dog pulling sled and barrel; 'moving - again!'

Cambridge Winter Ale Festival 2005

Beers & Ciders

Whilst many beers here are Winter ones, as usual there are lighter varieties as well. This year there seem to be fewer true winter ales on offer, so many of these are dark and/or strong specials or regular seasonals.

Beer descriptions are from the Good Beer Guide or from the breweries or from the Web or our own tastings.

Beers which arrived in the Friday re-order are marked *.

Final update: 30-Jan-2005

Archers; Swindon, Wiltshire; 1979

Marley's Ghost 7.0%
Pixie Juice 4.2%

Arran; Cladach, Brodick, Isle of Arran; 2000

Blonde 5.0%
A hoppy beer with substantial fruit balance and the finish increasingly bitter; an aromatic strong bitter that drinks below its weight.

B&T; Shefford, Bedfordshire; 1981

Bedford Clanger 3.8%
Fruit Bat 4.5%
Raspberry flavoured, hoppy fruit beer.
Old Bat 6.0%
A powerful-tasting, sweet winter beer, with bitterness coming through in the aftertaste. Fruit is present in both aroma and taste.

Bartrams; Thurston, Suffolk; 1999

Jester Quick One 4.4%
A darker-than-average best bitter that is more malty than hoppy, with hints of fruit in the aroma.
Comrade Bill Bartram's Egalitarian Anti-Imperialist Soviet Stout 6.9%

Bass Museum (White Shield Brewery); Burton-on-Trent; Staffs; 1994

St Modwens 4.1%
"E" 4.8%
Original Worthington recipe from the 1970s.

Beartown; Congleton, Cheshire; 1994

Ginger Beer 4.0%
The flavours from the malt and hops blend with the added bite from the root ginger to produce a quenching finish.
Wheat Beer 5.0%
Dry and bitter with good wheat malt flavours and initial fruitiness in aroma and taste; long-lasting dry aftertaste.

Blindmans; Leighton, Frome, Somerset; 2002

Mine Beer 4.2%
A copper-coloured ale with full body, leading to a long finish with fresh hoppy aroma.

Boggart Hole Clough; Moston, Manchester; 2001

Standard Pioneer 4.0%
A light pale bitter with a lemon citrus flavour & aroma, made using Pioneer hops.

Bridge of Allan; Queens Hotel, Bridge of Allan, Stirling; 1997

Rabbie Burns 90/- 4.8%

Broughton; Broughton, Biggar, Peeblesshire; 1979

Clipper IPA 4.2%
This light-coloured, crisp, hoppy beer bears all the hallmarks of an India Pale Ale, with a strong hop character and a clean taste.

Buffys; Tivetshall St Mary, Norfolk; 1993

Hollybeery 6.2%
A sweet and smooth ale; very drinkable.
Festival 9X 9.0%
A fine, old-fashioned ale, dark amber in colour.

Buntingford; Buntingford, Hertfordshire; 2001

Fireside Stout 4.2%
Golden Drop 5.0%

Burton Bridge; Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire; 1982

Old Ale 10%
As Thomas Sykes Old Ale this used to be brewed to 11%.

Cairngorm; Aviemore; Invernessshire; 2001

Sheepshaggers Gold 4.5%
A golden amber brew with some malt and hop character but balanced on the sweetish side.

Cambridge Moonshine; Cambridge; 2004

Harvest Moon Mild 3.8%
Coffee and chocolatey black mild.
IPA 4.4%
Winter Stout 5.7% *
Pigs Ear Porter 5.8%

Church End; Nuneaton, Warwickshire; 1994

Rest In Peace 7.0%
A winter seasonal beer.

City of Cambridge; Chittering, Cambridgeshire; 1997

Rutherfords IPA 3.8%
This satisfying session beer is made from a blend of two yeasts. After a fruity, malty start, there is a soft hoppy, bittersweet balance and a light sulphury character, finishing with a light balance of malt and hops.
Hobson's Choice 4.1% *
Mich'aelmas 4.6%
A darkish, smooth and complex beer, combining sweetishness with a subtle aftertaste.
Atom Splitter 4.7% *
Parkers Porter 5.3%
Reddish in colour, roast notes come to the fore in the taste and continue into the bittersweet finish. Rich, smooth and very drinkable.
Bramling Traditional 5.5% *

Coach House; Howley, Warrington; 1991

Gunpowder Mild 3.8%
Dark brown, lightly hopped, malty mild with faint roast undertones.
Ginger Nut Premium 5.0%
A pale beer but of premium strength, with the added kick of a touch of real Jamaican ginger.
Burns Aulde Sleekit 5.5%

Collingwood; Withersfield, Suffolk; 2004

Mytton Mild 4.5%
A strong dark mild.
Rustat SPA 4.7%
A strongish pale ale.

Crouch Vale; South Woodham Ferrers, Essex; 1981

Essex Boys Bitter 3.5% *
Blackwater Mild 3.7% *

Darwin; Sunderland; 1994

Durham Light Ale 4.0%
A re-creation of a historic beer.
Saints Sinner 5.0%
Smooth, rich & hoppy.

