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Archive for November 23rd, 2009

My more loyal readers will know that I have a habit of turning up at a Christmas beer festival in East London in early December. In addition to the beers, there is also an assorted crowd of tickers and bloggers that I tend to hang out with, and a splendid time is guaranteed – if not for all, at least for me.

The organisers have been kind enough to publish the beer lists on spreadsheets, both the British and the imports. Useful for those of us with fading eyesight, useful for those of us who try to pretend it’s not a tragedy to have a pint of a beer you’ve actually tried before. (I’m working on this. Honestly.)

So, what’s the line up this year?

It’s not filled with incredible highlights forcing you to attend every session in case you miss a drop of history. But there should be something for everything here.

From the foreign beer list there is a Belgian sour ale plus a Mikkeller Christmas beer on tap. I suspect that this list is not complete, as there usually are some great German beers as well. Nothing Nordic from outside Denmark, which is fine by me, but some people might miss some highlights. No Italians either.

The main list of British cask beers has about 160 entries, and I have only tried a very few. Lots of stuff from small micros, it seems, hard to distinguish between many of them.

I’ll make sure I get to try the new beers from Otley, Dark Star and Pitfield, as they have proved consistent quality over the years. The Wheel Ale from the new Steel City brewery will probably disappear fast.

I’m a bit surprised that BrewDog is only represented by their 77 lager. Nothing wrong with that, but for an audience like this, I’d expect something from the more inventive end of their range.

At the Copenhagen Beer Festival this year I was stressed by all the extreme beers I was unable to sample during my brief visit. At Pig’s Ear I can let my shoulders sink and enjoy decent session beers in good company. And, at the end of the day, it’s more enjoyable.

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