Beer festival weekend a big success
2:00pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
Beer festival weekend a big success
BEER buffs and ale enthusiasts enjoyed the twelfth annual Harwich and Dovercourt winter ale festival.
More than 50 beers were sampled at the event which kicked off on Wednesday and ran until Saturday at Kingway Hall in Dovercourt.
Organiser Richard Oxborrow saw people flock to the event and enjoy the beers, ales, ciders and perries on offer.
“Lots of people think beer festivals are a summer thing but we offer a small intimate setting where people aren’t overwhelmed by choice.
“It also means we have an opportunity to champion seasonal beers which are often darker and stronger.”
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“People are fed up with beer as an industrial product,” he says. “They want it to be local, naturally flavorful again, and like it used to be. People are very focused on local and natural. Craft beer plays into that very well.”
As for the Coppertail name, Coppertail is a fantastical sea creature that lives in Tampa Bay where he protects swimmers and battles pollution.
Bailey’s now 6-year-old daughter Sofia is the one who came up with the name after a talk with Bailey about the earliest explorers of Tampa and the kinds of creatures they might have seen.” A lot of them reported seeing sea monsters which I thought was hilarious,” says Bailey. “Coppertail is something impossible, about imagination and a lot about Tampa Bay.”
Writer: Kathy Steele
Source: Kent Bailey, Coppertail
Children at Syresham Pre-School have a wonderful new outdoor learning and play area to enjoy.
The area includes a play house, climbing frame, different plants to touch and learn about, sensory play, a digging area and outdoor kitchen.
Pre-school leader Alison Duffield said: “It is a natural outdoor playing area that gives the children the opportunity to access the outdoors all through the day. It is an extension of indoors using natural materials outdoors.”
She added the area had already made a big difference to the children’s learning. The project, which cost in the region of £4,000, was funded by a £2,000 grant from the Co-op Community Fund along with two beer festivals and other fundraisers organised by the school.
This past February, Crain’s Michigan Business wrote about the Michigan Brewers Guild‘s Winter Beer Festival, which turns Grand Rapids into the largest single population of people desperate for salted snacks … now. It also is a popular event, apparently.
According to a release from the Brewers Guild, up to 5,000 of the 6,000 tickets available for the Feb. 22 event went on sale Dec. 1. Each person could buy no more than two $45 tickets. All sold in three hours.
The guild noted that 18,000 people tried to buy tickets. Which means, of course, that more than 10,000 beer drinkers were upset, particularly about problems when they tried to buy tickets online. Which means that now at least one IT department is having a worse day than the folks at healthcare.gov.
WANGARATTA’S newest festival, Ales on the Ovens, kicks off tomorrow with live music, entertainment for the kids and an array of craft beer on offer.
Located alongside the Ovens River at the Wangaratta Showgrounds, 20 of Victoria’s finest micro breweries and cider specialists will participate in the event, backed by gourmet food outlets and wines from around the region.
Seven bands hailing from Melbourne and Sydney will provide live music throughout the event, while there will be plenty of entertainment for children of all ages, with an animal petting place, a jumping castle and a children’s twilight movie on an outdoor screen.
Black Dog Brewery’s James Booth said he was looking forward to his first participation in a craft beer festival.
“It’ll be a really good event to see, especially because we’ve seen a few craft beer festivals around the state and Australia, but it’ll be good because it’s something in our backyard,” Mr Booth said yesterday.
“The showgrounds has plenty of space, and for an event they’d like to expand in the future, I think it’s the right venue to have.
“I just hope other surrounding areas like Benalla, Shepparton and Albury/Wodonga get on board.”
The Magnolia Grill in Fort Walton Beach presents Dr. David Ott and soprano Amy Bullard in a program of Christmas music at 7 p.m. Dec. 8. Guests should enter at 6 p.m.
In an intimate dinner theater format, guests will be entertained with familiar and popular Christmas selections from the classics and traditional music of the season. Several audience sing-along selections will also be included in the program.
