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Dark Star's Six Hop is one of the best beers Iíve drunk so far this year, whether in the UK or California, from anywhere in the world, dispensed from the bottle, can, keg or cask. It truly was a stunning glassful, a perfectly hand-pulled cask ale. Itís 6.5%, six-times hopped, a February special from the Sussex brewery. It shines in the glass, one of those pints thatís alive with colour and condition, a crown of frothing bubbles settling above. Itís a full bowl of tropical fruit, grapefruits, oranges and peaches, itís fresh like spring, floral and grassy, it has hints of sweetness but never too much, the bitterness is bold but not brash, itís smooth, itís crisp, itís dry and quenching yet and mouth-filling and lip-smacking. A complete triumph Ė if you see it, drink it.

I had this in The Bull where an Oakham Inferno was a great start and a Pictish Porter with a wonderful dry, roasty bitterness was on top form. I also got myself a bottle each of the Marble Decadence Kriek and Frambozen. That was my reward for following Lauren around the shops all day.