Monday, February 06, 2023

Fell Brewery 10th Birthday Beer Festival

Glisky, Kendal. Saturday 04-February-2023. 

Fun cars, Bus Passes and Beer.

We haven’t been to a beer festival for a couple of years so we were very pleased when our friends Andrew and Sarah alerted us to this one organised to celebrate Fell Brewery's 10th birthday. 

The venue was Glisky, an old warehouse on an industrial estate in Kendal, apparently Fell's new music venue and events space. This presented a slight logistical challenge of how to get there and back whilst not entirely sober. Fortunately friends Simon and Claire, who now live in Windermere, came to the rescue with the offer of beds for the night for all of us. Mary and Andrew then hatched a plan - we would travel separately in the fun cars (Mary's MX5 and Andrew's pretty new Z3) and would use buses to get to and from the beer festival. This also had the advantage for us that we got to use our free bus passes.

Although food was on offer at the festival we decided on a light snack to line the stomach before we set off. No luck at the first three bars / cafés - all full on a damp Saturday in February in Windermere. The fourth had space but they had lost their chef (how careless!) however since we were in the door we had a beer anyway while waiting for the bus.

Once we arrived at the venue, the first order of business was a beer followed by a pizza. There were five beers in cask, the rest in keg. About a quarter of the beers came from Fell Brewery and there were many guest beers so a fair selection.

Choosing a beer from cask.

I started off with Fell’s ESB (Extra Special Bitter) which was delicious. I wish that Fell did more of that, and certainly offered it more often in Fell Bar.

We found a table up near the DJ to eat our pizzas.

The pizza was excellent: hot and delicious with generous topping.

Once eaten we retreated to benches round the side so we could converse.

As there were no other bitters that I could see and rather too many IPA's and sours I did my usual routine and worked my way through the stouts, starting with the lowest ABV and working upwards. It’s good to have a theme. Measures were either 2/3 or 1/2 a pint depending on ABV or price. 

My choices (Brewery, Beer, Style, ABV):

  • Fell, ESB (Extra Special Bitter), Bitter, 4.8%
  • Fell, Loam, Dry Irish Stout, 4.2%
  • Track, Navigator, Stout, 4.2%
  • Fell, Byre, Stout, 5.7%
  • Fell, Export Stout, Stout, 6.8%

My favourite of the stouts was the Byre. Mary's taste in beer is diametrically opposite to mine so no chance of an overlap. Her choices were:

  • Gan Yam, Pop, Pale Ale, 5.2%
  • Black Jack, Ragged School West Coast Pale Ale, 5.6%
  • Farm Yard, Breezy Gose It, Fruited Gose, 4.0%
  • Pilot, Peach Melba, Sour, 4.3%
  • Fell, Cracked Earth, Red IPA, 6.0%
  • LHG, Walk Through Walls x Basqueland, Hazy IPA, 6.5%

She enjoyed them all but her beer of the evening was the Black Jack's West Coast Pale Ale.

The winner of the best name goes to Sureshot's "You Boys Could Use a Little Churching Up". Clearly fans of "The Blues Brothers".

The place was busy, a successful event. Lots of people from Penrith known to us so a very sociable evening.

I had a chat with one of Fell's brewers extolling the virtues of their ESB so here's hoping we see more of in Fell Bar.

The next morning our hosts provided a delicious breakfast of sausages and egg in a bun. Bidding them goodbye we headed south and went for another walk from my "Walks with History" book, this time focusing on the Industrial Revolution. On the far side of Windermere, a 6k tromp through lovely woods taking in High Dam, Stott Park Heights and Stott Park Bobbin Mill. And back home just in time to buy some Herdwick mutton for supper.

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