Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dark Star does it again

Regular readers of 'A Swift One' will know that the editors, or at least of them, has a soft spot for beers from the Dark Star brewery. Consistently good, consistently well crafted and always interesting, it is the first beer I try if I see a new one on the bar. And in Huddersfield we are lucky that we have some pubs that have a regular supply to keep us happy.

Their excellent 'Hophead' is usually available at The Kings Head, it is so good there that Philip Charlesworth, the 97 year old stalwart of CAMRA, travels down daily to get his two pint fix. The Grove has a rotating Dark Star pump, no I mean the beer rotates, not the pump, so we are usually able to sample their specials here. Occasionally other pubs dip their toe in the water too, and this weekend we have been treated to one of my beers of the year at The Star.

'Kiwi' is their September special. It is brewed with three New Zealand hops, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Riwaka, which are all added at different stages in the brewing process and finally, after fermentation, the beer is left to rest over Kiwi fruit to complete the process. Sounds good. But it tastes even better. The hop blend is superb with none predominating but all adding to a fresh fruity flavour in a light coloured masterpiece. Admittedly I could not recognise the Kiwi fruit, but that hardly matters. It was very easy drinking at 4% and another classic from the Sussex brewers.

Totally different was their August offering. This time a Belgian inspired beer, using Belgian yeast, Saaz and Hallertau and Styrian Goldings hops. Again a light coloured beer, but this time 5.8% 'Ardennes' uses wheat and pale ale malt to fashion another wonderful beer. Another I could not get enough of, it was one of the best takes on a Belgian beer brewed over here I have drunk, so they must have done something right.

I can hardly wait to see what specials the rest of the year brings.  

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