Harbury Beer Festival 2013

Date: 30 & 31 August 2013

Theme: Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

This year’s festival was themed around beers from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire together with the usual strong representation from our own county.

Large breweries, like Wells & Young’s, sat alongside micros such as Sawbridgeworth producing an interesting range of beers and styles.

There were two raspberry-based beers available this year and another that had strong hints of tangerines, coconut and white rum! There really was something for everyone.

The beers were complimented by a wide range of ciders and perries from various parts of the country.

We had a good number of new volunteers, which is great news as some of the old stagers are getting – well, old! Fresh blood is encouraging and they had a good time.

Only 10 months to the next one!


The fastest selling beer of the festival was for the very first time a tie!

Buntingford Polar Star and Twichel both ran out at 10.05 on the Friday night. As they were above and below each other on the left hand bar I was able to watch the two glasses of beer turn to sludge at the same time.

The Beer of the Festival, as voted for by the visitors to the event, was Buntingford Polar Star. It was also pleasing to find two new local breweries picking up the second and third prizes, Long Itch Darkside and Sperrins Golden Bounty respectively.


Entertainment on the Saturday was again provided by the Hereburgh Morris Dancers in the afternoon and by the Acoustic Who.


BreweryBeerStyleABVLocationCountyTasting Notes
BandTBlack Dragon MildStrong Mild4.3SheffordBedfordshireBlack in colour with a toffee and roast malt flavour and a smoky finish.
BandTEdwin Taylor's Extra StoutStout4.5SheffordBedfordshireA complex black beer with a bitter coffee and roast malt flavour and a dry bitter finish.
BandTFruit BatSpeciality Beers4.2SheffordBedfordshireA warming straw-coloured beer with a generous taste of raspberries and a bitter finish.
BandTSOSOld Ale5SheffordBedfordshireA rich mixture of fruit, hops and malt is present in the taste and aftertaste of this beer. Predominantly hoppy aroma.
BandTTwo BrewersBitter3.6SheffordBedfordshireBronze-coloured bitter with citrus hop aroma and taste and a dry finish.
BandTShefford Dark MildMild3.8SheffordBedfordshireA dark beer with a well-balanced taste. Sweetish, roast malt aftertaste.
PottonVillage BikeBest Bitter4.3PottonBedfordshireClassic English premium bitter, amber in colour, heavily late-hopped.
PottonLion IPABest Bitter4.4PottonBedfordshireA citrussy blonde IPA
PottonPenny BitterBitter4PottonBedfordshireA dark malty bitter with a light hop character.
PottonShannon IPABitter3.6PottonBedfordshireA well-balanced session bitter with good bitterness and fruity late-hop character.
Wells and Young'sCourage Director'sBest Bitter4.8BedfordBedfordshireA rich, fruity and fully bodied chestnut coloured classic ale
Wells and Young'sYoung's SpecialBest Bitter4.5BedfordBedfordshirePale brown in colour, this rounded best bitter has citrus throughout plus some slight creamy toffee, which balances the bitterness that grows in the aftertaste.
Wells and Young'sBombardierBest Bitter4.1BedfordBedfordshireA heavy aroma of malt and raspberry jam. Traces of hops and bitterness are quickly submerged under a smooth, malty sweetness. A solid, rich finish.
Wells and Young'sYoung's BitterBitter3.7BedfordBedfordshireThis light drinking amber bitter has citrus initially on the palate with sweet malt and a hint of hops that linger into a slightly dry and bitter finish.
White ParkMoonshineStrong Bitter5.2CranfieldBedfordshireStrong pale ale, fresh in taste, slightly peppery, continental style beer
White ParkNightjarPorter4.5CranfieldBedfordshireDark red/brown porter. Robust, complex and mature with chocolate and coffee notes. Smoky nose with a beige head.
