By in Food

Diary Friday 23rd January 2015

My Facebook comment that there was no free Wi-Fi at the Velodrome on my previous visit on Wednesday provoked an aggressive comment from one reader who claimed there is free wi-fi there and that I was being petty. I don't mind the criticism but his attitude was very rude with it. I double checked and found there are BT hotspots for BT users that are not compatible with my android system. Not everyone just uses Wi-Fi to play Candy-Crush all day – for a writer it is a more important resource and I couldn't use it.

My second and final visit to the second Manchester Beer & Cider Festival was today at the Velodrome cycling centre, where cycling races were going on, with an exciting commentary that still left me with no clue as to which riders were in front.

There was one spectacular collision that brought down three bikes but fortunately no one looked seriously injured.

But like most attendees I was there for the beer. The selection was excellent.

1/. Blackedge – Dark Rum Porter 4.6% A perfectly good rum porter ruined with the taste of cold coffee. Why? 2/5

2/. Wild Beer – Wild Goose Chase 4.5% Sour fruit ale with an over-powering taste of gooseberries – pale and very disappointing. 1/5

3/. Ringway – Wor Stout – This restored my faith in great beer after the two preceding poor choices – though others might say they were the best beers at the festival – beer tasting can be highly subjective. A lovely milk stout – smooth and tasty. 5/5

4/. Revolutions – Fairy-tale Of Yorkshire 4.5% - A dark ale with a fizziness and a slow burn modest spicy aftertaste and a wow sensation on the taste buds. 5/5

5/. Black Flag – Fang 4.5% - A neat citrusy taste, pale golden texture, gentle hoppy aroma – good fine refreshing ale. 5/5

6/. Rat – Workhouse Rat 4.8% A smoky porter brewed from an authentic 19th century recipe – I loved it but I do tend to favour dark ales and porters anyway. 5/5

7/. Bridgehouse Porter 4.5% As the beer above this claims a Victorian pedigree and certainly tastes very traditional and excellent. 5/5

8/. Bradfield – Farmer’s Belgian Blue – 4.9% A late selling Xmas ale, giving the impression the brewery needed to get rid of it quickly with the festival as an ideal outlet. Real ale has a limited shelf life, but it tasted excellent with a hint of blueberries. 5/5

9/. Green Mill – Raspberry Porter 4.6%

This was described in festival literature as a Pot Black Porter with additional raspberries. The ordinary Pot Black wasn’t on offer for comparison but the strawberry version was terrific. 5/5

10/. Brass Castle – Annexation 8.4% the strongest ale was saved for last, and this was a great take your time with it send off to a great festival for me. 5/5

Arthur Chappell

Image Credit » Beer glass, taken by me

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Koalemos wrote on January 24, 2015, 6:30 PM

A BY hotspot is only available for those who pay for BT broadband at home, so does not truly qualify as a free Wi-Fi connection.

chrisandmark wrote on January 24, 2015, 6:37 PM

I could never get the BT hotspots to work even when I paid for BT...

johnmariow wrote on January 24, 2015, 6:59 PM

Sounds like you enjoyed the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival. My wife has an Android tablet, but I don't know anything about BT hotspots.

MelissaE wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:41 PM

I get hotspots every now and then...they get worse with age. Badda-Bing.

valmnz wrote on January 24, 2015, 8:08 PM

I laughed your comment that you were at the velodrome for the beer emoticon :smile: I love watching cycling on TV so next time i must pour a glass of good NZ wine!

scheng1 wrote on January 24, 2015, 10:41 PM

They better not have free wifi at the cycling center, else there will be more accidents.

Maplewinter wrote on January 25, 2015, 11:37 AM

Sounds like you enjoyed the festival. Hubby and I used to like going to real ale festivals but it came to an end when I found out that I could no longer drink real ale, or any ale for that matter, as I have to be gluten free.

seren3 wrote on January 25, 2015, 12:41 PM

I am now paying for hotspots. But I have no clue what device I need to use them. I'm mostly at home anyway. Love the beer reviews!