This weekend has seen the 5th beer festival at the Swan at Crimble (Slaithwaite). A beer guide listed pub, well worth a visit at any time, has provided us with 35 interesting beers from far and wide. There were 8 from breweries local to Huddersfield, another 8 from Yorkshire brewers and some rare gems from further afield.
The system is the tried and tested one used before at the pub's previous festivals, there are 20 beers on the bar to start with, all cellar cooled and through handpulls, and when one runs off, it is replaced by one of the remaining 15. On my visit, there were some beers that really stood out; Empire 'Roger the Cabin Boy', Humpty Dumpty 'Porter' and Mallinsons ' Colossus' to name but three. All served in excellent form. However, with other offerings from Phoenix, Marble, and Loddon on the bar there was something to suit everyone's taste, and all at reasonably sensible strengths.
Taking a short time out to speak to Johnny, the licencee, he revealed his plans for the future. He has acquired the Commercial in Slaithwaite centre and hopes to covert this shortly to another real bar with around 8 handpumps and a wine bar in another part of the pub to cater for all tastes. He intends that this pub will complement the beers he has on the bar at The Swan, and not duplicate them.
He, along with other pubs in the village, has a vision of around 20 real ales available within a short walk of the centre. There is a rail station nearby and with a frequent bus service from Huddersfield , he hopes this will be another addition to the real ale trails in the area and attract visitors from both Yorkshire and Lancashire. In fact, recently, he has noticed an upsurge in visitors from over the border to the Swan.
All we can do is wish him good luck, any one who has the vision to expand in these difficult times deserves it and all the support we can offer when his plans comes to fruition.