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Great British Beer Festival 2006 (CAMRA Beer Festival)

Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Alcazar - Mocha StoutExceptional1
Plevna - Siperia Imperial StoutExceptional1
Dogfish Head - 90 Minute Imperial IPAExceptional1
Cantillon - Oude LambikExcellent1
Wapping - StoutExcellent1
Storm - Beaufort's AleExcellent1
Buntingford - Pargetter's MildExcellent1
Girardin - LambiekExcellent1
Goose Eye - Barm PotExcellent1
Gale's - Festival MildExcellent1
Cantillon - Lou Pepe FramboiseExcellent1
Acorn - Barnsley BitterExcellent1
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - JaipurExcellent1
Mallard - Waddler's MildExcellent1
Wye Valley - Dorothy Goodbody's Wholesome StoutExcellent1
Hobsons - MildGood1
Durham - MagusGood1
McMullen (sometimes latterly brand badged as Rivertown or Whole Hop) - Harvest MoonGood1
Cains - Creamy StoutGood1
Howard Town - Glott's HopGood1
Tirril - Old FaithfulGood1
Andechs - Andechser Doppelbock DunkelGood1
Palmers - 200 Premium AleGood1
Wylam - Bohemia Pilsner LagerGood1
Blythe - StaffieGood1
Scattor Rock - DevonianGood1
Windsor Castle (see also Sadler's entry) - Sadler's Thin IceGood1
Great Oakley - Wot's OccuringGood1
Townes - IPAGood1
Goddards - Special BitterGood1
St Austell - Dartmoor Best Bitter (previously 3.9%)Good1
Cains - Finest BitterGood1
Cairngorm - HorizonGood1
Stewart - Edinburgh GoldGood1
Bernard Family - Svetl? Le??k 12?Acceptable1
Black Sheep - Emmerdale AleAcceptable1
Caledonian - XPAAcceptable1
Wychwood - Pride of the RiverAcceptable1
Brown Cow - BitterAcceptable1
Cains - Fine Raisin BeerAcceptable1
Cotleigh - Seahawk Gold (formerly Golden Seahawk)Acceptable1
Sharp's - Eden AleAcceptable1
Rebellion - ZonkedAcceptable1
Newby Wyke - England Expects (superseded by 4.6% version)Acceptable1
Yates' (Isle of Wight) (some beers brewed at Goddards) - Wight Winter AleAcceptable1
Slater's - Top TottyPoor1
Picture 1. Great British Beer Festival 2006, Earl's Court, Central London

