Bear and Ragged Staff

Heart of Warwickshire

Campaign For Real Ale

Harbury Beer Festival 2011

Another successful year!

Around 1200 people enjoyed the Festival again this year. 50 out of the 59 beers were sold out by the end of Saturday evening, and there was no Cider or Perry left!

The first beer to sell out was Ilkely Mary Jane which was finished off on Friday night. Timothy Taylor Golden Best sold out during the Saturday lunchtime session.

The festival raised around £450 via donations and unused beer tokens for Warwick and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.


The Harbury Beer Festival is organised and staffed by volunteers. Without their dedication, we would not be able to run this popular event.

Lifetime Acheivement

One CAMRA member in particular is due special recognition for his tremendous contribution to the festival since he created it 21 years ago! It was his dedication and passion that led to the creation of the Heart Of Warwickshire branch, and his vision to use the Harbury Village Hall as the first (temporary) venue for the branch's own beer festival.

The branch presented John Crossling with a framed certificate in recognition of his efforts.

So thank you John, because without you there really would be no Harbury Beer Festival!

Times and Admission

  • Village Hall
    near Leamington Spa
    CV33 9JE
  • Friday 2nd September 2011: 5:30pm - 11:30pm
  • Saturday 3rd September 2011: 11:30am - 4:00pm, 6:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Entry Pack: £10 includes entrance fee, refundable festival glass and beer tokens. Extra tokens for card carrying CAMRA members in lieu of the entrance fee.
  • Hot and cold food and soft drinks available at all sessions.

Saturday Entertainment

Hereburgh Morris performed at lunchtime as usual. Local group Steel Pan Academy and newly formed Harbury Ukulele Group made their first appearances, performing familiar tunes.

In the evening, Local duo Time after Time played their mix of Irish music and covers of classic tunes.

Beer of the Festival

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. The results were:

  • 1st - Blythe Bridge - Johnson's Porter
  • 2nd - Atomic - 21st Grapefruit
  • 3rd - Magic Rock - Rapture


This year we returned to an area theme, and as it was our 21st Festival we selected beers from one of the great beer producing areas, West Yorkshire.

We also had specially brewed beers from the Warwickshire Breweries, and all nominations for the West Midlands Beer of the Year competition (Porter category).

Download Programme

West Midlands Beer of the Year (Porter)

Before the Festival started, a select committee of local CAMRA members judged the West Midlands Beer of the Year Porter category.

After a blind tasting, the results were:

  • 1st - Blythe Bridge - Johnson's Porter
  • 2nd - Burton Bridge - Dark Porter
  • 3rd - Beowolf - Finn's Hall Porter

Public transport

Harbury is served by the Stagecoach Warwickshire bus route 64A from Leamington to Southam/Long Itchington/Stockton/Birdingbury with evening journies to and from Rugby.

For the latest timetables please check Warwickshire County Council's Harbury Bus Service page.

The nearest train station is Leamington Spa, served by London Midland trains from Birmingham Snow Hill, Chiltern Railways trains running between London Marylebone and Birmingham and Arriva Cross Country trains on the route between Birmingham and Reading.

