St Albans Beer and Cider Festival 2017
The St Albans beer and cider festival is renowned for a great atmosphere and filled with characters from around the historic city and known for having the most pubs per Sq mile than any other city. Hosted by CAMRA in the infamous St Albans Arena on the dates of 27th-30th September 2017.
Two of the Lost Boys attended this event with varying tastes, getting to try everything and anything to their liking. This blog is written from Jordan’s point of view and taste buds, I’ll leave Jon to comment on his own! Whilst at the beer festival I tried a variety of beers and ciders throughout the evening. It was packed full of likeminded individuals, the atmosphere was great , the carpets sticky with spilt beer and the kegs draining due to the high demand, all of which I took part in.
Stand out beer for me was Mad squirrels Milk Stout DE LA CRÈME coming in at 4%. I have to admit that this was my favorite of the night, De La Crème uses added lactose sugar to bring sweet chocolate, caramel and cream flavours to your attention, and you could really tell they had added a bit of extra love into this one. As a young adult Guiness drinker, this really was the pinnacle for a lovely smooth, sweet stout that appealed to the younger generation in my eyes. The Donny Darkoish logo is a strange one, but none the less, stands out in a demonic fashion.
After pulling myself away the stout table, I turned my attention to my passion and one true love, fruit beer! I decided to try bottles as this aligns with what we are doing at Lost Boys Brewery.
My first beer was a well-known classic for anyone that has been abroad and or to a place like Bruges, this is where I first experienced the fruitful tastes of Floris. At the festival I tried a Mango Floris, it came across as smooth and an easy drinking white beer, with exotic fruity flavours and a refreshing citric finish. The aroma is a mix of mango and wheat and the hue is a light yellowish colour due to the fruit and ingredients involved in this mash up. The flavour is a very strong mango and sweet finish. Some wheat and lemons are also in the flavour, but the mango is the dominant flavour component.
My second beer was a new one to me coming from the Flying Dog Brewery, I tried two of their beers. Though not fruity, the reason for my choice was due to the visual effects of the logo and the description of the taste, which I feel we are trying to incorporate into our own beer. The pale ale was slightly grassy, citrus, and had a slight perfume hop aroma with a subtle sweet, malty body to accompany it.
I also thought I’d have a go on the IPA to try and get a feel for how bitter some Breweries like to create their own beers. From the start it had a big citrus kick to the taste buds (notably grapefruit) and a very hoppy aroma to pair. I have to say this wasn’t one of my favourites of the evening due to the bitterness and my love for all things sweet, but still a great drink to get down you with a curry or something spicy I suggest.
Third and final is my own wildcard and shock of the evening coming from Vedett brewery, an extra white with coriander (my nemesis in the food world). This one I was not expecting to like in the slightest, but I wanted to see how breweries incorporate different flavours not associated with beer which is something we are trying to do with our different fruit ales. I have to say this beer was stiff and creamy in consistency but left a light taste in your mouth. The aroma was very fruity filled with oranges and lemons. The coriander didn’t affect the taste, although I could smell the coriander I could only slightly taste it; but with the bitterness of the fruits incorporated it really balanced all of the flavours.