Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Grooves on the Green

It's heartening to see real ale moving front and centre of so many events in the past couple of years.

Long established festivals held up and down the country have increasingly seen that punters want to be offered choice, and massive unit-shifting bars of just Budweiser, Fosters or Carlsberg have ceased to be so common.

Here on the south coast, several premises and festivals are rising to the challenge of offering proper real ale choice, and one such event going ahead this weekend is Grooves on the Green, at Parkstone in Poole, Dorset.

Grooves on the Green is a music festival with a homely feel, and raises good money for charity. As well as music, the organisers offer food, poetry, comedy and plenty for children to enjoy. The organisers have hooked up with six local real ale brewers to offer a tantalising menu throughout the weekend of 14th and 15th July.

New Dorset brewer Sunny Republic continue their strong local presence (most notably at the fine establishment Chaplins) by offering up six beers, including a very tasty draft Friesian (north German) style Pilsener, Shark Head.

Shark Head, which we hope to do a full review of soon, is made with Spalt Select and Pacific Jade hops, although the truly interesting thing for me about it is it's run for 24 hours through a Sierra Nevada-style hop torpedo.

The torpedo allows a column of whole-cone hops to impart aroma and flavour over time without stifling the beer with bitterness. The actual hop used in this case is "king of hops" Citra as well, which all leads to a uniquely richly flavoured pilsener

Additionally, Sunny Republic will be dispensing Shark Head at the festival using their 'Draft-Craft' system, not previously used in the UK and developed originally by Ankerbrau. It essentially adds tightly regulated CO2 at the point of dispensing allowing unpasteurised storage and enhanced original flavour retention. I've yet to try it out but this seems a great opportunity.

In addition to Sunny Republic, beers will be on sale from:

Isle of Purbeck
Yeovil Ales
Piddle Brewery
Corfe Castle
Hopback Brewery

With the weather promising to bless the south coast with sunshine, this mini-festival is well worth a visit if you're in the area.

- The Broadside

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