Monday, 26 September 2011


Well ive still no idea why its called Borefts, but what ever the reason it is the Festival Highlight of the Year. All the stars align for this festival. Its an easy location to get to. Short flight to Amsterdam, simple train ride, and then your there.

This is the 3rd year and it just keeps growing. I wish i had a few pictures but i was far to busy drinkin.
The list of Brewers this year, was once again stellar. These are some if not quite all of the best Brewers in Europe covering the full range of styles.

The full list of brewers was :

Brouwerij de Molen,
Bodegraven, Netherlands
Närke Kulturbryggeri,
Örebro, Sweden

Marentino, Italië
Brouwerij Emelisse,
Kamperland, Netherlands

Thornbridge Brewery,
Bakewell, England

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Kernel
London, England

Nøgne Ø,
Grimstad, Norway

Amager Bryghus,
Kastrup, Denmark

Sint Christoffel Bier,
Roermond, Netherlands

De Struise Brouwers,
Oostvleteren, Belgium

Manchester, England

The food is fantastic, with the BBQ a great addition over last years choices. The range of beers was amazing, with great traditional UK cask to the bigger new brasher range of beers from the UK, The big big beers we have all come to expect from the likes of the Best of Mainland European brewers, and some really interesting sour edged beers from a new comer to the festival, Loverbeer.

I managed to try beers from all the brewers and i dont think i has a single bad beer. Each Brewer brought something interesting to the festival, though obviously we all have our Favourites.

My top beers of the Festival were
  1. The late and unannounced De Molen Hot and Spicy II. Man this was Spicy. I had tried the Hot and Spicy I at GBBF, i though while pretty hot any hotter would have been a mistake. I think though i REALLY need a 2nd taste (if Meno wants to send me a bottle) to be sure that the II is better.  At first taste your head explodes, your mouth catches fire and your teeth melt. But once that happens, you get the deep solid roast malts, the big chocolate, and the chilli pepper. Despite the WOW front it settles down into a well balanced if spicy beer.
  2. The Recreated Courage Russian Imperial Stout from Thornbridge. Tasted first on Friday this was a nice rich roast malt, deep dark flavours, big chocolate, and something a little odd. I liked but not loved this, but trying again on Saturday, either me or the beer had changed. This was richer, smoother, fuller. It had a massive chocolate tones, the barest hint of licorice,and the odd flavour was identified as salt, it was just a light saltiness, but was clearly there and oddly enhanced the beer rather than competing with it. Wonderful
  3. De Molen Hart and Ziel. This is classed as a smoked on ratebeer but i didnt really notice any smokiness what i did get was  sweet dark chocolate roast, a light coffee, deep soft cherry and sweet raspberry, some dark chocolate basically it was soft smooth easy  rich soft chocolate fruits.
Honer-able mentions go to : Kernal Breakfast Stout, De Struise Single Black, De Struise Pannepot Special Reserva, Thornbridge evenlode and De Molen Amarillo Upgreyde

The addition of the 2nd site (the new brewery location) was fantastic, there was ALMOST enough seating(and even better most of this is covered), but there was more seating than any other festival i have been at, and i dont think i actually had to stand for any length of time, which is good as im far to old to stand :-)

It was odd that De Struise were charging more than 1 token, for all but two of their beers, and this is worrying. I dont mind paying for my beer, and charging more than 1 token for a 39% beer seems very sensible, but i think id rather see it as the exception rather than the Rule.

At 2 tokens a samples thats about 6Tokens for 300ml. That would be an equivelent 330ml bottle price of 9E which is while certainly justifiable for some beer, seems just a little steep as the average price.

But saying that De Struise had no problem selling there beers, and i certainly was in there for quite a few of their beers, and as this was the only brewer doing this i didnt feel i was spending too much. But i have memories of another festival that i attended a few years back than almost every brewer was charging 2 or 3 or more for the majority if not all of there beers, and i left that festival felling just a little bit ripped off.

There no doubt in my mind (little though it may be) that this is the  best festival in Europe.  SO cheers to all the volunteers as well as Meno for organising this. Long may it continue.