Monday, 27 September 2010

York Beer & Cider Festival 2010

Meant to post about this last week but with one thing and another it didn’t happen. If you think when you get married that ends all the time consuming stuff of marriage, forget it. It doesn’t.

Anyway when we were in York on our mini-moon we had the luck to see a local Camra magazine in one of the pubs which was advertising this lovely event. Normally we only get to go to beer festivals on the weekend when a lot of the more unusual beers have gone but this time we were able to attend the first day which was great. Even better as we weren’t Camra members we were first of the first in, as for this event they split the queue into members and non-members, at opening time we were one couple of four in that line and the Camra queue was a lot longer.

The event has encouraged me and Mr Meer to be joining Camra, it was quite possibly the best event I have ever been too. Well run and organised with lots of friendly staff behind the bar. In a way a lot of the choosing had been decided for the both of us as we concentrated on breweries that we don’t see in London with only a couple of exceptions. Breweries such as Bird Brain, Brown Cow, Old Mill and Hambleton are all based various parts of Yorkshire but all new to me.

Old Mill’s Yorkshire Porter was a lovely example of a dessert beer, sweet and dry perfect to go with a cheese board. Brown Cow’s Thriller in Vanilla was a good working vanilla stout, unlike Artisen’s ibeer which we tried in Battersea. The chocolatey Thriller stout was brought out by the sweet vanilla which makes it an enjoyable half, not sure I would drink a full pint but as a half very nice. Hambleton Brewery’s Nightmare was also a delight, dry hoppy first taste but tempered by the coffee roasted flavour that comes though. All in all we tried some fantastic beers which don’t make it down here that often. We didn’t have any of the Yorkshire Breweries beers at the festival but then we were drinking them all week in pubs.

Of course the good thing about festivals is the fact you can try beers for a very reasonable third pint that are normally quite expensive and with this in mind the strongest beer I had was Brewdog’s Paradox Smokehead at 10%. Normally I just don’t get their beers, buy a bottle try it and usually half goes down the sink but this was a beer I really enjoyed. Oily thick texture with an intense whisky stout taste, beautiful. However my partner did buy me a bottle of this as a present at the end of the mini-moon which I found wasn’t as nice as the cask. Perhaps it’s the bottling that affects the taste, I don’t know. It means I will just have to keep a look out for it in a pub or another festival for another try.

They even had entertainment in the form of Balloon Platoon, ( this guy was brilliant. Many a glass ended up with a balloon bug attached to it much to the amusement of the bar staff and I ended up with a balloon wand which was very swish and proving I probably do have a child’s mental age sometimes. But what a great way to provide off the cuff entertainment! Fantastic.

The plastic glasses due to licensing laws in York was good for us too as we had to transport the glasses back to London later that week.

Great festival, great people. If you find yourself in York when this is on again I would go, it will be a great day.


  1. Sounds like you had fun. If you're in Southport next September (which I accept is unlikely), come to ours. They usually book me to sing & play on the Saturday afternoon, and as I'm a CAMRA member, they pay me nothing! Except free beer ...

    I'm not keen on plastic glasses, even though they are easier to transport.

  2. Yes we noticed that they didn't do much music until the weekend days which was a shame, but I'm guessing all the stuff being done on Thurs it makes it difficult. We did look out for the breweries you mentioned but didn't see any sadly but you never know about the Stockport festival as I hear it has alot of music we may be able to get a small group to come up for it. :)

    Free beer for music is a good idea though :D

  3. The balloon chap at York gave his time free as he is a CAMRA member, apparently he even turned down paid work to be there.

    It's Southport dear not Stockport and yes I'm sure a trip can be arranged.

  4. Yes, it's Southport - a seaside town north of Liverpool, not an old cotton town south east of Manchester.

    At our festival, I didn't give up a paid gig to play; chance would have been a fine thing. My last fee was a few weeks ago: £10 (cash in hand). I might be poor, but at least I can sing in tune - unlike Cheryl Cole.

  5. Yes, but the Stockport Beer & Cider Festival is just as good. Lots of seating, great music and a tremendous range of beer, cider and perry. Netx year it's 2 -4 June - get those dates in your diaries now!

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  7. I have only removed a double post. :)