Thursday, 10 May 2012

Isle of Wight Steam Railway's Beer Festival

Phew, a bit of a mouthful that title!
Last years glass which I got this year because I thought it was nicer than this years!
This festival combined both steam trains and beer, fantastic.

Onto the festival, it was rather wet this last weekend however the folks at both the steam railway and the beer tent were the cheerful sort who put a smile on your face regardless of the terrible weather.

First up for me was a mild from the Pot Belly Brewery in Kettering called Beijing Black Mild (4.4% abv)lovely warming beer it was too ideal for the drizzly damp temperatures that we faced getting to the festival. It had lovely toasty burnt coffee notes with a nice smooth marmiteque finish, really enjoyed this beer and returned to it later in the day.

Unfortunately I didn't really get on with any of Yates beers, being a IoW brewery there were quite a few of them, shame but that happens. However both Goddards and the IoW Brewery beers were fine for me, two out of three breweries ain't bad. From Goddards a special mention should be made for Fuggle-Dee-Dum (4.8% abv) this wonderfully malty beer is a real cracker and I hope to see it on the mainland, if not I may have to come back for it! My other favourite beer from this brewery was their Winter Warmer (5.2% abv - strongest beer at the festival), a nice fruity winter beer similar to Young's (when it was Youngs and not Wells!) Winter Warmer just a bit more fruity and malty. Quite lovely.

IoW Brewery did well too for me, with their Earls RDA Stout (5% abv). Classic stout, full flavoured and highly quaffable. Vectis Venom (4.8%abv) also fell into the quaffable section and on a hot summer's day I can see you would need to be careful with it! Bisculty smooth beer.

The mainland beers for this festival were all Midlands beers, we guessed because a lot of folks from the Midlands do settle on the Isle of Wight. My favourite was The Leveller (4.8%abv) from Springhead Brewery in Notts, a belgium trappist inspired beer which was brilliant, it had the belgiumy taste without the things I dislike from them normally. Eye opening for me, looking forward to trying some others from these guys.

All in all it was a fantastic festival, the only downers were due to a lack of food only cold rolls or hot pasties which ran out. The regulars to this festival take pack lunches and by 2pm we could see why. But we had a great day, riding out on the steam trains there and back and a cracking beer festival between journeys, whats not to like?

I do note that third class back in the days of steam are better than our so called first these days!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun. There was a beer and train festival at Llangollen Station, Cymru, at the end of April, but I couldn't get there.