Cork & Cheese

Fancy sorting out your cheese selection for Christmas? Well you can at the beer festival! We welcome Cork & Cheese who will be joining us this weekend.  You can peruse their fantastic selection to buy and take home as gifts or if you get the beer munchies why not tuck in there and then?  Here is an introduction from Cork & Cheese themselves:
“The Cork and Cheese is a beer & wine shop, café and deli situated in Park Gate Southampton.
We stock a lovely selection of beers and wines, both English and International that you will not find in your local supermarket. We cater for all budgets, have a good understanding of our wines and as we have personally tried many of them, can give you advice, whatever you are looking for. We love gift-wrapping our wines and Champagnes so that they look even more special for the lucky recipient. So whatever country, region or grape variety you are looking for, we should be able to help.
We also stock some lovely Ports, fortified wines such as the fabulous Rubis, flavoured vodkas and the gorgeous Lord Nelson’s spiced rum liqueur, along with Cognacs, Armagnacs and Malt Whiskies, so if you want something different for yourself or a friend, we can always help.
Our lovely café is open from 10.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Saturday and is the perfect place to meet your friends for coffee, lunch or Afternoon Tea. We are fully licenced, so you can enjoy a beer or glass of wine with your lunch or glass of bubbly with your tea. What could be nicer than meeting a friend and enjoying one of our sharing platters whilst you catch up on all the
If you love your cheeses, chutneys, jams, biscuits etc. then you’ll love our deli. We stock a great range of English cheeses and are more than happy for you to “Try before you buy”, especially if you are looking to create a cheeseboard or Cheese Celebration Cake for your wedding, birthday or party.
All of our deli products look fabulous when included in one of our lovely hampers and our knowledgeable staff are always there to advise you on what to select. We also use as many of our product lines as possible in our café, so always ask if you’ve particularly enjoyed something as we may well stock

Christmas Meat Raffle Courtesy of Bransbury Park Butchers

Roll up! Roll up! How do you fancy having a jolly old drink up at the beer festival and having the chance to win a lovely joint of meat for Christmas while you’re at it?

Well here’s your chance.  In association with the fine chaps at Bransbury Park Butchers we’ll be hosting a meat raffle as part of the Saturday evening session.  There will be breakfast packs, large joints of meat and whole birds all presented in the style of a good old fashioned meat raffle.  All proceeds will go towards our charity this Christmas, The Thunder Foundation.  Don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets on the way in!

(Meat raffle tickets available on the night only)

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Brasserie Lou Lou’s

We’re pleased to have Lou Lou’s Brasserie on Marmion Road, Southsea, as one of our sponsors this year at the Christmas Sessions.

They have recently broadened their beer selection and welcome you in to have a try!  You’ll find the likes of Brooklyn and Vedett as well as the American favourite Anchor Steam Beer, alongside some beers by Icelandic brewers Einstok and some terrific IPA’s from the likes of King of Hops and Curious.

The restaurant come bar offers a vast array of French and British cuisine, so whether you’re having just a couple of beers or cocktails, or a three course evening meal accompanied with live music, Lou Lou’s has something to offer for everyone.


Favourites O’Hagan’s Return Alongside Nacho’s King and Guildhall Caterers

We all know that as good as beer is on it’s own, it’s even better when it’s paired with delicious food. This Christmas we’re really looking forward to the return of firm favourites O’Hagan’s Sausages BBQ & Hog Roast!

Also joining us will be Nacho’s King offering up Nachos & Burritos all available as vegetarian options too, alongside the Guildhall caterers with the return of their delicious festive carvery baguettes with all the trimmings.


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Supporting The Thunder Foundation this Christmas

This Christmas we’re pleased to be working with The Thunder Foundation to raise funds to help young people in Kenya with much needed education and resources.

The Thunder Foundation was set up in 2012 by Raad Swais to raise awareness of the daily struggles which some of the poorest children in Kenya face in order to survive. In early 2013  Raad decided to go a step further and offer children a life changing opportunity: an education and so TTF opened its first primary school in the slums of Kawangware, Nairobi.   Children are selected on a ‘highest needs’ basis. Sadly, most children suffer tremendously from malnutrition and many others from extremely serious illnesses. As an organisation, TTF believe strongly that the balance of food, education and health must all be attained to ensure the students are progressing and that the whole-child is developing! TTF are very proud of the fact that their school is the first of its kind in Nairobi (and maybe Kenya)  to provide free education, free food, free uniforms, free books, and free health cover to its students.

They also fund two football coaches every evening to coach 110 Nairobi street children who have no homes.  These teams compete regularly against local schools and to-date have had excellent results.

100% of all donations to this charity go directly to the children in the school in Nairobi – there is no middle man.  Raad, his team in Nairobi, his family and a small group of fundraisers in the UK believe strongly that:   ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ (Nelson Mandela) and all funds raised at the Portsmouth Beer Festival will go directly to TTF Nairobi to meet the children’s educational needs.

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Brewery Preview ~ AllGates Brewery

Another debut for us at the beer fest this Christmas, AllGates Brewery from Wigan!

Since 2006 AllGates has been brewing fine craft beers in the heart of Wigan, in a fully restored 19th Century Grade II-listed, tower brewery, in the process re-establishing brewing in the town centre after a near forty year absence, following the closure of Moorfield’s Brewery in the 1970’s.

Combining heritage with imagination we put true Northern soul into our award-winning beers to bring you an exciting range of beers, whenever inspiration bites. However one thing our ales have in common is they are part of an outstanding range of modern beers, but built on cask ale tradition. To this tradition we have added aromatic hops from the New World. This enables us to produce hop-forward beers but retaining balance and subtlety; beers with true Northern soul.



Brewery Preview ~ Burning Sky

One of the most exciting breweries on the South coast is back with us this Christmas, the expert ‘blenders’ and beer connoisseurs, Burning Sky.

“Burning Sky Brewery was conceived and set up by Mark as a long term project and my last brewery build (hopefully). Tom was onboard from an early stage, helping with trial brews. Paula joined when we had some beer to sell & does the sensible stuff.

Here, nestled at the base of the South Downs in an old Sussex Barn that has been refurbished to a high standard, we can let our imaginations run wild. The landscape and provenance of our location was a major factor in the brewery’s set up.

The crux of the brewery is to brew the beers that excite us, without compromise in terms of ingredient costs and time – that all too often overlooked ingredient in beer. Whether it’s a fresh hoppy pale, or a oak aged beer – they are all considered and cared for beers that we want to drink.

We have started work on an extensive ageing program – not tempted by short cuts, we are far more interested in tradition and the slow-working yeasts that bring complexities and depths of flavour to the beers. It is not envisaged that the full extent of Burning Sky will be apparent for another 2 or 3 years, when these slow beers are ready and we can fully embark on our blending schedule.

Currently we have the ability to be ageing up to 14,500 litres of beer in a mixture of 225 litre oak barriques & 2500 litre oak foudres. The character of each barrel and beer will develop over time leading us on an exciting journey, where the beer guides us and we work with it, learning from it.”


Brewery Preview ~ Bakers Dozen

We’re looking forward to welcoming Bakers Dozen to our beer line up this Christmas, a first appearance for us at the festival.

A lifetime in the pub industry lead to a passion for cleaning and beer. Surely the natural progression is to start a brewery?

Bakers Dozen brew a high-quality range of beers with an emphasis on striking brews that break the traditional mould.  At the moment there is an explosion of new beer styles by innovative brewers and they are part of this revolution, with a particular interest in hoppy-style beers.