An orderly queue of real ale diehards will snake along a Lockwood street this week to get first dibs at The Star Inn’s beer festival. The like clockwork procession of ‘beer tickers’ will form on Albert Street shortly before 5pm on Wednesday, March 18.
This is one of the premier local pub beer festivals – I may go even further and suggest it is one of the best in the country. The distance some people regularly travel to sample its wares seems to reinforce that.
So what makes it so good? Well, initially the beer range and the method of dispense. Despite the pub looking fairly small from the outside, there is a marquee at the rear which houses 46 hand pumps which all dispense cellar cooled beer in excellent condition. The beers are sourced from far and wide, and most are unusual in some way. There are one-off festival specials, others are rare to the area and some are from new breweries. All are interesting.
The Star has been owned by landlady Sam Watt since 2001. The pub has been producing beer festivals throughout that time, and there are three a year. They are in spring, summer and winter, each with around 60 beers available through the weekend. The beers not available in the marquee are available through the weekend on the 10 handpumps on the pub bar.
Entry to the pub is free, but there is a nominal £2 fee to enter the festival itself, which entitles you to a festival glass. These are collectors’ items, with some enthusiasts having a complete set from every festival. Some of the festivals have themed events too – a Thursday night bake off is not unusual, and there are often musical acts at the weekend.
The festival runs from 5pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and all day from noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If you have never visited a beer festival before, why not call down and take a look at one of the best. We are sure you will not be disappointed.
The Star Inn's spring beer festival runs from Wednesday, March 18 to Sunday, March 22.