The Tobacco Factory is the last remaining part of the Old Wills Tobacco site on Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol. The company was responsible for brtands such as Woodbine and Embassy and was one of the founding companies of Imperial Tobacco.
The imposing red brick building was saved from demolition by Architect George Ferguson around 12 years ago. The acclaimed architect and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) converted the building into a restaurant, animation and performing arts school, loft-style apartments, a café bar, offices and a theatre.
The Beer Festival
Over the years, the beer festival has been held in different parts of the building, both inside and outside. With the promise of an Indian Summer (which didn’t transpire), the festival was held outside at the rear of the building along with market stalls and the BBQ. There was plenty of seating available as well as covered areas.
I arrived at when it opened at 12pm so understandably it wasn’t very busy but by the time I had left at 4pm there were a lot more people sampling the beers.
Manning the stand were three employees of the Bristol Beer Factory including the head brewer. All three were more than happy to talk about beer, pubs and brewing.
In recent years, the beers available at the festival were exclusively from the West Country but this year beers from breweries further afield were available. I believe this was due to the festival being on all weekend rather than just Saturday.
A total of 30 ales were available from Bristol Beer Factory, Arbor Ales, Zero Degrees, Moor, Dawkins, Cheddar, RCH, Wessex, Stroud, Stonehenge, Otley, Artbrew, Newmans, Marble and Brew Dog. The beers selected were excellent with a good range of styles of beer and strengths. Highlights were the brand new Hazelnut Latte Stout and Southville Hop from Bristol Beer Factory, the beers from Marble and the funky Spanked Monkey from Artbrew which had root ginger and chilli added to the cask.
You can view the full list of beers here.
The festival used a token system and for £5 you could either get 4 halves of 4.9% ABV and under beer or 3 halves of 5% ABV + beer. This works out at either a reasonable £2.50 a pint or a slightly expensive £3.33 a pint.
Factoberfest is a well put together beer festival with some cracking beers and the venue is just a bus ride away from Temple Meads station. It’s worth mentioning that the Tobacco Factory itself is a great place for a beer, coffee or something to eat. The bar/cafe is spacious and I noticed beers from Bristol Beer Factory and Bath Ales.
More Photos from Factoberfest 2010
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