Lord Battersea does it again! The Wandsworth Common beer festivals are held at the wonderful Le Gothique inside the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building. This building has a rich and varied past, re-inventing itself time and again and always successful. A bit like the Wandsworth Common beer festival.
The self-styled Lord Battersea can divide opinion and doesn’t shy away from controversy, the fact remains that he organises some of the best beer festivals in London. The beers are interesting and individually sourced, it’s not a simple phone call to a regional wholesaler. Always there are new releases and beers brewed especially for the festival.
Having first decried tank beer, then having a disastrous venture into keg beer a couple of years ago (it requires electricity apparently, more than you imagine) he returned this Halloween with the usual well sourced cask beers and a brand new ‘craft wall’. The meter had been well fed and everything ran like clockwork.
(Now we hear that the Clapham Brewmasters event this year (the substitute for Battersea while it the old town hall is going up and down and up) will feature 100 beers on the craft wall.)
The first night is always ‘preview night’, fixed price entry and free beer, definitely the night to be there. We probably didn’t make best use of it having already stopped at the just opened We Brought Beer Clapham (a properly curated offering) and then The Old School House (on a previous visit had Mikeller, now it was a single distributors faux craft, avoid). But this is stuff for another post.
At the Le Gothique my best in show was Strannik, a big Russian Imperial stout from Northern Monk. Low ABV beers were all the rage in the spring, a trifle late but Little Beer Corporation (yes, the one I do a bit of work for) launched Little & Often, a 3.0% crystal rye IPA, spicy and with 65 IBU of bitterness this certainly has a big initial flavour, would be great washing down a curry imho. Wimbledon Brewery were there with their well made but ordinary new beers backed by brewing royalty and city money. As usual Fuller’s had a special version, as usual, to my taste it wasn’t very nice, sour in a bad way. My notes went downhill after the Strannik.
Great venue, properly sourced beer, always moving forward, genial mein host – I like Le Gothique festivals.
Beer selection: 9/10
Beer quality: 8/10
A good night out: 8/10
Total score: 41.5/50, 83%