The GBBF went with a swing yesterday, or a sway in my case, and I'm delighted to say a mild won! I love mild, I think it's an amazing beer style and I hope that Hobson's Mild winning will get more people to understand that it's just the best post-work or lunchtime pint ever!
I've had the great pleasure of drinking Hobson's Mild and it's a lowly 3.2% but packed with nuttiness and just a tickle of hops - it's wonderful.
I was judging the speciality section and the head and shoulders winner of that was Nethergate's Umbel Magna - and for those of you who read my last entry YES I got the fruit beers (I think it's a girl thing - they see bird and think fruit beer!). For the full results visit www.camra.org.uk
Down on the floor however I tried some cracking beers - Hall & Woodhouse's new brew Pickled Partridge went down well and they were asking for feedback, I thought a bit more pickle in the partridge to be honest, by that I mean a bit more spice, but it's shaping up to be a good addition to the portfolio, which has been long overdue a darker beer.
I thought the Otley O1 was extremely good, it won bronze in the golden ales category, and Buster from Breconshire's beers were spot on again, keep an eye out for his Py II Welsh Pale Ale - it's going to be a corker.
Wasn't so sure about the Hophead Extra (5.8%) though - I thought it had too much caramel, which overwhelmed the usually clean and light aspect that the Dark Star's normal Hophead has, although I've got a sneaking suspicion that it needed a few more days conditioning in the barrel, it felt a bit green.
Overall the event was excellent and the smoking ban has made it a more pleasant place to be if I'm honest, less litter and grubbiness.
Then it was on to the fabulous Cock & Hen in Fulham (which to be honest I shouldn't have done as I was a little bit happy by this point) and the wonderful hospitality of Phil and the extremely pleasant company of Tony the brewer. Lovely lad, 27 years old, mechanic turned brewer - couldn't be happier I don't think!
If you haven't been to this gem of a pub yet then make the effort - Tony's beer are shaping up nicely, if somewhat bizarrely named particularly Bonobo - for those of you who don't know Bonobo apes are also our closest genetic relatives and are extremely promiscuous; engaging in group and homosexual sex as well masturbation so they're pretty happy most of the time!!
Rumour has it that the female bar staff probably aren't going to be too chuffed with the next name however - I'll leave you to find out what it is for yourself when you visit this cracking addition to the area. www.capitalpubcompany.com/cockandhen