The Plymouth Beer Festival 2012
The 2012 Plymouth Beer Festival, in association with CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) featured over 150 real ales and the largest selection of Cider and Perry in the South West as well as the brand new Foreign beer bar, stocked with 29 of the best beers from around the world. The term ‘Perry’ can be used to refer to Pear Cider, however some organisations (including CAMRA) do not accept this as the name for this traditional drink.
The 2 day festival this year also included a new food menu, designed to educate the thousands of real ale fans to the types of food that compliment certain ales.
A staggering total of 130 breweries from all over the UK were represented at the festival. These included local favourites St Austell Brewery, Summerskills and the festival’s main sponsors Skinners.
The festival had a great atmosphere from start to finish with many taking their time to sample the fantastic array of ale on offer. Groups of people could be seen, talking, laughing and drinking – a perfect setting to welcome new and old real ale fans.
‘High as a Kite’ from Heart of Wales delivered the strongest beer at 10.5%. Not for the faint of heart, this beer was only available in 1/3 measures.
Among other crowd favourites were ‘Grandma’s Weapon Grade Ginger Beer’ by Wheal Maiden of Cornwall, which looked a little like lemonade and carried a strong ginger flavour. There was also the sweet Countryman of Devon cider, at 6.5% ABV, which proved to be the perfect tipple for one attendee, who was not at first sure which drink to try.
All bars are staff by CAMRA volunteers, who also seem to really enjoy the atmosphere and banter with the festival goers. The staff were happy to engage in conversation about your selected choice and allow tastes if you wished before committing to a full half or a pint, a great way to ensure you are getting the best ale for you.
The highlight of the food menu had to be the chilli-dogs which filled the arena with an aroma you would expect from a festival of this sort.
The tickets, priced reasonably at £5 before 6pm on the Saturday, also ensure you picked up a commemorative Plymouth Beer Festival 2012 Pint glass.
The Plymouth Beer Festival wouldn’t be the same without some unusual names, the highlight of these was ‘Pheasant Plucker’, ‘Old Moggie’, ‘Old Letch’, ‘Funky Monkey’ and a few not to mention for being a bit too rude!
As the night got longer many of the ales began to dry up, but this wasn’t seen as a negative, it was a positive sign that everyone had enjoyed themselves immensely and that once again the Plymouth pavilions Beer Festival was a tremendous success. The Pavilions itself is also a perfect venue for the event, with the main arena just the right size to allow plenty of room for all bars and space to sit and soak up the atmosphere.
At 9pm on the dot, the festival reached its conclusion with the appearance of the living legend Sir Bob Geldof on stage.
Sir Bob belted out a selection of songs old and new. The highlight of this being his famous hit ’ I don’t like Mondays’ which had everyone on their feet.