Festival Beer & Cider List

Beer List: West Yorkshire

Brewery Beer Style ABV Tasting Notes
Anglo Dutch (Partners Brewery) Apistus Honey Beer 4.0% A pale heather honey beer. Due to unforseen circumstances this beer is not available (the cask split!!)
Anglo Dutch (Partners Brewery) Tabatha the Knackered Strong Ale 6.0% Golden Belgian-style Triple with a strong fruity, hoppy and bitter character. Powerful and warming, slightly thinnish, with a bitter, dry finish.. Named after the Anglo brewers cat.
Bob's White Lion Lager 4.3% Pale, flowery, lager style beer using American cascade hops.
Bridestones Dark Mild Mild 4.5% Dark brown strong mild with a complex nose of caramel and roasted malt. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness on the palette. Upfront bitterness in the finish.
Bridgehouse Heathcliffe Stout Stout 5.0% Rich, well balanced, intensely flavoured.
Briscoe's Three Peaks Ale Best Bitter 4.5% A strong, pale premium bitter brewed with only pale malt and traditional hops.
Clark's Westgate Gold Best Bitter 4.2% A light-coloured, fruity beer with a full body and rich aroma.
Cuerden Brewery Mild Mild 3.9% A fairly light mild, amber/red in colour, fairly sweet, not particularly bitter or malty and not hoppy. Dryish finish.
Elland Best Bitter Bitter 4.0% Creamy, yellow, hoppy ale with hints of citrus fruits. Pleasantly strong bitter aftertaste.
Empire Strikes Back Bitter 4.0% Creamy, yellow, hoppy ale with hints of citrus fruits. Pleasantly strong bitter aftertaste.
Fernandes Double Six Strong Ale 6.0% A powerful, dark and rich strong beer with an array of malt, roast malt and chocolate flavours and a strong, lasting malty finish, with some hoppiness.
Five Towns Callum's Best Best Bitter 4.6% A dark coloured beer brewed with Maris Otter and Chocolate malt giving a full flavour and bitter finish.
Five Towns Naimh's Nemesis Strong Ale 5.7% A full bodied IPA with hints of grapefruit before a dry finish.
Fox Beer Urban Fox Best Bitter 4.5% A dark ruby beer with good malt flavours complemented with a powerful hop overtones. Almost an Old Ale.
Goose Eye Over and Stout Stout 5.2% A full-bodied stout with a complex palette in which roast and caramel flavoures mingle with malt, dark fruit and liquorice. Look also for tart fruit on the nose and a growing bitter finish.
Haworth Steam Brewing Company Fallwood XXXX Strong Ale 5.2% This full bodied beer is full of roasted barley and first gold hops.
Ilkley Mary Jane Bitter 3.5% A crisp, pale ale with citrus aromas made with high quantities of Amarillo hops.
Kirkstall Brewery Company Three Swords Best Bitter 4.5% Very pale and spectacularly thirst-quenching. Three different hops give this beer a delightful citrus nose.
Landlord's Friend 55BC Best Bitter 4.0% A light coloured extremely fruity flavoured beer that has a lingering dry aftertaste.
Leeds Pale Bitter 3.8% Well-balanced pale ale, citrus in both aroma and flavour. Gold in colour with a refreshing bitter hoppy finish.
Little Valley Hebden's Wheat Wheat Beer 4.5% A pale yellow, creamy wheat beer with a good balance of bitterness and fruit, a hint of sweetness but with a lasting dry finish.
Little Valley Fairtrade Ginger Pale Ale Best Bitter 4.0% Full-bodied speciality ale. Ginger predominates in the aroma and taste. It has a pleasantly powerful, fiery and spicy finish.
Magic Rock Brewing Company Rapture Best Bitter 4.6% Full bodied, hoppy red beer. 5 types of malt and 6 types of hops. Uplifting aromas of grapefruit and pine combine with a pithy orange and pronounced citrus flavour which is balanced against a deeply rich and malty body. A satisfyingly dry and crisp finish.
