Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Sensational Array of Beverages

I have Simon Bridger’s exclamation of surprise to thank for the title of this Blog. Simon just happened to be the chap standing next to me yesterday afternoon at the bar of the Evening Star, Brighton, for the “Day of the Collaborations”. Facing us, lined up along the seven hand pumps was, well, a sensational array of beverages. The collaborative beers I found time to try were the Dark Star-Thornbridge Thornstar (4.7%); Dark Star-Redemption London Brick (6.0%); Dark Star-Odell Smoked Porter (5.4%); and Dark Star M&M Special Porter (Mocha Version, 6.5%), this being a collaboration between Dark Star Head Brewer, Mark Tranter, and beer-writer Melissa Cole; I also had the multi-collaborative Brodie’s Noisome Cru (8.8% and see ), plus Dark Star’s monthly-special Carafa Jade (5.0% with German Carafa barley malt and New Zealand Pacific Jade hops) and Magic Rock Dark Arts Surreal Stout (6.0%), this last one being from a newly-opened brewery in Huddersfield and I believe the Evening Star has showcased the whole range of this brewery’s beers over the last few days. See

For those of you following this Blog from outside of the UK (and my stats tell me there’s quite a few of you), the Evening Star, run by Matt and Karen Wickham, is a Dark Star brewery pub just a few hundred yards from Brighton train station. Dark Star Brewing is at Partridge Green, West Sussex and it was in the cellar of the Evening Star that this brewery originally started life, back in 1994. People come from far and wide to visit the Evening Star, and while this “Day of the Collaborations” was a rather special occasion, the presence of beers such as those from Magic Rock is what marks out the pub as being on the cutting edge of new developments on the real ale scene. The Sussex Branches of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) have bestowed on the Evening Star the award of Sussex CAMRA Pub of the Year 2011, and deservedly so. Let’s drink to that.

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