Thursday, October 10, 2013

The winners from Huddersfield Oktoberfest: Mallinsons crowned champ

The results are in from last week's Huddersfield Oktoberfest 2013.
Mallinsons won the "Charlie Award" for overall beer of the festival for Nelson Sauvin, which also won the bitters category. Congratulations to everyone down at the brewery in Lockwood.
There were joint winners in the mild section with Moonraker Mild from Empire, of Slaithwaite, sharing the award with Sussex Mild from Harvey's.
Rat Brewery's Rat Against The Machine saw off stiff competition in the strong bitter class to pip HDM/Bexar's Whisky Aged Monster and Squawk's IPA.
Competition was close too in the stout/porter class with the champion beer of Britain, Elland 1872 Porter, just edging out Magic Rock's Dark Arts.
Speciality beer went to Bird Brain's Silly Old Coot, which was ahead of Bob Meister from the New Inn Brewery at Roberttown.
Meanwhile Udders Orchard took out the cider and perry competition with its Whisky Cask Cider, nudging out Pure North's Fusion Cider by a couple of points.
Well done to all the winners and everyone who entered.
For what it's worth I was a little off the pace with my voting.
I backed HDM IPA for the best in fest and Magic Rock's Dark Arts in the stout/porter  class, which both came second.
I was also partial to HDM Pale and Mallinsons Summit in the Water in the closely contested bitter section.
As you can see I had a fairly 'drink local' night last Friday. I guess it reflected the vast number of LocAle breweries on offer at Oktoberfest and the boom in micros in the area.
Huddersfield had a bit of a stranglehold on the hand pumps, which is what you would expect from a locally organised festival.  But there were some strangers on the wickets too. I tried Tickety Brew's Pale, which improved with each sip. I was out drinking with Malcolm Bastow, from Five Towns Brewery in Wakefield,  and he tried it to, giving it a thumbs up as a balanced beer.
All of the Five Towns beers were on gravity, so I went for Gale Force and Five Years Special, which I hadn't had before. 
Both were good but as someone who likes a bit of fizz in his beer, I wondered what they would be like through a sparkler.
However I think it has got me over my reluctance at trying on-gravity beers, after a few bad experiences elsewhere.
I told Huddersfield CAMRA's Bob Tomlinson how much I enjoyed the festival and the food. I know there were one or two unfavourable comments about the food and the prices, but taste-wise I had no complaints and it was probably the best food I've had yet at a CAMRA festival.
I hadn't been to a CAMRA festival for a while - nearly a year - as I'd been concentrating on pub festivals. But I think this event has put me back in the big festival fold.
Many thanks to the organisers and staff for their excellent efforts last weekend.

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