Monday, 16 October 2006

Private Party, Royston near Cambridge 14th October 2006

I shouldn’t really have gone to this as I had loads of things to do, but I was persuaded by several factors, one being the likelihood of decent beer.

A polypin (36 pints) of Milton’s Dionysus (3.6%) awaited us and it was not disappointing. I had begun to think that I prefer stronger bitters, but this ale proved me wrong. It had a lovely gentle hoppy taste and a delicate flavour. What was especially refreshing, if I can use two meanings of the same word at a time, was that I drank three pints without feeling the effects of the alcohol.

Despite the opinion of most of my friends, I do not want to spend all my waking hours drunk, I just like drinking beer.

A friend had brought a few bottles to the party and next we tried Ruddle’s Orchard (4.2%). Containing concentrated apple juice, the bottle promised “an instant apple hit”. While the beer tasted like perfectly acceptable bitter, the apple hit was from the smell rather than the taste of the beer. Somewhat over-sold and I can’t see it being anything other than a novelty drink.

The next bottle opened was Hepworth’s Iron Horse (4.8%). I don’t know what I was expecting but this was a revelation. Fantastic taste for a bottled beer although reminiscent of the weaker Welton’s Horsham bitter, mentioned a few posts ago. Having just checked my notes, in fact Hepworth make the Welton’s bitter, so I shouldn’t be surprised. The extra alcohol in the Iron Horse worked better with the flavour than in the Welton’s bitter and this was an excellent find in terms of a quality bottled bitter. I will be drinking more of this.

Next on the menu was my offering for the party, some Essential Beers Festival (5.1%), decanted “from the barrel” from The Beer Essentials shop in Horsham. This is a copy of the dearly departed King and Barnes Festive (5.0%) and all those in the know agreed that this excellent beer did indeed taste like Festive, an old favourite in my social circle! Lovely! It is just a shame that the presentation cannot be improved as I think other people at the party would have tried it had it not been presented as dark brown liquid in a 4 pint milk bottle.

Anyway, we managed to demolish most of the Dionysus and I got back home without incident. Thanks Christian for the party and the excellent beer!


  1. Greatplum6:31 pm

    You got home without incident?

    Well, there's a first!

  2. no actually I think it's a second... but yes, ok, I don't always (that's why I think it's worth mentioning when it happens)