Harbury Beer Festival 2011

Date: 2 & 3 September 2011

Theme: Ales from The Dales

The 21st Harbury Beer Festival was once again, to paraphrase the festival’s slogan, a cracking success. The theme this year was Ales from The Dales, that is beers from West Yorkshire, and we had a very good selection from the many excellent breweries in that area, as well as special beers from more local breweries to celebrate our 21st festival.

The weather was once again kind to us, as usual it had got rid of all the bad weather over the bank holiday. This meant that the visitors could enjoy their beer, as well as a Saturday afternoon entertainment, on the grass outside, which all helped to create Harbury’s unique atmosphere.

We were lucky with our beers and ciders in that, although they sold well and were very popular, they lasted out (just) until close of play on Saturday.

The festival as usual was very well attended, with a total of just under 1200 attending the three sessions, and the visitors all seem to be enjoying themselves, as well as the great selection of beers on offer. Attendance of course was helped by the fact that, despite the cuts, the bus services in the afternoon and evening were running as previous years.

Eighteen new CAMRA members were signed up at the festival, of whom 13 live with in the branch area.

Our thanks to all those who helped to make the festival go so well, and an especial thank you to John Crossling who has done a splendid job of organising
the beers at all 21 festivals and is now stepping down for a well earned retirement, with John Griffiths taking over responsibility for the beer.

Thanks also to everyone for their generosity in their donations to the festival’s official charity, the Warwickshire Air Ambulance, which totalled approximately £450.


The entertainment too was, as in previous years, very good, contributing greatly to the visitors’ enjoyment. On Saturday afternoon, as well as the usual excellent performance by the Hereburgh Morris side, we were also fortunate enough to be entertained by the steel pan Academy steel band and the Harbury ukulele group. We were also treated to a cultural fusion of the Morris side dancing to the steel band, unfortunately they did not try hip-hop.

The Saturday evening entertainment was Time After Time, a local duo performing a mixture of Irish music and pop classics. Judging by the excitement they generated they seemed to go down really well.


The fastest selling beer was Ilkley – Mary Jane, which sold out at 11:40 Sat lunchtime. This was quickly followed by Timothy Taylor’s – Golden Best at 12:00.

The beer of the festival, as voted by the attendees was:

  • 1st Blythe – Johnson’s Porter
  • 2nd equal – Atomic – 21st Grapefruit and Magic Rock – Rapture

Prior to the opening of the festival, as per tradition, a panel took part in a blind tasting to judge a particular category of the West Midlands Beer of the Year.

This year we were judging the porters, and the results were:

  • 1st Blythe Brewery – Johnson’s Porter
  • 2nd Burton Bridge Brewery – Dark Porter
  • 3rd Beowolf Brewery – Finn’s Hall Porter


