With Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash playing in the background, the place soon filled with a mixed crowd. The curious, the interested, the scholarly and the disquisitive were all there. The young and beautiful, and the old and wise were all there. Oh, and Tandleman as well.
The goodies were supplied by James Clay of Vertical Drinks and we were treated to a few nibbles to get us in the mood. These were very welcome; although the rush for the cornbread slowed somewhat once it had actually been tried.
Four beers were sampled
Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey
I generally like Left Hand beers, but this one wasn’t to my palate. Described as a “balanced IPA”, it appeared that “balance” in this case meant throwing in a lot of different malts and unusual hop combinations to try and offset the 6.8% ABV. Tasted fresh and had a good earthy hop aroma, but ultimately spoilt by niggling sweetness.
Great Divide Espresso Yeti Oak Aged Imperial Stout
This is a variation on this beer and yet again I enjoyed it. A complex and heavy (9.5%) combination of roast, coffee and chocolate. This one demands respect and proved a popular choice, but I’m not sure I’d want a gallon of it.
Sierra Nevada Stout
At only 5.7%, this was something of a shock after the Yeti. Still, it was smooth and pleasant enough not to raise much objection to. However, it did really suffer when compared to the (cask) Magic Rock Dark Arts. Now that was beautifully rich and velvety and, naturally enough, reignited the dispense debate.
Sierra Nevada Torpedo
This was the hop bomb that everyone was waiting for. A chance to sample this on cask, dispensed through a handpump. It suited the style perfectly, and gave advocates who claim that these beers are best served kegged, something to think about.
So another good event hosted by the PSBH and it was great to see so many people tucking into their beers with such gusto.
The PSBH American Beer Festival is on now and visitors should keep an eye out for some more Sierra Nevada exclusives.