1996 Festival Beers

Arkell’s3b4.0%Of unusual colour, nutty, with a bitter finish
BathamBitter4.3%Light in colour but rich in taste. Clover and buttercups from one of the few genuine Midlands survivors (Brierley Hill).
BathamMild3.5%A classic old-fashioned mild with a sweetness that still manages to taste like a bitter
Black SheepBest Bitter3.8%For all those who liked Theakston’s as it used to be. Great traditional bitter from Yorkshire by Paul Theakston before Scottish and Newcastle barred him from using his own name. Bags of body and even more in the drier, more astringent Special.
Black SheepSpecial4.4%Now making it’s third appearance, and as popular as ever.
BrakspearBitter3.4%A national treasure. The Henley brewery’s reliable real amber nectar blends the hops and malt so you can still taste both.
Brandy CaskBrandysnapper4.0%
BurtonwoodTop Hat4.8%Cheshire brewery gradually expanding. Last year’s magnificent Buccaneer tasted of ginger and spring onions. Top Hat is a more conventional, premium ale.
BurtonwoodHopper4.2%Unknown – try it and see!
Crown BuckleyBuckleys Best3.7%Buckley was a Welsh brewery with 18th century roots: the bitter is slightly sweet but can be tasty
Dark HorseDark Horse Ale3.6%Rare.
DonningtonS B A4.0%Deliciously embracing Cotswold ale from brewery even smaller than Hooky: beer that calls out for a hunk of cheese.
DonningtonBest Bitter3.5%Well balanced and distinctive local brew
EverardsTiger4.2%A rich amber beer that tastes stronger than it is (I think). Lots of malt and hops. Put one in your tank.
Fuller’sSummer Ale3.9%The great Chiswick beer champion’s pale gold warm weather ale: lighter than London Pride but still unmistakably Fuller’s.
GalesIndia Pale Ale4.2%A classic dry bitter from Porsmouth. Puts wind in your sails
Greene KingKing’s Champion3.8%From the family that gave you Brighton Rock. Suck it and see. Great, easy drinking session bitter
Greene KingAbbot Ale5.0%Strong, reliable and gently mind-expanding: worth acquiring the habit
HarveysSussex Best Bitter4.0%A beer for summer afternoons – or to make any afternoon seem like summer – southern bitter at its best.
HarveysTom Paine5.5%Strong premium ale. One to pay your respects to.
Hogs BackT.E.A4.2%Tawny brown, malty bitter with balancing hoppiness
Hook NortonTwelve Days5.5%Rich, dark, delicious and dangerous: the ghost of Christmas Past (and hopefully Future) miraculously preserved.
Hook NortonDouble Stout4.8%Reincarnated from First World War days, lovely liquid Treacle that won’t stick in your throat.
Hook NortonBest Bitter3.4%International silver medal winner. Drunk like water around here, but a great deal tastier.
Hook NortonOld Hooky4.5%A hint of old-fashioned toffee in liquid form.
Hook NortonMild2.9%Dark but not deadly, sweet but not cutey-cutey. In a word: mild.
Hook NortonHaymaker4.9%When the sun shines, watch out: firm, dry, self-confident and bursting with flavour. Hooky’s celebration of summer.
JudgesSolicitors Ruin5.6%
LeesBitter3.5%One of the few great northern survivors. Never mind the admen: when at its best, this is the real cream of Manchester.
MansfieldOld Baily4.8%Legal
Marston’sPedigree_4.5%Well Known popular bitter.
MorrelsGraduate5.2%Strong. Local
OakMidsummer Madness4.5%A definition of the festival
OakhillBest Bitter4.0%A genuine new wave British microbrewery in best Somerset Tradition.
Robinson’sBest Bitter4.2%Cheshire family brewery: said by some to have an aniseed note, though I’ve missed it. Better have another one. Here’s to you, Mrs.
Shepherd NeameSpitfire4.7%Would you believe this is the last big brewer in Kent, the home of English hops? Lovely soft bitter. Spitfire is a dry, strong modern classic invented to mark anniversary of Battle of Britain.
TaylorLandlord4.3%Often regarded as one of the best ales in the country, fruity, almost “lemony” bitter.
UleyOld Spot Prize Ale5.0%Fruity redish coloured ale, strong balaced aftertaste of hops and bitterness
Wadworth6 X4.3%One of the classics of the CAMRA years. Quaffed in copious quantities by students, despite (because of) the Sick Sex nickname.
WellsEagle I P A3.6%Well balanced, with a dry finish.
WellsBombardier4.3%Chunky Bedford bitter with a satisfying aroma and a pleasantly rounded palate. Fortifying.
WhitbreadFlowers Original4.5%The big brewer we all hate to love. Has turned real ale into a “theme” but then there are so many worse ones.
Wye ValleyDorothy Goodbody4.2%Yes, it does have a good body, but then what would you expect of a Hereford lass? Heaps of hops.