Famous Five take on Robin Hood (Beer Festival)
So many beers, so little time. The beers in question were at Nottingham Robin Hood Beer Festival held for the second year at Motorpoint Arena.
Fenland's Famous Five took a trip on the first day of opening (Trade and CAMRA members only session) when there were 800 ales to choose from.
After passing through security (don't rummage too deep in my bag it's only my jim jams) the Five made there way up to Bolero Square and the outdoor area bars. First stop was to the Batemans bar to meet up with old friends Lynn and Ian, Dave Phillips and Jackie Bateman. Dark Fruits Porter (4.4%) was sampled with all agreeing it certainly hit the mark. In fact dark beers - milds, porters and stouts - set the tone for the day. Next bar to visit was Castle Rock with most sampling Ada Lovelace at 4.2% a chocolate porter. Shipstones bar had their Mild (3.5%) dark in colour, light in texture - did it taste as in the old days - who knows - but very acceptable.
Moving down to the main bars area more dark side of the brews were enjoyed - such as Spiced Orange Stout (4.1%) from Abstract Jungle (Derby home brewers comp winner), Rabbie's Porter (4.3%) from Ayr, Madacascan Vanilla Mild (3.4%) from Belvoir. A visit to the Nene Valley bar with its gluten free beers and a friendly chat with the bar lady persuaded us to sample Egyptian Cream (4.5%), a creamy milk stout; good advice taken. Further ales tasted included Ripple Raspberry Stout (4%) and Black Cherry Mild (4.2%) from Kissingate - a must for ramblers.
Bang the Elephant Brewery from Langley Mill had beers named after the War of the Worlds, and Forever Autumn 4.4% was a malty ale with maple and vanilla tones. Not to be outdone in the name games, Beer Brothers from Preston had Stouty McStoutface (4.7%). As a finale, beers from Blue Monkey were sampled, Chocolate Guerilla (4.9%) and Guerrilla Plum Stout (4.9%), which was compared with Titanic Plum Porter, also 4.9%.
All too soon it was time to wend a way to the railway station, catch the train and relax and ruminate on another grand day at the beer festival.