Are You Ready For The Darkside - The Directory Group

Are you ready for the Darkside?

With only a few weeks to go until the Alton Winter Beer Festival at Alton College on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th February, things are ramping up to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Resident beer curator, Nigel Hoppitt, has taken on the challenge of finding a range of dark beers for the Festival. Dark beers are the epitomy of winter, as they are warming and flavoursome fulfilling beers. Nigel has been on a hunt across the length and breadth of the UK on behalf of the punters and as a result, the festival will have a DarksidE stillage featuring 14 specially-selected dark beers. These aged beers are all waiting to be drunk, having been laid down before Christmas, and include a limited opportunity to try something unique - an oak aged dark beer. For those who came to the Summer Festival, you may have voted it Beer of the Festival.

Avid beer drinkers who are working their way through the infamous ‘1001 beers to try before you die’ by Adrian Tierney-Jones will be delighted to know that two of them appear at the Winter Festival. Amongst others, the DarksidE stillage will feature “Old Slug” and “Chiltern Black” Porters, “Black Adder” and “Coffee” Stout and “Rum Truffle” ale.

In addition to this special range of dark beers, there will be some great vegan/vegetarian beers and lots of gorgeous hoppy beers including some Regional Hop Specialities. In total, over 100 beers and ciders will be available over the course of the three sessions, many from local breweries. There will be people on hand to provide advice and guidance so that everyone can find a few different options to suit their taste!

All this is to ensure that even more money is raised for local charities. Since 2002, the Alton Beer Festival has raised over £187,000 and the trustees are hoping that we can break the £200,000 mark this year.

Tickets are available online at as well as The Railway Arms, Alton; The Queens Head, Holybourne; The King’s Head, Alton; Jolly Sailor, Farnham; The George, Alton; and Triple fff Brewery in Four Marks.

The Directory Group covers the following areas within Hampshire and West Sussex: Petersfield, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Denmead, Purbrook, Widley, Farlington, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne, Bosham, and Meon Valley