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It was not an easy job, but someone had to do it. What was the beer of the day from the super selection at the Star on Saturday ? The choices were simple, or so I thought. Would it be light and hoppy, or dark and flavoursome? Or something in between.

Then where to start. The obvious point was the weakest. And the darkest. Five Towns 'Half Moon Porter', 4.1%. Apart from arguing whether the beer was really a porter or stout, it was superb. Tending towards dryness rather than sweetness but crammed with flavour it was everything I enjoy in a dark beer. It would take some beating.

But it was rubbing shoulders on the bar with Mallinsons 'Shiver Me Terrier 2'. Brewed again, to mark the passing of 'Mitch' the star of the pump clip, it was a stronger and different version of the original brew. A clean well balanced beer, plenty of hops there and a nice fruity finish. Another contender.

Later in the day a second Mallinsons beer appeared. 'Brightside' was another light and hoppy beer, fruity and fresh. Just the thing for a sunny afternoon. The beer is hopped with citra hops , but there is a subtlety about their use in the beer and the balance is just right. The choice was getting difficult now.

The fourth contender came in as a strong light beer. Five Towns 'Peculiar Blue' is 6%. Packed with hops - we had some disagreement over which one's were used - but they blended together to produce a spectacular beer. I have had the beer before but never better than this. Mr Bastow has certainly got it right this time. So after extensive testing, the beer of the day accolade went to Five Towns , but not without some very serious competition. Long may it continue.