For twelve years, up to 2020, The Rose & Crown, West Oxfordshire's award-winning pub in Charlbury, held its famous beer festival at the end of January. More than twenty adventurous beers would be available, and there would be a focus on innovative brewers such as Moor of Bristol. Then came Covid, and much of the world shut down. Sadly, the health of Tom Page, landlord of the Rosie for more than thirty years, began to deteriorate, so the festival lapsed. Until now! The team from the Finstock Ale (the best little festival for miles around) have teamed up with Nikki to turn back the clock and bring you another exciting festival. There will be plenty of cask ales to enjoy, as well as a wide selection of craft beers sourced by the Finstock team, inevitably including their passion for Bristol breweries. And there's also a good choice of traditional cider and perry, as well as hot food at most sessions. We hope to see you there.
Friday 8th and Saturday 9th March.
The festival will be open from noon to 11:30pm both days.
The Rose & Crown, 1 Market Street, Charlbury, Oxon OX7 3PL
This event is free entry.
If beer or cider is not for you, or one of your party, fear not. The full pub bar is available at the Ale, serving wines, spirits, soft drinks, and snacks. For the drivers, after extensive sampling, we plan to offer one or two exceptional alcohol-free beers.
GWR trains from Oxford (to the east) and Worcester/Moreton (to the west) stop at Charlbury. It's a short walk to the pub.
The S3 bus runs between Oxford and Chipping Norton, and stops outside the Bell Hotel. The Rose & Crown is on the crossroads at the top of the street.
The X9 bus runs between Witney and Chipping Norton, and also stops at the Bell.
Tom ran the award-winning Rose & Crown pub in the heart of Charlbury for well over 30 years, and the Finstock Ale team are honoured to partner with Nikki and her staff to revive the winter beer festival (which he ran for twelve years up to 2020) in his memory.
Under Tom's stewardship the pub saw an expanding selection of beers that was the envy of all other pubs in the locality, and soon became a virtual place of pilgrimage for local beer drinkers from miles around, especially CAMRA members. The various Pub Of The Year award certificates displayed on the bar walls bear testament to this, but it was not only the great beer selection that set the pub apart from all others, it was also the wonderful, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that Tom brought to the place. People of all ages and backgrounds would mingle together in a special mix of mutual respect and bonhomie. It was somewhere where everyone could feel at home.
Tom loved his music and he loved his football, especially his beloved Brentford F.C., where he was a season ticket holder. Travelling to football with Tom was always fun, sharing memories and taking care to sample a few select beers along the way, and driving to an eclectic soundtrack - one return trip to Wolverhampton was spent listening to the entire Little Feat back catalogue! Tom hosted many music nights in the pub, showcasing the wide range of local talent alongside established artists from across the UK, Europe and America.
If you have your own favourite local pub, Tom would be the perfect landlord in so many ways. He was warm. He was wise. He was witty. He was a very special man. Come to our festival, find a wonderful beer, close your eyes for a moment, and think of Tom.
The Finstock Ale raises money every year for our Village Hall charity (reg. 279171) so that year round we can support local causes ‐ the pensioners' Christmas lunch, children's and toddler groups, community clubs and societies. We simply could not operate our affordable model without the generosity of all our sponsors, both individuals and companies.
If you would like to help us at future festivals by sponsoring a cask of beer, box of cider, or any other aspect of the event, please talk to one of our staff, who will be happy to answer your questions.
You can find details of our current sponsors in the Festival programme, but we must make mention here of the following:
Howden Insurance, previously known as A-Plan, caters for all your personal and business insurance needs. Pop into your local branch and see how we can help save money and make finding the right insurance cover that little bit easier for you. Find out more at howdeninsurance.co.uk or search 'Howden Insurance'.
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Available from the Rose & Crown bar.
Available in the lower bar. We're proud to offer this wide selection. Please note that not all beers will be available simultaneously.
Pale. Punchy aromas of pineapple, mango and a hint of citrus rind from the whirlpool and dry hop additions of Mosaic and Simcoe. A velvety smooth mouthfeel from the lactose combined with delicious fresh tropical fruits on the palate. Think fresh fruit salad smothered with Jersey double cream.
Hot, simple yet filling food will be available at most sessions of the festival. There is also an excellent delicatessen just a few yards away, and you are welcome to bring their produce into the pub.
The Finstock Ale, first held in 2013 to raise funds for a new village hall, is now an annual festival held on the first weekend in September to raise funds for our registered charity (279171) and its many good causes (including a Christmas lunch for the pensioners of the village and subsidies for village clubs, societies and children’s groups). However, our model is a little different from most of the local beer festivals. Rather than squeeze as much money as we can for our charity, we try to balance our fundraising with the creation of an enjoyable and affordable event for all, where the beers and ciders are hand-picked by our team, and for the most part are definitely not the standard fare to be found in local pubs. Our aim is to share with you some of the remarkable beers we have discovered, across a wide variety of styles, so that in addition to offering some familiar favourites, we can challenge you with something new from the leading edge of British breweries.