Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Southampton Beer Festival 2014

Southampton beer festival last weekend accompanied by the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer and my sister... superb session - lots of rubbish chatted, good beers, dry roasted peanuts and Melton Mowbray pork pies - does it get any better....

Brewery (clickable) Beer (click for more info) ABV Notes (from brewery website) What I can remember...
Hopback Citra 4%
"Brewed with English Pioneer and American Citra hops, this golden thirst-quenching ale has a lemony, grape-fruity aftertaste with a crisp dry bitterness, making your taste buds yearn for more".
It was a warm day and I spotted this out of the corner of my eye as I came into the hall - an old favourite from a top 5 brewer - easy first decision as it wasn't rocket fuel and I was looking for something light - lovely pint, but not particularly lively on this occasion...
Flowerpots Hopton Pale 4.3% "A modern style light IPA, with a real mouthful of fruity North American hops, a lingering bitter finish, and a superb gold/amber colour." Quite nice - and another favourite brewer (this brewery is in the village of Cheriton - perhaps my favourite English Civil War battlefield) but on this occasion I felt the finish was a little thin...
Orkney Red MacGregor 4% "On the nose, this ruby-red beer is delicate, floral and fruity, with notes of violets, cherries, toffee and caramel.

On the palate, the fruits combine with a juicy malt character and hints of toasted malt, with a biscuit malt and spicy hop finish."
Anyone who chooses to send a beer this far deserves to have a taste! I had an idea I'd know what this would be like and I wasn't surprised...  Scottish beers have a unique flavour (which funnily enough I think French real ales share), slightly peaty, always dark/fruity...  very nice...
Andwell King John 4.2% "Rich amber beer with a fruity hoppyness” One of the things I like about Southampton is their focus on local brewers - they always manage to come up with someone I haven't heard of before and this is one of them...  "Fruity" I wrote...  must have been good!
Irving Iron Duke 5.3% "Iron Duke is a luscious golden modern style IPA. The nose is dominated by the aromas of sherbet and lemon from the Liberty and Columbus hops added late in the hopback. The palate is soft fruits and pineapple balanced with a subtle toffee sweetness, finishing with a pleasant citrus bitterness". Another local brewer, but a beer from them I hadn't tried before, and very pleased I did.. an absolute cracker, and my stand out vote for one of the two best beers of the festival...  lively, good condition, zesty..  slurp'worthy...!
Red Shoot Muddy Boot 4.2% "A rich dark beer with a fine balance of traditional Golding hops. The Red Shoot toffee notes are enhanced by muscavado sugar to give it a full flavour with added notes of chocolate." The current Mrs Steve the Wargamer bought me this one as she liked the name - what can I say...  best forgotten!
Alfred's Winchester Pale Ale 4.5%
So good I had two of these - a slightly detuned version of the Iron Duke and recent winner at the Winchester Beer Festival..lovely, and my other candidate for beer of the festival - golden, bitter with zingy lemony floral flavours.....
Flowerpots Goodens Gold 4.8% "A classic beer in the modern 'Golden Ale' style, with a superb gold colour and fullness in the mouth, which come from a subtle mixture of lightly caramelised malts.  Packed full of powerful but fruity North American hops giving a good level of bitterness to perfectly balance the gravity". One of the first of the classic golden IPA's that were launched when Summer Lightning first took the beer drinking work by storm... a fine ale to finish the festival on! Lovely bittery, sweet and sour flavour...

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