Saturday night was the night of the British record for rain falling locally - still to be officially confirmed - and Cockermouth Main Street flooded, with shops & houses abandoned to the rising water. Luckily I went on the Friday night & it was pretty packed, but never a wait at either of the bars.
A special mention to Blackbeck brewery who had scantily clad ladies on their pumpclips - it's 2015, not 1975. Some of the beer drinkers are ladies & you may wish to market to them. We didn't try any of their beers, mostly because we've had them before & they aren't anything special.
Beers we drank;
Applyby Brewery, Midlife Crisis IPA - A bit thin & hops used a bit non-descript making it a very middle-of-the-road beer. If it hadn't got the IPA label (pure marketing) then I could forgive it a little more. Still: a reasonable drink. 7/10.
Carlisle Brewing Co, Flaxen - we didn't try this, but the two guys sitting next to us did & regretted it immediately. We smelt their beer & it was very sulphurous, like rotten eggs. We gave this one a miss ourselves.
Coniston, Asrai - an artificially peach perfumed aroma that's more subtle on the tongue. Faintly barnyard smelling. 6/10.
Cumbrian Legendry Ales, American (Dry Hopped) Pale Ale - a fairly bold Cascade-like hoppy pale ale with a dryish body. A good bitter finish. 8/10.
Independent Lakeland Breweries, Gold Wing - sticks of rotten eggs, but tastes OK. An ordinary bitter otherwise. 5/10.
Kirkby Lonsdale, Jingling Lane - a yeasty aroma with some wood character. Described as an IPA in the festival notes, but is defintiely not. 7/10.
Stringer's, Turbine Porter - a sweetish porter ith plenty of dark fruits. 7/10.
Hawkshead, Iti - sharp, clean tasting with a fresh aroma & taste. A good carbonation helps deliver the cutting gooseberry hoppiness. Beer of the festival for both of us. 9/10.
Stewart, Christmas Blanc - stereotypically phenolic-medicinal, wheat, spice & clove, dry tasting beer. Interesting. 8/10.
We didn't get to try as many as we wanted to due to work on Saturday, but I would loved to have stayed to try Tractor Shed, Clocker Stout as I do like a dry stout - Dark Star, Partridge as I'll give anything that Dark Star brew a go given their track record.
Some misses, but some hits too. No other beer festival I go to serves beer as muddy & tainted as some of these, but the beer on show is generally great stuff that I can't find on Main Street. Maybe Jennings - who heavily sponsor the event - could offer some cellar skills training as part of the deal?