Guildford Beer Festival

Saturday 7th July 2012
PV write up
Attended by
PV, RO, RN, TM, Jem and Satan

The choice was between the beer festivals at Ealing and Guildford. Ealing advertised over 200 beers but as it started on Wednesday how many would be left by Saturday? Also, whichever route was chosen, it would take over 2 hours to get there. So, despite a beer list of only 60, the easy option was selected.

The beer festival occupied three of the marquees set up ready for the Cricket Festival taking place the following week – one for tickets, tokens and glasses, one for the beer, and one for the music.

Mengo arrived in rain a quarter an hour before opening. The organisers had let some of the early arrivals wait in the admission tent but steadfastly refused to either sell tickets or tokens or give Camra rebates until opening time. As a result many were left out in the rain. Surely they could have started processing the queue early so more could have got out of the rain. After all they could still have waited until noon before serving beer.

Most of the glasses turned out to be 2011 vintage so those who noticed (or cared) swiftly swapped them to the 2012 glass.

The beer list comprised local breweries so there was a limited amount of new beers to try. However, there were two breweries new to Mengo – Tillingbourne (which occupies the old Surrey Hills brewery) and Two Cocks (from Newbury). These provided six beers to try, after which it was pot luck from the rest.

Despite the disorganised scramble at the start and the slightly disappointing beer list, it turned out to be an enjoyable little festival.


Brewer Beer %
Tillingbourne Spring Ale 3.3
Tillingbourne Evolution No 1 4.1
Two Cocks 1643 Leveller 3.8
Tillingbourne Falls Gold 4.2
Two Cocks 1643 Caviller 3.8
Two Cocks 1643 Roundhead 4.2
Ballards Jubilee 4.0
Hammerpot 3.8
Pilgrim Porter 4.1
Windsor & Eton Winsor Knot – Royal Wedding 4.0

RO write up
Attended by
PV, RN, TM and RO

As they say “Anyone for cricket” a sunny day would have helped but the tents were very good and we only had to pop our heads out for a leak.

We arrived about 20 minutes before kick-off and as with normal health and safety we were kept in a small entrance tent before being allowed to move into the larger empty beer tents. JB and Satan were there in the queue but we jumped them when they started taking the money £7 a ticket (and as noticed later for a 2011 glass). These were soon changed.

Beer selection was a bit local and the Hampshire taste ruled and at £1.60 a half and thanks to the Landlord of the Row Barge the ones we tried were the taste we liked and top notch. RN did try a Dorking beer (yes!) .

Five pints passed by even though one of us lost a token and pleaded being short changed? I am still sure he slipped a cider in. We also met a ringer for Peter Sutcliffe, well from an old photo he had of himself in his youth. Yes the day went by.

A short walk back and then a pie and the train, TM supplied out of date nuts, so a normal journey home. Some headed for the Garden Gate and met up with PC (he had been to Hale Carnival (only 4 beers) and MG (he thought we had gone to Ealing and had planned a quick pint).

Here are the beers:

Brewer Beer %
Ballards Brewery Jubilee 4.0
Hammerpot Brewery Alelympic 3.8
Pilgrim Brewery Porter 4.1
Tillingbourne Brewery Fails Gold 4.2
Tillingbourne Brewery Spring Ale 3.3
Tillingbourne Brewery Evolution No1 4.1
Two Cocks Brewery Roundhead 4.2
Two Cocks Brewery Caviller 3.8
Two Cocks Brewery Leveller 3.8