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10-03-2011, 20:17
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Just recently I've enjoyed a couple of excellent sessions in the Royal Oak in Tunbridge Wells. This friendly local is sited a short distance from the town centre, and is definitely well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. With its dark-panelled walls, comfortable sofas plus a number of alcoves in which to hide away, the Oak is a welcome retreat from the outside world. The pub attracts a largely broad-based clientele and is well-known for its regular functions, including live music evenings and special culinary events.

A couple of Saturdays ago I was part of a group of local West Kent CAMRA members visiting the Royal Oak for its beer festival. We met up with colleagues from Maidstone & Mid-Kent CAMRA who were in town on a pub crawl. We joined them later on their tour, but not before we'd sampled a few of the excellent beers on sale in the Oak. These included 99 Red Baboons from Blue Monkey Brewery, (http://www.bluemonkeybrewery.com/) Larkins Porter and Dark Star Six Hop Ale. The latter certainly got my vote, although at 6.5% it definitely wasn't a lunchtime beer!

The other night, the Oak was the venue for our CAMRA committee meeting, and once again there were some interesting beers on offer. I plumped for the Harvey's Old to begin with, especially as it's likely to be the last time we'll see this winter favourite until October. As ever, it proved a fine example of this style of beer, dark and mellow, but still with a fair degree of hopiness. I then moved on to the Larkins Traditional. This 3.4% beer certainly packs in some flavour, and is the ideal lunchtime pint. It is also by far and away the company's best seller; a fact that is probably helped by the majority of pubs supplied by Larkins being rural outlets.

As before it was a Dark Star beer that I finished up on. This time it was the company's Green-Hopped Ale, another 6.5% offering. Like the Six Hop, bitterness was certainly to the fore, but it was definitely a good beer to finish up on.https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6722137562852954269-8012027477807459594?l=baileysbeerblog.blogspot.com

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