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.

Traditional English beer doesn't travel well so head to the pub if you

If you want to find great cask ale in London, ask an Italian. Well, one Italian in particular: Alessio Leone, who mans the bar and the cellar at the Gunmakers Arms in Clerkenwell. One lunchtime not long ago, he served me the best pint of ale I've had all year: the nutty, perfectly-bitter Harvey's Sussex Best.

Golden touch: Pilsner is on its way back

A large crowd gathered in a small east London bar the other week. Well, free beer will do that. The Strongroom was celebrating the arrival of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell, a version of this original golden lager several leagues better than the stuff you'll find elsewhere.

Paternity leave: Look who's balking

Fewer than one in 50 fathers take their full parental leave, fearing for their careers. Will Hawkes did four months and developed a strong bond with his son – but says never again

More headlines

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.

More to Munich than Oktoberfest

Industrial-scale drinking at the city's beer festival is all very well, but what about a quieter brew? Will Hawkes goes in search of Gemütlichkeit