Visits Details

05 Aug 2006 (Ian)
Last day of the festival. To be honest, I wouldn't go again on a Saturday. This ended up being more of a social event than anything else. The brewery bars still had plenty of beer, but the other bars had more or less sold out and the queue for the foreign beer stand was unbelievable. Once I had to resort to the meads in the mid afternoon, I knew it was time to go. Worth going though for the Girardin Lambiek and Andechs Doppelbock Dunkel, both on draught. Oh and for meeting Kristian, the head brewer of Olfabrikken brewery in Denmark.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Goose Eye - Barm Pot3.80ExcellentYellow gold colour with no head. Very grassy, grapefruit. Bit like a sauvignon blanc aroma. Some really nice fruit throughout. I liked it. Very sharp grapefruit.
Girardin - Lambiek5.00ExcellentI think that this is my favourite lambic producer and this beer only went on to cement its position. Copper colour with no head. Lovely balanced sour aroma. Soft, slightly sweet even for a lambic. Lovely and drinkable. Superb. Little bit of treacle. Sour, but balanced. Some nice fruit even.
Cains - Finest Bitter4.00GoodDeep chestnut, lasting cream head. Familiar malt/yeast aroma. Choc malts. Soft and creamy in mouth from the use of a tight sparkler on the brewery stand. Just the thought of this beer makes me want to have one now.
Hobsons - Mild3.20GoodMahogany colour, no head. Nice mild aroma, toffee and dark rich malts. Slightly sour. Nice mid malts. Inoffensive, but surprisingly good flavour with a bit of choc
Palmers - 200 Premium Ale5.00Good Hazy amber. Little bit of weird yeast on teh aroma. Bit of fruit in mouth. Some dryness on end. Odd. Very drinkable and you can see that you would drink a lot of it even at 5%
St Austell - Dartmoor Best Bitter (previously 3.9%)3.50GoodAmber with lasting bubbly off white head. Quite fruity malt aroma. Some hop. Quite juicy and fruity in mouth. Bit of cherry. I liked it.
Andechs - Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel7.50GoodI wanted just the normal dunkel, but the guy behind the bar misheard me. Never mind, I was pretty pleased to get this. Mahogany with lasting beige head. Brown sugar aroma, bit of sickly malt. Sweet, sticky. Quite strong. Rich and dark malts. But not too sweet. Nice.
Sharp's - Eden Ale4.40AcceptableChestnut with lasting beige head. Fruity hop and malt aroma. Soft in mouth with minerally edge. Finish has a bit of caramel and hop. Drinkable fruity malty best bitter.
Slater's - Top Totty4.00PoorThis was pale gold with a thin off white head. Toffee and diacetyl aroma. Bit of juicy citrus. Bit thin and the butterscotch dominates it for me.
04 Aug 2006 (Ian)
Day 3 for me and it took me a bit of time to get started I must admit. By late afternoon some of the bars were running out of beer and it was very difficult to get to the Foreign beer stand. Bar Nouveau had on just 3 beers including Oakham JHB and Woodfordes Wherry. It got so busy in fact that we went to the White Horse in Parson's Green to get a bit of piece and quiet and the ability to use a toilet without queuing for 10 minutes.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Alcazar - Mocha Stout5.00ExceptionalBlack with no head. Choc is stunning. Velvet, intense dark cherry. Stunning, stunning beer. The level of chocisity (is that a word?) is amazing. Up there with DFH and the Plevna Imperial Stout as beers of the festival.
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - Jaipur5.90ExcellentYellow/gold. No head. Very hoppy aroma. Juicy in mouth. Excellent hop finish. One of my favourite UK beers.
Mallard - Waddler's Mild3.70ExcellentNice dark mild. Good grainy malts, without being powdery. Aroma of choc and coffee. Deep ruby colour with lasting thin beige head. Best session strength mild of the festival. Bit of bitterness on end.
Buntingford - Pargetter's Mild3.70ExcellentVery dark brown/ruby colour with thick lasting beige head. Really interesting mild, fruit aroma, black cherry, smooth in mouth. Black cherry finish which is quite juicy. No real hop presence. Good juicy dark mild
Cantillon - Oude Lambik5.00ExcellentAged for 2 years. Hazy gold colour. No head. Sour lemon/cider aroma with faint wood too. Sour in mouth. No carbonation to speak of. Really complex and a little bit musty in the mouth. Sour woody lemon finish. Splendid.
Cantillon - Lou Pepe Framboise5.00ExcellentRed/pink hazy beer. Great raspberry aroma. Sweetish raspberry fruit in mouth. Sour finish. Very nice fruit. Really like it. Sticky sweet fruit and sour blend is perfect.
