Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Cross Keys, Knaresborough

Many have asked what it's like, and normally I'd tell them to go have a look, but since it's a bit out of town and the weather ain't conducive to travel just now, here's a few snaps of Ossett Brewery's latest hostelry.

Knaresborough, being a little more - shall we say - historic (...ok, posh!) than perhaps Ossett or Elland, is the perfect setting for the brewery's trademark decor style and consequently this newest addition to the estate feels much more at home.

Towns like Knaresborough and Harrogate should be full of pubs like this and it's always a disappointment to find so many poorly maintained interiors behind such beautiful facades.

This is probably my favourite Ossett refurbishment to date - it's just a shame that my trips to this part of the world are so few and far between these days. (map)

Good News for Denzil

Courtesy of the 'Bloke from Hull', we have been advised of a bit of good news about one of the breweries that we often see around Huddersfield.

Great Heck beers are brewed in the village of the same near, near Goole, by Denzil Vallance. I have sampled plenty and I consider it to be one of the better micro breweries about. Seems I am not alone.

One of their flagship beers is 'DAVE' (the pump clip calls it 'Dark And Very Enjoyable') and has recently appeared in Strangers Bar at the House of Commons, and selling better than some of the more regular beers there.

Well done Great Heck. A great achievement, and hopefully, if the southerners appreciate what us northerners can produce, we may see more local breweries on at this historic bar.

How daft do they think we are?

Last week I blogged about the disgraceful habit some breweries have of re-badging beers as something new when they aren't. I have been reading another beer website, and lo and behold, what did I find bit another brewery shamelessly just doing that.

Charles Wells brew 'Bombardier'. It is one of their flagship brands and widely available, some even consider it to be one of the best beers around. However, for some reason, this festive season (sorry, don't mean to be poetic !) they have renamed it 'Bombareindeer' with an appropriate pump clip. It's the same beer available throughout the year, so why they have decided on this course is beyond me.

There is also a suspicion that Wadworth '6Xmas' could also be their usual '6X' renamed for the season.

It just shows the way the larger breweries treat the drinker, thinking that we either would not realise we are drinking the same beer, or that we may be attracted to the beer because of the new name. I, for one, have just become more suspicious of any of their beer, and may think twice about drinking any unless I am sure of their background. Is it really worth it for them ?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Cricketers Arms, Cluntergate, Horbury

Will be open on the 26th November from 6pm.

The winning combo team headed by Mr Mike Field, who has connections with local brewery Anglo Dutch and works with CAMRA. His business partner Miss Sarah Barnes who oversees the day to day running of the whole company, and brought you Dewsbury Beer Festival bring you another fantastic Real Ale Bar. After some major, but sympathetic redecorating and recruiting of new members of staff we will be ready to eagerly welcome you all.

It becomes the third in our small group of real ale bars, joining The West Riding in Dewsbury established 16 years ago and The Sportsman in Huddersfield just over one year ago, both with great reputations.

It will be managed by Lisa Wood who has successfully run The West Riding at Dewsbury train station for the last five years although she will be fondly missed, we know she will make The Cricketers Arms as welcoming and hopefully as award winning as its sister pubs by keeping the beer to the very high standard that she brought to the West Riding.

We will have eight real ale pumps on the bar with favourites from Black Sheep and Timothy Taylor on regularly, and local brews as well as beers from far and wide on rotation. Also a vast array of lagers wines and carefully selected spirits to suit all, not to mention the extensive choice of Belgian beers and continental lagers.

Another beacon for real ale drinkers near and far.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When is a new beer not a new beer ?

In the comments on my recent blog about the Wetherspoons festival, Jibber makes an interesting point. He says can a one off beer at a festival be classed as a new beer, if it is not available elsewhere.

I, personally, have strong feelings about this, and I know others, including some local brewers do too. Let me try and explain.

The simple place to start is a brewer brewing a new beer. They make a full brew length, appropriate to the brewerys size, give it name and distribute it to pubs. The beer comes on the bar and the drinker drinks it. A new beer obviously. The confusion starts when the brewer has a couple of barrels of beer left and someone approaches the brewer for a festival special. What happens then?

