Saturday, July 11, 2015

Coming for to Carry me Home the SIBA Beer Festival....

It's very unusual for me these days but this morning I am feeling somewhat hung over. For last night I had to taste around twenty different beers. All in the name of science you understand! At the SIBA South East Beer Festival there were actually around 150 real ales and ciders, from more than fifty breweries, to choose from. So you could even argue that I was a little reserved in only trying twenty! The event is still going on as I write so there's still time for you ale fans out there to get round to the rugby club on The Slade. Leave the car at home because you will be tempted to try out lots of different beers and some are wickedly moreish and a bit on the strong side. Last night there were at least a couple of hundred people (mostly men it has to be said) in and spilling out of a large marquee about fifty yards long and lined with barrels, three deep. The organisation of this festival seems to get better every year. One of the Tonbridge Juddians, who run the bar, advised that I only try about six tasters before deciding which one to commit to and supp. I'm afraid that I didn't take heed of this advice but elected instead to try as many as I fancied before eventually saying enough! These were my faves:

Top of the list has to be Flack Manor Brewery's Flack Catcher which is described in the blurb as golden ale, honey citrus aroma, zesty marmalade taste. That about sums it up for you did get a tang of all of those flavours. Absolute nectar I'd say.

Others were Hedge Hop by Flack Manor again, Plateau by Burning Sky Brewery; Thirty Three by Brighton Bier; N7 and N1 were proving very popular from Hammerton Brewery. So much so that the N1 ran out. Hopdaemon always manage to impress and this year I enjoyed a taste of Golden Braid and Incubus. Our very own Tonbridge Brewery again pulled off a beaut with Union Pale, somewhat stronger than the ones I usually favour but this was really lovely in all its golden, grapefruity, biscuitiness.

I love some of the cheeky and macho names of these ales like Hopspur, Naked Ladies and Iron Duke but was surprised to see that there aren't many real rugger bugger type ones. So I've suggested a few of my own. I've already applied for the trade marks so no copy cats please!

Sweet Chariot should be one for definite; then there could be Zulu Warrior and of course the stronger version Zulu Chief and then the most potent of all Carry Me Home!...


Paul Bailey said...

It has certainly been an excellent festival so far. It was nice to meet you and your good lady wife, TB, on Friday evening, and to swap a few notes on the best beers we had found so far. I stayed until chucking out time, and was then back down again Saturday afternoon; this time with my own good lady wife, her two nieces plus their respective partners and friends.

The weather could not have been better and, like many others there, we sat out on the grass enjoying a picnic along with more than a few beers. It was one of those quintessentially English summer days, made all the better by our cricket teams beating the Aussies in the first test. There was even a vintage 1940’s aircraft which flew low, doing several loops over the Sportsground, which got everyone’s attention and added to the atmosphere.

Note I didn’t say what type of plane it was, as there was much debate amongst all who saw it whether it was a Spitfire or a Hurricane. As I am not being a plane buff, I am unable to categorically say which, but given the profile of its wings, my money’s on the latter!

A really enjoyable event which is a great credit to organisers Tonbridge Juddians and SIBA, and definitely one in the eye for those harbingers of doom, who forecast drunken debauchery on the town’s streets and the end of civilisation as we know it, when it was first announced the festival was coming to Tonbridge.

As for my best beers of the festival, you’ll have to wait and see what I write on my blog later today, although there are several in common with Tonbridge Blogger’s selection.

Outraged said...

1 of 259. Well it started today in Tonbridge High street, day one of the next 37 weeks of "improvements". The improvements include a 33% increase in vehicle pollution! Along with an expected 30% increase (when 20MPH schemes are introduced) in minor accidents according to official govenmnment statistics. KCC could offer no explanation of their claim that pollution would be reduced, other than saying "we will keep an eye on it" (quote). Half of Vale Road closed at Poundstretcher, along with Southbound High Street closed from Medway Warfe Rd. By mid afternoon, the workmen had gone!