Food & Drink

Brew-tiful! Embrace the beer belly as Wandsworth Common Beer Festival is back

Beer lovers and cider champions rejoice as Wandsworth Common Beer Festival is back this week.

Le Gothique restaurant and bar in SW18 will throw open its doors on Wednesday April 6 for four days as the bi-annual family-friendly festival is back for its eighth installment.

Offering 100 real ales, 25 craft ciders, street food and live entertainment, Le Gothique’s event is south London’s largest attended independent beer festival.

“The first two days it’s all the beer drinkers and CAMRA [Campaign For Real Ale Members] members but as Friday turns into Friday evening and all day Saturday it attracts a completely different demographic,” said Le Gothique owner Mark Justin.

“On Friday evening it’s quite a young crowd which is very interesting.

“It’s about the only beer festival you can come to with a child as others won’t even let under-18s into the grounds.

“In a time where there’s lots of [beer] festivals I would say this one is definitely unique and unusual.

“Partly because the choice of the beers is very left-field and partly because of the amazing location.”

Cornish brewery Dynamite Valley will be exhibiting in London for the first time, with old favourites from Downtown and Sarah Hughes returning.

As for entertainment, the Hensley-Newman Blues Band from Cambridge will be making their Wandsworth Common Festival debut on Friday night with the Jo Burt Experience featuring Dzal returning on Saturday.

Part of the attraction for many is the mystical setting of Le Gothique that is so steeped in history.

From housing orphans after its creation in 1859 to becoming the home of British spy units during WW2 — the venue boasts an extensive and curious history.

Mark said: “The building is definitely a lot of the attraction. I say to a lot of people would you come to the festival if it wasn’t for the building and they say no we love coming because of the building.”

Tickets can be purchased on the door or online for £5, £4 for Campaign For Real Ale Members.

Image courtesy of Wandsworth Common Beer Festival, with thanks

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