All the beers bar one were from the roses counties (a popular theme this year) priced at £2.20 a pint across the board, with some outstanding entries from local producers. Of particular note were the exceptional Pandemonium Vanilla Porter (4.4%) from Empire, based just down the road from the pub, and the Swan Special (3.8%) from new Huddersfield brewers Mallinsons.
The porter was an astonishing success combining a full on vanilla aroma and initial taste followed beautifully by chocolate and coffee notes and just enough bitterness to thoroughly satisfy. Hopefully production of this supreme ale will continue through the winter months and make numerous appearances at my locals - I can't imagine ever getting enough of this stuff!
The Mallinson brew was another triumph (they always seem to save their best efforts for festivals) with a good refreshing lemony zest. Also worthy of mention was the Rye 'n' Dry (4.1%) by the impressive Hornbeam outfit in Manchester, from whom I've yet to sample anything that could be described as ordinary.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The 4th Swan at Crimble Ale Fest
Holding it's first festival since gaining admission to the Good Beer Guide, The Swan at Crimble in the Colne Valley is already a firm favourite with local ale fans and travelling festival goers alike. It's proximity to Slaithwaite railway station makes The Swan very accessible from Huddersfield, using the stopping train to Manchester, and the quality selection of very reasonably priced beers make these biannual events unmissable.