Wetherspoons 40th birthday real ale festival kicks off next week

Wetherspoon's ‘40 beers for 40 years’ real-ale extravaganza will be showcasing an unrivalled selection of ales, sourced from 40 breweries: 35 from across the UK and five international brewers.

The event runs from Wednesday 9 October until Sunday 20 October (inclusive) at our pubs across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Yet again, the company is set to serve up an unbeatable range of festival beers, to mark four decades since founder and chairman Tim Martin opened his first pub in Colney Hatch Lane, north London.

This special 40th anniversary celebration festival will feature beers from those UK breweries which originally supplied Wetherspoon back in 1979 and continue to deliver their excellent ales to our pubs.

Wiltshire-based Arkell’s Brewery has brewed its flagship beer Arkell’s 3B (4.0% ABV) for the festival. A classic amber-coloured best bitter, this was one of the very first beers to be sold by Wetherspoon.

Kent-based Shepherd Neame Brewery, also among those first suppliers, has brewed Sheps Light (4.0% ABV) exclusively for the event. This straw-coloured ale is a modern interpretation of one of the brewery’s historic beers.

Ruby Abbot (5.2% ABV) is a new, deep amber-coloured, rich, malty ale, brewed exclusively for the festival by Greene King Brewery, in Suffolk, as a celebration of our 40th birthday.

Wadworth Brewery, in Wiltshire, has produced a brand-new golden ale, also exclusively for this 40th anniversary festival. Made using solely the hop variety Cascade, JD Boss Hogg (4.7% ABV) is a completely bespoke recipe.

JD Boss Hogg, Wadworth’s festival ale, is named after a character in the American TV series The Dukes of Hazzard – where the ‘J D’ in our company name comes from.

Wetherspoon's now-traditional international brewers’ visits, where it welcomes five overseas brewers to Britain to produce their festival beers here in the UK, saw its visitors travel from Australia (two), Guam, Italy and the USA.

Toshi Ishii, from Ishii Brewing Company, is one of our original and most popular visiting international brewers. Originally from Japan and now based in Guam, returning for his seventh visit, Toshi has brewed Minagof Juicy IPA (4.5% ABV) for this festival.

Ryan Crisp, from Alesmith Brewing Co (California, USA), brings us Nut Brown (5.0% ABV), while Stefano Di Stefano, of Birrificio Argo (Palma, Italy), has brewed Terzo Tempo (4.4% ABV) especially for the event.

Wetherspoon's two Australian brewers, Lachlan Crothers, voted ‘people’s champion 2018’, from Ballistic Beer Company, in Queensland, and Brad Nolen of Mash Brewing (Western Australia), named ‘best brewery 2018’, bring us Short Fuse (6.5% ABV) and Challenger English IPA (4.8% ABV), respectively.

Other festival ales not to be missed include Liberation Brewery’s Colney Hatch (4.0% ABV), a new and exclusive deep amber-coloured ale; Mauldons Cherry Porter (4.8% ABV), a black speciality ale, which is also a vegan-friendly brew, by Suffolk-based Mauldons Brewery; Fire Island Buffalo (4.6% ABV), a dark amber organic and gluten-free beer, brewed by Evan Evans Brewery, in Carmarthenshire.

Wychwood King Goblin (6.0% ABV) is rarely seen in cask form, but this popular strong ale has been brewed again, especially for the festival, by Oxfordshire-based Wychwood Brewery, while Somerset-based Exmoor Ales has brewed a new black stout, Exmoor Barista (4.2% ABV).

Customers will be able to enjoy three one-third-of-a-pint beers for the price of a festival pint, so be sure not to miss out on any of these 40th anniversary ales.