Posted by: Nick Walters | March 21, 2010

Notes from Bristol Beer Festival 2010

Hurrah! for the Bristol Beer Festival, which this year took place in the Brunel Shed at Temple Meads (previously host to Bristol Comic Con and GOSW Culture Day) over this weekend.

First one I’ve attended in many years, as it usually clashes with Microcon, or I never manage to get a ticket (they sell out almost immediately, like Glasto tickets).

This year though top bloke Paul “Van Statten” Vallis had a spare ticket, so I attended with him, his ex-girlfriend the lovely Helen, her mum and her boyfriend (apologies, I cannot recall their names, for some bizarre reason!)

After a nice queue in the rain during which I managed to drench Helen’s mum’s boyfriend with droplets from my brolly (“It barely covers your shoulders!” – Helen) and poking one poor bloke in the head with it (sorry, mate!), we were let in at 7pm to a vast room full of beer. Heaven!

I sampled many beers and had a great time, and ended up back at home watching Blake’s 7, rather pissed. Is there no better way to end a Saturday?

These are my tasting notes, reproduced almost verbatim from my notebook:

HIGHLAND St Magnus 4.6%
Standard ale, a bit like St Peter’s Organic Ale. V nice.

LITTLE VALLEY Hebdens Whist 4.5%
Looks like frothy piss. Tastes OK, a bit bland. Aftertaste of bronchial phlegm.

Another fairly standard one, OK, but nowt to write home about.

Helen has bought a cheese jacket spud in a cardboard box that STINKS HORRIDLY of sweaty feet. Really, heavingly, appetite-killingly foul. Almost spoils the beer. But, apparently, tastes OK. Bah! Eating’s cheating.

O’ HANLON’S Firefly 3.7%
Named after the lame Joss Whedon Blake’s 7 rip-off? I hope not. Another frothy one, really nice taste though. Can’t detect the “orange flavour on the palate” as the guide says. Best so far, though. Top.

There’s quite a lot of totty here, amongs the “Real Ale Twats.” I wonder if any of them like, or even remember, Blake’s 7? And would be interested in discussing its merits against those of the (vastly inferior) aforementioned Firefly?

HARVIESTOUN Schiehallion 4.8%
A cask lager. Always suspicious of these as they’re not cold enough. This is OK but somewhat lacking in taste. Proper lager (i.e. Pilsner Urquell) is how this sort of thing should be.

Vallis’s frenz have arrived and brought with them more of the cheesy feet jacket spuds of doom!

ANGLO DUTCH Tabatha The Knackered 6.0%
LUSH. Named after a cat, apparently. Best so far! Really light, zesty, lemony taste.

What’s happened to Paul Young?

CROUCH VALE Sladek 4.1%
Named after this guy perhaps? Very cool, refreshing taste.

Now for my first piss of the evening!

[Goes for piss]

Bloody hell, there was a massive queue for the bogs! You’d have thought the organisers would have realised: loads of people + beer = urgent need for bog. But, no. Some desperate blokes had resorted to the sinks! Not me though… honest…

SALTAIRE Raspberry Blonde 4.2%
LUSH! Tastes, obviously, of raspberries. Nice novelty, but not a session beer. Half a pint is about right.

FACERS This Splended Ale 4.3%
Mmm… nice. Again the frothy piss look, but with smaller bubbles; rather like a kidney failure patient’s urine.

WESSEX Deverill’s Advocate 4.6%
OK I suppose. Can I even tell any more? Nice…

ANGLO DUTCH Tabatha The Knackered 6.0%
Again! Really nice. Named it my fave beer of the festival.

And so I staggered into the night towards the tender embrace of Servalan.


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