Saturday, 10 March 2012

Kelham Island Tavern 1st Decade beer festival

Good afternoon imbibers

    the Kelham Tav festival started Thursday night and runs til Sunday. I was in after work for a few hours sampling some of the beers and enjoying the atmosphere. Its slightly different from their usual midsummer festival in that there's no no need to buy a glass, but there is a bar where the large table is outside (not covered this year - optimistic!) and you can get served from there just like you were in the pub.

I had popped in Shakespeares beforehand for an opener, in the form of halves of the Osset JIPA, which was a hoppy and refreshing starter for the evening, and the slightly stronger Muirhouse brewery Stumbling About, 5.2%, which was a dark malty bitter with some pleasant fruit flavours.

Once at the Kelham I was relieved to see that there was the potential for securing a seat, and quickly found Allie and Malc in the back room with some friends. I had started with an essential combo of a packet off Seabrooks Beefy crisps, (always eat your own brand I say), and a pleasant half of the Flipside Dark Denominating mild, a delicious starter at 4.0% with good roasted flavours that was dispatched quickly.

Next I venured outside, and tried a half of the Double Top Brewery Nelson Dark Mild, which was a great improvement on their Magna beer festival offering - I think they are based at the Mallard pub at Worksop Railway station, and their pumpclips are easy to spot seemingly all coloured in with felt-tips!  I also had a taste of the Ashover Damson porter, which lacked the rounded fruit and roast malt to make it stand out, and alas, smelled of eggs. Heave.

My next beer was the excellent Yorkshire Dales Bleak House, a refreshing pale bitter with a St Peters Grapefruit beer-esque citrus flavour, which made it really refreshing. I asked for a taste first and was so impressed I took the reckless decision to have an entire pint instead of a half. Thats a real sign of an ale's excellence. I followed this with a half of the North Riding Brewery C.R.I.P IPA at 4.6% which was nearly as good as their Neilsons Sauvin.  My penultimate beer was the Abbeydale Dr Mortons offering Sauce of the Nile which was another fruity beer, and very easy to quaff at 3.9 %.

My final festival beer (although its on the bar and not on the list) was the excellent Ascot Ales Anastasia's imperial stout (this will need checking, as their website says its an imperial version of their stout, and it didn't taste 8.0% to me....). This was an incredibly rounded creamy stout with plenty of dry roasted bitterness, not unlike the excellent Red Willow Black IPA in terms of how well the flavours melded together.

I am hoping to pop back later today to try some more beers so may have an update tomorrow, but if you get chance to, I would thoroughly recommend a visit between now and tomorrow night.

Wee Beefy

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