Will Hawkes

Will Hawkes works on The Independent's Sports Desk. He writes about beer in his spare time.

The IndyManBeerCon festival highlights what a fine beer-drinking city

Common sense dictates that drinking and swimming pools don't mix – a maxim that's hard to argue with, unless its early October and you're in Manchester. That's when IndyManBeerCon – by common consent, the best of Britain's new wave beer festivals – takes place at Victoria Baths in Chorlton-on-Medlock, a quirky venue for an impressive event.

Gale's Prize Old Ale is a classic of a virtually disappeared English

I didn't expect to run into an almost forgotten English classic when I went to Philadelphia last month. But there it was, on the menu at Monk's, the city's foremost beer bar: Gale's Prize Old Ale, a classic of a now virtually disappeared English strong old-ale tradition.

Lighten up: The best low-strength beers

I've never really understood why people give up alcohol for January. Of all the months to avoid hooch, why choose the grimmest, darkest, most spirit-sapping of all? It's the time of year when a glass is most welcome, particularly if it involves a warm pub and some friends.

48 Hours In: Tallinn

A winter's break in the Estonian capital reveals snowy scenery, a Christmas market and small craft stores for picking up one-off gifts, says Will Hawkes

A pub crawl with a great deal of stout

As excuses for a pub crawl go, it was a cracker. The Somerset brewery, Moor, took seven casks of their porter, Amoor, to London last week and handed them to seven different pubs.

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Lager is dead. Long live lager

If you want to appreciate how British beer has changed, have a lager. Once upon a time this middle-European beer style was regarded as the devil incarnate by many British ale drinkers, the cuckoo in the nest that had laid waste to a nation’s proud heritage. Not any more.

ESPN to continue its pitch-side punditry despite Keown's whack

Martin Keown's head may still be ringing, but ESPN is not prepared to do away with pitch-side punditry quite yet. The former Arsenal defender, working as a summariser, was hit by a well-struck football before Monday's game between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium but the TV channel insists it will continue "to bring fans as close as we can to the game".