“It’s like something you’d see at a beer festival” Simon Cowell exclaims having watched Ashley Elliot perform in a Britain’s Got Talent semi-final.
No, Mr Cowell wasn’t watching ale guzzling slippers perform magic tricks or gravity defying beard-offs, but a seventeen year old teenager from Enniskillen who plays the xylophone.
To have young Ashley perform at a festival of any sort would be a treat (perhaps no headliner, but damn good at an impromptu jamming session with a harmonicist and a yukele player). His handiwork is fast and furious and, whilst not everyone’s cup of tea, David Walliams thought it was “pure joy”.
We tried Doncaster Beer Festival for a stag do a few weeks ago, and it was a success – they had an endless supply of comedy hats to choose from for the stag and plentiful supplies of beer. But a crazy xylophone player? Hell yeah, that would have added to the experience!
Cowell’s attitude perhaps shines a light on the perception of beer festivals. I doubt he’s a beer man let alone a cask ale drinker, but surely he’d be impressed with the folk bands at Norwich Town Hall, or the train shed at Haworth & Worth Valley, or the scale of Earls Court, or the uniforms at Brussels in September?
I guess there’s no pleasing some people…
Tags: beer festival, britains got talent, simon cowell
We can understand why some beer festivals give off a bad impression, some are lots of fun, some are really not. What makes a good beer festival? Nothing but racks of cask ale and tasting notes or full on entertainment, food and activities? Good beer, good people? Let us know!
April 25th, 2012Beer Events
The inaugural North Leeds Charity Beer Festival starts this weekend, in no small part thanks to the efforts of our friend and occasional Real Ale Review’s contributor Sam Parker, and beer writer Barrie Pepper.
There’ll be beers from breweries all over the region (Wharfebank, Kirkstall, Revolutions, Great Heck, Ilkley, Leeds, Roosters, Ridgeside and more) plus some from further afield including Brooklyn Brewery in New York.
We will hopefully see you there!
Tags: beer festival, leeds
Name: North Leeds Charity Beer Festival
Date: Friday 27th April & Saturday 28th April 2012
Time: Friday 18:00-23:00 & Saturday 12:00-22:00
Venue: St Aidan’s Church Community Hall, Off Elford Place West, Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS8 5QD
Saltaire Brewery’s annual two day beer festival is timed to coincide with the Saltaire Festival, a celebration of music, art, food and posh car boot sales in the remarkably pretty terraced village near Shipley, Yorkshire.
On the opening Friday night of 16th September 2011 the rain slanted down in true Yorkshire style but it didn’t put off hundreds of beer devotees from heading to the small brewery building next to the river Aire.
We showed our tickets and were handed a beer list along with a branded & lined pint glass. Upon first reading I could see a few typos and misplacements on the list, I thought – whoever wrote this up couldn’t organise a piss up in brewery – how wrong I was, literally!Tags: beer festival, magic rock, marble, old spot, saltaire, West Yorkshire
It’s not every day a pop star can bob into the pub and order a pint of their own beer.
Although for most of October that’s exactly what Guy Garvey & co of the resurgent band Elbow will be able to do. From tomorrow, pubs across Manchester – and one in Oxfordshire – will be previewing their collaboration brew, a joint venture with Frederic Robinsons Brewery.
Build A Rocket Boys! is a real ale named after Elbow’s most recent album and not only that it’s one with a conscience: a significant proportion of all profits will be donated to Oxfam’s East Africa crisis.
The official launch is at Manchester Food & Drink festival (where you can also find mini festivals of real ale, whisky and Oktoberfest!), but if you can get to one of the preview pubs in and around the city between now and then you should be able to find the first casks ready and waiting.
And with such a lot going on at the festival, we’re off to book our train tickets across the Pennines.
See you there!Tags: beer festival, elbow, manchester, music, robinsons
March 16th, 2011Beer Events
Leeds Beer Festival starts tomorrow, below is the programme of beers. Directions can be found on the festival website http://www.leedsbeerfestival.co.uk/getting-here/Tags: beer festival, leeds, leeds beer festival
October 1st, 2010Beer Events
Beer brewing in the UK has been enjoying a renaissance of late. At least that’s what we’re told by the enthusiasts: from bloggers, brewers and drinkers alike. There has never been a better time to enjoy good quality, locally-brewed and ethically-sourced beer.
One of the best ways to put this cheery rhetoric to the test is that staple of the drinkers’ diary, the beer festival. One of the grandees of the scene is the CAMRA Kent Beer festival
Now into its 36th year and, judging by the amount of brewers in attendance (around 120, or so we were told), and the decent-sized crowds packing the bars, the UK beer industry must be in pretty decent shape. Kent beers were well-represented as you’d expect, ranging from the Mild, Star and Light ales of Goachers of Maidstone, through to the honest hoppy Gadd’s bitters of Ramsgate.
Once we’d negotiated the dusty pathways of Merton Farm, paid our £4 entrance, and collected our tokens from the CAMRA volunteers manning the glass station, we were off into the murk of the cowshed.
