Monday, 12 March 2007

Sussex CAMRA Beer Festival, Hove 9th March 2007

Thought it was only right to go down to Hove to see what the Sussex CAMRA beer festival had to offer.

I tried a total of 38 different beers, and, amazingly, I managed to write what reads back as fairly sensible tasting notes about each one. As it was a festival and I was on official duty, I marked each on a scale of 1 to 5.

There were two bars: a National one and a Sussex one. Here are my notes on all the beers, in the order they appeeared in the programme rather than the tasting order, as that seems to have slipped my mind.

Sussex Bar Beers
1648 Brewery Saint George (4.5%): Lovely light beer with an incredibly hoppy taste. 4
Fallen Angel Caribbean Lime Lager (4.5%): The most revolting real beer I have ever tasted. The person serving it suggested it tasted like "a real ale version of an alcopop". 0
Fallen Angel Kama Sutra (4.0%): Good dark malty beer with a hint of coffee. 3
FILO Ginger Tom (4.4%): Initial taste is rather unpleasant but it warms into a tasty drink. 3
Harvey's 1859 Porter (4.8%): Stunning dark, mellow yet hoppy beer with a coffee aroma. 4
Harvey's Tom Paine (5.5%): Delicate floral hoppy bitter. Could easily be 3.8% and therefore dangerous. 4
Hepworth Prospect (4.5%): Interesting bitter that I can only describe as tasting of straw (Is it fuggles hops I taste?). A decent pint. 4
Rectory Traditional Sweet Stout (4.2%): Incredibly yummy stout with a distinct taste of pineapple. My beer of the festival. 5

National Bar Beers
Archers Spirit of the Sea (4.4%): A lovely hoppy sparky bitter with a heather aroma. 3
Arran Ale (3.8%): Very dry bitter beer with a tangy taste. 3
Brentwood Honey Bunny (4.1%): Very light beer with a hop flavour. 3
Brentwood Rollaway the Stone (4.5%): Interesting best, with a bitter hop taste. 3
Butcombe Bitter (4.0%): Tasty fuity hoppy bitter. 3
Enville Saaz (4.2%): Deceptively light coloured bitter with a huge malty flavour. 4
Farnham Sniper (3.8%): Very unusual. Reminiscent of bad breath. Someone else described it as cheese flavoured. Not good. 2
Grand Union Honey Porter (4.9%): Caramelly but bitter. Not the greatest porter. 3
Goffs White Knight (4.7%): Hoppy bitter but lacking other flavour. Drinkable but not notable. 3
Great Orme Orme IPA (3.8%): Nothing special but pleasant. Very weak for an IPA. 3
Greenwood Icicle (4.2%): Flavourless hoppy beer. Not hugely impressive. 3
Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter (4.0%): Mellow best bitter. The best it's tasted outside Lewes.
Hidden Pint (3.8%): A well as a clever name ("mine's a pint"), this had a hoppy taste and was tangy, smooth and refreshing. 3
Hogs Back T.E.A. (4.2%): Decent well-hopped bitter with a nice, rounded flavour. 4
Hopdaemon Skrimshander IPA (4.5%): Nice hoppy bitter. A good choice for a pint. 4
Itchen Valley 1644 Battle of Cheriton (4.4%): Very hoppy pale yellow brew with a tangy after taste. 3
Malvern Hills Priessnitz Plsen (4.3%): Tangy sweet lager style beer. 3
Mayfields Auntie Myrtles (5.0%): A big hit of banana flavour and not enough bitter hops to make this a really good beer. 3
Milton Neptune (3.8%): Delicious beer with a clean hoppy aftertaste. 3
Nethergate Bar Fly (3.9%): Very drinkable golden bitter with a gorgeous explosive hoppy fruity taste. 5
O'Hanlon's Wheat Beer (4.0%): Very sharp although pleasant and hoppy. 4
Oakleaf I Can't Believe It's Not Bitter (4.9%): Someone had to, didn't they? Zesty lemony beer that I can easily believe is lager, not bitter. 3
Palmer Best Bitter IPA (4.2%): Very warming yet hoppy smooth beer with a delicate aftertaste. 3
Pilgrim Excalibur (4.5%): A sweet mellow bitter which doesn't quite taste its strength. 3
Rebellion Deserter (4.2%): A warm creamy malty beer with a deep red colour. 4
Rebellion Roasted Nuts (4.6%): Yummy, warm and rich but not quite up to this brewery's usual standard. 3
Sharp's Doom Bar Bitter (4.0%): Pleasant crispy hoppy bitter. 4
Skinner's Heligan Honey (4.0%): Tasty and unusual. 4
Water Mill Dogs Dinner (4.0%): Very bitter beer with a strong bitter hop taste. 3

If that's too much to read, the two that really stood out were the Traditional Sweet Stout from the Rectory brewery, and the Nethergate Bar Fly. And the one I wouldn't recommend is the Carribean Lime Lager from Fallen Angel.

I apologise for the poor quality photo, but after trying so much beer, photography is not so easy.

1 comment:

  1. I do remember leaving the festival although not the walk down to the sea... I remember standing at the water's edge (except it kept moving) and talking on the phone.

    Then something fell out of my bag into the water and I bent down to pick it up... and then I fell in the sea.

    Everything in my bag was ruined, although I managed to dry the programme off a little.

    As my camera was rendered useless (but not the memory card) I can't currently add photographs to any new blog entries.

    Any donations for a new camera welcome!!