NWAF: How Was It For you?

As someone famously said:“We came. We Saw. We drank.”

And so it was at the National Winter Ales Festival. Or NWAF as the law says we have to call it. This was a sheer cornucopian indulgence of all things beery. Oh and cider and perry as well; but I didn’t try any of that. Or any of the bottled stuff, either, come to think of it. I had my hands glasses full sampling mucho cask beer and foreign draught.

Anyway the place was a sweatshop of staff (or unpaid mugs, as they are known in the trade) working, beavering, slogging away to serve the thirsty punters. And Tandleman was there as well. Shaking hands, signing autographs-all that kind of celebrity thing. He actually let me have his for the discounted price of £10. What a guy.

The first beer sampled at the event was Black Bull Sauce of the Niall. This was a 4.5% stout named after Sunderland FC’s chairman, Niall Quinn. Last beer sampled was (I think) Thornbridge Merrie. This was (I think) a 5.9% copper coloured Christmas pudding type of drink with spiced fruit, ginger and cinnamon all in the mix. I think.

All the beers sampled were in good condition and some of the third samples were very generous. But my pick of the best, in no particular order, goes something like this. Best Mild would have to be Kissingate Black Cherry Mild-an interesting mix of fruit and Amarillo hops. Amarillo hops also were much in evidence in Hydes Old Amarillo. There was no subtlety here. Just a wonderful orange bouquet followed by an intense bite of Amarillo hops. A hopheads delight.

Other beers enjoyed: All of the Cumbrian breweries, including two new ones to me-Great Gable and Greenod. The new stout from Ramsbottom’s very own Irwell Works, Iron Plate, was also quite tasty. However, you couldn’t disagree with the judges who crowned Hop Back Entire Stout as the Champion Winter Beer of Britain.

Well done to all those concerned and congratulations to Hop Back and all the other winners. Another year and another successful event. If CAMRA have got any sense, they will leave the event where it is. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


RedNev said…
I couldn't make it this year for the first time in years, but I agree entirely that it shouldn't be moved.
Cooking Lager said…
Tandleman shook my hand. I will never wash it again. £4 for a lout was eye watering but Mike Benners wages doesn't pay itself.

As for moving it around, isn't that the point of a pong campaign, to move it around so as to hawk pong at new people?
Barry said…
A great event. There were some fantastic Porters & Stouts and plenty of good foreign beer. As for moving it, where would they move it to?
Anonymous said…
Have you got any pictures of tandleman working?
Tyson said…

If it's your left hand, I would cover it and leave it for prosperity. It's value can only increae. Unless you're a weirdie left-hander, obviously.


I keep those with my Loch Ness photos:)
sean said…
What's wrong with being left handed?

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