Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Navigation Festival

I had a bit of free time on Friday so instead of my usual trick of tripping off miles in search of beer I thought I would stay local and have a look at this summer's Navigation festival at Mirfield. It is dead easy to reach by train from Huddersfield, just a 10 minute trip and a couple of minutes walk to the pub.

Those who have been reading the blog for a while will know I have been to previous festivals here and the format is much as before with a makeshift bar in the pool room serving around 15 beers on handpull, with another 5 on the main bar . The list itself shows around 35 beers so some are replaced when they run off. (Personally I would prefer all the beers available at the same time but I can see the logistical problems in this.)

Anyway, what was available when I went? A quick look at the programme (printed in previous post) gave me an idea, not much of an idea I must admit as it seemed to omit brewery names some of the time, a few ABV's and lots of the time did not make a great deal of sense. After all, how many breweries brew 'Summer Ale'?

The theme of this festival was 'Beers of the M62 Corridor', so naturally there was a preponderance of Yorkshire and Lancashire ale. Many were old favourites, some were new to me however and I concentrated on these. Allgates 'Twitter and Bisted' from Wigan hit the spot straight away, a light, hoppy beer at a sensible strength and I followed this with Saltaire 'End Of The Road' showcasing Amarillo hops. Another winner.

Things started to get a bit difficult then. I did sample another 3 beers, all Yorkshire beers, from Salamander, Great Newsome and Empire, the first two being World Cup themed, which was something I was trying to avoid, but none were anything special. Notwithstanding that I could have tried Phoenix 'White Tornado' and Five Towns 'Solstice', neither new to me, but both good beers but decided enough was enough and headed for the train.

It may sound as though I was disappointed with the festival. This is not really the case. The beer was kept well, was cheap enough at £1.10 a half across the board, and there were plenty of different styles to go at. It just wasn't a festival of new beers or new breweries, so from my point of view it did not reach the heights of previous festivals here and the haphazard programme did not help either. Never mind, I did get chance to see Germany lose on a big screen so all was not in vain !!

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