This weekend sees the summer festival at the Navigation at Mirfield, a place I usually try to fit into my years festivals list. It is a place that sources some interesting beers, and this one was no different with 30 odd beers sourced from Lincolnshire. This is a county dominated by a couple of larger breweries like Batemans and Newby Wyke, and the smaller breweries rarely make it across their border. Here was a chance to catch up with some of the less common ones.
The beers are all cellar cooled and served through handpulls and at £2.70 a pint for most of the list, was decent value for money. As usual, it was just a matter of where to start my adventure. Austendyke from Spadling were a new brewery for me and their 'Long Lane' was a traditional style bitter, good but it was what is said on the can. Likewise with 8 Sail 'Merry Miller', another traditional style beer - more malty than hoppy.
Sleaford 'Tropico' was a bit weird - it divided opinion on our table - dry and astringent to my taste; hoppy and pleasant to others. Then came Star 'Nebula' , 4.3% and very hoppy, my style of beer, and certainly the best beer so far. I was on a good run, as I followed this with 'Learning To Fly' from Tydd Steam which continued the hoppy theme.
There were four beers from Hopshackle brewery in Market Deeping, 'Zen' was a amber beer, tending towards the toffee malt rather than the hop, but not bad. 'Legacy' was 4.3% beer, which I found really pleasant and interesting - a blend of three English hops gave a flowery, herbal taste. Somewhat different to the other beers on offer.
Time was pressing and I wanted to try a couple of beers that looked interesting on the programme. Sleaford 'Hedgerow Gold' was a summer beer brewed with local honey and spices. Sounded a bit odd, and frankly the spices came through rather than the honey but it was a very quaffable beer. My swan song came from Hopshackle again. Their 'Black Mule' had been recommended by several people and the write up looked ok, a 'hybrid between an Imperial IPA and an Imperial porter'. Obviously dark but more like a black Ipa, but for a 7% dangerously drinkable, and very moreish, a good job it was time for my bus !!
Thanks must go to Derek and Kevin for another good festival, Just hope it all goes well, it deserves to,