On the spur of the moment we decided last night to head out to this beer festival, it was busy and got busier as the night got on but hardly any beers were off on this friday night so perhaps we have cracked the way to success for this lovely festival. Sadly I don't get many days holiday (just the legal minimum *sniff*) so taking a day off just to go to a beer festival isn't going to happen but turning up at 7pm on a friday works well.
Again the lovely Royal Victoria Patriotic Building was the setting, it truely is a beautiful building and on a warm night it is nice to stand in the garden with a drink. Seats were in short supply but that didn't bother folks at all, this festival is popular with all age groups from 18 to 80-odd and has the same mix of the sexes that you get in any pub around here.
We decided to pretty much stick to breweries we hadn't tried before or beers we just hadn't had luck in trying before. Andwell Brewing Company is a new one for both of us and both the beers we tried were top notch, King John 4.6% is a rich fruity beer with very hoppy overtones and the Ruddy Darter 4.6% was a lot like Sarah Hughes Mild but more abv friendly, we will be looking out for their beers in future. From Ascots Ales we tried the Ascot Cob 4.5% which worked although I wasn't initally sure of the idea, it was a soft hazelnutlyness to porter flavours and it worked really well. I tried their Anastasia's Sloe Stout 5.0% which smelt strongly of sloes but taste wise was very subtle, not bitter at all which as anyone who tried made sloe gin will know what I mean by that.
My partner couldn't resist Dark Side of the Moose 4.6% mainly because of the name I suspect, I loved the fact this brewery's barrels were a purple colour. Neither of us had heard of the Purple Moose Brewery in Wales but the beer was nice and again we will look out for them in future, in my case because I would be interested in seeing what their pumpclips are like! Redemption Brewery's Fellowship Porter 5.1% was the best of the porters I tried last night, gorgeous coffee fruitiness that slipped down easily.
The only duff notes of the night for me were that Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild wasn't in good condition, cloudy and a bit socky (end of the barrel maybe, it looked like they had been rocking it) and the Brodies' Romanov Empress Stout had run out but these are minor duff notes and happens at any event.
The beers we had and the atmosphere last night was fantastic so if anyone is free today and is looking for a friendly beer festival, get yourself here.