Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 18

I’ve just put the final touches to the beer list for this year’s festival.  It’s now an anxious period for me while I wait for them all to arrive.  Beers are always subject to change as you probably know if you came last year.


Unfortunately, a number of breweries have run into recent production problems which means Grafton’s Apricot Jungle, Yorkshire Brewing’s Dunkel Weiss and a few others that I planned to showcase will not be available.


In this instance though, after a bit of head scratching and research I was able to replace both of these with similar styles.  Melba (a peach IPA) from Thornbridge and Amish Mash from Great Heck are the respective replacements.  Admittedly, Amish Mash is a different style of wheat beer (and isn’t dark) but of the 3 wheat beers that were on my list to start with none ended up being available so we were lucky to find one with (at the time) 3 weeks’ notice before the festival.


It’s been a gruelling process as usual, in fact including the above I’ve made at least thirty-six changes to the list in the last 3 weeks alone (nearly half of the total beers).


I’m pleased with how it’s has turned out though and I hope you will be too.  The programme containing the full beer list with tasting notes should be available on our website later this week.


This year we have sourced beers from over 40 different breweries, a number of which are award winning and multi-award winning beers including this year’s Champion Beer of Britain, Binghams Vanilla Stout.


We will have an ever changing variety of styles covered including speciality beers such as a traditional Scottish 80/- ale, a Red IPA, two green hopped beers, a chocolate and salted caramel Stout, a peach IPA, a beer made using smoked Ceylon tea, a Belgian Trippel and one made using cucumber and mint!  These complement the usual traditional styles on offer.


There’s a brewing revolution that’s been happening in our nation’s capital over the last few years and this is starting to head north.  To reflect this effect we have beers from Wild Beer (famous for using their own wild yeast strain), Siren, Hammerton, Howling Hops, Redemption and Twisted Barrel.


The recent hop shortage seems to have yielded positive effects with more diversity in the beers available.  Brewers have been forced to use different hops which has led to more experimentation, more choice and more differentiation.  We feature some of the more unusual and newer hops such as English Keyworthy Early, Pekko, Jester, Comet, Azacca, Czech Kazbek, Polish hops Marynka, Junga and Sybilla and German hop Huell Melon.  The tasting notes will reflect which beers contain these hops if you are interested.


We look forward to seeing you there.