First up was a good half of British Bulldog (4.3% ABV) which had a good dark amber colour and long hoppy finish. Strong one that, and a couple too many could have seen us raiding the snacks before time. But we moved on through the crowds towards Goachers where a pint of Real Mild Ale (3.4% ABV) and a half of Gold Star (5.1% ABV) went down easier than a Portuguese centre-half. Good beers, enough malt in each to make them drinkable summer pints.
My companion was pining for the ‘Pink Girlie Bar’, an exclusive area dedicated to the first time real ale drinkers. The staff here were excellent and even though busy, were handing out tasters to the more ale-shy. A half of Little Sharpie (3.8% ABV) from Humpty Dumpty of Reedham was a flowery, hoppy treat while the Cascade Pale Ale (4.8% ABV) had enough bitter thump to satisfy even the most un-girly drinkers in attendance. Kent’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame of Faversham, were well-represented with five beers to try: pints of Master Brew (3.7% ABV) and my all time favourite Spitfire (4.5% ABV) took the evening to a sound finish.
Although the toilets remain questionable, as too the bands playing atop a dodgy rigging of scaffold, the true stars of the show were the micro-breweries. Millis Brewing Co of Gravesend and Swan of West Peckham were just two of the many small-scale brewers on display, and bucking the trend in this so-called age of austerity. Kent beer drinkers have never had it so good.
Tags: beer festival, CAMRA, canterbury, kent
Beer festival information:
Festival: Kent Beer Festival
Dates: 22nd – 24th July
Country: Merton Farm, Canterbury, UK
April 22nd, 2010Beer Events
Another ‘whoop’ for Loiners this weekend as Friday and Saturday sees not just one beer festival in Leeds but two!
Rothwell, home of the charming Rosebud and our very own Copper Dragon loving R’Sam, is holding a beer festival. 40 cask beers, plus bottles, cider, perry and food will all be available in aid of two local charities.
The organising committee have been working their socks off since January and the fruits of their labour (with some help from Wakefield CAMRA and Clark’s Brewery) will hopefully lead to another addition to West Yorkshire’s beer scene.
“We’re raising money for the local church roof which was stripped of lead just before the bad weather” says Paul Mann of the organising committee. “Additionally half the proceeds will got to Rothwell Lions who go a great amount of work in the local community”.
“The beer list is changing right up until the last minute but we’re hoping for a good crowd”.
The Leeds and Wakefield areas are spoilt for choice this weekend, with both Rothwell Beer Festival and LS6 Beer Festival so now it looks like a beer before and after this Saturday’s football.
For more details visits www.rothwellbeerfestival.co.ukTags: beer festival, leeds, Rothwell, West Yorkshire
March 18th, 2010Beer Events
It nearly sneaked past us again this year, but Leeds Beer, Cider & Perry Festival starts today and is well worth a visit. It doesn’t seem to get much in the way of promotion and it’s not located in the city centre, but the festival is showcasing a whopping range of beer this year.
Beer lovers can fight their way through 150 real ales ‘from Yorkshire and beyond’ and the ‘best range in the North’ for cider and perry. There’s also a beer cum ice cream parlour to get us in a summery mood despite the bitter wind still encircling Bridgewater Place and a Global Beer Bar stocked to the rafters with fancy bottles from all four corners of the globe Read the rest of this entry »Tags: beer festival, leeds, leeds beer festival, yorkshire
Horsforth Beer Festival
Jam-packed with Yorkshire beer, Horsforth plays host to its annual beer festival this weekend and some of the pints you’ll find probably haven’t even left God’s Own County to get to your (half) pint glass. Local beers include:
- Great Heck ‘Slaughterhouse Porter’
- Hambleton Ales ‘Cheeky Mare’ and ‘Stallion’
- Little Valley ‘Python IPA’
- Ilkley Brewing Co ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ & ‘Ugly Duckling’
Prizes for the most memorably weird and wonderful beer (and brewery) names go to:
- Dicky Ticker Brewery
- Leadmill Brewery’s ‘Old Mottled Cock’
- Bazen’s ‘Zebra Best’
- Blue Monkey’s ’99 Red Babboons’
- Millstone Brewery’s ‘Tiger Rut’
- Nutbrook Brewery’s ‘Cow Juice’
- Old Spot’s ‘Dog in the Barrel’
November 26th, 2009Comment
Last week saw a host of articles on lager, CAMRA and why the two don’t always have a harmonious relationship (see articles by Barm, Mark Dredge, Woolpack Dave, Tandleman & The Guardian).
The same week r’ Sam couldn’t quite work out if William’s Brothers Grozet was a lager or a beer, with conflicting online reviews and it being deceptively lager like for an ale.
It’s fitting that the lager debate and lots of lager chat surfaced on the week we unearthed a parody of our sites, real-lager-reviews.com, and actually the Guardian article that kicked much of this off was one of the ways we cottoned onto our spoofers (thanks to an innocuous comment on there by the Real Lager Reviews lads).
It seems the question of lager brings up some awkward discussions. CAMRA clearly don’t associate themselves with CO2, which rules out a lot of lagers, but it doesn’t fundamentally rule out lager per se.
Which leads us to what is a lager: what it is and why is it different? Read the rest of this entry »Tags: beer festival, beer writing, CAMRA, lager, saltaire, serving