Thursday 19 November 2009

The Bull and Dartford WMC: 2 Kent’s Dual Real Ale Festival

There are three different beer festivals coming up in the next three weeks. On the 26-27 November is the White Horse’s Old Ale festival, from the 1-5 December it’s the Pigs Ear in Hackney (I'll be going on the Friday - anyone around after BGBW dinner?) and this weekend, the 20-21 November, it’s the 2 Kent’s Dual Real Ale Festival held between The Bull, Horton Kirby and Dartford Working Men’s Club. The 2 Kent’s will be split between the two venues with 30 beers on at each place. There will be a shuttle bus running back and forth between the two, so you can (must!) visit both, and a great selection of food will be at each - hog roast at the WMC and the famous curries at The Bull. The beer list is below and it’s fantastic, I think, for two small pubs in Kent to get such a brilliant line up. Included in it are some rare cask treats, including a special beer brewed with the two landlords at Shepherd Neame (I’ve heard it’s a C-hop bomb). This beer list is taken straight from their facebook page.


Chocolate Stout (4.5%)

Blue Monkey
BG Sips (4.0%)
99 Red Baboons (4.2%)

Jamaican Ginger (6%)

Golden Bud (3.8%)
Impy Dark (4.3%)
Wasp Nest (5.0%)

5 AM Saint (5.0%)
The Physics (5.0%)
Punk IPA (6.0%)

Dark Star
Russian Imperial Stout (10.5%)

Kelham Island
Easy Rider (4.2%)

Revival (3.8%)
Merlin's Magic (4.3%)
Peat Porter (4.5%)
Triple JJJ IPA (9.0%)

Pale Gold (3.8%)
Silver Fox (4.1%)
Silver King (4.3%)

Yankee (4.3%)
Cream (4.7%)

Shepherd Neame
2 Kents (5.0%)

Brockville Pale (3.9%)
Blathan (4.0%)
Carronade (4.2%)
Raj I.P.A. (5.5%)

Arbour Light (3.6%)
Hartington Bitter (4.0%)
Hartington I.P.A. (4.5%)
Flower Power (5.3%)


Miss Germany (4.1%)

Trashy Blonde (4.1%)
Zeitgeist (4.9%)
77 Lager (4.9%)
Paradox (10.0%)

Dark Star
Hophead (3.8%)
American Pale Ale (4.7%)
Porter (5.0%)
Oktoberfest (5.2%)

Dizzy Danny Ale (3.9%)

Ginger Helmet (4.7%)

Pint (3.9%)
Brew No. 1 (4.1%)
Ginger (4.5%)

Autumn Leaves (4.3%)

Atilla (7.5%)

Light Ale (3.6%)
Big Red (4.0%)
Turning Leaf (4.5%)
Revolution IPA (4.8%)

Brewer's Gold (3.8%)
Samhain Stout (5.0%)

Bangtail (3.7%)
Special (3.9%)

Carouse (3.7%)
Cuckoo (4.1%)

Shepherd Neame
2 Kents Festival Ale (5.0%)

House Beer (4.0%)

Brighton Rocks (4.0%)

Centurion's Ghost (5.2%)

And... In addition to all that, they have a number of casks waiting in the wings at The Bull, including:


Speci-ale (5.8%)

Kelham Island
Riders On The Storm (4.5%)
Roll Away The Stone (5.0%)
Pale Rider (5.2%)
Rohrback Scotch Ale (5.5%)

Hoppiness (6.5%)
Slow Freddy Walker (7.3%)

Port Stout (4.7%)

There we go. Not bad, eh? I’ll be there on the Saturday. It’s very tempting to head up on the Friday too... Anyone else going? It takes just over 30 minutes out of London (the train to Dartford goes from London Bridge too, so if you are there to drink BrewDog at The Rake then come down after!). I know the beers I want to try across the two places, but which of these are unmissable?


  1. NOTE: The WMC is only open to non-members on Saturday 21st and the shuttle bus will only be operating on the Saturday too.

    Can't wait!

  2. WOW wish that was up here, especailly for those moor beers!

    nice to see a couple of ales from up here making it down that way too!

  3. Moggy- jump on the train have a few beers with us daaaahn saaaahf.

  4. Mark,

    Unmissable? Well, at the Bull I would put the Abbeydale and the Whim at the top of my list (have you had Whim yet?). Brampton Impy Dark can be fantastic (but also prone to diacetyl in my experience). The Dark Star cries out to be tried. I'm unfamiliar with the Tryst but they sound interesting. Blue Monkey are knocking out some great beers at the moment although the two here, while very enjoyable, are not the very best of their range (Evolution and Guerilla occupy that spot).

    At Dartford - Marble obviously (Brew No. 1 was the first off the new brewery. It was meant to be Pint but came out stronger - 4.4% (not 4.1) - so they used different hops as well. It's very good indeed. Oakham, of course, and the Pictish Samhain Stout was excellent when sampled in the Marble Arch the other week. Millstone make very clean and hooppy beers but the Autumn leaves is perhaps not the best example of that style (note to check out True Grit and Tiger Rut should you come across them).

    Do also try the Ossett at boty venues - they are usually very pale, clean hoppy beers although ocassionally miss the mark, The ones at the Bull are perhaps some of the classic Osset beers.

    Let us know how you get on.

  5. Blimey John, give me a chance!! It's a good job I'm starting early...! I was wondering what Brew No.1 was, so that's just got a bit more exciting.

    You've some of the ones I was interested in, so that's good. I definitely want to try the Moor, the special Sheps and some of the Brewdogs might be hard to turn down.

    It could be a long day :)

  6. Sorry about that Mark, I perhaps let my enthusiasm carry me away - but it's just such a great selection you have at these two events.

  7. Mark, probably too late but Rochford (on the Southend Vic line from L'pool St) is also on all this week. We're going today (any minute!), Dartford tomorrow!

  8. Ooops I went on Friday :-)only 24hours too early.

  9. Disappointed I wasn't able to make the 2 Kent’s Dual Real Ale Festival, especially with such a brilliant line-up of beers. Might try and get along to the White Horse Old Ale Fesival though; went a few years back and really enjoyed it.