Wetherspoon has championed real ale since we held our first real-ale festival over 25 years ago, in 1990. This festival has now grown into the Wetherspoon Real-Ale Festival as we know it today: twice a year, we make up to 50 beers available, with the best UK and international brewers featured in pubs the length and breadth of the UK.
Wetherspoon deals with around 400 small brewers which can supply their local JDW pubs directly. Our ‘cellar champions’ scour their local area for the best new brewers, supporting local business.
Every quarter, we give pubs the choice of 50 beers to stock, as part of our ‘quarterly real ales’. A list of this quarter’s 50 can be found. Overall, the pubs have access to over 220 beers every year. Every year, we launch a selection of Christmas guest ales, featuring festive pints to accompany our Christmas meals.
In 2013, we launched the international craft brewers’ showcase, bringing around 20 brewers from around the globe to our pumps each year. Two brewers visit the UK each month to brew us their beers – which we then make available nationally.
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is an independent, voluntary organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights.
You receive £20 worth of Wetherspoon real-ale and cider vouchers, when you join CAMRA, and will be joining an ever-growing membership which currently stands at over 175.000. Click here to join CAMRA.
So, what makes CAMRA so special?
CAMRA stands for Campaign for Real Ale: an independent voluntary organisation which has been campaigning for beer and drinkers’ rights since 1971, with pretty good results, having once been described as the most successful consumer group in Europe.
Your guarantee of quality, Cask Marque is an independent body, set up with one purpose in mind – to ensure that pubs know, understand and act on selling great beer.
Real ale is different from most other drinks: it’s real; it’s alive (quite literally), as the yeast in the barrel is a living thing. So, like all living things, it needs quite a bit of TLC, to ensure that it is in tip-top condition by the time we serve it to you.
Now, that’s where Cask Marque comes in. Cask Marque is an independent body, set up with one purpose in mind – to ensure that pubs know, understand and act on selling great beer.
99% of our pubs are Cask-Marque-accredited venues and are permitted to display the sign of quality – a sign which, by the way, will be taken down, if we fail the continued inspections. So, there is no resting on our laurels. Incidentally, the reason why any of our pubs aren’t accredited is usually because they are newly opened and have to wait for assessment.