As it was a 60th anniversary that sounded like a good time to make a 6.0% ABV beer. I'd been wanting to make an early style IPA with all pale malt and loads of Goldings hops for some time. To make a dry beer to 6% ABV meant I'd be looking for an original gravity in the mid 50s, which gave me a chance to fulfill another ambition: making a beer to standard barrel strength (original gravity 1.055). I'm quite happy with the result too.
Then there was the double bank holiday weekend. I had to work on the Saturday but got home in time to pop down to the beer festival at The Crown. I was pleased to see that Harvest Pale, Champion Beer of Britain 2010, was amongst the delights on offer. I've only had it from the bottle before and it's much better on draught.
On Sunday we drove up to Langdale in the Lake District and then walked over to Wasdale, one of the remoter valleys.
The lovely Lisa slipped on the path from Styhead Tarn and didn't half crack her elbow. Fortunately the pub was just in sight so she was heroically able to struggle on. The Wasdale Head Inn was mercifully bunting free and a hot meal washed down with Sneck Lifter lifted our spirits.
We were staying at Brackenclose and there I had the rare experience of being out beer buffed. As a professional brewer, amateur beer nerd and dedicated piss artist this doesn't happen often, but the people knocking back a fine selection of ales at the hut included a founder member of Norwich CAMRA and a guy from Edinburgh with keen knowledge of the latest in Scottish brewing. As the only beers I had with me were cans of Gold Label I poured the beer into glasses out of sight in the kitchen to hide my shame.
On Monday we carried on to Borrowdale and got some fantastic views from the top of Great Gable, though it was slightly disappointing to be able see Gimmer Crag over near where our walk had started two days earlier. We had a small detour to the Langstrath Inn before a bit of blagging got us beds in the Fell and Rock club hut. We popped out later to take in the Scafell Hotel, which strangely enough is a tick, though we much preferred the Langstrath.
The next day we trudged back to Langdale, where due to a