So last week saw Fuggles pottering down to the surprisingly mighty Battersea Beer Festival. Sadly this is only a 3 day event, due to the combined constraints of hiring the hall, assembling the scaffolding and letting the beer settle. So one-in-one-out of the rather cosy Battersea Arts Centre is hardly surprising. But this starts at 7.30 on Wednesday and gets earlier as the week goes on.
Armed with a few stalwarts and a few would-be converts I worked my way round the alphabetically arranged bar, with a few diversions to the foreign beer stand, and the cider room. The latter of which seemed to have some kind of pied piper effect, with a distinctly younger average age than the rest of the festival. Anyway, to save you on the lengthy trials and tribulations of the night, below are my top picks.
HOPPY: Spire's Land of Hop and Glory was slightly spicy and kept you interested til the last drop with its fruity bitterness, quite grapefruity, lingering on the palate. RCH's Pitchfork had a rounded citrus flavour which was bitter, but not sharp.
BITTER: Isle of Purbeck's Studland Bay Wrecked packed your mouth with flavour - all at once smoky, nutty, spicy and fruity *Favourite of the night*
AMERICAN PALE ALE: Ascot's Alligator Ale was a great fruity example of the American style.
MILD: Arbor Ale's Festival Mild was sweet and smoky, a fireside after dinner kind of beer.
FOREIGN: The Kneitinger pils was a lovely fresh lager with oodles of flavour from its honey nose and palate
PERRY: Butford's Blakeney Red was very low tanin for a perry and had a mellow soft citrus flavour to it. Incredibly moreish.
CIDER: Springfield's Red Dragon was a great punchy cider from Devon, not too sweet, or sour or bitter, just nicely fruity and alcoholic.
Another highlight of the night worth mentioning was meeting the young entrepeneur Rupert. About to start his own microbrewery, and conducting a little "research" at the festival, it was great to hear about his plans, for what will hopefully a great new micro in the making. I hope to be able to sample the fruits of his labour soon.
And as from little acorns mighty Oak trees grow, I was pleased to read today that Thornbridge are planning to open a pub in London. Can't wait to hear when and where...