The venue is Walpole Park, Ealing, which far outranks the usual stuffy town hall (or the warm and unappealing aircraft hangar that is Kensington Olympia). As usual the festival runs Wednesday to Saturday, and this year it starts on the 12th of July.
In preparation, I've looked at the beer list and tried to find a range of top picks, spanning different types and flavours of beer, some well known to me, some completely new, and I've collated them in a (now traditional) Euler diagram.
Why would you do this?
I have previously written about how I come up with my choices and why I ended up using Euler diagrams in a few blog posts:
The TL;DR version is:
- Beer festivals are about enjoying the beer, the company and (hopefully) the weather.
- Spending time reading the beer list is time you could spend doing any of those other things.
- Using a diagram lets you quickly pick out a beer and know (roughly) what to expect.
- It helps me make recommendations to others without having to think too much after a few pints.
Although it's not perfectly accurate, I've had good feedback from others that have used it as a rough guideline over the last few years.
My beer picks for 2017
Here is my Ealing Beer Festival 2017 diagram (click for full-size):
Although it's (deliberately) subtle, the beers in dark blue text are those that made it into the diagram from last year. Those in black text are new picks for this year.
From those beers in the diagram, my top three picks are:
- Bushy's - Old Bushy Tail (4.5%) - Bushy's is a great brewery on the Isle of Man and has produced consistently excellent beer that's rarely seen on mainland UK. I try to get hold of a pint of this every year.
- Vale - Gravitas (4.8%) - Vale always put in a good showing and often pick up the top awards at beer festivals. This one sounds delicious.
- Black Tor - Raven Bitter (4.2%) - Not a brewery I've heard of before, but from the description it sounds like I'd like this beer very much.
If you're planning on going to Ealing Beer Festival this year, I hope you enjoy it! If you take a print-out of this diagram, please let me know how you get on!