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 !!