Independent Salford Beer Festival 2016 – A Review

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A review of the 2016 Independent Salford Beer Festival (ISBF2016, ISBF16) – which is the third and apparently the final one.

If you need some background reading (or just to increase my blog views), see the past two year’s reviewed below:

Review of 2014 (1st Festival)

Review of 2015 (2nd Festival)

Normally I’d start with a nice shot of the glassware – but I’ve not washed up them up yet, plus I think it would fit in better with the wrap-up post I aim to do about this gathering as a whole, so the above will have to do for now.

A small review by @StereoSurrealis can be found here

THE review, by THE man himself and with nicer pictures can be found here (uber craftists be damned).

It was at a meet the brewer with Weird Beard (at Heaton Hops) that I became aware of the organisers intentions for 2016’s beer festival, at a point where it wasn’t the final one it was going to be the first not only with brewers outside of the better Northern part of England but with Keg beers too (Evil Keg Filth as its known).

Skip forward many months later and Jim Beam Barrel Aged Double Perle makes its first appearance in Manchester.

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In fact if the point hadn’t been hammered home enough, ALL the beers at this festival were either debuting or were specially brewed for the festival and were not going to be available anywhere else.

Four or five of your pounds sterling got you into the sessions which ran from Thursday 20th October to Saturday 22nd October at St Sebastian’s Community Centre, Salford (Pendleton), 10 minutes walk from the church.

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All beers were no more than £6 a pint and we are talking festival prices and 10% beers, something even my dad eventually came around too.

Food available was turkey (optional stuffing) barms (baps, teacakes, etc.), vegetarian chilli (with good spice level), lamb hot pot (with beetroot, always beetroot).

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Or if you are my dad…

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A 50/50 split of chilli and hot pot (lobby, stew, scouse, etc.) with the addition of (and many thanks to the staff for searching for it) English mustard.

Talking of my dad’s taste buds Chilli Relish were there again with their home-grown, home-made sauces and chutneys. Plenty of tears were observed as some fool-hardys tried the 2 million Scoville sauce.  Not my dad though, he had one bead of sweat, complained that the front part of his tongue was numb and then appeared to have some 60’s LSD flashback for about a quarter of an hour.

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People came from far and wide…

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…even a bird of prey.

There was music too “curated” by Duke and the Darlings

Non-alcoholic drinks were provided by @SteepSodaCo which after a heavy session on Thursday were very much welcomed to kick-start the big weekend.

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The beers though were what most were here for, well that and an amazing time

I’m adding the beers here for posterity and because there were far too many to single out as many were excellent.

