Set in Manchester’s beautiful Victoria Baths this the thrice pooled extravaganza of a site and was just as big this year: extra space outside for seating and food vendors, the turkish baths were more open and the balconies provided extra roaming, admiring and seating space. Here are a few pictures from Friday and Saturday day sessions.
Our beer highlights are as follows:
Pohjala (Estonia) – Imperial White Stout 11.7% ABV
A White Stout apparently brewed for the shortest night of the year – this beast has a delightful balance of huge wholesome malts and creamy white chocolate; while the flavour has hints of orange zest and bitterness on the finish.
Gueuzerie Tilquin (Belgium) – Rullquin Stout 7.0% ABV
A mind blowing blend of 7/8 Rulles Oud Bruin and 1/8 Tilquin Gueuze – this slips down like a moorish Belgian brown but with all the funk of a classic lambic. Truly fascinating!
The Kernel Brewery (London) – Mandarina Bavaria/Citra/Mosaic 5.3% ABV
Another classic from the Kernel. A beautifully balanced juicy pale ale with tropical madness everywhere, perfect carbonation and just a hint of bitterness. The Mandarina really steals the show; probably the best use of the hop I’ve tasted so far. A real delight.
Runaway Brewery (Manchester) – Double IPA 7.2% ABV
A super refreshing DIPA – replaces the ever more present sweetness and viscous nature of Double IPA’s with a brilliantly refreshing mouthfeel with bags of zesty citrus bitterness.
Yeastie Boys (NZ) – Rex Attitude 7.0% ABV
Made from 100% heavy peated distilling malt; this is the real wildcard of the lot! A golden beer with a crisp, dry palate – it explodes into your mouth with huge medicinal whisky flavours but the beer somehow holds it’s own and the overall flavour profile just keeps you going back for more. Pretty indescribable, definitely polarising, but absolutely mindblowing.
Wylam Brewery (Northumberland) – Les Saisonnier 5.4% ABV
A rosemary and lemon balm Saison. A light golden, big-headed beauty! At first is the herbal notes and texture of a traditional Saison, what hits you is the full-bodied taste and the thought “now this IS a Saison” quickly follows. The rosemary really brings a delicate floral as well as herbal notes, and it’s a welcome sensation. Warm memories of roast dinners spring to mind but the lemon balm freshens and invigorates the finish leaving an appetite for more. Wylam are doing justice to the style in a way that many British breweries are yet to manage. Les Saisonnaier can proudly stand by its name.