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So we recently attended The Dove Spring beer festival. This is always a treat as the festivals on at the Dove are always good. This year was no exception, as they actually had 29 new beers never before seen at The Dove!
Now The Dove is a great real ale pub in Ipswich, and one that I personally love, you could even say its my local! Although I don’t get a chance to head down there near as much as I would like, mainly because its not local to me at all, being the other side of town! Anyway, you can read our previous blog on The Dove HERE, from when we wrote up about it last year. This blog will focus more on the beer festival than the pub itself, but If you ever around the east side of town, pop in. It’s well worth a look! In fact, why not have a look now? You can even use google street view to have a virtual walk through the pub, just click HERE!
So this is the first beer fest of the year at The Dove, and it was on from a Wednesday to the following bank holiday Monday. Now the first couple of days were a bit damp, however this isn’t a problem as they have a number of huge umbrellas which completely cover the beer garden, with accompanying heaters. So you can happily sit outside and stay dry and warm! This helps since they turn the rear of the beer garden into a beer tent with a large number of casks available, as well as indoor on pump and in the tap room.
Saying that, as the weekend hit the sun came out, and it was absolutely glorious sitting out in the sun! When the umbrellas are down and the sun is shining, it just makes a good thing so much better. The festival accommodates a vast number of beers, in four areas, there’s the hand pumps in the pub, and the tap room in the pub, then you have the hand pumps in the tent, and casks on tap in the tent too which create a staggering 60+ beers on at a time. Not to forget a good range of ciders this year for you cider lovers.
So we managed to make it there a few nights over the festival, and managed to taste a good range of ales. Listed below is what everyone tried!
Batemans – Yella Belly 3.9% – A golden ale. This was sulphury, not quite ready which unfortunately made it rather horrible!
Long Man – American Pale ale 4.9% – A triple hopped APA. This was full bodied, very bitter, with a citrus fruity aroma.
Lacons – Legacy 4.4% – A Blonde ale. Golden yellow, not too pleasant, overly harsh and bitter.
Grafton – Framboise 4.0% – A Pale yellow ale. Easy to drink, fruity aroma, a delicious session ale.
Van Diest – Fruli 4.1% – A classic fruit beer. Sweet, full of strawberries, and so easy to drink its dangerous.
Gales – HSB 4.8% – A Horndean Special Bitter. Light, easy to drink, good maltiness.
Axholme – Mowbray Mild 4.0% – A dark ale. A lovely roasty dark mild.
Castle Rock – Slow Worm 3.5% – A dark mild. A lovely easy to drink traditional mild.
Dove Street – Old Ipswich Liquor 5.5% – A dark stout. A rich complex stout. Strong tasting.
Grafters – Dark side of the Moon 4.2% -A dark ale. Lovely roasted flavour, very tasty and fruity beer.
Poachers – Pleasant Rock 3.4% – A golden bitter. A hoppy aroma with a bitter malt finish.
Theakstons – Masham Four & Twenty 4.2% – A golden beer. Bit disappointing, but a fruity body and nicely hopped.
Tripple FFF – Ramble Tamble 4.6% – A light APA. Very hoppy, very bitter, citrus notes but a bit grassy.
Batemans XXXB – 4.8% – A pale ale. Heavy hopped refreshing beer. Fruity flavours and great aroma.
Dark Star – Espresso Stout 4.2% – A black stout. A black roasty stout, with huge coffee aroma and flavour, but deliciously smooth.
Nethergate – Priory Mild 3.5% – A dark mild. A delicious roasty mild. Easy drinking and delicious.
Jo C’s – Bitter Old Bustard 4.3% -A pale ale. Nutty biscuit body, with a good hop aroma.
Titanic – Nautical Mild 4.8% – A dark Mild. A nice balance of hops with a roast body.
White horse – Village Idiot 4.1% – A golden ale. Not great, very bitter and dry. Nothing special.
Exmoor – Hound Dog 4.0% – A golden bitter. A lovely refreshing bitter. Malty with great citrus notes.
Mighty Oak – Back Of The Net 4.3% – A light bitter. Lovely malt taste, with great hop nose. Great session beer.
Portobello – Market Porter 4.6% – A porter. Good roast flavour, nice and smooth, also complex.
Portobello – Pale 4.0% – A pale ale. Lovely light thirst quenching beer. Slight hops and good aroma.
Quantock – Ale 3.8% – A brown Ale. This was a standard ale. Very enjoyable but nothing outstanding.
Saltaire – Amarillo Gold 4.4% – A light wheat beer. This was a delicious light beer , great citrus hop flavour.
Skinners – Lushington 4.2% – A dark bitter. A light flowery, fruity ale. Reasonably sweet.
Magpie – Dark Secret 3.7% – A dark mild. A lovely ruby mild, with chocolate and roast flavours shining through.
Mauldons – Blackberry Porter 4.8% – A porter. A delicious complex porter, bursting with blackberry flavour.
Titanic – Iceberg 4.1% – A pale ale. A fruity refreshing beer, easy to drink.
Tring – Tea Kettle Stout 4.7% – A stout. A dark complex stout, rich roasted flavours.
Duval – Single 6.8% – A Belgian beer. A amazing Belgian brew. A dry crisp citrusy beer, with a great flavour.
Overall, it was a great few days, the atmosphere is always superb. Along with the beers is a good range of food, from the standard pub menu to the BBQ that’s fired up for the festival, selling a number of burgers, chips, and onion rings at good prices. Talking of prices, again the beers was priced well. Pints around the £3 mark, with halfs being half price as it should be. Thirds were never under £1 however.
The next festival scheduled at The Dove is the 28th August to the 1st September. I whole heartily recommend attending, for the atmosphere, and of course the huge range of beers on offer!