Frothy turnout expected for free annual Headington beer fest

Chris Meeson, right, and his brother Matthew look ahead to the Headington beer festival at The Masons Arms       Picture: OX61426 Damian Halliwell

Chris Meeson, right, and his brother Matthew look ahead to the Headington beer festival at The Masons Arms Picture: OX61426 Damian Halliwell

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by

UP to 300 people are expected to turn out for the free annual Headington beer festival.

The Masons Arms, in Quarry Road Place, will showcase 45 real ales and 15 ciders at the event, which runs from Friday, September 6 to Sunday, September 8.

There is a barbecue on Friday and a hog roast, live band and traditional Aunt Sally game between the Oxford CAMRA and Aylesbury CAMRA team on the Saturday.There is then a final chance to sample any beers left over on Sunday.

This is the 12th festival. Landlord Chris Meeson said it was a great social event and had grown in popularity over the years: “The festival just started out as a one-off to showcase the real ale we had in the pub and it has really grown from there.

“We starting brewing our own beer eight years ago and so the festival includes some of our own brewed beers as well ales from all over the UK and many award-winning ales from the Great British Beer Festival, which ran from August 13 to August 17 in London Olympia.

Mr Meeson said: “We have a real mix of ales, from light ones to some strong ones and have spent the last two months sourcing which ones to have.”

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The Masons Arms has been run by Mr Meeson, 46, and his family for 16 years. The pub ws Oxford CAMRA’s pub of the year in 2004, 2005 and 2010.

The family firm has been brewing at the Old Bog Brewery since 2005, run by Mr Meeson’s oldest brother, Andrew, 50. The brewery is in the pub garden on the former site of the outside toilets.

Andrew Meeson said: “I only learnt how to brew beer eight years ago but I taught myself and it has been a real success.

Mr Meeson’s younger brother Matthew, 41, is a licensee, while mum Stephanie works behind the bar too.

The festival runs from 5pm to 11pm on Friday, noon to 11pm on Saturday and midday to 10.30pm on Sunday.

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