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Kent Beer Festival 2007 (CAMRA Beer Festival)

Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Dark Star - Hophead (some has also been brewed by Fuller's)Exceptional1
Westerham - Summer PerleExcellent1
Cairngorm - Trade WindsExcellent2
Shepherd Neame - Old Faversham DarkExcellent2
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - No. 7Excellent1
Lincolnshire Craft (formerly Tom Wood's) - Best BitterGood2
RCH - PG SteamGood1
Acorn - Barnsley GoldGood2
Goacher's - Real Mild AleGood2
Batemans - Dark MildGood2
Inveralmond - Ossian's AleGood1
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - SandboyGood1
Beartown (latterly part of Manning Brewers) - PandamoniumGood2
Itchen Valley - GodfathersGood1
Phoenix - White MonkGood1
Purity - Pure UBUGood1
Kelburn - GoldihopsGood1
Rother Valley - Copper AleGood1
Eastwood & Sanders - LockkeeperAcceptable1
Whitstable - Supreme BlondeAcceptable1
De Molen - EngelAcceptable1
RCH - Hewish IPAAcceptable1
Goacher's - Special House AleAcceptable1
St Austell - Proper JobAcceptable1
Nelson - Friggin in the RigginAcceptable1
Nelson - Master Mate MildAcceptable1
Harviestoun - Bitter & TwistedAcceptable1
Hambleton - BitterAcceptable1
Hexhamshire - Strong (aka Whapweasel)Acceptable2
Nelson - Loose CannonAcceptable1
Butts - Barbus BarbusAcceptable1
York (now brewed by and at Black Sheep) - StonewallAcceptable1
Moorhouse's - Black Cat MildAcceptable1
Butts - Organic JesterAcceptable1
Ballards (now a sub brand of Greyhound) - Nyewood GoldAcceptable1
Grainstore - BBB (Bunny Brown's Bitter)Acceptable1
Nelson - Pieces of EightAcceptable1
Larkins - TraditionalPoor1
Whitstable - East India Pale Ale (or EIPA)Poor1
Dartford Wobbler (re-named from Millis) - Strawberry FayreUndrinkable1
Picture 1. Kent Beer Festival 2007, Canterbury, Kent

