Well, I have teed up Pendle Beer Festival. Now is the time to recommend a few of the excellent ales that will be available over the three-day period.
It turned out to be a proper “head-scratching” job. There are so many on the list worthy of a mention.
I decided to name a tasty 10.
The ales vary in strength and styles – and I made sure there was plenty of East Lancashire flavour, in my final selections.
Elland Brewery 1872 Porter: Champion Beer of Britain. Rich, robust and complex. Big on roast coffee and dark, bitter chocolate flavours. 6.5% – not to be slurped!
Thwaites Old Dan: Classic Old Ale – not to be missed. Fruit cake in a glass. Rich, dark fruit flavours, with a hint of spice. A warming, mild bitter finish.6.5%
Worsthorne Brewery, Colliers Clog: Plenty of clog in the taste, at 5.5%. Refreshing, fruity and crisp. Lightly hopped. A cracking pale ale.
Irwell Works, Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Strong,refreshing and flavoursome IPA at 5.5%. Citrus aroma. Grapefruit in charge throughout. Well hopped quaff.
Hopstar, Chilli Beer: A fine speciality slurp at 3.8%. Fruity,refreshing ale. Bags of hops – and a chilli tingle – that appears to get stronger and stronger in the aftertaste. Not to be missed.
Marble Ginger 5.1: Another speciality ale. A fiery, ginger flavoured delight. This will go quickly. Ever popular, full-bodied tipple.
Ossett Brewery,Treacle Stout: I love a complex dark ale – and this 5% quaff is one. Rich, sweet and strong. Smooth tasting treacle and roast coffee flavours. The brewer packs in plenty of hops, to give it a dry, citrus aftertaste. One of the first I will be trying – it’s superb.
Prospect Brewery, Pickaxe: A quality, smooth tasting Porter at 5%. Another rich and robust dark ale. Chocolate all the way here. Subtle hopped finish - exceptional brew.
Saltaire, Cascadian Black: A superb black IPA at 4.8%. Complexity at its best. All the roasty flavour of a stout, and the dry bitter finish of a typical IPA – provided by the refreshingly flavoured, cascade hop.
Ramsbottom Craft, Mango Beash: One I will be hunting down – as I haven’t tried it before. It’s an American style, strong pale ale. 5.4% and its brewed with the Amarillo hop. So that should give it a zesty, citrus taste. Grapefruit is usually in charge. I think I will like it.
So, there you have it. One to try for every year the festival has been in existence. The ales come in third, half and full pint measures. If you are not sure of your selection, ask for a taster. The friendly volunteers will only be too happy to oblige.
See you at the festival. I will be wearing a flat cap – not a fedora.