It's almost time to make my annual pilgrimage to Ealing Beer Festival, which I rate as the best of the London beer festivals (even better than the huge one in Olympia - mostly because it's in a park instead of a giant building that feels like an aircraft hangar).
This will be my 7th visit, and I'll be adding to my nice collection of glasses:
As usual, the venue is Walpole Park, Ealing. The festival starts this Wednesday (6th July) and runs through until Saturday. The beer list is looking as good as ever!
In preparation, I've looked at the beer list and tried to find a range of top picks, spanning different types and flavours of beer, some well known to me, some completely new, and I've collated them in a (now traditional) Euler diagram.
Why would you do this?
It's a good question.
I have previously written about how I come up with my choices and why I ended up using Euler diagrams in my blog post about Ealing Beer Festival 2014.
The TL;DR version is:
- Beer festivals are about enjoying the beer, the company and (hopefully) the weather.
- Spending time reading the beer list is time you could spend doing any of those other things.
- Using a diagram lets you quickly pick out a beer and know (roughly) what to expect.
- It helps me make recommendations to others without having to think too much after a few pints.
Although it's not perfectly accurate, I've had good feedback from others that have used it as a rough guideline over the last few years.
My beer picks for 2016
Here is my Ealing Beer Festival 2016 diagram (click for full-size):
Although it's (deliberately) subtle, the beers in dark blue text are those that made it into the diagram from last year. Those in black text are new picks for this year.
If you're planning on going to Ealing Beer Festival this year, I hope you enjoy it! If you take a print-out of this diagram, please let me know how you get on!
From those beers in the diagram, my top three picks are:
- Bushy's - Old Bushy Tail (4.5%) - This is a great brewery on the Isle of Man and has produced consistently excellent beer that's rarely seen on mainland UK.
- Buffy's - Hopleaf (4.5%) - I like the sound of the description saying that it's amber, with a hint of vanilla and a "spicy edge".
- Hawkshead - Bitter (3.7%) - I'm curious to try out an ale with Slovenian hops.