Sunday, 29 June 2008

CAMRA Beer Tent at Crawley Folk Festival 29th and 30th June 2008

As usual I was at this festival mainly for the music, but that didn't mean I wasn't interested in the beer. This year I managed to taste every single brew on offer (except the ciders and perries...).

My beer of the weekend was the West Berkshire Maggs Magnificent Mild. Definitely magnificent!

Bowman Eldorado (3.7%): Delicate and fruity with a distintive elderflower taste. Lovely. 4
Castle Rock Harvest Pale (3.8%): Beautifully balanced pale yellow bitter. 4
Church End Grapefruit (5.0%): Disappointing. I couldn't detect any grapefruit in this strong beer. 3
Copper Dragon Black Gold (3.7%): Very fine dark fruity mild. 3
Dark Star Festival (5.0%): One of my all-time favourites, strong and perfectly formed, possibly not at it's best today. 3
Dark Star Summer Meltdown (4.8%): A very strong ginger taste to this popular beer. 3
Dark Star Summer Solstice (4.2%): Zesty and hoppy, perfect for a sunny afternoon. No wonder it ran out in record time. 4
Hammerpot White Wing (4.0%): Excellent fruity bitter. 4
Hanby Cherry Bomb (6.0%): Apart from the colour there's no clue this is actually beer. Very pleasant tasting cherry flavour drink. 3
Hepworth Iron Horse (4.8%): Another old favourite not quite at its best, a bit tangy. 3
Hepworth Summer Ale (3.4%): Zesty fruity golden beer. Lovely. 4
Hornbeam Black Coral Stout (4.5%): Dark, gritty and warming. 3
Humpty Dumpty Porter (5.4%): Decent strong porter. 3
Leeds Midnight Bell (4.8%): Rich and complex unusual mild. 3
Leeds Yorker (4.0%): A massive hop taste to this light-coloured beer. Very similar to Dark Star Hophead, but the Yorker is made with Slovenian hops. 3
Mighty Oak Simply The Best (4.4%): Fresh with quite a bitter taste. 3
Oakleaf Nuptu'ale (4.2%): Golden, sharp and hoppy. 3
Ossett Wot No England (4.3%): Pleasant drinkable bitter. 3
Pictish Alchemist (4.3%): Very sweet hoppy beer. 4
Purple Moose Madog's Ale (3.7%): A little sharp but with a lovely smooth malt taste. 3
Spectrum Light Fantastic (3.7%): Gentle bitter. A little earthy. 3
Spectrum Old Stoatwobbler (6.0%): Strong, dark, sweet and malty. 3
Thornbridge Brother Rabbit (3.7%): Good bitter, similar in flavour to a golden ale. 3
Vale Best Bitter (3.7%): Well balanced bitter; very light in colour. 3
West Berkshire Maggs Magnificent Mild (3.8%): Mellow and dark, exactly as its name suggests. 4
White White Gold (4.9%): Almost tasteless pale beer, although with a pleasant aftertaste. 2
Whitstable Wheat Beer (5.2%): Lemon and grapefruit hoppiness to this delicious wheat beer. 3

Some fine beers available over the weekend. This year the beer tent opened on the Friday evening of the festival, which meant there was not a great selection left on the Sunday afternoon. Good for keeping wastage down but not so good for thirsty morris men!

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