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23-06-2014, 20:30
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The Tour de France has thrown a spanner in my beer radar.
I normally associate the first weekend in July with Monkeyfest andthe start of outdoor beer festival season in Huddersfield.
But a week on Sunday Chris Froome & co will be zooming along Woodhead Road, making access to Armitage Bridge a trifle difficult.
So this year's beer event starts at noon on Saturday, June 28 and continues into Sunday.
The format for Monkeyfest 8 is a tried and tested one. A well spent £2 gives you access to 60 beers, food and music spread over two days.
The club and The Bloke from Hull have kindly given us a preview of the beer list.
As you would expect there are a fair few cycling themed beers. French hopped Marie Jeune, 4.5%, from Ilkley features, as does with a collaboration from Saltaire and Dark Star called Le' IPA. It's a 5.6% apricot coloured malty ale.
There is also Acorn's Sur Votre Velo, a 4.5% "modern styled well hopped straw coloured beer brewed with Halcyon and Vienna malts to give subtle flavours".
Bradfield and Wold Top both have Tour beers on while Empire have one called On Thi' Bike Pierre and Mallinsons have another called On Yer Bike.
The latter is a 3.9% pale beer made with aramis. Mallinsons have used this French hop with great distinction in the past, so I think I'll be starting with that one, especially with the brewery being just down the road and also on the Le Tour route.
But I've also got my eye on Mally's Old Leeds Road special, which I take is a nod to Huddersfield Town's old ground and the football beer they brewed for last year's festival.
Away from our home patch I note two beers from North Riding, of Scarborough. Brewer Stuart Neilson co-brewed the best beer I've had this year - on draught and in bottle - 300. So I'm looking forward to his Comet Extra, 4.8%, and Summer Ale, 3.8%, at Armitage Bridge.
The former has cryptic tasting notes of "no idea what this beer is like but I expect it to be good. Comes from Scarborough".
Also of note are five from Bootleg Brewery - a micro outfit in Chorlton in Manchester - and Conwy Yakima Grande Pale 5%, which I think Tim wrote about on here a few weeks back.
So if you see any countdown clocks to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, just lop a week off and join a peleton of beer drinkers arrowing down Armitage Bridge this weekend.

Getting there:
The Monkey Club on Dean Brook Road is well served by public transport.
By train it is just two stops out of Huddersfield on the Penistone Line. Alight at Berry Brow station and walk downhill towards Woodhead Road. Cross over and head down Stockwell Hill. Go over the river and follow Armitage Road until a ginnel on the right leads you through allotments straight to the club.
There are also a number of buses that skirt both sides of the venue. Either take the 324 Meltham Service and get off near the junction with Armitage Road.
Or take the Hepworth or Holme buses (310/314) to Berry Brow and get off near the Laxmi restaurant and Berry Brow Liberal Club and then head down Stockwell Hill as described above.

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