Saturday, December 07, 2013

Festival of Light (Ales)

The Festival of Light 2013 on the station precinct

Get yourself down to Byram Street in Huddersfield if you want to see a 'light' show. I saw pale ales, a cider and a mild. 
To be precise, Mallinsons Kohatu, Alias and Emley Moor Mild, which were all at the mobile version of The Star.
They also had a shiny new HDM beer on. But I stopped by for a cider blended especially by local producer 'Udders Orchard for the on the road Folly Hall pub. 
It was called Solstice Belle, a 4.5% medium cider. Now, I am (not) a cider drinker, I (don't) drink it all of the time, but this was spot on. 
If you cast your eye along the pop-up market on Byram Street you will also see stalls by The Monkey Club, of Armitage Bridge, and Bosun's, of Horbury Bridge. 
Having sampled the alfresco wares, I decided to head indoors and to set right, a frankly criminal, wrong: I hadn't been in The Grove for ages. It's a popular venue with the fellow members of this blog but for some unbeknown reason I hadn't been in for a while - more fool me.
Burning Sky at The Grove
I'd had a look on @TheGroveHudds on twitter to familiarise myself with the beer list but I wasn't quite sure what to go for, such was the choice.
But help was on hand in the form of an informed bartender who asked me which style of beer I was after.
Confusingly, I said light and dark but the barkeeper was unfazed.
I was told about Plateau by Burning Sky, brewed by ex Dark Star Brewer Mark Tranter. A 3.5% pale beer packed with NZ and US hops, which drank way above its strength. Nice.
Next was a beer I'd had my eye on, having heard about it in a beer talk last month: Magic Rock's Chipotle Punchline 5.4%.
I was told in The Grove it was a chocolate porter laced with chilli, and the more you got down the glass the more you got the chilli.
That turned out to be true as I left Spring Grove Street with a chilli kick on my palate, eyeing The Black Jack beers I had to leave behind as I was short of time and The Star - the bricks and mortar version down Albert Street - beckoned. 
The Star, Folly Hall
Here, I particularly enjoyed Oakham's JHB, a supreme champion beer of Britain in 2001 and winner of a stack of bitter prizes over the last 13 years.
It just goes to show, whether you are drinking indoors or out, you can't go wrong in ale-rich Huddersfield.
Harold Wilson and others enjoy the light show
The Festival of Light continues today and tomorrow (Sunday, December 8). 

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