FirkinFest I – 2009 – The Original

FirkinFest, Grayshott’s very first Real Ale & Cider Festival, was held at Grayshott Village Hall at the end of October 2009.


The beer festival started on FirkinFriday 30th October with 30 superb beers and ciders on offer at £2.50 per pint with relaxing music from The Claire Phoenix Band during the evening. Chic, sophisticated, mellow soul, pop and jazz featuring Grayshott’s music maestro Vic Cracknell on keyboards,


On Saturday 31st October the festivities continued during the afternoon with FirkinJazz with Binky’s Dixie Demons – David Doel (double bass), Richard White (clarinet, saxaphone), Billy Gyford (banjo, vocals), Andy Woon (trumpet)


FirkinFest concluded on Saturday evening with the FirkinFinale starring the Fab Four tribute band The Upbeat Beatles – The Ultimate Beatles Tribute Band featuring Grayshott’s John “Macca” Wilson as Paul McCartney playing at the FirkinFest Fab Four Finale

See 169 Photos

There was BBQ food and choice of wine and soft drinks available throughout the festival.

Tickets were available in advance for each of the three sessions from Grayshott Books or on the door and included a FirkinFest souvenir glass, festival guide and tasting notes.

The festival was supported by Party in Grayshott, Grayshott Village Hall and main sponsors The Fox & Pelican and local business and organisations as FirkinSponsors

In case you are still wondering what a Firkin is, it’s a nine gallon cask traditionally used to transport ale and cider and the inspiration behind Grayshott’s FirkinFest which is now an annual event.

We hope you are able to join us at the next FirkinFest

The Original FirkinCommittee

Peter Hatch, David Phillips, Tony Legat, Graham Pullen

23 FirkinBeers

ANGLO DUTCH Tabatha the Knackered 6.0%  Very pale, Belgian style tripel beer with a hint of coriander. As the brewer, Paul, has two beers named after his kids, Mike, the other partner in the brewery, wanted a beer named after his cat.

Sponsored by Kaighin & Daughter

BATEMANS XXXB 4.8% Superb strong bitter with a complex palate, consisting of a delicate aroma of hops delightfully balanced by a prominent malty character. 5 times ‘Premium Beer of the Year’ at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival.

Sponsored by Visual Assets

CRONDALL Best 4.0%  A straw gold hoppy beer, well balanced with some sweetness and a rising bitter finish, makes this an excellent session beer.

Sponsored by Crondall Brewing Co Ltd

CROUCH VALE Brewers Gold 4.0%  Voted FirkinBeer of the Year 2009 Supreme Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival 2005 AND 2006, this is a pale, refreshing and hoppy beer with gorgeous aromas of tropical fruits.

Sponsored by Maine Scaffolding

DARK STAR Espresso Stout 4.2%  A black beer brewed with roasted barley malt and challenger hops, BUT with freshly ground espresso coffee beans also added to the copper for a few minutes after the boil to provide a rich and complementary coffee aroma.

Sponsored by Video Dynamics

DARK STAR Hophead 3.8% An extremely clean-drinking pale gold-coloured ale with a strong floral aroma and elderflower notes. This beer is full bodied despite its very quaffable strength and dryness.

Sponsored by The Claire Phoenix Band

FROG ISLAND BREWERY Fire-Bellied Toad 5.0% Fire-Bellied Toad is a 5.0% pale ale that exhibits the full aroma, flavour and bitterness characteristics of a single variety of English hop, Phoenix. This golden-brown beer has a sweet, floral aroma and a slightly sweet initial flavour that is followed by a lasting hop flavour and bitterness.

Sponsored by The Bordon Post

FULLER’S Red Fox 4.3% A rich, smooth and wonderfully balanced beer, brewed at the historic Griffin brewery in Chiswick, it has a distinctive malty base complemented by well developed hop character, from adding Target, Challenger and Northdown varieties to the brew.

Sponsored by The Fox & Pelican

HARVIESTOUN Schiehallion 4.8%  A unique cask conditioned lager beer, named for one of Scotland’s best loved and most recognisable mountains. The finest lager malt and Hersbrücker hops are fermented at a very low temperature with lager yeast, then served‘on the yeast’ without filtering or extra fizz.

Sponsored by Grayshott Village Hall

HESKET NEWMARK Great Cockup Porter 3.0%  Crisp chocolate malt flavour, smoothed with liberal crystal malt and carefully controlled fermentation to give a full stout-like palate with balanced bitterness from Fuggles, and Goldings and just a hint of Herzbrücker Hallertau.

Sponsored by GP Accountants

JARROW Joblings Swinging Gibbet 4.1%  A copper coloured, evenly balanced beer with a good hop aroma and fruity finish. The story of Jobling and the swinging gibbet is well worth looking up on the internet.

