For those who have been before, you will be aware of the wide range of ales and ciders we have on offer. This year we have gone a little over the top! We have no less than 16 breweries providing no less than 54 different ales for you to try. With our friends from Beerbunker, ach week we are going to feature one of the ales so you can start salivating!

Sunny Republic – Shark Head
I called in to see Brent Smith, the man behind Sunny Republic Brewery. Situated in Winterborne Kingston, near to Bere Regis the brewery is housed in a converted Barn. Now when you meet Brent, as you will have the chance this year as he has agreed to do a meet the brewer session (more info nearer the date) you will find a man who is dedicated to his job. I called in at about 3pm in the afternoon and had a pint thrust into my hand. I was assured by Brent that he had been tasting the beer on the hour since 9am. All in the name of getting the brew just right. Shark Head is a pilsner lager and as such can be served like all other ales – straight out of the barrel. Brent however wants this real ale to become the first commercially manufactured “real” lager. So Brent’s morning drinking is his dedication to getting just the right amount of “fizz” into the pint. “It is really important to get just the right amount of carbonation into the pint so I have a number of barrels that have different amounts in,” said Brent. “I am finding the optimum amount that produces a pint that retains its head but doesn’t fill you up with gas like some of the commercial lagers out there.”

I must admit, he has it off to a fine art. The pint I tasted was refreshing and kept a head all the way down. If I hadn’t been driving I would certainly have had to try another, but rest assured, I will be having a couple at the festival. Responsibly obviously!