Visits Details

21 Jul 2007 (Ian)
The Saturday session. A lot of the beers had gone on the Friday night, but there was still plenty of beer left for the day. Enjoyable day with more families and a very relaxed feel. The ex Mogul Dover group were sat at the next table.
RCH - PG Steam3.90GoodCopper, lasting bubbly beige head. Actually a great session bitter, good malt/hop combo, hop on end was very good. Balanced and drinkable. I liked it.
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - Sandboy3.80GoodGold, bit of haze, lasting white. Sort of light and drinkable. Decent Goldings finish. Nothing big or strong, but pleasant easy drinking beer.
Purity - Pure UBU4.50GoodChestnut, thin off white head. Rather a harsh hop aroma. Really rather nice and different from the run of the mill best bitters. Bit of tea. Very herby hop. Good condition.
Butts - Barbus Barbus4.60AcceptableGold, bubbly white head. Bit yeasty on aroma. Some citrus hops. It's a fairly standard citrusy bitter. Fine, if not outstanding.
Butts - Organic Jester3.50AcceptableGold, lasting white head. Moderate citrus hop. OK so it's 3.5%, so not expecting huge flavour. Very dry and hoppy on finish. Hops in fact are stronger than you would expect. Interesting.
Grainstore - BBB (Bunny Brown's Bitter)4.20AcceptableBadged as Triple B. Copper with thin off white head. Fairly standard best bitter. Has some nice malty fruit. Drinks ok. Bit acidic maybe, bit sharp.
RCH - Hewish IPA3.60AcceptablePale chestnut, really nice colour with thin white head. It's fine. It does what it says, a drinkable session bitter. Decent hop.
Nelson - Loose Cannon4.30AcceptableChestnut, thin beige head. Lacking a bit of condition. Some decent malts, nice hop on end. Would be better in top form as malts are great. Could be good, but dullish on this form
Hexhamshire - Strong (aka Whapweasel)4.80PoorGold, thin white head. Very fruity aroma. Tapioca and semolina flavour in mouth. Not to my taste.
21 Jul 2007 (Andrew)
Best of the 3 sessions I went to. Here with Ian, Martin, Adrian and Paul and Simone.
Cairngorm - Trade Winds4.30ExcellentTurkish delight and mandarine. Rich.
Beartown (latterly part of Manning Brewers) - Pandamonium4.50ExcellentSour blackcurrant. Down as a stout but it must be an Old surely. Lots of blackcurrant. Smooth rich oily blackcurrent finish
Goacher's - Real Mild Ale3.40GoodBetter condition than on Thursday night. Fresh and creamy with coffee on the finish
Kelburn - Goldihops3.80GoodBig drying hop bite with raspberry underneath
Lincolnshire Craft (formerly Tom Wood's) - Best Bitter3.50GoodGood condition on this best bitter. Some woody hops and earthyness.
Acorn - Barnsley Gold4.30AcceptableMid brown bitter. Very base bitter flavour, overpoweringly so. Not a lot else going on
De Molen - Engel4.50AcceptableSmells fruity. Big burnt perspex flavour with some red fruit hiding underneath. Big burnt perspex finish
Larkins - Traditional3.40PoorIt was drinkable but I've had this loads of time and this outing tasted nothing like the real thing
20 Jul 2007 (Ian)
Day 2. Andrew and myself walked up and got there around opening. All the beers were still available. I seem to remember getting quite drunk and staggering out with the last half pint of Dark Star Hophead. Anyway, I still made my train home.
Batemans - Dark Mild3.00GoodBlack/dark brown with virtually no head. Yeasty aroma. Decent mild, decent choc, very nice mild.
Inveralmond - Ossian's Ale4.10GoodGold, off white bubbly head. Rather attractive aroma. Very drinkable, excellent fruit. Good range of citrus fruits. Good condition. I liked it. Slightly flinty, but different from your usual bitter.
Rother Valley - Copper Ale4.10GoodRed to deep russet, bubbly off white head. Decent choccy, red/black fruity malts. Very good beer, lovely deep malts. I'm impressed. Very drinkable.
Hambleton - Bitter3.60AcceptableGold, bubbly white head. Citrusy bitter. OK, bit of yeast, some apple and lemon. OK, bit empty up front. Decent raspberry fruit finish. Fine.
Ballards (now a sub brand of Greyhound) - Nyewood Gold5.00AcceptableGold, disappearing off white head. Some hop and golden syrup on aroma, fine in mouth, good tingly carbonation. It does have a fairly hard hop finish.
Lincolnshire Craft (formerly Tom Wood's) - Best Bitter3.50AcceptableAmber/orange with no head. Decent hop/malt aroma. Suppable session bitter, decent citrus fruits. Finish tingles the tongue. Nice.
Nelson - Master Mate Mild3.70AcceptableBlack, very dark brown, disappearing tan head. Slightly raisiny dry fruity aroma. Little bit thin in mouth. V. decent hop on finish. Some choc. Decent malts. Fine, if a tad acidic.
Dartford Wobbler (re-named from Millis) - Strawberry Fayre4.10UndrinkableIt's terrible in my opinion. Gold, no head. Smells of yeast and strawberry. It does have strawberry and a minty finish as the description said, but really not in a good way. Vile.
20 Jul 2007 (Andrew)
Here with Ian, Brian, Pete and Martin. A good session but after last night I wasn't really up for hammering the beers so I was drinking at about a pint every 2 hours - a new slowness record for me.
