Friday, October 18, 2013

Riveting reading about all things beer

Image courtesy of editor Mark Gibson
This week I've browsed through two magazines with a common theme: beer.
First, I picked up an October edition of Beer Matters, the free magazine from Sheffield & District CAMRA. Then a hot-off-the-press copy of O to K from Wakefield CAMRA landed on my desk.
As well as the usual format of beer and brewery news, both magazines focus heavily on their respective upcoming beer festivals.
Sheffield devotes three pages and a full page advert to its showcase event while Wakefield splashes it across its front and centre pages.
Let's kick off the review with the 'Valley of Beer' mag as their festival is the first in time.
Image courtesy of editor Andrew Cullen
Beer Matters has all the relevant information I need as a festival goer: 
The 39th Steel City Beer & Cider festival begins at 5pm on Wednesday, October 23 and runs until the following Saturday. I now know the session times, the location (Ponds Forge), the prices and some of the beers on offer - including a few from our local breweries Magic Rock and The Sportsman. I also know which bands will be playing and what I can eat.
But what caught the eye was the advert below, which encapsulated most of the above.

Image courtesy of Sheffield & District CAMRA
A good start to the magazine was continued with a feature telling fresher students where they can get a good pint within skiving distance of the city's two universities. It's illustrated with a handy map mocked up on a pad of A4, so first-year literature students now have the benefit of continuing their bookish discussions over the road at The University Arms or Interval Cafe Bar, while engineering students can finesse their grand designs at The Red Deer or The Bath Hotel either side of West Street. 
Then we are onto the staples of any ale magazine, news about the beers we are most likely to encounter (Four Horseman of the Hopocalypse/Radar Men from the Moon etc.) via a brewery by brewery low down. 
Then it's on to the pubs themselves, featuring news about the future of the Anglers Rest at Bamford and villagers plans to turn it into a community pub, and a lighter piece on The Rutland Arms' fourth birthday party plans.
I won't review every page but it's all here, reviews (GBG/GPG), awards, beer festival adverts (Shakespeares, Oct 31-Nov 2) and other dates for your diary.
What gets me about this monthly treat and similar magazines is that they are free. It's in full-colour, took a couple of sittings to devour and is a handy reference book for upcoming festivals, yet it cost me nowt. Amazing value! 
You can pick up this month's copy of Beer Matters in all good Sheffield pubs until about October 28 when the next edition is due.
If you can't make it to Sheffield then you can read it on-line via the Sheffield CAMRA website:
I'll dissect Wakefield CAMRA's equally fine publication soon to tie in with their big festival date (November 7-9). O to K is in pubs now.
Have a good read.  


Phil said...

Why is the Wakefield CAMRA mag called "O to K" with a subtitle of "From Olympia in[sic] Kensington"? Local joke?

Anonymous said...

Its actually from Ossett to Knottingley. I'm assuming this issue of the mag has a write up from the Great British Beer Festival in Olympia, London..

Ale Ambler said...

Hi Phil, O to K magazine is normally subtitled from Ossett to Knottingley. I can only think that Olympia in Kensington is a reference to Mark Gibson's article on working behind the bar at The Great British Beer Festival at Olympia in Kensington.
Ale Ambler