fixI started my beer drinking with Camerons Brewery beers in the mid-1970s, and Tetleys/John Smiths in Leeds whilst at the Polytechnic in the late 70s/early 80s. I’ve been drinking real ale in Essex since 1985, when I attended the Chelmsford CAMRA beer festival just over the road from County Hall in Chelmsford where I worked. I’ve been to almost all the Colchester and Chappel beer festivals (and have the festival glasses to prove it!), and plenty of other beer festivals in Essex over the years. And I’ve seen the number of real ale pubs, and breweries across the country grow to an extent we could only have dreamt of in the real ale wilderness of the 1980s.

I started blogging about beer on Essex Days Out in 2009. As the Essex Days Out site grew, the real ale element on the site became less of a focus, and I decided in October 2014 to set up this site so that I could concentrate on real ale on a dedicated site, and you’re here!

I migrated 5 years’ worth of content from Essex Days Out to Essex Real Ale, as well as the Beer Festivals in Essex listing (link above). In addition to what you can find on this site, you can follow me on twitter @EssexRealAle, and facebok or email me essexrealale@gmail.com.

Oh, and after fast-tracking my knowledge of brewing, I set up Watsons Brewery in late 2016. Which was nice.

Mark Watson