Does the brewer give them the original beer with the original name, the original beer with a new name (cheating the tickers surely), or add something to the cask to make the original beer different and give it a new name ? This , in my humble opinion, would make this a new beer. Often, and usually the easiest thing to do is add some hops to the barrel, and therefore 'dry hop' the beer, which alters the flavour of the original beer, (and therefore makes a new beer).

A couple of years ago, as an experiment, and with the help of a local brewer, Pete Byrne and myself brewed a beer. A full brew length that was released into pubs. We kept two barrels back for a local festival and dry hopped each one with different hops. These appeared on the festival bar, along with the original, with nothing to suggest their provenance. We listened to feedback from the festival goers. Only a hand full sussed out what we had done. Most assumed they were different beers, they certainly tasted different to each other. Therefore, I am quite happy to call a dry hopped barrel of beer 'a new beer'. This covers most of the festival specials around.

What annoys me is a brewer just rebadging,(using an old beer and just giving it a new name for the occasion) a beer to satisfy the needs of the festival, there is often nothing to suggest this is the same beer that I have been drinking under another name, and seems to me to be a way of misleading the 'ticker'.

If you are familiar with the beer drinkers bible, the GOBBS guide (c), a quick scan will show some breweries that use several names for the same beer, and unless you are prepared to do the necessary research, then it is easy to assume all are different. I cannot understand why some brewer should want to try to mislead the drinker by renaming a regular beer as something different. I know of enthusiasts that will not drink certain breweries beers because they are unsure of the beer's provenance.

I know this may sound a very pedantic post, and it affects only those of us sad enough, sorry, enthusiastic enough, to want to list every beer we have, and want every beer that has a different name to be different. I have no issue with 95% of the beer I come across, or 95% of the brewers. But with Xmas coming, and the Royal Wedding on the horizon can I be sure that every beer I drink is actually a new beer, or is it an old favourite renamed. I certainly hope its not the latter.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Hop Beer Festival, Leeds

To ensure the focus stays firmly on real ale, the second of Ossett Brewery's venue pubs is holding a beer festival next week.

The Hop
in Leeds, beneath the city's railway station, has been open eight months already and continues to wow visitors with it's unique decor in this quite remarkable location. (map)

35 beers will be available and the list and further details will be published next Monday (29th).

If you've not managed a visit to the dark arches in a while and wondered what all the fuss was about, then this festival is the ideal excuse to come along and take a look at a very impressive venue.

The Leggers Inn Beer Festival

Dewsbury's best kept secret is holding it's first beer festival in over two years this weekend.

The Leggers Inn had to scrap plans last autumn but manager John Smithson is looking forward to a busy few days at the canal basin pub. "We've had a cracking year so far, despite everything, and we want to reward our customers by giving them a great range of beers to enjoy". (List)

Festivities kick off at lunchtime Thursday (25th) and continue until Sunday night, or when the beer runs out. Food will be available throughout the five day event. [map]

What about the 'Spoons fest

Before I start, I apologise for the shortage of blogs in the recent past, caused by a combination of personal and medical problems, hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly.

In the meantime, did you get to the Wetherspoons festival? Did you enjoy it ? It seems ages ago since I mentioned that they were having their usual 3 week extravaganza of 50 beers. The real task was to try to complete the whole list in the time available. I know of plenty who managed it, cyberspace was full of details of where to find the 'hard to find beers' so that if that was your ambition you knew where to look. Obviously the bigger cities had the best ranges, they have more 'Spoons to choose from after all, but here in Huddersfield we managed fairly well too. All the beers were available at some stage, it was just a case of being there at the right time or being really lucky.

Personally I managed about 75% of the beers before being struck down, and I was confident I could have picked the rest up - it was not to be. I was disappointed to miss out on the Jersey Brewery 'Liberation Ale, a new brewery to me and one that rarely moves off the island, and the Harviestoun 'Wild Hop IPA' also eluded me, one I fancied trying. What did I actually find though?

As I said before, the best beer in the festival in my opinion was Adnams 'Ghost Ship', head and shoulders above any other beer I had, a clean, crisp bitter. I sampled other beers crammed full of coffee, (TSA 'Double Espresso') - not to my taste but highly recommended by those who like that sort of thing; coriander (Mordue '1879'), another strange taste but not mine; and vanilla (Tom Woods 'Vanilla Orchid'), which I can only describe as unusual at best, revolting at worst.

