Did the The Star Inn Summer Beer Festival at Folly Hall, Huddersfield really get underway last night in somewhat controversial circumstances, or did that just occur to me this morning? Well I'm still not sure (it was all a bit of a blur after the first couple of hours), but for the first time in the pub's illustrious history, a judging panel - that included a respected local brewing team - was assembled to vote for a beer of the festival, and guess who won?!
Allegations aside, you could have picked out any eight ale fans from the crowd last night to do the blind tasting (and they were not all locals by any means) and the result would have been the same, such was Mallinsons dominance. And that's not being in any way biased or dishing out praise where it's not deserved - it's simply that they are producing some of the finest beer around at the moment. Not only that, but at this time of year when people crave light and quaffable session ales that they can really pig-out on, this is the brewery that delivers. And in the case of last night, not once but twice!
The winning Blue Sky Dreaming at 3.7% and second placed Triple S at a mere 3.6 were a real triumph of taste over strength and whilst the self-effacing Tara & Elaine (above) may have been just a little embarrassed by the outcome, the rest of us locals couldn't have been prouder. Okay so it's not the GBBF or even a SIBA regional but a pound to a penny that these two ales wouldn't have disgraced themselves, even at the very pinnacle of beer appreciation. To have a brewery in the town of this quality really does provide the icing on the cake for us wannabe journos too. I mean it's one thing having great pubs to fawn over or take pictures of, but quite another to www.drinkmallinsons.co.uk in them!
A full and proper account of the festival, with no mention of Mallinsons whatsoever, will appear soon courtesy of Timbo - now there's a challenge! (More festival photos on our Facebook page.)
The Star Inn festival resumes this afternoon at 5pm and then all day Fri-Sun. Full beer list here. (Map)