Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Star Inn Spring Festival - Part One


The long awaited day had finally arrived and the eager crowd were champing at the bit. The clock ticked round and the door opened. The wait was over. The Star Inn Spring festival was open for business. That is unless lots of people had come to celebrate Folly's 10th birthday!

It did not take the usual suspects long to get organised; glass, programme, seat, and beer. (£2 entry gets the first two, £1.40 a half gets the last), and soon the serious matter of tasting started. The only question was where to start. As usual 46 beers were available, sourced from far and wide. New and old, dark and light, strong and weak, in fact, beer to suit every taste.

Mallinsons appeared to be most people's starting point. 'Overindulgence' was what it said, 3.7% 'Indulgence' dry hopped to give it even more hop character, and would be a hard act to follow. Their 'This is Pump 44' was equally good though, again with plenty for the hop lover. Despite the temptation to stay on these all night, there were 44 other beers deserving of tasting. Ripple Steam 'Best' was a good, traditional style Kentish beer from a brewery new to me. Pictish 'Starlet' was 4.3% and interesting, with subtle rather than aggresive hopping. Can you seen a theme developing here, get every beer that sounds hoppy.

Actually that was not the case, it just happened that the first few I had were light rather than dark. However, next I chose Scarborough 'Stout' . An excellent example of the style, with just the right amount of bitterness and roast from another brewery new to me. 'Norton Priory' Ale was pointed out to me by someone in the know, a real coup, the only beer the brewery brews and not easy to find. But sadly, not quite to my taste.

I sampled a few more beers without anything really grabbing me, good beers nonetheless. North Riding 'CRIPIPA' reversed that trend, I have enjoyed their beers before and this was no exception. Light and hoppy with the flavour of Galaxy hops coming through. I was down to my last ticket and there was only one beer to finish off with. Another of my favourite breweries and a spin on one of my favourite beers. Five Towns 'Peculiar Rhubarb and Ginger' seemed to tick all the boxes. 6%, full of taste, with a subtle hint of rhubarb and ginger coming through in the aftertaste. Another Bastow classic!

Another four days of hard tasting lays ahead of me with plenty of good looking beers to try. Hopefully I will see you there. You know it makes sense !    

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