Last night we went to the Oxford Beer Festival at the Town Hall. With 160 real ales to try I was in heaven. I went in with a grand plan, I’d identified a number of beers I wanted to try and was going to work my way through them. Through a combination of sell outs and crowds at the bar this didn’t really work. So I adopted a new plan – find a gap at the bar and make a random pick. It worked as I don’t think I had a duff beer all night.
Here are the five I tried in order of my preference:
1. Adders Tongue (Hop Kettle, 5.3%)
Made with New Zealand hops this was a dark beer with a fruity flavour.
2. Copper Beech (Chiltern, 4.4%)
A strong, golden ale, this beer tasted of Autumn.
3. Headmaster (Old School, 4.5%)
Another dark beer with a nutty flavour.
4. Reilly’s Red (Vale, 4.3%)
My third dark beer of the night. Tasty but no distinctive flavours.
5. Boozy Floozy (Loddon, 4.5%)
A lighter beer made from challenger hops. Described as gently spicy but this didn’t really come through.
There were a few beers that I was disappointed to miss out on: Salem Porter (Bateman, 4.7%), Single Hop Chinook (Hop Kettle, 4.1%) and Witch’s Finger (WharfeBank, 4.6%). Perhaps I’ll get a chance to test them at another festival soon.