Friday 21 September 2012

York, so good they only named it once

Always half full

Situated next to York Racecourse this year's York Beer & Cider Festival, showcasing beers from all over the UK (and a none too shabby 'Beers of the World' section), and the fourth festival to be held on the Knavesmire, is shaping up to be the best yet.

I shuffled along on Wednesday (Press Day) and witnessed brewers (major, micro and macro) together with sponsors, outlets (aka publicans) and end users (that's me and you) all raising a glass or two and discovering, quite literally, what makes ale real.

It was hardly surprising that Yorkshire brewers (pictured right) took centre stage; Wold Top, Saltaire, Leeds, Brass Castle, Roosters and Great Heck once again showed why many pubs in Yorkshire concentrate purely on indigenous beers. That said, it's always good to see southern brewers giving the northerners a run for their money - Brodies from east London and Itchen Valley in Hampshire were certainly holding their own.

Highlights? I can honestly say I didn't have a bad beer all day; and our programme certainly had plenty of scuffing up notes complete with footnotes and Enigma type legends. Anyway, here's my Top Of The Hops (sorry):

No.1 Knaresborough - American Style Milk Stout (7.0%). This stunning beer cleaned up on the awards front and rightly so.

No.2 Revolutions/Brass Castle - Cool for Cats (4.5%). They say sumptuous coffee porter. I concur. Probably because it's made with elements of:

No.3 Brass Castle - Bad Kitty (5.5%). My wife blamed the uneven footpath for her fall whilst walking away from the Festival. I, on the other hand, lay the blame at BK's door. A truly magnificent ale.

York Beer Festival runs 'til Sunday 22 September.

Follow them on Twitter @beerfestyork


  1. Do you know - I've never been to a beer festival, but there again - I've never been to a music festival..

    York-beer, park yourself at the Riverhead Brewery Tap, Marsden. Comes with it's own brewery bolted on.

    Here-beer, try and grab yourself a guzzle of the Crouch Vale range. Brewers Gold is on sale at The Railway

  2. I love a bit of a beer festival, but then I love a bit of a beer. Harveys is the local favourite down here but I make a point of trying new ones wherever I go. Some of the ones I've had in Yorkshire have been great.

    One of these days I might get myself a pewter tankard.

  3. York was good fun: the beers were exceptional, the food was remarkably good, even the Gents pissoirs were well kempt. As was the Paul Weller lookalikey we spotted drinking under a Roosters banner (it would have made a cracking photo).