This being my 4th Indy Man Beer Con, I was surprised I hadn’t written about it before. I have to say it’s probably my favourite beer festival, based on variety. I’ve been to so many (mostly CAMRA) Beer & Real Ale festivals, where I can literally count on 1 hand the amount of dark beers they will have. Usually it’s 3, one of these being a stout above 5% that sells out sometimes before you even arrive. Another will be a watery substance that claims to be a porter, but lacks body and flavour. There will then be upwards of 30 varieties of bitter. I once asked for a dark beer at one of these festivals and was shown their darkest beer, which was a ruby ale. If it’s translucent, its not dark enough sorry.
So back to IMBC – I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, because not only does almost every single brewery have something dark, some have several dark beers and there’s also sour beers and salty beers, not to mention saisons and barley wines, beers made with figs, beers made with bananas and coffee and you get the picture.
So this year was a slightly different, more expensive format and therefore less beers/tasting went down on our part – you can read more about that here on my partner in crime, Kirsty’s blog as I can’t be bothered to reiterate.
The long and short of it is, I had a blast, tried a few more beers I hadn’t, had some nice cheese (from Epicerie Ludo) and all in an amazing building (Victoria Baths).
The beers I had were (well according to my untappd account, I’ve also included ratings):
- Amigos Británicos – a Farmhouse ale by Siren Craft Brew – one of my favourite breweries (4/5)
- Blacklight Banana – Imperial/Double stout also by Siren (4/5)
- Kaffe Og Røg – A smoked beer from To Øl (4/5)
- Mocha Milk Stout (Bourbon Barrel) Milk Stout from Brodie’s Brewery (4.5/5)
- Figgie Smalls – Belgian Strong Dark Ale by Mondo Brewing Company (4/5)
- 3 Bean Stout – Imperial/Double Stout from Lervig (4.5/5)
- Candy Kaiser – Altbier from Brewdog (2/5)
- Sleeping Lemons – Sour Gose from The Wile Beer Co (4/5)
- Sherry BA Imperial Stout – Imperial/Double stout by Cloudwater Brew Co. (4/5)
- Ice Cream Pale Vanilla – English Pale Ale by Buxton Brewery (4/5)
Chances are I’ll be back again next year, but I hope they consider revising the token policy – the one thing we both noticed is that with 1 token per third of a pint, and 1 token costing around £2.50, we were less inclined to try something on a whim.