National Winter Ales Festival in Derby’s Roundhouse

I think there’s something really important about choosing the right venue for a beer festival. When you go to a pub you want a nice atmosphere so the same should go for a beer festival. No more boring halls, please! The Derby Roundhouse was an utterly fantastic venue for the CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival. A gorgeous building that even had a lovely “mild peril” feature where there’s a window in the floor looking down into the depths of the old building. Witnessing a CAMRA volunteer shriek after realising she was stood on top of the terrifying floor window.

Dear CAMRA,
More beautiful buildings hosting beer festivals.
Less terrifying floor windows.
Thanks, bye.
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The festival had a fantastic range of beers (even though the token saison wasn’t ready whilst I was there ¬¬) though I wish I didn’t have to go to a winter ales festival just to get a good range of dark beers. Some highlights included Atom Beers’ Schrödinger’s Cat which reminded me of Gamma Ray, Citra and Hophead all smushed together. And 3.5%?! I was genuinely blown away.

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Atom’s Schrödinger’s Cat and tasty expensive burgers from the food court. Floor table because as always not enough chairs/tables at a CAMRA festival.

Myself and Heidi ended up sat in the Carriage room (also known as Warm Carpet room) for a while because we valued our extremities.

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We also fell head over heals for Brass Castle brewery who’s brewery bar was one of our favourite spots in the festival. Bad Kitty was deliciously smooth and creamy (and I still have some in my fridge), I was also a big fan of of the Hazelnut Mild (give me a mild and I’m a happy bunny) and I really wish I’d had the chance to try the rest of the range. I also had a sample of the Wallop from it’s wooden cask: smooth and malty with a big whisky hit, would love to try it again.

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I’d also recommend checking out the Brunswick Inn just down the road. Before the festival we went for a bowel of chips and a couple of brews. I really enjoyed the White Feather and would definitely like to see more of this old school brewery.

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Obligatory goofy belfie.

So yeah, go to Derby, drink good be, be happy. Out.

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