Tirril - Old Faithful4.00GoodCopper with lasting off white head. Yeast/hop aroma. Hop is pretty good. Not overly full in mouth, but the citrus is soft lime on the end. Citrus fruits are good.
Scattor Rock - Devonian4.50GoodAmber with lasting bubbly cream coloured head. Yeast and some citrus hop aroma. Caramel and toffee with hard water in mouth. Reasonable amount of flavour. Finish has some green hop. This is a tasty bitter.
Townes - IPA4.50GoodGold with thin beige head. Hop is quite earthy. Malts are pale and juicy. Some Goldings hop I think. I’ve had a lot of English beers claiming to be IPAs, but I think that this is one of the better ones
Stewart - Edinburgh Gold4.80GoodGolden with thick off white head. Bit of butter, some hop, some caramel. Yeah it’s a good Scottish beer with malty, sulphur and sharp notes but it is buttery too.
Blythe - Staffie4.40GoodClear gold with bubbly off white head. Grapefruit hop aroma. OK malts in mouth, strong grass and grapefruit flavours. Juicy finish. Very good and my style of beer.
03 Aug 2006 (Ian)
I was sat with a group from Ratebeer.com. Thursday was hat day and Greene King were giving out a load of black trilbys with Greene King IPA on the band. The balloon folders were also doing good business. Bit easier to orientate yourself on the second day. It got very busy by the evening. Still I had a fantastic time and not only did someone give me their season ticket, but I got a bed for the night in London too.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Storm - Beaufort's Ale3.80ExcellentDeep copper colour with lasting bubbly head. Citrus hop and yeast aroma. Nice soft session bitter. Toffee flavours and excellent balanced hop on end. Excellent bitter.
Gale's - Festival Mild4.80ExcellentFrom the Fullers stand. Very deep ruby colour with lasting beige head. Dark malts. Good strongish mild with lots of choc. Not really any hop, but who cares. The malt choc is juicy and fantastic. Really good mild and I was very impressed
Goddards - Special Bitter4.00GoodCopper colour with bubbly beige head. Good floral hop and yeast aroma. OK bitter. Goodish hop on end. Some caramel. In fact I rather like the hop on this and a good start to the Thursday session.
Great Oakley - Wot's Occuring3.90GoodHazy copper with thick cream head. Good hoppy aroma. OK in mouth. Reasonable malt. Soft in mouth. Good hop finish. US style hops. I like it, soft and hoppy.
Cairngorm - Horizon4.60GoodHazy copper, thin off white head. Bit of ginger on aroma. Lovely fruit flavours. Like drinking a summer field. Nice spicey finish. Excellent flavourful bitter
McMullen (sometimes latterly brand badged as Rivertown or Whole Hop) - Harvest Moon4.00GoodAmber colour with lasting beige head. Yeasty toffee apple aroma. Apple, ripe aroma. Some fresh toffee and hop on end. Quite a good bitter. Bit watery in mouth.
Windsor Castle (see also Sadler's entry) - Sadler's Thin Ice4.50GoodGold with thick cream head. Yeasty hoppy bitter. Hop is good. Malt is a little thin. Hop/yeast/caramel are all ok. Hop is herby on finish and really tasty.
Yates' (Isle of Wight) (some beers brewed at Goddards) - Wight Winter Ale5.00AcceptableBlack with ruby hints, disappearing beige head. Farty aroma. Some prune. Some juicyness. Not that great. Badged as St Lawrence Ale
Cains - Fine Raisin Beer5.00AcceptableHazy copper, creamy lasting head. Creamy plum flavour, like custard and stewed fruits. Some herb. Very creamy from the tight sparklers on the brewery stand.
Bernard Family - Svetl? Le??k 12?4.70AcceptableGold with thick off white head. Nutty lager malt aroma. Pretty good lager. Could drink lots of this. Bit of sickly lager malt in mouth, but otherwise a good lager.
Wychwood - Pride of the River4.10AcceptableCopper colour with lasting live yeast beige head. Yeasty aroma. Fairly typical yeasty Brakspear beer. Some caramel, some hop. Nice yeasty bitter.
02 Aug 2006 (Ian)
My first day at the festival, but day 2 of the actual GBBF. I found Earls Court to be a little on the large size and a little impersonal. However, the beer choice and quality was excellent. I had very few beers that had been kept poorly or had any obvious brewing faults. Overall though it is a fantastic festival and gave me the opportunity to try a whole range of beers from around the world and country. Probably the best day to come is Wednesday as most beers are on and not many have sold out. Shame that the US cask beers did not arrive due to shipping problems.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Dogfish Head - 90 Minute Imperial IPA9.00ExceptionalMy second year of having this and it was as good if not better than I remembered. The intense big US hop aroma is just so wonderful, fresh hops, grapefruit and golden syrup flavours and a wonderfully polished mouthfeel and finish. Definitely in my top 10 all time beer list.
