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:
York Beer Festival runs 'til Sunday 22 September.
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