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St Peter’s Hall and the adjacent Brewery are set in a beautiful, remote part of North Suffolk known as ‘the Saints’. In its current form, St Peter’s Hall dates from the 14th Century and it still contains a vast array of original features. This made for a fantastic setting for a beer festival.
St Peter’s Hall has been in new hands for around a year. ‘Hall Catering’ offer both dining and events within the hall where they offer a wide range of locally sourced produce. This was their first go at running a beer festival and although there are a few areas I think they can improve upon; the setting and the incredibly friendly atmosphere created by the staff alleviated these issues.
Entering the Hall we quickly worked out that we needed to obtain beer tokens from the bar. The tokens were sold on cards worth £15 which equated to 5 pints or 10 halves. Now this did appear to create a bit of complication as customers had to have a rough idea of what they wanted to spend prior to drinking. This was in part due to the fact the tokens (unlike many beer festivals) were not refundable. Although I happily worked through my token, this could be a problem for other customers.
The beer selection was okay but very disappointing in one regard: Only two St Peter’s beers!
I went to this festival in the hope of being able to sample a wider range of St Peter’s beers on cask; something rarely you see in pubs. Admittedly the two they had (IPA and Old Style Porter) are two of their best but I was really hoping that this would be an opportunity for St Peter’s to showcase their beers; especially as they are next door!
Anyway beer on the night tried:
Barrell and Sellers Best Bitter: Excellent example of the style 4/5
St Peter’s IPA: A very good traditional English IPA
St Peter’s Old Style Porter: Simply wonderful on cask. 5/5
WellS Eagle IPA: Not great 2/5
The Porter made for a great night and I must admit, I had 2 1/2 pints of it!
I also enjoyed a lovely cheese platter on the night which filled a hole.
There was excellent live folk music being played which fitted the ambience of the building perfectly. At this point I should also comment on the staff who were simply fantastic throughout.
So despite the fact that it is hard to get to, this festival has great potential. The setting is picturesque and with live music and great service, you are sure to have a good time. All I would say is they should think about the tokens and St Peter’s… please get involved further!
I look forward to visiting again soon!