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Yes it was that time of year again. It was a weekend in the middle of May and the sun was out so it was time for one of the best village beer festivals around. It was our 3rd year visiting the Sproughton Beer Festival and it was a pleasure once again. For those of you who are not sure where Sproughton is it is a small village a few miles to the West of Ipswich. The venue is Tithe Barn which is a late 16th century Grade II listed building. Tithe Barn is an exceptional venue which holds a variety of events from wedding receptions to computer classes. For more information check out their website here.
So let’s talk about the festival. It was free entry all weekend and each year we have been it has been blessed with glorious sunshine and this year didn’t disappoint. We went on the second day, the Sunday afternoon and we had a wonderful time. We arrived at around 4pm and we were blown away by how cheap the beer was. £2.50 a pint. YES £2.50! We couldn’t believe it. Half pints were £1.50 which was disappointing as we always believe half a pint should be half the price. You shouldn’t be punished for drinking less. Anyway that’s another matter entirely. So we got stuck in and got a beer festival glass for £2.50 as you can see at the top of the page they are based on James Bond, excellent wordplay.
We had a chat with the beer festival organiser Simon Curl who was also doing a sterling job on the BBQ. The festival is organised by the Sproughton Parish Council and we asked how come the beer was so cheap and he said that as the festival was not for profit and any money made will go back into community. It was mainly just about covering costs so the beer could be sold at a cheaper price which was rather good for us.
So let’s talk about the beer. Here is a picture of the beer list. It features beers, lagers and ciders from around 25 local breweries. The beer was chosen by Paul Mellor of the Harwich Town Brewing Company who made some excellent choices.
So I will now pick out our favourite ones. If you follow us on a regular basis you will not be not be surprised to learn that the first name on the list is Adnams Broadside. One of our all time favourite beers. This was quite dark in colour for a broadside which is typical straight from the barrel and that brings the stronger oaky taste which compliments the Broadside superbly. We always think that Broadside through a tap is cooler which takes away some flavour. This is very similar to the superb Broadside you will find in the Lord Nelson
Next is Mauldons Blackberry Porter. We have only had this before from the tap but it is something else from the barrel. Dark and fruity, blackberry-ey you could say. It balances the fruit flavour with tones of chocolate which makes a sweet fruit finish, superb. The other great feature is that is quite refreshing and not too heavy like most porters. A wonderful beer.
The final beer we picked out was The Woild Moild from the Wolf Brewery. Dan was the first person to pronounce is right at the bar so congratulations to him. So yeah if you put on a Norfolk accent boy and say ‘Wild Mild’ then you won’t be far off. So as you may have guessed it is a mild beer and our favourite kind the ruby red variety. It has a good balance of chocolate malt with liquorice bitterness and a lovely full bodied finish which seems to last forever. Glorious.
Finally we would just like to mention the excellent pub quiz which rounded off a wonderful evening. Sproughton Beer Festival is one of the best small beer festivals around. Fantastic prices, great beer in a wonderful venue. Roll on next year.
Thanks for reading