Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Date for Your Diary

Soon the New Year will be upon us, and with it a new range of beer festivals. It is unusual for 'A Swift One' to promote Camra beer festivals but the New Year opens with the 'National Winter Ales' festival, over the hills in Manchester.

It starts on the evening of Wednesday 19th January 2011 and runs through till Saturday 22nd with full day sessions from Thursday onwards. The venue is a short distance out of Manchester itself, at the Sheridan Suite up Oldham Rd, a few minutes out of the Northern Quarter.

That's enough of a plug for the main event, but often, running in parellel with the larger festival, the pubs in the area host their own smaller festivals, and, in my opinion, are far more worthy of a visit. I am usually well clued up by this time to know what is happening where but due to the the recent inclement weather I have been unable to visit for my research visit, (if you know what I mean !) so at present I am in the dark as to who is holding what and when but hopefully some of the more adventurous pubs should be holding their own festivals during this time. If not, the bigger festival promises a range of 200 + beers and ciders to sample.

Make a date and see what is available, and start the 2011 festival season early.

Note : have just been advised by one of the drinkers from over the hill, 'Nora Ticker', that there is a beer festival being held at the New Oxford in Salford,as I type, and running until 6th January 2011. It seems there are 50 beers on offer coming through the 15 or so handpumps at the pub. So should you be at a loose end over the New Year weekend may be a trip into Salford may ward off the winter blues. Pub opens at 12 noon daily and is easy enough to get to on the no3 free bus from Man Piccadilly station.

1 comment:

Jibber said...

I don't want to be a wet blanket, but I really do question the plethora of beer festivals on offer locally. Every weekend there seem to be two or three either in, or within easy reach, of West Yorkshire.

As the previous post says 'What a lucky lot we are!' Yes this is true of Huddersfield in particular, but it's also true of the West Riding in general.

And my point? Well quite simply, anyone with a Train Dayrover can, on any weekend (or any day, for that matter), create their own travelling beer festival. There are so many advantages to this D-I-Y approach. You're not lumbered with one venue. You can get a bit of exercise and fresh air between pubs. You don't have to worry about entrance fees or souvenir glasses. And you're spared the inevitable trad jazz style music!

A little bit of planning can ensure you get a varied choice of beers in varied surroundings. If you don't like the beers in a particular pub, you simply move on to another.

Local beer festivals were fine when all we usually had was Tetley's, Younger's, Theakstons, John Smiths and Vaux. But those days are long gone and the variety in local pubs is probably greater than it ever has been. Perhaps local beerfests have had their day.