I don’t drink beer. I can taste it. I can sip it. I can even appreciate the flavours and how it’s made, but I don’t drink it. Even when beer is the only alternative, I will happily drink water.

Understanding all of this, I am looking forward to a beer festival. On 3rd and 4th of June, the Harcourt arms is holding a two day beer festival to celebrate their year anniversary, the Queen’s Jubilee, and the Jericho Street Party and Fair.

They will have over 10 beers, including several small brewery independent ales. Kevin Dacombe, Senior barman at the Harcourt Arms, and longstanding barman at real ale pubs in and around Jericho chose the beers. “I knew my favourites and chose those, “ Kevin said jokingly “actually I picked ones that I knew were fantastic beers!”

His favourite is the Kelham Island, Pale Rider ABV 5.2%. It’s a CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Champion beer.

Kevin says, “It’s very hoppy, light and refreshing yet deceptively strong.”

Xavier Bouhayed, the landlord of the Harcourt Arms chimes in about pale ales, “They match the season.”

My fingers are crossed for a sunny jubilee weekend.

Xavier continues speaking on small breweries, “It is nice it’s not a world of beardy men any more. It’s young people wanting to taste interesting beers.”

Of course you can’t have a beer festival with out a few special offers. If you go in Sunday, June 3rd, bring in three friends and you get your first drink free. There will be live music in the evenings and a barbecue in the garden. Xavier is also offering 2-pint take away jugs so you won’t miss the festivities in the rest of Jericho.

Across the street from the Harcourt Arms, the Rickety Press will hold their own party.

Manager Fred Samengo-Turner said, “We are applying to close off the road and hoping to have a barbecue and band.”

For those that don’t drink beer, they will be serving plenty of Pimm’s and cocktails.

Further down at the Old Bookbinders landlord, Josh Mullett-Sadones is bringing the bar outside. They will serve local ales and their fabulous crepes on the street. The music stage from street fairs several years ago will be reinstated with live music from 12:30 to 9:30PM.

In 1977 Jericho had the largest Jubilee party/street fair in Oxford. Thousands of people brought out tables and chairs and lined Cardigan Street end to end.

This year they are combining their yearly street fair with a Jubilee celebration at the Western end of Cardigan Street on Monday, June 4th. With the three local pubs pitching in to raise community spirit, it is sure to be a success.

Xavier Bouhayed states, “Jericho has really become a destination with all three local pubs open and offering different things.”

I couldn’t agree more.