I was really pleased to have sufficient funds to nip out yesterday for a few halves at the title event, which was held at Shakespeares. My second home was full to bursting by 18.30 with the event itself starting at 17.00. Here are details of the beers I tried and folks wot I sore....
I started on a half of cask North brewery pale, with Mosaic and Ekuanot or maybe neither. It was a zesty refreshing opener which woke my palate up perfectly for the somewhat heavier beers ahead. The pub was already busy so I ended up with the corner table of lowness in the Clock room -remembering of course to sit sideways as I can't get my legs under its so low. People I recognise but don't know came in and slowly started taking the other chairs from the table before Dave Unpro and his friend whose surname may have begun with a C came and joined me, eventually with the other guy crammed into the corner.
I had enough money to buy a pint on card so my second was a no brainer - Cloudwater NE DIPA Citra and Mosaic at 8.5%. No surprises in terms of consistency, clarity and citrus hoppiness but the taste far outstripped what I was expecting, no doubt down to the wonderful hops used in the cloudy mix.
Having spotted Ally and Malc and the man whose name I always forget, (sorry Darren, whose name I have now remembered) I saw renowned rapper, MC and Audiologist Professor G-Thame. He said " the main thing is be sensible Beefy" as we discussed the merits versus dangers of supping keg Evil Twin Even more Jesus at 12.0%, which was one of the recent portents of doom which made me a little unsteady. The rugged patois and clanging beats of his advice rang onerously around my head as I surveyed the list, and caused me to decline a half of the 2015 Buxton Tsar at 9.5%. Luckily Wee Keefy who joined me later bought a half and I tasted some of that - it was phenomenal.
Next up, and influenced slightly by the bose choices of those sat around me, I had two more halves, both on cask. One was of the Howling Hops IPA New England Special at 6.9%, and the other was of the Lost Industry and Steel City Mojito sour, which was dry minted to improve the flavour. This was absolutely fantastic. It may have been one of the least beer like beers I ever tasted but the mint against the sourness was a perfect combo and it was obvious that this beer worked best on cask. The Howling Hops was a little disappointing alas.
As it was rumoured to be running out I had a half of Brewski Pango, a passionfruit, mango and pineapple IPA at 6%. The fruits used blended perfectly and there was a really satisfying aftertaste to this unusual but excellently produced pale ale.
By now the Cloudwater had run out and WK having been tasked with fetching it chose a sour - am not sure which it was but the Omnipollo Blanco Mango Lassi gose is as strong a contender as the Wild Blend 2017, a blend of 3 barrel aged sours. This cleared my palate perfectly but was in fact the last beer I tried as I felt I had consumed enough to head home with hops and fruits and souring acids awake and fighting in my mouth.
Well done to Adam and Chris at Shakespeares and their team for once more providing a stellar line up of cask and keg ales to tempt the tastebuds and blow the mind. Hoping to see you all again soon.