After a quick whizz round the beer stalls at the Huddersfield Food Festival it was off on the 229 to Roberttown for opening time at the inaugural beer festival at the New Inn, which was recently crowned as Heavy Woollen CAMRA pub of the year.
Several beer nuts were there to sample the unusual beer delights on offer but I was first yet again! Around 35 beers were available from the specially assembled temporary bar in the function room. As the others took their seats in the bar area I was straight in at the deep end with the champion beer at Dewsbury CAMRA festival – the New Inn brewery's very own Bombay Bob.
I had tried it before twice at that festival, once when the brewer Joe himself gave me glass and said “here, try this” and once later on when the festival was in full swing. Bombay Bob is an unusual powerful six percenter containing Indian spices and herbs together with citrus hops, resulting in a refreshing summer drink with more than a hint of ginger, spices and citrus fruits. Not to be missed.
This was followed by some very interesting beers from breweries around the country, many of which were new to me. From the north, came Mosaic from Bear Claw in Berwick – a single hopped tropical IPA (another to maintain one’s strength at 6%). From the south, Plympton’s Ruin from Garage and Small Paul’s Gillingham Pale Ale were tried. Welsh beers sampled were the hoppy Llangolen bitter and two contrasting beers from the vegan Neath Ales brewery, Marvellous Medicine and Jack Knife. Not to be outgunned by these natural contributions, Yorkshire was also represented in the vegan stakes by Bad Kitty, a sumptuous vanilla porter from Brass Castle.
For those who had never tried them, there were nine Bob noted beers on offer, all hand crafted by Joe in his half barrel plant in the cellar. It was just a pity that we did not have the time or capacity to try them all, not even in halves!
On the organization front, everything had been really well thought out by the festival team and it was most pleasing to have an experienced team of familiar faces behind the bar. This was all under the supervision of Bombay Bob who was watching at all times from his spot nearby and always ready to lend a hand or two!