Many of the beers at the festival were similar in colour and flavour, they seem to have cornered the market in the mid brown range of various strengths, and it was rare for a beer to stand out from the crowd. The wheat beers I tried, Hereford 'Aurora' and Batemans 'Wheat Dreams' were both good examples however, but the darker speciality beers disappointed, promising much but failing to deliver in my opinion.

To sum up, an interesting way to spend a couple of weeks playing hunt the beer, but although I had no complaints about the quality or range of beers, I was disappointed, personally, to find so few beers to my taste, but no doubt there were people who thought just the opposite. That's the thing about beer, it certainly divides opinion.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mayor Opens Keys

Ossett Brewery's stunning new pub in Knaresborough was officially declared open last night by the town's mayor, Councillor Richard Hall at an invitation evening.

[left-right: Bob Lawson (Ossett Brewery Chairman), landlady Diane Lockerbie & the Mayor of Knaresborough Councillor Richard Hall]

The Cross Keys on Cheapside is the sixteenth the company has opened since 2003 and it's first outside of West Yorkshire. Diane Lockerbie has transferred over from The Old Vic (formerly The Silver King) to take charge in this, her home town, whilst Sarah Dixon from The Shepherds Rest in Sowerby Bridge replaces her at Ossett. (map)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet the Brewers cancelled

The Meet the Brewer night on Thursday at the 'Yeaton Cask' has sadly been cancelled

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meet the Brewers - Thursday

Should you be at a loose end this Thursday evening, then may be we have something for you. The 'Yeaton Cask' at Kirkheaton is holding a Meet The Brewer night, starting at 7.30 pm.

There should be a couple of brewers there to explain what goes on before their beer reaches the pub. Tara Mallinson is making an appearance along with Dave Atkinson from Goose Eye, so it promises to be a good evening.

Hopefully, each will bring along some of their beers for sampling and since both are well known for the quality of their beer, their knowledge of the industry and product, we should all learn something. You may even get chance to meet some, or all, of the team of a 'Swift One' so what better way to while away a few hours in good company, with good beer. Make it a date.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The New Albion at Flanshaw

This month we feature another Wakefield district pub. And not because we've run out of boozers in Kirklees - indeed there are a couple in the pipeline - rather that The New Albion is just too sexy to ignore.

I have a vague recollection of the way the old Albion used to be as I was at school nearby many moons ago but more recently the pub had gained an unwanted reputation through association with drug dealing and violent behaviour, finally resulting in closure.

Lots of new housing and the opening of a link road to the M1 via a pleasant industrial estate (really!) have helped regenerate the area though and it's this change the new owners will be hoping to cash in on.

Anyway, no prizes for guessing who's responsible for the transformation. All the hallmarks of a classic Ossettification (a Timbo word I think) are there to see. In fact the only thing that might seem a little out of place is the inclusion of a permanent Everards beer on the bar, a stipulation of this joint venture between the two family run breweries apparently.

In addition to the Everards (which will be Tiger mostly) expect the majority of the remaining seven beers on offer to hail from the Ossett holy trinity. Our samples, one from Fernandes and the other Leeds, were in good condition and landlady Angie Cromack is a delight.

A final thought that might concern one or two is that the pub is far from worn-in and consequently the moment you sit down the place looks untidy. It's only ever been an issue at newly opened Ossett pubs for me and is testament to the high standard of the makeover, but whilst beautiful to look at, I do wonder whether there's a percentage of punters who never quite feel as comfortable as maybe they should. (map)

And another !!!

May be not exactly Leeds this time, but the Revolutions brewery have also released information about their plans to start brewing. Their intention is to use a plant somewhere near the A1/M62 corridor but that is not yet complete, they are brewing initially on another brewery's plant.

They have chosen their name because of its connection with the music industry, (remember the old vinyl records, and their pump clips reflect their music pedigree, looking like old record sleeves.

They say that they are committed to brewing beers of only three strengths, 3.3%, 4.5%,and 7.8%, sounds a bit familiar !, with the first 3 trial brews being a mild, a porter, and a stout, but with intentions to brew a session bitter, a German style beer (called Kraftwerk) and an American Pale Ale in the future.

Again, a brewery to look out for, their clips will stand out on a bar I am sure, and another addition to the large number of breweries in the county.

