Oxford Beer Festival

Last night we went to the Oxford Beer Festival at the Town Hall. With 160 real ales to try I was in heaven. I went in with a grand plan, I’d identified a number of beers I wanted to try and was going to work my way through them. Through a combination of sell outs and crowds at the bar this didn’t really work. So I adopted a new plan – find a gap at the bar and make a random pick. It worked as I don’t think I had a duff beer all night.

Here are the five I tried in order of my preference:

1. Adders Tongue (Hop Kettle, 5.3%)
Made with New Zealand hops this was a dark beer with a fruity flavour.

2. Copper Beech (Chiltern, 4.4%)
A strong, golden ale, this beer tasted of Autumn.

3. Headmaster (Old School, 4.5%)
Another dark beer with a nutty flavour.

4. Reilly’s Red (Vale, 4.3%)
My third dark beer of the night. Tasty but no distinctive flavours.

5. Boozy Floozy (Loddon, 4.5%)
A lighter beer made from challenger hops. Described as gently spicy but this didn’t really come through.

There were a few beers that I was disappointed to miss out on: Salem Porter (Bateman, 4.7%), Single Hop Chinook (Hop Kettle, 4.1%) and Witch’s Finger (WharfeBank, 4.6%). Perhaps I’ll get a chance to test them at another festival soon.

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I am a freelance writer, editor and trainer. A librarian in a former life.

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