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2009 Hitchin

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Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden launched Hitchin’s biggest and best Beer and Cider Festival on the afternoon of Friday 13th March.

 

There is a lot of talk in Westminster of the current economic recession and the organisers were somewhat concerned that recession might put a dampener on the event. How wrong we were!

 

With 20% more stock than last year we hoped to see a similar number of visitors to 2007,  that didn’t happen – we got almost as many on the first day this year as we had for the whole event last year! It was frantic and everyone was having a great time supping the 60 British cask beers, 10 ciders and 30 foreign beers we had on offer. 

 

We had to close the doors at 7pm on the Saturday after literally everything had been drunk. It was so painful to see prospective customers being turned away but those coming along earlier had drunk their way through 6,550 pints in a record 19 hours – that’s an average of 344 pints served per hour or about 1 pint every 10 seconds!

 

There were several ‘classics’ on the list of cask beers, many of which have been multiple award winners in the past. Local breweries were well represented once again this year with several beers each from B&T, Buntingford, Crouch Vale, Red Squirrel, Saffron and Tring. The visitors selected B&T’s Black Dragon Mild as their Beer of the Festival. It’s pleasing to see a local product win an accolade and really endorses CAMRA’s LocAle initiative.

 

Besides Mr Lilley we welcomed another guest in the shape of Gene Rowe who was signing copies of the ‘The Quest for the Holy Ale’ a novel he co-authored on ale, the Chosen Alcoholic Monks of Righteous Ale (CAMORA!) and people trying desperately to get pissed in an outrageous fantasy world! Hitchin Town Hall sure did seem like a fantasy world a couple of times on Friday night!

The Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival, is a joint venture between North Herts CAMRA and the Hitchin Round Table.  The Chairmen and the Organising Committee would like to say a big thank you to all who visited the festival and drank all the beer. Equally we’d like to apologise to those who made a journey to find nothing left

 

We hope to return in 2010 which will be the 10th birthday of this event. The Town Hall’s future has been uncertain for two years now but we’re told the Town Hall will still be available for us to hire next year. We hope to be back on the 19th & 20th March 2010 and we’ll try to cram in some more beer….

 

See you next year?

 

Andy Rawnsley & Chris Owen

Here’s the beer list that you missed.  Tickers note the Red Squirrel ‘New Mild’ made it’s debut at the festival.  

No.

Brewery

Beer

Location

ABV

Tasting Notes

1

Abbeydale

Brimstone

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

3.9

Brown beer made with Amarillo hops. Aromas of malt loaf, marmalade and apricots. Flavours are coffee, toffee and liquorice with underlying spices.

2

Anglo Dutch

Magnum

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

3.7

Pale half wheat half barley beer strongly hopped with German Magnum hops.

3

Anglo Dutch

Oliver Crunch

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

3.6

Pale beer with a dry hoppy finish.

4

B&T

Black Dragon Mild

Shefford, Bedfordshire

4.3

Strong Dark mild with pronounced roast flavours. Brewed using Pearl Pale Malt, Crystal Malt, Black Malt, Roast Barley, Wheat Malt, Golding Hops.

5

Barngates

Westmorland Gold

Ambleside, Cumbria

4.2

Crisp flaxen coloured ale with strong zest. Fruity and hoppy nose. Brewed with Goldings hops from Kent.

6

Bazens

Knoll St Porter

Salford, Greater Manchester

5.2

Very complex malt flavours form the basis of this multi-grained dark beer. Velvety smooth with a drying fruity hop finish.

7

Black Sheep

Black Sheep Ale

Masham, North Yorkshire

4.4

Full flavoured premium bitter, with a rich fruity aroma. Brewed with Golding hops giving a bittersweet malty taste, followed by long, dry and bitter finish.

8

Brewdog

Zeitgeist

Fraserburgh, Scotland

4.9

No notes yet, but it will probably be in your face hops and attitude.

9

Buntingford

Ardent

Therfield, Hertfordshire

4.0

Copper coloured bitter. Like Highwayman but stronger.

10

Buntingford

Golden Plover

Therfield, Hertfordshire

3.8

Golden hoppy session bitter.

11

Buntingford

Polar Star

Therfield, Hertfordshire

4.4

Blonde ale with a hefty grapefruit punch.

12

Buntingford

Skiddaw

Therfield, Hertfordshire

3.9

Dark and fruity.

