Friday, 31 October 2014

40th Steel City Beer Festival

Two beer geeks have have oft pondered and pontificated over points for pints in pubs around the city but never for an audience. We were kindly invited to judge beers at the 40th Steel City Beer Festival by Chris who is the rock that keeps the Gibraltar Street fun house aka Shakespeares so splendidly special.

The Kelham Island industrial museum was a grand location for Sheffield's biggest beer Fest including a marquee, the Millowners pub and the Upper Hall.  Scoring the ales for aroma, appearance, taste, drinkability and after taste was straightforward and sensible but also great fun.

We had a good mix of fellow judges on both the panels we judged and,from each tray of ten ales, there was usually one or two that really stood out for us. We only knew the candidates by number though so there was no voting for favoured brewers (Steel City, coughcough).. Plenty of happy hopheads mind charting beer geekiness although collating results proved trickier as the numbers of beers judged increased.....hic!

Before, between and after panels we, err, drank some beer. We liked the Hopcraft offerings especially Who`s Been Sleeping in my Brain, we think, but, despite a valiant effort, we barely scratched the surface of the 150+ beers on offer. Snowball by Waen also was an opinion divider.
All in all, this event appeared to be a great success. Venue,ales, food and judges were sagely selected for the impressive numbers of punters we saw on the opening night. Roll on 2015 and number 41!


Top 3 beers of the festival were 1st Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland 2nd Fernandes Half Nelson 3rd Rat Ratweiller

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