White ParkGBStrong Bitter5CranfieldBedfordshireThe quintessential pint of Great British beer - complexity, colour, strength and balance.
White ParkWhite GoldBitter3.8CranfieldBedfordshireAromatic hop aroma, light bitterness, grassy and fresh
3 BrewersClassic English AleBest Bitter4.1St AlbansHertfordshireA deep amber coloured ale with a light hoppy aroma and a rich and rounded malty taste balanced by subtle hoppiness
BuntingfordHurricaneBest Bitter4.3RoystonHertfordshireA best bitter with a malty toffee character and a pleasant refreshing fruity bitterness. Brewed with Maris Otter pale ale malt, crystal malt, and English Phoenix & First Gold hops.
BuntingfordTwitchellBitter3.8RoystonHertfordshireA golden fruity bitter with a floral aroma and malty / hoppy aftertaste. Brewed with Maris Otter pale & wheat malts, and English Goldings hops, plus Cascade hops from the USA.
BuntingfordPolar StarBest Bitter4.4RoystonHertfordshireA truly pale blonde in colour, this beer is heavily hopped to give a really refreshing citrus-hop kick. Pineapple, Peach & Grapefruit hop flavours abound in levels that are such that you don't need to read the tasting notes to spot them!
BuntingfordTemplar GoldBest Bitter4.5RoystonHertfordshireFantastic grapefruity hoppy strong best bitter.
BuntingfordSingle Hop CascadeBitter4RoystonHertfordshireA USA variety, first released in the 1970's. It has a spicy grapefruit character with just a hint of flared trouser.
Pope's YardWatford Observer BitterBitter3.9WatfordHertfordshire
Red SquirrelLondon PorterPorter5Potten EndHertfordshireA gold medal winning London Porter made with 2 pale malts and 3 coloured malts, dark brown/black colour, showing a balance of chocolate and roasted barley, full bodied on the palate with bittersweet liquorice and rich chocolate flavours supported by a lovely creaminess on the finish.
Red SquirrelSummer DazeGolden Ale4.5Potten EndHertfordshireGolden coloured ale, light and smooth on the palate, highly refreshing with biscuit and malty flavours with a lovely German brew twist.
Red SquirrelJack Black IPABest Bitter4.8Potten EndHertfordshireThis new season Block-Buster produced from three US hops with 2 coloured malts features the hop-forward profile of an IPA with the dark colour of a porter. Lemon & Orange notes from Amarillo and Chinook hops balance hints of coffee and bitter chocolate with a subtle toasted sweetness leading to a pleasantly dry finish.
Red SquirrelConservation BitterBitter4.1Potten EndHertfordshireA chestnut brown, traditional bitter, with Pale, Crystal & Chocolate malts, underpinned by challenger hops, showing a nice mouth-filling texture of hoppy fruity bitterness with satisfying biscuity flavours with hints of spice and chocolate.
SawbridgeworthGoldGolden Ale4SawbridgeworthHertfordshireCrisp Golden Ale
SawbridgeworthDragon's BloodBest Bitter4.3SawbridgeworthHertfordshireA rich malty ale with a deep red colour, hints of toffee & dark chocolate. Soft bitter finish suitable for vampires.
TringDeath or GlorySpeciality Beers7.2TringHertfordshireA strong, dark, aromatic barley wine.
TringMansion MildMild3.7TringHertfordshireSmooth and creamy dark ruby mild with a fruity palate and gentle late hop.
TringSpinning JennyBest Bitter4.1TringHertfordshireRefreshingly hoppy beer with a distinct bitterness that lingers to the end. Amber in colour and brewed with Amber malt, it has a biscuity finish which works with the aromas of honey, apricot and almond from Beata hops
TringColley's DogStrong Bitter5.2TringHertfordshireDark but not over-rich, strong yet drinkable, this premium ale has a long dry finish with overtones of malt and walnuts.
The Atomic BreweryRadiationSpeciality Beers11Warwickshire
