Yesterday I had the pleasure to visit the most exciting beer festival I have ever been to: Craft Beer Rising in The Old Truman Brewery. The brewery is conveniently located in East London on Brick Lane in a vibrant arts quarter. There is a vintage clothes market in the building, but this weekend in the upstairs halls 75 breweries presented their craft beers, over 400 sorts. The festival had a cosmopolitan atmosphere about it in an interesting setting, quite different to most beer festivals. It wasn't too crowded, and you were able to move around easily. Only minus point could be the lack of vegetarian food, luckily I wasn't hungry then.
So for a few hours I strolled through the stalls and had half pints here and there. Here are some of my new acquaintances and links to their homepages. A friend of mine, who accompanied me there, helped me with these tasting notes.
They passed their Cross Pacific Pale Ale (4.2%) through a canister of fresh, green hops on the way from the pump to the glass. This resulted in a mix of really forward hop aromas in a refreshing pale beer. It was a perfect start for the festival.
The Hibernation White IPA (5.6%) was a wheat beer brewed with a normal yeast, and lots of hops as you'd expect in an IPA, giving the rich mouth feel and cloudy character of a wheat beer without the fruity and spicy tastes; instead lots of bitterness and citrus character in the style of modern, North American IPA. Quite unique.
Friar Weisse (4.7%) was a classic wheat beer, with really fruity esters reminiscent of tropic fruits and pear drops.
The Black IPA (7.0%) had all the bitterness and hoppy character you'd expect from an IPA but with a body more like that of a dark porter.
Why kick a Moo Cow (5.5%) had an inventive name and a wonderful fresh, grassy hoppyness that was almost like drinking a sunny meadow.
This was the last beer I tried, the dancing barman lured me in with his vibrant sales technique; the Brigid Fire (6.3%) was brewed using smoked rye, which added a sour, rich and lightly smoky flavour.
All these beers were very delightful, but unfortunately there wasn't enough time or stamina to taste all the ones I wanted, the offer was so huge. I personally crowned the Bear Hug Brewing Company's Hibernation White IPA to my festival favourite.
Did you visit? What are your impressions? I'm sure I'll go next year as well!
A blue moment over the Thames on our jolly way back to Waterloo.