Friday, 14 October 2011

Grape & Grain Autumn Beer Festival

So I've been living in the threshold of Crystal Palace for over a year now and one of the first events I attended was the Grape and Grains first beer festival. A year on and this now bi annual event has come on leaps and bounds. Offering over 60 Cask Ales including Westerham Rick's Birthday Bitter 4% ABV brewed especially for landlord Rick's birthday on the Sunday of the festival!!

We headed in for last orders on Friday night, knowing that we were set to return with friends for a Saturday evening session.
Art Brew Smokey Bastard 5.5% ABV named after a band of the same name. This beer poured jet black and as the name suggest was beautifully smokey. A deep rich chocolate taste with a lovely silky smokeyness I could have happily drank this all night, but alas final orders were soon called.

Returning the following evening, the festival was already in full swing and after one day already several casks were missing, including to my disappointment Fyne Ales Jarl, but there were still several for us to sample.

Acorn Gorlovka Imperial Stout 6% ABV a rich aroma of chocolate, liquorish and raisin. Tastes fruity with a strong hit of alcohol, synonymous with Imperial Stouts. With the taste lasting for the duration and developing as the beer warms. A great addition to the festival even if it was overlooked by my friends.

Sticking with the dark porters and stouts, Beowulf Brewery Finn's Hall Porter 5.2% ABV has a wonderful smokey aroma with a well balance hoppy taste with hints of vanilla coming through.

And of course several other beers were sampled throughout the night, but as well as the beers the brilliant band The Twilighters delighted the punters with there 60's inspired swing/surf rock which were a delight to watch and got everyone toe tapping! 

I'm lucky to live so close to The Grape & Grain and Rick and co have done an amazing job with building the pubs reputation. The first beer festival had around 30 ales growing to 40 for their spring festival earlier this year, to organise and rake up 60 casks is no mean feat! I can't wait to see how the events develop next year!
If you ever venture into SE19 be sure to drop in for a pint, I'm sure you wont be disappointed.