My first beer festival of the year kicked off at The Jolly Postboys, a great pub located just outside the Florence Park main gates on Florence Park Road.
They have 6 keg taps and 4 cask pumps with a rotating collection throughout the seasons. Some of the regular beers come from Cotswold Brewing and Loose Cannon, which means you can always get something local. I’ve been on many a Sunday lunch and enjoyed trying the different brews they have on.
This was their ‘Craft Beer’ festival, kicking off on the Thursday with Nick from Siren Craft Brew, who put on a beer tasting with some of Siren’s core range plus a couple of specials. I’ve seen Siren in a number of Oxford locations and, being from just south of Reading, they’re still fairly local. They’ve produced some great beers over the past few years and I’m a big fan of ‘Broken Dream’, their breakfast stout.
Nick lead us through tastings of the core beers – Yulu, Undercurrent, Soundwave, Broken Dream, plus the more special Saturnalia (a dark, spiced cherry sour) and a Cuvée Brut IPA (a Brut IPA with oak), which were both excellent.
Moving on to the beers that were part of the festival – due to the selection, these were rotated over the three days of the event. Visiting on Thursday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to try a few! To pay for these you could purchase a token card for £16 that gave you three pints, which could be redeemed as six half pints if you wanted to try a greater selection.
I started with ‘Champagne in the Membrane’ by Wild Weather, a Brut IPA. If I’m honest, I’ve never been a fan of Wild Weather ales, they always sound great in terms of descriptions but I’ve never really enjoyed them. This one was golden with a hazy appearance and almost smelt like champagne. It was quite bitter and yeasty on the first taste, with a grape-like dry flavour as you continue drinking. I’m going to stick with my option of Wild Weather and say I don’t really care for it, confirmed by trying the Brut IPA from Siren, which was a much more accomplished beer.
The next beer I went for was the ‘Disco King’ by Turning Point; unfined and unfiltered, so very hazy in appearance. The first taste was almost slightly sweet, with subtle pine notes followed by a bitter bite, then smooth on the finish. Overall, a good hoppy American pale.
On the Saturday, a new range of beers were available and I opted for ‘Sequoia’ from Thornbridge to start. It had a deep golden, slightly orange colour, with a really full, fruity aroma. When tasted, it had a refreshing grapefruit flavour, followed by a bitter hit that lingered on the tongue.
Next up I tried ‘Suspended in Chinook’ by Siren Craft Brew – extremely hazy in colour and almost thick in appearance. The aroma was powerfully hoppy with a strong, citrus flavour, which I thought was delicious.
Overall, I really enjoyed this beer festival. The Jolly Postboys is a really welcoming, vibrant pub with simple but effective décor. When I arrived on both occasions, it had a real ‘buzz’ about it, from those who were out for something to eat, to those who were there for drinks with friends and family.
The beer selection, I thought, was generally good; but I’d have liked to have seen a stout or porter in the line-up. They have a couple more beer festivals coming up later in the year, one in the summer and one in the fall, both of which I look forward to attending.
Keep an eye on their Facebook events page for further events: facebook.com/pg/JollyPostboysOxford/events