5 Drunken Discoveries From The Hull Beer & Cider Festival

The Hull Beer & Cider Festival always throws up some great new ales. Here’s the pick of the bunch...
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The Hull Beer & Cider Festival always throws up some great new ales. Here’s the pick of the bunch...

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It was in a church! For the first time in its history the Hull Beer & Cider Festival was held in the city’s Holy Trinity Church. Hand pulls on the Epistle side of the nave, gravity casks along the Gospel side, pie and peas in the south transept and scratchings in the font (that one’s a lie). I can think of no finer way of spending a damp Thursday afternoon.

For the benefit of you, dear reader, I sampled as many of the ales and ciders on offer as possible before I slid slowly of my pew (not a lie) and here are my 5 faves. Seek them out, do.

PS Sorry about the quality of the pictures but they weren’t the foremost thing on my mind.

Brass Castle – Sunshine (5.7%)

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I’ve been singing the praises of this fantastic one-man-band nano-brewery since they started brewing last summer. Located in the garage of a terraced house, they produce a small range of vegan (yes, your beer normally contains meat-products) ales including this dry, fruity IPA. The lack of meat-derived additives means that the head doesn’t last long and there’s little lacing on the glass as you drink but don’t let that put you off, if beer meat-less beer tastes this good more breweries may soon be going veggie.

http://brasscastlebrewery.co.uk/

@BrassCastleBeer on Twitter

Wold Top – Angler’s Reward (4.0%)

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Wold Top are situated on a farm right at the top of the Yorkshire Wolds. They grow their own barley and the water used in the brewing comes from their own bore hole. This gluten-free bitter uses lager malts to produce a sweet beer with a remarkable head. The tasting notes didn’t mention it but I thought there was a hint of aniseed in the finish.

http://www.woldtopbrewery.co.uk/

@WoldTopBrewery on Twitter

Big River Brewery – Halyard Honey Ale (4.8%)

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Another one-man-band operation, Big River brewed this honey-spiced ale especially for the festival and delicious it is too. The taste of honey is very pronounced but never overpowers the fragrant bitterness.

http://www.bigriverbrewery.co.uk/index.html

Leeds Brewery – Midnight Bell (4.8%)

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Stick yer Guinness, Midnight Bell is far, far superior. Deep, dark, complex and loads of body. Leeds make many great beers but this is probably my favourite.

http://www.leedsbrewery.co.uk/

@TheLeedsBrewery on Twitter

Ampleforth Abbey cider (8.3%)

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By this stage I’d done so much ‘research I forgot to take a picture until I’d necked it]

I love this stuff. Love, love, love. It’s made by the monks at the abbey from apples they grow in their own orchard. It’s sweet, outrageously strong and would almost work as a dessert wine.  A suitably ecclesiastical brew to end the day.

http://www.abbey.ampleforth.org.uk/acatalog/Monastic_produce.html

@visitampleforth on Twitter

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