Saturday, 28 November 2015

Shakespeares beer festival 25-29 November 2015

      later I intend to make my third visit to the event, but before doing so I wanted to give you some details of the festival so far. As you may know, most of the Kelham area pubs hold a beer festival and through appreciation and no degree of bias whatsoever, I can tell you that Shakespeares is far and away the very best one.

It started on Wednesday - just the normal downstairs bar was open, however Mr Wozewith was willing to fetch some ales from the cellar for the more enthusiastic drinkers. There was a mountain of sandwiches and an increased range of keg ales to tempt you, plus no Deception as all the pumps were used for the beer fest.

We started on halves of Alphabet Kerb Kicker, Arbor SX Bomb and Greytrees Afghan Pale. The Greytrees was unusual but had a delicious hop flavour and the Kerb Kicker was excellent - a strong (ish) hoppy pale ale. The Arbor was also very good. Matty meanwhile was on keg and had a half of Brodies London sour cherry, and a Gooseberry beer which may have been from Wild. The gooseberry was intense and earthy and the sour wasn't quite as sour as I'd expected but both were good.

I tried the Hardknott Nuclear Sunrise but was underwhelmed, not half as much as I was by the Fat Brewers Pale Ale which was awful. I had a half of the Hammerton which was a pleasant enough beer and Tash tried the Cloudwater Motueka lager. After this we moved inside and started drinking rather a lot of the Wild Walker Old Ale at 7.0% and the Rebel Cherry Mexi which was meant to be a cherry stout but tasted more of vanilla - an observation made by Nathan who I sent much of Thursday's visit in the company of.

In respect of which, Thursday saw the opening of the upstairs festival bar in the games room. The first two beers I tried from here were the best casks of the festival - Ghost Brewing Phantom Pale Ale at 5.3% and Blue Bee Revenge of the Geek Red Ale at 4.3. I got sat in the clock room to enjoy them, with Geoff and a very drunk ticker who swore and chuntered to himself all the time I was talking to Nathan. Ace....

I also rtied the very quaffable Hopcraft Deutsch Project 6 and Small World secret pale ale - bth well hopped and tasty beers at below 5%. Joined by Tash at 20.30 she was only staying for one but got chatting to Tony and Nathan and Steve and Katie and others and we ended up staying much longer. Much of this was supported by us drinking large quantities - I think I had two pints - of the absolutely excellent Siren Pompelmocello Grapefruit IPA at 6.0% and the wonderful  Wiper and True Family Tree 2 IPA at the same strength. Both were on at £5.10 a pint which is a bit steep for Shakespeares for the strength but not for the breweries, if that makes sense.

Somewhere towards the end of Thursdays visit I had a half of the Brodies Simcoe for Breakfast, an imperial stout at 10.2%. This was a very easy drinking bee for the style and certainly for its strength - a great beer to finish on at any festival. I also, after we bumped into Steff and Mark from the Bath along with Gavin - who I have known for two years, but not as Gavin, and Paul H, tried some of the Abbeydale Black Mass on keg. This was on wonderful form and tastes very different, as you might expect, the same beer on cask.

The festival runs until tomorrow, but I imagine little fest beer will be left by then so get down their quick. Maybe see you later.


Wee Beefy


  1. Sounds like I've missed a cracker but The Star festival in Huddersfield, which is/was on at the same time, was pretty special too.
    Sorry I couldn't make it but I hope to catch up with you before Christmas at Shakespeares. AA.

    1. Thanks mate, I would have loved to have gone to the Star on Saturday alas funds were restricted. Loved the last festival I visited there. Catch up soon though.