ale, lager, stout, porter, mild, barley wine – the list is almost endless!

Wild Card Brewery, Jack of Clubs

An impressive debut from William at his Walthamstow-based Wild Card Brewery, this is truly a Ruby Ale, with a vibrant fruity nose. Hints of caramel and vibrant hops are nicely balanced on the malt-driven palate - there's a fair dose of crystal malts, both dark and light.

If this is a sign of things to come, bring it on. The beautifully designed bespoke playing cards add a suitably stylish flourish. 

My Big Kent Weekend

23 March 2013 - 24 March 2013

Residents of Kent have until 18 February to apply for 1700 free tickets to over 100 Kent visitor attractions, from wineries to castles, wildlife parks to historic river tours, for this year’s My Big Kent Weekend, 23-24 March.

Wineries and Cider houses taking part include favourites Biddenden Vineyards, Meopham Valley Vineyards, Terlingham Vineyard, Hush Heath Estate and Chapel Down Winery and Brogdale Collections.

Information on how to apply for tickets is given on My Kent Big Weekend’s website.

CAMRA Winter Ales Festival

19 February 2014 - 22 February 2014

Over 300 ales are on show at this year's CAMRA Winter Ales festival in Derby, plus a selection of ciders and perries.

With the Champion Beer of Britain having been one of the winners at the National Winter Ales Festival for the last two years in a row, this is your chance to taste a vast array of top ales.

Keep in touch via Twitter - @WinterAlesFest and Facebook.

Entry prices vary - see website

Beer Cocktails Masterclass, 69 Colebrooke Row

26 January 2013 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Heard about Beer Cocktails but never tried one? Here's your chance to start at the top. The inimitable mixologist and drinks showman Tony Conigliaro is presenting the first Beer Based Cocktails Masterclass at his Drink Factory, 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington.

Find out about the background to these cocktail creations before sipping these original drinks, created with a variety of beers, from hoppy Meantime pale ales through to the darkness of Guinness.

£40; to reserve your please email,

Camden Town Brewery

One of the pioneering new wave of London breweries, Camden Town Brewery came into being only in late 2010 when Australian Jasper Cupaidge followed up good feedback to his original homebrews in his Hampstead pub, The Horseshoe.

With brewing in the blood – his family owned the McLaughlin Brewery in Queensland – Jasper took the plunge and, rather than start small, went large and invested in a high tech stainless steel brewkit able to take him to the forefront of brewing.

  • Tours
  • Bar
  • Shop
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Public Transport within 5 miles
  • Eco Initiatives

Brains' Boilermaker IPA

There's a lovely malt base to this flavourful IPA, with honey, marmalade, and spice from time spent in Penderyn whisky barrels – a true Welsh IPA. 

This was the winner in Brains' Ultimate IPA challenge - guest brewers including beer celebs Melissa Cole, Marverine Cole (aka Beer Beauty) and the entertaining duo that is Dwink – Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham – were invited to Brains new craft brewery to try there hand at creating an IPA. And it was the lads what won with this creation.

Bath Ales Festivity

Smells of Christmas spices lead onto flavours of roast malts, dark chocolate and mellow coffee on the palate of this "specially crafted Porter".

Chuffed to hear that my favourite hop, Bramling Cross, is amid the ingredient mix, along with wheat as well as barley malt.

5%; available in bottle and in draught, and online at Bath Ales

Bristol Beer Factory Raspberry Stout

This is superb. Delightful aromas of raspberry mix with dark chocolate, while the palate has a true raspberry seam atop plain chocolate, and a refreshing tart note on the finish.

7.7%; available as part of Bristol Beer Factory's 12 Stouts of Christmas - genius initiative.