The Rat opened its doors at noon on Thursday to start their 4th beer festival. Overnight Sam and his team must have worked wonders to install a makeshift bar with handpumps to supply their visitors with 40 beers to sample and savour.
Of course there were the usual in house brews, from Ossett, Riverhead and Fernandes but they were supplemented with beers of all strengths and types sourced from all around the country.
Locally we had beers from Mallinsons, (their Huddersfield Pale being particularly well appreciated), The Nook Brewhouse, Summer Wine, Empire, Elland and Brass Monkey. They were accompanied by offerings from Bath, Ulverston, and Kirkby Lonsdale to name but three.
All the beer I sampled was in good form, with the Mallinsons being the pick of the light beers and Ossett 'Cherry Porter' doing a good trade as the pick of the dark. Durham provided a wheat beer 'Vice' and for the hop lovers amongst us, Acorn's 'Mittlefruh' was available, along with a Hornbeam beer brewed with Pilgrim and a new beta hop.
There's food available until 5pm and a wide selection of cider and perry for those fancying something different. If you have a spare couple of hours this weekend the festival runs until Sunday, and Sam promises some back up beers should those on the main bar fail to last the course, so everyone should be happy.