I had to pleasure of going to the Bunch of Grapes American Beer festival – on thanksgiving as well! result
I got there about 6.30 but the American beers were not coming on until 7ish, so as it was bloody freezing walking to the pub from Ponty station I decided to have a half of Brewdog Paradox Smokehead which they had on tap along with the excellent 5am saint.
Wow what a beer I have had a bottle of it at home, but from the barrel it was slighly different, lovely – quite sweet (but I have sweet tooth) but you just got hit by the whisky & mega smokyness of it… of course at 10% ABV its not a session beer and my half was sipped waiting for my mate Rob from Travelswitbeer & his dad John.
They had a good selection of American beers on, of course Rob had tried most of them 😉 at the Great American Beer festival and had his recommendations, some of the beers looked like they were on cask but in fact they were from the keg, and the bar staff had a few issues especially with my halfs – but once they were pulled they were great.
The winner for me was the Left hand brewing company – Black Jack Porter -6.4% a lovely roasted example – I need to get some of this in bottles!
Iam a fan of Sierra Nevada Pale ale (as most people are) but never had more of their beers but this Sierra Nevada Harvest Fresh Hop ale at 6.7, apparently it’s the first Amercian beer brewed with fresh-picked hops from the southern hemisphere (ie new Zealand ) another one to find in a bottle I think as its quite fresh but you do get the hops…and its has a nice bitter edge.
another hard hitter in terms of ABV was Hercules Double IPA at 10% lucky I was on the halfs, an amazing beer, with a great hoppyness.
It was not just great American beers on they also did a Thanksgiving menu.
I went for the Friend Chicken & Sweet Potato Chips – a revelation as surprisingly I have never had Southern Fried Chicken before – the Sweet Potato Chips were lovely and even the fresh coleslaw was great!
I ended with a brewdog 5am saint a beer I could quite easily drink all night.
As I said I was on the halfs mainly due to the strength of these beers but partly for the price.. but they were worth the trip (ironically I live about 4 miles from this great pub but only visit on the odd occasion) but the roaring fire will bring me back very soon, maybe even for News years eve if Mrsunclewilco agrees 😉