fifty ales in their programme.

At the outset then, all was looking good, as I made my first visit to my local 'Wethers'. The programme's were plentiful on the bar, as I plumped for the St.Peters Fruit Beer. A lovely, zesty, wheat beer. With strong grapefruit flavours. Refreshing in the extreme.    

However, I have say I was most disappointed looking at the programme, and the range of beers available. Nowt wrong with the quality. It was the massive imbalance in strengths. Fifty beers and only four, yes four, under 4%! That's just a miserly 8% available under 4%ABV. And of course that will mean at some venues where they have, say eight on, there maybe no beers under 4%!

Half of the beers were 4.5% and over. Twelve 5% or over. Do you really think there should be three times more beers at 5% than under 4%?

In their defence there were some fine ales on. But they just have this obsession towards stronger beers. Surely a range of beers between 3.5% and 4.2% should have been more available. As this is the range that is very common when you visit the boozer? I will stand corrected if it's not! 

There was just a miserly 28% of their beers in this range. Just 14 out of the 50 on the menu. And of course, if there's say seven festival beers on at a venue, then my maths say you would only have TWO at most to choose from. You have to agree one or two is pretty poor, with all the fantastic beers available for Wetherspoons to have sourced in this range, for their festival.

That said, I am loathe to be too critical of the festival. It was just an observation I wanted to highlight. One you may agree with. One you may disagree with. I would be interested to hear your opinions in this matter. Feel free to comment. It will be most appreciated. :-)   



  1. I agree that a wider selection of beers below 4% would be desirable, but disagree that this is the range that is common when you visit the boozer. You used to get a good range of excellent session beers at 3.8% - being a southerner Hook Norton was a particular favourite - but now I find it is rare to see these, they are most 4.5% and above. Think yourself lucky though - I am now a cider drinker and it's hard to find anything decent below 7%!

  2. I think it's a fair point. They would probably say its a winter beer Fest, so beers will be stronger, but we both know that there are plenty of weaker beers that they could have chosen.

  3. Very good point - and the same is also true at the other end of the spectrum too. There aren't any beers under 3.5% and there aren't any beers over 6.5%. Where are the 7-10% IPAs that are popular at the moment.

    I guess the relatively narrow ABV range reflects the tastes of Wetherpunters who typically go for something about 4-5%.

    I'd have preferred a wider range - say, some of the new generation of sub-2.8% beers, and some proper strong beers too.

  4. Cheers for the excellent feedback. Always appreciate your opinions :-)

  5. My local Spoons often contrives to have such an imbalanced range that there are 8 handpumps (including Ruddles and Abbot) but nothing I actually want to drink.

    1. Thanks for your feedback.Unfortunately, Abbot will always be on, as it's Tim Martin's favourite tipple! Also I have followed your blog and thanks for following mine. How do you get that ebuzzing ranking on your blog? Am not the best with computers! :-)

  6. Actually I quite like Abbot, but ordering it in Spoons always seems like an admission of defeat.

    I signed up to the ebuzzing thing when it was Wikio - I'm not quite sure how it works now. I think you should be able to just copy the code and replace the blog name with your own.

    Interesting blog - I've followed you and added it to the blog list on mine. I wasn't aware it existed until @CarpeZytha mentioned it on Twitter today, but always good to have another north-west based blog.