Cambridge Beer Festival is here and the city swells with beer. And cheese.
There are over 200 British beers and many more from around the world. Noteworthy brews include:
- 5 beers from Cambridge’s newest brewery, Blackbar, including a taster of the Märzen brewed for the Octoberfest later this year. The beer arrived on a punt from Grantchester.
- First appearance at the Cambridge Beer Festival for several other breweries, including:
Art Brew, BrewShed, Colchester, Hop Monster, Jo C’s, Magic Rock, Ole Slewfoot, Stringers, Summerwine, Two Towers, Wilson Potter and XT.
- As this is the 39th Cambridge Beer Festival, and the theme is the novel ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ and three films based on it, there are some festival specials – Buntingford Black Stone, Castor Ales John Buchan Bitter, Hereward Hannay, Milton Karolides, Son of Sid Codebreaker and Bartrams have brewed a 3.9% ABV beer called Steps.
- A previous ‘Beer of the Festival’ makes another appearance – Moonshine Red Watch, a winner in 2005.
- The Foreign Beer bar will have three draught beers from the USA – two from Oregon’s Rogue brewery and one from Flying Dog based in Maryland. Earlier this month, Maryland held its first Cambridge Beer Festival, also serving Flying Dog.
- Jubilee beers from Backyard Brewhouse, Bartrams, Batemans, Bullmastiff – ooh, the alliteration – Lord Conrad’s and Shalford. Elgoods have renamed Pageant Ale ‘Royal Pageant’ and there’s a Diamond Jubilee cider from Tutts Clump. The Bullmastiff Jubilee apparently celebrates the brewery’s 25 years of brewing (or ’175 doggy years’)
- Olympic beers – Elgoods Cockerless Four and Potbelly A Limp Pig Gold.
- The festival is this year supporting Wallace Cancer Care – Moonshine has brewed Wonderful Wallace, proceeds go to the charity.
- Castor Roman Gold was the first beer to sell out at the recent Bury St Edmunds beer festival.
- Like Beer? Like Cheese? There’s beery cheese: Cheddar with Ale, Cheddar with Porter, Hereford Hop, a ‘mellow sweet cheese covered with hops’ and Y-Fenni, a ‘mature cheddar cheese blended with whole-grain mustard and Welsh brown ale’.
- The strongest of the British beers was going to be 12% ABV Baz’s Bonce Blower by Parish Brewery from Melton Mowbray, which would have been fitting because Barrie Parish brewed what was once the world’s strongest beer, 23% ABV Baz’s Super Brew. However, at the time of writing it hadn’t arrived so it’s Stringers Mutiny, a 9.3% stout which the programme describes as ‘…drinkable. But sip it.’
- At the other end of the scale are two beers under 3% ABV, both from Essex: Felstar 2%, a dark ale and Brentwood BBC2, a 2.5% pale ale.
- The Mead includes 22% ABV Sussex Boar Hunter Mead Liqueur ‘infused with warming spices’.
- The Moonshine Dictator from this cask must be a beast of a beer:
Tuesday-Friday 12—3pm / 5—10:30pm
At the time of writing, no beers had arrived from Fat Cat or Parish. Black Sheep Bitter replaces Black Sheep Ale. Beartown Bruins Ruin replaces Brown Bear.
Previous Beer of the Festival winners