Mallinsons Station Best Bitter Best Bitter 4.2% An amber-coloured best bitter with a balance of malt and fruity hops.
Milltown Slubbers Gold Best Bitter 4.2% A rich Golden Ale. This new brewery only started production in July this year!
Moorview First Born Bitter Bitter 3.4% Light in alcohol but big on taste with a slight fruit finish.
Nook Yorks Bitter 3.7% A well-balanced bitter with light malt and hop aroma with hop and fruit in the taste, developing in strength. A good session beer.
Old Bear Goldilocks Best Bitter 4.5% This is a light golden ale, refreshingly enticing with a pungent hoppy taste but with a lemon tangy fruit aroma which comes from the complex blend of four hops, one being northern brewer, leaving a clean wheaty citrus flavour on the palate.
Old Spot Light But Dark Bitter 4.0% Chestnut-coloured bitter with a slight malty taste and pleasant bitter finish. An ideal session beer.
Ossett Excelsior Strong Ale 5.2% A strong pale ale with a full, mellow flavour and a fresh, hoppy aroma with citrus/floral characteristics.
Owenshaw Mill Gollums Revenge Best Bitter 4.0% A pale continental style beer mildly bittered with a
combination of Czech and American hops.
Ridgeside Southern Cross Strong Ale 5.7% A pale modern styled IPA, brewed using Southern Cross hops from New Zealand
Ridgeside Amarillo Bitter 4.1% A golden beer made with Amarillo hops. White head and lacing, slightly spicy with a dry hop finish with hints of lemon.
Riverhead March Haigh Best Bitter 4.6% A golden-brown premium bitter. Malty and full-bodied with moderate bitterness.
Salamander Golden Salamander Best Bitter 4.5% Citrus hops dominate this golden premium bitter, which has malt undertones throughout. The aftertaste is dry, hoppy and bitter. Silver Medal Winner in the Golden Ales category of the Champion Beer of Britain 2011.
Saltaire Blackberry Cascade Fruit Beer 4.8% American style pale ale, hopped with Cascade and Centennial hops. Infused with a hint of blackberries.
Sportsman Brewing Company Hopscotch Bitter 3.9% This new brewer says “It’s very nice!” We hope
you agree!
Summer Wine Gambit Best Bitter 4.2% A bronze beer. Juicy hop bitterness dominates throughout, with grapefruit & orange notes punctuating followed by a huge Amarillo dry hop finish.
Summer Wine Hercules Strong Ale (Black IPA) 6.0% A single hopped black IPA with an intense, juicy marmalade like aroma, balanced by an slightly herbal and fruity hop character.
Tigertops Blanche De Newlands Wheat Beer 4.5% A Belgian style wheat beer; Lovely aroma of orange peel, coriander and witbier yeast. Moderately sweet witbier flavour, orange peel and coriander dominates leading to a moderate dusty hops finish.
Tigertops 8 Ace (May) Strong Ale 8.0% A Belgian style slightly cloudy deep yellow beer with a creamy white head. The aroma has lots of very ripe lemon. It has a full body and tastes of ripe lemons, sweet malt and grapefruit. The aftertaste is citrusy with some pineapple and bitter hops. Only available in halves or thirds!
Timothy Taylor Golden Best Mild 3.5% This clean-tasting, refreshing, amber-coloured traditional Pennine light mild is malty throughout. A little fruit in the nose increases to compliment the delicate hoppy taste.
WharfeBank CamFel Flame Best Bitter 4.5% Chestnut Smell: Malty, Roasted, Coffee. Taste: Full, Smooth, Roasted, Coffee.