The Atomic BreweryPowerBest Bitter4.8WarwickshireA deep ruby coloured ale with a sweet chocolate aroma and taste. Bitterness develops and gives way to a pleasant chocolatey finish. Re brewed with a change of recipe in October 08 the new ale is better balanced with a rich sweet finish
Church End Brewery LtdBrewtStrong Bitter8WarwickshirePale and string
Church End Brewery LtdBats in the BelfryWheat Beer5.6WarwickshireA soft, full flavoured wheat beer made with real grapefruit.
Church Farm BreweryHarry's HeiferBest Bitter4.2WarwickshireQuaffable session ale with a hoppy aroma. Brewed with a blend of Marris Otter, Vienna and Crystal malts, with Centennial and Cascade hops. The beer has a fruity aroma and smooth finish.
Griffin BrewerySuper Black Magic WomanStrong Mild6.2WarwickshireA ruby ale with roasted malts and hints of blackcurrant.
Long Itch Brewery LtdDark SideBest Bitter4.8WarwickshireA forcefully dark beer, full of dark mysterious chocolatey malts, the force in this one is strong!
Merry Miner Brewery LtdCoalface Vanilla StoutStout5WarwickshireA full-flavoured dark reddish in colour porter with under tones of fresh honey and chocolate malt in the finish.
North Cotswold Brewery LimitedWindrushBitter3.6WarwickshireA thirst quenching amber coloured session bitter, brewed with English Challenger and First Gold hops for a traditional taste. A malty slightly sweeter palate.
Old Pie Factory Brewery LimitedOPF BitterBitter3.9WarwickshireTraditional English session bitte, clean and malty with a hint of molasses
Purity Brewing Company LtdPure UBUBest Bitter4.5WarwickshireA distinctive, full flavoured beer with a sweeter finish. Brewed with English Maris Otter, Crystal, Black and Wheat malts, with Hallertau Northern Brewer and Cascade hops
The Slaughterhouse Brewery LtdRas-Boar-berrySpeciality Beers4.6WarwickshireFruit beer.
The Slaughterhouse Brewery LtdAlt BierSpeciality Beers4.8WarwickshireA copper coloured lager bier based on traditional Rhineland Altbier
Sperrin BreweryGolden BountyBest Bitter4.5WarwickshireThis golden, hoppy, refreshing yet slightly citrusy ale is combined with mind-blowing hints of white rum, chocolate and coconut in the background
Tunnel Brewery LtdLate OTTBest Bitter4WarwickshireA dark golden session bitter with a mouth-watering fruity nose. It starts soft and fruity on the palate. It soon gains a solid, slightly perfumed hop edge. The finish is beautifully dry and bitter. A beautiful beer for hop heads!
Warwickshire Beer Company LtdBumble BrewSpeciality Beers4.4WarwickshireCloudy wheat honey beer with a sting of vanilla
Weatheroak Brewery LtdLight OakBitter3.6WarwickshireGolden-copper with thin head. Fruity and citrus hop aroma notes. Hop and fruity malt aroma. Fairly dry bitter finish.
Wood Farm Brewing Company LtdUnionBest Bitter4.6WarwickshireUsing a blend of American hops. Late hopped to produce a fantastic zesty Blonde Premium Ale.
WhalePale WhaleBitter3.6WarwickshireBrewed with maris otter pale malt and British Hops. Honey, Citrus and Tropical Fruit on the aroma with grapefruit and elderflower flavours

Ciders & Perries

Mr WhiteheadsDevil's DeviceScrumpy8.40%Hampshire
Mr WhiteheadsBoxing DogMedium Dry7.50%Hampshire
Mr WhiteheadsMidnight SpecialPerry medium5.00%Hampshire
Windmill HillMillers FancyNorthamptonshire
Windmill HillAmber NectarNorthamptonshire
Windmill HillDabinetNorthamptonshire
Windmill HillPyderNorthamptonshire
Gwynt-y-DdraigAncient WarriorDry6.50%Wales
HecksPort Wine of GlastonburyMedium7.00%Somerset
HecksHendre Huffcap PerryPerry6.50%Somerset
Orchard PigPhilosopherMedium6.00%Somerset
Ross-On-WyeAlpaca PerryPerry6.50%Herefordshire
Glebe FarmElderflower6.00%Huntingdon
Once Upon a TreeTumpy GroundMedium7.20%Herefordshire
W M WatkinsVintage OakDry7.50%Wales
W M WatkinsLazy DazePerry medium5.60%Wales
Potten PressPotten Press Cider7.50%Bedfordshire
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