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Licensees drink to double success at backstreet pub

May 18 2002
By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

A former "backstreet boozer" has won two awards to underline its transformation into a popular real ale pub.
Sam Watt and Tyrone Lawton

Members of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) in Huddersfield have chosen the Star on Albert Street at Folly Hall as Pub of the Season for this spring.

And the pub has also won Huddersfield Camra's Mild Challenge to find the best pint of mild in the town.

Licensees Tyrone Lawton and Sam Watt (pictured) opened the pub last December after extensive renovations.

Sam was previously a licensee in Sowerby Bridge.

The free house sells Timothy Taylor's beers, as well as John Eastwood's Bitter from the Barge and Barrel Brewery in Elland. It has also served up to 140 guest bitters and milds. The awards were presented by Bob Tomlinson, chairman of Huddersfield and District Camra.

The Star was a clear winner in the Mild Challenge, polling 34% of the votes cast by local drinkers. The runner-up was the Harp at Fartown, with the Beaumont Arms, Netherton, in third place.

Mr Tomlinson said the Star had been empty for about a year before the new licensees took over.

He said: "These awards are a great achievement for a pub which had once been a rundown backstreet boozer with a poor beer reputation. The awards are an acknowledgement of the time and effort that Sam and Tyrone have put into keeping the beers in tip-top condition."


Pub's prize pulling power
May 6 2003
By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

A HUDDERSFIELD pub rescued from closure has been voted by real ale buffs as their favourite.

Sam Watt and Tyrone LawtonThe accolade has gone to the Star Inn at Albert Street, Folly Hall.

Licensees Sam Watt and Tyrone Lawton (pictured) bought it in 2001 after it had been shut for two years.

It finally reopened in January last year after months of renovation.

The brief was simple - no jukeboxes, no one-arm bandits, no karaoke, no food, just a good old-fashioned pub with excellent beer.

It's a recipe which proved a hit with the Campaign for Real Ale's Huddersfield branch.

Drinkers voted the pub as their hostelry of the year.

The award follows CAMRA awards to the Star for spring pub of the season and best mild pub.

An impressive 650 guest beers have been served up since the pub opened for business again. Delighted Miss Watt said: "We wanted good beer and a pleasant environment away from the cacophony of music and karaoke.

"I believe we provide a warm individual welcome and like to think of it as not just a pub with character but a pub with characters."


The Star’s Beer Festival
Thursday from 5pm, July 24 to Sunday evening July 27
By PubSpeak July 14 2003 (ish)

Sam and Tyrone with Huddersfield master brewer John Eastwood at last year’s Star Inn Beer FestivalLESS than two years ago and just a year after suffering the sharp end of an Enterprise Inns increase, Tyrone and Samantha put their money where their mouth were.

They came out of their lease determined to search for a free-of-tie pub but what they came up with was hardly everyone’s dream.

Despite its celestial sounding name, the Star Inn at Folly Hall, Huddersfield, is the antithesis of the typical English county pub. It is set in a rundown industrial area of the town and about a mile from a busy town centre full of national branded outlets.

And not only that, before the couple moved in, it was a former Bass pub which had been closed for over two years. But what this Tyrone and Sam did should be an example to every licensee in the land.

They had an uncomplicated formula which simply boiled down to real ale from small independent brewers and more real ale from small independent brewers. Sure they made the place comfortable with open fires but basically they enticed customers out of the town centre with their amazing range of good quality cask-conditioned beers.

This is a pub with no pool, juke box, disco, karaoke or television. Instead you’ll find good conversation, licensees who are behind the bar 90 per cent of opening times and a choice of ten beers.

Two are from the Timothy Taylor range and one from local brewer Eastwood and Sanders are on permanent pumps but the other seven carry ever-changing example of the brewers art from Orkney to Exeter from Southwold to Swansea and the Star Inn has seen over 750 different beers on its bar in just 16 months as the pumpclips which adorn the ceiling testify.

In addition, Tyrone and Sam, also served Hoegaarden on draught and have a big selection of Belgium, German and Dutch bottled beers each served in its own distinctive glass.

No wonder then that the Star Inn was chosen as the local CAMRA branch’s Spring Pub of the Season and Mild Pub of 2002 - or that it has the distinction of being Huddersfield and District CAMRA Pub of the Year 2002 - an award that few would argue with.

During the summer of 2002, The Star Inn staged its first three-day beer festival - an al fresco affair in the back yard under small marquees. Over 40 beers were available, most cooled in the cellar and served through handpumps. The couple were lucky with the weather and attracted large crowds throughout the weekend. Everyone who attended declared the festival a great success and it is still talked about whenever real ale enthusiasts gather.
A Winter Beer Festival followed shortly before the couple first anniversary and that too was a great success although in a more limited respect.

Now we are on the brink of the Star Inn’s second Summer Beer Festival. The 2003 event will take place from Thursday at 5pm, July 24 to Sunday evening July 27 and almost 50 hand-crafted beers, all cooled in the cellar and served through handpumps, will be available to sample.

“I’ve tried to get together list of beers for us all to enjoy,” Tyrone said.
“We also took suggestions from Star regulars and I think the result is a wonderfully balanced festival with a number of unusual beers.”
As you can see from the current list, Tyrone has been a busy bee
“Do try and get to see us over the weekend,” Sam added, “and remember that snacks will be available throughout.”


Star Inn’s beer festival success
By PubSpeak July 28 2003 (ish)

Sam and Tyrone with Huddersfield master brewer John Eastwood at last year’s Star Inn Beer FestivalIt was another successful beer festival for Tyrone and Sam of the Star Inn, Folly Hall, Huddersfield.

Large crowds over the four day of the event drank their way through, in excess of, 50 casks of ale from independent brewers from around the UK.
This year’s festival was held in the pub’s marquee which was erected at the rear of the pub and it proved to be ideal for the fluctating weather.
“All the beers were connected through the cellar,” Tyrone said, “it was like a Chinese puzzle to get them from the barrel to the correct pump clip but we managed it.

Your came see what Tyrone means at the Cellar page


Last Updated: Wednesday, August 6, 2003