the Curry House-I recommend the Lamb Sagwalla-it was off the the Beer Festival. This year it was held in the Scarisbrick Hotel as the Arts Centre is under going major renovations. The new venue certainly attracted more younger folk and offered a much improved seating area.
There were some excellent local beers on offer and given the smaller venue the organisers had concentrated on NW brews. I sampled the Thirstquencher Bitter from the Spitting Feather brewery in Chester which at 3.9% demonstrates that it is possible to produce a really flavoursome session bitter and that high alcohol content is not necessary. I've long thought that Camra's campaign for lower duty for on low alcohol beer in pubs is an excellent idea. Then we moved on to the Millds, Stouts and Porters. The Southport Brewery's Tower Mild got rave reviews from my colleagues and I was impressed with the Nutty Slack Mild from the Prospect Brewery in Standish. Sadly the Rum Porter from the Boggart Hole Brewery had all gone as had the Chocolate Cherry Mild from Durham Massey but Dark Knight from Darwin and Deep, Dark Secret from Northwich were hits. The best, Best Bitter of the night was Cunning Stunt from the Fuzzy Duck Brewery-not to be talk about if you lapse in to spoonerism of a few pints.
Another facet of the festival was the re-introduction of live music after an absence for a few years. The live band Gallimaufry were, like the beers, local. Their website is well worth a visit and if you click on the heading of this posting you should hear a snatch of the music (If you don't I'm sure some of you will email to let me know)
The 11th Sandgrounder Beer Festival -although smaller than some of the earlier ones-was a great success.