It seems I must have pre empted Huddersfield Camra when I wrote about beer festivals last weekend. This years Huddersfield beer festival was predominantely a local affair with 16 featured breweries coming from within Kirklees, and all bar four coming from Yorkshire. A decent selection nevertheless, especially if you were a traveller from a distance, with plenty of variety and plenty of different styles on offer.
Last night, at 6pm, the doors were opened at the Apna Venue, at Springwood and the crowds rushed in eager to sample the wares on offer. The beer was served from a mixture of hand pull and gravity, and at £1 for a third of a pint, was cheap enough to sample quite a selection of those available. It was just a question of what to try.
I adopted my tried and tested beer festival plan - get the new breweries first - so the first couple of beers were from Harrogate Brewery, and Jolly Sailor. Not a bad start but neither had a wow factor. Then it was a case of sourcing some different beers from fairly rare local breweries. So by using this system I overlooked Mallinsons, Hand Drawn Monkey, Rat, Magic Rock, and Summer Wine; all of which I sample regularly and find consistently good and have no fears that they would be equally as good at the festival.
Next up then was Barge 'Eastwood' , which I assume is named after their famed ex brewer, and a pleasant enough beer, I followed this with Thirstin 'Quencher' and Hamelsworde 'Jumping Pirate' - neither of which particularly impressed. I heard good things of Five Towns 'Guera' 'and for a 2.9% beer it was loaded with flavour, but because of the strength was a bit thin. Not so their 'Five Year Special' which was 7.0% and the best beer I sampled on the night. Full of subtle tastes and dangerously drinkable for a strong beer.
I tried Stod Fold 'Blonde' - the second beer I have tried from the Halifax brewery and both have impressed, and Milltown 'William Horsfall Blonde' which was quite acceptable too. Likewise Squawk 'IPA' cuckoo brewed at Hand Drawn Monkey.
There were still plenty of beers to try but no time to try them, and I had not tried any of the dark beers on offer, although the table's resident dark beer expert seemed happy enough with the selection he sampled.
The festival is open all day Friday and Saturday - and with the weather forecast looking a little dodgy it could be an excellent way of passing your weekend.