Monday, 16 May 2011

Glad All Over!

Selhurst Park
So as previously mentioned last weekend was the first CPFC beer festival. The festival originally started as a small festival with just 500 tickets but ended up having over 1400 in attendance had been spurred on after requests from fans earlier in the season for Real Ale to be sold in the bars around the ground.

With the final list offering over 80 Ales and Ciders, spanning the length and breath of Britain from St Austell to Isle of Arran. (Although the initial beer list had promised 3 casks from Brew Dog, which I had been looking forward to showcasing to some friends and family for the first time had sadly been omitted from the final list) Held in the gangways and bar of our "kop end", The Homesdale Road stand it was a bit strange catching glimpses of an otherwise empty stadium.

For me there was only ever one option for the first beer of the the festival. Neil Morrisey's Palace Blonde 4.2% ABV and it didn't disappoint! I've not been a fan when I've previously tried Neil's beers but Palace Blonde was fantastic! With a beautiful golden colour and a sweet floral nose the taste was well balanced with a pleasant non overpowering bitterness, a perfect summer session beer. I really hope I get to taste this again!

Me and Oz Clarke
Spoilt for choice with Kelham Island Easy Rider 4.3% ABV and Castle Rock Harvest Pale Ale 3.8% ABV, which I had been disappointed with in its stronger bottled version but is proved why its the Champion Beer of Britain on cask. With the FA Cup Final being shown on TVs around the stand I was lucky enough to get a chance chat to Oz Clarke about his future shows with James May, including the hunt for great pork pies! Oh and of course great beer. Oz also agreeing that Palace Blonde was excellent and almost on cue we we're joined by Neil Morrisey, who was both elated and disappointed to discover that all 5 casks of his beer had sold out!

With the match over it was time to try a few more beers, other highlights were Toad M&R Chocolate Stout 4.6% ABV  and Darkstar Festival 5.0%.  However for me the beer of the day for me was local brewery Sambrook's Celebration Ale 4.9% brewed in celebration of Royal Wedding, amber in colour with a strong flora citrusy aroma leading to a lovely sweet taste of lemon and honey with a distinctive floral flavour.

By 7pm a black market in beer tokens was in force, the club having purposely sold enough to cover what was available, so wearily I headed home. The whole day had been brilliant, sampling great beer in view of the pitch of my favorite football team was a great experience, But you didn't have to be a Palace fan to appreciate the day, with local bands providing entertainment throughout the day as well as the now infamous Crystal cheerleaders performing a few of their routines. The debut Beer Festival was a great success so much so that I'm told plans are already a foot for an autumn festival later this year!