In August, I was lucky enough to receive a press pass for CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival at the Kensington Olympia. Myself and Beer Matters editor Dom travelled down to London on Tuesday morning for the opening session of the festival.
We had a great day and saw plenty of members from Sheffield & District branch as well as meeting new people from all around the country. As a keen tegestologist (beer mat collector!) it was great to meet people with similar interests, as well as handing out plenty of Steel City Festival beer mats. The day also saw the birth of a new family member for me, Georgie, so it was a great day all round.
At the festival I tried many wonderful beers, so I thought I would have a go at writing Casks of the Month. Breaking with Dom’s tradition of choosing beers from around Sheffield, here are my top three from GBBF:
What: Raspberry Citra IPA (4.2%) – Lacada (Portrush)
This beer from Northern Ireland was a first for me from this brewery. The beer itself was hazy and had a slight pinkish tinge. It tasted distinctly of raspberries but had a good hoppy flavour similar to a double IPA. This hoppy and fruity offering was arguably my favourite beer of the festival – my biggest regret was not having a full pint of it!
What: Phoenix Cherry Mild (4.5%) – Lenton Lane (Nottingham)
Somewhat controversially, one of my favourite styles of beer is the mild. There were quite a few on offer at GBBF but the best for me was this cherry mild from Nottingham. The beer was extremely drinkable and had so much cherry flavour it almost tasted like fruit juice. As a fan of Belgian kriek beers, this was great and I could definitely see myself spending an evening drinking this one.
What: Blueberry and Vanilla Stout (5.0%) – Tarn Hows (Ambleside)
I went to stand B11 hoping to find Dave Pickersgill, however I was served by a lady who recommended this interesting-looking stout. I think one of the great things about festivals is that volunteers who genuinely love beer can share their passion. Stouts are not a style I typically go for, but this had a beautiful combination of flavours. Although I actually bought this for Dom, I ended up drinking it all myself!