What a great first night at the embankment site last night, for a great opening evening at the beerfest.

Beer festival time!

Beer festival time!

I managed to arrive bang on the 5.30pm opening – I had to be at work so missed the 2 hour trade session.  I hear it was a busy trade session, and as the evening progressed, it felt to me like numbers were certainly up on the last couple of years – and people were able to sit outside and enjoy some sun (on and off!).  Still even when it clouded over, it was still warm enough to spent time outside, and today it looks like it will be a little clearer (fingers crossed!).

I’ve got to say the young band, ‘Amplified‘ were absolutely fantastic – and had one of the best responses from a big crowd at the festival I’ve seen in a while.  The lads are still at school I believe, but they must be going to the school of rock, as they really did belt out a whole range of cover versions – every one a classic too!   I hope Amplified keep rocking, as they could be VERY good as they get older and more experienced.

UPDATE: I’ve posted a growing gallery of the photos I took on the first night – see them all here.

I didn’t got too mad on the beers, although I seemed to end up having three different Oakham ales – including their festival special Carioca, which at 5.2% is packed full of hops (was like getting punched in the face with a fist full of hops I think I described it as).  I also tried their Untouchable IPA… what a monster that is!  (9%).    I also tried a Thornbridge ale I’ve not had before, Craven Silk, but that didn’t live up to some of their other beers I’ve had (I LOVE Jaipur!).

I’m back to do it all again today (and tomorrow.. and possibly Friday!).  Today is a bit nervy, as it’s my big “judging day” – I’ve been asked to be one of the many guest judges who will be helping to chose the champion beers of the festival.   Quite an honour, but I’m not sure my chilli burnt tastebuds are the best for this job.  Still, someone’s got to do it!  I hear it will be around 24 beers.. starting at 11am!  It could be a long (but fun) day – I better get a decent breakfast down me first.

If you’re heading to the festival today – have fun!   Cheers, Krispy

 

Amplified, the first band of the festival, and a great one!

Amplified, the first band of the festival, and a great one!