Plevna - Siperia Imperial Stout8.00ExceptionalBlack and thick with a dark tan head. Beautiful rich dark choc aroma. Bit of herb. Quite sour in mouth. Rich, heavy, thick. Bit of oily richness. Quite stunning. Rich thick choc and espresso coffee like in mouth. Full on Impy stout
Wapping - Stout5.00ExcellentBlack colour with no head. Chocolatey stout. Great stout, bit of sour, but well balanced, not powdery. Excellent stout and my first dark beer from this brewer.
Acorn - Barnsley Bitter3.80ExcellentDeep brown colour, no head. Brown bitter, almost like gravy browning. Proper session/best bitter with good malts and lovely dry malt.
Wye Valley - Dorothy Goodbody's Wholesome Stout4.60ExcellentBlack with brown hints. Thin beige head. Nice stout aroma, sourish. Good dark malts. Nice stout. Depth and body and good charcoal flavours.
Durham - Magus3.80GoodGolden with thin white head. Hoppy aroma with citrus. Blond style of beer. I like this, but then again I think that Durham make some good beers. Nice blond citrus hoppy beer. Drinkable and moreish. Has enough hop on the end to make you want to take another taste
Howard Town - Glott's Hop5.00GoodSlight hazy gold with lasting off bubbly white head. Fresh tasting peachy fruit and dry hop. Very fresh and drinkable. Some rose petal to go with the peachy flavours.
Wylam - Bohemia Pilsner Lager4.60GoodGold with lasting thick cream head. Lime and hop and earthy aroma. Yeasty. Cask conditioned lager with some Saaz. Soft, creamy in mouth. Weird, but I liked it. Not a pilsner maybe, but still not a bad beer.
Cains - Creamy Stout4.10GoodBlack colour with dark brown edges. Lasting creamy beige head. Some dark malts on aroma. Dark choc. Creamy. I really rather liked it, but then I’m biased
Black Sheep - Emmerdale Ale4.20AcceptableCopper colour with thin off white head. Odd citrus aroma. Odd lemon, but more lime in the citrus mix. Some yeast. Some hopo on end. A little bizarre and not what I was expecting
Brown Cow - Bitter3.80AcceptableCopper colour with bubbly off white head. Bit of toffee, some biting hop one end. Nice enough toffeeish bitter, but not great.
Newby Wyke - England Expects (superseded by 4.6% version)4.50AcceptableGolden/copper colour. Little bit yeasty. Nice enough, bit of earthiness. Some decent hop, bit of toffee. Nice.
Rebellion - Zonked4.20AcceptableMy first beer of the festival on Wednesday lunchtime. Deep copper colour, lasting bubbly beige head. Hop and caramel aroma, bit thin in mouth, malts are a little disappointing, but slightly caramelly. Some hop bitterness. I still haven’t been won over by this brewery.
Caledonian - XPA4.30Acceptable Pale copper with thick cream head. Yeasty stoney beer. Quite a sharp hop to it. Pleasant, drinkable, hop keeps you interested. Some caramel. Hops on end are good.
Cotleigh - Seahawk Gold (formerly Golden Seahawk)4.20AcceptableI normally really like Cotleigh beers, but I thought that this was slightly average. Copper colour with thin beige head. Reasonably good hop aroma. Juicy malts in mouth. Not the best Cotleigh, but fruit and hop are ok.

About the Great British Beer Festival 2006

The pub sign. Great British Beer Festival 2006, Earl's Court, Central London

Summary of Beer Scores

 Total
Exceptional3
Excellent12
Good19
Acceptable11
Poor1

Website.

The pub is found in Earl's Court, Central London, SW5 9TA.

Biggest annual beer festival in the UK. Now at Earl's Court which provided more space. A huge selection on UK cask beers from around the country which were stillaged on separate bars depending on where they came from South East, East Coast, North East etc. with a Bar Nouveau for new beers, cider and perry and the Bieres Sans Frontiers stand for foreign beers around the world. There are also brewery bars sponsored by individual breweries e.g. Shepherd Neame, Young's, Fuller's, Cains, Sharp's, Greene King etc. Although the size of the festival and number of beers can seem daunting, it really is worth coming to for the sheer choice.

We have visited this pub 4 times, seen 46 different beers and tried them all.

Map location

Postcode: SW5 9TA