MK Beer festival clashed with Birmingham Beer Festival / MN's stag,
so I made my regular excursion yesterday for their first night
session, which is now on a Wednesday.
It's not a huge festival but did offer 50 beers and ciders, mixed
roughly 50% into LocALEs and brews from the Yorkshire area, which is
an interesting approach to focussing the choices when you don't have
room to carry 200+ beers. For a first night in midweek it was quite
well attended. This year they had tables out rather than simply a row
of chairs at the back of the hall and when I arrived these were
already full. There was also a table going through a tutored tasting
session with local CAMRA members. The brewer from the Concrete Cow
brewery was also present and listening for feedback on his produce.
For once I'd made a note of beer's I'd like to try - I wasn't sure
they'd all be available straight away on the first night, but as it
happened everything I was looking for was available.
Concrete Cow - Cloven Hoof (4.5%) : Concrete Cow is the name of the
Milton Keynes brewery. My local pub usually has one or two of them on,
however I hadn't seen Cloven Hoof before as it was new for the
festival. It was also, I think, their first stout. In my opinion it
was excellent, quite bold tasting with a hint of vanilla.
Elland - 1872 Porter (6.5%) : CAMRA winter champion beer and
understandably so. Excellent brew. Not something you would hurry
through, want to relax with and take your time. Probably my favourite
of the evening.
Saltaire - Cheeky Kriek (4%) : Ale made with cherry concentrate. I
didn't actually get this for myself but sampled a friends. The cherry
flavour was much more subtle than I was expecting, less than Cherryaid
or Cherrycola. A bit disappointing in a way.
Great Oakley - Gobble (4.5%) : Notes said "Straw-coloured", but it was
a bit "straw-flavoured" for me. Supposedly very hoppy but didn't
strike it as much to me.
Oakham - Tranquillity (6.5%) : Lovely golden beer, easy to drink
belying it's strength. Hoppy and sharp.
Sent in by MU in MK