For more details and reservations, call the Magnolia Grill at 302-0266.
Pancakes with Santa will be held from 7:30-10 a.m. Dec. 14. This event benefits the Salvation Army.
Minimum donation of $5 per person includes breakfast consisting of pancakes, sausage, coffee or orange juice.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to visit with the children.
Wine World introduces Beer Festival with preview event
Wine World at Uptown Station has announced they will host the Fort Walton Beach Beer Festival Preview from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 28. The event will serve as an exclusive preview to Wine World’s Inaugural Fort Walton Beach Beer Festival to be held in 2014. The 2014 Fort Walton Beer Festival plans to be one of the largest craft beer festivals on the Emerald Coast.
Admission to the Festival Preview is $25 per person if purchased in advance and $35 day of the event. Tickets can be purchased at any Wine World location or at www.chanswineworld.com. For more information, to sponsor, or to volunteer, call 850-269-2909.
The event will include unique craft beers from local breweries, culinary stations from local restaurants and music by the local band Slack tide.
All proceeds will benefit the Special Forces Association, Chapter 7. SFA chapter 7 is a veteran’s non-profit all volunteer organization that provides support to families of 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
For once, the British weather has blessed growers. Neil Hudson meets the woman who wants more people to enjoy the fruits of their labours.
The mists and mellow fruitfulness of autumn may have given way to frosty starts and cold, cloudless nights best spent indoors, but for Hilary Dodson it is one of the busiest times of year.
The retired micro-biologist is chair of the Northern Fruit Group, an expert on fruit trees and right now she’s busy turning her not inconsiderable harvest into jams, juices and chutneys.
She’s not alone. This year saw a bumper crop of fruit across the country and the season is still not quite over. Hilary still has apples to pick in her garden – she calls it a garden but in fact its part of a hillside next to her house in Otley.
“I’ve got some Golden Delicious which I won’t pick until into December or maybe even after Christmas. You see apples like this in supermarkets all the time and yet most of the time they are picked too early.
“Golden Delicious have a yellowy, golden colour with a hint of orange when ripe. That’s the problem with supermarkets in that most of the time they are picked because they travel better. Whenever I do have them I just think they are tasteless.”
The retired teacher, who has a doctorate to her name, has harboured a passion for growing things since her youth. She recalls being interested in horticulture are school but adds: “Back in those days, anyone who was any good academically wasn’t allowed to do things like gardening, so I had to find my own ways of doing it.”
She was lucky in that both her parents and grandparents were experienced growers and she followed in their footsteps. What began as a hobby has become something much bigger.
These days she could tell you the difference between a Ribston Pippin and a George Cave just by looking at them and as a champion of the “grow your own” brigade, she’s enthusiastic about spreading the word.
Fifteen years ago she was one of the earliest members of the Northern Fruit Group, which was instrumental in establishing the fruit gardens at Harlow Carr, Harrogate, before it was taken over by the Royal Horticultural Society.
These days, the group has several bases, the main one being the walled garden at Harewood House, although they also run several allotments in Huddersfield. Since its humble beginnings – it started with just a few dozen enthusiasts – it now boasts more than 450 members, covering an area from The Wash to The Wirral.
“We are a specialist society and our aim is to promote the growing of fruit trees,” says Hilary. “We run regular teaching groups, give talks and so on. We also help people when they are sorting out their produce and turning them into things like juice and jam.”
It’s something she wants more people to take up and she says anyone with even the smallest garden can do it.
“You don’t have to have a big garden at all and if you bought a fruit tree, you would likely see it fruiting in around three years, maybe less,” she says.
“In general, most people are not aware of the huge variety of apples and other fruit which are available – the supermarkets tend to stock a few popular lines like Golden Delicious and Bramley apples but there are countless other kinds.
“There are at least 200 varieties which are grown in Yorkshire and at least 16 which were bred and named here.
“You can start to pick some apples in August and some of them will keep until March.”
There’s also plenty to be done during the present cold spell.
