Late October 2018
My annual visit to the Norwich Beer Festival, this year with Karl & Hadley, was enjoyable as always. I was hoping to get to try a beer that appeared to tick all of the birds and beer boxes, Have your cake & Egret by the Magpie Brewery. Magpie Brewery already have lots of beers with Magpies, a Jay and Ravens on the labels, but this one actually features a Little Egret on top of a cake. Unfortunately there was only one barrel, and it wasn't on during my visit. It also gives me an opportunity to raise one of my bugbears, the incorrect use of the word 'literally*'. When the beer was recommended in the Evening News, the manager of the curiosity bar stated "It’s got raspberry and vanilla in it so it is literally liquid cake" - thus showing a fundamental lack of understanding of the ingredients of both beer and cake.
Picture taken from the Magpie Brewery website http://www.magpiebrewery.com/
In terms of beers that I did get to drink, I was pleasantly surprised by Foragers Ale, a beer brewed by Poppyland Brewery and flavoured with Parasol fungi. This is the first time I've tried fungi as a beer ingredient, and it was out of curiosity rather than expectation, but it was actually quite nice. The Poppyland Brewery has previously used a range of foraging ingredients such as Alexanders and Dandelions, but a check on their website suggests that the brewer in charge is retiring and looking to sell the brewery (if you fancy buying it then get in touch with him!). If foraged beers are your thing, then the other one I'd recommend is Wildcraft Brewery, which do a good range of seasonal stuff.
* A week earlier the Autumnwatch social media team, having seen a squirrel caching nuts in one place, had tweeted that the squirrel was "literally putting all of its eggs in one basket". It wasn't doing that.