Great British Beer Festival 2012

Yesterday I took my incredible sporting physique (hahahaha) for a day off, and joined the wife and father-in-law at the Kensington Olympia for the 2012 Great British Beer Festival. A collection of 800 beers from around the world with an even broader collection of very bizarre people :-) Here are a list of the beers (that I can remember) we tasted.

Girardin – Kriek
Delicate cherry flavour. Refreshing with a background lambic taste
Fuller’s – Wild River
Double-hopped beer with a unique blend of American hops – Liberty, Willamette, Cascade and Chinnock. Resulting beer is bursting with citrus hop flavours, sure to leave you wanting more
Outstanding – Blond
Maris Otter low colour malt gives this beer a very pale appearance that looks like a lager but is definitely an ale. Lightly bittered with a heavy concentration of flavour towards citrus and floral nose and mouth feel
Iceni – Raspberry Wheat
Straw coloured American style ale delicately flavoured with summer fruits; brewed using Hersbrucker hops, wheat and lager malt
Boelens – Bieken Bottled Honey Beer
Cloudy golden yellow. Quite strong aroma with notes of honey and orange peel. Lovely rustic flavour, spicy with a long dry finish
Karg – Weissbier
Pale and unfiltered with a big fruity aroma and taste. Some background yeastiness. Dry and tart to finish
Kneitinger – Export Dunkel
Dark colour and slightly sweet flavour from the roast malts. Medium bodied with a velvet texture but somehow still well carbonated
Aecht Schlenkerla – Rauchbier Weizen
Described as ‘smoky bacon’ or ‘kippers’. Dark brown with an intense smoke malt aroma and palate
Kissingate – Black Cherry Mild
A full and flavoursome dark mild. Subtle additions of real black cherries in muscovado with light Amarillo hopping provide a truly rich and wonderful taste experience
Malvern Hills – Cyneweard
Originally brewed as Malvern Hills 1000th brew this is a very pale blond and very hoppy beer, mainly due to the use of Citra hop. Named after lastAnglo Saxon sheriff of Worcestershire
Enville – Cherry Blonde
Light blonde bitter delicately infused with cherry essence to produce a Belgium style fruit flavoured beer. The aroma and taste surpass expectation whilst the bitter finish is dry, hoppy and refreshing
Oskar Blues and Brews – Deviant Dale’s IPA
Foreboding aromas of citrus, grapefruit rind and piney resins with a copper ball-of-fire colour and inscrutable finish. The 2011 GABF Silver Medal Winner is the Devil incarnate with untold amounts of malt and hedonistic Columbus dry-hopping

We had a great afternoon out. One thing I would say about the show is that we were there on the first public afternoon, and drinks were already starting to run out which doesn’t seem good. I would also say that there wasn’t enough seating to go to and enjoy a nice sit down whilst discussing the pros and cons of each beverage. In a venue of that size there was more than enough space for more seats.

I had great fun trying loads of new beers (Fuller’s is the only brewery that I tasted that I’ve heard of before). It certainly helped having a CAMRA card-carrying beer aficionado to guide us through such a vast range of beers. If you get a chance – get to a beer festival near you, ‘cos it’s great fun!

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