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  • Writer's pictureMatt Chinnery

A Year of Beer Festivals

As I have got older I have found that the beer festival in one of my favorite things to do! Being thrown in a field or hall surrounded by hundreds of barrels of beer, muddled among huge groups of fellow beer geeks with the wiff’s of wonderful food rushing through your nostrils!

Through out my teenage years I grew up being friends with people who enjoy going clubbing and staggering around to deafening music (much against my taste!) while continuously screaming ‘WHAT?’ to each other in till we politely pretend we know what we are talking about, even though deep down I knew i preferred a good old chat down the pub with my chums! You may be asking yourselves why am I rambling on but this is the point I am making this is why I love beer festivals so much… the getting together of a group of friends and family and really getting stuck into some great conversations and tucking into some great beers! I love the fact that if you wanted to you could go up to a complete stranger and very probably spark up a conversation about a same interest … the reason why you are there … lots of great beer! Another thing I also love is that it can attract people who may not order a bitter or a porter in the pub, they take the attitude of ‘when in Rome!’ and most the time they enjoy it and its the start of the slow conversion to the real ale world, a great time to infiltrate their taste buds!

Over the past year I have been lucky enough to visit a few festivals and here is a little bit about each of those …

Rochford Beer Festival…

I will start with my most recent of outings. This was my first time going to the Rochford beer festival although I have always been aware of it as my parents always go. An old train freight shed holds one of South East Essex’s most popular festivals which this year played host to many Irish brews, something I haven’t seen before. I went on the Saturday evening and to be honest most of the beers had gone by the time I got there! There was an impressive amount of beer from Essex but the real stand out beer for me was Blue Anchor’s Spingo Special at 6.7%. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful girlfriend who also loves a good beer (maybe even more then myself at times!) and being one of the few girls at this festival it was funny to see how many times shocked beer drinkers tried chatting her up! … We are in Essex I guess!!!

Below is a link to the beer list …

Billericay Town FC…

Beer + Football = Happy Half Pint Gentleman!!! This was one of my first festivals of the year for me. My best pal and I wasn’t really sure what to expect if I am to be honest while walking down the country lanes on our way to the New Lodge. What I did know from a very drunken pre season friendly between Leyton Orient and Billericay town is that the Ricay boys did have an immense club house! Oh how I would love it if Orient Supporters club could have this sort of size to work with! As soon as we walked into the club house we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed! There was a real good selection of beers and more importantly we learnt that it was all for a good cause raising money for the Lions Club of Billericay. The sun was really shining this day and as we walked outside there in front of us was a football beer fans dream come true … you could sit and drink on the pitch!!! FANTASTIC!!! Half the pitch was sectioned off and had a huge marquee for live music with a pretty decent band.

Another great thing about this first festival was that it was the first time i met ‘The Cheese Man’ and if you’ve never had Snowdonia cheese then I suggest you go get the crackers out now!

Below is a link to Snowdonia cheese website, Billericay Town FC and Lions Club of Billericay


The biggest festival I have been to this year… I have been a few times before but this is probably the biggest turn out and the most time spent there since I first visited this festival. The night before the festival Essex was hit with terrible rain and my Dad was lucky enough to be on of the many wet beer drinkers all huddled in the beer tents! The result of this was scenes similar to those when  you see half naked people swimming in pools of mud like those at a music festival, with out the half naked part thankfully!!! Even though the conditions wasn’t great it still lived up to be one of Essex biggest and best festivals and thankfully the rain held off while we was there!


I wont go into too much detail here as his one was a very special night for myself and so much so it deserves a post of its own so keep your eyes open for the special post about this!

But like every beer festival hosted by Leyton Orient Supporters Club it was run perfectly and proved very popular which is something as an Orient fan I am extremely proud of!

Traveler Digital Camera

Traveler Digital Camera
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