13

Cairngorm

Nessies Monster Mash

Aviemore, Scotland

4.4

A predominantly malty, lightly hopped beer giving a satisfying fullness of flavour with a warm finish.

14

Cairngorm

Tradewinds

Aviemore, Scotland

4.3

Light golden, with wheat giving a clean fresh taste. Perle hops and elderflower give fruit and citrus flavours. Champion Speciality Beer of Britain 2004-6.

15

Castle Rock

Sherriff’s Tipple

Nottingham

3.5

A ‘supping’ bitter with distinctive hop character from Goldings hops.

16

Coniston

Bluebird

Coniston, Cumbria

3.6

Very pale, hoppy and malty with orange notes. Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 1998.

17

Crouch Vale

Brewers Gold

South Woodham Ferrers, Essex

4.0

Pale, refreshing and hoppy beer with gorgeous aromas of tropical fruits. Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2005 and 2006.

18

Crown

Hillsborough Pale Ale

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

3.9

Straw-coloured bitter with citrussy nose, flowery head and petal undertones.

19

Dark Star

Hophead

Haywards Heath, West Sussex

3.8

Clean-drinking pale gold coloured ale with strong floral aroma and elderflower notes. Does what it says on the tin, full of hops.

20

Empire

Golden Warrior

Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire

3.8

Pale bitter, fruity with a sherbert aftertaste, moderate bitterness.

21

Fuzzy Duck

Feathers

Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire

4.0

Light coloured and quite hoppy, with citrus notes and a floral aroma.

22

Golcar

Mild

Golcar, West Yorkshire

3.4

Dark mild with a light roasted malt and liquorice taste.

23

Grindleton

Old Fecker

Clitheroe, Lancashire

4.0

It’s beer, but that’s as much as we know… Go on we dare you to try it. Be careful how you ask for it.

24

Hambleton

Stallion

Melmerby, North Yorkshire

4.2

A distinctly malty character with a hint of nuttiness while the enhanced hopping rate recalls the good old days of a true Yorkshire bitter.

25

Harviestoun

Schiehallion

Dollar, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

4.8

Cask conditioned lager. Crisp, dry and airy with a fresh, grapefruity taste. Made using Hersbrucker lager hops. Champion Speciality Beer of Britain 1996-7.

26

Hogs Back

TEA

Tongham, Surrey

4.2

Pale brown, with a hoppy and slightly fruity aroma supported by malt in the taste. Bittersweet beer with a long dry finish. Champion Best Bitter of Britain 2000.

27

Ironbridge

Coracle

Ironbridge, Shropshire

3.8

Session bitter with Goldings hops.

28

Jarrow

Rivet Catcher

Jarrow, Tyne & Wear

4.0

Light, smooth, satisfying gold bitter. Subtle fruity hops give the taste profile on the tongue and nose.

29

Kelham Island

Yorkshire Best Bitter

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

3.8

A straw coloured, thirst-quenching beer with a strongly hopped flavour and ‘nose’.

30

Leeds

Best

Leeds, West Yorkshire

4.3

A classic Yorkshire Bitter, full flavoured beer with a superb hoppy finish.

31

Mighty Oak

Maldon Gold

Maldon, Essex

4.4

Pale golden ale with a sharp citrus note moderated by honey and biscuity malt. Champion Golden Ale of Britain 2007.

32

Mighty Oak

Oscar Wilde Mild

Maldon, Essex

3.7

Roasty dark mild with suggestions of forest fruits and dark chocolate. A sweet taste yields to a more bitter finish. Champion Mild of Britain 2006.

33

Milestone

Raspberry Wheat Beer

Newark, Nottinghamshire

5.6

Continental Style Fruit Beer, Mouth filling fruit, with zingy finish.

34

Moorhouses

Black Cat

Burnley, Lancashire

3.4

Dark mild with distinct chocolate malt flavour and smooth hoppy finish. Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2000.

35

Nethergate

Umbel Ale

Pentlow, Suffolk

3.8

Bitter flavoured with coriander. Champion Speciality Beer of Britain 2000.

36

Old Bear

Goldilocks

Keighley, West Yorkshire

4.5

Light golden ale, with a pungent hoppy taste but with a lemon tangy fruit aroma which comes from the complex blend of four hops.

37

Ossett

Silver King

Ossett, West Yorkshire

4.3

Lager style beer with a crisp, dry flavour and citrus fruity aroma.

38

Pot Belly

Beijing Black

Kettering, Northamptonshire

4.4

Strong dark mild. You won’t like it.

