The Cambridge Blue

It was the summer beer festival at The Cambridge Blue last night, so I met up with a friend for a few beers. If I’m being honest, I was a bit disappointed as a lot of the beer I wanted to try wasn’t on. I know they have to keep some back for later in the week, but practically everything I wanted to try wasn’t there.

  • RateBeer Oakham
  • Lady Gwydir, 4% (1/2 pint)
  • Had a slight spiciness to it, other than that it was pleasant enough.
  • RateBeer Oakham
  • Inferno, 4% (1/2 pint)
  • I was a bit meh with this and the Lady Gwydir, I may have been dehydrated, so I should really give both another chance.
  • RateBeer Dark Star
  • Sunburst, 4.8% (1/2 pint)
  • To be honest, I preferred the one I had from a bottle earlier in the year. It seemed to have a bit of a haze, so not sure if it was on its best form really.
  • RateBeer Abbeydale
  • Deception, 4.1% (1/2 pint)
  • Very pale and it tasted very thick with hops. I had an Oakham Citra that tasted similarly thick with hops earlier in the year and had better on a subsequent tasting, so I’ll hold judgement on this till I can try it again when it’s in better form.
  • Fox
  • 90 Minute IPA, 6% (1/2 pint)
  • I had high hopes for this one and to be honest, if you give your beer the same name as something from Dogfish Head it better live up to the expectation. Initially I thought it was too malty and not bitter enough, it did grow on me, but it needs more hops.
  • RateBeer Acorn
  • Conquest, 5.7% (1/2 pint)
  • I think this is the first beer I’ve had from Acorn and I was quite impressed, it was really nice.

Thornbridge St PetersburgOakham Lady GwydirAbbeydale Deception

Hop Token: Amarillo

Adur Hop Token: AmarilloA few weeks back the family were visiting a friend and her daughter in Sussex near Lewes. On the Sunday morning I managed to persuade everyone that we needed to visit Middle Farm shop to see what they had in the way of local beer. I picked up a couple of Dark Star bottles, plus a few others that looked interesting, this is one of the ones I thought would be interesting to try. This appears to be Adur‘s first attempt at a single hop beer and their website suggest that they might do more.

It poured a copper colour with a good head that lasted. It didn’t smell of grapefruit and orange, like the bottle said it would, it was more earthy with maybe a hint of spice and malt. It had a weird smoky, soapy taste to it, I wasn’t expecting the smoke, but the soap is familiar from the Mikkeller Amarillo Single Hop IPA. It’s relatively bitter, they claim 40 IBUs on their website, with an earthy, spicy lingering after taste.

It’s not a beer I’d rush out to buy in bottles again to be honest, but if I saw it for sale in a pub I would be tempted to try it. It just didn’t have the taste and smell that I was expecting from the Amarillo hop.

Worst Beer Bottle Labels Ever…?

Fallen Angel bottles...

We were visiting a friend at the weekend who lives near Lewes in Sussex. I managed to pop into Lewes in the Saturday afternoon, mainly to visit the Harveys Brewery shop, where I picked up a few beers to try. I was disappointed not to see much Dark Star around, so on the Sunday I persuaded everyone that we should go to the Middle Farm shop, as I’d been told they had a large selection of cider, perry and beer. They had a good selection of beer from all over Sussex and it was difficult to only pick up a few to bring back.

The main point of this blog post though, is that I finally came face to face with the worst beer labels imaginable. I’m sure I’d previously seen them on Pump Clip Parade, but I can’t seem to find them now. Even so, nothing quite prepares you for when you see them in the flesh, truly horrendous, totally unnecessary and no doubt they put people off buying the beer.