I was lucky enough to be able to spend last Saturday at the Swanage Railway Diesel Gala and Beer and Cider Festival. During the gala weekend you can travel on traditional old diesel trains between Swanage and Norden through the beautiful landscapes of the Isle of Purbeck, or just do some train spotting and visit a beer festival. Some of these trains operate normally as well in this distance with the addition of steam trains, but this gala is a special occasion. Have a look at my photos below.
The beer festival took place in a tent in the picturesque village of Corfe Castle with a view on the impressive medieval castle on the hill. Here are my tasting notes of the ciders and beers that I tasted (and in case you're asking, I didn't have full pints of all these drinks!).
Gwynt y Ddraig – Pyder 4,5%
- pear cider; fruity and fresh; makes the perfect starting drink for a beer and cider festival
Orchard Pig – Philosopher 6,0%
- well balanced with slightly nutty taste; slight cloudiness; tastes like a Finnish apple pie of my youth
Mr Whitehead – Purbeck Pomme 4,5%
- could be what a cow shed tastes like, but in a good way!
Mr Whitehead – Strawberry/Blackberry 4,0%
- fruity and light; strong strawberry in the front taste and mild blackberry in the after taste; also this cider reminded me of some flavour from the early 1980s, but I can't quite put my finger on it
Piddle – Piddle 4,1%
- a well hopped ale with a good citrus after taste
Exmoor – Exmoor Gold 4,5%
- golden beer with fresh hop notes and a good balance between malts and bitterness
Downton – New Forest Ale 3,8%
- a pleasant session beer with a deep bronze colour and the malty character that goes with it
Yeovil Ales – Star Gazer 4.0%
- reddish copper in colour with moderate hop character throughout and a slightly more pronounced malty-sweetness than many ales
The Isle of Purbeck is one of my favourite holiday destinations, it's such a pretty and chilled out place. If you're interested, also have a look at my other Isle of Purbeck related posts: The Bankes Arms Country Inn and Great British seaside chips.