Thursday 12 May 2016


The PRATS have been busy setting up the Poppies beer festival.

Monday was building up the racking and sorting the cooling system out. Tuesday was the day we put all the barrels onto the racks then tapped them ready for settling down.
Wednesday was the day we assumed our quality assurance roles and sampled all the ales. First up was Burton Bridge Golden Delicious, as is usually the case the first half pint is always a bit cloudy but the second was beautiful, golden and clear with a good white head and it tasted perfect. Next was Star Brewery Titan. Once again sludgy first half pint, the second was once again glowing. If this is what we are going to get with the rest of the ales we are in for a treat. We followed on with Castor Ales Hopping Toad then Leaping Toad which were perfect. The first ale that wasn’t quite ready was Hart Family Brewers Diddley Bow, it should be good by the time we kick off on Thursday night. The Sarah Hughes Bramling Cross is a limited edition ale and we are delighted to have it at our festival, 4.9% of golden loveliness. Next we are onto Hopback Ales, Yakima Blonde and favourite Summer Lightning, both were absolutely superb, crystal clear and in great condition. Kendricks Mulligan was next up, no not named after Poppies favourite, but a golfing term, something to do with having another go without costing a stroke, we had a another sample, marvellous. Woodfarm’s No8 was also spot on. Malt Ales Missenden Pale Ale and Malt Icknield were perfect, the Icknield is a very tasty brown ale with loads of malty aromas, this will be a popular ale. Moles St Elmo’s Fire, it’s getting boring now, they’re all good. Then we got to a cloudy one, North Yorkshire’s Boro Best was a bit puddingy, this will need a bit of time to clear. Potbelly’s Hedonism (Bellowhead) and Black Sun, lovely. Wold Top’s Headland Red has a slight haze but should be ok within 24 hours and finally on the racks was Wold Top’s Hello Velo, once again in good nick. The ales on the bar Elgoods Greyhound and Double Swan are all ready to sup, Potbelly’s Lager Brau, yes we have a real lager on hand pump, will be ready on the night.
QA manager gives his seal of approval
All in all an excellent QA session, the coolers are working fine, 15 of the 18 racked ales are ready to go with the other 3 needing another day and should be OK for kick off tonight. We have 5 Ciders and a Perry, 3 ales on the bar. Hopefully we can get a decent crowd on the opening night to sup some stuff’ and listen to Poppies supporters Rob Conner belting out a few tunes.

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