Sunday, 1 July 2007


We started our visit to the 10th Bristol Beer Festival a day earlier to ensure we were in prime condition for the tasting ahead. Our first stop was close to Temple Meads Station just a ten minute walk, where we popped in for a lunch time pick me up at the Hidden Brewery’s new and only their second pub,- the very old Cornubia, created by converting two Georgian town houses- looking very fresh following re decoration and it didn’t take long until we were refreshed by their superb porter Hidden Depths and a new one for us Hidden Strength.

We had to limit ourselves however as we were meeting our daughter & son in law at the CAMRA award winning Hare on the Hill conveniently just a 100 yards from their front door in Cotham. We spent the evening sampling Bath Ale’s –Festivity, Rare and Wild Hare, not to mention one lady’s predilection for fruity Belgian beer. Obviously been spending too much time in Roger’s company!

Next day not so bright or fortunately early we made our way to the festival lunch time session at the amazing Brunel passenger shed. The central part of Bristol’s Victorian railway heritage and a very large space adjoining Temple Meads station. Ideal to accommodate a beer festival and it had no difficulty containing the 120 beers, 40 ciders and parries as well as the all important pasty stand.

Yeah but you will say what did you drink. No buts about it to our credit we managed an impressive range of the beers on offer,- with specialists in mild- Sarah Hughes, champions , Crouch Vales Brewers Gold as well as Triple F’s Moondance, as well as a massive selection of West Country beers; St Austell and all the Bristol based brewers.

The event was clearly a huge success sold out months in advance, appealing to a wide audience, It was especially pleasing to see lots of young people enjoying real ales, obviously from the University, a good breeding ground to encourage camra membership. Apparently there were 76 different real ales still available when the festival closed at the end of the final session on Saturday night, which would never have happened if East Dorset had been there mob heavy. We tried our best, - promise.

The results of the Beer and Cider/Perry of the festival competitions were: 1st: Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout; 2nd: Cairngorm Trade Winds; 3rd: Bath Ales Rare Hare. Cider/Perry of the Festival: Winner: Holders Perry; Runner Up: Wilkins Sweet Cider. Unfortunately did not get to taste them all but will try again next year. Our thanks to Bristol Camra for a superb festival.

Trev & Sue Thwaites

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