Don’t be a lager snob… it can be alright!

Since starting my journey into the world of ale I’ve found myself becoming a bit of a snob when it comes to lager.

For my sins I used to be a Stella drinker until  the talented guys at Purity Brewing  tickled my fancy with their Mad Goose.

I now feel confident, and ever so slightly proud of myself, when requesting a taster of what’s on the bar at my local. I look at the lager section and feel ever so slightly smug that I will be enjoying a tasty pint and none of the bland rubbish they pump out to the masses. I’m aware these are all signs of me becoming a beer geek or tw*t (which ever you prefer).

However my recently acquired beer snobbery was put back in its place this weekend. A trip to the Machynnleth Comedy Festival filled me with joy, not only because of the stunning location and plethora of brilliant comedians on show but also because of the beer.

Welcome to Machynlleth sign

Wales’ answer to the Hollywood sign. Welcome to Machynlleth.

This was to be my first ‘beer road trip’. I did the necessary prep – checked which beers are on, connected with the breweries on Twitter and bored my friends with talk of what ale I fancied trying.

The brewery du jour was The Waen Brewery. Female head brewer Sue wasn’t enamored with the choice of beer when she first moved to Wales so set out to brew something more suited to her educated palate. And she’s certainly brewed some great beers.

Hellish Good Beer from the Waen Brewery

Hellish Good Beer from The Waen Brewery

In my ale journey I’m learning that IPA tends to be my favourite. I love to taste the hops and don’t even mind a bit of yeasty sediment. First up was Festival Gold perfect for my palette light, hoppy and generally delicious. Next I moved on to Landmark, a wonderful IPA with a whiff of citrus. As I’d been Tweeting at Sue for a couple of days prior to the festival it was lovely to meet her and her flame haired husband to say hi. Great to see the local brewer or should I say brewster getting involved at the event. They kindly suggested I should go for a brewery tour and I can’t wait to take up the offer.

Machynlleth Comedy Festival big top tent and beech bar

Supping some brews at the big top tent. The Beech bar was full of fabulous beers.

After several nights on the ale and a desire to make some room for food I was intrigued by what my festival going friends were drinking. Before heading off the the fourth comedy gig of the day I thought I’d give the local lager go. Sue and the guys at Waen Brewery had kindly brewed up something rather special. Waen Llager. And I’m pleased to report it was outselling Carling, just goes to show that this type of crowd want to try something different. Something local. A pint that’s been brewed with care and thought.

It was light, fizzy, sweet and aromatic – like a lighter version of Thornbridge Juipur, which if I’ve not mentioned if my favourite ale of all time. One of my companions commented it almost tasted a kinda cider-like. Interesting.

In summary I’ve learnt several things from this weekend jaunt;

1. The Machynlleth Comedy Festival is brilliant. Fact.

2. The Waen Brewery crafts some excellent beer and llager

3. Anything craft brewed is worth giving a go


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