Monday, 13 June 2011

Let there be Cask

and there will be aplenty this Thursday to Saturday at the Scottish Real Ale Festival, with further details at

This Years beer list seems a tad more exciting than last year with Plenty of Breweries that dont make many appearances in the Edinburgh pubs.
So its particularly heartwarming to see some of the smaller breweries, such as Angus Ales, Aye Brewing, Deeside, Devon ales, Luckie, Moulin, and Plockton making appearances, and its specially pleasing to see the fairly new Burnside brewery who i dont think has appeared in Edinburgh before.

As well as the smaller lesser spotted Breweries its great to see Stewarts with a few new brews and im looking forward to trying the CAMRA 40th Anniversary beer. Stewarts have come out with some great special beers of late with theyre Pumpkin and coconut porter.

Highlights though for me will be dark beers as always, so im really looking forward to trying :

Deeside Talorcan again. This is a Great stout with a rich roast malt body, hints of chocolate and rich sweet tones and an odd but pleasant character added through it interesting of Whey.

Orkney Dark Island Reserve. This is an amazing Imperial stout in bottle. really rich ark and complex, but it was a little disappointing in cask last year so it will be interesting to see how it is in cask this year.

From the New beers, Tinpot look the most interesting and definitely the most experimental, and i am particularly looking forward to trying the Beetroot and Blackpepper. Now it may well not work, but fingers crossed. Should be interesting either way.

Im also looking forward to the Burnside Black Katz mild, as ive only every seen the brewery once before, on a visit to Aberdeen, and im a fan of milds so will be interesting to see try a mild from this new brewery.

However for many of the breweries its disappointing to find so little experimentation, as most of these beers can probably be found round and about Edinburgh pubs that week. I never understand why anyone would come to the beer festival to drink Deuchars IPA, or Caledonian 80 as these can be found in almost any pub in Edinburgh, but each to there own and all that.

What i would complain about is the sparsity of high ABV beers with really only two beers there, and both from the Same Brewery. Namely Orkney Dark Island Reserve and Skull splitter. Its a shame we dont see more higher ABV beer and the Lack of Highlands Old Norway, and Orkney Porter is close to a crime. Though it is nice to see Fynes ales new Sublime Stout coming in at a respectable 6.8%, and we can but hope we might see some barrel aged beers from Black Isle next year (as theyve recently tweeted about sourcing some Barrels)

My one great hope from the non published information, is that i hope they include third pint lined glasses as they offer more choice to the customer, and even some small village festivals are providing this option, so really there is no excuse for Scotland's flagship festival not to.

Hope to see some of you there Thursday afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. It would be great if they offered thirds, or as I call it the 'Tickmeasure'. With a dozen new brewers there this time there's going to be a lot to get through... :)