Bristol Beer Festival 2014 a few favourite beers

Vince and Micheal - my drinking buddies at Bristol Beer Festival
Vince and Micheal – Steptoe and son

I had no idea I was going to the Bristol Beer Festival at the Brunel’s old station (next to Temple Meads Station), until midday last night. Myself, Mr Vincent Crocker from Ashley Down Brewery and Micheal Wiper Esq of Wiper and True are joining forces on a project soon (more on that at a later date), and so we needed to meet up. Vincent suggested that we meet up at the festival and, “make wild plans none of which we will remember”. He was quite right.

In this hazy state of mind as I type (the morning after the Bristol Beer Festival), I am desperately trying to recall what I had and what stood out. Of course Vincents (Ashley Down Brewery) Plum Porter 5.2%  was the first drink as it’s only good manners, considering the brewer got me in for nowt. I say that but I’m a huge fan of what Vince does which is really how I know him, I’d say I was a beer groupie in that respect. His blend of Munich, Brown and chocolate malts along with a “dusty old bottle of port”, made this a spectacular first drink. The porter on its own would have made a great pint, but the addition of port gave it that boost of plums and a slight dry grape to balance the meatiness of the roasted malts.

Micheal Wipers of Wiper and True was up next, the Winter Rye 5.4%. I’m sure I have said before how I am a fan of the underused Rye malt and thankfully there was enough in this to satisfy me. A bold move to use Rye in an amber ale and something that I think shows Wipers ingenuity as the slight pepperiness paired well with the tart marmalade notes.

Despite being one of my local breweries I’d not been a fan of Wipers early work and so dismissed them as a bit of, “Hipster drink”, but I could tell that he’d come along way since then. He even confessed that the first brew that I’d tasted nearly didn’t go out, strangely even with a few faults many still say it’s their favourite! I forgive you Mr Wiper and I apologise for dismissing your beer, long may you continue to brew a good beer that can be drunk by hipsters and men rapidly approaching middle age.

So what else was good?  Well, I stuck local I didn’t try any Bath Ales as I’ve drunk their taps dry on many an occasion but I’d recommend Rare Hare 5.2% if you’ve never tried it. Other local favourites that I did try were New Bristol Brewery Super Delux Stout 7%  a remarkable pint, Milk Street Zig Zag Stout (sort of local in Frome) 4.5%, Moor Beer Dark Alliance Coffee Stout 4.7% a collaborative brew between Moor and Arbour with a splash of Clifton coffee. I was also pleasantly surprised with the new Bath Brewery Willy Good Ale, Willy hop 4%

And out of area, The Sarah Hughes Mild is always a good bet as complex as it’s satisfying. The Elland 1872 is always a good bet too, Orkney Dark Island is one of my all time favourites and if you haven’t tried it then the Thornbridge Japiur IPA has to be tasted.

As for the ciders, well isn’t having cider at a beer festival like having keg beer at a festival? (Right I’m running for cover).

The Bristol Beer festival itself is always a friendly affair as Bristol is generally a very friendly city, but I thought the choice of venue is rather unremarkable and it could have been anywhere. Saying that the Bristol Beer festival is a room full of beer and people that like beer, so really, it’s heaven on earth!

