Monday, May 19, 2014

Yapton Beer Festival 2014

Oh happy day, for 'tis Yapton again...

I have no idea how they do it, but no matter how bad the weather has been in the day leading up to it, the day itself is invariably sunny, warm and perfect - and so it was this time as well ..

An excellent and eclectic selection of ales was on offer, with most beers £1.60/£1.70 a half...  sufficiently low enough that it was worth going a little off piste in search of the elusive anyway. For the first time they also had a truly excellent new aid to selecting ales in the form of a printed table on the actual barthat divided up all the beers into their respective styles, so if you liked IPA's, or very hoppy, ales it was easy to just run your finger down the list until you found one you hadn't tried...  very clever...

Much enjoyment was also had this year by the attendance of grandson at his first ever beer festival - he enjoyed himself enormously... 

...there's a "creamy head" on that ale... 
...and here's the ales.....

Brewery Beer (click for more info) ABV Notes (from brewery website) What I can remember...
Hastings Brewery Handmade 9;Citra 4.8% "Hop-forward Pale Ale with Citra". 1st beer - no idea on this as I'd never heard of the brewery, but I was drawn to the name as I'm a big fan of the Citra hop. Good choice! Definitely in the top 3 of the afternoon...  very hoppy, and a good dry/grapefruit taste..   very nice..
Langham Brewery Arapaho 4.9% "A Golden smooth ale with well balanced malt profile. Has a big hop nose and bags of spicy hop citrus flavour with a distinctive orange bouquet". As the name would suggest, another beer using a predominance of American hops. An American Pale Ale in style, but selected from the IPA column of the printed table.. I wanted something I had tried before so I could compare. Very nice - not outstanding..
Bristol Beer Factory Independence 4.6% "US Style pale ale. Very distinctive pale ale that we have hopped continuously throughout the boil." I sense a trend... For all that though I don't remember this being stand out..
Brighton Bier Company South Coast IPA 5% "A clean tasting, flavour packed IPA showcasing 3 of our favourite hops. (Pacific Jade/Citra/Cascade)." What a belter - top 3 for sure and no disagreement with the brewers tasting notes.
Hand Drawn Monkey Brewing Company Monkeys Love Hops No 9 4.2% "An ever evolving series! We add different hop combinations to the same malt bill at the same number of IBUs to create ever evolving, always hop-forward, unique beers. The taste changes monthly, so be sure to ask which combo is up next!" Hands down winner for the strangest beer name of the afternoon... another one of the top 3's for the afternoon though as they had certainly packed in the bitter hoppy flavour
Magic Rock Highwire 5.5% "High Wire is our tribute to the Pale Ales of the West Coast of America, beers unapologetically hop forward in character. Let your taste buds walk this test of balance. Mango, lychee and lip-smacking grapefruit flavours harmonise against a smoothly composed malt base, which develops into a crisply bitter finish. Are you ready for our tightrope of taste. .?" The moment you see grapefruit mentioned in a beers tasting notes you know that the Citra hop is going to be present, and what can I say this was ny 6th beer of the day, the sun was shining, I was enjoying the company, and I saw no reason to wander from the beaten track - a very nice beer..
Oakleaf IPA 5.5% "Initially dry and bitter, full flavoured and complex marmalade/aniseed notes follow,which leaves a lingering bitterness on the palate. A classic in it's style." Can't say I noticed the aniseed, but that was a more traditional English style IPA, so less of the floral/citrus, and more of the full on dry bittery flavour from one of my favourite local breweries..
Triple fff Citra Sonic 4.1% "An IPA of quaffable strength, copper coloured and single hopped with Citra hops. Super aromatic grapefruit and pine aroma with some sweet malt followed by the flavour of pineapple more grapefruit and tropical fruits. Big and pungent with a robust bitterness… BOOM!" Err - not quite..  though to be fair I think that it was a little lacking in strength by this time in the afternoon so suffered by comparison....
Tiny Rebel Cwtch 4.6% "Arguably the coolest word on the planet, Cwtch is our very own Welsh Red Ale. 6 malts, 2 US hops and weeks of Tiny Rebel love and attention go into making this unique beer." Pronounced "cooch" I'm lead to believe - I fancied a change and got this on the recommendation of some of the others..  last beer of the afternoon, and a nice well rounded, malty/fruity ale to finish on...


  1. Sounds good - I can't think of another way of doing it, but tasting notes always make me laugh. I think I recall my cousin once used to go out with a girl with a big hop nose, for example. Hot weather for a beer festival is good planning - excellent.

    1. Foy - one of the huge worries in my life is that my palate is so trashed by curry, caffeine, cigars etc that the beer might actually taste as they describe... but then I have another beer... :o)

  2. Half ?whats a half- ? is that those little glasses you see-" just get the taste and its gone" sort of size. and yes Tasting notes always make me laugh too its enough to turn Good Ale into that widdly stuff girlies foriegn chaps and middle class gits drink Whine I think its called.....

    Mind you my old Grandad never supped a pint in his life- he'd drink 3 halfs to everyone elses pint ....

    1. Andy - the sheer quantity, and quality, of choice would make a pint glass a worry.... I'd never be able to get home afterwards... :o)

    2. Its not a legal requirment to try 'em all you know.... I have found this out through experience as I used to think it was .....

    3. Andy - think they had about 60 on so ... yup.... you're absolutely right!

  3. Good report and some nice beers - cant wait for the 1st local festival in july.

    1. Dannoc - you're in a good beer making county.. look forward to the review!