Thursday, 16 July 2015

Beer on the Wye 11

I couldn't spend as much time as I would have liked at the beer festival on Saturday - the bus into Hereford was late, due to a funeral at Glasbury, and I had several errands I needed to do before I went there.
I didn't have time to go to the Historical Festival on the Castle Green either, but I did see the medieval musicians near the Cathedral, and three or four Sealed Knot soldiers coming from the general direction of the beer festival. I'm not sure which side they were on, but I shouted "The King and the Cause!" after them anyway (in the dim and distant past, I was a Royalist pike person).
The festival was jam packed with people, and Gwyn Ashton was up on stage doing a one man blues rock performance. Which was very pleasant, but I was sorry to have to go before the Eastern European folk band Flatworld came on.
I started with Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby strong bitter (maybe a little stronger than I was expecting) and moved on to Norfolk beers that I can't normally get on this side of the country. I'm very fond of Woodforde's Wherry - it brings back happy memories of living in Norwich - and the Wolf Golden Jackal was also very tasty.
Alas, there wasn't quite time to finish off the session with a half of Jaipur from Thornbridge (which has won Beer of the Festival twice).
The festival also places a great emphasis on cider and perry, and this year they had a petition to sign, because small cider and perry makers are under threat. There were 132 different ciders and perrys at the Festival this year, over 100 of them from Herefordshire. The EU wants the UK government to change the tax rules so that small producers no longer have an exemption from Excise Duty. This would not only close down a lot of small producers, but would mean that a lot of orchards would disappear along with them. 26,000 people have already signed the online CAMRA petition.

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