Last Friday there was a more local affair happening in the town of Sale as the Fancy a Beer Mate company came to Sale’s Masonic Hall for a two-day festival of all things ale. Promising local breweries in both ale, cider and perry, along with entertainment on both days, it would be rude not to go along and give it a go!
Now I will admit, a fair few ales were consumed on this night, so I’ve had to refer to the tasting notes from the programme to jog my memory on the odd occasion.
Costing only £5 to enter (including the customary festival glass), the four strong group trawled through the list of breweries available to us to see which one would get the night rolling. First up for me was a tipple from the Dunham Massey Brewing Company named ‘Winter Warmer’ (6.6%). A rather strong offering, although not immediately noticeable, with a rich malt flavour being present with hints of spice. Ginger and nutmeg were also present as it went down rather quickly. So in not time at all, I went in search for the recommended ‘Ape Ale’ (5.4%) by the Blue Monkey Brewing Company from Nottingham. A strong pale ale, a good mix of pine, citrus and orange are immediate flavours, which culminated into a dry finish. An after-taste of slight bitterness eventually came around but the end result was rather moorish.
Next up was ‘HedgeHopper’ (3.8%) by Mobberley Fine Ales. A golden ale, light on the palate with hopps and a mild flavour lingering on the after-taste. The lady who served me warned that I’d be back for more, but i noticed instead the Quantum Brewing Company from Stockport, and their offering of Summit IPA (5.5%). Their description boasts that it’s produced using a single hop to showcase the characteristics of the hop variety. With this in mind, the ‘stripped down’ IPA was heavy on the berries and citrus fruits, with hints of malt thrown in near the end.
5th of the night was the simply named ‘Jack’ (4.2%) by the Falstaff Brewery in Derby. A fruity golden ale with heavy hints of butterscotch. Citrus replaces as the dominant flavour as it moved to a more gentle after-taste of hops. The Leatherbritches Brewery from Ashbourne were up next with their ale named ‘Owd Codger’ (4.9%). A hint of strawberry on the palate joins with slight pepper notes that results in a long hoppy finish. Nearing the end of the night, and after enjoying the local entertainment on the stage next to us, ‘Kingdom’ (4.5%) by The Tap House Brewery in Smisby, Derbyshire was next in line, offering huge amounts of malt on the palate with caramel flavours mixing in to give a sweet, long after-taste.
The last ale of the night went to a name that all three of my fellow ale drinkers had tried before, with raving reviews – ‘Pegasus’ (4.2%). By the Milton Brewery down in Milton, Cambridgeshire, a well-balanced mix of fruit and malt was enjoyed on the palate to produce a very moorish offering!
After 8 ales, it was time to hit the hay and stumble home. A cracking night had by all with congratulations to the boys and girls of Fancy a Beer Mate!
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