It has been the tradition for several years for the members of the 'Huddersfield Monday Club' to have a Xmas do. Well more of a chance to get round a few more pubs than usual.
This year we decided to start in The Sportsman so we could line our stomachs before the real drinking began. As it was, the weather was not kind to us, with most of outer Huddersfield under a few inches of snow and central Huddersfield full of slippery slush, but nevertheless we managed a turn out of eight hardy souls.
Being a ticker, and unable to walk past a pub without calling in, I started at The Cherry Tree. It had some interesting beers on the bar from unusual breweries, so I was well chuffed to get a couple of Big Lamp beers, (Embers & Keelman Brown) but less happy when I realised they were 5.5% and 5.7% respectively. I followed these with a more sensible, but cloudy and tasteless half of Old Bear 'Jingle Bears'@ 4.0%.
I then made my way, very carefully as it was treacherous underfoot, to the Sportsman. There on the bar I was treated to one of my favourite beers, Elland 'El Divino', a lovely light hoppy beer. Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm to drink this, I managed to miss a new Riverhead beer, 'Brewsters Blonde' which ran off before I got to it. I managed to console myself with another pint of Elland and a steak pie before we made off to our next port of call. By the time we left the pub our little group had increased to its maximum, with the arrival of those who were struggling on buses with the traffic into town, plus those who accidentally started in the wrong pub!
The 'Kings Head' provided the mecca that light hoppy beer drinkers love, (thats the beer, not the drinker!) and the groups choice seemed unanimously to be Dark Star 'Hophead' which was in tip top form, and I followed this with Brown Cow 'One Over the 8' which again was excellent.
Anyway, time and beer waits for no man, so it was onwards and upwards to the Grove. Time constraints meaning the Head Of Steam was bypassed. In the Grove our choices were wide and varied from White 'Brighton Rocks', Thornbridge 'Jaipur' and Marble 'Dobber' to Brewdog 'Hardcore IPA'. All were different, and all in good fettle. There the party began to split up, and go their own ways. Incidentally in The Grove I managed a sight, but not a drink, of Brewdog's 'Tactical Nuclear Penguin' in a bottle. At around 30%, not a beer to be taken lightly. The best before date of 2019 seems to suggest an investment rather than a drinking beer.
All in all, a good day with plenty of good beer, plenty of bizarre conversations, and a promise to do it all again in 2010. See you there.