BreweryBeerStyleABVTasting Notes
Anglo Dutch (Partners Brewery)ApistusHoney Beer4.00%A pale heather honey beer. Due to unforseen circumstances this beer is not available (the cask split!!)
Anglo Dutch (Partners Brewery)Tabatha the KnackeredStrong Ale6.00%Golden Belgian-style Triple with a strong fruity, hoppy and bitter character. Powerful and warming, slightly thinnish, with a bitter, dry finish.. Named after the Anglo brewers cat.
Bob'sWhite LionLager4.30%Pale, flowery, lager style beer using American cascade hops.
BridestonesDark MildMild4.50%Dark brown strong mild with a complex nose of caramel and roasted malt. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness on the palette. Upfront bitterness in the finish.
BridgehouseHeathcliffe StoutStout5.00%Rich, well balanced, intensely flavoured.
Briscoe'sThree Peaks AleBest Bitter4.50%A strong, pale premium bitter brewed with only pale malt and traditional hops.
Clark'sWestgate GoldBest Bitter4.20%A light-coloured, fruity beer with a full body and rich aroma.
Cuerden BreweryMildMild3.90%A fairly light mild, amber/red in colour, fairly sweet, not particularly bitter or malty and not hoppy. Dryish finish.
EllandBest BitterBitter4.00%Creamy, yellow, hoppy ale with hints of citrus fruits. Pleasantly strong bitter aftertaste.
EmpireStrikes BackBitter4.00%Creamy, yellow, hoppy ale with hints of citrus fruits. Pleasantly strong bitter aftertaste.
FernandesDouble SixStrong Ale6.00%A powerful, dark and rich strong beer with an array of malt, roast malt and chocolate flavours and a strong, lasting malty finish, with some hoppiness.
Five TownsCallum's BestBest Bitter4.60%A dark coloured beer brewed with Maris Otter and Chocolate malt giving a full flavour and bitter finish.
Five TownsNaimh's NemesisStrong Ale5.70%A full bodied IPA with hints of grapefruit before a dry finish.
Fox BeerUrban FoxBest Bitter4.50%A dark ruby beer with good malt flavours complemented with a powerful hop overtones. Almost an Old Ale.
Goose EyeOver and StoutStout5.20%A full-bodied stout with a complex palette in which roast and caramel flavoures mingle with malt, dark fruit and liquorice. Look also for tart fruit on the nose and a growing bitter finish.
Haworth Steam Brewing CompanyFallwood XXXXStrong Ale5.20%This full bodied beer is full of roasted barley and first gold hops.
IlkleyMary JaneBitter3.50%A crisp, pale ale with citrus aromas made with high quantities of Amarillo hops.
Kirkstall Brewery CompanyThree SwordsBest Bitter4.50%Very pale and spectacularly thirst-quenching. Three different hops give this beer a delightful citrus nose.
Landlord's Friend55BCBest Bitter4.00%A light coloured extremely fruity flavoured beer that has a lingering dry aftertaste.
LeedsPaleBitter3.80%Well-balanced pale ale, citrus in both aroma and flavour. Gold in colour with a refreshing bitter hoppy finish.
Little ValleyHebden's WheatWheat Beer4.50%A pale yellow, creamy wheat beer with a good balance of bitterness and fruit, a hint of sweetness but with a lasting dry finish.
Little ValleyFairtrade Ginger Pale AleBest Bitter4.00%Full-bodied speciality ale. Ginger predominates in the aroma and taste. It has a pleasantly powerful, fiery and spicy finish.
Magic Rock Brewing CompanyRaptureBest Bitter4.60%Full bodied, hoppy red beer. 5 types of malt and 6 types of hops. Uplifting aromas of grapefruit and pine combine with a pithy orange and pronounced citrus flavour which is balanced against a deeply rich and malty body. A satisfyingly dry and crisp finish.
MallinsonsStation Best BitterBest Bitter4.20%An amber-coloured best bitter with a balance of malt and fruity hops.
MilltownSlubbers GoldBest Bitter4.20%A rich Golden Ale. This new brewery only started production in July this year!
MoorviewFirst Born BitterBitter3.40%Light in alcohol but big on taste with a slight fruit finish.
NookYorksBitter3.70%A well-balanced bitter with light malt and hop aroma with hop and fruit in the taste, developing in strength. A good session beer.
Old BearGoldilocksBest Bitter4.50%This is a light golden ale, refreshingly enticing with a pungent hoppy taste but with a lemon tangy fruit aroma which comes from the complex blend of four hops, one being northern brewer, leaving a clean wheaty citrus flavour on the palate.
Old SpotLight But DarkBitter4.00%Chestnut-coloured bitter with a slight malty taste and pleasant bitter finish. An ideal session beer.
OssettExcelsiorStrong Ale5.20%A strong pale ale with a full, mellow flavour and a fresh, hoppy aroma with citrus/floral characteristics.
Owenshaw MillGollums RevengeBest Bitter4.00%A pale continental style beer mildly bittered with a combination of Czech and American hops.
RidgesideSouthern CrossStrong Ale5.70%A pale modern styled IPA, brewed using Southern Cross hops from New Zealand
RidgesideAmarilloBitter4.10%A golden beer made with Amarillo hops. White head and lacing, slightly spicy with a dry hop finish with hints of lemon.
RiverheadMarch HaighBest Bitter4.60%A golden-brown premium bitter. Malty and full-bodied with moderate bitterness.
SalamanderGolden SalamanderBest Bitter4.50%Citrus hops dominate this golden premium bitter, which has malt undertones throughout. The aftertaste is dry, hoppy and bitter. Silver Medal Winner in the Golden Ales category of the Champion Beer of Britain 2011.
SaltaireBlackberry CascadeFruit Beer4.80%American style pale ale, hopped with Cascade and Centennial hops. Infused with a hint of blackberries.
Sportsman Brewing CompanyHopscotchBitter3.90%This new brewer says “It’s very nice!” We hope you agree!
Summer WineGambitBest Bitter4.20%A bronze beer. Juicy hop bitterness dominates throughout, with grapefruit & orange notes punctuating followed by a huge Amarillo dry hop finish.
Summer WineHerculesStrong Ale (Black IPA)6.00%A single hopped black IPA with an intense, juicy marmalade like aroma, balanced by an slightly herbal and fruity hop character.
TigertopsBlanche De NewlandsWheat Beer4.50%A Belgian style wheat beer; Lovely aroma of orange peel, coriander and witbier yeast. Moderately sweet witbier flavour, orange peel and coriander dominates leading to a moderate dusty hops finish.
Tigertops8 Ace (May)Strong Ale8.00%A Belgian style slightly cloudy deep yellow beer with a creamy white head. The aroma has lots of very ripe lemon. It has a full body and tastes of ripe lemons, sweet malt and grapefruit. The aftertaste is citrusy with some pineapple and bitter hops. Only available in halves or thirds!
Timothy TaylorGolden BestMild3.50%This clean-tasting, refreshing, amber-coloured traditional Pennine light mild is malty throughout. A little fruit in the nose increases to compliment the delicate hoppy taste.
WharfeBankCamFel FlameBest Bitter4.50%Chestnut Smell: Malty, Roasted, Coffee. Taste: Full, Smooth, Roasted, Coffee.
BeowolfFinn's Hall PorterPorter4.70%Complex tasting porter with strong hints of coffee and a sweet roasty nose. Maltiness comes out strongly on the palate, with a vinous aftertaste. (WM porter entrant)
EnvilleOld PorterPorter4.50%A traditional style Porter, dark in appearance and offering a complex mix of roast malt and fruit flavours with a degree of sweetness giving way to a dry finish. (WM porter entrant)
Burton BridgeBurton PorterPorter4.50%Quite malty throughout but with plenty of roast,fruit and liquorice, and a long bitter aftertaste. (WM porter entrant)
Blythe BreweryJohnson'sPorter5.20%Black with thick head. Refreshingly Hoppy and full bodied with lingering bitterness of chocolate, date, coal smoke and liquorice. (WM porter entrant)
St GeorgesDragons BloodPorter4.80%Chocolate and crystal malt combined to give a ruby red coloured beer with a hint of chocolate. Brewed using Fuggles and Styrian Goldings, blended for an earthy and slightly spicy aroma. (WM porter entrant)
Hung Drawn and PorteredNorth CotswoldPorter5.00%Strong dark treacle porter. Well balanced taste of Bramling cross hops. (WM porter entrant)
Atomic21st GrapefruitBest Bitter5.00%A very light, well hopped beer, brewed with fresh grapefruit. (Birthday Special) (May be hazy due to the grapefruit).
Church EndKey to the DoorBest Bitter4.70%Very pale and liberally hopped with a nice citrus aftertaste . A Festival special.
GriffinBirthday HiveStrong Ale5.40%A golden ale brewed with local honey. A well balanced hoppy beer specially brewed for this festival.
Merry Miner21st Birthday BeerBest Bitter4.50%Golden in colour full-bodied with a pleasing bitterness in the finish brewed specially for the festival
PatriotPug IPAStrong Ale5.60%Named after the brewery’s pug dog, this ale is a real taste explosion made with Maris Otter malt and 7 hops:- Brambling Cross, Golding & Challenger from UK; Citra & Chinook from USA and Nelson Sauvin & Green Bullet from New Zealand. A smooth, deceptively drinkable ale.
PurityPure GoldBitter3.80%An aromatic hoppy, golden bitter. Initial maltiness and grapefruit flavours lead to a dry finish.
SlaughterhouseBoar D'OakBest Bitter4.50%Brewed with 100% Lager malt to produce a clean taste and bright very pale colour. Packed with zesty Chinook hops, cask conditioned and matured over toasted French oak chips giving subtle notes of spice and vanilla.
TunnelHonnibal NecterBest Bitter5.00%A new honey beer. A dry, hoppy, golden ale with a subtle hint of honey sweetness.
WarwickshireDuck SoupBest Bitter4.20%A copper coloured beer, brewed with crystal and maris otter malt. Hopped with Fuggles, Progress and Styrian Goldings.
WeatheroakMiss StoutStout4.30%A classic full flavoured stout to rival the famous brand! A thick creamy head leads to a smooth rich body. Roasted malt and dark fruits merge into a dry finish. Our cask has been matured for six months!
Wood Farm BreweryPlay OnBitter3.90%Dark and amber in colour, brewed with New Zealand cascade hops resulting in a pleasant bitterness whilst drinking and a fruity, citrus finish.