“Now is the perfect time for pruning your trees, for cutting back the newly grown branches and for shaping your trees. It’s also a good time to give your trees a winter boost by putting a ring of manure around the trunk, not too close to the bark but just beneath the branches, directly above where the main roots are.
“I would also recommend raking up leaves and using any unused or spoilt fruit on the compost heap.
“Fruit trees are wonderful because they not only have blossom, which is one reason for growing trees, but at the end of the season, you get the fruit and there’s such a variety. There’s even differences between the same varieties fruit depending on where in the country they are grown, so fruit from Kent tends to be more rosy and all of that is down to the local weather conditions.”
This year it has been a particularly bumper harvest thanks to almost 12 months of perfect weather conditions.
Last year’s wet autumn followed by an icy spring and a hot summer were ideal for apple growing.
The heavy rainfall ruled out the chance of drought which can lead to small, poor tasting apples, while the icy snap held back flowering.
When trees did finally blossom there were more insects around and therefore an increased chance of pollination.
Add to all that the summer heatwave in June and July which more than made up for any lost growing time and orchard this year have been blessed by a plentiful harvest
It was particularly good news given the previous year there had been a dearth of apples.
Unsurprisingly, Hilary, who has been growing fruit trees since she was big enough to pick up a spade, has her own theory as to why 2013 has been a bumper year.
“Perhaps it was down to the fact that the previous year was very poor,” she says. “One reason for that may have been that we had a hard frost, which killed off a lot of the fruitlets – and when that is the case, instead of investing energy in growing fruit, the tree grows branches.
“That means the following year there are more branches and more buds. I still have some apples on some of my trees, I won’t pick the Golden Delicious until December or even after Christmas. It’s a lovely apple but it needs to be ripe and some of them will take that long.”
Hilary’s dedication to the grow your own movement means she not only grows all her own fruit, but also vegetables – “except carrots, which don’t do well in my soil”.
It gives her a near constant supply of fresh produce all year round and Hilary is keen to pass on her knowledge, just as it was passed on to her.
She adds: “Whenever my grandchildren come around, we are always out wither digging or planting or if it’s not that, it’s baking. I think it’s good for children to know where their food comes from.”
At this time of year Hilary’s estate car is loaded with potted trees, from berries to cherries and apples to plums. She explains to her audiences how to encourage their potential and increase their harvest. Hilary points her audience to the correct way to peg down strawberry leaders, thin raspberry canes and treat problems on the trees such as pear and plum.
If you would like to find out more about the group, they have a website – www.www.northernfruitgroup.com – their next engagement will be Harrogate Spring Show.
Autumn’s bounty boosts revival of village’s dedication to ciders and juices
The bumper harvest has also benefitted another group of grow your own enthusiasts.
Orchards of Husthwaite was formed in 2009 by Lawrie Hill, Philip Hewitson and Cameron Smith with one ambitious plan – to plant hundreds of fruit trees in and around the North Yorkshire village, collect the crop and transform it into juices and ciders.
It wasn’t an idea plucked out of thin air, but one which tapped into Husthwaite’s heritage. For three centuries the villagers had been dedicated to cultivating and exporting fruit to surrounding regions, but in the 1950s production had stopped.
As time ticked on few remembered the days when Husthwaite lived up to its name of the Orchard Village, but those that did grew determined to revive the tradition.
The project has been a massive success and Orchards of Husthwaite now sell to wholesale customers and at farmers’ markets, beer festivals and fair. Any profits made go towards worthwhile causes, including buying a new church door and helping to fund a new village hall.
It’s also been able to tap into the general cider revival which has seen demand rocket by 24 per cent since 2006.
The group also make apple juice, apple and pear cider and their bestseller is Galtres Blush Cider, which is blended with strawberry, raspberry and cherry juice. They also grow up to 300 Yorkshire and heritage fruit trees to sell each year.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Visions of sugarplums can wait until Christmas Eve. In early December in Portland, at least, many people are more focused on beer.
