2018 – FirkinFest X

FirkinFest aka Grayshott Beer Festival returns for its tenth year at Grayshott Village Hall on Fri 19th & Sat 20th October 2018.  Because we believe Grayshott was at one time a Roman settlement it has become customary to use their numerals – and it looks really smashing inscribed on our famous FirkinGlass.  You can check out where the last nine years went to using the menu links above I to IX.  It has been a lot of FirkinFun!  And now for this year…


Our regular Friday night entertainment comes in the guise of Binky’s Dixie Demons playing their acoustic Jazz set, specifically requested so you can still hear yourself drink.  Grayshott Jazz Club regulars will appreciate the finer qualities of their unplugged set. Here they are last year…


This year we have chosen a young local upcoming band to entertain us on Saturday evening. iWitness will really be getting the party started with their covers set once the first few beers have been tasted, but you’ll need to be there to see it.  Here is what it was like FirkinSurfin last year…


Such is the popularity of FirkinFest, we sought out the largest village hall in Hampshire, which is happily in easy walking distance of the FirkinRoundabout.  Grayshott Village Hall has a magnificent airy space for the fumes to ascend into and a stage to keep the band members safely above crowd level and vice versa.


This year we will have 16 new real ales to sip and savour – all carefully selected after countless sampling sessions, and expertly prepared by our in house beermeister FirkinTony.  Unlike some inferior festivals we could mention, we never knowingly repeat an ale at FirkinFest, and search far and wide to find the very best Britain’s breweries have to offer.  We also have an excellent quality control department.


FirkinFest has always been a celebration of beer and cider so each year we send out our scout FirkinKaren to research the increasing wide selection of ciders and perrys and to choose six of the best for your delectation.


You will need a FirkinTicket to get in but we always let you out for free.  FirkinTickets will be available to buy in advance, locally in the village or online, in September.  This is recommended to avoid potential disappointment and save towards your FirkinTokens .  FirkinFriday is £5 and FirkinFinale is £10.  If not sold out they will also be available on the door for an extra £2.50 each, but please don’t count on it.  Last year we did sell out!


Everyone gets a commemorative pint or half FirkinGlass to use at the festival and take home to treasure and add to their collection.  We have spare glasses available at FirkinFest from previous years, for the serious collector and clumsy.


No beer festival would be complete without a drinking guide.  Our FirkinGuide put together by FirkinDavid not only gives a complete list of ales and ciders with all the various tasting parameters, colour, strength, nuances, etc, but also, and most importantly, includes a tick list so you don’t forget where you have got up to, or waste valuable drinking time working out where to start again.


Embracing the cashless society many years ago, and adopting the very latest technology available at the time, we invented FirkinTokens.  These fully disposable and plastic free eco-friendly tokens can be purchased at the FirkinFayre and later exchanged for halves or pints of any ale or cider at the festival, and if unused they will safely decompose in the washing machine after the event has finished.  The current exchange rate is £3.50 a FirkinPint or £10 for three – this has proved a popular starting point for most FirkinPunters.  No refunds!


Because we had none and some people did, we added a small selection of wines, based on colour rather than flavour, to our offering.  We had a similar complaint from lager drinkers which we chose to ignore.  Wine can be purchased by the bottle, if you are feeling brave, or by the glass from the FirkinFayre in the small hall.  Just ask for white, red or pink.


No beer festival would be complete without cracking a molar open on a pork scratching.  We also have softer snack alternatives for those with a nervous disposition, private dentists or dentures.  Occasionally we have some requests for soft drinks and, although this goes against the grain, we do offer all sorts of tooth dissolving alcohol free products to keep everyone happy.


FirkinMan or FirkinWoman cannot live on snacks alone, so at no cost at all, we invite along the nosh+ wagon with their range of burgers, dogs and burritos to help soak up the beer and enhance the atmosphere.


Rather than stick your head in the sand you can sign up to our FirkinList and receive regular email updates about the upcoming festival.  Just fill in the form on the right.  If you bought tickets online in the past or voted for your favourite beer at the festival and gave us your email address we have already added you to the list on the basis that you are probably still interested and there is an unsubscribe link in the emails if you are not.   So simple is our FirkinEmail system that even a monkey could operate it.


This is all the work of FirkinJohn and so much fun to play with, so download the free FirkinApp for IOS here


View endless photos from the last nine years on Flickr


For a £50 donation receive

  • 2 complimentary tickets for each session worth £30
  • Your company name/logo above your Firkin at the festival
  • Listed as the sponsor of your Firkin in the FirkinGuide
  • Listed on this webpage under your Firkin with a link to your own website

If you would like to become a FirkinSponsor please contact: –  FirkinDavid by email at


The last FirkinFest was organised by the FirkinFive, seen here practising the full monty whilst implementing some serious quality control.  Since then, largely due to the regular meetings held in the back bar of the Social club, the FirkinFive has expanded to become FirkinMore the merrier.

You can contact them using the contact form or email