I know its not the equinox yet, but the Campaign for Real Ale branch covering Horsham has a different view. Or perhaps they couldn’t book the hall next month. So on Saturday 26th February I joined old school-friend Graham and his son-in-law at the Horsham Drill Hall to sample a few beers from the Dark Beer bar and the Light Beer bar. See what they are doing there? Sadly the dark beer bar was much shorter than the other – which is not the equinox. The equinox would be equal length dark and light, but I guess if you have 19 dark beers and 28 light ones you have to bend the rules.
In contravention of normal practice I started with pudding. Half of Bradford brewery Saltaire’s Triple Chocoholic. The smell and taste of a chocolate dessert – with alcohol. Cleansed the palate with half of Downlands Hop Contract – wonderful aromatic hops with darker fruity flavours. Back to the dark side for Greyhound Brewery’s Booster, a US style brown ale from West Sussex. I think it was on the dark bar to boost the numbers.
The fact we got into the event at all was very fortuitous. Last year we just walked up to the door at opening time and bought tickets. It was sold out days in advance this time, but Graham met a key organiser who said he expected some returns at the door on the day, and he would keep the first 3 for us. And he did. We bought baguettes with stuff in, but the bread was very soft and not baguette-like at all. Necessary though.
Back to the bars for Green Duck’s (from Stourbridge apparently) Duck Under. I recall enjoying it. The programme says it was a well hopped golden pale with citrus finish – I would enjoy that. I went on to Art Of Darkness from our local Dark Star brewery, Triple fff Forbidden Fruit, a bronze IPA from Hampshire and finally the delicious and not previously encountered Long Arm (Ealing, London) IPA OK.
Then I ran for the bus!!! And sat on it for the hour ride back to Brighton. What a constitution the boy has.