Jolly time at pints and puds festival
10:47am Tuesday 11th June 2013 in News
Dan Farrall, of the Jolly Farmers in Leavening, prepares for the beer festival and Yorkshire pudding eating competition at the pub
THE proof will be in the pudding at a North Yorkshire pub – when it hosts a beer festival with a difference.
Staff and customers at The Jolly Farmers in Leavening will be hoping to batter the competition – in the World Yorkshire Pudding Eating Championships.
The event will take place on June 23, to coincide with the culmination of a five-day Midsummer Madness beer festival.
Contestants will be challenged to eat through a pile of Yorkshire Puddings against the clock, raising money for local charities in the process.
Chef proprietor Dan Farrall said: “We held two Beer Festivals in 2012 which were incredibly well supported and great fun for all the locals and visitors.”
As well as beers and the pudding challenge, there will be live music on the Friday and Saturday evenings and food available throughout.
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About 400 lucky souls had their pick of a world-class collection of wild and sour beers Saturday at one of the state’s premier beer festivals, Avery Brewing Co.’s 4th Annual Boulder SourFest.
The event sold out almost instantly, further testament to the growing popularity of mouth-puckering sour beers crafted with complexity rivaling the finest wines. This was an informed crowd navigating 54 beers on draft and 29 in bottles from nearly 40 breweries.
Sours and wilds run the gamut in style and alcohol content, which is part of the allure. The SourFest roster ranged from a 3.5 percent alcohol-by-volume Berliner Weisse (a style starting to get its due from American craft brewers) to an 11.5 percent ABV blond sour aged on bourbon barrels.
The event’s it-beer was Crooked Stave’s fantastically named Waelz Blood – Chad Yakobson’s sought-after Persica sour golden ale aged in New Belgium barrels with Colorado peaches and hibiscus. As Crooked Stave’s ROY-G-BIV Day demonstrated, it pays to do your homework and get in line early. The beer was gone less than a half hour after doors opened.
We could not try them all, but here are some of our favorites from the fest:
There are a lot of fantastic things about being involved in the rise of craft beer. The incredible growth in this state is creating jobs, bringing people to the state to try Maine beer, and beer events are quickly becoming a part of our life in this state and in Portland. As the interest in craft beer grows, there is one thing that is occurring that can sometimes be challenging. Starting in the beginning of June, beer-related festivals and events begin to fill the calendar.
In an attempt to keep you apprised of the beer festival landscape – here are summaries of some upcoming fests in Portland and the differences between them. I know I like to have a little bit of a plan for my summer – and dreaming about the beer that will be at these fests is a fun activity on an early summer evening. I will share a bit more about other events in the state and in the region next week.
Portland Summer Beer Festivals
For Portland, there are three “big” festivals going on in town this summer.
June 21-22nd – “The Festival”
This festival might have the most generic name, it is probably the most unforgettable opportunity on the list. The Festival is put on by Shelton Brothers and 12% Imports – companies responsible for bringing most of the amazing Belgian beer (among others) into the U.S. for craft beer enthusiasts.
There are three sessions between Friday and Saturday, and you can purchase tickets for one or three of the sessions (though I don’t know how your liver would come out on the other end if you did all three). The tickets range from $65-150 and include 24 two ounce pours per session. But considering that this is usually high-test, rare and interesting beer, this is not a festival to attend if you’re looking to go through tons of beer quickly. Additionally, the brewers of this fabulous beer will be there, so this is a beer geek’s dream. There will be more than 70 breweries represented with more than 200 beers pouring. The beer list is full of international delights as well as some national and regional representatives in the mix.
Location: Portland Yacht Services Building, 58 Fore Street
Tickets/More info: Shelton Brothers Festival
July 13th – Craft Beer Comes to Portland
If you are looking to get a taste of Maine beer all in one place, this is the festival for you. Put on by the Maine Brewer’s Guild, the proceeds go towards supporting craft beer in Maine. For the past two years this festival has been in Boothbay, and was well-attended by nearly all of the state’s breweries. This year it has moved to the Maine State Pier which should make for an interesting venue.
