Ideally eight beers should have been present but one did not turn up, lost in the Christmas post maybe!
The competitors this year where as follows, 3 from Marble Brewery in Manchester, Bitter, Pint and Lagonda IPA, Bowland Brewery Hen Harrier, CLA Langdale, Hawkshead WPA and Ulverston Flying Elephant.Amongst the judges were two men of the cloth, two chefs and a select group of CAMRA members with taste buds honed to beer sampling perfection.
The task was difficult - honest! The beers where all in great condition with many fruity flavours swilling about amongst the hops. As we tasted we had no idea which beer was which although everyone thought they recognised at least one, but not all the same one! I was sure I had spotted the grapefruit notes of Windermere Pale Ale right up until I tried the next ale which tasted just as fruity and equally as good.
Ably guided by Chris de Cordova we came to appreciate what we were looking for the best overall taste with fruit yes but not dominated by a single flavour, plenty of character, not too dry or bitter but with enough bite to refresh a weary walker on a hot summers day. The winning beer should appeal to a broad range odrinkers and have that drinkability which brings you back for more.
Suddenly out of the great range of ales a knight in shinning golden armour arose, distinct in its flavours but balanced and refreshing, fruity but with no danger of thinking it is made from some exotic fruit instead of hops. Finally a long lasting finish and a return to the bar.
Just as it's namesake sits centrally in the heart of the Lake District, Cumbria Legendary Ales Langdale is now the North West Golden Ales entry to the GBBF 2012 and sits permanently on the bar at Brook House Inn.