Thursday, 6 May 2010

Georgefest 2010

The Lord Clyde
340-342 Essex Road
London N1 3PB

My dad used to drink beer at home out of dimpled pint glasses (I believe that's the technical term) and there is something undeniably life-affirming about a tankard of foaming ale. That's one reason why I like The Lord Clyde, in north London, which serves its beer with said dimples. Another highlight for me is its choice of house ale - Harveys Sussex Best (blogged here). But what really compelled me to write about this pub was its mini beer festival, Georgefest, timed to coincide with St George's Day. Georgefest 2010 was certainly the smallest celebration of ale I've ever been to, with a corner of a side bar set up to accommodate little more than a dozen casks from around the country over a single weekend. 

Luckily for visitors, and the English people as a whole, the beer selection was interesting and (incidentally) the Scotch Eggs astonishing. Here follow my highlights, annotated as usual with my mini tasting notes.

American Pale Ale 4.7% - Dark Star, Sussex
"Hoppy, a little sweet."

Ginger Beer 4.0% - Hadrian and Border Brewery, Newcastle Upon Tyne
"Dry, a little sour, strong ginger aroma, smells better than it tastes, not so much bite on the palate, said to be flavoured with real stem ginger."

Dartmoor Best Bitter 3.9% - St Austel Brewery, Cornwall

"Dry, malty finish."

Dark Hatters Mild 3.3% - Robinsons, Cheshire

"Light on the hops, lovely caramel finish, mild."

Apple Blossom Ale 4.3% - Downton Brewery, Wiltshire

"Refreshing, light straw coloured, not much aroma, citrussy and tart."

Orange Wheat Beer 4.2% - Jack Green Brewing Co, Suffolk

"Sweet orange peel, subtle hint of marmalade."

Gorgeous George 4.3% - Loddon Brewery, Oxfordshire

"Described as 'traditional old-fashioned bitter'. Vanilla, hoppy, honey."

If the Clyde can keep this up St George could soon (in a hundred years, say) be giving St Patrick a run for his money. Looking forward to Georgefest 2011 as I write.

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