If it is anything like previous years (and all indications are that it will be) the focus will be on the local, with brewers bringing one-offs and beers brewed especially for the fest, in addition to their regular lineups. As a special treat, Charlie Papazian, president of the national Brewers Association and author of “The Complete Joy of Home Brewing” will also be in attendance. Tickets ($50/regular $75/VIP) include beer samples, tasting glass and food. This is outdoors and will be held “rain or shine.” I hope that the weather holds out, because this is an outstanding opportunity to get to know our state’s beer and the great people that make it.
Location: Maine State Pier
Tickets/More info: Maine Brewer’s Guild
August 30-31st – Portland Brew Festival
This beer fest has a little for everyone. A combination of the accessible and familiar with the special and rare, this fest will feature 35+ brewers and more than 90 different beers are already anticipated. $35 tickets include a tasting glass and access to all of the beer. The list is already well-rounded (and growing) and includes Allagash, Sebago, Baxter, Gritty’s and some new faces from Maine, too, including Infidel Brewing. From around the region we’ll also get Brooklyn, Clown Shoes, and White Birch, among others.
This is the kind of fest you can bring your friends to – whether they are beer geeks or not. The atmosphere of this festival is fun – usually people are friendly and I enjoy that it’s a little bit smaller than some of the mind-blowingly huge ones that get thrown in Boston. With sessions on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening, it’s also easy to fit it into busy Labor Day weekend plans.
Location: 58 Fore Street
Tickets/More info: Portland Brew Festival
Looking at these fests side-by-side, they seem to speak to the different types of craft beer people in Maine. If you want the rare, the funky, the international and the renowned, The Festival is for you. If you’re really looking to get an intimate knowledge of Maine’s craft beer landscape – then Craft Beer Comes to Portland is where you can get a taste of everything Maine has to offer all in one place. And if you’re looking to taste some great beer from the state and around the region in an atmosphere welcoming to all levels of beer geekery, then the Portland Brew Festival would fit the bill.
In my case, I’m a little of each of those people. I’ll see you there.
Two beer festivals take place at St Denys pubs in June, offering the chance to sample brews not usually available on the pumps.
The South Western Arms’ Spring Beer Festival runs from June 14-16 with a ‘special preview night’ on June 13 from 6pm.
And just a short hop (geddit?) along Adelaide Road, the following week The Junction’s Beer Festival promises a selection of 20+ beers and ciders, from Thursday June 20 – Sunday June 23, with live music on the Thursday and Saturday evenings.
Needless to say we’ll be sending the entire bitternepark.info and portswood.info teams to, er, fully investigate…
The Junction Inn. Pic: Laurence Weedy
By Neil Robertson
One of the North West’s biggest beer festivals is proving a huge success, with thousands expected to have supped a wide variety of beers before the last pint is poured tomorrow.
Stockport Beer Festival takes place at Edgeley Park, home of Stockport County Football Club, with around 6,500 people expected to turn up for the event which has run since Thursday.
Tomorrow is likely to bring in the highest crowd, and those at the heart of the festival are anticipating a brilliant finale.
John Sutcliffe, Deputy Organiser and Bar Manager of Stockport Beer Festival, said: “I think it’s going to be a terrific festival, this one.
“People are going to have an enjoyable experience, and may explore new beers they might not have discovered before.
“My message to anyone thinking of going would be – take advantage of it while it’s here. You won’t regret it.”
The festival promises to be a good showcase for microbreweries, which have become hugely popular over the last few years.
As Mr Sutcliffe pointed out, there are now 1,000 microbreweries in the UK and the sales of real ale keep going up, this in spite of mainstream pubs closing down.
“The days of vast amounts of beer going out are gone,” he said.
