Saturday, June 30, 2012

The First of many festivals

As Alain mentioned in the previous post, the festival season is here and they are coming thick and fast. The first one I sampled was the Navigation at Mirfield. Always a favourite of mine this one seemed one not to miss with its theme of South Western beers.

It opens at 11.30 am, which is handy for a train from Huddersfield, 8 minutes away. So before noon I was into sampling mode. And there was certainly plenty to sample, with many rarities on the bar, along with some old favourites from that part of the world. All the beer was £1.30 a half, with around 30 beers available on the makeshift bar all on handpull.

I started my sampling with a couple of beers from the Penpont brewery, one I have only come across once before. Both light coloured,  'Cornish Gold' and 'Cornish Arvor' were a good introduction to the beers from the area. Neither massively hoppy but very pleasant beers. I decided to stick with the light theme, and tried Dartmoor 'Friggin', which again was a well rounded beer with plenty of taste, and ST Austell l 'Trelawny', which at 3.8%, was a slightly more amber session beer, but managed to pack loads of fruit flavours into it to make a really good session beer.

Another rare brewery was Hunters from Ipplepen, and their ' Pheasant Plucker' was another amber offering, that did not quite hit the spot, but my next beer did. Blindman's 'Russian Roulette' was 4.5%, a tad lighter, and well balanced. Cotleigh are another brewery I particularly enjoy, and 'Owlzatt' was the first beer that really had a pronounced hoppy taste, with plenty of citrus notes in the flavour. Next up was another Dartmoor beer, coming highly recommended by the barman and the only dark beer I tried. 'Dragons Breath', was 4.4% and had a lot going on with a hint of smokiness that did not detract from its subtler tastes. However I saved the star of the show for my final beer. Blue Anchor brewery beers at Helston rarely travel outside the pub so to have 'Spingo' on the bar was a real coup, and a excellent beer it was. It drank its 5% strength and once I had overcome the unusual taste I warmed to the beer and it became decidedly moreish, so much so I eshewed another tick for a second half.

Sadly it was time to leave, but there were plenty of others to take up the mantle, the pub being full on my departure, and the pumps were constantly in use. If you want to take a look, it will be well worth the trip, especially since most of the beers available  are not often seen in the north. The festival going on till Sunday. Thanks to Kevin and the team for another excellent festival and a great range of interesting beers.   

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