Our first beer fest might be over, but we’ve a cellar full of great ales that will be making an appearance in May.

Tomorrow we’ll be kicking off the week with Big Lamp Prince Bishop’s, Thornbridge Wild Swan and Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde Mild. Later in the week we’ll be returning to a North Eastern theme with more from Jarrow Brewing, including the marvellous Rivet Catcher.

Next week you can expect to see a few specials from Thornbridge, the frightfully modish Derbyshire brewer that causes such a stir amongst the beer geeks. We’ve casks of Colorado Red (a US inspired number) and Bracia, a unique dark beer brewed partly with chestnut flour.

We’ll keep you guessing as to what else we have up our sleeve, but remember you can always find out what’s going to be on sale on a given day by following our Twitter feed (our handle is “thegunmakers”). Beer fest or not, there’s always a good pint of ale for you here, whether it be one of our two house beers (Purity Mad Goose and Woodforde’s Wherry) or one of the two guests of the moment.

The festival so far has been an absolute scene. We’re having a great time, for sure.

Our industrious chefs have been busy in the kitchen, knocking up killer Scotch eggs, pasties and roast pork sandwiches alongside the kind of excellent menu you’ve come to expect.

Simon’s stewardship of the bar has taken on extra dimension as he’s asked to scuttle downstairs every five minutes to pour a beer that hasn’t found a handpump yet direct from the cask in the cellar. Meanwhile landlord Jeff relives his student union days as he mans the festival bar under the glass roof of our back room.

We’ve seen some turnover on the beer front, so tomorrow’s offer will be very different. Here’s what’s we’ll be selling on Thursday:

Kernel Pale Ale
Redemption Fellowship Porter
Ascot Citra
Ascot Royal IPA
Phoenix Arizona
Big Lamp Keelman Brown
Jarrow Bitter
Dark Star Over the Moon
Windor & Eton Knight of the Garter
Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted
Castle Rock Harvest Pale
Thornbridge Jaipur IPA
Phoenix White Monk

The Gunmakers beer festival’s running Thursday and Friday, noon to 11pm. Join us and have a bloody good time.

Our Monday night regulars want first dibs on the beers, so we’ll be opening the pub at 5pm on Monday for something of a “soft launch”. All the beers will be priced at just £3 a pint (they’ll be £3.50 for the rest of the week).

We’ve built the festival bar in the back room. In all honesty, it looks bloody brilliant. Racked and tapped for launch day we have:

Ascot Royal Wedding IPA
Ascot Single Hop Citra
Kelham Island Best Bitter
Hopback Summer Lightning
Windsor & Eton Guardsman
Windsor & Eton Knight of the Garter
Windsor & Eton Windsor Knot
Windsor & Eton Conqueror Black IPA
Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted
Thornbridge Jaipur IPA
Phoenix White Monk

In addition, Weston’s Old Rosie cider will be on handpump in case any straw-chomping yokels rock up.

On Tuesday, we’ll have a huge delivery of ales to get us stocked up for the later days of the fest. Among that lot will be around a dozen beers from the North East of England, home to some great breweries. In addition, Andy Moffat at Redemption in Tottenham will be delivering casks of his fantastic Fellowship Porter, and Evan at Kernel, SE1’s brewery, will drop off his Pale Ale and Porter.

Things are shaping up nicely…

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It seems teasers aren’t enough, and people need to know exactly what we’ve ordered in for next week’s beer fest (Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 inclusive).

So, in no particular order, here’s the full list, typed out laboriously on mobile phone from behind the bar:

From Ascot Ales, Royal IPA and Single Hop Citra. Ascot is one of our favourite breweries. These two beers are one-off specials.

From Windsor & Eton, Windsor Knot, Knight of the Garter, Guardsman and Conqueror Black IPA. This new brewery is a particularly appropriate supplier considering the big event taking place elsewhere on the last day of our festival!

From Kernel (London SE1), Porter and Pale Ale. Kernel beers are normally bottle-only.

From Jarrow Brewing (South Tyneside), Bitter, Rivet Catcher, McConnells Stout, Red Ellen and Swinging Gibbet. Jarrow now brew in South Shields, ten minutes walk from the landlord’s parents’ house.

From Big Lamp (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), Keelman Brown, Summerhill Stout and Prince Bishop. Big Lamp is a great brewpub in an old water pumping station on the green banks of the Tyne.

From Durham, White Amarillo and Black Velvet. Peter the Bike went to university in Durham (he got a third), and Kate Middleton’s grandmother originates from County Durham too, so there’s a double significance – one young and fragrant, the other old and grumpy.

From Wooden Hand (Cornwall), Cornish Mutiny and Black Pearl. The landlord first tried these great beers in The Harp a couple of years ago, but hasn’t seen them in London since.

As well as those highlighted breweries, we’ll also have (deep breath) Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, Elgood Black Dog, Pictish Brewer’s Gold, Dark Star Over the Moon, Hopback Summer Lightning, Harviestoun Schiehallion, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde Mild and Cairngorm Trade Winds.

The plan on Tuesday is to have four of these on handpump at the bar, eight in the back on stillage (racking that beer barrels sit on) and others available direct from the cellar, ferried by helpful staff. As we move through the week we’ll turn over the beers and perhaps drag over extra stillage from our friends at the Betsey Trotwood so we can offer an even bigger selection.

The first Gunmakers beer festival will kick off at noon on Tuesday 26th April and will run through to closing time on Friday, the day of the Royal wedding.

We’ll be offering up to 30 different ales during the course of the week, with a special cask ale-only bar in place in the rear conservatory. We’ll be proudly showcasing beers from some of our favourite breweries, with a range of styles including bitters, golden ales, milds, stouts and porters.

There’ll be a few highlights that you won’t want to miss: Ascot Ales have produced a special Royal Wedding IPA, Kernel have promised us some casks of their normally bottle-only beer, and we’ll have a range from Tyneside’s finest breweries, Big Lamp and Jarrow. That’s just a sneak preview of what’ll be on offer, so check back here later for the full list.

In the kitchen, our chefs Lara and Simon will prepare beer-friendly delights in addition to our normal menu, with homemade pasties, Scotch eggs and roast pork sandwiches on offer all day.

During the course of this week check this blog for regular updates as we prepare for the event. Daily posts will reveal the list of beers we’ll be selling and the work that’s underway to make it all happen…

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