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. :-)