Readers of 'A Swift One' will be aware that one of the festivals that is on my 'must visit' list is the Navigation at Mirfield. Yesterday saw the start of this years Spring festival, and true to form, I visited !
The festivals have recently been in the form of a selection of breweries from a certain area, giving us punters chance to sample a range of beers rarely seen in our part of the world. This selection was hand picked by Kevin himself from London. And he has done a pretty decent job of it too.
He provided beers from East London Brewery, Truemans, Five Points, Howling Hops, Redemption, Signature Brew, and a new brewery to me - 3 Sods from Bethnal Green. There were several beers from each brewery covering all their brewing spectrum, all on hand pull and all cellar cooled. And with thirds available there was no excuse for not trying a few.
I started my trip up and down the pumps with a visit to the light and hoppy side. Signature Brew 'Pale' was the first up - Cascade and Chinook hops brought plenty of hop taste here; Chinook was also to the fore with 3 Sods 'Session IPA' this time combined with Ahtahnum hops which gave a more complex taste (and it was slightly stronger); Trumans 'Zephyr' was another hop monster, this time with Australian hops to the fore. I could happily have stayed on these three all day but research beckoned.
My next selection were again light and hoppy. Trumans 'Swift' was light and refreshing with a background of Saaz hops, their 'Lazarus' was stronger and showcased US hops, and Howling Hops 5.1% New Zealand Pale was generously hopped with Nelson and Motueka. By this time I was in serious danger of overlooking some of the darker beers on offer.
I corrected this with Howling Hops 'American Brown' - it did what it said on the tin but it was not my favourite style, better was the Signature Brew 'Black vinyl Stout', which was a good example of an Irish Stout, and East London 'Nightwatchman' was strong darker bitter, with a pleasant malty background.
By this time the plan had fallen in to disrepair and I was mixing and matching through the list. I enjoyed the single hopped Redemption 'Rock the Kasbek' with hops from the Czech republic, and the East London 'Quadrant' - an oatmeal stout.
The festival runs through the weekend, admission if free and beers are £3 a pint - a bargain since Kev says he was paying around £4.50 a pint in the capital for them. The pub is just off the railway station at Mirfield. So there is no excuse not to call down and sample a few.
Thanks are again due to Kevin for his sourcing of the beers, and Derek for his bartending skills and fount of knowledge. Another success and I shall endeavour to return.