“But because of the rise of smaller breweries people now have a lot more choice, and long may it continue.”
“In Greater Manchester, we’re fortunate to have as many microbreweries as we do – we’ve got beers from all over.”
“We want to make this festival a worthwhile visit for all the people that come here.”
Kym Wainright, Head Brewer at Bollington Brewing Company in Cheshire, echoed Mr Sutcliffe’s enthusiasm.
Since he established Bollington in 2008, Mr Wainright has seen his brewery grow and grow, with 5 of their beers available at the festival.
“It’s an honour to have our beers at the festival, it makes me feel extremely proud,” he said.
“It’s a great feeling, really – it’s nice to know that people out there appreciate all the hard work that we put into brewing and selling beer.
“The more people want to have our beer, the more it gets out there.”
Mr Wainright recommended Goldenthal, a limited edition vintage beer with a strength of 7.4%, as one to look out for at the festival
After coming 3rd place for Best Bitter in the Champion Beer of Britain Awards in London in 2011, Wainright said other microbrewers could soon enjoy similar levels of success.
He claimed the Stockport Beer Festival is the perfect platform for microbrewers, and said the future is looking bright for the real ale business.
“It’s an absolutely booming trade, and people are going back to the roots of local produce and locally made beer,” he said.
“I can see the microbrewing industry going on for hopefully many, many years.”
Mr Wainright looked ahead to Saturday with excitement – and a clear agenda.
“Hopefully with the weather looking promising this weekend, we can get a few people drunk and have a successful festival,” he said.
Picture courtesy of Anders Adermark, with thanks.
All About Beer Magazine has held beer festivals in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia. But this summer, the magazine’s World Beer Festival franchise, is branching north to Cleveland.
What’s up with that? Why Cleveland? I caught up with magazine publisher Daniel Bradford this week to find out the answer.
Well for starters, Cleveland is home to the well-respected Great Lakes Brewing Co., Bradford said in a telephone interview. In addition to producing tasty beer, Great Lakes is known for its strong commitment to the environment and community, and the World Beer Festival focuses on education and community, he said.
“It was attractive for that reason,” Bradford said.
Then, there’s the city’s growing beer reputation.
“It’s really a hot town,” Bradford said. “The feeling that I get is that there’s a local beer culture that’s strong. … It just feels like we have a role to play to add to the beer community.”
The World Beer Festival is July 13 at the North Coast Harbor in Cleveland. It will feature more than 200 beers, entertainment, beer exhibits and educational seminars. For more details or to buy tickets, click here.
Because you don’t want this to happen to you:
This week’s Pikes Pub story talks about some of the best beer festivals of the summer months in our region. Here are some good tips to go along with your beer fest fun.
Beer festival survival guide
• Have a plan. Rare beers and those that aren’t available in stores tend to run out, so get them while the getting’s good.
• Get the “swag” early. Stickers, coasters and bottle openers will disappear quickly.
• Eat something. Whether it’s a necklace of pretzels or a $9 bratwurst, you’ll need a good foundation to stay in it for the long haul.
• Drink water. A sample cup of water for every few beer samples will save you pain tomorrow. Trust me.
• Eat something. I can’t stress this enough.
• Take a breather every now and then. It’ll help sustain you for the generous pours you tend to get toward the end of the festival. Maybe leaf through the festival program and plan your next assault.
• Don’t drive home. It’s very easy to lose track of your consumption at a festival. The police and highway patrol know about the festival too.
Wharfedale brewery taps into the appeal of beer festival
9:00am Tuesday 21st May 2013 in News
By Amanda Greaves
The Wheatley Arms in Ben Rhydding, which is holding a celebration of real ale
Ilkley’s newest brewery, which will be located within the grounds of the new Flying Duck Brew Pub in Church Street when it opens, is to support two forthcoming local beer festivals.
