after my annoying experiences at the Magna Rotherham Real ale and music festival 2013 on Thursday, I'd already thought of phrases like Baa Humbug, Baa'sil's gone West, Baa'sil gets worse, etcetera, to use in this second report. But would I need them?
Despite my misgivings, I had my glass, washed and intact, and I hadn't seen Matt for a year. So what better plan than to head back to the festival and see how things were shaping up.
It was a glorious sunny day, almost warm, (in my three layers), and I got there quickly, which cheered me up, and the first pleasant surprise on entering the North and East Yorkshire Bar was that there was plenty of beer left. I've been on a Thursday and seen more beers ran out. As it turned out, of the 5 beers I definitely wanted to try, 4 were still on.
I started on a half of the Yorkshire Brewing Co True North, a pale hoppy session beer, and went for a wander. Nothing really took my fancy in the Cheshire room, so I wandered into Lancashire to find it empty. The bloke behind the bar explained that there was loads of beer left because they'd ordered much more this year. Seemed perfectly plausible. Here I had a rather astonishing half of Thwaites 13 Guns. Hopped similar to BrewDog but with that characteristic soft malt background, I was impressed.
I visited the West Yorkshire bar; obviously it was freezing, and bought a half of Mallinsons Centennial, which I was surprised to discover was still on, and headed for the big hall, where I bumped into Liz and Ernie, and eventually Jen and Matt and his family. In here I tried the Dronfield Amber, which had a crisp taste with a cereal like body. I was told by someone else later on that it wasn't supposed to taste like that, but I don't think thats a big problem since it was enjoyable.
I also got to try a drinkable Raw Citra Black - and as predicted both it, and the Citra Pale, were on gravity - winner! This was probably one of the beers of the day to be honest, with a fruity hop bite and served with a light billowy head - ironically more lively than some hand pumped beers.
In no particular order, here are the other beers I tried :
Treboom Baron Saturday
Arbor Hoptical Illusion
Arbor Triple Hop (Citra Motueka and?)
Chantry Diamond Black
Harthill Village Brewery Harts Desire
Little Valley Python IPA
Elland 1872 Porter
The Chantry and Arbor offerings were very good, and once again, the beers I drank were all in very good condition. There was also a plus in there being roast pork shoulder sandwiches on offer - which I seemed to have missed on Thursday. A generous portion, with apple sauce to keep it moist, and it was £3.00. They also didn't run out, or at least, not when I left about 20.00. A really good filling snack to keep you going as the beers continued going down.
So a marked improvement from the last visit, although, am still unsure about the whole glasses in toilets malarkey, and I noted with concern that Mr Robbery's half of Geeves Smokey Joe still tasted vaguely of paint. I think the positive developement is the increased beer order, and a goodly range still being available as the festival drew to a close. Plenty of people were still coming in when I left.
Still don't think its an 8 or 10 quid festival though. Siba BeerX is only a fiver. It will be interesting to see how that compares.