>National Winter Ales Festival 2010


…Well, a good day was had by all yesterday at the National Winter Ales Fest in Manchester. Before getting into the beers, I’d just like to thank the Venue and the Organisers for such a good festival – it doesn’t sound like much to organise the basics such as friendly, knowledgeable staff, a great, spacious venue, and a cracking beer list, but if you go to enough of these events you’ll know it is – and CAMRA did really well here. The boys, so to speak, have done good.

Anyway – onto the beer. Despite my initial despair at missing Robinson’s Chocolate Tom (but that’s what you get for going on the last day – damn having to work!!), my pint of, well, Marble’s Pint more than made up for it. I’ve had this a few times before but I really need to start lobbying pubs in Leeds to get it – such grapefruit on the nose, a burst of tropical fruit on the tongue and a surprisingly restrained bitterness for such a fruity beer. It’s wonderful stuff, put a smile on my face, and set the tone for rest of the day.

Despite what you might personally think about Cain’s, I am a stickler for their Fine Raisin Beer – so to try it on draught was a real must for me. Dark amber in colour, with an exceedingly malt-cereal body, it’s a great beer. The juicy, slightly candied raisin note comes in right and the end, and stops the beer being cloying. A treat.

Other beers to impress me throughout the day were Hawkshead’s Organic Stout, which managed to be wonderfully smokey and roasty without being heavy, Bernard’s Pilsner, which provided a great, cold zing and cleansed the palate after lunch, and Otley’s wonderful 08 – pale, really smooth and refreshing, but then finishing with a big hit of warming alcohol. Perfect for weather like this, and proof that a well-brewed strong golden ale can still be found in the UK.

About leighgoodstuff

Blog: https://goodfoodgoodbeer.wordpress.com/ I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 24/01/2010, in Beer Festivals, beer news, Beer Review, Bernard, Cains raisin beer., Hawkshead, Marble Pint, National Winter Ales Festival 2010, Otley Brewing, Pivo. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. >Thanks for the kind comments Leigh. You should have come and said hello.

  2. >Not a problem, you did a great job. As for saying hello…I didnt know wether you'd be working! Next year, I will for sure.

  3. >Heh. We were there on Friday (just got back from Manchester this afternoon). We had a great time, too — write up to follow soon.Advance summary: we thought it kicked GBBF's arse.

  4. >Bailey – Shame we missed each other. Better than the GBBF? That's great news; I thought It was great, with a great range of beers. I'll look forward to your write-up…

  5. >I've been very impressed with Hawkshead's beer – their Red was one of the best beers I tasted last year.I expect the stout was just as good.

  6. >Great venue. Crackin' festival. Two gripes however.Is it common practice to charge £1 for a programme? Don't much like the practice if it is.15 mins walk from Manchester, said the Camra website. I repeat, 15 mins! It took over 45 minutes, from Victoria Station,(in the pouring rain!) so lets not mislead people eh?!

  7. >Rich – I agree, Hawkshead are consistently good. Red's a favourite of mine, too. Mike – valid points – I have paid for programmes before, but can't comment on wether it's 'common practise' – secondly, transport – hmmm, you do have a point…I trained into Picadilly then bussed out.

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