Birmingham Beer Bash – craft ale comes to the Midlands

We’ve already posted a blog on the Birmingham Beer Bash but it was so good one post just doesn’t cover it.

And let’s face it we couldn’t blog about a beer festival without talking about the beers we sampled. So Birmingham Beer Bash blog part two will be all about the beers.

alt="craft beer chalk board at birmingham beer bash"

Umm beer

The format of the festival was deliberately designed to be different to traditional beer festivals. What set it apart from the usual CAMRA events was the focus on quality keg products – which was music to our ears with so many of our favourite beers coming from keg.

The main bar area housed in an old warehouse was home to 70 such beers in total. The second bar was the Cask Bar, offering 24 cask ales with some on hand pull.

With wall to wall good beer where do you start? Well I started with what I know and love and headed for the first hoppy beer I could find….  Arbor Hoptical Delusion XI. This American pale ale was light, hoppy and refreshing, the perfect way to start the day. And it accompanied my dosa perfectly.

alt="Arbor Ale Hoptical Illusion"

Head for the hops

Despite my resolution to challenge my taste buds with ales I don’t usually drink (I’m a big hoppy pale ale fan) the glorious sunshine just wasn’t conducive for making me go to the dark side. The temptation of Citra was just too much so we were delighted by Anarchy Brew Co.’s Citra Star.

This young brewery based in Morpeth celebrated its first year of trade in 2013 and judging by the taste of this delightful ale we would hope there are many more years of brewing ahead of them. I’m a bit of a Citra evangelist since Beer Beauty introduced me to Oakham ales so saw it as my duty to spread the Citra love and convinced the rest of our party to get in on the act. And the verdict came back positive #CitraSuccess.

alt="citra craft beer pump"

All hail the mighty Citra

At this point in the afternoon we decided to play a game of beer surprise – the rules are simple, send your mate to the bar to choose for you and see what you get.

My beer surprise was Partizan Saison 4%. I’m not usually one for cloudy pale ales but as the rules of Beer Surprise state you must complete the drink you’re presented with, and do you know what it wasn’t half bad. Yeasty with a herbal aroma and I could taste bitter citrus.

alt="cloudy pale ale"

A cloudy suprise

Next it was my turn to the bar and I couldn’t resist the lure of my favourite brewery de jour Thornbridge. I’ve had it a million times before but the Jaipur was calling me….. However on arrival at the bar I was told the godlike nectar hadn’t arrived yet. My hand was forced and maybe that’s a good thing because I added another Thornbridge masterpiece to my repertoire – Chrion. Again I stuck to what I know and ordered pale. But hell it tasted so good, I got no complaints from my drinking buddy.

alt="thornbridge brewery

Another taste sensation from Thornbridge

Four beers down and it was time for more food. Was it wrong to do a double dosa? Absolutely not. There were a couple more beers consumed after this however unsurprisingly I failed to note down or take pictures of what they were, whoops.

alt="south indian dosa"

Dosa so good we have to do it twice #DoubleDosa

Nearly a week on from Birmingham Beer Bash I’m taking another look at the programme and can’t help but feel I missed out on some amazing beers – Siren Craft Brew Limonchello IPA for example or Northern Rock New World IPA. I guess this means the guys from Birmingham Beer Bash will just have to put on another event for us Brummie beer lovers. Next month ok for you guys???

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Categories: Alcohol, Beer and ale

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