10th Nantwich Beer Festival 23 – 25 September 2011

Not long now until the Nantwich beer and food festivalweekend, a chance to indulge yourself in some fantastic beer as well as a vast array of fab foodie treats too.

I’ve attached a link to some of the local beers that will be on show from the likes of Red WillowBeartownMerlinOff BeatMarbleand many, many more.

Check it out here

Be great to see you there. Cheers Phil

Bhurtpore Inn Beer Festival

We dropped into a great beer little festival this week at The Bhurtpore Inn on Wednesday night, when I say little, it’s a big festival in the little rural village of Aston in Cheshire and with 280 UK and Continental beers, plus the Ciders and Perry’s you’d hardly call it small fry.

I’d not been to the Bhurtpore Inn before and was looking forward to the event even more so due to the location as I’d heard so many good stories about the place. Not least that it had won the South Cheshire CAMRA’s Pub Of The Year award six times since 2000, the last being 2010.

The 16th Summer Bhurtpore Inn Beer Festival
5th – 10th July 2011

at the Bhurtpore Inn, Aston, nr. Nantwich, Cheshire 

130 Real Ales. Plus Real Cider & Perry, 150 bottled Belgian & German beers 

Festival Opening Times 

Tuesday: 6.30 – 11.30pm, Wednesday – Saturday: 12 noon – 11.30pm

Sunday: 12 noon – 11pm 


The Bhurtpore, as you can see from the top photograph has been extended over the years no doubt due it’s popularity, this meant for the festival although it was a seemingly small venue, the areas were well laid out allowing three bars to sell beer while still offering a full menu of hot meals which we gladly devoured. The beer menu was great listing brews from a wide variety of breweries from across the UK including many local ales too.

First on the list for me was spotted and downed just as quickly, Fyne Ales Jarl. It’s a fine (Fyne) golden session ale, light, with citrus and peppery hops. To be honest I think I heard this mentioned more than any other beer available on the night. Very refreshing, one of the few I went back to. 

The others making up my beer quaffing list were, Bank Top Brewery – Calico Jack, North Curry Brewery – Curry Gold, Ulverston Brewery’s Flying Elephants & Fra Diavalo and two crackers from Coastal Brewery Strawberry Mild and the epic 9% Kernow Imperial Stout.

The Kernow was my pick of the bunch by some margin and is a Coastal special making it’s 2011 debut at the Bhurtpore Inn. Despite it’s high abv it was exceptionally drinkable, having light mouthfeel with bags of caramel sweetness.

Sadly we had to depart early for our mini bus as the Bhurtpore is a little difficult to get to from Stoke, it was doubly disappointing that so many of the beers I’d gone for were not ready on Wednesday. Including an astounding six beers from Summer Wine Brewery, these being Ensign, Polestar, Rouge Top, Nerotype Black IPA’s Bravo & Hercules and finally 7C’, plus local favourites OffBeat Brewery’s Way Out Wheat and Kooky Gold then Merlin Brewerys Wizard.

I hope you lucky punters going this weekend enjoy MY BEER! (grumble, grumble) 😦

The festival runs for another 3 days including tonight, so if you are in the area get yourself down for some cracking ales in a lovely location. I’ve attached the advance the beer list kindly received from the landlord Simon George here.

Have fun!

If you enjoyed reading this post then please spread the love, Facebook share it, RT on Twitter or send on by email. I’d love to hear your comments and shared experiences too in the comments section of this page. Cheers Phil

Merlin’s Gold – Merlin Brewery – 3.8%

It’s always good news to hear about a new brewery springing up, especially a local one. Which is why I was extra pleased about Merlin’s Brewery who are based just over the Staffordshire border in Arclid (near Sandbach) in Cheshire.

I got in touch with David Peart from the brewery via his Twitter feed @MerlinBreweryCo who very kindly alerted me to an imminent arrival of his beer at The Leopard in Burslem, quite apt for a mystical beer considering the pubs history and alleged supernatural past..

Merlin’s currently have four beers available, Spellbound, Merlin’s Gold, Kings Ale and Dragonslayer, it was the Gold available on Friday and Saturday night, with Spellbound due and probably on as as we speak.

As the name suggests, this is a light golden beer despite the rather eery picture.

It has strong citrus aromas predominantly of hoppy grapefruit. The taste too is dominated by that citrus grapefruit flavour with hints of lemon with a lip pursingly dry bitter finish where the hops take over. All in all it’s very refreshing and I would happily sup this all night on a warm summer evening as long as it’s served as cool as it can be without spoiling the flavour.

Merlin’s Brewery have a website which is limited at the moment but under construction with more to come soon.

Merlin is available in bottled form from The Beer Emporium in Sandbach, ring them to confirm stock, I’m not sure about any other online outlets at present. (If you are one and reading this please let me know and I’ll amend, or else just add a comment)

Merlin’s Brewery

The beers from Merlin’s Micro Brewery are distinctive craft beers. They’re full flavoured with an excellent finish. Brewed for a magical taste.