Saturday, July 14, 2007

Armitage Bridge 'Monkey' Club Festival, Huddersfield

One of the most appealing aspects of living in Huddersfield has to be it's immediate proximity to some truly spectacular countryside and attractive rural hostelries. And today, just five minutes from the town centre, hidden away in the beautiful Holme Valley, the pretty 'Summer Wine-esque' village of Armitage Bridge was the setting for the much anticipated inaugural Monkeyfest.

The first of hopefully many beer festivals at the Monkey Club coincided with yet more unsettled weather, though thankfully as I write, it hasn't managed to spoil this very well organised event - at least not so far! In fact this afternoon saw some welcome warm sunny spells, but Sunday, unfortunately, is likely to be a return to the sort of miserable conditions we're becoming all too used to this summer. The decision to erect a gazebo opposite the outdoor festival bar was probably a wise one!

Having not seen any previews of the twenty eight beers available it was a welcome surprise to find no shortage of lesser known brews. South Hams Wild Blond at 4.4% was one such and came very close to toppling some old favourites like the mighty RCH Old Slug Porter and wonderful Exmoor Gold (neither of which I've seen locally for a very long time).

Plenty of hard work and good use of local sponsorship would seem to be key to this successful and highly enjoyable festival and it's difficult to see how it could be improved upon (apart from the weather of course) - in fact as first attempts go this is nothing short of a brilliant effort!

There were no restrictions on modes of transport for getting to the 1st annual Monkeyfest!

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