Another brewery for Leeds

Be on the lookout for another new brewery that is opening up in Leeds, this one called the Kirkstall brewery. It will be run under the guidance of head brewer, Dave Sanders, and based in an 8 barrel plant in an industrial estate in the Kirkstall area, surprisingly enough !!

Those who know of Mr Sanders pedigree will expect good things from the new brewery, after all he was the head brewer at the Elland brewery before moving on, and they have produced many good beers under his care, including their award winning '1872 Porter'. I am unsure whether he has taken the Elland recipes with him to the new plant but, I for one, will be interested to see what beers the new brewery comes up with.

The press release via Leeds Camra reveals that his first beer is likely to be a pale hoppy session bitter, but his intention is to brew many different types and styles of beer and there are also plans to bottle in the pipeline.

If Leeds continues to spawn new breweries, then maybe the loss of Tetley's in the city may be to all drinkers benefit, with plenty of new beers to look forward to from their not inconsiderable range of craft brewers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Changing Trains

With Tim having Huddersfield all wrapped up (and generally we only get to the Sportsman, Rat and Star anyway), we thought it about time to have a wander further afield. We had a little tour of Northants in summer, but apart from a couple of pubs (The Locomotive in Wellingborough and The Duke's Arms in Woodford) we were disappointed with what was on offer, and straplines such as "is this the worst rural pub in England?" weren't going to do anyone any favours, so we headed off to Peterborough to enjoy the Camra Festival.

Peterborough is a city we have been "forced" to visit quite often this year, since Ryanair stopped flying out of Manchester, we have been travelling to Stansted for our cheap flights to Italy. The train is not that expensive if you book well in advance, and it is easy to plan your journey around a 3 to 4 hour stop in Peterborough.

Once you have found your way across the inner ring road from the station it is only a couple of hundred yards to either the Wetherspoons on Cowgate or the Brewery Tap on Westgate, our intention was to start at 'spoons, do a big figure of eight and finish at the tap.

The Drapers Arms is a cracking good Wetherspoons, we often call in for breakfast, it is smaller and has a proper pub feel to it, compared to a number of their outlets we are familiar with in Yorkshire. Ten hand pumps are gathered together on the bar, with the beers normally supplied by familiar, quality small breweries - today was slightly different, as it was the second day of the Wetherspoons Festival. Thirds were purchased of Woodforde's Once Bittern, Lion Stout and Samuel Adams Blonde Ambition. The Woodforde's edged this taste battle, the presence of Nelson Sauvin hops nearly always wins with us. We then headed towards the cathedral and across the River Nene, past Charters and Peterborough United FC to reach the Coalheavers Arms.

The Coalheavers is a classic backstreet local, surrounded by terraced housing, typical of the sort of pub that has been disappearing over the past 30 years, but here we find a thriving free house, albeit with a close relationship with Cambridge's Milton Brewery. 8 hand pumps dispense 4 or 5 Milton Beers plus 3 or 4 guests, the pub is quiet enough to hold a book club meeting, yet busy enough to hold an enthusiastic Halloween party. Milton Tiki was our beer of choice (and some Gwynt y ddraig cider). Closing at 2pm on this afternoon, it was our intention to follow the figure of eight back to Charters via the Palmerston Arms and the Cherry Tree only to be informed that the Palmerston doesn't open till 3, we did not feel that diverting down Oundle Road just to visit the Cherry Tree was worth it, so we retraced our route to Charters.

Incidentally, the Coalheavers was once a Phipps (of Northampton) house, a brewery fondly remembered in these parts, and a beer worth looking for is Grainstore's Phipps IPA, a recreation of a 1930's original recipe from another excellent small brewery.

Charters is a huge barge on the river next to the bridge with a Thai restaurant at deck level and the bar down below, 12 hand pumps showcase the Oakham Brewery (we have seen 7 on at the same time) and guests from all over the country occupying the remaining pumps. We have found that you are more likely to catch Oakham's specials here, and today, alongside the 4 regular brews (JHB, Inferno, White Dwarf and Bishop's Farewell) we were treated to Citra and Warspite. Oakham's Citra is one of the beers of the year (in our humble opinion). It is possible that, hops allowing, it will become a permanent brew.

