Belfast Beer and Cider Festival, King's Hall, Belfast, November 2008

The Belfast Beer and Cider festival organised by Camra Northern Ireland was held in the King's Hall in Belfast. We drove up and after some getting lost we got to the hall. There was a massive selection of beers on offer. I didn't get to taste that many though. I also had a cold sore so couldn't take any sneaky tastes of anyone else's beer which wasn't so good.

The Irish Craft Brewer table had a good showing of people including The Beer Nut and Adeptus and many others. If you want some proper reviews of what the beers were like you should check out their blogs. There was much fun beer nerding, discussing and reviewing the beers throughout the afternoon. It's not often you get to talk beer without people thinking you are a bit mad.

I seemed to be having a bad beer juju day. I just didn't love any of the beers I tried. I started off with a Dark Star Hophead which I thought didn't have the carbonation to carry off the hops it had. I had the Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby which was nice but I found it hard to get through the half pint due to a clove/cough medicine type flavour. I went for a lighter beer after that, Valhalla White Wife, this was a perfectly passable real ale.

Then it was the Mayfields Auntie Myrtle. I was a little concerned about what happens when Myrtle* and Anti Myrtle collide. Would a massive annihilation take place that would wipe out the hall and all the real fans?

(*On Irish Craft Brewer my username is Bog Myrtle)

I took the plunge. And was rewarded with a fruity strong ale that tasted a bit like toffee. It had that same cough medicine taste that I had just discovered that I didn't like towards the end of the glass though.

After this I had some Hook Norton Hooky Dark. I liked this dark balanced drink. I met someone who worked in Hook Norton once and the production of this beer sounds very old school and interesting. They ferment in traditional open wood tanks and use a steam engine to power the brewery.

This was a lot of halves for me so I finished up with a Hanby Golden Honey. This would have been lovely but I think it suffered from being cask conditioned. It wasn't fizzy enough to lift up the lovely honey flavour and make it stand out. It tasted a bit too much like mead for my liking. I love still mead but in a beer a flat honey taste isn't so good.

It was then off to see Ireland get beaten in the rugby. And after that a random trip around Belfast in a micra that involved chips and then a pretty crazy birthday party of a friend from Armagh whose accent I can't understand.


Sinéad says
November 19, 2008 at 12:38 AM

Sounds like a good weekend was had! Although, it must be hard, tasting all of those beers so you can describe them on your blog.... ;)