Ealing Beer Festival 2007
by Alastair Hooley
(Beer Delegate, London, UK)
Ealing Beer Fest 2007: green
Ealing Beer Festival 2007
Ealing, London, UK
The Ealing Beer Festival is one of the UK's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) beer festivals – there's probably one every week somewhere in the UK. Ealing is my local festival, in that it's the one organised by my local West Middlesex CAMRA group, and it was the third consecutive year I attended.
This event differed in that rather than being held in Ealing Town Hall, it was held in marquees with outdoor seating on a nearby sports ground, thereby becoming an outdoor festival, which the organisers hope to repeat next year.
Most of the CAMRA festivals are held in town halls, or similar venues, so it made a great change to have my local festival outdoors. The sports field on which it was sited effectively made the festival much bigger than previous years and of course less stuffy, so it didn't become uncomfortable late into the evening as some of the indoor festivals can become. Although the weather held up (just), it did get quite cool early evening.
And so to the beer. I always follow a set drinking plan at beer festivals. I tend to start with the weaker beers and then move up to the stronger, richer-tasting beers.
This does make sense as if one started with a strong porter (say), followed by a 3.2% ABV mild, the latter drink would be like water!
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I started my tasting at Ealing Beer Festival 2007 with Potbelly Beijing Black.
I then moved on to one of my favourite beers, Dark Star Hophead.
In no particular order, at the Ealing Beer Festival 2007 I sampled Crouch Vale Brewers Gold (4.0% ABV) – two-times Champion Beer of Britain and still the current champion; Hesket Market Great Cockup Porter (3.0% ABV); Elland Bargee Bitter (3.8% ABV); Jarrow Rivet Catcher (4.0% ABV); Twickenham Ales Gothic Dark (4.0% ABV); Wylam Haugh Porter (4.6% ABV).
One or two further beers were also drunk, although by this stage of the day I've no idea what they were, except I remember one of them was green!
One of my friends who went to Ealing Beer Festival 2007 with me suggested we sample something from the mead stand. Mead is a fermented alcoholic drink made of honey, water, yeast and whatever spices or other ingredients are to hand. This didn't go down too well – the drink had a strange Tupperware taste that I wouldn’t like to experience again!
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