We now had an extra hour, and following the advice of the landlord of the Coalheavers, detoured from our route back to the Brewery Tap to call in at the Ostrich Inn, down a side street off Westgate just before you reach the Wortley Almshouses (a very good Sam Smith's, but only Sam Smith's of course).

The Ostrich has a half cafe bar/half traditional feel (a little like the New Oxford in Salford), 4 hand pumps dispense beer from local breweries, we chose Tydd Steam Barn Ale and Newby Wyke Kingston Topaz and sat down next to a montage of old photographs of (closed) Peterborough Pubs, one of which was the Ostrich, except it was called Bogards and closed in 2008. Bogards was a beer guide regular until 2007 and is now reopened under the original name, a welcome return, as we think Peterborough needed a smaller bar in the centre of the city.

Finally it was off to the Brewery Tap, 12 hand pumps, always include the 4 regular Oakham Beers, and on this occasion 3 specials, Citra, Akhenaten and 3 Witches (Halloween again!). Not a pub that is to everyone's liking (it IS huge), but handy for the station and our train back to Yorkshire. We finished with some classic JHB and it was time to go.

A great day out, and not a bad beer in sight, next time we change trains in Peterborough, we have the pubs we missed to catch up with and some recommended to us in nearby Stamford.
Just one thing though - why are the beers 20p a pint more in the Tap than in Charters????

This weekend's festivals

As mentioned earlier, there are a couple of festivals locally this weekend. The one at Marsden Mechanics Hall runs from 7.30 pm on Friday, then all day Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to the 'Bloke from Hull' we have now seen a beer list for the event.

It has a fair selection of beers from breweries near and far, its not often we see a beer from Orkney round these parts, nor Nelson, nor Evan Evans, but they are all represented, along with plenty from the local area and Lancashire, who provide a selection from Leyden, Fuzzy Duck and Bank Top. South Yorkshire have entrants from Brew Co, Abbeydale, Bradfield and Wentworth. Bridestones, Empire, Wharfebank and Golcar come from closer to home. Mallinsons have also sent a couple of specials there, so there is plenty of variety to go at, and looking at the beer lists, styles to suit every palette. Why not give it go.

Another festival this weekend that I had somehow managed to overlook, runs all day Friday to Sunday at The New Charnwood in Heckmondwike and is in aid of 'The Help for Heroes'. Again our East Yorkshireman has got hold of a beer list, and this again offers a good selection of beers and ciders, many with a military connection. There is even 'Bombardier' if someone can let Malcolm know !! Most of the beers here are old favourites rather than new or specials but none the worse for that and are sourced from all parts of the country.

So if the weather is going to be as bad as the weathermen promise, why not get yourself to a festival and sample a few of the beers on offer.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Couple of Colne Valley Festivals

It seems that should you want a festival in November, then the Colne Valley is the place to head for. This coming weekend, Marsden Mechanics hosts the Marsden Beer festival. Running from Friday night, (at 7.30pm) through Saturday and Sunday. It promises in excess of 16 real ales.

The following weekend sees the Moonraker festival at Slaithwaite. This is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Slaithwaite Conservative club, and if previous experience there is anything to go by, is well worth a call. Around 30 beers, all on handpull, and comprising a decent mixture of beers from local and distant breweries.

Will update further details later.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Beer of the day, 6th November

Those of us fortunate to be in the Star, in Huddersfield last evening, were treated to another new beer from the Pictish stable. Sadly, those who were watching the blue and white Brazil start their Fa Cup campaign, or those watching bonfires and fireworks may be too late to sample it. It was going quickly.

The beer is the latest in the brewery's single hopped range, at 4.2% and called 'Southern Cross'. I must admit, since seeing the clip on the taunting pole it was a beer I was wanting to try, always being interested in the use and flavours of new hops. It was no disappointment.

A light, hoppy bitter, like most of the brewery's beers, it brought the best out in the hop. The background may have a hint of malt sweetness admittedly, but that did not detract from the hop flavour. It is a New Zealand hop, from the same stable as Riwaka, and brings a clean taste to the beer, with citrus and pine coming through the beer, and despite being a high alpha content, it does not give the astringency that others of a similar level sometimes do. It has a subtle resinous quality, and a delicate balance of flavours, and is very moreish. Very, very moreish !

