July has been the calm before the storm that is GBBF. I had 44 new beers in total, split fairly evenly between cask stuff and bottles.
The choice for cask beer of the month is fairly tricky. The two highest scoring cask ales scored a mere 3.7 out of 5 on the Ratebeer scale. There were a few 3.6s, but that's not worthy of such an award.
Those two beers were Red Squirrel London Porter, and Dark Star Hylder Blond. The Porter was roasty and full of chocolate flavours. It was the third pint I had on a beer and curry night in Northampton. Just beating it though as cask beer of the month was the saaz hopped beer from Dark Star. This is also brewed with freshly picked elderflowers which you really can taste. It was very nice and won my beer of the festival at Merton.
The bottled offerings during the month were on the whole of a better standard. Two beers which were shared at Merton both scored highly. Marble Decadence and BrewDog Tokyo were big Imperial Stouts. The BrewDog was brewed with jasmine, but to me had a lot of lavender notes. Two more dark beers from Britain but less agressive were Leatherbritches Porter and Red Rock Humber Down. The latter a very flavoursome bottle conditioned mild, coming in at just 3.6%. This may well be the best bottled mild I've ever drank. I also enjoyed Hopsinjoor from Het Anker. This consistently good Belgian brewer has recently introduced this blonde beer, which had a lot of similarities to Duvel in my book. That, of course, cannot be a bad thing.
I saved the best beer though until last and had it really to prepare myself for the hop bombs I hope to have at Earls Court. Great Divide Hibernation Ale is the kind of beer I could happily shut myself in a dark room and drink all Winter. Beautifully strong, beautifully hopped, and with a big malty backbone providing a great long finish. It's an absolute corker. My bottle was bought at Utobeer. I don't know if there's any left, but if there is you really should stock up. It's a clear winner of my beer of the month.