This weekend, in Sunny Britain, it’s August Bank Holiday Weekend. Traditionally this brings either large amounts of dark clouds and rain, or a bit of sun and a mass exodus to Britain’s seasides. It also brings large numbers of beer festivals, with pubs and clubs making the most of the long weekend, and the fact that British people generally like a drink when they don’t have to go into work the next day.
Southampton has at least two festivals going on this weekend, at The Platform Tavern, and at The Rockstone and Shooting Star.
The Platform Tavern’s Blues and Booze Festival, has 10 casks on stillage, supporting the four available on handpull. Dancing Man Brewery’s 200th, a smoked barley wine called Smokin’ Banjo is also available to buy in bottles. The highlight of the beer selection at The Platform this weekend is undoubtedly the Fullers Vintage Ale, which for me is the best it’s been new since the 2010 incarnation. I was also very impressed by the Loddon Checkmate when I was there on Thursday. I’ve had a number of cask pilsners in the last couple of years and have always been left feeling that it wasn’t possible to do a pilsner justice in cask. I was rather pleasantly surprised when Checkmate proved my ideas to be wrong.
Of course, if you end up in The Platform this weekend you should take the chance to try all of the Dancing Man Beers on offer. Organ Grinder and Nicromancer are available as part of the festival offering, along with the aforementioned Smokin’ Banjo in bottle.
The RockStar Beer Festival sees The Rockstone and The Shooting Star join forces yet again to bring a selection of great beer, music and food to Bevois Valley.
Whilst I’m currently unaware of the beer selection for this weekend, I can tell you that Sunny Republic are launching their Shark Head lager on keg at The Rockstone this weekend. I enjoyed this when I tried it at the brewery last week, and recommend it if you come across it on keg.
I’ll be at The Rockstone on Monday. Come down and join me, it’ll be fun.