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It's now two beer festivals in the space of three weeks from the West Riding/Dewsbury & Heavy Woollen CAMRA bunch - and they can certainly pick the weather! It was even hotter today than at the Town Hall earlier in the month, and a similar forecast for the rest of the week will surely guarantee another sell-out.

My tactic for the opening session of this footy themed festival was to play the percentages - sticking largely to the tried and tested 4-4.2, ensuring I could go the distance. Some of the stand out performances in this category came from Abbeydale, Phoenix & Hornbeam, making their World Sup debuts with light & lively offerings. The Phoenix in particular had my taste buds well beaten for pace as it accelerated from sweet & fruity through to a dry & bitter finish faster than Aaron Lennon with his shorts on fire.

World Sup judging gets underway

It wasn't all good news of course and whilst there were some surprisingly lack-lustre efforts from Rudgates & Marstons (both of whom normally shine on the big stage), they were actually pretty acceptable when compared to the 'own goal' offerings from Cottage & Old Bear - the latter being about as interesting and relevant as Theo Walcott's World Cup diary! And on the subject of own-goals, the judging panel decided on Beartown's Bear Literate as beer of the festival, an unfathomable choice in my opinion, but do give it a go.

It's too early to think about an overall favourite just yet, especially with the likes of in-form Roosters, Mallinsons, Leeds & Salamander to try, but they will all have to go some way to beat the Platinum Blonde from White Rose with it's generous use of Summit hops (a close relative of Nelson Sauvin I would guess) - certainly my 'man of the match' so far!

More tomorrow.