For those of us who have not sampled enough World Cup themed beers, another festival started on Friday and continues over the weekend over the borders in Salford. The Crescent opened their doors at 1200 for their World Sup event.
It only came to my notice on Friday morning after reading Scoopgen but the range of beers advertised made it the place to visit, unfortunately my planning went the way of Rio Ferndinand's world cup hopes (to continue Will's theme!).
I cannot deny there is a festival, and there is a World Cup theme, but the set up is different to that at Dewsbury with all the beers planned to come through the beer pumps over the course of the weekend,making it a festival of 6 halves !! The problem was that although there are 40 beers listed only 4 were available on the bar on our arrival, plus another 12 or so on cellar runs, meaning that the remainder were shown on the festival list as 'not ready'. A bit of blow when you have travelled to get there for certain beers. Maybe an own goal here.
The pub does have 10 or so beers on the bar,but not from the festival list, so I assume the others will arrive as these run off. Maybe a festival into extra time. Nevertheless, a quick scan of the programme did give us somewhere to kick off. Where better than Mallinsons. Their 'Group C' weighed in at 5.4% and may have been a bit on the strong side to start, but was OK. And it gave us time to work out the tactics for the rest of the game. With some of the beers on offer being the same as Dewsbury it took a bit of working out where to go on the list. Soon my programme took the look of Capello's game plan with ticks, crosses and arrows all over.
Having dispensed with Will's 4-4-2 system in the first minute, a bit of strategic defence was called for. Next up came Slaters 'In The Net' at 3.6% but a bit uninspired, and Kelham Island 'Night Moves' a dark special at 4.0%, a bit better but nowhere near the classics I associate with the brewery.
Half time arrived, and a cellar run became the order of the day. Not the 6 beers that one of the Scousers nearby went for, but just 2 . Back on the attack with tried and trusted breweries, neither which disappointed. Another Mallinsons special, 'SA 2010' at 4.6% and full of hop flavour, along with Salopian 'Ska', at 4.0% an ideal beer for the weather and again bursting with hops. Maybe Salford had edged the lead over Dewsbury. Then I made a mistake, eschewing other beers in the cellar I opted for George Wright 'Black Mountain', 4.3% and not especially black, and of the standard I should have expected from previous beers from the brewery. Another own goal.
All in all, a reasonable festival, but with some reservations. Effectively a 2-2 draw with Dewsbury. However, the extra time spent in Salford at other pubs made up for it and I could claim a success on Friday on penalties, with new beers and rare breweries at the other pubs we visited. Just hope if you visit, some of the more interesting beers have arrived on the bar, or at least are available.