A Grand Day Out in West Yorkshire

A mid-morning arrival at Huddersfield station (via Wakefield) allowed plenty of time for a cooked breakfast and a half of Clarks (now brewed at Castle Eden) English Pale Ale in The Vulcan before boarding the hourly train for the short ride to the attractive village of Marsden.

Riverhead Brewery Tap, Marsden

Sitting outside the Riverhead Brewery Tap (CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018) in the sunshine waiting for their festival to open at noon was very pleasant indeed.  The festival was a small affair with all available ales being served through ten hand pumps on the bar. From the 8 Riverhead beers and two guest that were available I sampled halves of Riverhead Montage (5%), Tour De Marsden (4.2%) and Pomegranate Pale (4%), plus a Mad Squirrel De La Crème Milk Stout (4.5%). Six traditional ciders were also available although I didn’t partake of any of these.

There was then a short walk back up the hill to the station for a train back through Huddersfield to Mirfield and the festival at the Navigation Tavern (GBG 2018) which was already in full swing by the time I arrived. A separate festival bar with 24 hand pumps had been set up inside, from which I sampled beers from Bridge Brewery, 3D (Pitchfork), Ascot and Lords.

Navigation Tavern, Mirfield

With basically an hourly service back to Wakefield Kirkgate, I allowed myself time for the short walk back past Mirfield station to the festival which had been advertised as taking place at the nearby Flowerpot (GBG 2018), which is an Ossett brewery pub.  Arriving at just after 3pm I was disappointed to find that the outside festival bar did not open until 4pm.  On a glorious sunny and warm Friday, with plenty of potential customers about, I thought it a little short-sighted not to capitalise by opening at lunchtime. I did not partake of a drink but instead returned to the Navigation for a very enjoyable Abbeydale Voyager IPA (number ten in the series), before getting a train to Wakefield Kirkgate.

Black Rock, Wakefield

First stop in Wakefield was Fernandes Brewery Tap (GBG 2018) and half of their Blue Lady (3.8%) together with complimentary sausage rolls and pork pies. A walk through town brought me to the Beer Exchange for some Aire Heads Grain Disorder (4.6%) and a limited edition Revolutions gin-infused Clash Porter (4.5%). Across the road to the Black Rock (GBG 2018) and from the five beers available I chose Blue Bee Enigma 500 (5.5%).

The final pub of the day was The Hop in Wakefield (GBG 2018), which by now was very busy, but a very pleasant half of Wilde Child The Expatriate (4.5%) was consumed before catching a quick train from Westgate to Sheffield, followed by a bus home.

Andy Morton

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