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26-12-2015, 18:52
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Never let it be said that A Swift One doesn't give you value for money.
Disregarding the point that it is actually free anyway, I spent last weekend doing my bit for the pub industry.
'Mad Friday' saw me in Huddersfield among some very sensible souls - although I could have sworn I saw Santa in The Grove. And no I hadn't been drinking at that stage.
Here I sampled an excellent Mallinson's Summit Pale Ale (3.9%) and Atom's Half Life IPA (5.2%), which I found a bit too floral for my taste. Which is unusual as I normally rave about their beer.
Next port of call should have been The Rat but it was rammed so I diverted to The Star where I saw
Mallinson's Nelson Sauvin and some friendly faces I had not seen for a while.
I was a little bit preoccupied catching up with Star regulars to get a reliable note of all the beers but I remember beers from Five Town's and a dark beer near the strong pump which was excellent.
Mad Friday, for me, was an enjoyable experience but not too beery as I knew the second part of my beer odyssey was just around the corner.

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Jacob's Ale House. Picture: GBK

Last Saturday saw me saddle up with the Five Town's posse for a ride out to Jacob's Ale House in Bradford, which was staging a winter ales in the wood festival.
I'd never been there before but it's just across the road from the National Media Museum.
We took up residence in the snug, which has a cracking view of Bradford Town Hall clock.

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Bradford Town Hall

The bar tender informed us that only three beers were available in the wood: Oates Jonah (4.8 %), Abbeydale Black Mass (6.66%) and Five Town's Biere d'hiver (7%) but there was plenty on the bar (in wood, keg and cask) to go at.
I started with Welbeck's Kaiser (4.1%) a German hopped pale beer, which I quite liked but the group of ale experts I was with seemed to prefer the Glamorgan Welsh Pale.

I was drinking thirds so it wasn't long before I was trying the Malcolm's Belgian-style beer and The Oates. I always find it interesting drinking in the company of brewers, especially when they tell you what the ingredients are.
I think Malcolm was hoping the cherry flavour was more pronounced after having put five kilos in, but a chap sitting nearby, who knew much more about beer than me, said he could just get the cherry taste. A friendly conversation ensued about which stage of the brewing the cherries should go in for maximum effect, but being a poor chemistry pupil I headed back to the bar for more practical science.
This time saw me going for Great Heck's session bitter Navigator (3.9%) XT Four, a 3.8 % amber ale and Baildon's Raven (a 5.5% porter). I'm not a great fan of amber beers or bitters but I thought I'd take advantage of drinking thirds and would challenge myself. But I'm afraid my prejudices were confirmed on this occasion. It looks like I need to work on my appreciation of such beers.
The Baildon, however, was right up my street as was the Black Mass, which followed.
Other beers tried by our group included Titanic Stout and a clementine and coriander beer on keg from Bad Co Brewery. I only had a sip but I may have found a coriander beer that I like.
So ended a fine pub session, but not the end of our trip.
We headed back to Wakefield where we had pit stops in Harry's Bar and in Fernandes.
In Harry's I opted for a rye beer from Tiger Tops, which I particularly liked, while Malcolm and Gingerbeerking were impressed by Ilkley's Crossroads, a 5.4% West Coast IPA.
A swift pre-curry pint ensued in Fernandes where we supped a pale ale from Raw and a terrific Snake Mocha Stout from Ossett Brewery, 5%.
So ended a fine beer weekend in good company.

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