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All hail the champion ale!

He had the job everybody wanted – beer judging duties at Peterborough Beer Fest – but now has the hangover from all of his hard ‘work’. ESP’s man at the bar, Mikey Clarke, reports from the Embankment…

Being part of the ESP family certainly has its perks. For example, during the last five years I’ve represented the magazine as a Beer Judge at the Peterborough Beer Festival. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!


Actually, there were quite a few of us doing it. I’ve just returned from my sixth stint as a judge. Surrounded by pub landlords and drinking pro’s that have attended dozens of other Beer Fests this year alone, you may be wondering what qualifies me for the part.

Ok, so my notes may not have been as professional as the others. Whilst one judge described one beer as having ‘a coffee kick with a flowery after taste’, I explained how I thought one ‘tasted like a sausage’. But, I know what I like – and in my defence, my scores were quite similar to the professionals around me.


If you’ve never been to the Peterborough Beer Festival, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s happening right now until Saturday August 27.

Held in three huge marquees on the River Nene Embankment, the popular event proudly displays one of the largest selections of real ale anywhere in the country! It’s organised by the local branch of CAMRA and a huge number of volunteers who really need congatulating on running another fantastic event for the city.

Last year over 420 different cask beers were on sale from over 170 brewers but there’s also a huge range of foreign bottled beers, and UK produced wine, cider and perries. There’s plenty of different food on offer, a fairground, carnival games and live music. It’s no wonder why this is mine and many other’s favourite event of the year.


So, I hope to see you there! And whilst you’re in attendance, make sure you check out the champion beer as chosen by myself and fellow judges. The results are as follows…


Overall Champion

Gold – Fyne Ales Yarl 3.8%

Silver – Drygate 7 Peaks 5.0%

Bronze – Nene Valley Release The Chimps 4.3%

Standard Mild & Brown Ales

Gold – Grafters Darker Side of the Moon 4.2%

Silver – Wild Weather Black Knight 3.9%

Bronze – Elgoods Black Dog 3.6%

Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales

Gold – Liverpool Organic Imperial Russian Stout 7.4%

Silver – Harvey’s Lewes Castle Brown 4.8%

Bronze – Woodforde’s Parson’s Porter 5.4%

Standard Bitters & Pale Ales

Gold – Fyne Ales Jarl 3.8%

Silver – Golden Triangle Mosaic City 3.8%

Bronze – Golden Triangle Citropolis 3.9%

Best Bitters & Pale Ales

Gold – Nene Valley Release The Chimps 4.3%

Silver – Lacons Legacy 4.4%

Bronze – Flowerpots Fully Peeled 4.4%

Premium Bitters & Pale Ales

Gold – Adnams Ghost Ship 4.5%

Silver – Kinver Noble 4.5%

Bronze – Purity Pure UBU 4.5%

Strong Bitters & Pale Ales

Gold – Drygate 7 Peaks 5.0%

Silver – Parish Baz’s Bonce Blower 12.2%

Bronze – Rooster’s Baby Faced Assassin 6.1%

Speciality Beers

Gold – Parish Festival Special (Blackcurrnt& Cherry) 4.8%

Silver – Tiny Rebel Stay Puft 6.2%

Bronze – Hopshackle Aniseed Porter 4.8%

Beers from a New Brewery

Gold – Wishbone Rascal 4.2%

Silver – Market Harborough Premium Brown 5.0

Bronze – Brew York Viking DNA 5.0%

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