Another hugely enjoyable Equinox Spring Beer and Cider festival took place at the Drill Hall in Horsham over the last weekend of March, organised by the North Sussex branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
One of the features this year were two special beers, brewed by the branch with considerable help from two of our branch brewers.
The boys and King Beer brewed a chilli, chocolate porter, while the girls and Kissingate went for a golden hoppy ale.
The vote was close, with more good comments than bad for both beers, but the girls not only beat the boys, but also walked away with the award for Light Beer of the festival, with Jarrow Red Ellen and Haywards Heath’s Top Notch Flare Path a close joint second.
Lots of great feedback, with particular praise for the range of dark beers. To the gentleman who said he could not make a vote for light beer of the festival, as he never ventured away from the dark bar, we salute you!
Completing the double, the clear winner of Dark Beer of the Festival was Kissingate Undertakers Varnish, a 7% Trappist style ruby ale from the brewer based in Lower Beeding.
Cider of the festival, selling out way before any of the others, was Wobblegate Pink from Bolney. Indeed, our Saturday evening headline music act was distraught to find that it had sold out while she was performing, but still came back on Sunday to enjoy the other ciders and the Sunday music.
Donations of money, tokens and unwanted glasses raised just over £350 for St. Catherine’s Hospice.
Huge thank you to all the volunteers and musicians, and particularly to Gareth Jones of Beer Essentials for his invaluable support with ticket, to Rob at the Drill Hall for his help over the weekend, to the teams at King Beer and Kissingate for the special beers, and to Sam at the Malt Shovel for ticket sales.
If anyone has any comments, or wants to get involved in CAMRA in North Sussex or future festivals, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
With Easter at the end of March next year, the provisional date for 3rd Spring Equinox festival is the first weekend of March 2016. We hope to see you there.
Cheers from CAMRA North Sussex branch.
Report and picture contributed by the branch.