Thursday, July 3, 2014

Real Ale and Cider Weekend, RHS Harlow Carr, England

We attended the Real Ale and Cider Weekend at RHS Harlow Carr Garden in June of 2014. In addition to sampling some fine local brews, we enjoyed activities for the kids and live music as well.

The live music was provided by FiddlersWreck Ceilidh Band who played traditional folk music. They played wonderfully and we enjoyed listening.

FiddlersWreck Ceilidh Band

Later on they had a duo

Just across the lawn from the band was some giant garden games for the children (and young of heart) to play, including tether ball, jenga, and other over-sized games.

Play area

J and L at the tether ball

J tries a bowling game

A couple of tents were set up by retailers hoping to sell their wares. They fit thematically with the weekend--a home brewing kit seller and a beef snack seller!

Abbey Homebrew tent

Barefoot Biltong British beef booth

Of course, the children were only interested in one snack on a hot June day--ice cream from the garden's kiosk!

In line for ice cream

I stayed in the other line to sample some of the brews.

Line of brews

The ales I drank are (in chronological order):
  • Railway Porter by Five Points Brewery, described as "A Porter in the classic London style with our own twist. Aromas of chocolate and coffee with hints of caramel, brewed with British East Kent Goldings hops." The train name is suitable, because I found it a bit sooty. There's too much roasting or coffee flavor for my taste. It had a bitter, burnt taste that was not to my liking.
  • Three Swords by Kirkstall Brewery--described as "Very pale and spectacularly thirst-quenching. Three different hops give this beer a delightful citrus nose." This ale is light and refreshing but not too distinguished. Great for a sunny summer afternoon.
  • Native Storm by The Celt Experience--described as "Sharp body meets orange, citrus with a touch of delicate spice at the eye of the storm. Inspired by Owain Glyn Dwr Welsh ruler, conquering spirit. A dry-hopped ESP style with only Euro hops." I liked this. The epic description is a bit grandiose. Native Storm is more of an everyday ale.
  • Wild Mule by Rooster Brewery--described as "Brewed using New Zealand's Nelson Sauvin hop, which creates a white wine fruitiness that's backed up by a lasting grapefruit bitterness. Wild Mule is a new world, session-strength, pale ale with a kick." This was a nice ale to finish with. I found it refreshing and flavorful.

We also explored the gardens, which included some tributes to the upcoming (as this is published) Tour de France in Yorkshire.

L and J appreciate the smells of spring

Pretty flowers

Biking bunnies?

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