Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Keighley & WV Railways Beer & Music Festival 2008

Right - another weekend, another Beer Festival. Love them or hate them, you at least get a chance to try as many beers as possible in a short space of time. Why a short space of time? Because once there, you kind of want to leave....

Anyway - it's not about the people there, it's about the beer. And that's why I love beer festivals - because I am like a child in a sweet shop. Still. At my age.

This one, an annual event, but one that includes a pleasant ride on a steam train on the beautiful Keighley & Worth Valley railway, is one of the better ones. I did plan to have a pint of Taylor's on the ride but to be honest, the tiny beer carriages were rammed. No bother - ten minutes later and we're in Beervana.

The Oxenhope tramshed the festival is held in makes a nice change - the hulking steam trains make an interesting backdrop to boozing. The blues and jazz bands playing make a pleasant sound - although not particularly conducive to conversation - and the beer selection is excellent. In fact, my quest to finally taste Thornbridge's Jaipur IPA ended here. And boy, am I glad it did. An excellent beer; sweet as hell to start and then drying out to pucker the lips and deliver that grassy, hoppy bitterness true of a true IPA. I know it's jaded now, almost a year after notoriety, but I loved this. Gimme more.

Dark Star's Hophead impressed, as did Mallinson's Conkered - a rich, malty mild that certainly hit the spot. Oakham's JHB followed much the same style - very nice indeed. Second only to the Jaipur, Salopian's excellent Oracle deserves a mention. Flowery hops and a crisp, pale profile really stripped the palate back and refreshed after a couple of milds. Good work - one brewery I'll be keeping an eye out for.

Looking around, I noticed the breadth of beers showing at this weekend jaunt. Goose Eye's Bronte gained a thumbs-up from our drinking party, as did O'Hanlan's Port Stout - which admittedly looked delicious. I had my eye on a few beers which I didn't get to try; Triple FFF had their (surely prohibitively?) named Pressed Rat & Warthog going great guns, Milestone were pouring a raspberry wheat beer, and Durham had a massive selection, including one of my faves, their Amarillo. Greenfield also deserve a mention for seemingly (in my head, at least) naming a beer after my current fave Leeds Utd player - Delph Donkey (What next? Beckford's Best? Becchio Bitter? Ankegren Ale?) - add to this a decent bottle bar and - most importantly - Roast Pork Sandwiches - and you've got one pleasant Saturday's drinking.


Heather said...

Now, that's a genius concept. Pair the beer and music festivals! That's something we Oregonians would think of.

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

Were Dr Busker and The Dorset Rats playing this year? They get ruder and ruder as the punters get drunker and drunker. I have to say that KWVRBAMF is one of the better beerfests. Great atmosphere, great people and getting there on a steamer makes it all the more special.

Leigh said...

hi mate - actually, they were, but not on the day I was there. They did appear to be a favourite of a lot of people, actually!