Whenever I've been to a themed beer festival I've spent two minutes going 'yeah that's clever' or 'nah this is dumb' then gotten stuck into the ale and never given it a second thought - I mean I'm here for the beer right? So arriving at The Cellar Bar in Batley this evening and expecting nothing more than a bunch of gimmicky beers, I could have plotzed when confronted with the amazing transformation from plush pub to creepy covenstead! The effective use of a few candles, some pumpkins and strips of black cloth had me reaching for my crucifix rather than the beer menu - well not quite, but it did look good!
The pool table had given way to 'The Spooky Bar' where six of the ten spine-chilling brews could be found, whilst a couple of 'non-themed' ciders (now satanic scrumpy - there's a thought!) kept them company. Even the Black Sheep Bitter (the pub's only perm) was in on the act with probably the most gruesome of all the pumpclips - so terrifying I can't begin to describe it - sufficeth to say I'll think twice before walking unaccompanied around Marsden again!.
With just ten ales featuring over the four days it's easily possible to go through the menu twice (just to make sure!) and still have time to practice your hexing skills on the locals - 'ye shalte notte suppe lagere!!!'
My fave beer was the rather impotent (for the occasion) Hell & Heaven (3.9%) from the Red Rose Brewery, but I do intend to return for some of the stronger stuff - the devil willing!
In the meantime it's a big pointy hats off to Rob, Sarah & the Cellar Bar staff for creating this fun fest and let's hope it's the first of many!
The Hallowe'en Beer Festival ends Saturday 3rd.
Apologies for the camera shake on the right hand menu pic - I was obviously more scared than I thought!