In preparation for the launch of the third incarnation of Wharfedale Brewery, Michael Allan, of Maxwell Road, under the guidance of Westville Avenue’s award-winning brewer Stewart Ross, have been testing out some new recipes for their “Resurrection Range” at Five Towns Brewery in Wakefield.
Wharfedale Blonde, which is described as a straw coloured floral session ale, has already been on the bars of over a dozen pubs and beer festivals in the area, whilst Wharfedale Best, a traditional, chestnut coloured Yorkshire bitter, is being specially produced as the “Festival Ale” for the Wheatley Arms ahead of their inaugural real ale celebration which kicks off on Wednesday.
Steve Benson, one of the managers at the Ben Rhydding pub, is behind the idea. “Wharfedale Blonde has been a tremendous success at the Wheatley since making its debut in January and very well received by our customers,” he said. “We are always keen to foster relationships with other local businesses and we had no hesitation in asking the team to produce a flagship beer for us, which we are sure will go down well.”
The Wheatley is to showcase ten beers across a five-week period, pitting the best of Yorkshire ales against the rest of Great Britain. Customers can vote for their favourites with the most popular going into a grand finale on Friday, June 28.
Wharfedale Brewery has also agreed to take over the sponsorship of the Swan Beer Festival, from Ilkley Brewery, when the Addingham pub hosts its third annual real ale extravaganza on the weekends of June 7 and October 25, where 25 beers from across the UK will rotate across each event.
Landlord Ian Frost said: “When we held our first festival in 2011 we had no idea it would prove so popular and we look forward to hosting two more events this year, which we hope everyone will enjoy. We are delighted to welcome Wharfedale Brewery as our new sponsors and wish them every success with their new venture.”
Spokesman for Wharfedale Brewery Jonathan Shepherd said: “Despite being at such an early stage in our development as a brewery, we have hit the ground running and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received. It’s both an honour and a privilege to be asked to take such a major role in these beer festivals at two such well liked and respected local pubs.”
Refurbishment work is well underway at the former Albert Inn, which is expected to re-open as the Flying Duck in late July. The new brewing vessels have been manufactured and are awaiting delivery to their new home.
We’ve all heard of wine festivals but Frederick, Md., has taken it up a notch with its Craft Beer Festival this Saturday.
On May 18 you can enjoy tasting more than 124 delicious, fresh and local beers from more than 25 Maryland brewing companies. Don’t worry about having to find a babysitter for the kids, this event is family friendly. Children and adults can enjoy a wide selection of Bluegrass/Folk/Americana performances, as well as mouth-watering local seafood, BBQ and soft drinks.
Adult admission tickets are $20 in advance and $30 the day of the event. Tickets include beer tasting tokens and a commemorative tasting glass. Designated drivers and youth tickets (age 12-21) are $5 in advance and $10 the day of the event. Kids under 12 are free.
The festival will be held from noon-6 p.m. at the Carroll Creek Park in downtown Frederick, with entrance on South Market Street. Address: 44 South Market St., Frederick, Md., 21701.
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The focus of this festival is to celebrate the wild ale category of beers, focused exclusively on Lambic, Flanders, Farmhouse, and Saison style beers and ales. These beers are finely and carefully crafted, taking months and sometimes years to produce. Some have a distinct tart or sour flavors, other have vinous qualities, while other have uniquely funky characteristics. This rapidly growing category of beers has had a tremendous impact on the craft beer community, and Upland is directly in the midst of that trend. This year over 20 breweries will be included from across the country and world, with over 50 beers to enjoy.
A VIP presentation, discussion, and tasting will also be included featuring Head Brewer Caleb Staton speaking about the history and process for brewing wild beers. As part of this, participants will be tasting beers not otherwise available at the event.
VIP and general admission tickets both include a commemorative sampling glass, and samplings of delicious craft wild ales, with paired meats, cheeses, fruits, and desserts provided by event partner Smoking Goose Meatery. Designated Driver tickets will also be available and include food and non-alcoholic beverages.
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