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....|