Friday, 15 October 2010

Nottingham beer festival day 1.

I printed out the beer list for this fabulous event a week before it opened. The list is impressive with over 800 different ales. Leading up to the festival I highlighted a few ales that I wanted to try.

I walked from my office with a colleague in tow to the city centre arriving at about 6.45pm. The beer festival is in the grounds of Nottingham Castle right in the city centre. This excellent location is one reason for the beer festivals success over the last few years. A wide range of people come to the beer festival but it seems to do very well with students and young people due to the approachability of the location. Upon arrival we got our tankards and entered the marquees. It was already very busy. Even by this time one or two barrels of ale had already sold out!

I did pretty well being disciplined enough to stick to my predetermined list. Here are the beers I tried:

Buxton Moor Top (3.6%). A light blonde beer with a thin head. It has a citrus nose coming from American hops and grapefruit taste to it with a good bitterness. 6/10

Bristol Beer Factory Acer (3.8%). An amber beer with a creamy head and a fruity nose. There is a good flavour of sweet malt and kiwi, which make this a smashing ale. A very well balanced beer – 7/10

Alcazar New Dawn (4.5%). A golden pale ale with a frothy head. On the nose there is sweaty socks. It has a complex flavour involving leather and green vegetables like asparagus. 6/10

Isle of Sky Fruit Beer (Rowan berry) (4.5%). Amber beer with an incredibly fruity nose of red berries. It has a good bitterness/dryness to it with fantastic flavours that remind me of picking raspberries. It is a lovely complex, well rounded beer with good length. 7.5/10
Isle of Sky Fruit Beer (Rowan berries)

Shotover Prospect (3.7%). Light brown bitter with a thin coarse head. Even though this beer has plenty of hops I found it very dull and disappointing. 2.5/10

Steel City Masters of the Spooniverse (4.2%). A light golden beer with a fruity nose. A tasty beer with grapefruit, good malt and a nice dryness. 7/10

White Rose Get that Focke Down (3.5%). Very light gold colour with a thin head. Lovely citrusy nose, light fruity body but nice complexity. A great session beer 7/10

Brewdog Edge (3.2%). This is a mild but with a lot more hops than you would normally find. It is of couarse a dark beer with a frothy head. It has an interesting nose that gets you excited, but I did not like the flavour. It is far more bitter than a normal mild. It has a bitter coffe flavour which I found dull, unexciting and to be a mono-flavour beer. 3/10

Saltaire Cascade (4.8%). This is an American style pale ale with a big bubbly head. It has a fruity (apricot), floral aroma and a sweet body which makes it easy drinking. It has a very good bitterness to the finish which makes it a flavoursome well balanced beer. 7/10

Two Towers BSA (5.4%). A strong amber ale with a thin head. It has a malty nose and is a good example of a classic strong bitter. It is a tasty ale, which is surprisingly easy drinking. 6.5/10   

Castle Rock Alan Sillitoe (4.2%).Light golden ale with a hoppy citrusy nose and grapefruit flavour. Clean and tasty beer 7/10.

So summing up the first day of the beer festival, it was a great crack with plenty of tasty beers. Beers from Sheffield were excellent, but my highlight was the Rowan berry ale from the Isle of Sky. I look forward to the next instalment…

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