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article imagePulling a pint at the St Albans Beer Festival Special

By Tim Sandle     Sep 27, 2014 in Food
Saint Albans - Every year the market city of St. Albans, in England, hosts a beer festival. Digital Journal slipped among the crowds this year to see what was on offer.
The St Albans Beer Festival is an annual celebration of beer and cider. This year's event took place between September 24-27 at the Alban Arena in the city of St Albans. St Albans is an historic place; central is St Albans Abbey, which became a cathedral in 1877 and is the second longest cathedral in the U.K.
St Albans Abbey is the far-ground in this long-shot of St Albans.
St Albans Abbey is the far-ground in this long-shot of St Albans.
History, cobbled streets and tea shops are aplenty. However, they were not on today's agenda as Digital Journal paid a visit to the annual beer festival.
The 2014 Beer Festival took place at the Alban Arena  a venue in the heart of the city. People can b...
The 2014 Beer Festival took place at the Alban Arena, a venue in the heart of the city. People can be seen drinking beer on the balcony above the venue.
The beer festival is run in conjunction with an organization called CAMRA. CAMRA is the Campaign for Real Ale, an independent voluntary consumer bodybased in St Albans, England. CAMRA's main aims are promoting real ale, real cider and the traditional British pub.
Inside the beer festival there are several bars selling beer to consume of to take home. The bar in the photograph specialized in international beers, and had a wide stick of Belgium and German ales.
The international bar at the St Albans beer festival. The bar specialized in European beers and ales...
The international bar at the St Albans beer festival. The bar specialized in European beers and ales.
The best beers in the international bar were those from Belgium, Beer in Belgium varies from pale lager to lambic beer and Flemish red. Pick of the crop was arguably Rochefort 10. This beer is a reddish-brown color with a malty taste. Be warned, though, it is 11.3 percent (alcohol-by-volume) strong!
The main hall of the beer festival contained a hundred or so barrels of beer and cider, mainly of British origin. These were a mix of beers from major breweries to smaller scale craft beers.
The main hall at the St Albans Beer Festival. People stand  happy  sipping beer. In the background m...
The main hall at the St Albans Beer Festival. People stand, happy, sipping beer. In the background many of the barrels and kegs of beer can be seen.
Of the British beers to try, London Pride is a good all-rounder. London Pride is the flagship beer of Fuller's Brewery. It is the UK's best-selling cask-conditioned ale. It is brewed with Pale malt, with 4.7 percent alcohol-by-volume.
People enjoying a pint or two of beer at the St Albans Beer Festival.
People enjoying a pint or two of beer at the St Albans Beer Festival.
In terms of craft ales, the Meantime Brewery produce an interesting range. The brewery is based in Greenwich, London. Arguably the Indian Pale Ale (IPA) is the best on offer, with some deliciously rich citrus flavors.
These selections were top of Digital Journal's list. The festival goers, however, voted the following ales the top ones on show for 2014:
1 Elland 1872 Porter 6.5 percent alcohol-by-volume. A rich, complex and dark porter based on an original 1872 recipe. It has an old port nose & coffee & bitter chocolate flavours on the palate. The beer is brewed in Yorkshire, England.
2. Alecraft - High Five 5.9 percent alcohol-by-volume. This beer is clear golden colored. The aroma is strong in hops with some citrus notes. The flavor is quite malty. The beer is brewed in the U.S.
3. Red Squirrel - Red Wood Colorado IPA 5.4 percent alcohol-by-volume. Despite the name, this beer is brewed in the U.K. This is an ale which is golden orange in color, showing complex hoppy aromas with floral citrus tones.
Aside from beer there were plenty of stalls to purchase food or beer related memorabilia.
One of the food stalls at the St Albans beer festival. It s always best to line one s stomach before...
One of the food stalls at the St Albans beer festival. It's always best to line one's stomach before sipping some beer.
A stall selling a range of beer themed products  from t-shirts to pub signs  and from books to drink...
A stall selling a range of beer themed products, from t-shirts to pub signs, and from books to drinking glasses.
If you can't wait a year to visit the next staging of the beer festival, St Albans is well-worth a visit. It has one of the highest densities of pubs in the world. There are 53 at the most recent count, and the population is around 140,000.
A pub in the center of St Albans. In the late September sun the pub is an ideal place for drinking b...
A pub in the center of St Albans. In the late September sun the pub is an ideal place for drinking beer outside.
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