Saturday, 31 May 2008

Northampton Beer Festival

Stuck out on the edge of the county as we are here in Middleton, it's a bit of a trek to get to the Northampton Beer Festival. Two bus journeys, and a 15 minute walk out of town to Delapre Abbey made it a 2 hour journey time in all. Fine weather and a fine range of ales made the journey worthwhile.

I say fine ales, but I'll have to take other peoples word for that since I didn't actually drink any. I was there for the smaller range of ciders and perrys, mostly from the award winning Welsh producer Gwynt-Y Ddraig. The Two Trees and Malvern Hills perrys were the highlight for me. Really good quality perry is such a rarity outside of the Three Counties that it's always worth trying it whenever you can find it. The Malvern Hills was particularly interesting to me as this is one of the varieties we may be pressing later this year. If we can get anywhere near this standard I'll be very happy. Gwynt-Y-Ddraig ciders are often available at the Queen Adelaide, Kingsthorpe and the Queen Victoria in Leicester.

Local interest was upheld by our own Rockingham Forest Cider, and Malcolm Grant's Eve's Wilding Cider. Malcolm makes his cider just up the road in Kettering, and very good it is too.

The festival was well attended, and not surprisingly many there were Northampton Saints rugby fans. Good job I had my vintage Leicester Tigers shirt on then! There was much banter in evidence, with Saracens and Gloucester fans also pitching in for good measure. Paul from the Queen Adelaide had organised this year's cider bar, and is as staunch a Gloucester fan as you'll find. He didn't seem to hold it against me, though serving through gritted teeth can give a man a rather funny look!

1 comment:

helen said...

Yeah the Festival was brilliant ..a great day out for me and my husband. Some of the ales were "fine" and some were a bit dull. I normally buy online from good Beer and Ale stockists because there isnt many good ones in the supermarkets near us.