When is a beer festival not a beer festival?

When it's at the Coach and Horses, Dronfield, Derbyshire.

When the pub turns itself inside out, nearly all the tables and chairs ending up outside.

When it then buckets down with rain but everyone's still smiling under canvass.

When the music isn't a dodgy tribute band but some of the freshest and finest acts from the UK blues scene.

When the food isn't a burnt burger but a Southern-states BBQ smorgasbord of wings 'n ribs 'n jambalaya.

When the beers aren't random blends with daft names but some of the most inventive casks from the UK's most progressive breweries - Thornbridge, Brewdog, Fyne Ales, Williams, Dark Star, Marble, Hawkshead, Roosters.

When locals and tickers and Tweeters and brewers sit round tables and have a riotous time.

Last weekend was more than a beer festival. It was living, breathing proof that good beer is enhanced dramatically by good people in a good location having a good time.

Huge thanks to Cat and the team at the Coach for making the weekend a highlight of my beery summer so far. And props to Darth Kiwi - I mean Kelly Ryan - for his unstinting energy and enthusiasm.


  1. Malcolm Downie23 July 2010 at 17:51

    Totally agree - well worth the 5 and a bit hour run down for. Even if some of us weren't under the marquee the first time the rain hammered down! Good to see you (very briefly!) again.

  2. Wow that sounds like a really good weekend. How often do they hold a beer festival at the Coach & Horses?