Peterborough Beer Festival runs until 11pm on Saturday 24th August, 2013. When it ends, the River Nene will swell with the beery tears of disconsolate drinkers.
More than anything, the people are what makes this festival such a special experience – it seems every time I headed towards a bar, I was greeted by the smiling faces of the volunteer staff, willing me on to taste the delights of another beer. And what beers! Here are my picks…
Bexar County Brewery
The brewery nearest to the festival – just over half a mile as the crow flies – Bexar County just happens to be brewing some of the finest, most exiting beers I’ve tasted this year. The rich, roasted Imperial Stout ‘Papa Steve’ might just be the best of them all, the lip-smacking Gose is a briny beaut of a brew, the hop-heavy ‘Anciona’ took silver in the Best Beer from a New Brewery category, and ‘Vaquero’ was one of the first to sell out. Grab them while you can – they don’t hang around long.
Salopian – Boomerang
The brewery whose Blackwater Rat Race was voted Overall Champion last year, returned with what proved to be this year’s Champion Strong Bitter. I was privileged to be a part of the judging panel, and although the beers were blind tasted, I later learned that this was the beer that’d had us all oohing and aahing like we were at a firework display. A burst of juicy tropical fruits, honey and piney resin – superb.
Redwell – Craft Pilsner
A ‘hand crafted English lager’, grassy and grainy, few drinks are as crisp and refreshing as this on a sunny afternoon.
Usually only available from keg, here it is available straight from the cask as a one-off festival special.
Peterborough Beer Festival returns next year from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd August 2014