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It's almost time for all the pub snobs out there to don their most disdainful sneer. J D Wetherspoon is running its second beer festival of the year from October 27th to November 14th. As usual there will be up to 50 beers available and the provisional list looks rather impressive. The usual clutch of "brewed for the festival" beers will be joined by a handful of foreign brewers, strutting their stuff on the British stage, either with one off brews or tweaks of beers for which they are already well known.

Perhaps one of the most interesting of these is a 5% version of the famous Lion Stout* from Sri Lanka which will be brewed at Marstons and promises " roast malt, chocolate and coffee and a lingering silky finish". Other exotics include a blonde beer brewed by two of Sam Adam's brewers using "fresh from the field", East Kent grown Cascades that will go from bine to kettle in "a matter of hours" to flavour a 5.1% very pale beer. As you might imagine, Shepherd Neame will host this effort. Chestnuts feature in Castagnale, by Leonardo Di Vicenzo, to be brewed at Everards; juniper in a beer brewed at Caledonian; and New Zealand hops in Steenhuffel Blonde from Palm, which will be specially imported and casked.

Notable British beers include Brew Dog Edge, Ettaler Cask Lager (using the original yeast, but brewed by Cotleigh), Thornbridge Lumford, Titanic New York Wheat Porter, Pixley Black (based on a 1900 Wadworth's recipe) with pure blackcurrant juice and Lees Chocoholic, made with real chocolate and chocolate malt and, for the nostalgic, Young's Ram Rod.

So if you are of the toffee nosed persuasion, put the dates in your boycotting book now. Everyone else, I think, will be looking forward to it. I am anyway.

* Lion Stout used to be sold in cask conditioned form at the brewery tap in Sri Lanka, so nice to see back on handpump.