What am I most looking forward to drinking at this year’s Northampton County Beer Festival? As Chairman of the Northamptonshire Branch of The Campaign for Real Ale I will of course be seeking out the finest and most interesting ales our county has to offer, writes Ian MacAulay.
The first beer I will be keen to try is Cotton End Coffee Porter (5.2%). Flavoured with Kenyan coffee, has been an award winner at the last couple of festivals and has sold out before I could try it! This year I intend to do better.
I am looking forward to a first taste of Hart Kimber Reserve Abbey Pale Ale (8.0%). This Belgian style beer has been aged in oak.
Tiffield Thunderbolt (4.2%) is the Northamptonshire beer that has won most awards in the last 12 months and is a really superb pale golden beer.
I am also looking forward to a few pints of Nobby’s American Pale Ale (5.0%) which is a hoppy and fruity American style pale ale.
Champion Beer of the Festival last year was Potbelly Ambrosia (4.0%). Ambrosia is a traditional mild and I am keen to find out if comes up to scratch this year.
I am really looking forward to my final choice which is Phipps NBC Double Century (7.1%) which is a special beer brewed to celebrate 200 years of commercial brewing in Northampton and has been aged in wood for 12 months.