Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Green real ale, or is it blue?

Went to visit family in Ipswich on Saturday and got the chance to go the 25th Ipswich Beer Festival.

We are spoilt in Norwich as the Beer Festival every October half term (most of CAMRA members in Norfolk are teachers I am told!) is brilliant and is held in the grand cathedral-like setting of St Andrews Hall. Serious setting for serious drinking.

As it was lunchtime and I would have to drive later, I was on strict orders to only have one pint. This meant two half pints of course as it would be a big mistake to sample only one pint of over 200 real ales on offer.

The Corn Exchange behind the Town Hall in Ipswich was fine as a venue. Small but well organised. The festival was supporting St Elizabeth's Hospice, which was established in 1989 to meet the needs of those living with an incurable illness in East Suffolk. Needless to say, I donated my unused tokens to the charity.

Being an Ipswich Town Supporter, I had to try some local stuff and had a great half from St Judes Brewery. The St Francis Pale Ale and Gypeswic Bitter were great.

For those who are interested the name Gypeswic or Gippeswic, meaning a city on the Gipping, and is the old English name for Ipswich. I bought a bottle of both and I have to warn you that the St Francis is quite fizzy and was a bugg*r to pour, so my pint had a head on it as if it had been served at the Rovers Return in Coronation Street!

The brewery is a micro brewery and tries to be as green as it can. That is great but I would like to warn them against pursuing their blue beer fantasy.

Apparently their Suffolk Blue Punch (Suffolk Punch is a breed of horse, also on the badge of Ipswich Town FC), is a blueberry beer introduced mostly for women and the alco-pop market.

Don't get me wrong, blueberries are great. We have a small blueberry bush that produces lovely berries each year. Blue beer though? Fruit in your beer? What's that all about? I had a tiny taste and is was revolting.

I wish St Judes Brewery well and will buy their real ale when I can. You can buy it online.

One last thing though...

Green brewing, yes.

Blue beer, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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