Since 1983, The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival has been held on the third weekend in August every year at our site at The Fighting Cocks Crossroads, just outside of Newchurch. Attended by families young and old, the Island’s Biggest Summer show plays host to star chefs, musicians, local charities and businesses and more from far and wide. With live music, children’s activities and lots of garlic, the show is not to be missed!
At the heart of the festival is of course Britain’s most loved and pungent bulb, garlic! Grown right here on the Isle of Wight, in Newchurch by the multi award-winning Garlic Farm. Working with the farm we are able to offer a truly magnificent garlic experience. You’ll find it everywhere, to eat, drink and buy! What better way to quench the palate that an amber ale? But a garlic beer, how can that work? The Garlic Farm have fine tuned the beer using the sweet, heat-aged black garlic. This gives a smooth, very subtle caramel note to the beer – it is a very, very gentle suggestion of the complex, almost vanilla note of sweet black garlic and very far from the frightening prospect of ‘raw garlic in a beer’. It has to be tried to be believed and will be available in cask throughout the weekend.
Although a small Island, the Isle of Wight is home to a growing collection of quirky, high quality food producers. With a strong sense of community and short distances between farms and facilities, collaboration is thriving. A fun example is one The Farm pioneered with both The Tomato Stall and Isle of Wight Distillery. Both a stones throw away from the Garlic Festival site, at the heart of the Arreton valley. The Black Garlic Bloody Mary is not to be missed!
Although Garlic is this festival showstopper, it’s just a part of what this family friendly festival is all about. It’s success largely due to its curious mixture of garlic cuisine, late sixties pop festival ambiance and country fair, coupled with plenty of entertainment for children and adults. You’ll find cute and cuddly animals, magic shows and traditional punch and judy. Free arts and crafts, the garlic games in the large arena and chefs in the theatre kitchen. Scrummy food is at every turn, featuring the ever popular sweetcorn cobs, smothered in garlic butter of course! The sweetcorn roast, now run by the fabulous charity The Wave Project Isle of Wight, have raised thousands of pounds for the surf club here on the Island. And if we’re mentioning good causes, The Sporting Bears and their ‘Dream Rides’ have raised over £8000 for children’s charities. Alongside all of that, we have plenty of live music all weekend on the big stage. So grab yourself a cider, real ale, or a GnT from the festival beer tent and pop yourself down on a straw bale to take it all in!