Fancy a pint? 12 Hog’s Head Festival Ales

Last night myself and my trusty sidesick, Karianne got our mouths around the 12 ales on gravity dispense at the Hog’s Head Beer Festival. As well as those 12 ales the festival will see a further collection of ales appearing on handpull throughout the weekend (tomorrow’s the last day, guys!).

Now, to the beers! Being a pub with smarts you can get a selection of three thirds for £2.79 giving you a chance to try all the ales without falling over too much.


Ale The Vine Inn Special
Brough’s, Netherton 
ABV 4.7%
Style Golden/Pale Ale 
Description English fuggles, easting Golding hops. 
Verdict ★★★★☆

We started off trying The Vine Inn Special, named after the pub’s ancestor it was brewed specially by Andy Brough for the festival and turned out to be a great beer. A bit more wholesome and earthy than the usual Brough’s example it was tasty and refreshing with a delightfully tart aftertaste. The beer will hopefully be available at the Hog’s for the coming week so make sure to get down and try some).


Ale Cherry Blonde
Brewery Enville Ales, Stourbridge
ABV 4.2%
Style Blonde bitter
Description “A light blonde bitter delicately infused with essence of Cherry to produce a Belgium style fruit flavoured beer. The aroma and taste surpass expectation whilst the bitter finish is dry, hoppy and refreshing.”
Verdict ★★☆☆☆

The distinct cherry flavour to me was nice for the first sip but way too sickly after that. It tasted a bit like it should be a soap flavour. Not again I don’t think. 

Ale Shropshire Gold
Brewery Salopian, Shrewsbury
ABV 3.8%
Style Golden Ale
Description “Golden, with a flora aroma and a full hoppy flavour that is balanced by a crisp dry maltiness and a rich finish”
Verdict ★★★☆☆

Ever a tasty brew appears from Salopian and this was a gorgeous, really easy-to-drink ale. 

Ale Darwin’s Origin
Brewery Salopian, Shrewsbury
ABV 4.3%
Style Golden Ale
Description “Darwin’s Origin is an eclectic mix of hops from across the world but this blend produces a beer that offers something to everyone. Crisp, tart, fruity and refreshing but also with a juicy malt background.”
Verdict ★★★★☆

Crisp, refreshing with a malty hearty taste. One of the first beers I even tried at the festival back at the Lincoln Beer Festival last year.

Ale Bumblehole
Brewery The Old Swan Inn Brewery, Netherton
ABV 5.2%
Style English bitter
Description “Honey sweet amber ale with sharp dryness in the finish.”
Verdict ★ ★ ★ ★☆

Delicious. A beautiful honey/toffee taste, smells heavenly too. Definitely one I need to hunt out again.

Ale Brew XI
Brewery Kinver Brewery, Kinver
ABV 4%
Style Pale Ale
Description “Pale hoppy session beer using cascade and Goldings hops.”
Verdict ★★☆☆☆

Tasty but really quite thin and almost watery to the taste. You’d find yourself drinking it, lots of it but only for the sake of it. Not bothered by it.

Ale Brambling Cross
Brewery Sarah Hughes Brewery, Sedgely
ABV 4.6%
Style English Pale Ale
Description “Nice hoppy, dry pale ale with a hint of sweetness.”
Verdict ★★★☆☆

A lovely sweet pale sweetish ale. Very drinkable.

Ale Dark Edge
Cannon Royall, Worcestorshire 
ABV 3.7% 
Style Mild 
Description “A dark mild beer with a hoppy edge that complements the richness of the drink." 
Verdict ★★★★☆

Love me some mild. Rich, hearty, moreish and easily drinkable.

Ale Irish George
Morton Brewery, Essington 
ABV 5% 
Style Stout 
Description "Traditional Irish stout. Medium bodied, rich and roasty." Verdict ★★★☆☆

A nice traditional stout. Not exactly exciting but still tasty with a strong coffee flavour.

Ale Black IPA
Brewery Slater’s, Stafford
ABV 5%
Style IPA
Description "A mix of six English and German malts provide the colour which is complemented by American Cascade hops.”
Verdict ☆☆☆☆☆

Thoroughly disappointing. One I was looking forward too but it had way too much of a kick to it considering it’s only 5%.

Ale Steampunk
Brewery Three Tuns Brewery, Shropshire
ABV 6.5%
Description “Blackstrap Molasses with ginger flavours.”
Verdict ★★★★☆

Gorgeous, thick and smooth. Just want I expected from a Three Tuns ale. Absolutely delcious with the smoothness that covers up the strength. Gorgeous and I’ll definitely be having some more on Sunday night after work.


The festival continues until Sunday and the rest of the ales featured (find them here) will be on handpull. Hope to see you there.


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