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Reading Beer Festival 2006 (CAMRA Beer Festival)

Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Crouch Vale - Essex BlondeExceptional1
Gasthaus-Brauerei Braustelle - Braustelle WeizenbockExcellent1
Brauerei Heller-Trum - Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierExcellent1
Harviestoun - CelebrationExcellent1
Mad Squirrel (formerly Red Squirrel) - London Porter (now use 5% entry)Excellent1
Beer Engine - Sleeper HeavyGood1
Mad Squirrel (formerly Red Squirrel) - Munich BeerGood1
Enville - PorterGood1
Funfair - Cake WalkGood1
Grand Union - Dark MildGood1
Triple fff - Little Red RoosterGood1
Augustinerbrau - DunkelGood1
Ossett - Oregon PaleGood1
Custom - Chinook Best BitterAcceptable1
Belhaven - St. Andrews Amber AleAcceptable1
Bowland - PorterAcceptable1
Stewart - Pentland IPAAcceptable1
Phoenix - ResurrectionAcceptable1

Visits Details

29 Apr 2006 (Ian)
As per the day before. Sat in the smaller non smoking tent today though. I also had some mead and some cider and perries that were excellent. Mmmm mead!!!
Brauerei Heller-Trum - Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier4.30ExcellentOne of the beers of the festival for me. Served to me by Olaf even though they were 3 deep at the bar. What a guy! Attractive pale gold colour with thick white head. Light smokey aroma. Lovely smokey bacon in mouth. Creamy texture. Gorgeous
Mad Squirrel (formerly Red Squirrel) - London Porter (now use 5% entry)4.50ExcellentBlack beer with ruby edges. Dark beige head. Really nice porter aroma. Good dark roast malt, but the fruit is excellent. Smooth velvety aroma. I like it, but it lacks that extra something to make it a better beer. Bit of smoke.
Gasthaus-Brauerei Braustelle - Braustelle Weizenbock7.50ExcellentHazy deep gold colour. This took ages to pour, new barrel I think. Thick beige head. Lovely aroma. Really like the toffee/banana/hop. Tingly finish. Superb. And my last beer of a wonderful festival.
Phoenix - Resurrection4.70AcceptableAmber with thick bubbly head. Bit of toffee/diacetyl maybe, then bitter. Quite juicy in mouth then harsh bitterness on end. Not keen on the aroma, but very aggressive on end.
Custom - Chinook Best Bitter4.70AcceptableAmber with bubbly off white head. Unsurprising hop aroma. Mostly chinook. Sweet hop in mouth. Quite an attractive bitter with aggressive hop on either end. Needs more malt to underpin it.
Belhaven - St. Andrews Amber Ale4.90AcceptableOrange /chestnut colour. Fruity, but lacks the fullness of malt in mouth it deserves. Easy drinking though. Some burnt choc/coffee.
Stewart - Pentland IPA4.10AcceptableFirst beer of the Saturday session. Copper/gold with off white bubbly head. Citrus and biscuit malt on the aroma. Bit of caramel. Dry finish. Bit of juiciness. Nice enough with good carbonation.
28 Apr 2006 (Ian)
Got here at lunchtime and met up with friends from The volume and quality of the beer really is staggering. I recommend this festival to all beer lovers. Stayed until around 9.00pm and then stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn by the river and returned the Saturday.
Crouch Vale - Essex Blonde4.70ExceptionalGolden beer with bubbly white head. Flowery, grassy hop which belies the intensity in the mouth. Flowery/floral hop, underpinned by biscuit malt with intense hop finish. Really tingles the tongue. Good supping beer. So good I had to get another half.
Harviestoun - Celebration4.10ExcellentDeep copper with lasting bubbly beige head. Gorgeous hop, intense aroma. Goodish fruity biscuit malt. Intense citrus fruity hop finish. Full on Harviestoun beer with biting hop finish
Augustinerbrau - Dunkel5.60GoodRuby with thick beige head. Slightly thick and unctious. Quite impressive toffee flavours. Very drinkable
Beer Engine - Sleeper Heavy5.40GoodCopper/brown colour with off white head. Red berry/yeast aroma with a bit of vanilla. Quite good hp. I like the fruit which has red berries running throughout the beer.
Enville - Porter4.50GoodBlack with dark beige head. Some good sourness on this and a bit oily in mouth. Bit sour, some liquorice, some ginger/spice. Quite nice. Dry/sour porter
Grand Union - Dark Mild3.90GoodDeep ruby colour. Thin off white head. Quite hoppy for a mild. Nice tangyness on the tongue. Bit of stale malt on aroma. Bit thin in the middle, but finishes well. Bit of powdery choc/coffee. Grand Union do make some good beers.
Triple fff - Little Red Rooster5.00GoodVery dark reddish brown colour with lasting bubbly beige head. Bit roasted on the aroma, bit of toffee. Very drinkable. Good malt/hop balance. Satisfying. Even a bit of ginger. Hop is nice
Ossett - Oregon Pale4.70GoodGolden beer with bubbly white head. Lovely hop aroma which is slightly sweaty. Sweetish hop in mouth. Grassy/herby. Really rather nice. Typical Ossett offering with slightly sweeter hop
Mad Squirrel (formerly Red Squirrel) - Munich Beer4.10GoodI am sure that they were trying to make something in the Oktoberfest style, but missed by quite a long way. Having said that though, this isnít a bad beer. Amber, bubbly off white head. Herby hop aroma.. Soft and cold in the mouth with some toffee. I quite like the harsh finish which has more toffee
Funfair - Cake Walk6.00GoodBlack beer with a beige head. This I like. Drinkable. Charcoal runs through it. 6%, but doesnít show it. I like this, smooth and full and nice dark roasted malts.
Bowland - Porter4.20AcceptableVery dark ruby with bubbly beige head. Toffee, dark malts on aroma. Doesnít have the mouthfeel or intensity of flavour to make it interesting. Has some powder. For a brewery that does golden beers, this needs work. Dull.

About the Reading Beer Festival 2006

Summary of Beer Scores


The pub is found in Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8BN.

Held once again in two marquees on King's Meadow, just 5 minutes walk from the town centre. The main marquee has a good amount of seating and space as well as the majority of the UK beers, foreign beer stand, cider and perry stand and English wine and mead stand. The second smaller tent has the rest of the alphabetised UK beers and is non smoking. Plenty of seating outside on the grass and food outlets. In terms of size, beer condition and site, this is one of the best festivals in the country.

We have visited this pub twice, seen 17 different beers and tried them all.

Map location

Postcode: RG1 8BN