Whatever number it is it's one of our favourite venues so I hope they keep doing festivals twice yearly. It's in a great old building with a courtyard where the casks are and a normal bar in case my recently converted friend feels like backsliding. The courtyard wasn't so good when it started pissing down but the rain didn't last long and our beer jackets helped to keep the chill out.
Once again the website promised Sarah Hughes Original Dark Ruby Mild but on previous occasions it's been nowhere to be seen. I scouted round the casks on arrival and this time it was there in all its glory. Now something dark and 6% is not what I normally start a beer festival with but it must be years since I've drunk it and I couldn't miss it this time. Rich, dark and dangerously drinkable it went down a treat. It's a shame you don't see it more often. We'd got to the festival on Saturday afternoon and the Sarah was on still going when were leaving at about 6.30. So we all had a half of it as our last beer, which judging by the flow rate looked like it just about finished it off. Which is quite fitting as it just about finished us off too!
Other beers good enough to be remembered through the alcoholic fog include RCH's Pitchfork (4.3% ABV), a good pale citrussy beer; B&T Easter Eggstra (4.5% ABV) which hit the spot for the lovely Lisa being a beautifully brown beer with a malty and hoppy taste and I found Ballard's Wassail another 6%er to be righteous stuff. At the more modest end of the scale I had to get in a Holt's Mild as it's another tick in 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. In fact it was quite a fruitful night in terms of 300 beers... ticking. A cause for celebration at the festival but something for sober reflection the next day when you realise how much close to death you have moved. Good job the ticking is impossible to complete really.
We went for a Mexican posts-festival, which made a change, but as it combined spice and stodge it served its purpose very well, unlike the Negra modelo lager. Never mind, we'd had an excellent beer day and by that point our palates were a little jaded anyway.