Nottingham Food And Drink Festival: The Beer Tent-Ale House Thing

Passing through Nottingham at the weekend, I stumbled across a food and drink festival. And into the beer tent. Sorry: into the Festival Ale House.

Given that beer is often treated like the country cousin at these kind of get-togethers, forced to loll around in a corner out of harm's way, it was refreshing to find that the organisers had put up a sturdy tent and an attractive beer-garden-plaza-trestle-table-thing. You know, something that actually looked inviting and enticed people in to try the beers.

An orderly queue to buy tasting tokens - business card-sized, five for a fiver, each redeemed for a third of a pint. Two steps left to the bar with forty-plus well-kept casks for gravity dispense into decent quality polycarbonate glasses (no deposit, fresh glass with every drink). Keen staff who were more than happy to talk you through the selection from eleven Nottinghamshire breweries. Decent tasting notes supplemented by another list in order of colour, light to dark.

The beers? Good 'uns. My first taste of anything by Lincoln Green (Marion, a juicy pale ale), Pheasantry (a solid brown bitter) and Medieval (Chivalry, another pale sessioner that was pipped by Marion in the refresher stakes). King Tom from Welbeck Abbey was a rugged American amber that I'd have happily drank a pint of. As for Chimney Sweeper by Castle Rock - my little sister chose me that one because of the name. And because it was vegan. And because it promised 'subtle banana'. I'm dubious about British cask dunkelweiss-types but this worked well. Albeit I may have had trouble drinking a pint if it started to warm up.

All in all, a great addition to a food fayre-festival-market-type-thingummy-bob. It's a shame that there wasn't more foodie stalls actually selling stuff or offering samplers on the Saturday; quite a few stalls had been turned into customer seating and some others were no more than leaflet-pushing promos for venues. A good coffee stand and a deli selling meat / cheese platters would have been good to see. As it was, I had a knockout chicken kebab from the guys at Eviva Taverna whom I have fond memories of from back in the 1980s and didn't realise they were still in the city.

It was certainly a great way to promote local beer. Other food festival organisers ought to take note and take Nottingham's lead.

1 comment:

  1. I fully agree with you on your comments on the beer tent. The ales were very good but it was a pity that most of the Blue Monkey ales were not available till saturday.
    You should have had your Chicken Kebab from the Yamas Greek Tapas stall. They were a lot nicer and the staff very welcoming.