|Last years glass which I got this year because I thought it was nicer than this years!|
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!