Kingsthorpe is at the other side of town from me. It's for that reason that I don't get there very often, but that's my loss. Paul Barton, the landlord, worked tirelessly in the build up to this year's Northamptonshire Beer Festival, and he deserves the custom of all local CAMRA members.
This weekend Paul put on a Beer Festival, loosely based on the location of each of the twelve Rugby Premiership clubs. There was a bit of creating accounting with Newcastle replaced by beers close to Nottingham, but otherwise the geography wasn't too far out.
I was there with the family so could only spend an all too short period of time there, but I still enjoyed a small selection of beers, all in good condition. I was excited on arrival to discover a new beer from Great Oakley. Marching In is brewed with New Zealand hops and English Whitbread Goldings hops. The NZ hops which are used to such good effect in Wagtail are here too, but the earthiness of the English hops make this a less citric punch of a beer. It's still good but more mainstream in its hoppiness than most GO beers. Phil the brewer arrived just as I was leaving, and I did compliment him on this new addition.
Other beers I had were from Potbelly, Blue Bear, Twickenham, and, one of my favourite brewers, Alehouse. With the exception of Potbelly, these are breweries I rarely see in county pubs, so thanks are due forbringing these rareish ales to our door. A selection of ciders were avaialble also from one of my favourite producers: Gwynt y Ddraig.
So a good festival at a lovely village pub ran by a real ale championing landlord. I mustn't leave it too long before I return.