As regular readers know, Mr Fueled by Beer loves small CAMRA beer festivals in out of the way places; the kind where rare beers from small-batch brewers may be found (like the recent Wantage festival). As long as it is within two hours or thereabouts of Reading by public transport, he’ll be tempted to ride the rails. The 15th Maldon Beer Festival (Essex) was all this and more. Read on for the details…
Although small, Maldon packs quite a punch. Its rural location overlooking the Blackwater estuary, with its historic ‘Hythe’ Quayside, home to a fleet of restored Victorian Thames Sailing Barges, is idyllic. And there are two LocAle breweries operating in the town, each with their own micropub/taproom on the High Street; and a number of Good Beer Guide pubs too. These attractions were as much a draw for Mr Fueled by Beer as the beer festival. I went for the Thursday session, 6th April, and have posted some photos from my brief visit below. Hopefully I can return someday with Mrs Fueled by Beer.
The reason I felt this trip to Maldon was so worthwhile—apart from the chance to try so many Scottish beers without having to go north of the border—is Maldon itself. This is one of those rare places for which the 1960s Beeching cuts were a blessing in disguise. By cutting Maldon’s rail links with London, the town escaped the fate of so many small communities in the capital’s surrounding counties: being turned into a dormitory town for commuters, with all the ugliness that entails.
In truth, Maldon is actually a little beyond my usual radius; with the bus from Chelmsford factored in, it was closer to a three hour trip from Reading, but it was well worth the visit.
|Maldon CAMRA Social Media:||Website|
|Transportation:||Google Maps||National Rail||First Essex Bus|