Friday saw the second day of the Hare & Hounds beer festival (http://hareandhoundsbury.com/ThePub/BeerFestival/tabid/62/Default.aspx) and it was all go. With so many beers available, all served as God intended-cellar cooled, handpulled and sparkled, you were spoilt for choice. Well, the landlord is from Yorkshire.
The scooper contingent were already well settled in when I arrived. They really are a hardy bunch, with Hutch going for a half of Allgates and a half of Bazens in the same round. A braver man than me. As usual a lot of new breweries means a lot of new beers. And, unfortunately, as usual a lot of mediocre beers. Brown/copper and dull. Step forward Hexamshire Devil’s Elbow. And Hammerpot Meteor.
Mind you they were both a lot better than Northern Golden World, which was like someone had melted a packet of butterscotch sweets. Even Archimedes couldn’t manage to drink it. Much better (naturally) were the first two (of four) Brewdog beers that were available. Trashy Blonde (4.1%) was a real hop mess-good for hopheads but not to everyone’s taste. There’s a real piny hop explosion on the tongue, but some people felt it was too much and lacked a clean, crisp edge. It didn’t stop me sinking a few when Eddie, the eager, legal beagle turned up.
Brewdog Devine Rebel at 12.5% drew a fair bit of interest. All you can say about it is that it tastes like you would expect-a barley wine. It hides its strength pretty well, but you’re still never going to be able to throw it down in a hurry.
Best new beers: Sheffield Pale (crisp and hoppy), Hopstar Dark Knight (pleasingly lush).