Thursday, February 07, 2008

Festival of Champs

The White Cross Inn at Bradley, near Huddersfield is giving ale chasers a chance to feast on some of the best beer ever produced. Twenty one legendary GBBF Champions will rotate this weekend (and undoubtedly longer) on the main bar, lending their considerable weight to the pub's fifth annual beer festival. And if that's not enough a further fifteen wannabes, most of which hail from the north of England, will vie for drinker's attentions on the temporary bar upstairs.

The 'Champions Bar' will feature such greats as Fullers ESB, Coniston Bluebird, Crouch Vale Brewers Gold and Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted though several visits may be needed to connect with your favourites.

A sample of the lesser known brews revealed a star in the making from the four year old Stationhouse Brewery of Frodsham in Cheshire. Their delicious 1st Lite was a wonderous rollercoaster of juicy fruit and malt culminating in a breathtaking long dry finish - one of the most 'together' beers I've tried in a long time.

George Wright's Pipe Dream would be another contender for beer of the festival again featuring plenty of fruit and a long lingering finish. On the dark side the ubiquitous Leeds Brewery has it's excellent Midnight Bell up for grabs whilst the ludicrously satisfying Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild will certainly not go the distance! (map)

Apologies for the lack of photos on this assignment - thought I'd packed a camera but hadn't!


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild have a really faint taste of summer strawberries?

The concept of the festival is a really good one, all those winners in one room the old hands and tickers may not bother with the old favourites but I'm sure it'll attract a few new bods to the Real Ale fold provided the Cellarman is up to the job.

a swift one... said...

I seem to get something new from it every time I try some (which is not often enough!) - and that's a lot to do with what preceeded it. A Deuchars IPA drew out the nutiness wonderfully!

Leigh said...

...Am a fan of the Leeds Midnight Bell, glad you've found it too. From what i have tasted of thiers, they've got some great ideas. Thier Pale is lovely too. I'll be going to the Leeds Beer, Cider & Perry Festival - should be a good 'un!

a swift one... said...

They are excellent Leigh but kicking myself for missing the 5% Hell Fire at the back end of last year which sounded just my kind of beer!