Sunday, July 27, 2008

Festival Update

A long overdue dose of hot summer weather this weekend not only meant ideal conditions for outdoor supping but ensured the packs of beer hunters were armed with a real thirst - the only issue was where to quench it!

Early doors at Hall Bower and the best seats are already taken

Whilst The Star's biggest festival to-date offered more choice than you could throw a neurotic spaniel at, it doesn't provide much of an outdoor seating area which ordinarily isn't a problem, but boy was it hot in that tent this weekend! Meanwhile up the hill at Hall Bower, the organisers must have been punching the air in delight with their beer terrace completely mobbed from the word go.

The Navigation Tavern benefits from it's proximity to the railway station and it's tranquil canal-side setting and should certainly be putting on festivals with more regularity. Beers at all three were served nice and cool which is not always the case at many festivals when the temperatures start to rise.

As for favourite ales, bearing in mind I probably sampled less than 20% of what was available this weekend, I've picked just one from each that I'd certainly want to enjoy again and again.

Hall Bower: A difficult choice to make here with both specially commissioned beers ranking very highly, but I have the superb Mallinsons just edging out the Clarkes.

Navigation Tavern: A limited choice by Sunday but the Cains Sundowner was tailor-made for the weather and in fine condition.

The Star: Well it took some waiting for but the much anticipated Chocolate Chilli from Marble rounded off a truly wonderful weekend's festival-going.

Some tasting notes to follow.

The Navigation's back room and festival bars both saw plenty of action over the weekend with little left to pick over by Sunday afternoon.


Anonymous said...

As you said,a hectic week for us festivallers...all 3 festivals deserve great credit for the way they were run and the different beers they provided..and hopefully all 3 will appear again,maybe not all at the same time so the system can drain a bit !!! Agree with your judgement about the Mallinsons beers..both I tried were on top form and a great example of a brewer(y) going from strength to strength,and local as beer of the weekend being the Bower Best at Hall Bower..but it was a very close run thing with all the selections on offer..just lying down for a few days before the revelry continues at the Green Cross, which looks another good place to visit....Tim

festa said...

Shame I missed last weekends festivals. On Holiday in Cornwall good beers to be has particularly the Skinners. Shame about the price though many places best part of £3!
Found a brew pub The Drift Wood Spars selling decent stuff at £2.40! See you all in the Green Cross on Friday

Lee said...

Thanks for your comments Tim - Tara will be very pleased to hear that you particularly enjoyed the Bowers Best Brew. It certainly sold out pretty quickly.
Anyway, many thanks for taking the time to call in at Hall Bower - we certainly will be having another next year, so I'll keep you all posted with details nearer the time!
Thanks again,