Wednesday evening, is there a better place to be than the marquee at The Star? As readers will know well I have visited the odd one or two Star beer festivals in the past but this time Sam has managed to get a superb selection of beers for us thirsty punters to get to grips with. The set up is the tried and tested arrangement, 46 beers all sold through hand pulls and all cellar cooled, with the beer selection coming from all over the country with plenty of breweries new to the area, and plenty of varied beers to suit every palette.
As usual it was a problem to know where to start once I had sorted myself out with tokens and the essential pink printed glass, (not salmon I have been advised !). Well that is not strictly true, I always start with Mallinsons as I know they will be good and it gives me a little thinking space. Their 'Super Chinook' does what it says, a massive hit of American hops, and their 'Star Trinians' was worth it for the pump clip alone ! Take a look and see what I mean.
That was where things got a little difficult, there were so many new beers and new breweries for me that it was just a case of sticking a pin in the programme and taking a chance. Settle 'Light' was 3.4%, and an excellent quaffing beer for its strength, if maybe lacking a little body. Toolmaker 'Razamataz' came highly recommended, and I was not disappointed; pleasantly balanced, and another classic beer from Sheffield. Barley Bottom 'The Man from Dunkel' just did not do it for me, but I am not really a fan of the style, but one has to try. Likewise the XT '13', an American red ale, well crafted but not quite my thing. However Otley '07' was a superb wheat beer that I had difficulty avoiding a second try of, but the 5% strength made my mind up for me.
Elland 'New World' was another excellent beer from a consistent local brewery, again light and very drinkable, likewise with the single hopped Pictish 'Aurora'. But time was catching up with me, and it was time for my final beer of the night. Another of my favourite breweries and another recommendation, and if Sam says its good, who is to disagree? Five Towns 'Kirsch Stout' was as good as it gets, dark and rich and full of fruit flavour.
So, that is a brief snapshot of what is available, or more honestly, what I had. There is still plenty to go for, and plenty of time to do it, with the festival going on, Thursday evening, and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I will be there, hope you will be too.