Thursday, 9 August 2007

The Great British Beer Festival... (again) 9th August 2007

Found an excuse to pop back to the festival and try a few more beers.

I bumped into a few chatty characters including an interesting man from Hartfield and some "tickers" who have a list of every current beer and tick them off as them drink them. I may just have to find myself a copy of the list and see what percentage of the beers appear on this blog!

British Beers
Hampshire Kings Ransom (4.8%): Very dry and bitter with hints of caramel. 3
Loddon Hoppit (3.5%): Extremely good session bitter. 4
Wood Shropshire Lass (4.2%): Very moorish and drinkable bitter. 4

Rest of the World
Plevna Dark Lager (5.6%): Lovely dark sweet biscuity warming beer but extremely strong! 4
Plevna Severin Extra IPA (5.9%): Gorgeous American style IPA which stands up well to the alcohol content. 4
Both these beers are from Finland.

It seems strange that the UK, which developed the IPA beer style hundreds of years ago, has forgotten how to make it, with national brewers churning out so-called IPA at strengths of less than 4%. One major brand allegedly uses no hops in theirs, just hop oil. It is good to know that other countries are making lovely strong IPAs, presumably with real hops, even if this is now known as "American style IPA".

There seems to be a growing trend for beer festivals to include more and more examples of different beers styles, which is good news, as it means we all get to try porters, milds, stouts, and to a lesser extent, light bitters and barley wines. However there are now so many golden ales that it is becoming harder and harder to find an ordinary bitter, one of the goals of today's visit.

This is in contrast to pubs which continue (with notable exceptions) to stock mainly bitters, with mild making a welcome appearance.

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