Last night The Star Inn at Folly Hall opened its doors for its Spring Beer Festival and the throng outside, waiting patiently for 5pm, were not disappointed.
This time Sam has managed to select some rare beers from all over the country and we were treated to examples from Art Barn and Concrete Cow down South, Church End and Beowolf in the Midlands and several Scottish breweries, some new to the area such as Angus, Ayr, Deeside and Loch Leven.
Not to be outdone several Yorkshire breweries appeared on the bar, with representatives from Great Heck, Goose Eye and Abbeydale.
The format was the tried and tested one for the pub. 46 beers on handpull in the outside marquee, served in some very tasteful festival glasses, along with plenty more on the bar inside that will be constantly replaced.
I managed to sample a few, and the best of the lot was Mallinsons 'Wish You Were Here', 3.7% but full of hop character and named in honour of the late Dave Charlesworth. Other delights were a Pilsner style beer from Allendale,(Adder Lager), the sorachi hopped 'Sorrel Sykes' from Yorkshire Dales, and the citrus tasting 'Nechtan' from Deeside.
Those in search of dark beers were treated to 'Damens Dark', a mild from Goose Eye; Three b's 'Knocker Up' porter, and Deeside 'Talorcan' another porter, this time with whey included to give in additional smoothness. There was even space on the bar for a chilli beer, Allendale's 'Beacon Fire'.
All those I tried were on good form, and at £2.30 a pint, good value for money. Sam and the team deserve great credit for the festival, both in the interesting selection of beers and the ambiance of the festival itself. It runs from 5pm Thursday and all day Friday to Sunday. It is well worth a visit.
On a personal note I even tried the 'Hip Hop Green Bullet' from Art. Those who know me, know my dislike of this particular hop, and yes, it did make me sneeze!!
Update - the Mallinsons 'Wish You Were Here' ran off about 8pm on Thursday night, so my assertion about it being the best beer seems to have been justified. There are a couple more pointers to great beers on the bar that I never tried on the first night. If you like light & hoppy the Concrete Cow 'Pail Ale' and the Tryst ' Blathan' should be up your street, and Deesside 'Talorcan' should keep those who want a tasty dark beer happy.