Derwent; Silloth, Cumbria; 1996

Carlisle State Bitter 3.7%
A light, hoppy beer with underlying malt and fruit and a dry, yeasty finish. It's a re-creation, referring back to the period c1916-1971 when the State Management Scheme owned and operated all the breweries and pubs of Carlisle.

Elgood; Wisbech, Cambridgeshire; 1795

North Brink Porter 5.0%
Dark in colour, resembling a dry stout, although less creamy and lighter in body, with a coffeeish dryness.
Wenceslas Winter Warmer 7.5%
Rich red-brown warming brew with full fruity aroma, flavoured with cinnamon plus a hint of orange and a potent finish.

Elveden; Thetford, Norfolk; 2003

Harwich Charter Ale 10% - Champion Beer of the Festival
Brewed for the 2004 Harwich & Dovercourt Bay Winter Ale Festival and the 400th anniversary of Harwich's Royal Charter. A re-creation of Allsopp's Arctic Ale, brewed in 1852 for Captain Edward Belcher's expedition to the Arctic in search of John Franklin.

Enville; Enville, Stourbridge, W. Midlands; 1992

Ginger 4.6%
Produced using root extract ginger, this has a flavour which is not overpowering and is very refreshing.

Fenland (Isle of Ely); Little Downham, Cambridgeshire; 1997

Babylon Banks 4.1%
Winter Warmer 5.5%
Dark Christmas ale: strong, pungent ginger spice dominates the aroma and taste of this warming brew. There is also fruit, cinnamon and a hint of roast malt in the mouth but a surprisingly restrained, bitter-sweet finish.

Fyne Ales; Achadunan, Cairndow, Argyll; 2001

Highlander 4.8%
A strong traditional ale with intense malt flavours and a citrus hop aroma.

Garton; Garton-on-the-Wolds; Driffield; E. Yorkshire; 2001

Liquid Lobotomy Stout 8.0%
Garton's flagship beer, its strength derived from grain without the aid of extracts and sugars.

Golcar; Golcar, Huddersfield, Yorkshire; 2001

Dark Mild 3.2%
A light roasted malt and licorice taste. Smooth and satisfying.

Hanby; Wem, Shropshire; 1988

Cherry Bomb 6.0%
Made with the addition of cherries.

Hart; Cartford Hotel, Little Eccleston, Preston, Lancashire; 1994

Cleo's Asp 3.8% *
Big Shuggie 4.0% *
Indian Pale Ale 4.4% *

Haton (Hart/Milton brewery blends)

Uniao 3.6% *
Chama 6.6% *

Harviestoun; Dollar, Clackmannanshire; 1985

Bitter & Twisted 3.8%
A refreshingly hoppy beer with fruit throughout. The bittersweet taste gives way to a long, dry, bitter finish. This golden session beer was Champion Beer of Britain in 2003.

Hebridean; Stornoway; Isle of Lewis; 2001

Islander Strong Premium Ale 4.8%
Brewed with special coloured Scots malt, deep ruby in colour and predominantly malty with robust hopping to match. Complex like the Hebrides themselves, with hidden rewards waiting for those who search them out.
Berserker Export Pale Ale 7.5%
A real India Pale Ale based on 150 year old recipies. Light in colour but strong in flavour. Malty with an intense hop to match.

Hereward; Ely, Cambridgeshire; 2003

Oatmeal Stout 4.0%
Malty beer with chocolate roast notes and berry fruit undertones.
Porta Porter 4.2%
Named after the entrance to the old Ely monastery.
St Ethelreda's Golden Bitter 4.5%

Hexhamshire; Ordley, Hexham, Northumberland; 1993

Devils Water 4.1%
Copper-coloured best bitter, well-balanced with a slightly fruity, hoppy finish.

High House Farm; Matfen, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; 2003

Auld Hemp 3.8%
A traditional bitter.

Holt; Cheetham, Manchester; 1849

Nearly Holt Upright 4.4%

Humpty Dumpty; Reedham, Norfolk; 1998

Lemon & Ginger 4.0%
Fragrant summer ale.
Peto's Porter 5.0%
Railway Sleeper 5.0%
Sweet, plummy fruitiness blankets an underlying malty bitterness.

Iceni; Ickburgh, Norfolk; 1995

Adam's Garden 3.8% *
Elveden Forest Gold 3.9% *
Men of Norfolk 4.0% *
Fen Tiger 4.2% *
Darvel's Winter Ale 4.2% *
Phoenix 4.3% *
Gas Hopper 4.5% *
Winter Lightning 5.0%
Pale, with well-rounded maltiness.

Inveralmond; Perth, Perthshire; 1997

Lia Fail 4.7%
Gaelic for Stone of Destiny. Dark full-bodied beer, smooth and balanced.

Leatherbriches; Bentley Brook Inn, Fenny Bentley, Ashbourne, Derbyshire; 1993

Hairy Helmet 4.7% *
Bespoke 5.0% *

Lees; Manchester; 1828

Moonraker 7.5%
A reddish-brown beer with a strong, malty, fruit aroma. The flavour is rich and sweet, with roast malt and the finish is fruity yet dry.

