By The Bloke from Hull
The 12th Pendle Beer Festival recently took place at the Muni in Colne, the town probably best known as the birthplace of Wallace Hartley, the bandleader on the ill-fated Titanic (Harry Chapin fans please note!).
Run by the East Lancs branch of CAMRA, this year’s theme was the 200th anniversary of the building of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and around half of the beers featured were from breweries along its length. However, of particular interest to us “woodentops” were the six beers in wooden casks, two each from Worsthorne and Fighting Cocks (both Lancashire) and Elland (God’s own county - Yorkshire).
From Worsthorne, Old Trout was a 3.7% ABV smooth full flavoured red-brown ale and certainly very drinkable, whilst the Chestnut Mare at 4.0% ABV was lightly bittered and malty and lived up to its name in colour.
Fighting Cocks is the latest brewery to open in East Lancashire. Situated behind the Italian Restaurant at the pub near Cliviger it is the brainchild of Carmelo Pillitteri who has been experimenting for a few years before “going for it”. At 3.9% ABV the Blighty was a lovely refreshing golden blonde ale. The Spaghetti Stout (5.9% ABV) was brewed with said water from the restaurant! And very nice too.
From Elland brewery was the single hopped golden session beer called Chinook at 3.9% ABV. It is the newest addition to their core range and is already a firm favourite amongst regular customers especially those at the “home of beers from the wood” – The Junction at Castleford.
Saving the best until last and quite rightly as the strongest -1872 Porter, a 6.5% ABV beer which really needs no introduction. Arguably the most decorated beer in recent British brewing history. A rich, complex, dark ruby porter from an 1872 recipe. Supreme Champion Beer of Britain and three times National Winter Ales Champion. Wowee!
All six beers were on top form and East Lancs CAMRA are to be congratulated on sourcing them. The word spreads and the revolution continues!