|The only picture I took at the festival and it's not even indoors. Useless.|
As usual there was an excellent selection of ales on offer and I sampled a fair few of them. Highlights included the Chocolate and Vanilla Stout from Titanic which was an excellent ale, with a wonderful sweet aroma leading to a perfect balance of sweetness and burnt hops.The Triple Chocoholic from Saltaire was another winner, with wonderful, subtle chocolate flavours and a good, long dry finish. Fine stuff all round. The American section was very busy, as it has been at past festivals, and by the time I got there there wasn't a lot of choice left. I tried a half of the Snake Dog IPA from Flying Dog which was a very solid American pale with strong hoppy flavours, but like a lot of American beers it was very boozy (7.3%) - almost unnecessarily so.
There were a couple of duffers. Sharp's Own from Sharps was a rather insipid effort at a golden ale, with a rather limp and watery taste that all beers from InBev seem to suffer from these days. It was still passable, and nothing like the horror of A-pork-alypse from Brains. A porter with bacon flavour added, it tasted exactly like taking a sip of a sub standard porter and then shoving bacon fries into your gob while still swallowing your booze. It wasn't completely horrible and after one sip I didn't start vomiting all over the floor while CAMRA stewards desperately threw sand on the floor in an effort to soak up my technicolour stream, but it wasn't a very pleasurable ale. Much like casting Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, it was a brave but ultimately stupid effort.
Despite a couple of iffy beers I had a great time at the festival and it's probably the best one I've been to in the last six years or so. The food on offer was tremendous and I managed to get through a pork pie, scotch egg, wild boar burger, pork scratchings and seafood medley. In case you're wondering I didn't eat it all at the same time, had I done so I think I would have tested the very limits of how much vomit one man can produce.
|The crazy decor at Woodies.|
The American Pale Ale by Clarence & Fredericks is probably one of the best things to come out of Croydon, where the brewers are based. Good hoppy flavours and floral notes made this a solid attempt at a pale ale. Frankly I was amazed the beer made it to the festival at all and the delivery wasn't hijacked by a gang of Croydon's drug fuelled crazies, or some bored kids. Finally, Good Health from Goody Ales was a solid golden ale sporting a nice dry finish, and a slight hint of Tim Brooke-Taylor.
A petting zoo was there for the day so I got to laugh at some sheep, ducks and goats, the primary reason for the existence of any petting zoo. I gave a wide berth to the geese though as I didn't fancy running, screaming, beers in hand, being chased by the orange beaked, beady eyed, honking bastards as they try to nip my legs into pieces one peck at a time. The day was further sullied by the arrival of my least favourite amateur paganists, the hated and sinister Morris Dancers. Thankfully this troupe, although enthusiastic, weren't very good, so I was pretty sure their bizarre ritual wasn't going to resurrect any ancient Pagan Gods this time.
|My camera spontaneously combusted shortly after this photo was taken.|
Next update will be the conclusion of my jaunt around Preston. I've also made a recent visit to Bath which I'll no doubt be blabbering on about. See you soon!