A toss-up between Slaithwaite and Hebden Bridge for the privilege of hosting my ale swilling prowess (?!) was really a no-brainer this afternoon. Having already done a Fox & Goose festival earlier in the year and knowing what a tedious journey Hebden Bridge is by public transport, it was yet another liquid lunch down the Colne Valley for me. Not only is the Moonraker a very well organised and friendly festival but all for a good cause as well - and with over a third of the beers from recently opened breweries there was no shortage of new ales to sample. Of these I picked out Golden Wraith from Hornbeam, a moreish syrupy concoction with 'over the top hop', plus the excellent Grindleton LPA which appealed to my bitterest of bitter loving taste buds.
To soak up the suds a generous few platefuls of pork pie slices (presumably from the legendary Eddie Grange next door - who appeared to be moving premises incidentally) were on the bar and could have led to a much extended swillage had there not been a train to catch.
A good turnout was anticipated for the evening session following on from a very busy Friday night, and next year's bash will most definitely be high on my list of priority beer bothering escapades. I didn't note the name of the Irish folk band that were just tuning up as we left but the inclusion of a trombone in their line up was inspired - it seems I can't come to this valley without exposure to a little brass (and a lot of beer) - it's such a nuisance!