39

Slaters

Common Road

Porthmadog, Wales

3.8

A crisp, malty, reddish coloured session bitter with a dry bitter finish.

40

Ramsbury

Ramsbury Bitter

Ramsbury, Wiltshire

3.6

Amber coloured beer using Optic spring barley. Golding hops are used to give a smooth delicate aroma and flavour.

41

RCH

East Street Cream

Weston Super Mare, Somerset

5.0

Chestnut coloured ale with malty hoppy fruit, bitter with a sweet taste. Champion Strong Bitter of Britain 2002.

42

Red Squirrel

Colorado IPA

Hertford, Hertfordshire

5.4

Strong complex American style IPA with five malts and two hops. Floral/nettle hops balanced by sweet biscuity malt. Very bitter and hoppy.

43

Red Squirrel

New Mild

Hertford, Hertfordshire

3.6

Brown mild contains chocolate and dark crystal malt, lightly hopped with Goldings and Cascade. Festival debut.

44

Red Squirrel

RSB

Hertford, Hertfordshire

3.9

A light golden hoppy beer with a distant taste of fruity violets.

45

Saffron

Flying Serpent

Henham, Essex

4.5

Deep reddish brown ale. Rich velvety smooth beer with hints of roasted nuts and fruity floral aromas.

46

Saffron

Ramblers Tipple

Henham, Essex

0.0

Copper coloured bitter brewed with Crystal, Amber and Maris Otter malt, Sovereign and First Gold hops. Medium bitterness with toffee and caramel flavours.

47

Saffron

Saffron Blonde

Henham, Essex

4.3

Light golden ale. Delicate balance of citrus and smooth malty flavours with a crisp finish.

48

Salamandar

Mud Puppy

Bradford, West Yorkshire

4.2

Copper coloured bitter. Fruity, hoppy nose and a bitter finish.

49

Sarah Hughes

Dark Ruby Mild

Dudley, West Midlands

6.0

Dark ruby strong mild. Good balance of fruit and hops, with all kinds of red wine, port, plum flavours. You won’t like it. I wouldn’t bother if I was you.

50

Scattor Rock

Guzzler

Exeter, Devon

3.9

This year’s mystery beer. No notes available so you will just have to try it for yourself.

51

Thornbridge

Ashford

Bakewell, Derbyshire

4.2

Brown Ale, brewed with crystal malt, Cascade and Styrian Goldings hops. Floral hoppiness and a coffee finish.

52

Thornbridge

Jaipur IPA

Bakewell, Derbyshire

5.9

Soft and smooth but with huge hoppiness and a powerful bitter finish. You definitely won’t like this one. Champion Strong Bitter of Britain 2008.

53

Tring

Colleys Dog

Tring, Hertfordshire

5.2

Dark ruby coloured strong ale, a long dry finish with overtones of malt and walnuts.

54

Tring

Ridgeway Bitter

Tring, Hertfordshire

4.0

Proper brown bitter with a mix of hops and malt in the aroma and taste, leading to a dry flowery hop aftertaste.

55

Tring

Royal Poacher

Tring, Hertfordshire

4.1

Golden bitter with First Gold hops, giving fruity citrus taste, particularly orange.

56

Triple fff

Alton Pride

Alton, Hampshire

3.8

Golden -brown session beer, floral hop aromas, initial malty flavour leads to citric notes and hoppiness. Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2008.

57

Triple fff

Pressed Rat and Warthog

Alton, Hampshire

3.8

Ruby mild, roast malt aroma with blackcurrant and chocolate, flavours of fruit and malt are balanced by hoppy bitterness. Champion Mild of Britain 2002.

58

Wickwar

Station Porter

Wickwar, Gloucestershire

6.1

Rich, smooth, dark ruby-brown ale. Roast malt, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit flavours develop into a complex spicy bittersweet taste. Doesn’t sound nice.

59

York

Guzzler

York, North Yorkshire

3.6

Refreshing golden ale with hop and fruit flavours.

60

Yorkshire Dales

Butter Tubs

Askrigg, North Yorkshire

3.8

Pale golden ale with dry bitterness complemented by strong citrus flavours and aroma.

 

 

  1. I love beer festivals - HEXUS.community discussion forums said on 2009/10/17 10:17 am

    […] I love beer festivals This/ is our local one, always a good crack because once it finishes its surrounded by pubs… makes for […]

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