Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Lockwood Festival

This weekend we have 2 festivals locally. One is at Pennine Manor at Scapegoat Hill, which is their first and for which I have no information at present, the other closer to town is at the Lockwood Pub on Lockwood Rd. They have held beer festivals before but last time it was upstairs in a function room, this time it is downstairs on a makeshift bar attached to the main bar with the barrels stored behind the bar.

I took a look at what was on offer yesterday afternoon and was pleasantly surprised with the beer range available. There are 26 beers available through the weekend, but due to space constrictions only 15 are on at any one time. All the festival beers are £2.50 a pint irrespective of strength. My concern would be the quality later in the festival as the barrels behind the bar begin to warm up. I just hope their cooling system is up to it.

Armed with my programme I set about making my beer choices. Some of the beers on the regular bar were immediately discounted, such as Landlord and Tetley's (I know some of you will find the latter hard to believe !!) but there were still a fair few new beers to go at. There was a majority of Brass Monkey beers but since it was their pub, that was fair enough, however I expected something new from them but the range offered just the old favourites. I started with Empire 'Pennine Way' a 3.9% light beer, inoffensive and a good opener.

The rest of the bar was made up of South Western beers, many rare round these parts, and without tasting notes I had to gamble a bit. There were little glasses to show the colour of the beers so I had a bit of direction but most of the new ones to me were mid brown which did not really assist. I decided to select in order of strength. Dawkins 'TTT' was next up, instantly forgettable, then Nailsworth ' Funny Bones' , a little better, Moles 'Hole In One' , another failure, and Cotleigh 'Ettaler', the best of the new beer I chose. 4.8% and a take on a dark lager.

By now my time there was rapidly drawing to a close, and I wanted something tasty, and light. So I finished with Brass Monkey 'Silverback'. The best beer that the brewery brew in my opinion, and I was not disappointed. It was bursting with hop flavours that had missing in the other beers I had tried.

It is good sometimes to have plenty of beers from one part of the country to go at at a festival, but the problem is, as demonstrated here, many have very similar flavours and tastes, and if they are not to your taste then you are a bit stuck. I almost reverted to Tetley's at one stage !!

It is a little unfair of me to criticise though. It is credit to the brewery that they have sourced some rare beers and to the pub to organise the festival. It is a good place to while away a couple of hours sampling something different.

On the subject of Brass Monkey they have added a third pub to their chain along with the Rose & Crown at Thurstonland and The Lockwood. They have now taken over the Golden Cock at Farnley Tyas. Another pub in the middle of nowhere that was formerly more of an eatery that a pub. No doubt I will visit it one day and let you know what's on offer, that is unless someone can tell me first !!


ArcticFox said...

I live in Outlane, so the natural choice for me was to go to the Pennine Manor.... we were promised free transport from Outlane bus terminus but I couldn't find a single scrap of evidence anywhere to support this or to tell me what times this would be available, so my good lady drove...
It looked a bit un-beer-festivally in the bar and after some tricky navigation we arrived in an upstairs function room armed with tickets at £1.25 a pop for a half.
20 beers to choose from, all on simultaneously.... plenty of seating.... nice beer selection.... choice of sparklers on or off.... tastefully halloween decorated room.... everything good..... after a couple of beers...... the live music!!
Well, In a room so small a three piece music act could possibly get away with it but this tribute act at full pelt were bursting the balloons on the walls and they still didn't take the hint to turn it down..... we, and several other people made a hasty exit when we could no longer hold any conversation and ordering beer at the bar was even made difficult.
Not wishing to sound like a stick in the mud but for me, live music should not be the main focus of a beer festival.... the Pennine Manor would do well to take a trip down to the Grove on a Thursday evening and take a look at the more organic approach to live music before organising another beer festival, or it'll be one to miss for me in the future..... Shame that a good event was spoiled, for me at least, by a poorly thought out and seemingly inappropriate entertainment bill.

Timbo said...

Thanks for that review...good to see a different spin on things...I must admit, one of the things I dislike about pubs, and festivals in general, is intrusive loud music..I know lots of people go to see certain band but when you have to shout or use hand signals to order your beer I begin to wonder if maybe they should have chosen a better venue