Sponsored by Movies in Grayshott

KELHAM ISLAND Pale Rider 5.2% This popular pale ale is a well balanced, strong and fruity ale flavoured with North American hops. Its sweetness and bitterness continue to the finish. Camra Supreme Champion Beer Of Britain 2004

Sponsored by Party in Grayshott

MOORHOUSES Black Cat 3.4% Dark, refreshing beer with a distinct chocolate malt flavour, and a smooth hoppy finish.

Sponsored by Grayshott Pottery

RCH Pitchfork 4.3%  The name comes from the Pitchfork rebellion of 1685 the last battle to be fought on English soil of the Civil War. A golden bitter with floral citric hop aroma. It has a hoppy predominate taste which is slightly sweet and fruity and leaves you wanting more.

Sponsored by Binky’s Dixie Demons

SKINNERS Betty Stogs 4.0%  Classic pale amber mid strength bitter with distinct hoppy overtones. A beautifully balanced quaffing ale. Contains Cornish malted barley and wheat.

Sponsored by Festival Glass Ltd

SKINNERS Cornish Knocker 4.5% A strong, clean tasting golden Ale, not too sweet with a fresh flowery aroma.

Sponsored by The Upbeat Beatles

SPRINGHEAD Roaring Meg 5.5% Spirited nose with hints of ripe peach skins, some banana. Bitter dry finish, fruity surge mid palate; citrusy, soft ripe fruit: almost like a British tripel in flavour terms. Very dry beer— also a dry grainy Weetabix finish. A luscious spirited summer’s day ale.

Sponsored by Grayshott Books

THORNBRIDGE Jaipur IPA 5.9% FirkinUnavailable – The immediate impression of this wonderful award winning India Pale Ale is soft and smooth,but this builds around the mouth to a crescendo of massive hoppiness, accentuated by honey.

Sponsored by

TIMOTHY TAYLORS Dark Mild 3.5%  Rich, creamy and malty with caramel and a dry finish.

Sponsored by

TITANIC Captain Smiths 5.2%  A red/brown, full bodied beer hoppy and bitter with a sweetness and roast malt flavour and a good strong finish.

Sponsored by Phil O’Connor Photography

TRIPLE FFF Alton’s Pride 3.8%  Clean-tasting, golden brown session bitter, full bodied for its strength. A delicious aroma of malt and hops. An initially malty flavour fades as citrus notes and hoppiness take over, leading to a lasting hoppy, bitter finish.

Sponsored by The Triple fff Brewing Company

TRIPLE FFF Moondance 4.2%  An amber coloured best bitter, wonderfully hopped, with a huge aromatic, citrus hop nose, balanced by a biting bitterness and dryness in the mouth. Bitterness increases in the finish as the fruit declines.

Sponsored by Haslemere Beer Festival

WICKWAR Station Porter 6.1%  A smooth, dark ruby brown ale with an aroma of roast malt, coffee and rich fruit. It has a similar, complex and spicy, rich bittersweet taste, and a long, smooth warming roast finish. A multi-award winning Porter

Sponsored by Grayshott Social Club

WYLAM Rocket 5.0% A pale copper traditional best bitter. Deceptively easy drinking with a fresh citrus and aromatic character from the centennial hops. Good bitter finish.

Sponsored by Flying Firkin Distribution Real Ale Ltd

6 FirkinCiders

BIDDENDEN Bushells 6.0%  Pale, medium cider made with Kentish apples

Sponsored by Just Tickets

BIDDENDEN Kentish Dry 8.0% Made from the juice of farm pressed Kentish Culinary and Dessert apples

Sponsored by Applegarth Farm

MOLES Black Rat 6.0%  Traditional scrumpy. Produced in a family Somerset cider farmhouse using a blend of locally grown apples.

Sponsored by Trusted PC Man

THATCHERS Cheddar Valley 6.0% Voted FirkinCider of the Year 2009 The colour of this unique cider gives it a vibrant character all of its own for those who want an alternative refreshing drink with a touch of natural sparkle. Naturally fermented, Cheddar Valley is matured in oak vats to ensure the distinctive full flavour is retained.

Sponsored by Gurkha Durbar Nepalese Restaurant

WESTONS Herefordshire Country Perry 4.5%  Made from perry pears and fully matured in old oak vats to develop its strength and traditional character. Free from all artificial colouring, flavouring and sweetening it retains its natural pale colour.

Sponsored by The Temperance Seven

WESTONS Old Rosie 7.3% A truly old fashioned, full flavoured, appley, cloudy scrumpy; with a well balanced medium dry character.

Sponsored by The Chocolate Frog Furniture Company Ltd