Bristol Beer Festival Beer list

Brewery Beer ABV%  
Abbey Chorister 4.5
Acorn Barnsley Bitter 3.8
Andwell Ruddy Darter 4.6
Arbor Ales Breakfast Stout 7.4
Arbor Ales Yakima Valley 7.0
Ascot Ales On the Rails 3.8
Ashley Down Brewing Ported Plum Porter 5.2
B & T Dragonslayer 4.5
Bath Ales Festivity 5.0
Bath Ales Goldern Hare 4.4
Bath Ales Rare Hare 5.2
Black Dog Rhatas 4.6
Blindmans Icarus   4.5
Blue Monkey Fat Ape 7.0
Bowland Pheasant Plucker 3.6
Box Steam Funnel Blower 4.5
Brecon Brewing Twilight 4.0
Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout 4.5
Bristol Beer Factory Southville Hop 6.5
Buntingdord Twitchell 3.8
Burton Bridge Thomas Sykes 10.0
Butcombe Old Vic Bristol Porter 4.7
Cairngrom Trade Winds 4.3
Cheddar Totty Pot Porter 4.5
Church End What the Fox’s Hat 4.2
Cotleigh Peregrine Porter 5.0
Cotswold Spring Guv’nor 4.6
Cromarty Brewing Brewed Awakening 4.7
Crouch Vale Brewers Gold 4.0
Cullercoats Watch House Winter Warmer 5.0
Dark Star Festival 5.0
Dartmoor Legend 4.4
Dawkins Bristol Blonde 3.8
Derventio Et Tu Brutus 4.5
Downton Roman Imperial Stout 9.0
Elland 1872 Porter 6.5
Enville Ginger Beer 4.6
Exe Valley Exeter Old 4.8
Exeter Darkness 5.1
Exmoor Stag 5.2
Flipside Brewery Sterling Pale 3.9
Fownes Leviathan 7.0
Freeminer Speculation Ale 4.8
Fyne Ales Jarl 3.8
Gloucester Galaxy 5.2
Goldmark Hop Idol 3.7
Great Orme Welsh Black 4.0
Great Western Brewing Moose River 5.0
Green Jack Orange Wheat Beer 4.2
Growler Umbel Magna 5.0
Hambleton Stud 4.3
Hanlon’s Dry Stout 4.2
Harviestoun Schiehallion 4.9
Hopback Tiaphoon 4.2
Ilkley Joshua Jane 3.7
Inveralmond Brewery Lia Fail 4.7
Isle of Skye Red Culliin 4.2
James Street Brewery Emperor 4.4
Jarrow Red Ellan 4.4
Kelham Island Pale  Rider 5.2
Kennet & Avon Bedwyn 3.7
Kingstone Tewdric’s Tipple Ale 3.8
Kinver Over the Edge 7.5
Little Valley Hebdons Wheat 4.5
Ludlow Brewing Gold 4.2
Lymestone Stone Cutter 3.7
Magic Rock Brewing Ringmaster 3.9
Malmesbury Brewery King’s Wall 5.6
Mauldons Midwinter Gold 4.5
Milk Street Zig Zag Stout 4.5
Millis Gravesend Guzzler 3.7
Moles Gold 3.8
Moor Beer Dark Alliance – Coffee Stout 4.7
Moorhouses Black Cat 3.4
Mordue Workie Ticket 4.5
Mumbles Mile 3.8
New Bristol Brewery Super Deluxe Stout 7,0
Oakham JHB 3.8
Oakleaf Quercus Felium 4.0
Old Bear Great Bear 3.9
Old School Brewery Headmaster 4.5
Orkney Dark Island 4.6
Osset Big Red 4.0
Otley 05 Gold 5.0
Otter Head  5.6
Palmers Tally Ho! 5.5
Peerless Storr Lager 4.8
Penzance Brewing Co Thirty Summit 4.5
Pictish Brewers Gold 3.8
Plain Ales Inncognito 4.8
Potbelly Hop Trotter 4.4
Prescott Ales Hill Climb 3.8
Prospect Nutty Slack 3.9
RCH Old Slug Porter 4.5
RCH P G Stream 3.9
RCH Pitchfork 4.3
Rebellion Beer Co IPA 3.7
Redwillow Wreckless 4.8
Robinsons Brewery Cwrw’r ddraig aur 4.1
Rocket Science Titan 4.4
Rudgate Ruby Mild 4.4
Sadlers Dr Hardwick 8.5
Salopian Brewery Black Ops 7.4
Saltaire Brewery Cascade Pale Ale 4.8
Saltaire Brewery Hopfen 5.7
Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild 6.0
Severn Vale Nibley Ale 3.8
Skinners Ginger Tosser 3.8
Skinner’s Pennycomequick 4.5
St Austell Big Job 7.2
St Austell Proper Job 4.5
St Austell Tribute 4.2
Stewart Brewing Edinburgh No 3 4.3
Stod Fold Gold 3.8
Surrey Hills Shere Drop 4.2
Tempest Cascadian Blonde 4.1
Thornbridge Jaipur 5.9
Three Daggers Daggers Ale 4.1
Thwaites Wainwrights 4.1
Tiny Rebel Fubar 4.4
Tirril Academy Ale 4.2
Titanic Brewery Iceberg 4.1
Towles Berrow Topsy Turvy 5.9
Towles Chocolate Stout 6.9
Towles Philomont IPA 6.5
Tring Brewery Old Wisent 4.1
Twisted Oak Fallen Tree 3.8
Wadworths 125 Celebratory Stout 4.0
Weatheroak Keystone Hops 5.0
Wessex Potter’s Ale 3.8
Wickwar Station Porter 6.1
Williams Brothers 80/- 4.2
Willy Good Ale Willy Hop! 4.0
Wiper & True Winter Rye 5.4
Wolf Brewery Straw Dog 4.5
Woodfords NOG 4.6
Wye Valley Brewery Dorothy Goodbody’s Country Ale 6.0
XT Elephant 4.2
Yeovil Ales Sun Grazer 3.6
Zerodegrees ? ?