Saturday, May 17, 2014

Halifax - it's festival time!

Just as you're waiting for a festival close to home, three come along at once. That is the story this weekend in Halifax, where  CAMRA's beer festival is taking place at The Square Chapel, alongside pub festivals at the nearby Three Pigeons and Dirty Dicks.

My problem was whether to sample a small part of each or concentrate on one specifically. Fortunately some kind person gave me access to the respective beer lists, so I chose the latter option. This is what I found on my trip to the Three Pigeons.

The Pigeons has been refurbished since my last visit (a fact covered in a previous post by Will), and has certainly benefited from its sprucing up. It feels fresh and a pleasant place to while away a few hours whilst sampling some interesting beers, in good company.


I was a little surprised to find the queue at opening time comprised of one person. Me!! But nevertheless I was not put off, and went in search of new beer and new breweries. Here I must acknowledge the problem with the festival, it promised 30 beers on the list, but in total only half were available at the outset, others appearing on the bar as the first wave ran off. Unfortunately, a couple of new breweries for me were on the 'to come' list.


I did espy one brewery I was desperate to sample, Tavernale from Newcastle, (a brew pub whose beers rarely leave the pub and who were not brewing during my north east jolly last year). So armed with a half of their 'Weekend Warrior' - a golden bitter, single hopped and very acceptable - I wandered a checked the rest of the beers available.

I was soon in company of a couple more like minded individuals and sampling more of the beers on offer. The festival, unusually for a pub festival, sold beer in thirds with three at the price of a pint, which at £2.60 across the board was exceptional value. Titan 'Gold' was next up - very similar to the Tavernale beer, then Stancil 'Barnsley Bitter' - an excellent recreation of the beer. I followed these with a couple of lighter, session beers; Totally Brewed 'Slap In The Face' and Thirstin 'Fruity Mick'. Both very acceptable quaffing beers and ones I would have been happy to stay on all afternoon, but there were further beers to sample.

Next up was probably my beer of the festival, and strangely for those who know my likes in beer, it was Harrogate 'No5 Porter'. Rich and full of flavour, it was an excellent example of the style. It was so good I had a second half. However time was pressing and I wanted to sample a couple of breweries that were common during my North East stays. Alechemy's 'Dr Rudi Burst' was one of their single hopped range and was hoppy but seemed to be missing something, not so the Anarchy 'Urban Assault', an IPA that did not skimp on hops or flavour, and sadly my swan song.


There are plenty of beers to follow, so a further trip may be in order next week to see what's left. But if you are in Halifax this weekend, and don't fancy paying the price or the hassle of the CAMRA festival, then this is the place for you. Give it a go.

My apologies if this seems a little rushed, needed to complete it before the battery life on my laptop died and my laptop with it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Denis Denis - je suis si folle de toi