If you miss it at the Star, I think there is some hiding in the cellar at the Rat, and no doubt, it will be available at other local outlets too. Just search it out and try it. Its another winner from Richard Sutton, who rarely fails in my opinion. No doubt, when other brewers find out about it, it will appear in their beers too, I certainly hope so. Its a fine addition to the hops from the Southern hemisphere.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

More Awards for Ossett

Ossett Brewery walked away with a record FIVE awards at the largest ever Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) beer competition and festival last week. The competition, the largest ever for the SIBA Northern region, was held at the Palace Hotel, Manchester and saw over 400 beers entered into the daylong event in which 100 judges narrowed the winners down across 3 rounds.

Awards included the overall best bottled beer for Treacle Stout, which actually has black treacle as one of the ingredients, and Gold for their new bottled Yorkshire Blonde Premium.

Paul Spencer, Head Brewer, said: “We were delighted with the amount of wins, especially the success of our Bottled Beers, Treacle Stout and Yorkshire Blonde Premium. We only started brewing Yorkshire Blonde Premium, a stronger version of our permanently available Yorkshire Blonde, in August this year so to have such a prestigious win so early on is fantastic.’

The overall winners of each category will enter through to the SIBA national finals to be held early next year.

Mike Inman, Co-Director of Ossett Brewery, said: “To have Treacle Stout going through to the national finals as best bottled beer is testament to the quality of our beers and the overall amount of wins we had on the day is real recognition of all our hard work.”

It’s not the first time Ossett Brewery’s beers have gone through to the national finals. In 2001 their famous Silver King won National Speciality Beer and more recently Excelsior, their strongest beer at 5.2% ABV, won the prestigious National Supreme Champion (2003) and Stong Ale Champion (2006).

Stouts and Porters – Treacle Stout (Gold) Milds – Fernandes Malt-Shovel Mild (Silver)
Gold Beers – Yorkshire Blonde Premium (Gold) Strong Bitters – Excelsior (Silver)
Overall Best Bottled Beer – Treacle Stout (Gold)

Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA): Northern Region Competition 2010
SIBA North - Largest SIBA region in terms of amount of brewers
282 cask beers were judged, 8 Cask categories
120 Bottled Beers judged, 5 Bottled Beer categories
3 rounds then overall judge off.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Mallinsons get more awards

The results of the beer of the festival for the Huddersfield Oktoberfest have just been released and Tara and Elaine have managed to add a couple more awards to their growing list of achievements, and show what strides they have made as a brewery in a very short time.

They won the award for the Best Strong Ale with 'Castle Hill Premium' and also the Charlie Award for the best new beer, with, ironically, 'Cheers Charlie' a fitting tribute to the man himself.
They also went on to scoop the Beer Of The Festival with their 'Castle Hill'. Well done from all at a 'Swift One'.

The other awards went to Leeds Brewery, 'Midnight Bell' was voted the best mild; Ossett took the best Stout with their 'Treacle Stout' and Fernandes took the best speciality beer with 'Rum For Cover'.

Congratulations to all the breweries on their achievements, there was plenty of stiff competition for the awards.

Beer of the day, 31st October

This is a first for 'A Swift One', todays beer of the day comes from The Cherry Tree. This is Huddersfield Wetherspoons for those that do not know it. Not the most historic or pretty pub in their chain, to call it functional would be about the best I could manage but it does keep its beer in good nick, and is often busy and consequently there is a fair turn over of beers to keep us on our toes, especially during their festival times. Like now.

There were a fair few new beers on the bar when I called in but there was one that was outstanding. I have always been a fan of Adnams beers, and was pleased to find a new addition to their range on the 'Spoons festival list. As with all the festival beers, the problem was when or if I would find it. Luckily it was on on my second visit. What's it like ?

'Ghost Ship' was light, very light in fact, and packed with fresh citrus hop flavours, which comes from the use of chinook, columbus, and the new hop on the block, citra. They combine together to give a wonderful balance and a clean drinking pint which is wonderfully refreshing. The sort of beer for a warm summer's day, shame it was a damp and miserable Halloween, but it did brighten it up considerably. And at £1.85 a pint I could not complain about the price either.

I may have to check it out again, it was so good. All we can hope is that it becomes part of their regular portfolio, not just a one off for this festival.