Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Portsea Island Beer Festival - 2017

Time again for the Pompey beer festival at Groundling's Theatre and if it was hard to believe last year, it's even more difficult to that this is the 7th one!

A good turn out from the Jolly Boys (Beer Chapter) all present and correct with the sad exception of little Kev who has an infected cut on his elbow - antibiotics and no driving, never mind drinking..  next time, Kev..

After last years brandy snifter like glass (which the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer likes very much as it is perfect for G&T's) this year we returned to the more traditional type (see picture)..as usual they were left behind when we went - wish they'd do pint glasses....

I've spoken of the venue many times before and it is still the best venue for an event like this - chock full of character (and as a reminder it is 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 again, not an outstanding festival in the humble opinion of the cognoscenti I was with... the poor'ish beer choices of last year continued,and attendance was hugely down - though the staff said the Friday evening session had been well attended...  we chose to sit downstairs, it's less noisy and more comfortable but there was only one table in the entire room which happily I managed to snaffle...

...last year - they could have done with a few of those tables this year..
So..  as I've seen it again and again over the years, the organisers (the local brewery) are trying to save money by buying from lesser known breweries, but if you pay £8 to get in, and then pub prices for beer (£3.20-3.60 a pint roughly), and you know that only a mile away there is a pub selling a good selection of premium real ales without an entry price, what would you do? I provided feedback last year, but nothing has really changed, numbers are well down, advertising for the event was poor, tickets were only available in two locations...  I'll go again as 50% of the fun for me is friends and location, but it really does have the feel of a festival that will disappear unless something is done..

So without further ado here were the beers partaken of.. these were full half's only...  good swigs of a few others were also partaken of...

Brewery (clickable) Beer (click for more info) ABV Notes (from brewery website) What I can remember...
Bakers DozenJentacular3.5%"Pale 'breakfast beer' with Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Simcoe hops, one to enjoy pint after pint"A cracking first choice from a list that most unlike me I had made before I even went... crisp, refreshing, grapefruit bitterness from the brewery that also does "Electric Landlady" - see below..  a very good start! I seem to remember having a couple of these...
Oakham Ales Inferno 4% "This light igniting ale flickers complex fruit across your tongue leaving a dry fruity bitter finish smothering your thirst." Oakham are Champion if not Premier league in my top 10 brewers so this was always going to be on the list as you rely on the brewer even when you don't know the beer..  another good one, but as above, the only one from them on, and an unknown.. why not a barrel of JHB or Citra as well?
Milestone Shine On 4% "Straw coloured bitter with herbaceous and floral aromas and a citrus flavour from the Liberty and Cascade hops" 'Sour/earthy/not good'..  I wrote...
Fallen Acorn Hole Hearted 4.7% "Cascade hops give this golden ale powerful floral and tropical fruit flavours, with a delicate bitterness. Hole Hearted will surprise with every mouthful." This is a tried and trusted, a bellweather beer.. from the ashes of the old Oakleaf Brewery, Fallen Acorn (get it, get it?) have resurrected Hole Hearted and it is now very definitely up to the standard of the old brew (it had a slightly shaky start for me) - cracking ale and pure deliciousness after the previous beer!
Bristol Beer Factory 12 Apostles 5% "Brewed to showcase a trio of Australian hops. Galaxy giving citrus & passion fruit, Ella bringing anise & floral aromas and Enigma redcurrant and melon. A clean base of extra pale malts let the hop aromas jump out of the glass." This is an up and coming brewery for me - they've had a few beers now that I've thought "corr!" about and this was my beer of the festival..  also a few of the other jolly boys... hugely complex flavour, every time you thought you'd finished you'd get some other taste coming through...  from memory I had a couple of these...
Bakers DozenElectric Landlady5%"Mosaic hopped golden beer. A clean malt base paves way for the tropical fruits delivered in abundance from bucket loads of US Mosaic (hops)"A previous years best of festival winner (mine - not official ) but this year it was universally agreed the beer on offer was a little past its best..  bit tired.. end of barrel?










4 comments:

  1. I didn't know Oakleaf had been resurrected? Pompey Royal used to be a great seller for us. I do like the sound of the Bakers Dozen beers, I'll give them a buzz in the morning, see I can get some to Kent?

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    1. Ray - I heard that the guy who resurrected the brewery was one of their fans and couldn't live without, but that may just be a story.. :o) I would recommend Bristol Beer Factory for a punt as well.. not had a beer from them I haven't liked...

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  2. Great notes as usual Steve. Us beer drinkers seem spoilt for choice at the moment, things have certainly changed. I was talking to the landlord of one of our local (Freehouse) pubs a few ago and he was saying that with so many independent local breweries around he could put on a new beer every week to keep customers coming back :) Happy Days!

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    1. Lee - I agree - and so many different methods of dispense and ways of keeping it fresh...

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