That is no different this week, as the Holiday Ale Festival is once again beckoning beer geeks to Pioneer Courthouse Square.
While summer is awash in beer festivals in a city known for them, the Holiday Ale Fest is the only game in town this time of year.
More than 50 craft beers are on tap, each one brewed specifically for the festival.
“You won’t find these beers anywhere else until the festival’s over,” said Preston Weesner, the General Manager of the Holiday Ale Fest.
And for those worried about the outdoor chill as they swill, the festival is held under tents kept toasty by gas heaters.
KATU stopped by on a Wednesday afternoon, the middle of the work week, and found dozens of people getting over the proverbial “hump” with barley and hops.
“It’s a good time to bring your boss with you,” said Weesner, “We see a lot of folks come down here and take a lunch break. Beer is a culture here, as much as bike riding or dealing with the rain.”
The Holiday Ale Fest begins December 4th and culminates December 8th with a Sunday beer brunch. A $30 admission fee at the gate gets you 10 beer tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for a dollar apiece.
A Montgomery County lawmaker will try again to give archery hunters more room to help cull the county’s growing deer population.
Del. Eric Luedtke again has proposed a local bill to shrink the safety zone around Montgomery County buildings from 150 yards to 50 yards for bow hunters. Current state law prohibits shooting any firearm or deadly weapon, like a bow, within 150 yards of an occupied home, church or other building or camp. Around schools, the safety zone is 300 yards.
Under Luedtke’s proposal, Montgomery County would be lumped with Carroll and Frederick counties, which have a 50-yard safety zone.
With the exception of Harford County, which has a 100-yard buffer, the rest of the state must follow a 150-yard safety zone.
Luedtke (D-Dist. 14) of Burtonsville proposed a similar bill in the 2013 legislative session that became a point of significant debate among the delegation and did not advance.
Few solutions are effective for deer management in Montgomery, but about a dozen citizens who testified in favor of the bill at a delegation hearing Monday say giving archers more room to hunt will go a long way in controlling the deer population.
Many who testified told of complications suffered from Lyme disease, a debilitating disease carried by ticks that often feed off the blood of deer.
Others spoke of the many deer killed each year along their streets by motorists.
Kevin Kommitt of the Sycamore Acres Citizens Association told the delegation that it needs to support the bill to protect children and residents in the county.
“Odds are it [a deer-auto collision] will happen to someone in this room in the next year,” he said.
Rob Gibbs, of the Montgomery Parks Department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, acknowledged that reducing the safety zone could increase the opportunity for hunting in the county.
However, even a 50-yard safety zone would not allow hunting in the county’s more densely populated areas, he said.
Luedtke’s bill was one of 13 local bills the delegation has filed so far for the 2014 legislative session, which starts Jan. 8.
Among the crop of legislation are nine bills that seek to change alcohol regulations, including ones that would allow serving wine at beauty salons and ease restrictions on microbreweries. Others would prevent self-checkout sales of alcohol, permit beer festivals and create an annual license for small performing arts facilities that pay thousands each year for one-day licenses.
Four bills would change regulations for class B licenses, which are for beer, wine and liquor at hotels, motels, taverns or restaurants.
One bill lowers the required food-to-alcohol ratio. Currently, license holders must have no more than 50 percent of sales to alcohol. The bill would increase that to 60 percent.
One bill removes some geographic restrictions on licenses, and removes a cap on the number of duplicate licenses a holder can have.
Another removes the sunset provision for allowing to-go alcohol sales at Takoma Park restaurants.
One bill allows more licenses to be issued in Kensington.
Also proposed is a bill by Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Dist. 18) of Chevy Chase to require most Montgomery County Police to carry automated external defibrillators in their vehicles and a bill that clarifies Montgomery County’s role in tort claims.
With the exception of the archery and defibrillator bills, the legislation will be considered by the delegation’s County Affairs Committee before moving to the General Assembly. The other bills will go to the delegation’s Land Use and Transportation Committee for discussion.
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