So it was with great haste, anticipation, and glee that a few old geeky beer drinkers, bloggers and brewers made the great pilgrimage down to the ever popular Mr Foleys for the much talked about bottle swap. It was a very relaxed day. The idea was, bring something you like down if you want to share it!
There was a good turn out: Leigh from the Good Stuff, Rob from Hopzine and Martin Bell were all in attendance. Adam Tuncay (or Tunks23 as his twitter feed suggests) was down as well as Dean, who gave us the good opportunity to block off a section of his bar for all us loyal beer geeks. Even the brewers from Summer Wine and Magic Rock were down to join in the merry-making. (If I missed anyone else off I'm sorry)
This is just a small run down of what I can remember people bringing: (people brought many bottles!)
Dean brought along a few bottles of his home brew. His wheat beer had a great lemony flavour with a good large carbonation. His maple stout was in very good form too! I think Leigh brought along some home brew too, but I think that one passed me a little too quickly.
Rob brought along a very good looking pair of bottles: A 2010 Dark Lord (the beer I was looking forward to most) and a big American Gueuze. (seen Below)
This was a selection from a few people: The ReAle was brought along by Martin Bell, while the Proper Black was brought along by Adam. I can't quite recall who brought along the Revolutions Pre-releases or the Thornbridge Coalition ale.
If you can make out the picture, the Magic Rock crew brought along some Deschutes Black Butte XXI, some Founders Nemesis, Some Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and some Brewdog Bashah Reserve. (whew.... say all those quick!)
And for me, I brought along some Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout and a Dogfish Head World Wide Stout - 2 very big, very powerful Imperial Stouts. You must know what I'm like by now with the dark stuff! ;) Whoever says you can't have an I.S. in such nice weather is a puss!
There was a lot more bottles brought, but not ones I managed to make any documentation on, so I have forgotten them by now. I will say there was a bomber of Goose Island Vanilla Bourbon County Stout, and someone brought along a a big bottle of Anniversary ale from The Bruery which was fantastic by the way!
Having cycled down with my precious cargo, I opted for a light refresher from Hardknott to start me off. I've never had Hardknott on cask before so I was looking forward to this one. It was the ginger beer, but strangely the pump clip made no mention of this. It was very nice, but it could have done with being a little colder, but that's just me.
We dove straight in after that really, drinking fantastic beers all afternoon and taking up all the half pint glasses it was physically possible to procure! I've really not had so many amazing beers in one sitting since our staff trip out to the Grove at the start of the year.
The beer for the day which stood out the most to me was the Deschutes Black Butte XXI - their 11% porter brewed with chocolate beans and coffee added, and also 20% aged in bourbon barrels :)
The Dark Lord was very good indeed, but after so much hype behind the beer, I felt a little bit let down. It wasn't as massive for me as everyone seems to make out..... still best label for sure.
It was a fantastic day, and was really good to get to have a chat with everyone again. We shall have to do it again sooner rather than later, and I think with the buzz about what people brought this time, next time should see a lot more people!