Thursday, 6 August 2009
A splendid day out at the GBBF
There’s something about British beer that arguably demands some representation. Even if some people think its represented largely by old fat bearded blokes with notebooks. Then there’s the large number of bloggers who take great joy is slagging off CAMRA at any opportunity for undefined goals, contradictory ideals eth. But there is no doubt that the Great British Beer festival wouldn’t be the Great British Beer festival without CAMRA.
And Tuesday August 4th this was where I enjoyed one of my most memorable days for Daleside brewery, representing the brewery, sampling beers (well, it would be rude not to), and having a good chat with the folks from other breweries/collecting successive head brewers and brewery owners autographs. The first of these (surprisingly) was from a New Zealander chap called Kelly Ryan from Thornbridge brewery, my first encounter with (as some call) a new wave radical brewer. As enthusiastic as he was and as much as I wanted to talk about beer, I was in direct competition with the head brewer of the mighty Dark Star brewery, who I also obtained an autograph from. Then as the day went one Dalesides number one Dray, Dave (who I attended the even with) picked out brewer after brewer, autograph after autograph. Everads, Cains, Kelburn, Loddon and the mighty Acorn brewery from Barnsley, as well as splendid chap called Simon Theakson from (you guessed it) Theakstons.
However the main focus of our interests for the evening was the beer on offer, which covered beer from corner of the UK as well as international beers. We also came across an old friend of mine, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde Mild, one of my all time favorite mild ales, but the beer of the night this time went to Shrelenkeria Rauchbier Urbock. The bock version of the original smoked beer, that certainly has a lot more rich malt substance balancing the smoked malts than other versions of it. Coming in possibly a close second was Hop Devil Ale, by US craft brewer Victory, a hoppy but well balanced amber bronze ale displaying characteristic Chinook hop notes. But after all that excitement it was time to head home, too early for Mellissa Cole’s walk sadly. We are also sorry to have missed Woolpacker Dave, The beer nut and a few autographs such as Nick Stafford, but you can’t do it all and as I said to Dave I think we made good progress. All in a days work.