Write up of Langton Summer Beer Festival 2019

Langton Brewery Beer Festival By Bus

Excerpt from the LeicesterDrinker – October/November 2109. The newsletter of Leicester CAMRA branch. Written by John Spencer. 

“Never having used a service bus to go to Langton Beer Festival I thought I would tag along; but not being satisfied with one day I did a recce trip on the Friday evening.

A gorgeous evening ensued and I found the round service bus trip fitted in well. I paid my entrance, received my wristband (which covered all weekend) and started on a Nobby’s Chocolate Porter at 4.4%. A dark porter with big chocolate aroma and subtle chocolate bitterness in the taste, four types of malt with Target and Fuggle hops, it did exactly what it says and it was a good start to the day.

As the last bus back to Fleckney was 18.42 from Thorpe Langton (a ten minute walk away) I timed it so I could get another 2 in. Next up a good fruity red ale by the host brewery Langton, Swing Bridge 4.3%. Two malts this time to give a thick caramel base but with a nice dry finish, the two hops giving rise to tropical fruit undertones. As ever on a mission, my time was getting short. I had enjoyed looking around the steam engines and vintage tractors, as well as listening to a decent blues band. Although not in my plans there were also various food offerings and the charity tombola. Some of the proceeds from the festival were going to “Wishes for Kids”. I also met up with, for the first time in years, Louise, who, with Sumera, was a barmaid at Out of the Vaults, back in the day.

My last drink for this evening was again a host brewery beer, but a special one. Now I don’t make it a secret that I am not overly a fan of Inclined Plane but couldn’t resist the 6.2% Inclined Plane Reserve, a limited edition to celebrate the brewery’s 20th Anniversary and I am so glad I did. It was based on the Inclined Plane but had a distinctive barley wine characteristic with a long bittersweet aftertaste, lovely. Had I left that until the next day I would have been disappointed, as when we arrived on Saturday, it had gone!!

So onto Saturday, I met up with Gary, Diane, Malcolm and Mick, at the Golden Shield in Fleckney about 12.40, they having arrived by the Arriva 49 bus.

There I enjoyed a usual Jennings Sneck Lifter 5.1%, a good, strong, dark brown coloured ale with fruit, malt sweet and roast flavours all the way through to the finish. An old favourite. Four other beers on the bar, but that’s what I had.

Going back to the bus stop to catch the 44 Centrebus line between Fleckney and Foxtonvia Market Harborough and all sorts of villages, we had time for a swift one at The Old Crown, a Brains Reverend James 4.5%, an easy drinking beer with fruit and malt nose and flavours, initially bittersweet but nicely balanced by the end. The only other choice there was the Tiger, which I was told by the others was well on form.

We clambered upon the 44 and took the pleasant ride to Thorpe Langton where we alighted for the ten minute walk downhill.

This visit, for me, comprised another 5 different beers from a list of 20 real ales, 7 craft (including some bottles and cans) and 7 real ciders.

I had the Otter Amber 4.0%, delivering strength and great flavour despite its – for me – low ABV. Well balanced, slightly bitter flavour with fruits and spice in the nose and taste, with even a taste of ginger in there somewhere. Next was the Otter Head (my best beer of the festival as it turned out) at 4.5% the strongest beer in the Otter range. It has an “Old Ale” character remaining light to drink with a malty, fruity and slightly sweet flavour with a long aftertaste.

I also enjoyed two other Devonian beers from the Dartmoor Brewery. Their Legend at 4.4%, a classic cask conditioned beer; smooth, full flavoured and balanced with a crisp malt, fruit finish. Golden brown in colour with an aroma of fresh baked bread and a hint of spice. Their Jail Ale, a premium ale of 4.8% is a full bodied deep golden brown beer with a well rounded flavour and a rich, moreish aftertaste, having won many awards at numerous beer festivals.

So, onto my final beer of the festival, another Devonian, Black Tor Brewery, Devonshire Pale Ale at 4.5%. Thirst quenching, easy drinking, well balanced and well hopped pale ale brewed with English and American hops with citrus flavours, floral aromas and a crisp dry finish. A lovely finish to my day.

 Catching the bus back, the others alighted in Kibworth to await the X3 connection to Leicester (whilst no doubt enjoying another beer or two in the Coach and Horses) but I stayed on the 44 to Fleckney and alighted about 30 yards from my front door.

A super weekend!!”

John Spencer. LeicesterDrinker – October/November 2109