Local surprises: a festival born in a club

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April 22, 2013 by Luca Rossi

John Weekes has clearly defined ideas. “Beers are a British patrimony. Beers are better than wines. Beer testing is more interesting and diversified”.

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The three organizers of the Festival

The atmosphere of the beer festival in the Waltham Forest Sports and Social Club, north-east of London, is that of pure beer lovers. Celebrating the “colorful world of beer and breweries”, the festival offers 25 ales, ciders and perries as well as food and live entertainment.  Helped by an unusual warm spring, Walthamstow rejoices for a new wave of unexpected enthusiasm.

“This is not a CAMRA event,” says Weekes, one of the organizers. “We are a pub festival made by volunteers to make our club survive. We need to add new life to it and to our territory. All the profits go to the club and to our beer trips around the country.”

The festival is at its 10th edition although it started as a jazz event. As the members’ passion for beer grew, everything began to get the tones of pale and red ales.

“We created it because there was no one voicing our passion,” says Jamie Segust, another organizer. “We have always had a positive feedback although we should advertise the festival better. But the celebration doesn’t have to loose its local background .”

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The Waltham Forest Sports and Social Club

The Waltham Forest Sports and Social Club looks indeed renewed and revitalized. Rock ‘n roll bands, open mic nights and a bucolic climate make the drinker feel immediately at ease. Lazy pool players complete the easygoing environment.

Londondrinkup appreciated particularly the Redemption Ale – we paid a visit few months ago to that brewery – and the two eccentric Greenjack ales.

“Every year we pick up a different theme. This one we chose an eclectic mix of East Anglia beers,” said Weekes.

“It is time to to celebrate: the scrap of the beer escalator does not help us as a club, but it is a nice boost for brewers, pubs and for us as consumers,” concluded Segust.

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The Waltham Forest Sports and Social Club (outside)


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We explore the sparkling world of beer and breweries in London. We observe the small-scale part of the industry and keep up with events, products, and beer reviews. We tell you hidden stories behind every shining pint. Cheers


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