Freedom Sessions at The Big Feastival

You can’t beat a sunny afternoon in a field with a cold beer and good tunes. We were invited to the Big Feastival this weekend to chill at Freedom Brewery‘s own bar and mini stage for the Freedom Sessions. They had invited a whole collection of local artists to perform at their eclectic stage. The atmosphere was chilled and the beer was flowing.

Alternating between blazing sunshine and merciful overcast skies, it was a pleasant day to traipse around the scorched grass of Alex James’ Cotswolds farm. It was a family-friendly atmosphere, with toddlers being towed round in covered trucks by red cheeked parents like the tiny despots that they are. The main stage featured music from bands I have never heard of and The Human League. Screams filled the air from the many fairground rides dotted around the site.

Freedom Brewery On Tour

And of course, there was plenty of good food. Alex James’ Cheese Hub was a point of order for most festival goers. We enjoyed a delicious burger from the amazing Libertine Burgers (more on that anon). The highlight for our merry band was a tasting with Freedom’s Head Brewer Joe McCarrick. He’s an affable bloke with an easy manner and a precise understanding of his craft.

Freedom is a well-known British lager producer. Their standard 4% lager is really a masterclass in the form. Using British ingredients and being certified organic makes a difference in taste. Their sustainability credentials have taken a massive boost since their move to a Staffordshire farm from their original London railway arch location. They are now creating circular systems wherever possible. Freedom clean their own grey water where they can with reed bed filtration. They are also recycling everything from their brewing waste to the cardboard in the office (to make bedding for lambing ewes no less).

Of course, the NZ Pale had me coming back for seconds, even though we were ostensibly there to drink lager. I also cannot recommend the Kolsch and IPL enough to those who are still cynical about lager having enough of a flavour punch. In the occasional heat, the Helles was probably the most interesting and refreshing. But all of the beers were fantastic in having their own distinct profile and clean taste.

My invite to The Big Feastival was complimentary, but my post is an honest reflection of my experience.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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