Mersea Island; East Mersea, Essex; 2005

Yo Boy 3.8%
Blackwater Bitter 4.0%

Milton; Milton, Cambridgeshire; 1999

Minotaur 3.3% *
Jupiter 3.5% *
Aphrodite 3.8% *
Zeus 4.2% *
Babylon 4.4% *
Jericho 4.8% *
Cyclops 5.3% *
Colossus 5.6% *
Mammon 6.0%
Dark, rich and satisfying.
Caligula 8.8% *
Ur 9.5%
Named after the ancient Sumerian city in what's now southern Iraq.

Nethergate; Pentlow, Essex; 1986

IPA 3.5%
This amber-coloured session beer is clean, crisp and very drinkable. Plenty of malt and hoppy bitterness, together with some fruit, are pleasing to the palate. Bitterness lingers in a long dry aftertaste.
Umbel Magna 5.0%
A coriander variant of Old Growler, made to a 1750s recipe and resulting in a distinctive, spicy dark porter.

Oakham; Peterborough, Cambridgeshire; 1993

White Dwarf 4.3% *

Oldershaws; Grantham, Lincolnshire; 1997

Regal Blonde 4.4%
Straw-coloured lager-style beer with a good malt/hop balance throughout; strong bitterness on the taste lingers.

Orkney; Quoyloo, Sandwick, Orkney; 1988

Skullsplitter 8.5%
Brewed in celebration of Thorfin Skullsplitter, 7th Viking Earl of Orkney. Satiny smooth in the mouth, deceptively light and dangerously drinkable. Intense malt aroma with hints of apple, nutmeg and spice and a long dry finish.

Phoenix; Heywood, Greater Manchester; 1982

Humbug 7.0%
Flowery hoppiness

Pictish; Rochdale, Lancashire; 2000

Alchemist Ale 4.3%
A refreshing straw-coloured ale with crisp malt flavours and a robust hoppy finish.

Red Squirrel; Hertford, Hertfordshire; 2004

Conservation Bitter 4.1%
Brewed in the traditional style for best bitter, with full-bodied malty flavour using chocolate and dark crystal malts.
Gold 4.2%
A full-bodied golden brown golden ale, it contains a large amount of pale-coloured malts, giving it a characteristic flavour.
Stout 4.9%
A traditional full-bodied dark, sweet stout which has a dark red colour. Made using crystal chocolate and dark malts.

Robinson's; Stockport, Cheshire; 1838

Old Tom 8.5%
A full-bodied dark beer, it has malt, fruit and chocolate in the aroma. A delightfully complex range of flavours (including dark chocolate, full maltiness, port and fruits) lead to a long bittersweet aftertaste. Supreme Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2005.

Rockingham; Blatherwyke, Northamptonshire; 1997

Fruits of the Forest 4.3%
Champion Beer at the 30th Cambridge Beer Festival and runner-up at the 31st last year. An interesting Belgian-style beer with complex flavours of summer fruits and spices.
WAF Ale 4.4%

St Peters; Bungay, Suffolk; 1996

Mild 3.7%
Sweetness is balanced by bitter chocolate malt to produce a rare but much sought after traditional mild.
Organic Ale 4.7%
Soil Association standard, light malted barley from Scotland, with organic Target hops, create refreshing ale with a delicate character.
Cream Stout 6.5%
Fuggles and Challenger hops plus a blend of four local barley malts create an aromatic, strong, dark chocolate cream stout with a satisfying bittersweet aftertaste.

Salamander; Bradford, W. Yorkshire; 2001

Mudpuppy 4.2%
A well-balanced copper-coloured best bitter with a fruity, hoppy nose and a bitter finish.

Slater's (Eccleshall Brewery); Eccleshall, Staffordshire; 1995

Bitter 3.6% *
Original 4.0% *
Premium 4.4% *
Supreme 4.7% *

Three Rivers; Stockport, Greater Manchester; 2003

Manchester IPA 4.2%
Orangey red. Apparently made with hops that grow over someone's garage in Manchester.

Timothy Taylor; Keighley, W. Yorkshire; 1858

Ram Tam 4.3%
A dark, strong beer that has a reputation as a winter warmer. Wholesome and satisfying, this mellow beer has body and depth, leaving a pleasant fruity afterglow.

Tipples; Acle, Norfolk; 2004

Longshore 3.6%
A light session bitter with a good pale amber colour, a nice balanced malty flavour and nicely hopped.
Toppers Stout 4.9%
A traditional stout, with deep rich colour and a strong malty aroma. Lots of flavour with a nice toasty aftertaste.

Wissey Valley; The Bluebell, Stoke Ferry, Downham Market, Norfolk; 2002

Peach Ale 5.0%
Licorice Stout 6.7%

Youngs; Wandsworth, London; 1831

Winter Warmer 5.0%
Ruby black and inviting, this beer is less sweet than many others of its type. Roast malt notes give way to a rich, caramelised fruitiness and a pleasant dry bitterness.


Cassels Regular Dry Cider 7.0%
Morgan Sweet Cider 6.4%

Cambridge Winter Ale Festival 2005