I made it to the beer festival with a couple of friends. Although two of us were not members of the sponsoring group, the Campaign for Real Ale, we nonetheless managed to avoid the queue simply by having the right change (Â£3.50) for the admission. We then obtained decorative glasses at Â£2 each, with money back on their return. Between us we managed to sample quite a few beers by dint of going for half pint measures.
I began with a Batemanâ€™s XXXB from Lincolnshire at 4.8 percent. It took its time for the head to settle, but was delightfully creamy when it did. There was Elgoodâ€™s Greyhound, a Cambridgeshire ale at 5.2 percent, and a curious Reedwatch blueberry ale at 4.2 percent from the Cambridge Moonshine Brewery. I sampled it and thought it tasted more of blackcurrants than blueberries, but Iâ€™m no great fan of fruit beers.
Then there was Kilderkin Double, a Belgian style beer at 6.6 percent, also quite local. The strangest name had to be Comrade Bill Bartramâ€™s Egalitarian Anti-Imperialist Soviet Stout (6.9 percent)! It was from Suffolk and smelled of celery, though it tasted like a strong stout. Radical Puritan advertised itself as antipidian, which seems a variant of antipodean. At 5.2 perecent it was a very hoppy India pale ale. Finally one of us tried Humpty Dumpty lemon and ginger from Norfolk at 4 percent. The weather was pleasant enough to sit outside without getting too hot. We rounded off the evening with a Japanese meal at Aki Teri.