In April I visited Dorset’s 5th annual ‘Big Bournemouth Beer Festival.’
Held once again at the BIC centre on the South Coast, this year’s event offered up over 200 varieties of beer available from breweries across the UK.
Last year, around 3,500 people attended the beer extravaganza and for 2014 the attendance was expected to surpass even that.
As well as beer, cider and a wine bar the event also gave us a selection of live music in association with Bournemouth Folk Club.
The music included Quinn’s Quinney, Mother Ukers plus the 10-piece Latin reggae act Pachango.
Offering such delights as Indian Pale Ale, Wheat Beers and Stout there was almost something for every beer-drinking connoisseur.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to try all 200 beers, but the ones I did try I made sure to score accordingly – by taste, smell and colour.
Scores out of five
GOLDEN SALAMANDER 4.5%
Brewed with challenger and Syrian Goldings hops this beer has assertive hop bitterness. 3.8
DARWIN’S ORIGIN 4.3%
Darwin’s Origin is an eclectic mix of hops from across the world. Crisp, tart, fruity and refreshing but also with a juicy malt background. 4.0
MAIDEN VOYAGE 4.2%
Chestnut in colour, a fresh bitterness with slight nutty and caramel undertones followed with a bitter-sweet finish. 4.2
DEVIL’S WATER 4.1%
Copper-coloured best bitter, well-balanced with a slightly fruity, hoppy finish. 4.6
SUNBEAM “California Steam Beer” 3.8%
An ale brewed in the American post-prohibition way using lager yeast and Northern Brewer hops. 4.6
BEIJING BLACK 4.4%
A strong dark mild. Dark chocolate and coffee aroma. Balanced flavour with a fruity and roasted finish. 4.8
The largest beer festival in the UK is The Great British Beer Festival held annually in August in London. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale. Back in 2006 over 66,000 people attended the event, which was founded in 1977. 350,000 pints of ale were consumed over the five days.
The 2nd largest beer festival in Germany and probably in Europe, is the Cannstatter Volksfest, hosted on the Cannstatter Wasen in the Bad Canstatt district of Stuttgart.
The largest and longest running beer festival in New York City is Brewtopia: The Great World Beer Festival.
The Shanghai International Beer Festival is one of the biggest beer festivals in China. It attracts more than 30,000 people every year and is held right in the city centre.