ALE Spring 1997 No. 287

Roll On Next Winter

The Cambridge Branch's first Winter Ale Festival for ll years was a great success. The Festival, held at Anglia Polytechnic University's Student Union canteen in early January featured 30 different brews, many of them winter warmers, old ales and barley wines only available in and around Christmas.

Customers were most appreciative of the quality of the ales and also impressed with the variety. Most unusual offering was "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" from Elgoods of Wisbech. This was a batch of the previous years run of Wenceslas Winter Warmer which, during the summer, had been infused with mulberries from the brewerry's own garden. By the time it went on sale the beer had matured to a ferocious 8% ABV with the mulberries imparting a distinctive sharp tang.

The festival staff were asked to vote for their favourite beers and the six attracting the most votes were then the subject of a blind tasting to decide the Beer of the Festival. The winner - Winter Warmer from the Old Chimneys Brewery near Diss, Norfolk, a beautiful beer, subtly flavoured with cloves.

John Anderson concocted an interesting range of mulled ales though it was perhaps best not to ask too many questions about the ingredients.

Saturday night saw a storming live performance from the great John Otway, who this year celebrates the thirteenth anniversary of his hit, Really Free. His version of the Sweet's Blockbuster will not be forgotten in a hurry by those who witnessed it.

The Branch's thanks must go to all those members who worked to make the event a success and also to the APU Students Union who were a pleasure to work with. We very much hope to be back there next year.

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Cambridge & District CAMRA