The Maltings Beer Festival is now in its 18th year and is organised by the South West branch of SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers). It is held at Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot on the south coast of England and for two weeks, a working malting floor is closed so that one of the biggest beer festivals in the UK can take place.
The festival started with an impressive 334 beers from 69 south west breweries including beer from as far south as Jersey and the Isles of Scilly. The good thing about having so many beers on offer is that when I arrived on the Saturday there were still a couple of hundred left.
The festival consisted of a very long malting room where the beers were served and seating in the tent outside. If you wanted a seat you would need to leave the malting room and either sit on grass out side or use the chairs in the tent. As beer was served by the half pint, this meant that you’d have to make quite a few journeys. That’s only a minor point as most people, myself included, are happy standing.
The beers were bought using tokens and one token equalled one half regardless of the brewery or strength of beer. The majority of festivals that I’ve been to generally charge different amounts per half. This system is far simpler and each half works out at around £1.10.
CAMRA members received a discount upon entry but it was unusual not to see CAMRA in attendence.
A very popular beer of the festival was Stonehenge Ales – Sign of Spring. This green coloured ale tastes like a normal ale within a few hours of the festival opening on the Saturday it had sold out. The beer is nothing spectacular, people were just curious to see what it tastes like.
My favourite beer of the festival was a stout that was labelled as “Wadworth 6X Special Stout”. Whilst the beer was good, I’m not sure if it is made by Wadworth. I’m not aware of Wadworth making a stout and there isn’t one listed on their website. It wasn’t listed in the beer programme and none of the breweries that were located near the Wadworth beers make a stout with a name similar. It’s a bit of a mystery.
As a bonus to the beer festival, Tuckers Maltings also runs it’s own very well stocked beer shop. They stock quite an extensive range of British and foregin beers at reasonable prices and have a good deals for out of date beer, e.g. £1 a bottle of Mikkeller Jackie Brown that had an expiry date of the day I bought them. They also sell their own beer under the Edwin Tucker brand. I picked up a bottle of their Empress Russian Porter 2010 Vintage.
The festival is a popular one and providing the weather is good, there is plenty of room and with the venue only being 5 minutes walk from the railway station, it’s easy to get to.
Tel: 01626 334 734
Ads by Google