Monday, June 10, 2013

Southampton Beer Festival (2013)

Picture courtesy of this site...
...a pleasant day out on Saturday in Southampton, at their beer festival in the equally pleasantly situated Guildhall...this turned out to be a yearly pilgrimage about four or five years ago as it turned out to be a good way of meeting up with my sister & her other half...  and unusually the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer likes to attend as well....

...like all beer festivals the day is marked by long conversations about utter rubbish, laughing at our fellow attendees, eating Melton Mowbray pork pies, playing games (Trivial Pursuit this time) and doing the festival General Knowledge quiz - always a goody, and we try not to use Google....  we did OK this time, but yet again we failed to score high enough that the organisers would want to see our answer paper...  always next year....

Cheers!

Brewery Beer ABV Notes (from brewery website) What I can remember...
Oakleaf Heart of Gold 3.8% A new beer in the Saisson style, a Golden Ale.  1st beer - no idea what "saisson style" was but I know the brewery (they make one of my top 5 beers) so I thought this would be worth a try… glad I did as it was nice and refreshing after a warm wait in the queue to get in…  by the way, saisson (or rather saison) is "highly carbonated, fruity, spicy - sometimes from the addition of spices" and originated in France where it described the beer that farmers brewed for their seasonal workers (hence saison) - basically the continental equivalent of cider in the UK, I guess...
Emsworth  Wayfarer 4.6% None - no website 2nd beer - I really want to like this brewery (as they are located less than a mile from where I live) but the beers are all pretty bland - this one was pretty vinous (too the point of just being sour?) - not my cup of tea…
Kelham Island Bohemian Rhapsody 4.7% A golden continental style beer brewed with the finest aromatic Munich and Vienna malts and a trio of Styrian Goldings. This beer is fermented with a German lager yeast to give a refreshing beer with fruity estery notes which combine with the crisp floral hop character for a flavoursome pint. 3rd beer - I like Kelham beers and this was one I'd not tried before - second favourite beer of the day - citusy, grapefruity, nicely bitter, and a good after taste…  cracker..
Havant Decided 3.8% A crisp, dry floral pale ale 4th beer - and this is another local brewery and another disappointment - watery and flavourless - poured this one away…
Hopback Summer Lightning 5.0% An extremely pleasant bitter, straw coloured beer with a terrific fresh, hoppy aroma. This, coupled with an intense bitterness, leads to an excellent long, dry finish. 5th beer - fairly unadventurous as this is one of my all time top 5 beers…  it's a trend setter, one of the first golden, intensely hoppy/ citrus'y beers to be produced…  today though, looking for an uplift after the previous beer, I was slightly disappointed as it was a little lack lustre and lifeless....
Andwell Gold 4.4% The 4.4% abv golden ale has been brewed with pale and caramel malt and Northern Brewer, First Gold and Cascade hops, giving it the taste of tropical fruit against sweeter toast and marmalade. The bittersweet finish leaves you wanting more! …and at last an upturn…  liked it so much I came back again later ths was my 6th and 8th beers of the day - huge grapefruit/citrus scent and a lovely ctirusy/bitter taste - a cracker and (my personal unreserved winner of the festival for me…
Harveys Armada 4.5% A premium bitter ale with vibrant hop tones. A brewer’s choice. In 1988 the Maritime Museum in Greenwich commissioned Harveys to brew a 400th anniversary beer in celebration of the defeat of the Spanish Armada; many of the ships were sunk off the Sussex coast. 7th beer of the day - dark, fruity, sweet.. Not at all as hoppy as I thought it was going to be….
Oakleaf IPA 5.5% Initially dry and bitter, full flavoured and complex marmalade/aniseed notes follow,which leaves a lingering bitterness on the palate. 9th (and last) beer of the day- I'm a big fan of the style, and the brewery, so this was a no brainer … glad I did as this was very tasty...

2 comments:

  1. Useful Beer notes only know Harveys Armada hopefully a few may come to the Canterbury beer festival in July. Drank Robinsons 'Iron Maiden' beer the other day courtesy of Morrison's a bit unremarkable nice label tho' favorite bottled ale at the moment 'Ravening wolf' by Wantsum www.wantsumbrewery.co.uk/Regular_Ales.html. there are a few more breweries in Kent now than when you studied here Steve all producing cracking ales

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  2. Excellent Fraxinus - duly noted...

    There are so many beers these days, many of them one off's and specials, that I find it is far easier to choose my beers based on the brewer/brewery.. if they've made a beer that I liked in the past they're generally a safe bet

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