Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Portsea Island Beer Festival - 2015


Time again for the Pompey beer festival at Groundling's Theatre - hard to believe that this is the 5th one!

A most enjoyable event, the venue is beyond compare (a Victorian era building, now a theatre, but originally a school, and the site where Mrs Dickens went into labour the night before Charley arrived), but not an outstanding festival in the humble opinion of the cognoscenti I was with...  poor'ish beer choices, an execrable band playing far too loud music of hideous provenance (psycho-banjo-billy cod-Irish covers of Dolly Parton classics from what I could tell - difficult to say though, as my ears were bleeding at the time... )

Once we had slipped away downstairs however, all became far more civilised... a table to ourselves (albeit the room became busier and busier as the festival went on.. funny thing that..) and much banter was had - as is the way of these events..  friend Richard availed himself of the festival food offering, which was so picturesque I have to share it with you:



That my friends is a Goan Curry sausage from the O'Hagan Sausage company [clicky] - in this case covered with a sweet mango chutney, and just seconds away from being devoured (he practically inhaled it!), sometimes only a meat based product wrapped in starch will hit the spot...

So without further ado here were the beers partaken of..:

Brewery (clickable) Beer (click for more info) ABV Notes (from brewery website) What I can remember...
Thornbridge Brother Rabbit 4% "Lemon zest in colour with a clean, hoppy aroma. A resinous finish and some bitterness." From the same brewery as one of my all times favourites - the inestimable "Jaipur" - so a definite shoe-in as my first choice.. not disappointed; lovely and tangy.
Stewart Pentland IPA 3.9% "A golden dry ale, with slight fruit tones and a moderate bitterness. Fresh hop cones are added in four stages to contribute a more complex character, resulting in an easy to drink ale that offers refreshment with a little extra spice." Tasted excellent, but having swallowed it you were lift with nothing but a watery taste... Shame
Oakleaf Hole Hearted 4.7% "The use of Cascade hops gives this golden ale powerful floral and tropical fruit flavours, and a delicate bitterness." This is a tried and trusted ale for me and a particular favourite - the brewery note (for once) do not lie - recommended...
Phipps Midsummer Meadow 3.9% "A fresh interpretation of the classic Phipps style of sweet, amber-gold ales but using modern aromatic Amarillo hops." This was good - a very hoppy/bitter ale...
All Gates Gin Pit 4.3% ”A saffron coloured ale with a dry finish from juniper berries” An object lesson in not letting marketing people name beers.. who in their right mind would want to try a beer with "pit" in the name? Glad I did, this was recommended by one of my fellow imbibers, and it was my beer of the festival..  vibrant, lively, bitter, citrus, with an ever so slight gin/juniper hit..  cracking...
All Gates Samhain 4.5% “A dark Ruby ale with lots of aroma from the wonderful Bramling X hops” Liked their Gin Pit so much I thought I'd also try their other offering - not so good, too sweet for me..
Bank Top Pavilion Pale 4.5% "Created shortly after the brewery moved site to a tennis club pavilion, this ale is extremely pale. The flavour is well rounded using primarily First Gold Hops and Cascade to finish." No notes for this one...
Oakleaf IPA 5.5% "Initially dry and bitter, full flavoured and complex marmalade/aniseed notes follow,which leaves a lingering bitterness on the palate". Last one, and I'd been saving myself for this one - big flavours, but a bit heavy..  "Gin Top" wins it by a nose....






Cheers!

10 comments:

  1. I am totally envious! My sampling of US beers is up to 300ish over the last 12 months, mostly New England craft beers. Love the IPA selections, not so much the seasonal ales with pumpkin seasoning ... :-)

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    1. Paul - I'm a great fan of the American style IPA's - the American craft brewers tend to have a 'heavy hop hand'.. no bad thing in my opinion..

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  2. Put me down as colored green also. Surely we can all agree the recent explosion in quality craft beers is a sign that civilization is reaching it's apex of achievement

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    1. Miles - I think so.. the Barbarians are not yet at the gates... :o)

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  3. Only tried the Oakleaf beers out of these, the Gin one sounds interesting????

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    1. Ray - well worth a try - an interesting flavour...

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    2. I'm gonna have a word with the boss, see if he wants to buy a pallet load??? You never know???

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    3. Ray - give it a try first and he may decide to buy two pallets...

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  4. Sounds like a good time Steve. I've never developed a taste for beer, much to my father's eternal embarrassment, but that sausage looks excellent.

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    1. CK, each to his own, and I'm much the same with spirits to be honest.. Richard tells me the sausage "had a kick".. :o)

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