the Star Inn at Folly Hall in Huddersfield has been making waves for some time now - numerous mentions on blogs and its inclusion in the GBG brought it my attention and yesterday I got to go there for the first time. En route I was meeting Ale Ambler (hereinafter referred to as "the AA") from the A Swift One blog to show me a couple of Hudds-pubs and to hopefully introduce me to some of the Huddersfield glitterati. I smiled when I wrote that...
I started at the Sheffield Tap as I had 18 whole minutes spare for a beer - this turned out to be only a half since it took 6 minutes to get served, as me and the gentleman next to me were stood at the end nearest the entrance, which apparently makes us invisible. It was busy though. Harviestoun Schiehallion was sampled, in decent nick but probably a smidgen too warm.
Next followed the train journey that time forgot, the ball aching trundle from Sheffield to Huddersfield. A direct contribution to the paucity of my visits to Huddersfield, but at least it deposited me at a station which crucially features the Kings Head. Inside it smelled strongly of stale beer (grim) but there was nothing stale or grim about the range on offer - despite the plethora of unknown brews I went for a pint of Magic Rock Curious because its always good in the Kings Head.
Stood outside in the sun I soon met up with the AA and we headed for the Hand Drawn Monkey beer shop - or more accurately pub. On the bar were 3 real ales on cask and a selection of Keykegs. The AA had half a Summer Wine Pacer pale on KK and me a half of 6.5% Bombay IPA on cask. A rather strange slightly, erm, curry-ish concoction, but nice nonetheless.
We finally arrived at the Star just gone 6 and decided to forgo the beers in the pub to get some tickets in the marquee. Having got a glass and some tokens (the tokens are £1.40 each, all beers are the same price, but the glass is non refundable) we rolled up at the bar in the marque to survey the rather impressive beer list. I started with a half of Mallinsons Folly Girl, since I like Mallinsons. Not perhaps their best ever beer but a good place to start.
I followed this with a Popes Hop Market, a very unusual lemon and herby pale ale which worked very well but probably wouldn't tempt you to a whole pint. We did eventually get to sit down (high scores for festivals with plenty of seating) and having caught up with fellow Swift One scribe Will and bumped into Unpro and the blokes from Wakefield (*tip - you don't think they live in Wakefield...) we had a another few beers and started to think about ordering food.
We headed inside to what was now a slightly cooler pub, since it was quieter, mainly driven in by some sprog whose mewling it's deaf parents found incredibly amusing. Well done. Inside things improved with the arrival of very good value food (pastie and beans is £3.50 and the pastie is huge) and we also had halves of the Alechemy Cairnpapple IPA.
The other beers tried were :
XT XT pi mild
Great Heck Mosaic
North Riding Aussie Punch
Yorkshire Dales Feizor
Loch Ness Light Ness
The Mosaic and Loch Ness were probably the stand out beers (the Mosaic kindly enabling me to recognise its distinctive taste in other ales) and the Loch Ness was impressively dry and bitter for a sub 4% pale ale. All in all this was a great first festival visit for me and one I'd like to do again.
Not done however, we set off walking to Lockwood. We popped in the Salford Bowling Club, who despite our not being members were happy for us to sign in for a quick half. There were two real ales on, Salamander and Durham Evensong. I had the latter, which was an interesting version but not too bad, but the AA's Salamander got progressively worse as he got down the glass.
Before getting the train we just had time for a Pint of Mallinsons in the Shoulder of Mutton, an interesting Regional Inventory listed old stone pub at the top of a cobbled courtyard, selling three real ales. A great way to round off a great day out. Thanks to the AA for getting me to and from the salient points, and to Sam at the Star, and her staff, for putting on a great festival..
*...but they do...