Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Sheffield Brew Fest @ The Bath Hotel

Collaboration and cooperation seem to be watchwords, very valid vocab, in British brewing and beery business nowadays. (Mebbe not in crafty Camden though eh?!).

Brew Fest was the result of a true team of talent. Sean from Beer Central , Jules from HH, Edd off of The Bath plus a pair of local home brewers made Brew Fest happen filling the Bath to the brim. Every discerning beer supper seemed to descend on the Victoria Street ale house at some point during the four day Fest and no one can have left disappointed. The Bath is a Grade 2 listed building heritage, a real beauty, and a beer geek favourite for several years now. Quality not quantity appeared the apparent aim of this event.

30 cask offerings plus more of similar quality in keg and bottle covered all beeriodic bases.
For both of us, Thornbridge`s own Desert Sessions (5.7% rye) rated very highly and may well appear in a separate blog bit.....

I quite enjoyed the SWB Cirachi (5.8%) as my first tipple recommend by a fellow beer geek whilst Danny had enjoyed the 5 Points pale at 4.4%. Atom, Steel City and Anarchy divided opinion amongst us and our drinking neighbours (including ar Wee Beefy) whereas we were all fans of Tiny Rebel`s Cwtch a 5.6% red, having encountered it at Derby last year.

 (two innocent-looking ales)

 On keg Wild's Wildebeest was an 11% special and drew many admirers as did Magic Rock`s 9.2% Human Cannonball and the Sierra Nevada Big Foot barley wine but Danny chose Marble as his top beverage. I plumped for Siren. Or Magic Rock. errr.

 Firstly,  Earl Grey IPA appeared quite late in our evening but it is a tremendous beer, one of the very finest of its type. This one was in a bottle which is surely worth seeking out at Hop Hideout (Abbeydale Road) or at Beer Central (Moor Market). Siren have done nowt wrong in 2014 in my book and the Berkshire brewers have taken our steel city by storm. Soundwave is a straight up west coast IPA that is beautifully balanced at 5.6%. Citrus fruity fresh and happily hoppy. All good! Mind you, Magic Rock`s Pith Head, a 4.5% fruity radler, was also a standout ale. Too much choice! Huddersfield and Reading were in the same division for this clash and it was Premiership not a lower league!

So     -     30 barrels + city's smallest pub = Big Success
Therefore, ergo, henceforth : Quality is more important than > quantity. QED, etc.
Well done and a sincere thanks to all the organisers plus the squad of enthusiastic volunteers who helped run the bar at first Sheff Brew Fest. Take a bow and put your feet up after that sterling effort. But when's the next one.......?!?!!


  1. cheers fellas....glad you enjoyed it! Next one....certainly same time next year, but perhaps there's room for one in between ;-)

  2. Cheers! Didn't get time to have a proper chat. Next time! Good to hear the beery comments.

    Here's to the next one.

  3. Enjoyed the fest but like many fellow drinkers I spoke to - there was an issue over pricing, soon found myself choosing more on basis of not being ripped off - which at least made it an easier decision pickin between plenty of appealing beers...

    Bearing in mind I get irritated at being made to pay 7p over the odds at likes of Derby beer fest on a third priced at £1, when the pint costs £2.80... There were a few examples of £3.50/pint being priced at £2/half and £1.50/third!!! Makes the pint seem better value, but that was the 'normal' price and smaller serves were overpriced. Never mind originally bein asked to buy another fiver's worth of tokens when 50p short for last drink before dashing to a wedding...

    All in all, a good and promising fest, lessons hopefully learnt by next time, but when was last festival that was perfect in it's first outing? Some beer festivals don't seem to have learnt from past mistakes, some 40 years later.....