Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The Great British Beer Festival, Earls Court 7th August 2007

What a joy, over 450 beers to try under one roof. So the programme said, although as this was the first day not all were available.

Beer reviews at the end of the entry as there are so many. The pic was taken just as the doors opened so it looks a bit empty; it soon filled up!

My beer of the festival was McMullens Cask Ale at 3.8%, a very tasty bitter.

Highlights of the festival included tasting cask conditioned bitter from Japan, YoHo Yona Yona Ale (5.5%), which tasted very similar to a British bitter, and winning a Young's ram (a soft toy not a real one) due to my newly discovered talents at shuffleboard. And of course hearing that Hobsons Mild (3.2%) has won this year's Champion Beer of Britain award.

It was great to sample some draft real ale from abroad (see below). It seems that while American style IPAs happen to be one of my favourite beer styles, beers from the US are not very subtle. I was grateful to Simon, the landlord of the White Horse, Maplehurst (see many entries including 4th August and 24th July) who I happened to meet during the day, for pointing me in the direction of the "Bieres sans frontieres" bar where I discovered these delights.

A great day out - the festival is on until Saturday 11th August so do go along and try some for yourself.

British Beers
Anglo Dutch Brewery Ghost on the Rim (4.5%): Inoffensive, bland, but not unpleasant. 3
Arkell’s Kingsdown Ale (5.0%): Rounded, caramelly warm bitter. Unusual taste. 3
Atlas Latitude (3.6%): Unpleasant bland light beer with no redeeming features. 2
Bank Top Dark Mild (4.0%): Too delicate for me. 2
Bowland Hunters Moon (3.7%): Pleasant mellow dark beer. 3
Box Steam Rev Awdry Ale (3.8%): Decent light bitter without a strong flavour. 3
Bushy Pure Gold (4.0%): Tangy and light with a good hop flavour. 3
Butcombe Bitter (4.0%): Well rounded bitter with a distinct malt taste. Smooth and very drinkable. 4
Cairngorm Trade Winds (4.3%): Fruity and solid tasting beer with a very hoppy character. 4
Dark Star Hophead Extra (5.8%): Sweet, fruity and strong. 4
Durham Magus (3.8%): Tangy and sweet golden bitter with a strong hop aftertaste. 3
Durham Black Velvet (4.0%): Seriously malty with a burnt roasted taste. 3
Facers Landslide (4.9%): Enough taste to support the alcohol content but not with a distinct flavour. 3
Evan-Evans Cwrw (4.2%): Unexciting slightly fruity beer. 3
Felstar Crix Forest (4.0%): Smells like black fruit pastilles but has a dishwatery taste. 2
Fyne Pipers Gold (3.8%): Nicely mellow well balanced golden ale. 3
Glastonbury Mystery Tor (3.8%): Flowery hop taste to this interesting lightish bitter. 3
Great Orme Great Orme IPA (3.8%): Wouldn’t call this IPA myself, more like tasty malty bitter. 3
Keltek Golden Lance (3.8%): Pleasant but not outstanding golden beer. 3
McMullen Cask Ale (3.8%): Stonking hoppy and drinkable bitter. 5
Moorhouse’s Blond Witch (4.5%): Sweet, light and incredibly fruity. 4
Nethergate IPA (3.5%): Stunning hop flavour and it tastes stronger than it is. 4
Nethergate Suffolk County Best Bitter (4.0%): Good rounded tasty bitter. 4
Nethergate Umbel Magna (5.0%): Made with coriander, it smells of herbs and tastes of light, delicate porter, an achievement in such a strong beer. 4
Oakleaf Hole Hearted (4.7%): Zesty, hoppy and spicy. 3
Olde Swan Original (3.5%): Smooth and fruity light coloured beer. 3
Potton Village Bike (4.3%): Decent bitter (shame about the silly name) but with a particular hop flavour that’s not my thing. 3
Rebellion Shaken Not Stirred (4.2%): From one of my favourite brewers, but first taste of this is ordinary. However it mellows into a lovely rounded aftertaste. Wonderful. 4
Rebellion Blonde (4.3%): Nasty insipid lagery tasting pale coloured beer. Not my thing. 2
Robinson’s Oldham Bitter (3.8%): Tangy, sharp and fruity. 3
Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter (4.0%): Ordinary bitter. Usually one of my favourites but served too cold. 3
Sharp’s Eden Ale (4.3%): Dry, bitter and hoppy. Again served too cold. 3
Teme Valley This (3.7%): Straw hoppy taste to this golden ale. 3
Triple fff Summer Is Icumen (6.0%): Light and strong but not backed by hop or malt flavour. 3
Vale VPA (4.2%): A dark golden ale with zesty hop character. 3
Winter’s Golden (4.1%): Mild in flavour with a sharp finish. 3
Wolf Golden Jackal (3.7%): Tasting more like a darker beer this has an excellent balanced hop taste. 4

USA and Rest of the World
Cambridge Brewing Co Bitchin’ Bitter (4.2%): Slightly woolly tasting malty bitter. 3
Cambridge Brewing Co Tall Tale Pale Ale (5.8%): Smooth honey hop flavour but a little too strong to support the taste. 3
Dogfish Head 60 Miniute IPA (6.0%): Citrus yet mellow IPA. Doesn’t taste this strong. 3
Gardner Ale House Facelift IPA (6.3%): Very bitter to start with and served grim and cloudy. Although too strong for me, mellows into a tasty refreshing drink. 4
Sierra Nevada Wheat Beer (4.4%): Very pale coloured wheaty beer served chilled and tasting more like lager. 3
YoHo Brewing Co Yona Yona Ale (5.5%): Tasty malty beer similar to a best bitter. Very pleasant and I don’t think you’d guess it was all the way from Japan.

All the above were draft, and, with the exception of the YoHo beer, from the USA.

No comments:

Post a Comment