I’m starting to think there might be something in this beer lark.
Just a week after the Jolly Butchers reinvents itself as one of London’s top five beer pubs, The Alma on Newington Green is having a bank holiday weekend real ale festival.
The Alma is a pretty pub in a great location, on the border between N1 and N16. Bobby Gillespie out of Primal Scream lives just around the corner, and he blew his entire wad of Indie Rock credibility a few years ago when he complained to the council about the noise from the pub.
It’s a gastropub – one of the best in the area – really nice food, freshly prepared, nice wine list, lovely staff, great atmosphere. But up to now the beer selection has been nothing to write home about.
This weekend landlady Kirsty Valentine changes all that with a festival celebrating the extraordinary renaissance of London brewing in recent years. There’s a full list of about twelve ales, all from Sambrooks, Brodie’s, Twickenham and Redemption, none of which existed six years ago (Twickenham is the oldest, having opened in September 2004).
And the nice thing about the mix, given that they’re drawn from four local breweries, is that there’s a really interesting array of beer styles in there – a few golden ales, a few session beers, and some stronger, darker stuff.
Some of the brewers will be turning up at various points throughout the weekend, and I’m going down there tomorrow (Saturday) hopefully to meet the nice man from Tottenham’s Redemption Brewery.
It’s three quid a pint (10% off for CAMRA members, not that they deserve it – sorry, Tandy etc – I’m grouchy about appalling behaviour by some stereotypes who were at the National Brewery Centre launch last night) and there’s a live band on Sunday. It kicks off Saturday at noon and runs until chucking out time on Bank Holiday Monday.
See you there!