Thursday 4 August 2011

Real ale sets the Twittersphere abuzz

With well over 400 British cask ales to choose from at GBBF*, how do you decide where to start - or indeed where to finish? The high-tech option is to ask Twitter, and sure enough, the festival's Twitter feed (@gbbf) and hashtag (#gbbf) has been buzzing with recommendations since we opened at midday on Tuesday.

Nethergate Old Growler (P2) is a lovely well balanced porter, says Pete_Tinley, and having had it in my local recently, I can say he's absolutely right. He's now waiting for the Champion Beer of Britain, Oscar Wilde Mild (P2) to come back on - incidentally, I overheard one of the barstaff from the Vane/P2 bar saying they'd already sold three of the four casks at the festival, the fourth was going on this afternoon - but stay hopeful, because more is on order from Mighty Oak.

There's a vote for Harveys Lewes Castle brown ale (B7) from kathrynpiquette, "A bitter edge with treacle undertones - or overtones?" she says. "Fab either way!" Meanwhile, De_Mote says Thwaites Nutty Black is "Mmm..."

Among the stout fans are PhilPriston who recommends Hook Norton Double Stout (W4), _gmh_ who says Raw's Dark Peat Stout (B2) is "veery drinkable", and Nikonvscanon who recommends the Titanic Chocolate & Vanilla Stout (W5). There's votes too for the Irving Admiral Stout (P4) and several tweets praising B&T's Edwin Taylor's Extra Stout (B3).

The golden beers are getting plenty of attention at the bars too. Axatl says Country Life Golden Pig (B7) has just overtaken Salamander's Golden Salamander (W7) as his festival favourite, while Nottingham Rock Ale Bitter (W4) and Arkell's Wiltshire Gold (W7) are also winning fans.

Fortunately, whatever style you prefer - and most of us like several styles, if not all of them! - it is almost certainly here somewhere. And if you can't find your first choice, well, my reaction is usually just to try something else - and I'm usually very pleasantly surprised.

*Not all of them at the same time, sadly

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