We Radicals have been approached by at least one person with an enquiry about real ale. It would be a dereliction of our duty to ignore such matters of importance. Regular followers will note our general enthusiasm for all things with an alcoholic bent (see our report on the new wine bar). Real ale is one of those causes close to us (and we were drinkers long before it became fashionable!) despite the odd lapse to the fizzy tasteless stuff and one Radical’s weakness for ‘Desperados’. Doing our bit has included many miles travelled to beer festivals across London and beyond and as much as we mock the new trendiness of ale drinkers the recent growth in small, independent breweries is fantastic. Locally we can support both the Meantime Brewery of Greenwich and Hop Stuff of Woolwich.
South East CAMRA are holding the 1st Kidbrooke Beer and Cider Festival on 01-03 May at the Charlton Park RFC. Last year the Radicals attended SE CAMRA’s first East Dulwich festival at Dulwich Hamlet FC and are delighted we now have one closer to home. This is a small festival but well worth attending. If you’ve not been to one before don’t think it is just for seasoned ale drinkers. The staff are friendly and helpful (all volunteers) and a selection of 50 ales to choose from will not overwhelm the casual or new ale drinker. If you are lucky there will even be a tombola (this Radical has won many a selection of beer mats!).
On our travels to beer festivals we could not help but wonder what a festival in Blackheath would be like. Wandering around and imbibing at Battersea beer festival recently we Radicals were struck by the similarities with our own Halls. Imagine also our delight at discovering Hop Stuff at the London Drinker festival in Camden.
So why not Blackheath? We know the vocal minority don’t like outsiders coming to our village and expect much gnashing of teeth at the prospect of real ale drinkers running amok. This would be good for the village – we have great pubs and beer festivals attract a cross-section of the wider local community to an area they may not normally visit as well as people from further afield. Let’s show our support at Kidbrooke in May and work towards something bigger and better.