Last night saw the doors open on the Star Summer Beer Festival. This festival has reverted to the tried and trusted marquee system, with 35 beers available outside. all handpulled and cellar cooled.
For the first nights sampling I concentrated on breweries new to me, and light hoppy beers. There are plenty of each to sample, and the ones I tried were good. Local breweries are also well represented should these whet your appetite.
The first problem was what to start with. Well my usual system at the festival is to take the Mallinsons specials first, so I started there. I prefered 'It Takes Two' the slightly stronger one at 4.3%. Plenty of taste there. I followed this with Briggs 'Quinthop' - dry hopped with give different hops. Continuing the local theme Beer Ink 'Pin Up Pale with Citra' was next, and again it did what it said on the tin.
A quick deviation into the new breweries brought forth light beers from Dark Wave, Mumbles, Chin Chin, and Tarn 51, and all were pretty decent beers, but as I was in ticking mode I was overhearing good things about a couple of the beers that I had intended to save for later in the festival.
Arbor 'Shangri La' was 4.2% and well hopped up to their usual standards, but the real favourite was Left Handed Giant 'Pale' - it sounded a bit boring but a quick scan of the pump clip revealed it was brewed with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe, an absolute classic.
Time was beginning to catch up with me now and there were a couple of interesting fruit beers I wanted to sample. Beer Ink 'Pin Up Pale with mint and kiwi fruit' was very minty and I struggled to detect the kiwi. Likewise, Downlands 'Papa Jr' promised passion fruit, but maybe I got a hint, but not much.
The festival is open all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with music from 'Trouble at t'Mill' on Friday night and Razorbach on Saturday night. There is still plenty of beer left, call down and sample it.