MakerCider/PerryABVTasting Notes
Broadoak, Clutton, SomersetMedium Dry Cider6.00%Traditional cloudy cider.
Broadoak, Clutton, SomersetMedium Sweet Cider6.00%Cloudy traditional cider.
Broadoak, Clutton, SomersetMoonshine Culinary Cider7.70%Medium sweet, clear pale white colour, almost colourless. Won Gold at St Helens Camra Festival 2010.
Broadoak, Clutton, SomersetOld Bristolian Medium7.50%Complex cider; a clear yellow, orangy colour. Medium sweet, with a refreshing dry finish. Best seller at the GBBF 2010.
Broadoak, Clutton, SomersetPerry7.50%Starts with a medium sweet taste and has a dry finish. Second bestseller at GBBF 2010. Won National Gold Perrry Award at GBBF 2009.
Rous Cider, Rous Lench, Worcs.Rat Tail6.00%A slightly hazy pale golden cider that has a crisp moderately dry flavour that makes it easy to drink.
Windmill Vineyard, Hellidon, NorthantsScrumpy Perry6.50%Made with Perry Pears grown at Windmill Hill Farm.
Windmill Vineyard, Hellidon, NorthantsDusty Millers Fancy8.00%Full bodied, robust dry cider.
Windmill Vineyard, Hellidon, NorthantsAmber Nectar9.00%Strong cider, back by popular demand.
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