Beer List: West Midlands Porter of the Year

Brewery Beer Style ABV Tasting Notes
Beowolf Finn's Hall Porter Porter 4.7% Complex tasting porter with strong hints of coffee and a sweet roasty nose. Maltiness comes out strongly on the palate, with a vinous aftertaste..
Enville Old Porter Porter 4.5% A traditional style Porter, dark in appearance and offering a complex mix of roast malt and fruit flavours with a degree of sweetness giving way to a dry finish.
Burton Bridge Burton Porter Porter 4.5% Quite malty throughout but with plenty of roast,fruit and liquorice, and a long bitter aftertaste.
Blythe Brewery Johnson's Porter 5.2% Black with thick head. Refreshingly Hoppy and full bodied with lingering bitterness of chocolate, date, coal smoke and liquorice.
St Georges Dragons Blood Porter 4.8% Chocolate and crystal malt combined to give a ruby red coloured beer with a hint of chocolate. Brewed using Fuggles and Styrian Goldings, blended for an earthy and slightly spicy aroma.
Hung Drawn and Portered North Cotswold Porter 5.0% Strong dark treacle porter. Well balanced taste of Bramling cross hops.


Beer List: Warwickshire

Brewery Beer Style ABV Tasting Notes
Atomic 21st Grapefruit Best Bitter 5.0% A very light, well hopped beer, brewed with fresh grapefruit. (Birthday Special) (May be hazy due to the grapefruit).
Church End Key to the Door Best Bitter 4.7% Very pale and liberally hopped with a nice citrus aftertaste . A Festival special.
Griffin Birthday Hive Strong Ale 5.4% A golden ale brewed with local honey. A well balanced hoppy beer specially brewed for this festival.
Merry Miner 21st Birthday Beer Best Bitter 4.5% Golden in colour full-bodied with a pleasing bitterness in the finish brewed specially for the festival
Patriot Pug IPA Strong Ale 5.6% Named after the brewery’s pug dog, this ale is a real taste explosion made with Maris Otter malt and 7 hops:- Brambling Cross, Golding & Challenger from UK; Citra & Chinook from USA and Nelson Sauvin & Green Bullet from New Zealand. A smooth, deceptively drinkable ale.
Purity Pure Gold Bitter 3.8% An aromatic hoppy, golden bitter. Initial maltiness
and grapefruit flavours lead to a dry finish.
Slaughterhouse Boar D'Oak Best Bitter 4.5% Brewed with 100% Lager malt to produce a clean taste and bright very pale colour. Packed with zesty Chinook hops, cask conditioned and matured over toasted French oak chips giving subtle notes of spice and vanilla.
Tunnel Honnibal Necter Best Bitter 5.0% A new honey beer. A dry, hoppy, golden ale with a subtle hint of honey sweetness.
Warwickshire Duck Soup Best Bitter 4.2% A copper coloured beer, brewed with crystal and maris otter malt. Hopped with Fuggles, Progress and Styrian Goldings.
Weatheroak Miss Stout Stout 4.3% A classic full flavoured stout to rival the famous brand! A thick creamy head leads to a smooth rich body. Roasted malt and dark fruits merge into a dry finish. Our cask has been matured for six months!
Wood Farm Brewery Play On Bitter 3.9% Dark and amber in colour, brewed with New Zealand cascade hops resulting in a pleasant bitterness whilst drinking and a fruity, citrus finish.


Cider & Perry List

Maker Cider/Perry ABV Tasting Notes
Broadoak, Clutton, Somerset Medium Dry Cider 6.0% Traditional cloudy cider.
Broadoak, Clutton, Somerset Medium Sweet Cider 6.0% Cloudy traditional cider.
Broadoak, Clutton, Somerset Moonshine Culinary Cider 7.7% Medium sweet, clear pale white colour, almost colourless. Won Gold at St Helens Camra Festival 2010.
Broadoak, Clutton, Somerset Old Bristolian Medium 7.5% Complex cider; a clear yellow, orangy colour. Medium sweet, with a refreshing dry finish. Best seller at the GBBF 2010.
Broadoak, Clutton, Somerset Perry 7.5% Starts with a medium sweet taste and has a dry finish. Second bestseller at GBBF 2010. Won National Gold Perrry Award at GBBF 2009.
Rous Cider, Rous Lench, Worcs. Rat Tail 6.0% A slightly hazy pale golden cider that has a crisp moderately dry flavour that makes it easy to drink.
Windmill Vineyard, Hellidon, Northants Scrumpy Perry 6.5% Made with Perry Pears grown at Windmill Hill Farm.
Windmill Vineyard, Hellidon, NorthantsDusty Millers Fancy8.0%Full bodied, robust dry cider.
Windmill Vineyard, Hellidon, NorthantsAmber Nectar9.0%Strong cider, back by popular demand.


Other Years