Monday 15 November 2010

Woking beer festival 2010

I went to my local beer festival on Saturday. I was particularly excited this year as I'd spied that some Marble beers were on, a brewery that is highly rated by my fellow beer nerds.  

First up was a half of Pint (3.9% ABV), which even at this early stage of the evening caused some confusion to the man behind bar. This beer has more hops than you can shake a stick at, making it seem more like drinking grapefruit juice. A bit OTT for me to be honest. W90 (3.7% ABV) seemed a bit more balanced but the hops were heading in the piney direction which always makes me think of toilet duck. Interesting beers, but not ones I was keen to drink more of. 

I was after something next where the hops hadn't been cranked up to 11 so a pint of the reassuringly blandly named Stringers Best (4.2% ABV) seemed ideal. I thought it was great, and could have happily spent an evening on it, but it was not to be. This was a beer festival after all.

So I followed it with the Stringers No. 2 stout. Again it was good drinking at only 4% ABV, but I was feeling the need for something with a bit more oomph at this point. There were a couple of beers from the righteous brewery Pilgrim on offer and Saturn Alia (4.9% ABV) did the trick. A ruby beer with some body, it was just what I was after. 

At this point I moved on to the small hall and got chatting to the bloke who runs Egham beer festival. I drank the beer he recommended which was very nice but what it was I couldn't say. Only three pints in an losing track already - you can see where this is heading. The lovely Lisa thinks it was Langham LSD, which could explain why my memory is a bit hazy. 

Other beers of note included Dorking brewery Dry Hop Gold (3.8%) which was packed full of flavour for its modest strength, Inveralmond Thrappledouse (4.3%), Houston Texas (4.3%) and Andwell's Rudy Darter (4.6%) which I seem to recall we had a few of towards the end. This was another ruby beer, and I'm sure the darker ones keep out the winter chill better. Which was just as well as we were walking home.


  1. If you wanted something with a bit more umph, and wanted to lose track quicker, I recon the barley wine trail would have done. For those who don't know this trail, next beer festival, try as many different halves of B.W. as you can :) should keep out the winter cold nicely.

  2. I love Marble dearly, but I can't drink those ultra-pale, ultra-hoppy bitters (I make an exception for Dobber). But they've got lots of fans, and not just among beer nerds - it seems to be a Manchester thing (I wouldn't know, I've only been here 30 years).

  3. Thanks for your positive comment about our Saturn Alia...we brewers live in a different universe and getting a message through the ether is always welcome!

    Semper Fidelis
    Dave Roberts

    Ps can't help agreeing with you about ultra hoppy beers....more easily brewed than beers with extra gulpability!

  4. Ghost Drinker: I'm too much of a light weight to manage a barley wine trail I'm afraid. I tend to only drink beers of that strength in the safety of my own living room.

    Phil: I'm sure there is a market for very hoppy beers, and sometimes I go for them myself. Do Marble really have a beer called Dobber though? Perhaps it means something different up north!

    Dave: It was good to see your beers there, I wish they were in Woking more often.

  5. Glad you liked the Best. We try to come out with drinking beers generally. While I agree with Dave Roberts' PS, there has to be room for good oomph as well.

  6. "Dobber" is usually preceded by "big", and generally refers to an unusually large example of something longer than it's broad, e.g. a hot dog sausage. (It's possible that I'm missing a more specific meaning, due to having lived a sheltered life.)

    The Marble Dobber is, well, a big dobber in flavour terms - imagine Pint crossed with Wobbly Bob. The name is also a tribute to Brendan Dobbin (where is he now?) whose West Coast Brewery blazed the trail for the Marble; he also helped set the Marble brewery up when they started.