Batemans - Dark Mild3.00GoodCaramely. Sweet with mildly bitter finish
Itchen Valley - Godfathers3.80GoodHazy copper brown. Red fruit flavours and a soft mouth feel. Deep bitter finish. It grew on me
Goacher's - Special House Ale3.80AcceptableOkay this wasn't actually on the beer list but Brain had a half of Dark and I had a half of Light and both were a bit harsh so we mixed them as 1/3 Dark, 2/3 Light and made Special! Didn't help the taste much but it was fun to do.
Harviestoun - Bitter & Twisted3.80AcceptableNo real condition. Smelt and tasted of sweet mandarine
Nelson - Pieces of Eight3.80AcceptableBrown beer. Reedy bitter bite and earthy
19 Jul 2007 (Ian)
Funnily enough, I think I enjoyed this year's festival more than any other. I seem to have accepted that it is in a cow shed. The organisers had bought 2-3 barrels of each beer, so there was always something on the go. Plus they used proper cooling jackets to keep the beer in good condition. Thursday night had a great Blondie tribute band. The beer line up was good if unspectacular.
Dark Star - Hophead (some has also been brewed by Fuller's)3.80ExceptionalI can't improve this beer in any way. Beer of the festival for me.
Cairngorm - Trade Winds4.30ExcellentGreat aroma, Great in mouth. It is a seriously good beer. Great flavours and condition, but there is something that just doesn't click with my taste buds. I can see it's great, but hey, just doesn't wow me.
Acorn - Barnsley Gold4.30GoodGold/copper with lasting white head. I rather like this, nice malt/hop balance, decent hop on end. Really enormously drinkable.
Phoenix - White Monk4.50GoodCitrusy wheat beer. Good, fine. Not as good as White Dwarf, but with a decent citrus finish.
Shepherd Neame - Old Faversham Dark3.50GoodThe company have bought a micro brew kit which they have set up in the brewery to do test beers. This is a go at a cask mild. Black /ruby colour with lasting deep beige head. Slightly yeasty, dark mild aroma, choccy. Actually it’s really good, I hate to admit it of Sheps, but it is a very drinkable, nice, balanced dark mild.
Beartown (latterly part of Manning Brewers) - Pandamonium4.50AcceptableVery deep ruby colour, with disappearing tan head. Sour, sour vinegar/old ale aroma. Surprisingly good in mouth and the choc rescues it, then lovely espresso coffee on finish. Terrible aroma, but rest is good. Funnily enough someone else had it 2 days later and it was a lot better.
Whitstable - Supreme Blonde4.30AcceptableGold with lasting off white head. Some citrus on aroma, good condition, reasonable hop on end. After drinking Dark Star Hophead though, this was a tad bland.
St Austell - Proper Job4.50AcceptableGold with lasting beige head. American lemon/grapefruit hop aroma. Good sherberty grapefruit on finish. Lacks a little in the mouth. Little bit lemon washing up liquid flavour. I must admit, I prefered the bottled version.
Whitstable - East India Pale Ale (or EIPA)4.10PoorI didn't even write notes for this. I remember it not tasting of anything much and certainly the strong hop influence wasn't there.
19 Jul 2007 (Andrew)
Here with Jane and Ian. Fairly busy with a good rock band followed by a Blondie Tribute act. The beers were in excellent condition and, for the first time, all had cooler jackets on. I got to talk to the brewers of the Shepheard Naeme Mild who said it was going to be distributed in the Faversham pubs.
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - No. 73.80ExcellentPale amber with a good frothy white head. Bread doe smell and flavours with a sweet mild bitter finish. Prince of session beers
Westerham - Summer Perle3.80ExcellentSharp with hints of lemongrass. Got a free half from CAMRA because I posed with it in one of their publicity photos!
Shepherd Neame - Old Faversham Dark3.50ExcellentSmells of sweet chocolate. Sharp sweet chocolate bite. A classic mild
Goacher's - Real Mild Ale3.40GoodAn odd one. Bit of fish and a bit of smoakyness. Not really like Goachers' mild at all.
Moorhouse's - Black Cat Mild3.40AcceptableSmooth with a coffee bitter finish
Nelson - Friggin in the Riggin4.70AcceptableDark plum brown colour. Rich and smooth with a cardboard tart red fruit flavour
Hexhamshire - Strong (aka Whapweasel)4.80AcceptableSandy brown. Rips the back of your tonge off with a burnt flavourless sugar flavour.
York (now brewed by and at Black Sheep) - Stonewall3.80AcceptablePale brown. Bit yeasty. Perl like hops. Bit too sharp and unsubtle
Eastwood & Sanders - Lockkeeper3.90AcceptableBitter but with a burnt edge to it. Pale brown and not that great

About the Kent Beer Festival 2007

The pub sign. Kent Beer Festival 2007, Canterbury, Kent

Summary of Beer Scores



The pub is found in Canterbury, Kent, CT4 7BA.

The annual Kent Beer Festival. Apart from a great list of beers look out for the gents toilet consisting of a large metal container with a gutter welded down one of the inside walls - great!

We have visited this pub 6 times, seen 40 different beers and tried them all.

Map location

Postcode: CT4 7BA