CASK
Abbeydale, Sheffield – Japanese Citrus Pale – Yuzu Pale DH Sorachi & Lemongrass – 4.5%
AllGates, Wigan – Blackstar – Marshmallow Porter – 4.8%
Atom Beers, Hull – Critical Temperature (Habanero Edition) – Rye Pale Ale Coffee Porter – 6.5%
Bad Seed, Malton – Session I.P.A. – Session I.P.A. – 4.0%
Beer Nouveau, Manchester – E.S.B. – Best Bitter – 5.5%
Black Jack, Manchester – Ahtenum Lager – Lager – 5.0%
Brass Castle, Malton – Rubicon – Red Rye Ale – 4.8%
Brewsmith, Ramsbottom – Session I.P.A. – Session I.P.A. – 4.8%
Bridestone’s, Hebden Bridge – Off Yer Fruit! – Fruit Aged Session I.P.A. – 4.4%
Carbon Smith, Manchester – Salted Caramel Milk Stout – Salted Caramel Milk Stout – 5.1%
Cheshire Brewhouse, Congleton – Caribbean Crossroads – Rum Cask Aged B.I.P.A. – 6.5%
Cloudwater, Manchester – I.P.A. Nelson Sauvin – I.P.A. – 6.5%
Cwrw Ial, Llanarmon yn I̢l РZawn РAmerican Lemon Wheat Р4.2%
Emmanuales, Sheffield – The Deer Pants for Porter – Smoked Porter – 5.0%
Five-Oh, Prestwich – T.B.C. – T.B.C. – T.B.C.%
Five Towns, Wakefield – Secret Life of Arabica – Imperial Stout – 8.0%
Five Towns, Wakefield – Beauty and the Beast – Citrus D.I.P.A. – 9.0%
Howard Town, Glossop – Ten – Belgian-Style Quad – 10.0%
Lost Industry, Sheffield – Peanut Butter Milk Stout – Milk Stout – 4.4%
Mallinsons, Huddersfield – Hop Shaker – Nelson Pale Ale – 3.8%
Marble Brewery, Manchester – U.S. Extra Porter – Citra Dry Hop Porter – 5.9%
Neptune, Maghull – Black Percula – Chocolate Orange Stout – 4.5%
North Riding, Scarborough – Dandelion & Burdock Porter – Porter – 4.5%
Offbeat, Crewe – C Smackdown – Hoppy Pale Ale – 4.0%
Pictish, Rochdale – Pekko – Pekko (Single Hop) Pale – 4.2%
Quantum, Stockport – Pale Extra Ale – Strong Pale Ale – 6.0%
Rammy Craft, Ramsbottom – Whinberry Mild – Mild – 6.1%
Rat Brewery, Huddersfield – Grapes of Rate – Barrel Aged Barley Wine – 10.0%
Revolutions, Castleford – Psycho Candy – Belgian Centennial I.P.A. – 7.0%
Rivington, Rivington – The Make – New Zealand D.I.P.A. – 8.3%
Serious, Rochdale – Ginger Saison – Saison – 6.9%
Squawk, Manchester – Oat Pale – Dry-Seven-Hopped Pale – 4.9%
Thirst Class Ale, Stockport – Kiss My Ace – Sorachi Pale Ale – 4.0%
Tickety Brew, Stockport – Kiwi Saison – Saison – 4.3%
Torrside, New Mills – American Barley Wine – Barley Wine – 10.0%
Track, Manchester – Troika – UA / AUS / NZ Pale – 5.2%
KEG COLLABORATIONS
Bad Seed, Malton vs. Track, Manchester – Pacific Juice Monster – Pale Ale – 5.0%
Bexar County, Peterborough vs. Offbeat, Crewe – Thin Line Between Genius & Insanity – Kombucha Soured Milk Neopolitan Ale – 3.2%
Black Jack, Manchester vs. Brass Castle, Malton – Lemon Spritz – Hazy Lemon Ale – 5.0%
Five Towns, Wakefield vs. Squawk, Manchester – Mango and Sumac El Dorado – Farmhouse I.P.A. – 5.8%
Mallinsons, Huddersfield vs. Runaway, Manchester – Redcurrant Saison – Saison – 6.5%
North Riding, Scarborough vs. Thirst Class, Stockport – War of the Raspberries – Imperial Raspberry Oatmeal Stout – 6.7%
EVIL KEG FILTH
Atom Beers, Hull – Phobos & Demos – Rye Pale Ale – 7.0%
Bexar County, Peterborough – Cold Pressed Ale – Coffee Infused Pale Ale – 5.1%
Elusive Brewing, Finchampstead – Love Action – Cranberry & Vanilla Stout – 5.8%
Mourne Mountains, Warrenpoint – Mourne Mist – Pilsner – 4.5%
Northern Alchemy, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Moroccan Spiced Mild – Mild – 3.4%
Otherton Ales, Crewe – Passepartout (Brett Aged) – Bretted D.I.P.A. – 7.4%
Weird Beard, London – Double Perle (Jim Beam) – Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout – 8.2%

After the punters voted the winner of Beer of the Festival was @ElusiveBrew with their excellent Love Action – yes, its not Five Towns this time, yes its a Southern brewery that won and yes its a keg beer that did indeed win.

Full marks (no pun) to @RunawayBrewery and @Mallinsons for providing a keg and cask version of their collaboration and for doing a talk.

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Turns out in the talk everyone preferred the keg but the voting public preferred the cask (as did I, which I’d been saying to anyone who’d listen since the Thursday when I compared both).

There was a talk by Connor (“fresh” from fatherhood and a disappointing season by Bradford Bulls) about Manchester Beer Week, though less about the plans for 2017 and more about how people found 2016; with brewers, bloggers and drinkers all having a say.  Who need communicators?  All points were made honestly and clearer and were taken and given with respect.  Two side of the same coin really, you can’t please everyone but you can give it a damn good try.

Some more people found out who I am and of course the regulars entertained themselves.  Many offers were made to take up the reigns so it happens again in 2017 but that is something for other to decide and the personal aspect of the past 3 years of this festival I will talk about next.

Basically if you weren’t there you missed out but don’t be fearful of that, at least not from a beer perspective because as great as the brews were it is the people who drive it.

So to all staff, builders, brewers, volunteers and attendees, you all know who you are, well done.

 

Thanks for reading.