The Redoubt Fort has been painstakingly restored by volunteers from the Harwich Society (link)and beyond over the past 25 years. What a location for a beer festival!
The 2nd Harwich Town Brewing Company beer festival opened yesterday (Thu 28th July 2011) and closes this Sunday (31st July 2011). The Redoubt Fort (link) is a great location, with plenty of rooms to explore, guns and cannon on the battlements, a 15-minute slideshow with commentary to watch. The beer festival offers great food from the Alma Inn and the Cafe on the Pier, a good range of real ale, bottled ales, and ciders. It’s pretty family friendly, with room for well-behaved youngsters to explore, and you could set them running round and round the moat.
We had been to the fort once before, about 12 years ago, when there was a re-enactment, with redcoated British napoleonic soldiers having a musket-fire engagement with blue French soliders. That was noisy, the smell of gunpowder in the air, and quite a day out. There’s a Napoleonic re-enactment taking place over the Harwich Sea Shanty festival weekend 7th-9th October.
It was somewhat quieter today, with the Alma Inn’s famous paella being the most pungent smell. There were a couple of dozen beers chalked up, and I went for the Bartram’s ‘Captain’s Stout’, and the Harwich Town Brewing Company’s own ‘Suffolk’, both dark ales. The former had come all the way from Rougham in Suffolk (details here) and it is evidently a ” Ruby Stout with a Bavarian Rauchmalz lending a nice smoky background, Galena hops, an American hybrid of the old Bullion Hop gives lots of dark fruit flavours.” The latter had come just a couple of hundred yards!
Having been fairly restrained at the festival, as a treat, a bottle of Sierra Nevada Stout accompanied us home.