Thursday, 28 June 2007

Lewes Beer Festival 23rd June 2007

As I’m now on the mend from my head injury and allowed to drink again, I was able to use my ticket to the CAMRA beer festival in Lewes.

Arriving on the Saturday after a sell-out Friday there were only 35 beers left, which I didn’t think was very well organised. Some ran out before I got to them but I managed to try all the others, 30 in total.

1648 Original (3.9%): Tasty standard bitter. 3
1648 Signature (4.4%): Very dry and a little on the insipid side. 3
Arundel ASB (4.5%): Very malty rounded tasting bitter. 3
Arundel Sussex Gold (4.2%): Interesting light fruity beer. 3
Arundel Sussex Mild (3.7%): Warm, creamy tasting mild. Lovely. 4
B&T Black Dragon Mild (4.3%): Gorgeous smooth rich mild. 4
Bushy Castletown Bitter (3.5%): Tasty, citrusy bitter with a light colour. 3
Bushy Manx Export Bitter (3.8%): Rather unexciting bitter but with a hint of hoppiness. 3
Caledonian XPA (4.3%): Not terribly pleasant bitter pale beer. 3
Custom Beers Chinook (4.2%): Sweet, fruity bitter with a tangy flavour. 3
Custom Beers Quality of Life (4.5%): Hoppy, smooth and tastes pretty strong. 3
Dark Star Mild for May (3.6%): Spicy, tasty mind, a decent drink. Why is it only available in May? 3
Dark Star Summer Meltdown (4.8%): Gingery, fruity light hoppy beer with strong grapefruit tones. 3
Elgood's Cambridge Bitter (3.8%): Excellent dry tasting crisp bitter. 4
Hampshire Wild Thing (4.2%): Incredibly dry, sharp beer. 3
Harvey's Armada Ale (4.5%): Fruity and hoppy in equal measure, unmistakably Harvey's. 4
Harvey's Olympia Golden Ale (4.3%): Just got some before it ran out! Stunningly hoppy. 5
Harvey's Tom Paine (5.5%): Not much of a flavour apart from some caramel, but very strong! 3
Hepworth's Prospect (4.5%): Crisp and hoppy. Nice. 4
King Ace of Ales (4.3%): Interesting tasty hoppy bitter. 3
Ramsgate Gadds No 5 (Best Bitter) (4.4%): Very tasty hoppy bitter. I could drink lots of this. 4
Rectory Dark Knight (4.7%): Pleasant dark bitter with a very strong grapefruit flavour. 3
Rectory Pale Knight (4.7%): Nice light bitter tasting of Goldings hops. 3
Rother Valley Hoppers Ale (4.4%): Not as hoppy as I expected but nevertheless a tasty bitter. 3
Surrey Hills Gilt Complex (4.6%): Delicious, warm and well balanced, with hop flavour. 4
Surrey Hills Shere Drop (4.2%): Not as good as I remember, but a pleasant light-ish beer. 3
Timothy Taylor Ram Tam (4.3%): Unremarkable until the aftertaste which is hoppy and tasty. 3
Welton's Mild and Bitter (3.5%): Revolting, sour off beer. Yuck. 1
White Fagged Off (3.8%): Not pleasant with a taste reminiscent of wood shavings. I think it's supposed to taste of fag ash. 2
Whitstable East India Pale Ale (4.1%): At last, an IPA which is really hoppy and strong! 4

My beer of the festival was the local Harvey's Olympia. Fantastic.

I asked to take a picture from the gallery of the hall and was shown up by staff. As I was taking pictures I was yelled at by security and removed from the balcony. I really hope you like the pic as I thought it was going to get me arrested!

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